Good news and bad news about lower and higher education

Here are a few good articles about the K-12 public schools, or as I like to call them, Lord of the Flies child warehouses manned by expensive babysitters.

This first one is from Forbes and it reviews a book I will probably have to read:  Old, Rigid Educational Models Versus Entrepreneurial Discovery And Competition: Glenn Reynolds Contemplates The Future.

This next one might strike some as extreme but it’s not. The concept is called “liberty”: Abolish Compulsory Education: It should strike us as vulgar that the state presumes the power to tell us where to go and what to learn.

I liked this excerpt from our next link, Sex, schools and social suicide: If students attend schools which are run as sexual playgrounds, is it any wonder if they fail to learn?:

Over the last three decades, social scientists, educational researchers, and pundits have probed for the reason why educationally the US on the fringe of being a Third World country. In particular, why does the academic achievement of American students begin to fall off during junior high and plummet during the high school years?

The “failure theories” are many: our schools are too big; our schools are too small; our school year is too short; our school day is too long; our teachers are too dumb or too lazy or under paid; our parents don’t care; we don’t give the schools enough money. Critics endlessly opine that our students don’t have enough arts, enough sports; enough science, enough math. They don’t have enough homework; they have too much homework. What is being missed from the analyses is the teenagers’ elephant in the room, their Kim Kardashian at the Sunday school picnic: sex.

Let’s turn to “higher” ed. I liked this excerpt from our first article, The Outlaw Campus: The university has become a rogue institution in need of root-and-branch reform — here are #s 7&8  on the writer’s list of 10 things:

7. National competency testing. Lawyers and doctors have to pass state or national exams to practice their craft. So do veterinarians, electricians, and general contractors. Society’s assumption apparently is that one’s professional training alone is not sufficient proof of competency. Prospective faculty members should also be required to take a general test in their field to ensure competency. Sadly, a PhD in history is no proof these days that the recipient can distinguish the Battle of Shiloh from the Battle of Waterloo, the Enlightenment from the Renaissance, or a Doric from an Ionic column. In addition, to receive the bachelor’s degree, graduating seniors should be required to take a national competency test in general education — something open as well to non-college students who wish to win the BA or BS degree by examination. This idea of national audit remains an anathema to universities, because there is no proof that the graduates of our most prestigious schools would do any better than those of state colleges — or than autodidacts or the homeschooled.

8. Budget. Since university costs have gone up over 7 percent annually on average for the last two decades, it is past time for transparency, especially given the infusion of state and federal subsidies. How strange that universities will publish statistical data on almost every facet of American life — from racial matters to the environment — but not provide the public with a detailed breakdown of their own expenditures to allow students and their parents to understand why their tuition is priced as it is. Students should have the choice of deciding whether they wish to attend a college that budgets for rock-climbing walls, an Assistant Dean of Internet Technology, or visits by a Michael Moore or John Edwards, at thousands of dollars per campus rant.

To round out today’s post here are four more articles and a video:

Higher Education’s Internet Revolution

How the College Bubble Will Pop

Student Loan Debt a Serious Problem

Ideological Warfare on Campus