Indiana

Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Mailbag: Former Kinsey Director Shares Ryan Remembrance, 'Weed Out Diploma Mills,' Education Reform Event 'A Farce'?

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June M. Reinisch, director emeritus at IU's Kinsey Institute (left), remembers fondly the support former IU president John Ryan offered her institute. Ryan died Saturday at age 81.

June M. Reinisch, director emeritus of IU’s Kinsey Institute, shared this remembrance of former IU president John Ryan, who died Saturday at age 81, in the comments section of our post:

Following in the footsteps of his mentor, the legendary President Herman B Wells, [i]t was the greatest period of growth and accomplishment for the Institute since Dr. Alfred Kinsey’s death.

Under his era of support for all creativity and scholarship at IU, he supported the tripling of the Institute’s physical space, the renovation of the research areas, the building of a contemporary library… [along with laboratory and work spaces]. He supported my doubling the staffing and backed aggressive fund-raising efforts. He and his wonderful wife Pat brought all their most eminent guests to visit the Kinsey Institute for tours and lectures.  President Ryan was a man of great foresight and scholarly courage who continued the building of Indiana University as a world-class scholarly and academic institution.

He had interest and provided support for all aspects of the University that exhibited quality.  He will be greatly missed by those who were fortunate enough to work with him and those many thousands who benefit from the investments both intellectual and financial he made in Indiana’s higher educational system.  May he be remembered with honor, dignity and love.

Switching gears… remember that post we did on ‘Education Reform Idol 2011′? Aside from our post cheesing off at least one music fan — we did take an (unfair?) swipe at David Archuleta — what worried commenter ‘bilgewater,’ who hinted in the comment (s)he is a teacher, was the event itself:

I, for one, have no interest in watching “Education Idol” and hearing these people pat themselves on the back while they brag about their reforms.  These reformers like to say that their reforms “put children first,” but the teachers have *always* been putting children first.  Now, however, teachers are being placed last. Perhaps it would be much more interesting to hold “Education Idol” after their laws take effect, and after it becomes clear what effect they will have in classrooms and school corporations.

So is ‘bilgewater’ right? Or do these gutsy reforms deserve praise?

On our post about the debt ceiling deal, which touched on potential cuts towards Pell Grants to save money, Tanya Wells made this point:

What they need to do is modify which schools are entitled to receive Pell Grants or federal loans for students. We all know that these diploma mills are out there which charge more, cause students to go in over their heads in debt with promises of a degree, but they don’t tell them that more then likely their degree will not be honored. Bottom line, if the credits you are taking at a school will not transfer to a university or even a community college, chances are they are not a good school anyway and should not receive Pell Grant payments or any kind or federal assisted funding.

Does Tanya have a point here? Or should Pell Grants be cut across the board? Or spared from cuts? (Here’s some more information on what she may mean by “diploma mills,” by the way.)

…and while we’re at it, what do you think of these ‘Mailbag’ posts? Are we doing a good job pulling together a “best-of” of the comments sections from the past week?

Keep your feedback coming!

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