We Don’t Need No Education

Education “reformers” in the MSM have set their sights higher. Their next target, higher education. There were two columns in the NYT in the last week, on this topic. One by a think tank guy, who I had never heard of before and the another one by the Times columnist, Joe Nocera, praising the aforementioned think tank dude, Kevin Carey.

The gist of the both the columns in one sentence; since college has grown too expensive, the solution is  online degrees for the masses. I am sure NYT columnists and their think tank buddies will still go to college, preferably Harvard or Yale or the other Ivies.

Some of the grievances that Nocera brings up seem legitimate,  but both Carey and Nocera are also complaining about the money universities spend on research? Really? Who should we leave the research too? Think tanks?

Over time, the mission that came to matter most within the university culture was research. Great research institutions derived the most status.

Its not that the universities have no problems, but I fail to see how online degrees are going to change anything.  As far as I know, universities charge the  same  per credit hour whether it is online or in person.  If Carey wants to do away with universities altogether.   I wonder what exactly is going to replace a traditional university?

Free online courses won’t revolutionize education until there is a parallel system of free or low-fee credentials, not controlled by traditional colleges, that leads to jobs. Now technological innovators are working on that, too.

Yes that’s exactly what higher education needs, an Uber!  Has Tom Friedman aka Mustache of Understanding weighed in on this? This is my solution.

Your solution to the Rising Cost of Tuition; Only one nip mouse per credit hour

By two_kittehs

Posted on March 12, 2015, in Cats, Economy, Lolcats, Punditubbies say Hello and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. What’s fascinating about the rush for on-line higher education, like charter schools, is some folks are just seeing dollar signs, while the folks who proposed some of these free on-line courses, like at MIT or Sanford – like the early charter school proponents – are actually interested in improving education.

    I do not think they want replace all brick-and-mortar education with on-line only coursework.

    I think the scam artists and the sincere folks tend to get conflated, until there’s so much greed showing from the scam artists that they cannot be ignored any longer.

  2. Love the kitteh at the computer. But I think “Iz” would have been the proper word in the caption; to wit, Iz on your computer teaching online classes.

  3. The value of online degrees is in flexibility: it is easier for a student who is a working adult to “attend” online classes than to have to modify their work schedule to attend day classes, or even night classes which require them to have to drive to where the classes are being held. I don’t think online classes are meant to replace brick-and-mortar classes, but to expand educational opportunities to those who would not be able to access them otherwise. The average age of an online student is also 10-15 years older than a typical brick-and-mortar student and usually has work experience, which translates into a different learning environment.

    Also, note that the real issue with cost is not discussed: the fact that public institutions receive much less tax funding than they used to, so they have had to pass those costs that used to be covered by taxes onto students. Public schools used to provide quality education at very low costs in relation to private schools. That is no longer the case because that would be considered wealth redistribution in today’s conservative/neo-liberal thinking.

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