US Higher Education in Crisis - by Stephen Lendman
Public and higher education are in crisis.
Diogenes called education "the foundation of every state." Education reformer Horace Mann said the "common (public) school (is) the greatest discovery ever made by man."
Education reform under Bush and Obama want public education made another business profit center. Doing so places bottom line priorities above teaching. At issue also is creating a two-tiered system for haves and have-nots, defined by race, ethnicity, social status and family income.
Separate and unequal education produces illiterate poor inner city kids. The American dream for growing millions is a sick joke, including at the higher education level.
College education once was affordable, even at America's top schools. No longer. A recent Complete College America report on college completion rates shows most students don't get degrees because of obstacles older generations didn't face.
Issues include secondary school preparation, cost, and juggling of family, jobs and school for commuters. Only one-fourth of students live at school. Forty percent attend part-time.
Growing numbers seek two-year degrees. Over 60% of baccalaureate graduates complete course work in eight years. Over half seeking associate degrees require remedial courses. Over 20% in four-year programs need it. Those getting it are less likely to graduate.
Student needs are secondary to bottom line priorities. A key report theme is that "Time is the Enemy" of college completion. "The longer it takes, the more life gets in the way of success. Student's lives fill up with jobs, relationships, marriages, children, and mortgages. Not surprisingly, college often gets left behind."