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Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:26 AM

Texas poised to become national model for higher ed reform

In higher education, Texas’ struggles are America’s struggles. At the same time, the 83rd Legislature can make Texas’ solutions America’s solutions.

Texas is well-placed to build on existing strengths relative to other states in the areas of tuition costs, student loan indebtedness and civic education requirements. Moreover, our legislators and universities have committed to increasing graduation rates, online learning opportunities and accountability in public higher education.

This good work already begun provides a springboard to meet the serious challenges ahead. Like every state, Texas is fighting a two-front war, endeavoring simultaneously to restore not only affordability but also education quality. Over the past quarter-century, tuitions nationally have spiked 440 percent, twice the rate of health care increases. Struggling to keep pace, students have taken on historic debt. Total student loan debt approaches $1 trillion dollars, exceeding credit card debt.

Added to the affordability crunch is the deeper crisis of poor student learning. “Academically Adrift,” the landmark national study published in 2011, finds that, after four years in college, 36 percent of students show “small or empirically non-existent” gains in foundational skills. Again, these dismal gains occurred after four years of college. This is a national tragedy. It constitutes the educational challenge of our time.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/opinion/texas-poised-to-become-national-model-for-higher-e/nTpqh/#cmComments .



What the hell is the director the Center for Higher Education at the Texas Public Policy Foundation smoking? He needs to pass the bowl to the rest of the people in Texas so we'll believe the crap in his editorial. The right-wing spin cycle begins anew...

"Moreover, our legislators and universities have committed to increasing graduation rates, online learning opportunities and accountability in public higher education." What a crock--the 82nd Legislature cut the budget for higher education by 9%.

However, I guess it could come true--after all, when you are at the bottom there is no way but up!

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:41 AM

1. A "model" is a small imitation of the real thing.

See? More accurate than at first glance.

But yes, pretending that "foundational" gains have been measured (WHATever they ARE) and cutting funding don't really add up to improvement, do they?

Wendy Lee Gramm, who should have gone to prison for her role as oversight head for Enron, is the chair of the Texas Public Policy Foundation. A million years ago, I took her microeconomics course as a sophomore at the A&M U. She should have stuck to graphs and examples. Her criminal husband, the inimitable former Senator, now Robber Banker Phil Gramm, is also very low on my list, since his repeal of Glass Steagall led immediately to the 2008 crash of all things financial.

Yeah, I think I'll just disregard anything the TPPF has to say, although I'm sure that our bought and paid for Lege will give 'em an ear (and all the money in the Treasury).

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:55 AM

2. Amidst all of the crap the author spews, he does make one good point

Bloated adminstrations (deputy associate deans) are indeed a real problem.

Many of these mid-level bureaucrats just push paper all day and do nothing of value.

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Response to bluestateguy (Reply #2)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 11:06 AM

5. Yes, they have no accountability to the public good, only allegiance to the State Legislature.

They will be replaced if they do not stay in line with the GOP agenda.

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Response to DhhD (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 12:04 PM

6. One reason for administrative bloat is more rules and regulations from states and the feds

The more rules and regulations that are imposed by legislatures, Congress and the DOE then you can expect universities (public and private) to add more administrators whose job it is to keep the institution in compliance.

Indeed, many of the new rules the author advocates would likely result in more, not fewer, administrators who would be needed to comply with his think tank's pet projects.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 06:26 AM

3. Nothing is a total failure, it can always serve as a bad example.

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Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 10:57 AM

4. If about 65% of Texas students can not read and write on grade level in 9th grade, then how

could Texas students be ready for college? Public schools deleted the phonetic approach years ago when the GOP took over the State Legislature.

If Texas colleges are dumbed down, then what out of state student would pay to come to Texas?

The whole system is funneling toward business privatizations instead of public accountability and intellectual advancement.

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