The Adler-Kassner & Harrington piece has been checked out from the library since 3:30pm, so I haven’t been able to read it.
O&M explain how the state of controversies in BW have shifted from discussing how to proceed with programs to debating on whether or not the programs are worth keeping open. The fact that the criticism of BW is coming from the people and organizations both inside and outside of BW. One thing that struck a chord with me about the stare of this disarray is this: “coherence, if it ever exists in academic research or its application, is a property of beginnings. Maturity breeds complexity” (O&M 163). With time comes the highlight of the problems in all things because at the beginning there are no results to analyze or programs to probe. So with all the time behind BW (moving close to the 50 year mark if you consider the spike in college admissions because of the “equal opportunity education” movement of the time) and the ideas that are pushed from the inner and outer spheres of the debate, coming to a place of agreement for the direction BW should take and could take in the future is a nearly impossible task.
The talk of about the closing of BW and remedial English classes made me think of our own university. I don’t know much of the history of writing classes at TAMUCC, but I know that one of my classmates (Omar Corona) did do a research project over the summer about the history of composition at our school. I did mine over the A&M branch in Laredo. They have an extensive program that is implemented to help support their population of underprepared students in writing. But what I do know that TAMUCC does not have BW classes or maybe they follow the mainstream model of BW where all the students are placed in 1301. I am not sure because I do not know if students are accepted to the college if they score low on their writing in standardized testing. So Del Mar is where the BW instruction happens in this town. I wonder if this elimination (if there was ever a BW program at this school) of BW here is somehow connected to the idea that O&M discussed about keeping the integrity of our university’s public image intact. This idea all comes back to higher numbers and more money, which we talked about briefly in my other class last week (and the subject has come up several times in other classes). I can’t believe the president, Flavius Killebrew, refers to himself as the CEO of TAMUCC. This makes me sick to my stomach. When did college education become such a profiteering/business like entity? Maybe it always has been since my start, but i’ve just been to naive to acknowledge it. If our numbers don’t grow, then we don’t get the funding. But how our we suppose to accommodate more students, if we aren’t reaching the current population? This is the obvious disconnect between the inside (students, teachers, etc) and the outside (administrators, provosts, CEOs?, etc) forces that are responsible for BW.