8.3.11

A FAD, A JOHN GALT MOMENT.  Bardiac discovers the downside of going-along-with-fads.  It's another assessment exercise.
I was talking to one of the powers that be here, someone I like and respect a lot, about how our department might do the evaluative work that we're under pressure to do, with the constant threat of "if we don't do it, they'll do it to us."

That "they" might refer to the regents, or perhaps to the legislature, if the Wisconsin legislature ever reconvenes.

We have, say, ten of these classes, and you want me (and any number of other colleagues) to read and evaluate 50 extra papers about this one aspect?

I said I might be talked into spending an hour together with some colleagues to norm ourselves on the form, but there was no way I was reading an extra stack of papers.

Not even for money, my colleague questioned?

This school can't pay me enough, I said.
They pretend to pay us, we pretend to assess?  To compile reports that will neither be read nor used as a basis for doing anything differently?
There's no serious evaluative stuff happening here, despite blathering and spending money up the wazoo to talk about it. And what is being done is being done to us already, in ways that make me lose a class day in intro writing every fall.

I've never yet seen anything useful come out of all the money they've spent and all the crap they've made us do. I have seen viscious nastiness happen, however. And I've seen threats of more to come.
Meet the next fad, crowding out the current fad. Meanwhile the graduates get no stronger intellectually.

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