Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sending More People To College

A recent study found that "Nationally, four-year colleges graduated an average of just 53% of entering students within six years." If 40 percent of students who enter college drop out before graduation and over 50 percent of students take six years to graduate, perhaps Obama is focusing on the wrong issue.

A video showing what's wrong with the federal governments' paying for even more people to go to college can be seen here.


mazenko said...

More efficient k-12 education with a greater emphasis on associate's degrees and financial incentives to graduate earlier. And that I can support with my taxes.

Darren said...

We shouldn't *need* to spend more on that. That's the point--even adjusted for inflation we spend twice as much now on education as we did when I was born, and the results aren't twice as good.

What's different between then and now? Culture. Spending more on schools isn't going to change that.

bun2bon said...

There's truth here. And yet, there's truth that some students only take one or two classes each semester because that's all they can afford to pay. Thus, it takes them longer to finish their major requirements.

Tuition is usually paid per unit (not including campus fees and such), which is sometimes why one person's school fees may be more than another's, when both attend the same university.

mazenko said...

Well, yes and no, Darren.

We spend twice as much - and we have greatly improved education for many people. In fifty years, we've gone from 5% with bachelors degrees to 30%. We've gone from 30% to nearly 70% with high school diplomas. There may be much to criticize about test scores - but the economy has been well served over the last fifty years.

Many, many, many kids who would have simply been called "slow" and ignored fifty years ago are achieving beyond their wildest dreams. There are many autistic professionals today who are able to achieve because of the time and money that has led to the being productive members of society, rather than a drag. That costs a lot of money - but as a society we've determined its a good investment.

Adjusting for inflation also doesn't address improved safety in schools that didn't exist years ago - that goes from security to sprinkler systems. And technological advancements that make both learning and basic administration much more effective can not be compared to the schools of our youth.

And, I didn't say we needed to spend more. I said it needed to be more efficient - and it can be. And if it is then I will not complain about the costs. Though some will complain regardless.

Ellen K said...

The problem is that our set goals are for all students to go to college. All students don't belong in college. Many upper class kids without the academic abilities to achieve, linger for a couple of years in college and then move onto real life. Other students, who need an immediate income in order to survive cannot afford the time to go to college. These kids would be much better served by allowing for meaningful vocational programs to be part of the high school program. And since it costs as much to have anything done to my car as it does to go to the doctor-without the liability insurance or paperwork-I would rather my kids have a job than a diploma.