[Marxism] A Modest Proposal: Back to Classics

Mark Lause MLause at cinci.rr.com
Tue Mar 8 13:38:26 MST 2005

What?  I offer observations based on many years of concrete experience
at half a dozen institutions, but am then told that my
assessments--rather than the bosses' practices--are "cynical."  

Yes, Sologdin at aol.com, student evaluations are treated differently by
different persons at different times, depending on their circumstances.
If you got decent characters reviewing you, dandy.  Enjoy it.  Don't
generalize your experience into thinking that this is the norm.  In
fact, the same set of evaluations that are treated as praiseworthy by
some reviewers in one circumstance can be the basis for denouncing your
work when they want to screw with you.  I've seen this done....

One of the better people where I used to work was denied tenure on the
grounds that his evaluations weren't "above average."  (Think about that
a minute: being not "above average" means half.)  Anyway, the last year
he was around, this fellow decided to make a point.  He started class
late, let everyone go early, spun entertaining yarns instead of
lecturing, required almost nothing for tests, curved them so nobody
failed, etc.  In the end, he got the best evaluations in the college.
The response of the administrators was "Why didn't you do that earlier?"

Why, indeed!  Why does anyone who teaches even bother?

I could give dozens of similar example.


PS: One more thing....Again, where I used to be, some people were
getting so messed with that they were giving student evaluations in each
class they taught every quarter.  That's roughly 30  minutes in 4
sections for 3 quarters--about six hours a year of instruction and
discussion time sacrificed as a CYA measure imposed by a hierarchy that
would never enter a classroom themselves. 

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