With one former President of U of Texas already heading up a Spellings Commission, the one to meddle in higher ed, a second former president of UT has been pegged to head up the National Math Panel. Unlike the first one, this one does have an advanced degree, though not in math. But, then, neither does Vice Chair Benbow, but that's an unimportant detail because Dr. Faulkner sees himself not as an expert in this endeavor, but, rather, as the shepherd guiding the sheeple on the Committee to a pre-ordained end that will set back the teaching of math by a hundred years, thus keeping in step fwith other neocon cultural initiatives to roll back the social calendar to the days of Plessy.
If he follows the lead of the other Commission Chair, Charles Miller, he might choose a club rather than a staff to coax his flock. It seems that Miller wants to squelch any alternatives to the marching orders he received when anointed, er, appointed. From Inside Higher Ed, May 12:
Weeks earlier, it turns out, Miller and Richard Stephens, a commission member and senior vice president at Boeing, had huddled in Houston and agreed that Stephens would lead a session at the Indianapolis meeting at which members of the panel would try to “start coalescing,” as Stephens put it, around key themes and goals. Stephens said he had approached Miller about staging such a session because “I had heard that frustration” about the commissioners’ lack of input and believed it was time to “start seeing where we land, and get real feelings on the table.”
When the panel met later that day, Stephens indeed led an exercise in which the commission’s members offered their views on pressing issues the panel should confront, and took an informal tally of the goals the group should focus on. The event seemed to serve its purpose: The commission members who had been most upset felt as if they had asserted their authority and been heard (though Miller says gruffly, “They thought they had prompted it, but guess what — they didn’t"), and the rough consensus that emerged seemed to reinforce the idea that the panel’s diverse members could come together around broad principles, at least, potentially pointing the way for the tough decisions to come.