Cover letter advice

How do you write a cover letter in applying for a full-time faculty job? This blog entry is a complement to my advice on crafting the curriculum vitae, and was originally a twitter thread in May 2021, responding to two colleagues from the University of North Carolina.

Like a vitae, a cover letter is purpose-built, and it has THREE purposes, two open purposes and one secret. But to get to the secret, you have to satisfy the open purposes.

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The grammar of schooling and testing mandates in a pandemic

Why did the Biden administration deny the request by Georgia and South Carolina to waive federal requirements for achievement testing in schools this year? According to Aaron Pallas and many others, there is no discernible added information we can expect from state-level testing that is only for a summative judgment of schools, in a year when those judgments are suspended. But the federal government will still require that states conduct the tests, even when participation is likely to be far lower than before the pandemic.

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March 2021 changes to CDC guidance on schools: brief comment

Five weeks ago, after the CDC released its first set of new school operations guidance under the Biden administration, I wrote in summary, “Remember: [these recommendations come] three and a half weeks into the new administration. In reality, that’s fast. There were bound to be omissions or emphases that are wrong in retrospect.”

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Marginalized college radio: past, present, and future?

Not once but twice in the last century, major movements in radio policy marginalized a range of radio stations licensed to colleges and universities. In the 1920s, that marginalization was part of the disappearance of dozens of college radio stations. In the 1970s, college radio stations became divided into two broad segments: those who had the resources to become part of the new National Public Radio system with a professional staff and fundraising ties to local listeners, and those who remained independent, small, often run by students. The repeated marginalization of college radio stations raises important questions about the costs of systematization for small operations, and it tells us something about that for higher education in general, not just radio or broadcasting.

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Motte-and-bailey clues to the structure of the school choice coalition

This spring, conservatives in the Arizona legislature look like they can’t make up their mind. Do they support public-school choice that allows parents to pick a public school, or do they want to mandate and ban subjects as they would prefer? Conservative legislators consistently say they support school choice, and the state Senate education committee voted last month to subsidize transportation expenses of parents to enable more parents of moderate means to take advantage of open enrollment and charter schools.

But sometimes the instinct to control local school districts seems more important to the conservative wing of the state GOP. The senate last week voted on a party-line vote to prevent local schools from having the choice of offering comprehensive and age-appropriate sex education in elementary grades.

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