Right after his crazy pretense that his wife had “helped bring down childhood obesity rates for the first time in thirty years,” Obama promised,
Taking a page from that playbook, the White House just organized a College Opportunity Summit, where already 150 universities, businesses, nonprofits have made concrete commitments to reduce inequality in access to higher education and to help every hardworking kid go to college and succeed when they get to campus.
This is like promising credit to people to borrow money to buy an overpriced Yugo—to people who think they are buying a Ford SUV.
Kathleen Parker writes in the Washington Post:
The problem isn’t only that higher education is unaffordable to many but that even at our highest-ranked colleges and universities, students aren’t getting much bang for their buck.
Since 1985, the price of higher education has increased 538 percent, according to a new study from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA), a nonprofit, nonpartisan research group that encourages trustees and alumni to foster improvement where institutions may be reluctant to go against popular trends.
Although the council confined its research in this study — “Education or Reputation?” — to the 29 top-ranked liberal-arts schools in the nation, where tuition, boarding and books typically run more than $50,000 per year, the trends highlighted are not confined to smaller, elite institutions. These include an increasing lack of academic rigor, grade inflation, high administrative costs and a lack of intellectual diversity.
So we have an industry where the price of the product has increased by far more than the consumer price index and even far more than the increase in the price of health care, while its quality has decreased. And Obama wants to help more people get into debt to buy it.
Parker provides a lot more evidence that education in the United States is getting worse even as it becomes much more expensive.
But where she stumbles is when she gives the educational industrial complex responsibility for the formation of literate maturity.
The need for a better-educated populace is beyond dispute. Without critical thinking skills and a solid background in history, the arts and sciences, how can a nation hope to govern itself?
The populace will never govern itself if it believes that the entire potential of the next generation is in the hands of an “educational” priesthood. We, as a nation, didn’t become a self-governing people with critical thinking skills and solid background in history, the arts, and sciences by graduating from high-quality colleges. It was the other way around. We built colleges because we were a self-governing people.
The first two steps to freedom are
- Valuing critical thinking and a familiarity with history, arts, and sciences.
- Realizing that it is our responsibility to acquire such skill and knowledge, not the responsibility of an “educator.” The only real education is self education.
Then you take your education—and that of your children—into your own hands and don’t look for false saviors to dispense it on you.