Laura Chapman: When Intellectual Elites Demean Higher Education

Diane Ravitch's blog

Our frequent commentator, Laura H. Chapman, here reflects on the current view of the role of higher education–not as a place of exploration and liberal learning, but as a preparation for the global workplace.

She writes:

For higher education, some new metrics from USDE were supposed to show “best value education” meaning cost versus payoff for graduates in paychecks–return on investment. The policy was marketed as being “transparent” for the benefit of customers of education. Even without formal requirements from USDE, the governors in more than one state are pushing for the same thing. Ohio’s Kasich is among them, but he wants evidence of economic payoffs for Ohio.

This “economic outcomes only” philosophy will turn many public institutions of higher education into something like trade schools, kill off studies in the arts and humanities, tank basic research, and take the short-term political gain from this “transformative strategy” pretending there are…

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About @NatM4Equity

The National Mobilization for Equity is a coalition of organizations committed to alleviating the present staffing crisis in higher education: three-quarters of the teaching jobs in American colleges are held by underpaid, precarious and poorly-supported contingent faculty. Our long-term goal is to end contingency as the norm. The current untenable situation not only adversely affects all faculty members, both contingent and tenure-track, it also negatively impacts our profession, our students and the quality of their education.

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