Hey, there! Log in / Register

Menino maybe should stick to current affairs

No doubt going for some rhetorical flourish - if not Townie votes - Tom Menino said yesterday that it's a damn shame Charlestown and Massachusetts kids no longer learn about the Battle of Bunker Hill. Only problem, as the Globe helpfully points out: It's part of the state curriculum.

In any case, Boston school curriculum is set by the School Committee, which is appointed by the mayor, so if he's really that concerned, he knows what to do.

Menino didn't do so well when trying to make a point about Evacuation Day, either.

Neighborhoods: 

Ad:
Like the job UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

1. Grahm Junior College, (the Sorbonne of Kenmore Square) or
2. UMass/Boston, who granted credits for "life experience" to
Tommy, allowing him to graduate in "Urban Studies"?

up
Voting closed 0

I'll make a special plea for UMB. Mumbles didn't graduate from the University of Massachusetts - he graduated from the CPCS program:

http://www.cpcs.umb.edu/

which is like what we used to call "special" class. CPCS is AT UMASS-Boston, but it's not just another department of the university. When I was at Boston Technical high school, there were college and shop classes, and then there were the printers. The printers took all their classes together, and had no contact with the rest of the student body. CPCS is the post-secondary equivelent of the printer's class. It's where you go when you can't go anywhere else.

If you need to know any more, Joe Kennedy also attended UMB-CPCS. Nuff said.

up
Voting closed 0

CPCS is a college for community-involved adults, and it gives people a chance to apply lessons from their work, civic activities, and life experience in general to their academic studies.

CPCS is far from being the only adult-oriented college to award bachelor's degree credits for documented, relevant life experience. This is a very common practice in bachelor's degree programs directed to adult students.

So CPCS isn't Harvard, or BU, or Northeastern, or even like some other schools at UMass-Boston. Still, it serves an important purpose, and in some ways its offerings are more interesting than what you'll find at more traditional, and more prestigious, colleges and universities.

up
Voting closed 0

I'd rather have a person in charge who's smarter than the average "person with life experience"
but hey, whatever floats yer boat.

up
Voting closed 0

Sometimes college = more specialized or more formally educated within a field. However, there are a fair number of people who never got a chance to go to college on a traditional track because of military service or family obligations or outright lack of resources.

Alternative programs for adults with experience in their field are separate and structured differently for educational reasons - they are intended to fit around a working day, have professors who can handle the challenge of knowlegeable mid-career adults, and not waste time going over what the students already know.

My dad never went to college for more than a semester, but he spent a year in DC on a National Academies research fellowship. My brother-in-law finished his degree, but did so through a non-traditional alternative program offered by the military - similar to the UMB program.

Even though there is a fair amount to hassle Menino over, I don't think somebody who has been in office that long is even average, let alone dim. I'd pick Menino in a battle of wits with W any day.

up
Voting closed 0

i could have been more clear... writing here, and with myself.

I would rather have someone in charge who's smart and forward-thinking and all that...

... than some schmuck who has make-believe-smart because he "tested out" of the actual hard material in consideration of "life experience."

Sorry, but to really master some complex things, you have to be more than good at shaking hands and kissing babies.

Menino? Battle of wits? Girl, it's all glad-handing and baby-kissing and knowing which pocket brings the money in, and which pocket you let it back out of.

That's smart for him, maybe. Not smart for Boston. Greedy/conniving are characteristics of "clever." "Clever" works better when you've got some smarts. But no.. he's not a smart guy. listen to him talk. look at his record.

up
Voting closed 0

Next time you need to have an operation, ask for a surgeon who didn't take all the classes to get a medical degree, but got credit for "life experience."

CPCS is a little playschool for burned-out lefties. For the rest of the university, it's an embarrassment they prefer not to talk about.

up
Voting closed 0

So you don't think that somebody who has been an EMT, a coreman/medic, an RN should be able to audit certain courses in medical school because their previous training and field experience covers the material?

It is done you know. If you have been any of those, you don't need to re-learn how to draw blood, intubate, etc.

up
Voting closed 0

You have to have an education to do all of those things (it's corpsman, btw) and THEN you're saying they get to skip ahead because they already had an education in the same area. Others are arguing that Menino had no formal training of any kind but was able to apply his prior work as evidence of competency for skipping out.

If I taught myself how to draw blood then requested the medical school let me skip learning that part, that would be the appropriate equivalence.

up
Voting closed 0

...in fact, I was hoping that one of the challengers would give him a real run for it this year, though the jury's out on whether that will happen.

Okay, so the Mayor didn't go to Harvard. And so he got some collegiate credit for a documented portfolio of life experience. But I'd say the CPCS approach has been pretty well validated when one of its graduates turns out to be a long-serving and competent mayor of a major city, yes?

Maybe those of you dumping on CPCS will address how so many of the folks who managed to land this country in such deep financial shit have, among their sterling credentials, degrees from some of the most prestigious business schools, law schools, and universities in the country.

And as for NotWhitey's snarky comment about CPCS being a haven for burned out lefties, I'd bet Menino himself would get a chuckle out of that one.

up
Voting closed 0

no, not competent.

Other people could have made boston a great town, not the mess that it is right now. others would have really been leaders.

menino's held boston in some fondly-remembered past while the world marched ahead. He's taken credit for lucky breaks, for smart business decisions by local financial services firms (that having continue their smart decisions, have sold and left)...

we have his legacy: broken streets, broken transit (yes i know he doesnt own that issue, but boston has a HUGE say in what this state does), broken government, city workers who don't work, cops who fight with firefighters, unions that dictate what the city will and will not do

that's competent? HELL NO. That is what we call a fucking mess.

up
Voting closed 0

I just graduated from UMB last month, and wrote about CPCS for the school paper several times. CPCS is a mishmash of: fairly intelligent, reasonable people; unreasonable leftists; and weirdo Stalinoid cultists. At several points in its existence, it's been a useful program.

But I'd say NotWhitey's comments are on the money. The school has made a lot of enemies with pushy bullying and refusal to brook any compromise over anything. I can keep you here until winter explaining the situation, but if you're that interested you can go onto umassmedia.com and enter CPCS in the search. Poke around for a bit and you'll find some crazy stuff. There was a letter signed by dozens of faculty a few years ago telling CPCS, basically, to STFU and GBTW. That kind of rancor doesn't spring from a vacuum.

I have friends in the program (some of whom are the very same people I'm talking about), but "a haven for burned out lefties" sounds about right. They certainly aren't burned out on quixotic campus crusades and hallway shout-downs. It's been quiet lately, though. Chancellor Motley seems to have done a good job stroking them.

And yeah, Menino might have a chuckle, but likely not for the reasons you think he would.

up
Voting closed 0

I hear you on some of the dysfunction within CPCS, and unfortunately it hasn't avoided some of the looniness of the far left. But that latter quality isn't unique to CPCS -- in greater concentration perhaps, but not limited to it.

But when you look at the roster of people who have gone through there and earned their degrees, there are a lot of accomplished folks in the realm of public service, the non profit sector, the labor movement, etc.

In addition, the kind of program it offers -- community-based learning, lots of independent study, credit for life experience portfolios, interdisciplinary approaches, etc., with affordable tuition to boot -- is unusual for this area despite the dozens of colleges and universities in Greater Boston.

On the whole, the institutions of higher education around these parts represent a remarkably homogeneous array compared to the Bay Area, NYC, and so on. Lesley University and a handful of others cater primarily towards adult students, incorporating low residency and flexible learning options as a matter of course, but most of these schools are built for traditional demographic college students. CPCS offers something different and useful to those who want more flexibility, affordability and community in their learning programs.

up
Voting closed 0

I agree with every word of that post. I like the program's mission, and it's easy to overlook the dozens of good people the program graduates every year. My understanding is that the kook cadre is a fairly recent development. They started to show up in the early '90s and have been steadily reproducing since (I have a specific administrator in mind). The old Maoist, slow takeover gambit, if you've ever worked with a social justice group you probably know what I'm talking about.

On the plus side, the school has never been afraid to take risks and try new things, and they've done some trailblazing pedagogy. They're, as far as I know, the first school of its kind in the country, and it's a model that's been adopted by others. Negatively, it costs the university almost two dollars for every CPCS student that would cost the school one dollar for a more traditional (by UMB standards) student.

I don't buy what NotWhitey's saying whole hog. It's an oversimplification. Yeah, sure, they did graduate Joe Kennedy, and yeah Joe Kennedy supports Chavez and Castro. But it's not "nuff said." If that's the end-all for him, he's not going to see the good work they have done and continue to do with seniors, with after-school homework help programs for project kids, and legal advocacy. One of those "when all you have is a hammer..." deals.

up
Voting closed 0

Unfortunately, kook cadres have taken over at many progressive programs, so I do understand where you're coming from.

Out in San Francisco, there was a small progressive college, New College of California, that had some very promising community-oriented degree programs. But it recently went under, sunk by the weight of its own financial incompetence (sadly, a trait of certain left elements!) and a bizarro leadership culture that played into some of the worst stereotypes of the left.

I don't know if pieces of CPCS have sunk to that level, but I recognize that this is a potential occupational hazard of being part of higher ed operations with a progressive slant. Not all, but certainly some!

up
Voting closed 0

For those of us with speech impediments the Mayor could be a model by getting speech therapy from a speech pathologist. The Mayor could address more directly the shame many feel about their difficulties in speaking.

up
Voting closed 0

Maybe he doesn't give a flying you know what.

up
Voting closed 0

...to mention a rare speech impediment in which everything one tries to say comes out sounding like the person is saying "problematic library usage."

Oh wait.

http://1smootshort.blogspot.com

up
Voting closed 0

The Zak is full of hope for Menino, having successfully completed a therapy program for incoherent bloggers. We should all be more encouraging.

up
Voting closed 0

Zak, please feel welcome to provide, in plain ASCII format, opinions on the mayor, the city council, the open meeting laws, problematic library usage, and penguins.

http://1smootshort.blogspot.com

up
Voting closed 0

> How do you know he feels shame?

Where did you see that alleged?...

> By adamg | Fri, 06/19/2009 - 8:44am
> Maybe he doesn't give a flying you know what.

up
Voting closed 0

Menino shows that one can be mayor of a major US city *despite* imperfect speech.

Now get off his case.

up
Voting closed 0

"Get those potholes and streetlights fixed now!"

He pretty much got that done right away, speech impediment or no. I think it is why he is still mayor.

That said, when I was about ten, some kids who had lived with family in NYC for several years moved into my trailer court in Oregon. Nobody could understand them. Once school started, they were all put in speech therapy. It could be that Menino is just "extreme Boston" - not exactly a political liabiity.

up
Voting closed 0