----- Original Message ----- From: "Wojtek Sokolowski" <sokol at jhu.edu>
[WS:] "Radicalize" is but meaningless mumbo jumbo that does not mean anything other than intent to piss parents and authority figures off. AFAICT, the professoriate as a group is far more progressive and better organized than the rest of society, including the student body. It is already organized in various professional associations that wield more influence than an average labor union - but do not employ bombastic rhetoric that unions often do. Moreover, professors have a greater degree of self-management, especially at the departmental level, than knowledge workers in the government or the business sector.
The main reason behind low wages is not the lack or organization or managerial conspiracy, by the supply factor - our universities produce a far greater number of PhD's that they can effectively employ. There is very little market for PhD's outside the academia - most non-academic jobs not only do not require a PhD, but perceive them as being overqualified - which is a far worse offense than being underqualified. An underqualified employee can easily be trained, however an overqualified poses a risk of being resentful about his/her job and either leaving at the earliest opportune moment or becoming a trouble maker.
You mean the authority figures/experts that pronounced Vioxx and Avandia safe? Or the parents who in their youth sucked in every chemical known to send the senses sideways now demanding their kids be tested for drug use while in school just to play chess or baseball? Or all the PhD's who recommended giving US tax dollars to the government in Colombia? Or all the PhD economists who've wrecked entire countries? We shouldn't radicalize young people to be pissing those people off until the mitochondria in their brains explode? Please.
What twaddle. If the professoriate is so fucking smart, progressive and well organized why are they unable to find jobs for those they give PhD's to? It's not like the demand for so-called "higher education" is in the ruts. And no you don't get to blame the problem on the non-academic, unorganized majority or "education markets" or politicians. As regards the below, for those outside the US, Washington State is one of the bluest of the "blue states" i.e. liberal [although it's nowhere near as blue as residents like to imagine themselves...]. Seems the professoriate and university administrators are no better at preventing nonlinear wackiness in the demand/supply dynamics for institutional learning than GM and Ford are at building the kind of cars people want.
UW freshmen may have record GPAs, SAT scores
By Nick Perry Seattle Times education reporter
Parents of teens bound for the University of Washington are sounding a common refrain: They're sure glad they're not the ones applying.
That's because getting into the UW just keeps getting harder. Next fall's batch of freshmen is on target to come in with a record average SAT score of more than 1,200. Their grade-point average could also reach a record 3.7.
And only 63 percent of applicants are being offered slots, an all-time low.
"I'm sure glad I've already got my college degree, because it's tough on these kids," said Wendy Krakauer, head counselor at Seattle's Roosevelt High School. "There are so many incredibly well-qualified students who are not getting into colleges, who, with their profile, in previous years would have been a slam dunk."
The situation is far different at the UW's two branch campuses, which have yet to fill their freshman quotas and are keeping the application process open for now. At the UW Tacoma, the freshmen accepted so far have an average SAT score of 1,008. Staffers at the UW Bothell say it's too early to crunch the numbers.
Philip Ballinger, the UW's director of admissions, said that while it's true that UW Seattle is getting more competitive, it's also true that students have more college options than their parents did - not least of which are the branch campuses.
He added that the UW's new "holistic" admissions system, introduced last year, opens the door to a wider variety of students. Under the holistic system, the UW no longer admits students based on grades alone but rather reads each student's transcript and considers a variety of factors.
But the new system hasn't been able to halt average grade levels from creeping up. Ten years ago, the average SAT score was below 1,150 and the average GPA was 3.6. The record was set in 2005 when the average SAT score hit 1,198 and the average GPA 3.69.
As of May 13 at UW Seattle, 5,260 students had reserved spots with deposits. They had an average SAT score of 1,208 and average GPA of 3.7.
A small percentage of students are expected to drop from the rolls before fall while others are accepted from the wait list. That may cause a fractional decrease in the overall averages.
Ballinger said the aim this year is to have an incoming class of 5,300 students. About 130 students on the wait list have been sent letters offering them slots.
At UW Tacoma, the aim is to have a freshman class of about 150. Applications are down slightly from last year, said Jim Coolsen, acting head of enrollment.
"That's disappointing. We hoped it would be higher. We are doing what we can to stimulate that," Coolsen said. "The fact that we're open to a lot of different students in the South Sound is a good thing."
At UW Bothell, Lindsey Wille, the freshmen-admissions adviser, said applications are up by more than one-third, at more than 500. The aim is to have a freshman class of about 175.
Krakauer, the Roosevelt High counselor, said one positive development is that seniors planning to attend the UW have stopped slacking in their final semester after the college began revoking admission last year for those suffering "senioritis."
"I think they got scared," she said. "But we are definitely still seeing it from students going to other colleges. It's still a problem."