Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Basketball on a Football Field

Basketball Played on a Football Field
Nicholas Johnson
The Gazette, October 24, 2023, p. A6

“How ‘bout that Iowa women’s basketball team!” Playing basketball on a football field – and before a crowd of 55,000 no less.

Where will they perform next? Perhaps a Broadway theater? There’s been real basketball on stage recently. My son in law, Jason, recently played the foul-mouth coach in the basketball play, “The Great Leap.” [Photo credit: Iowa Women's Basketball Twitter/X page.]

Maybe they could play basketball on the Moon – or inside a modified Space Station.

How far women have come since the fight for Title IX began in 1972. Iowa’s Christine Grant spent much of her life effectively responding to the male opposition that continues to this day – leadership producing benefits beyond Iowa to the nation and world.

Clearly the highlight of the sports law class I taught was the hour she was willing to come and mesmerize the students.

No one else was willing to teach sports law and I felt, when students are begging to learn something, a faculty has an obligation to respond.

My teaching it was otherwise a peculiar choice. In a small high school (U-High) a six-foot-three, 195-pound male was required to participate in all sports: football, basketball and track. In Austin I was urged to play football for Texas. (I declined.) I liked the Green Bay Packers primarily because of its non-profit public ownership.

In my Washington jobs I thought the demands required a self-imposed “maximum work product per unit time” (something I’m not proud of).

And so it was, when reading the L.A. Times on a return to Washington, I flipped over the sports section to the business pages. Though unmarried at the time, I hadn’t noticed or spoken to a woman my age next to me. A tap on my shoulder. “Yes,” I responded. “Would you marry me?” she asked. “Anything’s possible,” I replied, “but the plane is full of men more handsome and wealthy. Why me?” “All my life,” she said, “I’ve been looking for a man who doesn’t read the sports pages.”

As Maritime Administrator during the Vietnam war, I had some responsibility for “sealift” of military materiel, using refurbished World War II cargo ships. Although based in Washington I needed to visit our office in Saigon. The White House requested that, while there, I write up my observations about the war.

The startling lesson I learned was that whatever one thinks about wars in general, there are times, places and circumstances when they are impossible to stage.

For example, when locals have lived through centuries of invaders and we’re just the latest; it’s an ongoing civil war; we don’t know the native language, history, culture, or tribal relationships; we wear uniforms but our enemies don’t; we can’t distinguish enemies from the locals we employ; our efforts increase rather than decrease chaos; and there’s no frontline, as territory is gained only to be lost again.

And what’s this got to do with women’s basketball?

I had summed up my report with the concluding line, “You can’t play basketball on a football field.”

Nicholas Johnson is a fan of Iowa women’s basketball, no matter where played. Contact mailbox@nicholasjohnson.org
Basketball on football field. Photo of Kinnick Stadium on Iowa Women’s Basketball Twitter/X page, Oct. 15, 2023, https://twitter.com/intent/follow?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1713635989443211478%7Ctwgr%5E65118809a1d92563651fedba1888f0a1f4bba9ac%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.si.com%2Fcollege%2F2023%2F10%2F15%2Fiowa-womens-basketball-game-kinnick-stadium-coolest-scenes&screen_name=IowaWBB (scroll down about 2/3ds of page)

Madison Williams, “The Coolest Scenes From Iowa Women’s Basketball Game at School’s Football Stadium,” Sports Illustrated, Oct. 15, 2023, https://www.si.com/college/2023/10/15/iowa-womens-basketball-game-kinnick-stadium-coolest-scenes

On-stage basketball and “The Great Leap.” Ben Brantley, “Review: Basketball Meets Tiananmen Square in ‘The Great Leap,’” New York Times, June 4, 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/04/theater/the-great-leap-review-bd-wong.html

A.A. Cristi, ”Farmers Alley Theatre's Regional Premiere Production Of THE GREAT LEAP; The time: 1989. An American college basketball team travels from San Francisco to Beijing for a ‘friendship game’ against a Chinese squad,” Broadway World, Jan 5, 2023, https://www.broadwayworld.com/michigan/article/Farmers-Alley-Theatres-Regional-Premiere-Production-Of-THE-GREAT-LEAP-20230105 (“Our production stars . . . Jason Grubbe (as the hard-driving American coach ‘Saul’) . . ..”)

Title IX. “History of Title IX,” Women’s Sports Foundation, https://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/advocacy/history-of-title-ix/

Christine Grant. Josh O’Leary, “How Christine Grant Changed the Game; On the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the University of Iowa celebrates the legacy of the athletics administrator who helped level the playing field nationally and sparked a women's sports revolution,” Iowa Magazine, Feb. 15, 2022, https://magazine.foriowa.org/story.php?ed=true&storyid=2168

Sports law class. Nicholas Johnson, “Sports-Related Online Resources,” last updated June 2017, https://www.nicholasjohnson.org/sports/sla12resources.html

Nicholas Johnson, “Syllabus; Sports Law, [91:346], University of Iowa College of Law, Iowa City, Iowa. Spring 2012,” https://www.nicholasjohnson.org/sla12/sla12syl.html

Table of Contents of Weiler 4xth edition casebook, https://www.nicholasjohnson.org/sla12/Weiler4th-TOC-full.pdf

Green Bay Packers. “Green Bay Packers, Inc.,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Bay_Packers,_Inc. (“Green Bay Packers, Inc. is the publicly held nonprofit corporation that owns the National Football League (NFL)'s Green Bay Packers football franchise, based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The corporation was established in 1923 as the Green Bay Football Corporation, and received its current legal name in 1935.

The Packers are the only publicly owned major professional sports franchise in the United States.[1] Rather than being the property of an individual, partnership, or corporate entity, they are held as of 2022 by 537,460 stockholders.[2] No one is allowed to hold more than 200,000 shares,[3] which represents approximately four percent of the 5,011,558 shares currently outstanding.[4] It is this broad-based community support and non-profit structure[5] which has kept the team in Green Bay for over a century in spite of being the smallest market in all of North American major professional sports.[a]”)

“Will you marry me?” There is no source for this story other than the memory, seemingly firmly implanted in some neurons. For the curious, there is no memory of what happened thereafter, aside from the absence of any record of our marriage. I’m assuming there was nothing worth remembering from any subsequent conversation during that flight, and relatively confident we never saw each other again.

Maritime Administration. For a description of how I came to be Maritime Administrator, see, “Thinking Outside the Cubicle: Business Skills in a Wider World,” Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity, University of Iowa, Nov. 9, 2005, https://www.nicholasjohnson.org/writing/akp51109.html (scroll down to the four sections beginning with the heading “Called to the White House”).

“National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF); American Ships. American Crews. American Jobs.” Updated March 26, 2022, https://www.maritime.dot.gov/national-defense-reserve-fleet (“As part of its Strategic Sealift operations, MARAD manages and maintains a fleet of inactive, Government-owned vessels known as the National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF), which provides a reserve of approximately 100 vessels -- mostly military-useful cargo and tanker ships -- ready to support national defense and emergencies. The NDRF also includes the military-focused Ready Reserve Force (RRF) and facilitates vessel loans, donations, and disposals, as well as artifact management and merchant marine training.”)

“The Maritime Administration’s First 100 Years: 1916 – 2016,” U.S. Department of Transportation, Maritime Administration,” last updated Feb. 25, 2022, https://www.maritime.dot.gov/history/historical-documents-and-resources/maritime-administration%E2%80%99s-first-100-years-1916-%E2%80%93-2016 (“During the Vietnam War, 172 NDRF vessels supported sealift operations and transported military cargo to Southeast Asia between July 1965 and June 1970. The majority of the NDRF ships activated during the war were World War II-era Victory ships, and activating the old vessels was one MARAD’s biggest challenges. Further complicating matters was the largescale ship activation required to coincide with the sudden troop escalation in Vietnam; between July and December 1965 MARAD activated 76 ships. MARAD employed shipyards on every coast to help activate ships that had not operated in years.”)

Vietnam. Nicholas Johnson, “The Futility of War and the Path to Peace,” Remarks on Armistice Day, November 11, 2018, 11:00 a.m., Veterans for Peace, Chapter 161 event, Pentacrest, Iowa City, Iowa, https://fromdc2iowa.blogspot.com/2018/ (scroll down page to find text, and then, within it, the sub-heading “First, Lessons From Vietnam”)

“Viet Cong Uniform,” National Museum of American History, Smithsonian, https://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_1272957 (“The Viet Cong were a guerilla force that fought against the United States and South Vietnam during the Vietnam conflict. Viet Cong could be a farmer, a woman, or a child and they were indistinguishable from the United States' South Vietnam allies. They used makeshift weapons, had a variety of uniforms, and avoided traditional combat, making it difficult to know who exactly the enemy was. Their orders came from the North Vietnam Communist party.”)

White House-requested report and concluding line. I cannot recall, and so far as I know there is no record of, who in the White House passed along this request. Nor do I know where, if anywhere, there might be a copy of that report. I do not have a copy. I do recall including that final line, thinking it a good way to make my point in a context that should be entirely understandable to anyone.

# # #

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Shaken, Not Stirred

Higher Ed is Shaken, Not Stirred
Nicholas Johnson
The Gazette, October 10, 2023, p. A6

Like a James Bond martini, America’s higher education is being “shaken, not stirred.”

While 22 other nations provide free college, increasing their numbers of college educated while watching their economies grow, the U.S. is doing the opposite. (American students thinking college “important” fell from 70 to 41 percent in 10 years.)

Debt has become our drug of choice. Interest on the national debt is now $475 billion – five times the federal budget in 1963. Student loans total $1.6 trillion. Lifetime interest payments for the average American’s mortgage, used car payments, credit card balance and student loans is $280,000. We’re all working for the banks.

When college is free, graduates leave commencement with no debt, into jobs that enable them to start creating wealth for their old age and participating in the consumer purchasing that fuels 70 percent of our economy.

High school graduates, and their parents, are coming to realize the distinction between “income” and “wealth.” A diploma may or may not bring a college graduate the promised additional million dollars, but it won’t bring wealth if, like President Obama, they are still paying off student debt in their 40s – or later, or never.

There are also distinctions between “diplomas” and “education.” There is more free “education” than anyone could absorb in a lifetime – from the Kahn Academy to the MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) of some of the world’s top universities. But only colleges and universities can issue “diplomas.”

An S&P 500 manager told me of his disappointment with the college graduates who couldn’t comprehend a manual, write a report, or do basic math. I asked, “What if there were standard, national exams for those skills? Would you hire those who didn’t have a diploma but passed the exams?” “Of course,” he said. “We train all employees for their job. But we don’t have the time or skills to teach them math.” (Photo credit: Nicholas Johnson.)

What should Iowans do? There are too many possibilities for short columns. But we might start with a governor who doesn’t favor additional tax breaks for the wealthy over programs that benefit all Iowans – as well as Iowa’s economy.

We could join the 20 U.S. states that benefit from offering free community college education.

More Iowa high schools could take the lead in offering preparation for the trades along with traditional subjects (as Germany has profitably done for years), allowing students to take community college courses while in high school, or offering advanced placement courses to all students.

Labor-saving technology enriches CEOs and shareholders – but not those whose jobs disappear – as thousands of switchboard operators discovered once customers could dial their own phones, and 150,000 UAW fossil fuel auto workers are discovering now.

Yes, many Americans and their institutions have been shaken. But how many of the rest of us have been stirred? Stirred to advocate and fight for the obvious win-win solutions for the shaken, their institutions, our country, its economy – and ourselves?

Nicholas Johnson doesn’t fancy martinis, whether shaken or stirred. Contact mailbox@nicholasjohnson.org

Shaken, not stirred. “Shaken, not stirred,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaken,_not_stirred

22 Nations free college. Paul Tough, “Americans Are Losing Faith in the Value of College. Whose Fault Is That? For most people, the new economics of higher ed make going to college a risky bet,” New York Times, Sept. 5, 2023, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/05/magazine/college-worth-price.html (“In Italy, Spain and Israel, [public-university tuition is] about $2,000. In France, Denmark and Germany, it’s essentially zero.”)

“Countries with Free College,” Online College Plan, https://www.onlinecollegeplan.com/what-countries-offer-free-college/ (22 countries offer free college tuition; 11 more have very low tuition)

Paul Tough, “Americans Are Losing Faith in the Value of College. Whose Fault Is That? For most people, the new economics of higher ed make going to college a risky bet,” New York Times, Sept. 5, 2023, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/05/magazine/college-worth-price.html (“Outside the United States, meanwhile, higher education is more popular than ever. Our global allies and competitors have spent the last couple of decades racing to raise their national levels of educational attainment. In Britain, the number of current undergraduates has risen since 2016 by 12 percent. (Over the same period, the American figure fell by 8 percent.) In Canada, 67 percent of adults between 25 and 34 are graduates of a two- or four-year college, about 15 percentage points higher than the current American attainment rate.

Britain and Canada are not the outliers on this point; we are. On average, countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have increased their college-degree attainment rate among young adults by more than 20 percentage points since 2000, and 11 of those countries now have better-educated labor forces than we do, including not only economic powerhouses like Japan and South Korea and Britain but also smaller competitors like the Netherlands, Ireland and Switzerland. Americans have turned away from college at the same time that students in the rest of the world have been flocking to campus. . . .

But just as individual students pay a cost in lost wages when they opt out (or drop out) of college, there is a larger cost when millions of students do so — especially as other nations keep charging ahead. Holtz-Eakin and Lee calculated the price to the American economy of the millions of missing college grads they are projecting: $1.2 trillion in lost economic output by the end of the decade. That is one cost we are likely to bear together, winners and losers alike.”)

“Why Should College Be Free?” College Raptor, Dec. 22, 2022, https://www.collegeraptor.com/find-colleges/articles/affordability-college-cost/why-should-college-be-free/

“A Brief History of Free Education,” Online College Plan, https://www.onlinecollegeplan.com/history-free-education/

College important. Paul Tough, “Americans Are Losing Faith in the Value of College. Whose Fault Is That? For most people, the new economics of higher ed make going to college a risky bet,” New York Times, Sept. 5, 2023, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/05/magazine/college-worth-price.html (“A decade later, Americans’ feelings about higher education have turned sharply negative. The percentage of young adults who said that a college degree is very important fell to 41 percent from 74 percent.”)

Interest on National debt; Federal budget in 1963. Interest on national debt. “Interest Costs on the National Debt Are on Track to Reach a Record High,” Peter G. Peterson Foundation, https://www.pgpf.org/blog/2023/02/interest-costs-on-the-national-debt-are-on-track-to-reach-a-record-high (“Interest payments on the national debt were $475 billion in fiscal year 2022 — the highest dollar amount ever. Interest costs grew 35 percent last year and are projected to grow by another 35 percent in 2023.”)

National budget in 1963. “Annual Budget Message to the Congress, Fiscal Year 1963,” The American Presidency Project, https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/annual-budget-message-the-congress-fiscal-year-1963 (“The total of budget expenditures--estimated at $92.5 billion in fiscal 1963--is determined in large measure by the necessary but costly programs designed to achieve our national security and international objectives in the current world situation.”)

Lifetime interest payments. Jackie Zimmerman, “You're Going to Spend $280,000 on Interest in Your Lifetime,” Money, Jan. 15, 2015, https://money.com/lifetime-interest-payments/

Elizabeth Gravier, “You could end up paying $160,000-plus in interest alone over your lifetime; Select calculates total interest paid on a mortgage, car loan, student loans and credit card debt,” CNBC Select, Aug. 28, 2023, https://www.cnbc.com/select/how-much-americans-pay-in-interest-over-lifetime/ (“We found that the average American with a mortgage on a median-priced home, one used car payment, an average credit card balance and student loan burden can wind up paying $164,066 in just interest over their life.”)

$1.6 trillion student loans. Paul Tough, “Americans Are Losing Faith in the Value of College. Whose Fault Is That? For most people, the new economics of higher ed make going to college a risky bet,” New York Times, Sept. 5, 2023, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/05/magazine/college-worth-price.html (“Over the last decade and a half, more and more young Americans have turned to loans to cover those rising costs. In 2007, total student debt stood at $500 billion. Today it is $1.6 trillion, and for many borrowers, their debt is becoming a serious burden. Among student borrowers who opened their loans between 2010 and 2019, more than half now owe more than what they originally borrowed. . . . [The] people who are making out the worst at the casino: students who borrow money to attend college but don’t graduate. . . . Two-thirds said they would have a hard time coming up with $400 to cover an unexpected expense. Financially, they were not only doing much worse than college graduates; they were doing worse than adults who had never gone to college at all. For these former students, the college wage premium had turned upside down.”)

Diploma provides extra $1 million. Michael T. Nietzel, “New Study: College Degree Carries Big Earnings Premium, But Other Factors Matter Too,” Forbes, Oct. 11, 2021, https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeltnietzel/2021/10/11/new-study-college-degree-carries-big-earnings-premium-but-other-factors-matter-too/?sh=45aae67d35cd (“According to a new report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce (CEW), adults with a bachelor’s degree earn an average of $2.8 million during their careers, $1.2 million more than the median for workers with a high school diploma. . . . The report also reveals that career earnings depend on many factors in addition to level of education—including age, field of study, occupation, gender, race and ethnicity, and location.”)

“Education and Lifetime Earnings,” Research, Statistics & Policy Analysis, Social Security, Nov. 2015, https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/research-summaries/education-earnings.html (“Men with bachelor's degrees earn approximately $900,000 more in median lifetime earnings than high school graduates. Women with bachelor's degrees earn $630,000 more.”)

Consumers 70% of economy. “US consumer spending holds strong in July,” Economist Intelligence, Aug. 29, 2023, https://www.eiu.com/n/us-consumer-spending-holds-strong-in-july/ (“Private consumption (which represents nearly 70% of US GDP) . . ..”)

“Income” and “wealth.” Paul Tough, “Americans Are Losing Faith in the Value of College. Whose Fault Is That? For most people, the new economics of higher ed make going to college a risky bet,” New York Times, Sept. 5, 2023, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/05/magazine/college-worth-price.html (“[In] the early 1980s, the college wage premium began to rise steadily. In the early 2000s, it surpassed 60 percent, and ever since, it has hovered around 65 percent [greater than the income of those with only a high school education]. In theory, today’s sky-high college wage premium should mean a surge of young people onto college campuses, not the opposite. But as a measure of the true value of higher education, the college wage premium has one important limitation. It can tell you how much college graduates earn, but it doesn’t take into account how much they owe — or how much they spent on college in the first place. For a long time, there were no good alternative measures to the college wage premium. But a few years ago, a group of economic researchers in St. Louis introduced a new one: the college wealth premium. Unlike the college wage premium, the college wealth premium looks at all your assets and all your debts: what you’ve got in the bank, whether you own a house, your student-loan balance. It addresses a simple but important question: How much net wealth does a typical college graduate accumulate over their life span, compared with that of a typical high school graduate?”)

President Obama’s student debt paid in his 40s. “Obama: I Only Paid Off My Student Loans Eight Years Ago,” ABC News, April 24, 2012, https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/obama-paid-off-student-loans-years-ago/story?id=16204817# (Obama said on April 24, 2012, “We only finished paying off our student loans off about eight years ago. That wasn't that long ago. And that wasn't easy--especially because when we had Malia and Sasha, we're supposed to be saving up for their college educations, and we're still paying off our college educations," he said. Born: August 4, 1961; “8 years ago in 2012 = 2004; 1961-2004 = 43 years old – Obama was president January 20, 2009 – January 20, 2017)

“Diplomas” and “Education.”

Kahn Academy. Kahn Academy/courses, https://www.khanacademy.org/; https://www.khanacademy.org/about “From humble beginnings to a world-class team What started as one man tutoring his cousin has grown into a more than 150-person organization. We’re a diverse team that has come together to work on an audacious mission: to provide a free world-class education for anyone, anywhere. We are developers, teachers, designers, strategists, scientists, and content specialists who passionately believe in inspiring the world to learn. A few great people can make a big difference. Anyone can learn anything. For free. Education is a human right. We are a nonprofit because we believe in a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere. Instead of ads or subscriptions, we are supported by individual contributions from people like you. Please join us today.”)

MOOCs. “Tuition Free Online Colleges and Free Online Degree Programs,” Online College Plan,” https://www.onlinecollegeplan.com/free-online-degree-programs/ (Massive open online courses, MOOC)

Diplomas vs. Reading, Writing, Math exams. Personal conversation/experience; no public source available.

Iowa Governor’s tax breaks for wealthy. “Gov. Reynolds Announces Iowa Budget Surplus of $1.83B,” Governor Kim Reynolds, Sept. 27, 2023, https://governor.iowa.gov/press-release/2023-09-27/gov-reynolds-announces-iowa-budget-surplus-183b# (“Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the State of Iowa will end Fiscal Year 2023 with a balance of $1.83 billion in the General Fund, $902 million in reserve funds and $2.74 billion in the Taxpayer Relief Fund. . . . ‘I look forward to cutting taxes again next legislative session and returning this surplus back to where it belongs – the people of Iowa.’”)

States with free community college. “Is Community College Free? (In Some States, Yes),” Coursera, Aug. 23, 2023, https://www.coursera.org/articles/is-community-college-free (“As of 2022, 20 states provide tuition-free community college . . ..”)

Benjamin Wermund, “The Red State that Loves Free College; How Tennessee is Making Bernie Sanders’ favorite education idea a reality,” The Agenda, Politico, Jan. 16, 2019, https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2019/01/16/tennessee-free-college-000867/ (“The state’s free-college program, called Tennessee Promise, has been offering two years of tuition-free community college or technical school to all high school graduates, regardless of income, since 2014. . . . a model for a handful of other states that have launched free-college programs of their own, including New York, Oregon and Rhode Island, though few go as far as Tennessee’s. The results here have been so promising that the state’s conservative Legislature decided to double down, expanding free community college beginning last year to all adults, regardless of income, who don’t already have a credential. . . . Tennessee Promise is billed as an economic-growth program, a way to boost the workforce and lure companies – and jobs – to the state. It focuses on community colleges and technical colleges where students train for those jobs, rather than more elite universities that serve better-off students and come with what critics see as a liberal political culture. Second, the program is open to everyone, not just low-income students.”)

Brooklyn Draisey, “Iowa community college tuition is up 3.6% this year, report shows,” Iowa Capital Dispatch, Oct. 5, 2023, https://iowacapitaldispatch.com/2023/10/05/iowa-community-college-tuition-is-up-3-6-this-year-report-shows

Iowa high schools providing trades prep, access to community college, AP classes. Mackenzie Ryan, “Training in Skilled Trades Making Comeback in Iowa Schools,” Des Moines Register, Aug. 20, 2017, https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/education/2017/08/20/training-skilled-trades-making-comeback-iowa-schools/508572001/ (“Once unsure of his future, the recent North High School graduate now plans to become an electrician. It's an in-demand job. In Iowa, experienced electricians average $30 an hour, or more than $62,000 a year, according to the Iowa Wage Report 2016. That's more than the state's average wage of $20.12 an hour. . . . State and industry leaders want more teens to follow Hageman's lead into so-called "middle skills" jobs — those requiring additional training beyond high school but less than a four-year college degree. As Iowa students head back to school this week, one of the hottest focuses is an effort to expand and elevate vocational and technical training in high school. . . . More K-12 schools and Iowa companies are partnering to add and expand skilled-trades programs, from creating the Skilled Trades Academy in Des Moines to a pre-apprenticeship program in Boone that can reduce the amount of time it takes a student to complete a traditional apprenticeship. ‘The ability to earn a high-quality living with little debt — when you can give that hope to students and families, it inspires them to be engaged in their learning,’ said Aiddy Phomvisay, director of Central Campus in Des Moines.”)

After this column and sources were sent to The Gazette up until the time it was published there were a number of stories of relevance regarding education in Iowa:
Grace King, “Lessons from work-based learning in Iowa schools could inform Legislature; Executive director of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council Jeff Weld hears successes, challenges in Grant Wood AEA region,” The Gazette, Oct. 10, 2023, p. 1, https://www.thegazette.com/k/lessons-from-work-based-learning-in-iowa-schools-could-inform-legislature/

Grace King, “Coralville Elementary school named National Blue Ribbon School; Borlaug Elementary School recognized for effective and innovative teaching practices,” The Gazette, Oct. 10, 2023, https://www.thegazette.com/k/coralville-elementary-school-named-national-blue-ribbon-school/

Caleb McCullough, “Falling Interest and Accessibility Top Concerns for Private Colleges, The Gazette, Oct. 9, 2023, p. A7, (not yet posted on Gazette website; 231010-0851)

Vanessa Miller, “Panel Will Examine Challenges Testing Iowa’s Small Colleges; Other iowa Ideas Topics Include Meeting Student Needs and Lifelong Learning,” The Gazette, Oct. 8, 2023, p. S7, https://www.thegazette.com/higher-education/iowa-ideas-panel-will-examine-challenges-testing-iowas-small-colleges/

Blaire Greteman, “’The Knowledge of Being Free,’” The Gazette, Oct. 8, 2023, p. C7, (An excellent discussion of “liberal arts” and why they are not politically “liberal” or limited to what we usually think of as “art.”) (not yet posted on Gazette website; 231010-0851)

German education. “The German Vocational Training System: An Overview,” German Missions in the United States, https://www.germany.info/us-en/welcome/wirtschaft/03-Wirtschaft/-/1048296 (“The German vocational training system, with its combination of classroom and business, theory and practice, learning and working, is recognized worldwide as a basic and highly effective model for vocational training. The dual system is firmly established in the German education system . . .. Thus, the German dual system of vocational training combines theory and practice, knowledge and skills, learning and working in a particularly efficient manner.”)

“The German School System,” The German Way & More, https://www.german-way.com/history-and-culture/education/the-german-school-system/ (“Part of the reason for the dearth of private or church schools is the German conviction that public education is a vital element that contributes to a well-educated citizenry and a sense of common purpose. Germany has a compulsory school attendance law. The law requires school attendance (Schulpflicht), not just instruction, from age 6 until age 15. This helps explain why homeschooling is illegal in Germany. . . . The Hauptschule prepares pupils for vocational education, and most of the pupils work part-time as apprentices. Upon completion of the final Hauptschulabschluss examination, after grade 9 or 10. They also have the option of earning the more prestigious Realschulabschluss after grade 10. With that, the next step is often a Berufsschule, an advanced technical/vocational school with a two-year course of apprenticeship and study.”)

Mackenzie Ryan, “Training in Skilled Trades Making Comeback in Iowa Schools,” Des Moines Register, Aug. 20, 2017, https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/education/2017/08/20/training-skilled-trades-making-comeback-iowa-schools/508572001/ (“in countries such as Switzerland, vocational training has taken a different route, including higher academic expectations and lessons”)

Paul Tough, “Americans Are Losing Faith in the Value of College. Whose Fault Is That? For most people, the new economics of higher ed make going to college a risky bet,” New York Times, Sept. 5, 2023, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/05/magazine/college-worth-price.html (“In Canada and Japan, public-university tuition is now about $5,000 a year. In Italy, Spain and Israel, it’s about $2,000. In France, Denmark and Germany, it’s essentially zero.”)

Thousands of switchboard operators. Greg Daugherty, “The Rise and Fall of Telephone Operators; As their numbers grew, women operators became a powerful force—for workers' rights and even serving overseas in WWI,” History, June 1, 2021, https://www.history.com/news/rise-fall-telephone-switchboard-operators (“With the coming of the 1930s, technology that allowed telephone users simply to dial another phone without the aid of an operator had become widespread. Phone companies took advantage of the moment to slash their workforces, and thousands of operators lost their jobs. By 1940, there were fewer than 200,000 in all.”)

150,000 UAW fossil fuel auto workers; electric cars. Neal E. Boudette, “U.A.W. Expands Strikes at Ford and G.M.; The United Automobile Workers union said 7,000 more of its members would walk off the job two weeks after it began strikes at the Big Three automakers,” New York Times, Sept. 29, 2023, https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/29/business/economy/uaw-strike.html (“The three automakers together employ nearly 150,000 U.A.W. members. . . . Union leaders are concerned that automakers will use the transition to electric vehicles to lower wages and reduce the number of unionized workers they employ.”)

# # #