Two Thought Provoking, and Controversial, Articles about Education

Yesterday, I found “It’s Time To Admit College Is Driven By Speculation — Not Investment” and the other was “Is The End Near for Public Education…?” from LinkedIn Pulse in my inbox.  The claims by both seem overstated, but are they wrong?   I believe they both can’t be completely right, yet to ignore their arguments would be folly.

The common thread from both is that technology may be the game changer…  But as I posted recently about MOOCs, we haven’t yet seen this game change.  And much of that probably has to do with our expectations of what “education” means and the structures society has built to determine “legitimacy”.

There is also contradiction between the two situations brought up by the articles.  Regarding colleges, while not mentioned in the article, it is clear that many for-profit colleges have amplified the problems mentioned. For example my former employer Corinthian, had big issues.  Which I think were properly lampooned by John Oliver.

Yet, a lack of competition in education also causes problems, and The Economist recently posted an excellent article about how private schools are helping many developing countries.  This is why I believe charter schools, while not a perfect system, are good overall, and going in the right direction.

One Comment

  1. The problem with higher education is that all fields of study are funded by government no matter the prospects for employment. A degree in medicine, computer science, engineering, mathamatics, business, statistics, and to some extent law, will lead a student to a good decent job. A degree in history, sociology, basket weaving, and other non-essential studies provide students with skills that are usually not valued by employers, that at best only show that the student is at best trainable.

    The solution is to cut ALL government aid for non-essential college majors. Had the government done this years ago, we would not have the enormous student loan debt problem we have now. Blame the Clinton administration because it caused this mess by greatly expanding the student loan program.

    A related problem is that many students treat financial aid as a way of buying time to sort themselves out, trying to figure out what they really want to do in life while running up huge bills. Many new college students simply go because they have become to old to live at home and are under duress from parents who want to get rid of them, so they buy time by supporting themselves on student loans until they can figure a way to survive on their own. Not cool, and a great diservice to the student if they can’t get a job once they graduate.

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