Tuesday, November 26, 2013

California Is Losing Its Edge In Higher Education, But Not For The Reason Gavin Newsom Says

From the major Sacramento newspaper:
More attention must be paid to the California State University system and to the state's community colleges if California is going to produce the educated workers its economy needs, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom says in a report set to be issued Tuesday.

The report commissioned by Newsom argues that the state is losing its place as a national leader in higher education.

The report, prepared by the nonpartisan Committee for Economic Development based in Washington, D.C., finds that the percentage of young adults earning associate and bachelor's degrees in California already is below the U.S. average and predicts the trend will persist unless the system is overhauled to serve an increasingly diverse and low-income population.
Perhaps we could start improving higher education by not brainwashing our K-12 students into believing that they'll only be successful in life if they go to college.  Perhaps we could start improving higher education by refusing admittance to our universities to students who need remedial math or English classes, and requiring them instead to attend community colleges until they meet university standards.

Cut down on the number of university students.  Restore importance to the bachelor's degree, and don't treat people who choose not to get one as pariahs.  When everyone gets a trophy, a trophy has no value.

And then let's cut all the absolutely useless courses and degrees.  I'm not saying there shouldn't be some fun, interesting, cool classes at universities, but let's not pretend that all courses, or all majors, deserve the taxpayer's consideration.


Mike Thiac said...


In the last few years I read an excellent article on how Governor Jerry Brown (The old man, not the idiot who currently resides in Sacramento) handled education, especially junior colleges. He didn’t look at junior colleges as feeders for the main college systems. They were to to train technicians that business needed. Give someone who wasn’t really a man or woman for a four year degree, but give him an associates or other technical training (e.g. mechanics, carpentry). The businesses have a trained work force, the people have good paying jobs so they stay off public assistance and pay taxes. Everyone wins.

The best and the brightest figured they could improve on that.

Auntie Ann said...

How about ending anti-Asian bias in admissions?

maxutils said...

You had me in complete agreement until you got down to the "useless majors" comment. The market decides what is useless and what is not. Just as you don't want people telling someone that learning how to be a plumber is useless, I don't some telling people that being an English or history or psychology or ethnic studies major is useless... maybe they turn out to be. But the market will take care of that, particularly if you heighten the standards to get/stay in. Personally, I don't want to live in a world where everyone with higher education has an Engineering, computer science, or pre med degree ... or whatever else you would call not-useless...

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing the "useless courses and degrees" refers to the various aggrieved-victim courses & departments and the seriously non-academic courses in academic departments (English, history etc). Getting the government out of the student loan business would lead to less of them, since private lenders (if allowed/required to use due diligence and not "diversity") would see little chance of loan repayment for this sort of nonsense. Like the draft board of old, lenders should be allowed to require students to provide course enrollment and grade information Admitting only academically qualified students (SAT/ACT scores) would also tend to reduce demand.