Wednesday, December 20, 2006

State Universities Price out Poor

The New York Times today reports (reg required) on the trend among flagship public universities to attempt to raise their national stature. Unfortunately, this comes at the expense of the poor. To do it, many are raising tuition and focusing on the rich kids.

UWO doesn't fit the profile, but the entire state of Wisconsin is moving in that direction. The state legislature and governor don't seem to believe that education above 12th grade is a public good that needs public support.

Read on . . .

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

A difference between your point and one made by the story's author is that these other universities are trying to lower the faculty/student ratio to improve the quality of education. Wisconsin is pricing students out without providing the money for more faculty (yes, tenured faculty).

There are more differences but this is a significant one.

Anonymous said...

Where does the money go?

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

Where does the money go? "

Students are charged more to make up for the decrease in money coming from our elected officials.

Anonymous said...

It goes to pay staff even more bloated wages and gold-plated benefits.

Take from the poor and give to the rich.

HoodRobin.

Anonymous said...

HoodRobin said...
>>It goes to pay staff even more bloated wages and gold-plated benefits. Take from the poor and give to the rich.<<

So hears another jock who screwed off in school and so is stuck in a deadend job, blaming teachers cuz they got an education and got a decent job! So tell me how teachers are so overpaid when guys working at Truck make TWICE what they do???

Anonymous said...

sorry Hood Robin, professors are not well paid compared to other professions that require an advanced degree. And they are even worse paid at UW Oshkosh which has below average salaries.

And sorry all, but education matters if you want a good salary. After adjusting for inflation, hourly wages for those who never went beyond high school have declined since 1973. Hourly wages for college grads and those who have advanced degrees have increased since 1973. The 21st century economy only rewards those who have a BA or better.

Even car manufacturers need well educated workers, not high school drop outs

Lammers said...

The Lucid Anonymous above wrote:

"And sorry all, but education matters if you want a good salary. After adjusting for inflation, hourly wages for those who never went beyond high school have declined since 1973. Hourly wages for college grads and those who have advanced degrees have increased since 1973. The 21st century economy only rewards those who have a BA or better."

I truly wish there were some way to *really* impart this knowledge to middle school and high school students. So many young people, for whatever reason, simply do not acquire the necessary learning skills during these years. As a result, they come to us at the university with a severe handicap, unprepared for the far more rigorous learning environment. By the time they figure it out (if they do), their academic record is badly scarred.

Unlike the Semi-Incoherent Anonymous above, I do not see the greatest problems coming from kids who goofed off in high school; most of them don't even try college. The biggest problem I see is with those who earned good grades without really trying. I hear so many students wailing, "I never had to study in high school and I always got A's!" Whatever the reason for it, this is a bad thing. Somewhere along the line, those kids were shortchanged. I wish I was bright enough to see the answer, but I don't.

Anonymous said...

I fully concur with the last paragraph by Lammers. I have seen students who had always got A's in high school who thought Chicago was a state, could not work with fractions, and most lacked even the most basic knowledge of history or geogrpahy. Most students do not know how to take notes, many do not know what a footnote is let alone when they should use one. Most students I have met see no value in aquiring basic knowledge in math, science, foreign languages or study abroad. All valuable skills in a hi-tech globalized world. Middle and high school education is clearly failing our students. Some of my colleagues are having to cover material that I learned in the 9th grade. No joke

Anonymous said...

Maybe if teacher-prep programs worried more about teaching future teachers subject content and less about PEDAGOGY and educational theory and other complete baloney, our kids would get a better education in those critical years. Real-life teachers in the classroom everyday will tell you that 90% of the stuff they did in college has been of no use whatsoever to them. What's worse, so much of this nonsense seems based on fads and bandwagons -- "the latest thing!" -- than on any evidence of actual efficacy. That approach is fine for teenagers when it comes to fashion and music, but it has no place in education.

Too often, teachers can't teach the stuff that will assure success in college because the teachers don't KNOW this stuff! The deterioration of the teaching profession, thanks to the people supposedly responsible for sustaining and promoting it, has gone on long enough that you really have the blind leading the blind.

Perhaps we could use these people's fixation on buzzwords and fads and bandwagons to our advantage. Convince the people who run teacher-prep programs that "the latest thing" in educational fads is study skills, basics of grammar, mechanics of writing, and like the lemmings they are, they'll be all over it.

Lammers said...

Another Lucid Anonymous said:

"Most students do not know how to take notes, many do not know what a footnote is let alone when they should use one."

That is very true. Yet in my own education, somewhere around 4th, 5th or 6th grade (perhaps all), I distinctly recall spending a significant amount of time in the classroom on such basic learning tools: learning how to use reference books such as the dictionary and encyclopedia, how to outline a book chapter, how to document sources, etc. In high school, I took a semester-long course just on how to write a term paper. All of this gave me the tools to do well in college. The fact that I can recall this forty years later suggests that a considerable amount of time was spent on it and that it's importance was really emphasiized.

I also recall spending much of English class in the 6th through 8th grades diagramming sentences as a way to learn grammar and syntax. Is this even taught anymore? I see an awful lot of student papers that suggest it isn't.

If schools aren't doing this sort of thing anymore, it's not surprising that so many students have problems here. I don't know enough about current school curricula to suggest where the problem lies. Is this one of those things that's been squeezed out to make room for computers and other recent developments? Lord knows we did not spend *any* time on computer skills when I was in school!
:-)