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The Assault on Public Education

Society & Culture  (tags: abuse, activists, americans children, culture, dishonesty, education, ethics, family, freedoms, government, human rights, law, politics, religion, society, safety )

- 2238 days ago -
Public education is under attack around the world, and in response, student protests have recently been held in Britain, Canada, Chile, Taiwan and elsewhere.

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Kit B (276)
Friday April 6, 2012, 12:56 pm
Photo: Timothy White, chancellor at University of California, Riverside, at his office in Riverside, California, July 5, 2011. Sharp tuition increases, coupled with cutbacks in services, threaten to erode a much-admired state college and university system. (Photo: Monica Almeida / The New York Times)

Public education is under attack around the world, and in response, student protests have recently been held in Britain, Canada, Chile, Taiwan and elsewhere.

California is also a battleground. The Los Angeles Times reports on another chapter in the campaign to destroy what had been the greatest public higher education system in the world: "California State University officials announced plans to freeze enrollment next spring at most campuses and to wait-list all applicants the following fall pending the outcome of a proposed tax initiative on the November ballot."

Similar defunding is under way nationwide. "In most states," The New York Times reports, "it is now tuition payments, not state appropriations, that cover most of the budget," so that "the era of affordable four-year public universities, heavily subsidized by the state, may be over."

Community colleges increasingly face similar prospects and the shortfalls extend to grades K-12.

"There has been a shift from the belief that we as a nation benefit from higher education, to a belief that it's the people receiving the education who primarily benefit and so they should foot the bill," concludes Ronald G. Ehrenberg, a trustee of the State University system of New York and director of the Cornell Higher Education Research Institute.

A more accurate description, I think, is "Failure by Design," the title of a recent study by the Economic Policy Institute, which has long been a major source of reliable information and analysis on the state of the economy.

By Noam Chomsky, Truthout | Op-Ed

Please continue reading this article.

. (0)
Friday April 6, 2012, 1:12 pm
I'm sorry, but, this article was just all over the place. It threw our problems, and gave several reasons for its problems.
Yes, tuition costs are a disgrace. Why the esculation in part has to do with the larger and larger population of students who cannot afford a college education. A college education is not guaranteed in this country. Accepting bright non-residents, and bright minorities, giving them scholarships does not help this.
If one comes from a middle class background, THEY are the ones who are suffering. THEY have to take out student loans, THEY have to suffer the fact colleges do not have money for the middle class.
This has been an issue for 20 years, it has only recently reached a melting point.

William K (308)
Saturday April 7, 2012, 12:44 pm
Tuition is going up because governments are cutting education, and they are cutting education budgets because there are budget shortfalls, and there are budget shortfalls because of small government ideology that prevents revenue being raised. The budget shortfalls are artificial.

The global plutocracy does not want an educated populace, and will maintain the bogus economic crisis until such a time as it strips away every social program and check on corporate domination.

Nationally, we talk about the debt exceeding GDP, but that is only because of the Bush tax cuts.

Nancy C (806)
Saturday April 7, 2012, 1:48 pm
And it's not just public schools. Private schools' government grants have gone south as they struggle to maintain their staffs and quality of education. My sister's been there (dean,chair teacher) for over 30 years.

Nancy C (806)
Saturday April 7, 2012, 1:50 pm
"An out-of-control financial sector is eating out the modern market economy from inside, just as the larva of the spider wasp eats out the host in which it has been laid."

Kit B (276)
Saturday April 7, 2012, 1:55 pm

Though we still seem to have the money to pay our government contractors, subsidies for oil and gas companies, and on and on with the government taking care of it's own. The problem is that we are supposed to be the focus of government, we can afford education and the all of the so-called safety nets. Our government chooses to not afford to meet the needs of the people.

Nancy C (806)
Saturday April 7, 2012, 2:18 pm
It appears we should be worker queens apply.

Felicita Luna (208)
Saturday April 7, 2012, 4:23 pm
Maybe they are under attack because they Suc at what they do.?


paul m (93)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 7:03 am

Cut-backs in education?.....what will the next generation be like?

Jason S (50)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 8:19 am

JL A (281)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 8:24 am
Public education began as a way to transfer the costs of training employees from corporations to the taxpayer...but it led to too many having the skills to recognize the evolving economic inequities so now corporate thinking says it needs to be privatized to transfer the wealth more directly and we need to create/perpetuate a serf class barely surviving that isn't capable of objecting.......

Pat Loeb (0)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 2:30 pm discouraged by the willingness to believe any lies that are repeated enough times. How do we fight this? How can we open/change minds to see what's real and stop this absurdity from spiraling down further.

Mary Donnelly (47)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 5:23 pm
Thanks Kit.

Education in the USA is a topic which baffles me.

As far as I am aware the USA pays more per capita on education than any other nation state, yet this post and many others bemoan the current status of education in the country.

I understand about cutbacks in the last four years, not only in education, but also in other essential services, which I consider false economy; but I suspect the problem lies far deeper than that, and has been going on for decades.

Why do students anywhere need to go into debt to get an education? Why can't they pay as they go? No money? Get a job. No jobs? Apply for the dirtiest, most dangerous, most disliked jobs, and you might get one. (Given wages in the USA, you might need two or three). Result you might take twice as long to graduate, but there will be no debt hanging over your head when you do.

Jennifer Ward (40)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 7:25 pm
Elementary education is the most important. I'm sick of hearing about university students who do not even have the basic 3Rs. In any case- who is going to fix their plumbing and wiring if all there is are other graduates? Tertiary education is not for all, yet all education seems to be skewed towards this aim.

Lynn Squance (235)
Sunday April 8, 2012, 10:28 pm
"There has been a shift from the belief that we as a nation benefit from higher education, to a belief that it's the people receiving the education who primarily benefit and so they should foot the bill,"
I guess I was left behind at that last shift! I believe that society benefits in general from higher education, but also that I, as the one obtaining that higher education, also benefit. It means that I should have more to give, and therefore society has more to receive. Education should be training students to think critically, to develop their creativity, to light a fire in the darkest corner. But not just that, education must seek out the hungry for knowledge and challenge. Society can not rely on the spawn of the 1% who are too often accustomed to having things handed to them on a silver tray, or doing things "dad's way" whether creative or not; whether efficient or not; whether innovative or not.
People wonder why nurses from overseas are being brought into the US to work. As the article says "the decision of state colleges to eliminate programs in nursing, engineering and computer science, because they are costly" probably has something to do with it.
One of the otherthings that may be missing from education is sufficient preparation in elementary and high school for the programme transformation that should happen in college or university. For years, many kids in their last year of high school were applying to universities for liberal arts programmes because thay had no idea where they wanted to be or do. And once they had that degree, they found that it accounted for very little in the work force so after a bit of soul searching, back to school they went. I think that after some years of that scenario, certainly in Canada, technical colleges came into full being offering various practical courses of study including nursing, computer sciences, engineering and mechanics. Those courses of study, combined with co-op programmes enable students to put new skills to the test throughout their studies and become decent wage earners faster. By my way of thinking, education should stay more in the public purvue where I believe there should be greater greater accountability.

Nimue Michelle Pendragon Gaze (339)
Monday April 9, 2012, 2:18 am

Past Member (0)
Monday April 9, 2012, 2:25 am
Noted. Thanks.

wendi huffman (4)
Monday April 9, 2012, 8:53 am
noted & thanks for sharing

Roseann d (178)
Thursday April 12, 2012, 5:43 pm

When they try to tell you knowledge is a dangerous thing
"It's such a dangerous thing."
The people that have it are the people that sin
And the people that need it are the people that can never win
"They can never win."
Let me get you out of here, little broken wing

Lyrics - Thin Lizzy
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