college, higher education, exit tests, CLA +, WSJ.com: A college diploma is now more a mark “of social class than an indicator of academic accomplishment” …
Meanwhile, GPAs have been on the rise. A 2012 study looking at the grades of 1.5 million students from 200 four-year U.S. colleges and universities found that the percentage of A’s given by teachers nearly tripled between 1940 and 2008. A college diploma is now more a mark “of social class than an indicator of academic accomplishment,” said Stuart Rojstaczer, a former Duke University geophysics professor and co-author of the study.
Employers such as General Mills Inc. and Procter & Gamble Co. long have used their own job-applicant assessments. At some companies such as Google Inc., GPAs carry less weight than they once did because they have been shown to have little correlation with job success, said a Google spokeswoman.
At Teach for America, which recruits college students to teach in rural and urban school districts, the GPA is one of just dozens of things used to winnow nearly 60,000 applicants for 5,900 positions. Candidates who make it to the second step of the process are given an in-house exam that assesses higher-order thinking, said Sean Waldheim, vice president of admissions at the group. “We’ve found that our own problem-solving activities work best to measure the skills we’re looking for,” he said.
The Council for Aid to Education, the CLA + test’s creator, is a New York-based nonprofit that once was part of Rand Corp. The 90-minute exam is based on a test that has been used by 700 schools to grade themselves and improve how well their students are learning.
elite frequent flier clubs, United’s Secret Club for Top Fliers, WSJ.com: John flies a lot and has some pretty nice perks … but nothing like this.
The airlines employ teams to track these fliers’ journeys and solve disruptions before they happen, sometimes bumping coach passengers to fit rerouted elite travelers. The carriers invite these customers to expensive restaurants and professional sporting events when they aren’t traveling. At the airport, they send their mail, press their suits and sew on buttons. United said that when an elite flier once stained his shirt, an employee sent her husband to the mall to buy a replacement.
“It makes good business sense. These people represent the biggest bucks for the airline,” said Henry Harteveldt, an airline consultant and former Global Services member. “And when there’s cachet around something, the interest is that much greater.”
Elite fliers who make it into the program love the service and attention, but airlines risk alienating customers who don’t make the grade or get dropped.
Chicago, architecture, John Metcalfe – The Atlantic Cities: loved this …
Chicagoans right now have a rare opportunity to gape at some of the most schizoid, cutting-edge architectural projects that were never built in their city.
At the Expo 72 Gallery in the Loop, there is a 160-foot panorama of Chicago’s skyline sprawling along the walls. Visitors who download the “Phantom City” app can point it at different places on the image to reveal more than 100 visionary masterpieces, such as the Sears Tower deconstructed into a pile of flaccid tubes and a Ludwig Mies van der Rohe building submerged in Lake Michigan like a sinking ship.
The retrospective, which runs until September 29, was organized by Alexander Eisenschmidt, an architecture professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Since moving to Illinois five years ago, Eisenschmidt has become intrigued with the number of historically important visionary projects in the Windy City. So he and his students began a collection of the more celebrated and challenging ones, and last year took them on the road to show at the Venice Biennale.