01 December 2008

Revolution in Higher Ed? What Road Success?

Here are some interesting articles about the problem of high college tuition, and alternative ways of delivering higher education to students. Software modules are teaching math mastery better than most teachers at Virginia Tech University, and more universities are simply putting entire courses online for public access.

Inside Higher Ed: Changing the Tuition Discussion Why skyrocketing tuition charges are causing some universities to re-think the basic structure of higher education.

Transformation 101: Why is tuition going up when better and cheaper ways of teaching are sprouting up? Discusses the math module approach to math mastery at VTU and other large universities. Also discusses some forays into online teaching by large schools.

eLearners.com offers comprehensive loan forgiveness programs Many workers choose to go back to school--online-- to learn a new career. Discusses how some will pay for the education.

The medieval style of "modern universities" has largely camouflaged the "bait and switch" at many schools. Instead of providing solid preparation for future careers, and essential thinking tools useful in any career, many universities are instead filling their curricula with "rubbish" classes that waste a students' and the family's money. Indoctrination, half-shod remediation, and expensive baby-sitting too often substitute for the education that was promised. As a result, a student can graduate, hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, with nothing to show but a useless wall ornament.

The recent recessionary trends in the US and Europe, and the collapse of many venerable financial institutions, calls into question some of the traditional roads to success. It is getting to the point that the only real job security out there is working for the government. Everybody else seems to be laying people off. And with the government you can get better benefits, retire earlier, and get more generous pensions, than for comparable private sector employment.

The State of California is going deeply into debt--largely due to generous salaries, benefits, and pensions to its state employees. That at a time when private sector employers are shutting down or moving out of state due to oppressive state taxes and regulations. What does California do? It demands a federal bailout!

Very much the same way, General Motors' profligate union contracts make it impossible for GM to break even. Instead of GM getting tough in contract talks, or taking advantage of bankruptcy protection to re-negotiate contracts, the company and the union comes begging to Obama and Pelosi for a bailout. Just what US taxpayers need.

What is a young person setting out for college to learn from all of this hypocrisy, corruption, and union/governmental heavy-handedness? Nothing good or sustainable. Obama wanted to make the US more like Europe, and in the sense of destroying the strong backbone that made America prosperous and resilient, he just may succeed.

Nations do not grow stronger by growing their governments at the expense of private enterprise. Yet this is what states such as Michigan, California, and New York are trying to do. It is also the path Obama promises to follow.

Climbing back up out of the hole that Obamanation digs for taxpayers will be the more difficult for how completely unnecessary it will have been.

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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