Tuesday, May 24, 2011

New Article on PajamasMedia

"Inside the Higher Education Bubble"


  1. It was a great article, Clayton. Looks like it's getting a lot of comments over there, too. It's interesting that our state government is spending a ton of money on an ad campaign right now called "Go On", encouraging every student to get a degree. Quite frankly, not every student fresh out of high school is capable of succeeding in college, and some of them are temperamentally or intellectually unsuited to the work required to get one. Some sort of post-high school education can't hurt, but let's face it - there will always be a need for cosmetologists and heavy equipment operators, not so much for ethnic studies majors.

  2. The state government isn't funding that campaign, but the Albertson's Foundation. I cringe a bit at that campaign, because while there are too many reasonably capable kids who are not going on to college, there are some who really need to be taking another path.

    To be fair, College of Western Idaho does provide quite a bit of vocational educational programs as well: automotive repair; machine technology; truck driving. These are all useful training programs, and they lead to real jobs. Not everyone should be planning an academic career. Some students aren't capable; some aren't suited to it; and yes, someone needs to do these other jobs.

  3. It seemed that every semester of teaching as a graduate student, I had a student or two that wouldn't drop out--even after I tried contacting them via e-mail, etc. Your article helps explain why that could happen!

    I don't know if I would have gotten a doctorate in mathematics if I knew how scary it would be to have so much debt hanging over my head; at the very least, I should have pushed harder to avoid the student debt I collected. While I'm glad I had the opportunity to learn so much math, debt is the biggest thing keeping me from pursuing math right now!