What’s not to appreciate about higher education?
John Immerwahr, a philosophy professor at Pennsylvania’s Villanova University who co-wrote a recent study of Americans’ perceptions of higher education, says there’s plenty of evidence that people see value in an advanced degree.
“When you start to ask questions about who should pay for it, that’s where the controversy comes in,” says Immerwahr, also a senior research fellow at Public Agenda, a national nonprofit organization. “People see higher education as an individual good — something you need for yourself.” link
Especially in California, we assume it's a public good, and that's why we devote so much money to our three-tier higher education system. However, it doesn't hurt to periodically revisit that assumption, if for no other reason than to reestablish its validity. There's a good argument to be made against this assumption, though, and it should be addressed; ignored, it festers.