The following post, which is from the Heritage Foundation’s InsiderOnline Blog, shows a nice example of why educational liberty is needed in the United States of America. And it, like all related issues surrounding statist education, begs the question—where in the hell is the Republican Party?
It’s bad enough that Illinois school aged children are not free but instead are owned by their local school districts. Think about that and tell me that the Illinois Republican Party isn’t brain-dead. Now, watch for Illinois politicians to attempt take this ridiculous and frankly evil idea and enact it here.
Minnesota wins this week’s grand prize for “most creative use of government to stifle innovation” reports Will Oremus:
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports that the state has decided to crack down on free education, notifying California-based startup Coursera that it is not allowed to offer its online courses to the state’s residents. Coursera, founded by Stanford computer science professors Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng, partners with top-tier universities around the world to offer certain classes online for free to anyone who wants to take them. You know, unless they happen to be from Minnesota.
A policy analyst for the state’s Office of Higher Education told The Chronicle that Minnesota is simply enforcing a longstanding state law requiring colleges to get the government’s permission to offer instruction within its borders. She couldn’t say whether other online education startups like edX and Udacity were also told to stay out.
As the Chronicle notes, with admirable restraint, “It’s unclear how the law could be enforced when the content is freely available on the Web.” And keep in mind, Coursera isn’t offering degrees—just free classes. [Slate, October 18]