C.J. Bibus – Instructor of History

Background in Product Development - Custom Software and in Higher Education

Have worked with companies developing products in custom software for about 9 years, primarily in the areas of geographic information systems, petroleum exploration, and data management. Also can place that experience in the context of other industries. For example, worked for 4 years with mass market hardware and software.


Background in higher education includes teaching in diverse community colleges in Virginia and Texas full time for 10 years and for many years part-time. Selected for programs at the University of Virginia (focusing on the community college) and at Texas Tech University (focusing on the management of change). Wrote a dissertation on the development of the junior college in the early 1900s, applying Raymond E. Callahan's "cult of efficiency" in the public high school to the development of the junior college. Have been collecting and examining varied sources in education, especially on the changes that seem to be happening with our students.


Recommended Resources for History Applicable to the Columns Covered in the Chart

Although many textbooks cover the development of the nation at the turn of the century just after 1900, two long-used sources are useful in understanding the context for the beginning of the standards movement, the beginning of the regulatory system in the United States and its connection with the standards movement in industry, the rise of experts, and the focus on efficiency:

·         Raymond E. Callahan. Education and the Cult of Efficiency: A Study of the Social Forces that Have Shaped the Administration of the Public Schools. University of Chicago Press, 1962.

·         Robert Wiebe. Search for Order, 1877-1920. Hill and Wang, 1966

On the scientific method

“The theory’s advocates were convinced that the process of becoming an expert, of immersing oneself in the scientific method, eradicated petty passions and narrow ambitions, just as it eradicated faults in reasoning.” (p. 161)


On the rise of the expert in the “new framework of politics”

“It was the expert who benefited most directly from the new framework of politics. The more intricate such fields as the law and the sciences became, the greater the need for men with highly developed skills. The more complex the competition for power, the more organizational leaders relied on experts to decipher and to prescribe.” (p. 174)


On scientific management

“[A]nother young specialty, scientific management [associated with Frederick Taylor], had been born in the mist of modern industrial complexity. It sought the largest output from workers with the least waste and cost.” (p. 151)


Recommended Resources for Higher Education

Click here for the chart showing all 7 systems from storefront retail to higher education.

Applies to…

Overview of the Issue Plus a Link to Sources

Chart item 1

The issues are frequently identified as general problems in our students. Click on the link for the source of the quotation:

  • Entitlement—their “attributing … failure to someone else”
  • Ethics—64% of them “cheated on a test in the past year” but have a “high self-image when it comes to ethics”
  • New media with new challenges to learning—their being unable to “handle the deep, probing, complex thinking that is the key to true mastery”
  • Self-esteem—their “self-confidence”—the “one area” where they “score highly … relative to their international peers”
  • Skills in testing but not learning—“ultra-efficient in test preparation” and their seeking “a magic formula to get high scores”

Chart item 1 on literacy and chart item 10c on how literacy has changed over time.

Replaced with the current 2012 Presentation link on change overtime in literacy

Chart item 1 on literacy and why a decline in literacy could have so many consequences

Replaced with the current 2012 Presentation link on how reading and learning are connected


Example: side by side with the source they said they used, 3 common examples of what students believe is evidence (proof). The 3 examples show students who cited pages of the source and apparently expected high points for:

§         Detailed description of things that do not exist

§         Statements about one subject but the source is about another subject

§         Statements that are not only inaccurate but also the opposite of the cited page

Chart item 6

These recent articles reflect some of the issues:

  • “82 percent of schools may be labeled ‘failing’ – Education chief: No child law must be fixed” by Christine Armario for the Associated Press. The article was published in the Houston Chronicle March 10, 2011 and is available online at several websites, including this one: http://www.inyork.com/nation/ci_17573886
  • “One [study] conducted by U.S. Department of Education researcher Clifford Adelman found that students who took Algebra II and at least one more math course attained’ toward achieving a bachelor’s degree.” – “In Algebra II, does x equal success?” by Peter Whoriskey, Washington Post – Published in the Houston Chronicle 4/10/2011 on page A3.
    This article also covers information applicable to Chart item 7. For example it covers “Achieve, a group organized by governors and business leaders and funded by corporations and their foundations, to improve the skills of the workforce. Although U.S. economic strength has been attributed in part to high levels of education, the workforce is lagging in the percentage of younger workers with college degrees, according to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.”


Chart item 7

For another example, see “Q&A: College Anyone? City seeking $1 million prize,” published online 5/20/2011 and in the print edition 5/21/2011. The article covers how the “nonprofit CEOs for Cities is sponsoring the Talent Dividend Prize to boost college graduation by 1 percentage point nationally, which, in turn, is expected to spur economic activity.”

The interview with Catherine Clark Mosbacher who heads the Center for Houston's Future included that 28.3% of “Houston-area adults age 25 and older have a four-year degree.” The “issue is that most of those are not homegrown. We're importing a lot of talent. What we want to do is to allow the kids who are here to gain those degrees and then keep them here.”


Click here for the article: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/7574729.html

Chart items 8 and 9

Multiple sources over the last five years have raised concerns for our nation’s future, focusing on 2 broad problems:

  1. Economic competitiveness of our workforce and therefore threats to prosperity of individuals and the nation, a situation compounded by an “uneven distribution” of essential skills in the nation’s workforce
  2. What the Educational Testing Service has called threats “tearing at our political cohesion”


For a link with multiple sources, including of the quotations above, and how to find them, click here.


In the last years, Justice Sandra Day O’Conner added to those expressing concerns: “’We face difficult challenges at home and abroad…. Meanwhile divisive rhetoric and a culture of sound bites threaten to drown out rational dialogue and debate. We cannot afford to continue to neglect the preparation of future generations for active and informed citizenship.” Entering the bolded phrase in an Internet search results in many websites quoting Justice O’Connor. For more on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, click here: http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/. For information on her efforts to reduce the problems, see http://www.icivics.org/


Chart item 11

For information and sources on measurement and mismeasurement of change over time, click here.

Several sources examine evaluation of faculty by students and its consequences. Click here for quotations from two sources, including the historian William O’Neill’s referring to faculty evaluation by students as a “faculty/student nonaggression pact.”





For information or problems with this link, please email using the email address below.

WCJC Department:

History – Dr. Bibus

Contact Information:

281.239.1577 or bibusc@wcjc.edu

Last Updated:

2012 -06/04

WCJC Home: