There will be some major challenges when 2008 comes. For instance, I strongly feel that urban conservatives should take a stand on educational choices from K-12 reform to higher education.
The way these universities are ran in the State of Michigan is asinine. I mean, my God, how much waste are going into these universities while students are graduating with minimal skills to compete in a 21st century global society.
I strongly feel it is time to elect a fresh Board of Governors at Michigan State, Wayne State and University of Michigan who can not only show some back bone but supply and demand our students and community a sense of family.
A Sept. 2006 OECD report showed the U.S. has a 46 percent dropout rate from college (defined as not completing a degree within six years) giving it the second-highest dropout rate in the OECD behind only Mexico.
- A 2003 survey by the National Center for Education Statistics showed half of 5,000 college graduates- college graduates, mind you! - could not read or interpret a simple bus schedule. Forty-four percent could not determine the contrast in a newspaper article featuring two opposing views. Seven out of eight could not figure the cost of carpeting a room (even with a calculator).
- This year, the National Association of Scholars studied the 50 most selective colleges and reported that the portion of the graduation requirement devoted to core courses (literature, history, science, math, and foreign languages) had dropped significantly since 1964.
- Moreover, the courses that were dropped tended to be the toughest. Only one in three of the 50 top colleges surveyed require courses in the natural sciences - physics, biology, chemistry. The story is similar with other difficult subjects: four out of five do not required mathematics, literature or history.
- The latest figures show that almost all colleges and universities in Michigan (98 percent) allow students to take remedial courses at the same time as college-level courses; some 23 percent give college-level credit for catch-up courses, thus providing the appearance - not the reality - of core courses.
- Even at prestigious University of Michigan only 17 percent of the freshman class passed the entry-level writing appraisal in 2005."
Dramatic evidence of poor output quality is the fact that of the 15 Michigan state university colleges, 60% of students need remediation; a recent study shows at least 70% of recent high school graduates need remedial courses when they enter community college - - in other words, they need to learn material they should have mastered in public high school - but did not. That averages out to two-thirds of high school diplomas are bogus - even to attend less demanding state and community colleges.
College education professionals posting in related newsgroups report during their own undergraduate days they worked part-time to earn their way - - gaining pride in self-achievement while avoiding future debt via loans. But today's significantly higher inflation-adjusted costs prevent the majority of students from doing so. We know college costs have soared at much, much faster rates responding to supply-demand. Therefore, the lowering of standards also excludes the ability of students to earn their way (a great experience in learning and discipline and most respected by future employers), as was the case for prior generations. - - forcing a quantum jump in debt loads of graduates in general - - even on those who were fully qualified for admission without remedial courses.
Can you imagine allowing high schools to export unqualified graduates, who then go into debt also for their remedial work?
My viewpoint on this?
Only 10% of the population is really college material. Of course, I don't think that state schools should be in the business of educating mediocre students. Other professionals write that they recognize increased high school 'grade inflation' and 'social promotion' trends, but if colleges want to increase their own revenue they must lower their standards to accept what the market offers - - and, claim that if they raised standards then many colleges would 'close their doors.
I strongly feel that local high schools should be charged back the cost of remedial education for their graduates - - instead of Johnny going into debt because the school did not do its job. Maybe that would sink in at the local school board.Teachers, professors and students confirm that dumbing down of quality standards, grade inflation and social promotion are not only the norm, but escalating - and teachers are much less effective than years ago, and they are embarrassed, scared, and frustrated.
If I was running for Wayne State University Board of Governors (for those who want to recruit or support me) I would propose the following:
Remove federal & state governments from monopoly control of, including union power over, the education revenue stream - - and allow the customers (parents & students) full freedom to choose with full control of said resources - - to cause competition to occur for said funds between all schools. And, may the ones with the best quality and highest standards and the most efficient delivery system win. Federal & state government's only role should be to establish recommended (not mandated) standards of achievement and tests, and report results.
Social Promotion & grade inflation practices must stop, and strict local-established teaching testing and class testing standards must be established.
Disallow all guaranteed student loans, and research grants, to any university or college that accepts students as a 'freshman' requiring remedial education, and does not use the SAT or ACT as the prime measure for acceptance - - at a consistent or increasing score requirement. Proven measurable performance achieved should again become the norm, as for prior generations. If a college wishes to also be in the remedial education business, not only must such be separate from the normal freshman class, but its students may not receive government-guaranteed loans - - all costs to come from students, parents or their local high school districts - - and entry of remedial graduates to the freshman class requires prior ACT or SAT performance.
Disallow student loan guarantees (by taxpayers) to students not meeting a targeted SAT score requirement - - regardless of financial need. If they do not qualify, they must seek their own remedial studies - - and retake the SAT. For financially disadvantaged students, their remedial course work should be paid for by the high school budget from which they 'graduated.'Sounds like someone is ready to run for the roses. Please stay tuned.