Joey 
Member since Dec 16, 2010


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Re: “Degrees of separation

Most of the cadets who received well-deserved national scholarships, such as Rhodes and Marshall, have been enrolled in the Scholars Program. Only three percent of the cadet wing is enrolled in the program. It’s telling that the percent of program instructors who have Ph.D.’s and are civilian is higher than for the rest of the USAFA curriculum. The problems with faculty credentials affect the remaining 97 percent of the cadets.
The Higher Learning Commission of North Central Association accredits the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). And it maintains the standard that an instructor at an institution that grants bachelor’s degrees should have a master’s degree and substantial graduate coursework in the field that she teaches.
If it is true that 60 percent of introductory math instruction for a decade has been in violation of accreditation. Then there is a serious problem. And the study by RAND is highly appropriate to ascertain the facts of this issue and to examine how widespread it may in other disciplines.
It is wonderful that there are so many alumni who are proud of graduating from USAFA. I pray that they support an objective third-party review of these circumstances and if significant problems are found that they continue their support of reforms that will strengthen USAFA.

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Posted by Joey on 12/25/2010 at 4:48 PM

Re: “Degrees of separation

ColoradoNative,

Go to:

http://www.airforcetimes.com/community/opi…

And you will see this in the Air Force Times article:

"Last year, the academy produced about one in four of 3,650 new second lieutenants but ate up 74 percent of the $562 million spent on all commissioning sources."

Thanks for your interest.

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Posted by Joey on 12/17/2010 at 4:47 PM

Re: “Degrees of separation

Yes, Major, you''re right about the Virginia Tech. It has many fine programs and overall it is a very good state university. I wish your son great success there.

It is a shame that the freshmen math courses that service the engineering and other programs are lacking.

And here is the point: if you you don't have a good math foundation, it will harm your performance in all subsequent courses that use math. So good quality math instruction is really important in technical programs.

The core curriculum at the Air Force Academy contains a substantial number of engineering and science courses. Good math instructors are a vital resource at AFA.

AFA uses up about third quarters of the budget for funding commissioning sources. An AFA education costs over six times as much as ROTC.

For that degree of cost differential, shouldn't taxpayers expect all AFA math instructors to be well qualified?

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Posted by Joey on 12/16/2010 at 7:32 PM

Re: “Degrees of separation

I am familiar with Virginia Tech's math curriculum. It has been a noted failure. Comparing a bad to a bad doesn't produce a good.

Also Virginia Tech and other state schools cost a small fraction per student as compared to the Air Force Academy.

Also there is a misrepresentation to the public by a leader of the AFA. Is that a "non-issue"?

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Posted by Joey on 12/16/2010 at 7:56 AM

Re: “Degrees of separation

Scott Carrell's work shows that poorly qualified instructors cause persistent harm to cadets' education. Given that the Air Force Academy spends $417,000 to graduate a cadet, it is an outrage that the faculty is not uniformly superb. What is more important: stoking the careers of a few officers or educating very well the next generation of leaders of the Air Force and nation?

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Posted by Joey on 12/16/2010 at 6:41 AM

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