Here is an article from today’s WSJ
Here are my thoughts.
“For many colleges, students are just a funnel for funds. Nowadays, colleges ask, “What can students do for my school?”, not “What can I do for my students?”.
It should be no surprise that when so many students don’t get a real education, those students can’t pay back their loans, or, can pay back their loans, but have to live with their parents, or, can’t buy a car, or, (worse of all) think they need more schooling.
(The effect of a poor eduation on college outcomes is confounded by the recession, but there is no question that students aren’t generally getting the education they need – and deserve. It is hard to question that when peoople like Clark Kerr and David Riesman pointed out (in 1980) that, as Kerr put it, the “..shift from academic merit to student consumerism is one of the two greatest reversals of direction in all the history of..higher education..”. It is also easy to see just how much worse it has become, when, like me, you have spent years as a professor, at times being pressured to dumb down important courses to make those “consumers” happier. Anyone who reads my detailed report on this taking place at Washington University in St. Louis (a trusted school), will understand what has been happening. (See “A Tale Out of School” on my blog inside-higher-ed com))
The government should help with education. It is important for all of us. But why don’t we loan money for education the same way that we loan money for anything. First, we make sure the borrower is sound (for, example has good grades); then we make sure that the product that the money will be used to buy is sound.