October 19th, 2011at 11:46am Posted by Eli
The latest in Rick Scott’s never-ending parade of bad ideas:
Gov. Rick Scott has sent a list of 17 detailed, audit-like questions to Florida’s 11 university presidents, challenging them to show what they’re doing to prepare graduates for jobs.
Scott sent the letter, which bears his signature, on Thursday, at the end of a week during which he was pummeled by the academic community for suggesting universities needed fewer programs in anthropology and more in science and math.
He’s circulated copies of a Texas think-tank report called “Seven Breakthrough Solutions,” which proposes revamping how professors are paid and awarded tenure, emphasizing large classes and evaluations from students, whom it calls “customers.”
And Scott has made the rounds of newspaper editorial board meetings, talking about the importance of programs in what’s known as STEM: science, technology, engineering and math.
The governor began his Thursday letter with a brief discussion of the 900,000 people who are out of work in Florida, saying that many university graduates can’t find jobs and implying that the problem is with their education.
“Many employers are concerned that university graduates are not equipped with the appropriate writing skills, critical thinking skills, and technical expertise needed to succeed,” Scott’s letter says.
Scott’s letter focuses heavily on job training, asking for instance, “Do you have measureable goals to meet employers’ current needs?”
This is just incredibly foolish and short-sighted. If Scott turns the state’s universities into vocational schools, why, it could do incalculable damage to the for-profit education industry.