Monday, August 18, 2014

New Mexico State University and Public Education

My opinion is the mission of the College of Education at New Mexico State University is to influence America through public school teachers.

Las Cruces Sun News
August 13, 2014

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Grading System

For most of us Americans we are all too familiar with the grading system A,B,C,D,F.  For undergraduate courses at NMSU the same grading system is utilized, but at the graduate level the grading system is A, B, C; A and B are both passing grades and a C means you failed the class.  I am only pointing this out because when I went back to get my Masters in C & I with a Teaching License, I did not know this.

Jamie Baker, Assistant Director of Secondary Education, gave me an F in the graduate course Exploration of Education.  This course is required to get into the Secondary Teacher Education Program and you have to get in this program in order to get  a teaching license.  Thus, I cannot be a teacher.  All she had to do was give me a C to keep me out of the program, yet she felt inclined to give me an F.  What message do you think she was sending my way?

Self-governing:  When I went through the grade appeal process, it became very evident to me that NMSU is a self-governing entity.  I presented a detailed letter appealing my grade to the department head, James O'Donnell, that documented my experiences and my classwork.  His response was a letter that merely stated, "I am denying your grade appeal", and referred me on to the Graduate School.  Per the grade appeal process protocol, I asked the Graduate School to let me present my case to the review board which would at least gotten it reviewed by someone outside of the College of Education. The Graduate School denied my request stating, "it has no merit".  In a letter to the Graduate School I asked how they came to this conclusion and they said they talked to James O'Donnell.

Self-serving:  Another rude awakening from the collegiate system.  I did not know the college classroom could be used by professors as a platform to promote their own personal ideologies.  They can and they get paid really well to do it.

Bureaucratic:  The power solely belongs to the administrators of the collegiate system. Students are merely pawns...means to make money.  In any other business, the business is held accountable to its customers.

All of the other professors in the program deemed my work to be of a high quality (3.7 GPA not counting the F) so I do have enough graduate credits to get a Masters in Curriculum & Instruction, but a Masters in C & I is a worthless piece of paper without a teaching license.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Student Debt

College graduates already owe the federal government a trillion dollars. This is money that the only way you can get out of it is to die.  To tackle this absurdity Obama raised the interest rates on student loans and reduced the amount of free money (Pell Grants) students receive; reducing Pell Grant funds forces students to have to borrow money from the federal government.  And Obama will loan just about anybody money and it's basically as easy as touching the "accept" button on your online student account.  Yet, although Obama promised future college graduates that they could get a job when they graduated, over 50% of college graduates are unemployed or underemployed.

It seems like every other student I ask, "What are you majoring in?", the answer is Psychology. What are we going to do with all of these Psychology majors?  The cost of an undergraduate degree in Psychology is at least four years of your life and around $30,000.  I think NMSU should have a warning sign on each of their degree programs....Warning!...a degree in Psychology will cost you four years of your life, $30,000 in tuition, fees, and books, and you will not be able to get a job in Psychology.

Instead you see and hear advertisements encouraging DACC and NMSU students to fill out their FAFSA (form to get federal loans) AND WE'LL SHOW YOU HOW TO FILL IT OUT.  That's how NMSU stays in business, because when a student hits the "accept" button for a federal loan NMSU immediately collects their tuition fees.  They continue to stay in business at the expense of young people.

The justification is that college is a good investment.  Is it?

The Prospector
December 3, 2013
Blake Lanhan

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Age Discrimination in NMSU Program

Las Cruces Sun News
Wednesday, November 27, 2013

See my new and improved coloring skills in my October 21 post!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Power of the Internet

It's been interesting to me how far reaching your voice can be heard, the ease with which an audience can be reached, and who might end up hearing your story.  I put a link to my blog on my business website and I was surprised at how many of my customers took the time to check it out.  I have customers all over the United States and through a customer up in Maine I came into contact with Tucker Carlson, American political news correspondent and commentator for Fox News, and co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller!!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

What is the Purpose of Education?

Recently I heard on a local radio station an ad for New Mexico State University stating something like NMSU graduates get jobs.  To me this implies that NMSU believes the purpose of education is to be able to get a job.  In the graduate course Exploration of Education taught by Jamie Baker, Assistant Director of Secondary Education, our first assignment was to write a short paper answering the question, "What is the purpose of education?" using our own voice.  Here are a few excerpts from my paper:

The most significant objective of public education I feel is to improve the quality of life of the individual...For the average American forty plus years will be spent in the work force.  To ensure quality of life, then preparing students for the work force must be a primary goal of the public educational system...The highest level on Maslow's hierarchy is self-actualizing where personal growth and fulfillment are achieved.  In order for our students to reach this level they must be prepared to enter the work force either as a white-collar worker through a college education or blue-collar worker through a journeyman program; either one now requires a high school diploma or G.E.D....Therefore, I feel the purpose of education is to help students accomplish fulfillment in their lives by preparing them for the work force through classroom settings and extracurricular school activities.

Jamie Baker gave me an F on this paper; I received 12 points out of 25.

So which is it New Mexico State University?!

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Sanctimonious Instructor

Recently at church someone asked me how my ordeal with New Mexico State University was going and several others mentioned that they had read my editorials in the newspaper even though it has been quite some time since I had written one.  Well that rejuvenated me in my quest to be heard!

Let me share with you how Jamie Baker, instructor for the graduate course Exploration of Education and Assistant Director of Secondary Education, treated me in class.  During one class, by chance, she and I were the only two members of a group.  The facilitators for this class period had the four assigned groups go outside where they had laid four blankets out on the grass.  Jamie Baker promptly plopped down on the corner of our blanket, facing out so that wherever I chose to sit on the blanket her back would be to me.
All of the other three groups sat on their blankets facing each other.  When one of the class facilitators brought our question sheet, Jamie Baker grabbed it and proceeded to read and answer the questions out loud while writing her answers down.  She only asked for my input on the last question and even then she did not turn to look at me.

Her dislike of me was common knowledge.  One of my colleagues whom I had worked with on a group class presentation teased me on our way outside about being alone in a group with Jamie Baker.  Then she got serious and asked me if I was going to be okay and I told her yes that it would be okay.

By the end of the semester I was emotionally drained; it had been a very degrading experience.  Jamie Baker did her best to make me feel unaccepted in the class environment, an outcast, and totally belittled me through the grading process.