Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Making College 'Free' May Not Make a Difference, Except for Adding Debt, Adding Taxes and Adding Salaries for Added College Employees

Hillary and Bernie want to make college 'free.'

How about first making college a solid investment of both time and money for all of We the People, our kids and grandkids, and not just the politicians and school administrators?

That will happen only if, as and when students have been properly prepared, academically and otherwise, to do the work required for success in college prior to their entering college.

And not allowing parents to have things like vouchers, charter schools and school choice will only enhance the power of status quo administrators and the stranglehold that teachers unions have, especially on urban schools.

That will result in continually graduating a great many students unprepared for college work and who will then waste valuable time and money attending college. Their future will be made difficult by the people proclaiming to want to 'serve' them.

Of course, Hillary and Bernie, like all good Democrats, are opposed to school choice for kids and their parents. Politics sucks and people continue to vote for free stuff that isn't free.

Meanwhile, public sector unions grow and prosper while and our economy continues to struggle. It's not a pretty picture that We the People are painting, but it's one of our own making.

Just 37% of U.S. High School Seniors Prepared for College Math and Reading, Test Shows has the gruesome story about our politically popular but misplaced priorities:

"Only 37% of American 12th-graders were academically prepared for college math and reading in 2015, a slight dip from two years earlier, according to test scores released Wednesday.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the “Nation’s Report Card,” said that share was down from an estimated 39% in math and 38% in reading in 2013.

Educators and policy makers have long lamented that many seniors get diplomas even though they aren’t ready for college, careers or the military. Those who go to college often burn through financial aid or build debt while taking remedial classes that don’t earn credits toward a degree. . . . 

The biggest problems came at the bottom, with growth in the share of students deemed “below basic” in their abilities. In math, 38% of students were in that group in 2015, compared with 35% two years earlier. In reading, 28% of students were “below basic,” compared with 25%....

In reading, the average score of 287 out of 500 points was about flat from two years earlier, but down significantly from 292 in 1992, when the test was first given. Students who reported reading for fun every day or nearly that often tended to score higher.

In reading, “The students at the top of the distribution are going up and the students at the bottom of the distribution are going down,” said Ms. Carr.  “There is a widening of the gap between higher and lower-ability students.”

In reading, 49% of Asian students performed at or above proficiency last year. So did 46% of white students, 25% of Hispanic students and 17% of black students. . . .

In math, 47% of Asian students performed at or above proficiency. So did 32% of white students, 12% of Hispanic students and 7% of black students."

Summing Up

One popular definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

The income inequality that Hillary and Bernie rail against is largely a result of educational inequality. And that educational inequality results in large part from not putting parents and their kids in charge of where and how they are educated.

So public sector spending grows, public sector employment grows, individual and government debts grow, global competition negatively impacts U.S. manufacturing and energy related jobs, and people suffer with high debts, substandard education and poor job opportunities.

Yet politics continues as is, while many kids and their families struggle needlessly and senselessly --- yet continue to vote for more of the same.

That's my take.

Thanks. Bob.

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