@krutawn: As a US Government employee Mr. Willoughby is in direct violation of US Supreme Court decision Lemon Vs. Kurzman (1971). This is case law which has been addended to the US Constitution and is currently relating to the First Amendment.
General Johnson is complicit in this by not exercising supervisory control over her subordinates.
In response to richardbk8, I am confused why you take issue to this matter. Allen Willoughby has in no way violated any military or Air Force regulations. Furthermore, the only actions taken by Allen Willoughby were in an email to the MRFF. While the email certainly enraged those at the MRFF, Allen Willoughby broke no laws by doing so. Maybe you should look at what actually happened. Even the MRFF doesn't claim anything illegal happened, they are just upset that someone at the Ari Force Academy is being public about their personal religion. That isn't illegal, though the MRFF has been fighting it for years.
It is amazing to me that a man of sufficient secular intelligence to advance to a high position at the Air Force Academy, subscribes to such a captive and primitive form of religion. I suppose that explains a lot when my mind wonders how anyone could be so adamant about proselytizing his faith that it violates the constitutional and regulatory aspects governing such matters. I am disappointed that the Superintendant, Gen. Johnson took no corrective action especially when the AFA has been the source of many religious infractions. I am sure the Military Religios Freedom Foundation will pursue this matter to a satidfactory conclusion. For your information, Willoughby is in direct violation of US Supreme Court decision, Lemon Vs. Kurzman (1971) in which the court ruled that the government, including Public Education and the Armed Forces may not recommend, promote, favor or proselytize one religion over another or religion over non-religion.
At the beginning, Prep School designed and created for only Prior Enlisted. I wish that they changed back to 100% prior enlisted again.
Maybe, now, the point will finally be clear to those in command. If not, I'm sure there's more where this came from.
This collection of photos inspires me. It demonstrates the magic that can happen in relationship between humankind and the environment. Andrew Beckham shares his love for the common, for the ethereal, for the orderly chaos that is nature. There is a golden thread connecting it all and this work is an invitation to be part of that connection. Blake Milteer has supported this exhibit well; in providing an open space that allows the viewer to rest and to relate with each piece. Together: artist, curator, and environment - our senses are called out to join the experience.
Transom, I think your apples and oranges analogy is completely appropriate. We cannot keep throwing apples into the orange crate and expect them to become oranges. The standards for getting an Academy appointment may vary depending on whether you are a direct entry or come through the Prep School, but the requirments to remain at the Academy are the same for everyone. If the Academy can't hold every person it accepts to the same standard, it has lost sight of its purpose. For now, it appears to have enough institutional integrity remaining to hold Cadets to one academic, military, athletic and honor standard. But it also appears to have turned a blind eye on the process that decides which young men and women will gain an appoinment in the first place. The financial cost of trying to turn an apple into an orange during one year at the Prep School is almost insignificant compared to what it costs when that person, who was never qualified in the first place, implodes during his first two years at the Academy. What in the world has the Academy gained by setting him up to fail? Yet, almost 50% of the kids who enter the Prep School go down that path. Forget the finances, let's just look at wisdom of the process. If maintaining the status quo of what is described in this article is really the best we can do, than it is time to not only shut the Prep School down, but USAFA as well.
Thanks so much for highlighting Teachout's commentary and so smartly posing the challenges we face at the FAC. I see this as a moment for exactly this kind of discussion.
Why don't we -- the FAC and The Indy -- take this discussion to the next level?
How about co-hosting some public forums on the possibilities? What can we do to bring more excitement and life to the FAC? In particular, how do we engage that babyboomer crowd?
I do think we need to be more audience-centric, while acknowledging that the most valuable things our directors and curators bring is their own specific taste and expertise. Focus groups that try to get at what people want usually tend to ignore the fact that arts audiences, like newspaper readers, don't just want programming that's been focus-grouped to death. They want surprise and delight, and the stuff that's not on the menu.
Still, it would be tremendously valuable to look for ways to create more significant community and audience connections.
What do you think?
Anothergrad, three points, and then I'm off this thread:
1) I can't speak to what efforts USAFA senior staff have taken to reach out to the grad community with a candid, accurate assessment of Prep School grads' performance. I do know that for every reunion there's a briefing held by senior staff, and questions from the audience are welcome, either in that public forum or afterward, one-on-one. Failing that venue, there's always public affairs, and their contact info should be readily found on USAFA's website.
2) Since I know USAFA has guidelines but no strict requirements for admission, it actually does not surprise me that the Prep School is in the same boat. In fact, I have heard there is significant overlap in composite academic scores between students selected to go to the Prep School and students selected to go directly to USAFA from high school. So to compare the average Prep School grad's performance and incidence of honor probations to those of the average cadet who came directly to USAFA from high school is kind of comparing apples to oranges.
If data were to be presented comparing academic performance and incidence of honor probations between Prep School grads and students entering USAFA directly from high school who had comparable composite academic scores, and if the Prep School grads' performance were shown to be worse across the board than comparable cadets who went directly to USAFA (ie same composite academic scores), then I would agree the Prep School has some problems that need to be addressed. However, until and unless such data is presented, I would be wary of drawing too many conclusions from an article that presents only one side of the story such as this one.
3) One last comment on budget: although the overall budget figure may be correct, it is possible some creative math employed to arrive at misleadingly high cost per candidate. As an example, let's say that in 1 week a family of 5 (mom, dad, and 3 kids) spent $150 on groceries, $100 on the monthly cable/internet/phone bill, and $100 for the rest of the month's utilities. How much did it cost to house and feed 1 child for 1 week?
You might be inclined to say $450, but that would hardly be accurate because $200 was spent on monthly costs, not weekly costs, and because the child probably didn't eat all $150 in groceries.
That is all. Happy life, everyone!
Heey...let's stop...hait'n. All art is good becase, c'mon, we're all soo good & shi*t. I love you guys. I love aret, too, bitches. It'so all super distracting, but in a good way. Like love. Art is good: shaddup if yoo a haitah!
lol keep thinking we cant do anything and nothing will be done. we arnt finished yet, round two starts Monday.
The difference between "exhibiting" a great painting & "connecting audiences" with a great painting doesn't exist outside of speeches like Ben's. Is this a true distinction? An aesthetically pleasing false distinction for the current audience, possibly? The real problem is this: we hold fast to the idea that CULTURE is an inalienable right, like mail delivery. This is something we inherited from Europe. From an aristocratic culture, for whom high art always ever was, is, & will be for. This democratic culture has no need for art distinct from the mass media. Why would we be interested in "art"? & Why SHOULD we be interested in "art'? For the job security of specialists? Museums are trying to stay relevant to democratic tastes, which is absurd & bound to fail.
Transom, fair points. I'll respond by answering your last point first. Have USAFA's leaders made an effort to reach out to grads with a candid assessment of some of the problems highlighted in this article? Before reading this article, were you aware that the Prep School no longer has a GPA requirement for graduating from the Prep School? That its students have no minimum standardized test score threshold, or military performance score? Did you know that 45% of each incoming Prep School class are recruited athletes, while less than 25% are prior enlisted, but that recruited athletes have a much higher attrition rate than any other demographic brought into the Prep School? My point is, how does a grad reach out to USAFA leadership directly and in private if he isn't even aware such problems exist? I know these problems weren't brought up at my last reunion. I haven't seen them in Checkpoints. I'd prefer not to find out about them in a free newspaper. But that's where we are.
As far as the Prep School budget is concerned, you're right. I am guessing that their 2013 budget is more than their 2005 budget. But according to the article, the size of their student body hasn't changed since 2005 (the Cadet Wing is on track to shrink by 10%), and it doesn't appear the staff size is much smaller either. Is it possible the current Prep School budget is less than it's budget in 2005? I guess, but given the laws of basic economics over the last decade, I don't know how you could shrink the budget significantly without reducing students and faculty, or the length of the school. Care and feeding of 240 kids hasn't gotten cheaper in the last 10 years.
Finally, if Academy leaders have actually tried to improve the performance of Prep School grads in recent years, I would actually be more dismayed than I am now, because given the stats provided in this article and its accompanying articles, several things have gotten worse. Read the three paragraphs preceding the section titled "No Requirements" and then read the no requirements section. Things are not improving. You can't blame the current Supt. She just showed up. And it looks like the current Prep School commander is not only aware there's a problem, but has started moving the curve in the other direction. But my original questions still stand. Is this really the best we can do? How did we get here? With drawdowns the norm across the Air Force, how is it the Prep School remains the same size despite declines in the performance of its graduates in recent years? What is its real purpose? The article says the current class is 22% prior enlisted, 43% minority, and 45% recruited athlete. What does that say about our priorities?
The focus on football has become so great that the AFA just changed their primary mission from "developing leaders of character" to "producing lieutenants for the AF." Look at the usafa homepage for that in the upper left corner. If we're just producing officers what makes this place any different than any other school out there?
Anothergrad, I'm not disputing the 2005 audit report. What I am saying is that there is no data quoted in the article to support the contention that the cost per student and other pieces of information reported in the 2005 report have either not changed or gotten worse, as you contend.
As a grad, I'm sure you're aware that, like the rest of the federal government, USAFA has experienced budget cuts. What makes you think this is not also true for the Prep School? Further, what data specifically supports your contention that no attempts have been made by USAFA to improve the areas called out in the 2005 report?
You are mixing facts reported in previous years with supposition about what may be happening now, I'm assuming because there are no statistics provided in this article to refute your suppositions (which does not mean they don't exist, and actually gets to the point I was originally trying to make).
I find it really interesting that some grads, rather than trying to support USAFA leadership in the challenges they face by approaching them directly and in private in a constructive manner, feel it is more effective to attack USAFA leadership publicly in forums like this one.
It is important to remember that the word "Marriage" refers only to the union between a man and woman. Saying gay marriage is a oxymoron. Call it something else. maybe legal union, binding partnership, anything other than marriage. That word has already been taken.
Is it the mission of a healthy art institution to accommodate the putative, changing taste of the public? Or should these art institutions conserve the artistic achievements of the past in order to educate a contemporary audience? The second option isn't as sexy as the first, obviously, but a museum isn't a contemporary art gallery (Adam Lerner may not agree). Floyd Tunson's "Son of Pop" was a powerful show due in large part to the art history that, not only his work referenced, but the context of the exhibit itself embodied - The Fine Arts Center. In a coffee shop or a commercial gallery, Tunson's work would have lost some of its capacity to dialogue with & critique a rich and complex art history that, were it not for art institutions like the Fine Arts Center, would disappear under a wave of changing popular tastes & technologies.
Tong-Tong is my go-to Korean restaurant in Colorado Springs. The service has always been outstanding, with attentive, friendly servers that go out of their way to make you feel at home. They have always been ready with a smile and a suggestion of what I should try next. The food is likewise outstanding, with the wide assortment of soups being particularly good.
Everything from standards like bulgogi (thin sliced marinated beef) and japchae (a sweet potato noodle dish) to more unusual dishes like sundubu-jjigae (a spicy soft tofu soup) are served sizzling in their dishes and incredibly good. Unless you ask for it spicy, the level of hotness is under control, so this non-Korean can enjoy it without sweating the whole time.
I would suggest trying it at lunchtime, as their lunch menu has most of the standards at substantially reduced prices (around $6.99 for most). Even at lunch, you receive a wide assortment of traditional side dishes with your entre. The staff will gladly refill any of them if you ask for more.
The only knock on this place (and the only reason I didn't give it five stars) is that it could use a good remodel. The carpeting is worn in many places, the booths and tables have seen better days, and the restrooms, though clean, need some maintenance work.
Still, that shouldn't deter you from trying this place. Before you know it, you'll be a regular like me.
The Air Force would be better just paying all of the preppies to go to a year of junior college or a state school to improve their chances at success at USAFA. Of course, that wouldn't really help the football and basketball teams red-shirt student-athletes and train them with another year of playing experience, so one has to believe that sports is the primary driver for the P-school.
The article lists the cost per Prep School graduate at $93,800. It says that number comes from an Air Force audit published in 2005 looking at data from 2002 and 2003. I share your willingness to doubt the accuracy of things I read in the media, but the number and the attributed source seem pretty specific. And unfortunately, those numbers are from a decade ago. Nothing in the military seems to get less expensive over time, and I would be willing to guess that the cost per Prep School student is higher now than what was published in 2005. As for the graduation rates, the numbers listed in this article are consistant with historical numbers I've read in other places. Roughly 25% who enter the Prep School don't make it to USAFA, and another 25% who do don't graduate from USAFA. What surprised me are the percentages of Prep School graduates involved in honor offenses and other problems at USAFA. I would think the percentages would be LOWER than direct entry cadets. Not higher. Regardless of the specific cost per Prep School graduate, shouldn't a year of exposure to USAFA military and honor standards give them an advantage over their direct entry peers? If this has been an known problem since at least 2005, what exactly is being done to make positive changes? Is there a better solution? Even if this article is only mostly accurate, I can't believe USAFA can't do better. Is it even trying?
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