HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Economy & Education » Education (Group) » Should Wealthier Students...

Mon May 20, 2013, 06:49 PM

Should Wealthier Students Get to Jump the Line For College Classes?

At one point, California State Assemblyman Das Williams was homeless, living in a Volkswagen van and getting pretty good grades at Santa Barbara City College.

“I was definitely a non-traditional student,” said the 38-year-old Democrat who now represents the 37th District, including Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, and chairs the Assembly Higher Education Committee.

“I had dropped out of high school and I was low-income” and still, he said in a recent phone interview, “it was easier for me then, than it is for kids today.”

Within “two years and a summer” Williams had taken all of the required courses and transferred from the coastal community college to U.C. Berkeley.

That has become an increasingly difficult path for students to follow as severe statewide budget cuts have lead colleges to eliminate nearly 100,000 class sections. The reduction in class offerings has caused a bottleneck for basic courses required for transfer to four-year universities, leaving students stuck for years in a wait-listed limbo.

Williams said that’s why he’s authored AB 955—a bill that would allow community colleges to offer high-demand courses over winter and summer sessions for students willing to pay higher fees.

It would more than quadruple the cost of each unit from $46 to about $200, which means most students would pay about $600 for each “extension” course. Those who qualify for the Board of Governors fee waiver would be eligible for financial aid paid for by a portion of the revenue collected from the new fees.

“I freely admit it’s not the best option, but it’s the only option at this time for students who can’t afford to wait four years to get through community college,” said Williams.

The idea to relieve overcrowding and compensate for funding cuts through two-tier course pricing has been controversial since it was first floated in a similar bill in 2011.

Jonathan Lightman, executive director of the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges, contends the fees are equivalent to privatizing public education.

“It’s an unequivocal threat to the idea of fairness and academic democracy that the community college system has held since its inception.”


Opponents say the bill establishes a fast-track system that gives an extra advantage to those with money. It makes “access to core classes dependent on students’ capacity to pay.”

. . . .

http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/05/20/california-two-tier-college

15 replies, 2250 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread

Response to Addison (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2013, 06:53 PM

1. No

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Addison (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2013, 07:05 PM

2. No.

The CA assembly should work to help repeal the corporate loopholes in Prop 13 (for example) so we can offer education to more students who need it. "Pay-to-play" shouldn't have a place in public education.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Addison (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2013, 07:16 PM

3. What horseshit. Put more classes online. Lots of classes don't need teachers overseeing the

learning on a constant basis. Plenty of basic shit is pure memorization. Automate online classes where possible, use graduate student teaching assistants to oversee the basic classes and hire more teachers for the 'in demand' classes.

Making people wait longer, or charging them more, is wrong.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MADem (Reply #3)

Sun May 26, 2013, 04:12 AM

5. it's community college. they don't have graduate teaching assistants. and the in-demand

 

courses are things like nursing and dental tech, so they're not the kind of classes that are pure memorization.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HiPointDem (Reply #5)

Sun May 26, 2013, 06:20 AM

6. Get the teaching assistants from the larger schools--an online course can originate from anywhere.

A community college may not have grad students, but the larger schools that are part of the state system will.

Plenty of basic courses are pretty much cut-and-dried...essential English, math, science classes--it's not like there are a dozen answers to a math problem.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MADem (Reply #6)

Sun May 26, 2013, 06:36 AM

7. the high demand courses aren't the basic classes. and the teaching assistants from 4

 

year colleges have their own jobs to do.

how about just funding the classes, since you're taking tuition from students who want to take them.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HiPointDem (Reply #7)

Sun May 26, 2013, 06:42 AM

8. Yeah, but everybody has to take basic classes, and if you can shift your teaching dollars

to the high demand classes, and leave the basics to grad students overseen by fewer qualfied teachers, you can see some cost savings that way.

Funding the classes would be optimal, but we're talking about a situation where there is discussion of two tier pricing--obviously that wouldn't be under discussion if there was funding available.

I'm kicking around looking for solutions that don't give the wealthy preferential access.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MADem (Reply #8)

Sun May 26, 2013, 07:02 AM

9. wealthy people don't go to community colleges. pushing more 'basic' courses to online just

 

gives the people who created the phoney 'problem' what they want.

the kinds of students who attend community colleges (not all, but many, and more these days) need teachers.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HiPointDem (Reply #9)

Sun May 26, 2013, 12:57 PM

10. Oh yes they do!

Not all wealthy people have smart kids, or kids who buckled down in high school. There are plenty of well-off, 'parents could afford private education' kids in the MA community college system, for the simple reason that they need an environment that is closer to two more years of high school in terms of the attention that is paid to them and the class/campus size.

The MA community college system does accommodate special needs students--those with math/reading dyslexia, etc. But a combination of student coaching and online classes isn't amiss.

You are arguing from a point that it is possible to make Porgie's pie higher. I am speaking to the situation as it stands--there's only so many assets, how can they be stretched?

Yes, wouldn't it be love-er-ly if more money could be tossed at community colleges from sea to shining sea, but realistically? Near term? I don't see that happening.

I am speaking pragmatically. Not thinking wishfully.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MADem (Reply #10)

Sun May 26, 2013, 01:16 PM

11. no, you're accepting the frame of 'financial crisis'. once you do so, the only 'solution' is cost-

 

cutting, which leads inexorably to the policies of education deform.

but the financial crisis is self-imposed by government policy at both the federal and local level.

you are not speaking pragmatically, whatever you may think you're doing.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HiPointDem (Reply #11)

Sun May 26, 2013, 01:22 PM

12. As opposed to your solution...which is....?

Keep in mind that foot stomping isn't going to produce more money. You can't make that argument, so don't even try. It doesn't matter who "imposed" the budget--it is what it is. And don't try to characterize my comments as "anti-education" because if I had my way, I'd prioritize pre K- 16 on a national level. That said, if wishes were horses then beggars would ride.

You've got to dance with the budget that brung ya...so whatchagonna do? Solve the problem with the outfit you've got on.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MADem (Reply #12)

Sun May 26, 2013, 01:40 PM

13. the only real, pragmatic one, & the only one that ever works.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to HiPointDem (Reply #13)

Sun May 26, 2013, 01:43 PM

14. Well, that wasn't terribly elucidative.

You aren't coming up with a plan. You're just being cryptic and hoping I'll stop asking.

Same budget, you have to deal with things as they are, not the way you want them:

What will you do?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Addison (Original post)

Sun May 26, 2013, 04:10 AM

4. no.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Addison (Original post)

Mon May 27, 2013, 05:53 PM

15. not just no,

but no fucking way.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread