college JUST ahead

Merging Art and Business in the College Curriculum

John M. Eger Become a fanDirector of the Creative Economy Initiative at San Diego State University (SDSU) is also the Van Deerlin Endowed Chair of Communications and Public Policy Clearly something is happening in universities across the country. This week San Diego State University is launching a Music...

Closing the Digital Divide

John M. Eger – Huffington Post

Lionel Van Deerlin Professor of Communications and Public Policy, San Diego State University

Posted: Posted: 06/7/11

As globalization spreads, it is imperative that we not only close the “digital divide” in hardware and infrastructure, but also use technology to dramatically confront the world illiteracy problem in developing nations today.

In many parts of the world, a system of education either does not exist or girls, for example, are not privileged to get an education. Cyber education may be the only alternative to providing the basic skills for economic survival.

UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics provides a rough estimate of the world budget for education in the world, and comes up with the figure of about two trillion dollars. This of course, does not include money spent for tutoring, private schools, museum visits and the like.

But every child needs basic math and science and language skills, at least the three R’s and then some. So like payroll software, which every enterprise needs, why can’t we provide these forms of instruction through Cyber-Schools? Why can’t we develop the best, brightest and most practical methods of learning and make them widely available using the technology we have before us?

The Economist magazine recently teamed with Innocentive, an award granting corporation, as it advertises itself, connecting ” seekers with solvers” to enable other corporations the “shortest, most cost-effective path to finding a solution. “

Measuring Creativity in California and the Nation

The Conference Board and experts in the field say creativity is what the workplace will be demanding. California's proposed Senate Bill 789 establishing such a committee, similar to the one already signed by the Governor of Massachusetts, will develop an Index to measure and inspire...

There Is a Serious Flaw in College Admissions – John M. Eger

John M. Eger – Huffington Post

Lionel Van Deerlin Professor of Communications and Public Policy,
San Diego State University

Posted: 03/28/11 10:42 AM ET


Is who gets admitted to one of America’s coveted universities each year mostly a numbers process that is badly flawed? You are more likely to have success at LOTTO.

Depending on the college, admissions people like to think that they have set the bar at the right level to screen out only those applicants that meet the colleges’ requirements. Some look closely at the personal letter, if required, to find the young man or woman who offers the creativity the college demands, or the empathy or the passion. But this only comes after the combined scores are tailed and the cut offs are applied.

The truth is that most schools, particularly given the sheer number of applications, rely on GPA and SAT scores. According to the New York Times, Harvard received a record 27,278 applicants “for its next freshman class, a 19 percent increase over last year. Other campuses reporting double-digit increases included the University of Chicago (18 percent), Amherst College (17 percent), Northwestern (14 percent) and Dartmouth (10 percent).”

The problem is that GPAs vary school to school. The SAT, formerly known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test, is a standardized test for college admissions in the United States. It doesn’t vary as much, but is increasingly being discounted by colleges because, many critics have accused, has a cultural bias toward the white and wealthy kids.

Science Teachers Love Art

John M. EgerHuffington Post

Lionel Van Deerlin Professor of Communications and Public Policy,
San Diego State

Posted: March 21, 2011 02:14 PM

There is a growing debate in America about art and science.

Explaining the Universe: Why Arts Education and Science Education Need Each Other author, scientist, and educator, Alan Friedman, says, “I am a science educator who finds this story (of the Universe) deeply fascinating and profound.” But most children do not know this story. ‘The solution is not just finding more good science teachers and developing good science curricula, but also encouraging more and better arts education.”

Recently, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), issued a paper called “Reaching Students Through STEM and the Arts.”

The paper states, “Teachers of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are discovering that by adding an “A” — the arts — to STEM, learning will pick up STEAM.”

They are of course talking about former president George W. Bush’s initiative called the America Competes Act, also known as the STEM initiative for Science Technology Engineering and Math.

That bill authorized $151 million to help students earn a bachelor’s degree, math and science teachers to get teaching credentials, and provide additional money to help align kindergarten through grade 12 math and science curricula to better prepare students for college.

Now, three years later, more and more people are asking why just math and science? Why not the arts, too?

The International PISA Tests Are Leading America Astray

John M. EgerHuffington Post

Lionel Van Deerlin Professor of Communications and Public Policy,
San Diego State

Posted: March 15, 2011 05:07 PM

Yes, we need to change the education system.

Not because we tested so poorly — again — on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests. Rather, because the world has changed and we are witnessing a new, global, technology-driven, knowledge economy.

Yet, every three years when the Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) tests 15-year-olds around the world in math, science and reading, we go crazy with angst and despair and promise to fix the current education system.

Former Assistant Secretary of Education Diane Ravitch, an otherwise trustworthy spokesperson, exclaimed: “Our students scored in the middle of the pack! We are not No. 1! Shanghai is No. 1! We are doomed unless we overtake Shanghai!

The New York Times, also writing about the PISA tests, interviewed U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan who said: “We have to see this as a wake-up call … I know skeptics will want to argue with the results, but we consider them to be accurate and reliable, and we have to see them as a challenge to get better,” he added. “The United States came in 23rd or 24th in most subjects. We can quibble, or we can face the brutal truth that we’re being out-educated.”

I guess we need more tests to get our students ready for the next PISA?


It really doesn't matter what you call it as long as long as the arts and the sciences are not seen as separate things when we talk about reinventing the curriculum. ...