Free College in USA Proposal


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Krensky wrote:
Fergurg wrote:

I read something VERY interesting about the "free" college proposal. Turns out part of the funding will come from taxes on the 529 accounts - the ones that people put money in to pay for their child's college.

I was divided on my opinion of it, my chief concern being that the more people have degrees, the less valuable they are. "When everyone's super, then nobody will be," as Syndrome said in The Incredibles. But now, this puts me firmly against it - that money was intended to put my child through college, not the child of someone whose parents didn't save the money.

Except that you'd only be paying tax on the gains, not the savings itself and for most middle lower class families (who dot net use 529s anyway) the expansion of the AOTC makes it a wash.

Also, what Obama is proposing vis-a-vis the 529 situation is reducing a tax cut, not implementing a new tax.


Hudax wrote:
Fergurg wrote:
Why would I need an excuse?
You need an excuse because there is no valid argument against the proposal.

I gave 2.

1) The argument that the more common a degree is, the lower its value.

2) I should not have to pay for somebody else's children to go to college. If you want to be generous, do so with your money, not mine.


Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
Krensky wrote:
Fergurg wrote:

I read something VERY interesting about the "free" college proposal. Turns out part of the funding will come from taxes on the 529 accounts - the ones that people put money in to pay for their child's college.

I was divided on my opinion of it, my chief concern being that the more people have degrees, the less valuable they are. "When everyone's super, then nobody will be," as Syndrome said in The Incredibles. But now, this puts me firmly against it - that money was intended to put my child through college, not the child of someone whose parents didn't save the money.

Except that you'd only be paying tax on the gains, not the savings itself and for most middle lower class families (who dot net use 529s anyway) the expansion of the AOTC makes it a wash.
Also, what Obama is proposing vis-a-vis the 529 situation is reducing a tax cut, not implementing a new tax.

The difference between increasing taxes and reducing a tax cut is semantic, and missing my point - I put my money toward helping my children, not to help the children whose parents didn't do so.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Fergurg wrote:


Should the government also come into my house and take food out of my fridge to help feed the children of parents who didn't buy food?

More like should the government use the sales tax from food to pay for a food stamp program.

Oh, so the government only takes away the money that would stop me from purchasing food. Explain how that is fundamentally different from taking the food that I bought.

BigNorseWolf wrote:
And my answer is the same to both: if you're going to call yourself a progressive knock it off with the regressibe fundting. On the other hand it beats not doing it at all.

I do not call myself a progressive. I know that its principles are fundamentally flawed.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Fergurg wrote:


Should the government also come into my house and take food out of my fridge to help feed the children of parents who didn't buy food?

More like should the government use the sales tax from food to pay for a food stamp program.

And my answer is the same to both: if you're going to call yourself a progressive knock it off with the regressibe fundting. On the other hand it beats not doing it at all.

There is no Federal sales tax on food in the US. As it is most sales taxes hit the poor harder than the rich. The poor spend a higher percentage of their income on taxable items.


Fergurg wrote:
Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
Krensky wrote:
Fergurg wrote:

I read something VERY interesting about the "free" college proposal. Turns out part of the funding will come from taxes on the 529 accounts - the ones that people put money in to pay for their child's college.

I was divided on my opinion of it, my chief concern being that the more people have degrees, the less valuable they are. "When everyone's super, then nobody will be," as Syndrome said in The Incredibles. But now, this puts me firmly against it - that money was intended to put my child through college, not the child of someone whose parents didn't save the money.

Except that you'd only be paying tax on the gains, not the savings itself and for most middle lower class families (who dot net use 529s anyway) the expansion of the AOTC makes it a wash.
Also, what Obama is proposing vis-a-vis the 529 situation is reducing a tax cut, not implementing a new tax.
The difference between increasing taxes and reducing a tax cut is semantic, and missing my point

Not entirely. My point is that, prior to 2001, this is how things were done. That is quite relevant information when discussing how things ought to be done.

Quote:
I put my money toward helping my children, not to help the children whose parents didn't do so.

So long as you pay taxes, you do both. With costs as high as they are now, even a lot of parents who do save can't afford the prices, to say nothing of parents who didn't possess the money to save at all. Shut those kids out of the system, and the economy gets worse as they can't find good jobs.


Fergurg wrote:


Oh, so the government only takes away the money that would stop me from purchasing food. Explain how that is fundamentally different from taking the food that I bought.

No tresspassing involved

Your cheese is still in the fridge when you go to make a sandwich
You don't get food poisoning if the government goon didn't wash his hands

Your objection is to taxation, which is absurd. Stop it, really. There is a genuine case to be made for conservatism and smaller government but the hue and cry of "the government is ripping food out of my childrens hungry mouths!" any time they tax you drowns out any points you might be making when you're not crying wolf.

Quote:

I do not call myself a progressive. I know that its principles are fundamentally flawed.

That was directed at Obama and our alleged left.

Liberty's Edge

Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
Fergurg wrote:
Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
Krensky wrote:
Fergurg wrote:

I read something VERY interesting about the "free" college proposal. Turns out part of the funding will come from taxes on the 529 accounts - the ones that people put money in to pay for their child's college.

I was divided on my opinion of it, my chief concern being that the more people have degrees, the less valuable they are. "When everyone's super, then nobody will be," as Syndrome said in The Incredibles. But now, this puts me firmly against it - that money was intended to put my child through college, not the child of someone whose parents didn't save the money.

Except that you'd only be paying tax on the gains, not the savings itself and for most middle lower class families (who dot net use 529s anyway) the expansion of the AOTC makes it a wash.
Also, what Obama is proposing vis-a-vis the 529 situation is reducing a tax cut, not implementing a new tax.
The difference between increasing taxes and reducing a tax cut is semantic, and missing my point

Not entirely. My point is that, prior to 2001, this is how things were done. That is quite relevant information when discussing how things ought to be done.

Quote:
I put my money toward helping my children, not to help the children whose parents didn't do so.
So long as you pay taxes, you do both. With costs as high as they are now, even a lot of parents who do save can't afford the prices, to say nothing of parents who didn't possess the money to save at all. Shut those kids out of the system, and the economy gets worse as they can't find good jobs.

The vast majority of families contributing to 529 accounts (and the other one whose name eludes me) make over $150k a year. Part of the plan is expanding the AOTC to cover lower and middle class people who do so its tax neutral for them.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Freehold DM wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
you are seriously building an argument based on hours spent going through ratemyprofessors.com?

As opposed to what?

Srsly pretending to dialog with someone by occasionally sniping at their posts?

...taking several minutes to page through Freeholds posts...

Oop! Never mind. Answered my own question.

this is a messageboard,not a real time chat, so dialogues are going to be badly broken up by the time someone has to respond to a query, sniping or not.

The original question regarding taking ratemyprofessors.com seriously with respect to the viability of a program on the part of the US government to provide (sorta kinda)free community college for some (I won't pretend all) remains. If you are honestly putting those two on the same level, maybe I was wrong about what I said earlier.

Rate my professors isn't a great measure of a teacher's ability. Students that in general do poor in a class (because they don't study, don't come to class, etc) often get angry when they don't do well, and of course blame it on everyone else. And some students will mark a professor favorably IF the teacher is super easy, not necessarily good.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Fergurg wrote:
Hudax wrote:
Fergurg wrote:
Why would I need an excuse?
You need an excuse because there is no valid argument against the proposal.

I gave 2.

1) The argument that the more common a degree is, the lower its value.

2) I should not have to pay for somebody else's children to go to college. If you want to be generous, do so with your money, not mine.

I have to disagree that those arguments are valid.

The first point, is of course, completely wrong. The value of a college degree is not in its rarity, that has no bearing whatsoever on the value it provides. It's quite the opposite in fact, the greater number of people with degrees the greater value they bring to both the economy and society at large.

Your second point is slightly more reasonable, in that while it benefits both the economy and society in innumerable ways to have more college educated people, and that you personally will benefit by making sure more people, including those of lower economic ability have access to higher education, there's no law requiring you to be happy about improving both your life and the life others.


Fergurg wrote:
Hudax wrote:
Fergurg wrote:
Why would I need an excuse?
You need an excuse because there is no valid argument against the proposal.

I gave 2.

1) The argument that the more common a degree is, the lower its value.

2) I should not have to pay for somebody else's children to go to college. If you want to be generous, do so with your money, not mine.

I think 1) is the more important point. This one is actually more subtle than Fergurd's detractors admit, in this way:

If degrees are to become as common as a high school diploma (or equivalent), then employers will come to view them as having the same worth.

If these "free" college degrees are government subsidized, then there will be enormous pressure on the degree conferring institutions to make sure the beneficiaries "make the grade". That is, you don't pass your students = you don't get your funding. Therefore - shock! 8'O - the students will pass, sub-par performance not withstanding.

If, as was pointed out earlier, this program really considers OTJ as part of this continuing education, then I might be for it. Though everyone must admit that a Federally administered program is about 5-cents on the dollar for value.

As for point 2) - well, that one is harder to discuss because there are so many unknowns. However I think a college degree ought to be earned. Really earned by the students. Athletic scholarship programs habitually engender academic scandal because they (naturally) recruit for athletic ability and the player's academic performance shows it on average.

Giving away college tuition will produce a similar effect.

All unknowns aside - I would be OK with subsidizing someone's education, even though their parents were too stupid/lazy to plan for it, if the reward was given after the achievement and not as some sort of entitlement.

It's true that scholarships are granted on a promise but it's also true that the grant was based on measurable past achievements.

People are people and most people who go to college on this type of "free ride" program, who were not already planning for college, are just going to use this time to tack two more years onto high school like avoidance of TRW.


Vod Canockers wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Fergurg wrote:
Should the government also come into my house and take food out of my fridge to help feed the children of parents who didn't buy food?

More like should the government use the sales tax from food to pay for a food stamp program.

And my answer is the same to both: if you're going to call yourself a progressive knock it off with the regressibe fundting. On the other hand it beats not doing it at all.

There is no Federal sales tax on food in the US. As it is most sales taxes hit the poor harder than the rich. The poor spend a higher percentage of their income on taxable items.

That's because they're too lazy to cook and buy the taxed-up junk food instead.


Quark Blast wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

1) Free college education does not automatically mean you are guaranteed to get a degree.

In the US, state colleges and universities were either free or so cheap you could pay your way through working a menial labor job for several decades. It's not uncommon among the baby boomer generation for example that they graduated either with no debt or minimal debt, while receiving little money from their parents. During this period of cheap/free school graduation was not automatic. Therefore we know that this assumption is false.
...

Getting back to your point 1) though...

If the funding is coming from the Feds (taxpayers), then there will be a strong incentive to show results. That means, like "No Child Left Behind", the more kids you "pass" or "graduate" the easier it will be for the college to get further Federal largess.

That is not a good situation.

Boomers went to college - often using the GI Bill - at a time when their tuition really did pay for their education.

Scouting for college myself I've spent not a few hours over at ratemyprofessors.com for the colleges I'm looking at and there you'll see good evidence of professors using multiple-guess testing and otherwise "going through the motions". As my counselor said, to prepare me for eventual college, (paraphrasing here):
"You are largely responsible for the quality of your education. Don't depend on the professors to teach you but instead seek to learn from them by asking questions whenever you don't understand."

Roughly 10% of the baby boomer generation participated in the Vietnam War. They'd be too young to participate, or reach college soon enough to use their parents benefits from WW2 or the Korean War.

Dependents can use your benefits from the GI Bill, but that counts against your total benefits. So if you have 36 months of eligibility, so if you use 12 and your spouse uses 10, there are 14 months remaining.

Not every veteran used their benefits. The Vietnam War did have one of the higher usage rates at 72%. To be eligible though, you need to have received an "other than dishonorable discharge" though. I don't know about the numbers for whites, but for minorities about 24% received other-than-honorable (a category of it's own, I can explain in great detail if necessary as I used to do this paperwork for a living). While an other-than-honorable does not automatically disqualify you for the GI Bill, depending on the reason it can increase rejection rate from jobs and college applications (so you can't even use the GI Bill) by 40%.

Currently the military branches are considering re-examining some of those discharges in an attempt to account for PTSD influenced behavior.

Anyways, all this brings down the total % of baby boomers who used the GI bill probably down to around 6.5%. 29% of baby boomers had college degrees by age 42, putting the GI bill benefiting just over 22% of baby boomers with college degrees, or about 1/5th.


MMCJawa wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
you are seriously building an argument based on hours spent going through ratemyprofessors.com?

As opposed to what?

Srsly pretending to dialog with someone by occasionally sniping at their posts?

...taking several minutes to page through Freeholds posts...

Oop! Never mind. Answered my own question.

this is a messageboard,not a real time chat, so dialogues are going to be badly broken up by the time someone has to respond to a query, sniping or not.

The original question regarding taking ratemyprofessors.com seriously with respect to the viability of a program on the part of the US government to provide (sorta kinda)free community college for some (I won't pretend all) remains. If you are honestly putting those two on the same level, maybe I was wrong about what I said earlier.

Rate my professors isn't a great measure of a teacher's ability. Students that in general do poor in a class (because they don't study, don't come to class, etc) often get angry when they don't do well, and of course blame it on everyone else. And some students will mark a professor favorably IF the teacher is super easy, not necessarily good.

I agree that some professors have too few entries to be useful.

I can read between the lines as well. I know a simple rant when I see one.

What I look for are:
1) Consistent positive commentary with justifications, and
2) Negative commentary with air-tight justifications.

There are definately professors that go through the motions, teach their students a bunch of jargon and facts, go light on weaving the information together, and test using multiple-guess scanned forms.

I'm thinking at this point that I will get my core classes at a community college - things like math, chemistry, biology, writing/composition - and then, having already made sure those credits transfer, move to the more expensive institution to finish an actual degree. Because I will have completed a portion of my college credits already while in high school my time at the community college will be less than two years, though I may still end up with four years of college total - I'm a little ADD so far in setting my major.


Quark Blast wrote:
Fergurg wrote:
Hudax wrote:
Fergurg wrote:
Why would I need an excuse?
You need an excuse because there is no valid argument against the proposal.

I gave 2.

1) The argument that the more common a degree is, the lower its value.

2) I should not have to pay for somebody else's children to go to college. If you want to be generous, do so with your money, not mine.

I think 1) is the more important point. This one is actually more subtle than Fergurd's detractors admit, in this way:

If degrees are to become as common as a high school diploma (or equivalent), then employers will come to view them as having the same worth.

If these "free" college degrees are government subsidized, then there will be enormous pressure on the degree conferring institutions to make sure the beneficiaries "make the grade". That is, you don't pass your students = you don't get your funding. Therefore - shock! 8'O - the students will pass, sub-par performance not withstanding.

While I see where you are coming from, personally speaking, I'm going to need to see some evidence of this- after all, we have both Pell and TAP- neither are forcing professors to pass students. Why would that happen here?

Quote:

If, as was pointed out earlier, this program really considers OTJ as part of this continuing education, then I might be for it. Though everyone must admit that a Federally administered program is about 5-cents on the dollar for value.

As for point 2) - well, that one is harder to discuss because there are so many unknowns. However I think a college degree ought to be earned. Really earned by the students. Athletic scholarship programs habitually engender academic scandal because they (naturally) recruit for athletic ability and the player's academic performance shows it on average.

Giving away college tuition will produce a similar effect.

And yet I don't see you- or anyone really- moving to stop athletic scholarships. Not blaming you for this per se, just pointing out, and I remember this from when I was in college myself and that Lisa Simpson becomes Little Miss Springfield episode came out.

Quote:

All unknowns aside - I would be OK with subsidizing someone's education, even though their parents were too stupid/lazy to plan for it, if the reward was given after the achievement and not as some sort of entitlement.

It's true that scholarships are granted on a promise but it's also true that the grant was based on measurable past achievements.

That's not how I remember Pell working, although it's been a few years.

Quote:
People are people and most people who go to college on this type of "free ride" program, who were not already planning for college, are just going to use this time to tack two more years onto high school like avoidance of TRW.

There's no evidence of this, though.


Quark Blast wrote:
MMCJawa wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
you are seriously building an argument based on hours spent going through ratemyprofessors.com?

As opposed to what?

Srsly pretending to dialog with someone by occasionally sniping at their posts?

...taking several minutes to page through Freeholds posts...

Oop! Never mind. Answered my own question.

this is a messageboard,not a real time chat, so dialogues are going to be badly broken up by the time someone has to respond to a query, sniping or not.

The original question regarding taking ratemyprofessors.com seriously with respect to the viability of a program on the part of the US government to provide (sorta kinda)free community college for some (I won't pretend all) remains. If you are honestly putting those two on the same level, maybe I was wrong about what I said earlier.

Rate my professors isn't a great measure of a teacher's ability. Students that in general do poor in a class (because they don't study, don't come to class, etc) often get angry when they don't do well, and of course blame it on everyone else. And some students will mark a professor favorably IF the teacher is super easy, not necessarily good.

I agree that some professors have too few entries to be useful.

I can read between the lines as well. I know a simple rant when I see one.

What I look for are:
1) Consistent positive commentary with justifications, and
2) Negative commentary with air-tight justifications.

There are definately professors that go through the motions, teach their students a bunch of jargon and facts, go light on weaving the information together, and test using multiple-guess scanned forms.

I'm thinking at this point that I will get my core classes at a community college - things like math, chemistry, biology, writing/composition - and then, having already made sure those credits transfer, move to the more expensive institution to...

That's up to you. I do occasionally wonder what would have happened if there wasn't such a big push against community college when I was going to school- I might have done the same re: core curriculum. I'm still torn on that particular part of college.

Getting back to the original point, how does ratemyprofessor.com correlate to a government program being a bad idea? The two are completely unrelated.


Irontruth wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

1) Free college education does not automatically mean you are guaranteed to get a degree.

In the US, state colleges and universities were either free or so cheap you could pay your way through working a menial labor job for several decades. It's not uncommon among the baby boomer generation for example that they graduated either with no debt or minimal debt, while receiving little money from their parents. During this period of cheap/free school graduation was not automatic. Therefore we know that this assumption is false.
...

Getting back to your point 1) though...

If the funding is coming from the Feds (taxpayers), then there will be a strong incentive to show results. That means, like "No Child Left Behind", the more kids you "pass" or "graduate" the easier it will be for the college to get further Federal largess.

That is not a good situation.

Boomers went to college - often using the GI Bill - at a time when their tuition really did pay for their education.

Scouting for college myself I've spent not a few hours over at ratemyprofessors.com for the colleges I'm looking at and there you'll see good evidence of professors using multiple-guess testing and otherwise "going through the motions". As my counselor said, to prepare me for eventual college, (paraphrasing here):
"You are largely responsible for the quality of your education. Don't depend on the professors to teach you but instead seek to learn from them by asking questions whenever you don't understand."

Roughly 10% of the baby boomer generation participated in the Vietnam War. They'd be too young to participate, or reach college soon enough to use their parents benefits from WW2 or the Korean War.

Dependents can use your benefits from the GI Bill, but that counts against your total benefits. So if you have 36 months of eligibility, so if you use 12 and your spouse uses 10, there are 14 months remaining.

Not every veteran used their benefits. The Vietnam War did have one of the higher usage rates at 72%. To be eligible though, you need to have received an "other than dishonorable discharge" though. I don't know about the numbers for whites, but for minorities about 24% received other-than-honorable (a category of it's own, I can explain in great detail if necessary as I used to do this paperwork for a living). While an other-than-honorable does not automatically disqualify you for the GI Bill, depending on the reason it can increase rejection rate from jobs and college applications (so you can't even use the GI Bill) by 40%.

Currently the military branches are considering re-examining some of those discharges in an attempt to account for PTSD influenced behavior.

Anyways, all this brings down the total % of baby boomers who used the GI bill probably down to around 6.5%. 29% of baby boomers had college degrees by age 42, putting the GI bill benefiting just over 22% of baby boomers with college degrees, or about 1/5th.

Won't argue with your numbers as mostly I wasn't disputing that.

The point I was making is that until... what? ... sometime in the 1970's? A person could pay his way through college with summer work and part time work while at college.

Today college tuition is way out of proportion with the benefit it gives. But giving more people degrees, in effectively the same manner we give high school diplomas (i.e. they can be "earned" simply by showing up and marginally participating), we will only produce less value in college degrees as a whole.


Freehold DM wrote:
stuff... Getting back to the original point, how does ratemyprofessor.com correlate to a government program being a bad idea? The two are completely unrelated.

We already have a situation where, at state institutions, it looks to me like ~20% of professors would be better employed elsewhere.

More student = more professors.

Since we already don't have enough good professors, with the implementation of this program we can only be adding more bad ones (assuming only that most of the good ones already have work in their field).


Quark Blast wrote:
Vod Canockers wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
Fergurg wrote:
Should the government also come into my house and take food out of my fridge to help feed the children of parents who didn't buy food?

More like should the government use the sales tax from food to pay for a food stamp program.

And my answer is the same to both: if you're going to call yourself a progressive knock it off with the regressibe fundting. On the other hand it beats not doing it at all.

There is no Federal sales tax on food in the US. As it is most sales taxes hit the poor harder than the rich. The poor spend a higher percentage of their income on taxable items.
That's because they're too lazy to cook and buy the taxed-up junk food instead.

In my state we don't tax those. Not even the potato chips. The only food items we tax are beverages and restaurant meals. It also just so happens that the crap is often cheaper. The bigger issue is that poor people spend their money quick, because they need to in order to cover all their expenses. If the sales tax is high, that increases those expenses. A wealthier person can likely afford that increase, especially since they don't typically spend all their money up front, but somebody living on the edge? It hurts a lot more. If somebody is making 150K a year, $50 a month in extra taxes likely isn't that big a hit. At $25K a year, that would have put some hurt on my family.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Fergurg wrote:
Hudax wrote:
Fergurg wrote:
Why would I need an excuse?
You need an excuse because there is no valid argument against the proposal.

I gave 2.

1) The argument that the more common a degree is, the lower its value.

2) I should not have to pay for somebody else's children to go to college. If you want to be generous, do so with your money, not mine.

I imagine the exact same arguments were made against free public high school, and elementary school for that matter.


MMCJawa wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
you are seriously building an argument based on hours spent going through ratemyprofessors.com?

As opposed to what?

Srsly pretending to dialog with someone by occasionally sniping at their posts?

...taking several minutes to page through Freeholds posts...

Oop! Never mind. Answered my own question.

this is a messageboard,not a real time chat, so dialogues are going to be badly broken up by the time someone has to respond to a query, sniping or not.

The original question regarding taking ratemyprofessors.com seriously with respect to the viability of a program on the part of the US government to provide (sorta kinda)free community college for some (I won't pretend all) remains. If you are honestly putting those two on the same level, maybe I was wrong about what I said earlier.

Rate my professors isn't a great measure of a teacher's ability. Students that in general do poor in a class (because they don't study, don't come to class, etc) often get angry when they don't do well, and of course blame it on everyone else. And some students will mark a professor favorably IF the teacher is super easy, not necessarily good.

I take a different outlook. If the professor is rated poorly, ESPECIALLY if it is because students didn't come to class (and why didn't they go to class?) or did poorly (if they went to class and studied...then the only real reason they did poorly is because the professor CANNOT TEACH).

Part of the problem in the university system is that many that are teachers, are NOT actually teaching. An effective teacher TEACHES and the students LEARN from that teacher.

That's another problem I see in the university system. Someone gives a test and the highest score is a 56. This enables the teacher to adjust the grades on a bell curve and avoid grade inflation. HOWEVER...think about what that means. It means the brightest and most brilliant student in your class...didn't even learn 60% of what you taught. They don't even know enough about what you just taught to be knowledgeable!

That's an absolute failure to teach right there. Sure, it keeps grade inflation down...but it also reflects that no one leaving that class knows WTH it was about.

There are multiple problems with a lot of the university programs currently, I blame that JUST as much as everyone going to college for the decrease of the usefulness of a degree. You take an Engineering degree...students HAVE to learn what to do in many of those classes, and they are given math problems which have very little opinion or bias of a teacher. You either know it...or you don't.

This is why an engineering degree can be useful, rather than a political science class where the high grade is a 60...what use is a degree where the smartest kid only knows 60% of what they should have learned?


Freehold DM wrote:
stuff... While I see where you are coming from, personally speaking, I'm going to need to see some evidence of this- after all, we have both Pell and TAP- neither are forcing professors to pass students. Why would that happen here? ...stuff...

Ever hear of grade inflation? Is that coming solely from Pell/TAP? Don't know but it can't be helping.

Public institutions that are chronically being underfunded (State U e.g.) are loathe to say no to easy money. A kid walks in with funding, no matter what the source, and as long as their activities aren't criminal, there is financial pressure to let them stay regardless of performance.

Give them a "C-" and keep the money coming in or give them a "F+" and lose the student and her money? Hmmm? Let's see. The college has a potential budget shortfall so.... sure, give'm a "C-" and let'm stay.

Not to mention all the hassle an "underpaid" college professor has to go through if she actually dares to flunk a deserving student. The horror!


Quark Blast wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
stuff... Getting back to the original point, how does ratemyprofessor.com correlate to a government program being a bad idea? The two are completely unrelated.

We already have a situation where, at state institutions, it looks to me like ~20% of professors would be better employed elsewhere.

More student = more professors.

Since we already don't have enough good professors, with the implementation of this program we can only be adding more bad ones (assuming only that most of the good ones already have work in their field).

How much of that is do to work conditions? At my school, associate faculty are popular instructors because they can't be hired full time and therefore aren't qualified for benefits and get a significantly lower salary than a professor. They also very often teach at two or three schools, and every year they have to hope they actually get enough classes. It's been long shown that the less you pay someone and the more you expect them to run around, the worse the quality of work you get in return.


GreyWolfLord wrote:

snip... That's another problem I see in the university system. Someone gives a test and the highest score is a 56. This enables the teacher to adjust the grades on a bell curve and avoid grade inflation. HOWEVER...think about what that means. It means the brightest and most brilliant student in your class...didn't even learn 60% of what you taught. They don't even know enough about what you just taught to be knowledgeable!

That's an absolute failure to teach right there. Sure, it keeps grade inflation down...but it also reflects that no one leaving that class knows WTH it was about... snip

To avoid confusion.

What you describe is exactly what I call grade inflation.

56% = "A"


Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
stuff... Getting back to the original point, how does ratemyprofessor.com correlate to a government program being a bad idea? The two are completely unrelated.

We already have a situation where, at state institutions, it looks to me like ~20% of professors would be better employed elsewhere.

More student = more professors.

Since we already don't have enough good professors, with the implementation of this program we can only be adding more bad ones (assuming only that most of the good ones already have work in their field).

How much of that is do to work conditions? At my school, associate faculty are popular instructors because they can't be hired full time and therefore aren't qualified for benefits and get a significantly lower salary than a professor. They also very often teach at two or three schools, and every year they have to hope they actually get enough classes. It's been long shown that the less you pay someone and the more you expect them to run around, the worse the quality of work you get in return.

Right, and an institution with a lot of poorly rate professors is a good place for me not to attend.

Sucks for the associate faculty but...


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Quark Blast wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
stuff... While I see where you are coming from, personally speaking, I'm going to need to see some evidence of this- after all, we have both Pell and TAP- neither are forcing professors to pass students. Why would that happen here? ...stuff...

Ever hear of grade inflation? Is that coming solely from Pell/TAP? Don't know but it can't be helping.

Public institutions that are chronically being underfunded (State U e.g.) are loathe to say no to easy money. A kid walks in with funding, no matter what the source, and as long as their activities aren't criminal, there is financial pressure to let them stay regardless of performance.

Give them a "C-" and keep the money coming in or give them a "F+" and lose the student and her money? Hmmm? Let's see. The college has a potential budget shortfall so.... sure, give'm a "C-" and let'm stay.

Not to mention all the hassle an "underpaid" college professor has to go through if she actually dares to flunk a deserving student. The horror!

I see students get failed in every single class I take. In fact, it is in every instructor's contract that they get to grade as they wish, and it is grounds for a lawsuit if the college tries to interfere outside of equal opportunity violations. Since we are a CC, we have a lot of transfer students. If transfer students start failing university courses, the universities take a look at our standards of education (yes, the universities actually do keep track of the academic performance of CC students by both CC of origin and major). That leads to articulation getting pulled or students from our college being less likely to be accepted for transfer by those universities, and that would hurt us worse than failing students getting thrown out and not bringing in money would. So, we have more interest in not bumping an F to a C.


Quark Blast wrote:
Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
stuff... Getting back to the original point, how does ratemyprofessor.com correlate to a government program being a bad idea? The two are completely unrelated.

We already have a situation where, at state institutions, it looks to me like ~20% of professors would be better employed elsewhere.

More student = more professors.

Since we already don't have enough good professors, with the implementation of this program we can only be adding more bad ones (assuming only that most of the good ones already have work in their field).

How much of that is do to work conditions? At my school, associate faculty are popular instructors because they can't be hired full time and therefore aren't qualified for benefits and get a significantly lower salary than a professor. They also very often teach at two or three schools, and every year they have to hope they actually get enough classes. It's been long shown that the less you pay someone and the more you expect them to run around, the worse the quality of work you get in return.

Right, and an institution with a lot of poorly rate professors is a good place for me not to attend.

Sucks for the associate faculty but...

The solution is to not use associate faculty as large scale replacement for professors. Problem is money.


Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
So, we have more interest in not bumping an F to a C.

What about a "D+" to a "C"?

Also, any professor who uses multiple guess for testing is, outside of testing for jargon comprehension or conditions where the real learning presupposes a certain amount of wrote knowledge, a failed teacher.


Quark Blast wrote:
Freehold DM wrote:
stuff... While I see where you are coming from, personally speaking, I'm going to need to see some evidence of this- after all, we have both Pell and TAP- neither are forcing professors to pass students. Why would that happen here? ...stuff...

Ever hear of grade inflation? Is that coming solely from Pell/TAP? Don't know but it can't be helping.

Public institutions that are chronically being underfunded (State U e.g.) are loathe to say no to easy money. A kid walks in with funding, no matter what the source, and as long as their activities aren't criminal, there is financial pressure to let them stay regardless of performance.

Give them a "C-" and keep the money coming in or give them a "F+" and lose the student and her money? Hmmm? Let's see. The college has a potential budget shortfall so.... sure, give'm a "C-" and let'm stay.

Not to mention all the hassle an "underpaid" college professor has to go through if she actually dares to flunk a deserving student. The horror!

Pell and TAP are literally older than you are. If what you said was true, all colleges would be making a killing as all students would be passing. As someone who changed majors in college and has the gpa to prove it, I'm telling you the grade inflation idea that you are proposing should come with a tin foil hat.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
BigNorseWolf wrote:


That was directed at Obama and our alleged left.

America has a Left? That can't be Obama, whom like Clinton, is pretty much to the right of Nixon. If someone thinks Rachael Maddow and her crew are Leftists, that's only in comparison to the insane polarization that Fox has taken itself over the last couple of decades.


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GreyWolfLord wrote:

That's another problem I see in the university system. Someone gives a test and the highest score is a 56. This enables the teacher to adjust the grades on a bell curve and avoid grade inflation. HOWEVER...think about what that means. It means the brightest and most brilliant student in your class...didn't even learn 60% of what you taught. They don't even know enough about what you just taught to be knowledgeable!

That's an absolute failure to teach right there. Sure, it keeps grade inflation down...but it also reflects that no one leaving that class knows WTH it was about.

It means nothing of the sort.

Unless you make the assumption that learning everything taught in class = 100% on the test. Which is a natural assumption to make, but doesn't always hold.

I had a physics professor back in my college days and he did that. He explained to us that he could design tests to put the average anywhere he wanted to and liked to put the average around 50%, because that gave more room to differentiate between the good students, rather than everyone being clustered above 80.

Maybe the 56% means no one learned what was taught. Maybe they did learn what was taught, but didn't extrapolate beyond what was taught into things they could have figured out on their own.

Grade inflation has nothing to do with grading on the curve or the relationship between the percent of answers you got right and the letter grade you finally get. That's far more likely to be tied to the difficulty of the test.


Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
The solution is to not use associate faculty as large scale replacement for professors. Problem is money.

The problem is that good engineers get paid six-figure salaries plus good benefits and in order to get engineering faculty the college has to pay competitively compared to the private rate.

The pressure is even greater in computer science.

Same with medical faculty.

Where's the competition for Lit professors? It isn't there of course but the Union puts enormous pressure on the college to pay equally for academic tenure.

Which means, outside of a few specialized fields, college professors are way over paid. Hence the college bean-counters solution to use scabs... er I mean, adjunct or associate staff.


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Quark Blast wrote:
Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
The solution is to not use associate faculty as large scale replacement for professors. Problem is money.

The problem is that good engineers get paid six-figure salaries plus good benefits and in order to get engineering faculty the college has to pay competitively to private.

The pressure is even greater in computer science.

Same with medical faculty.

Where's the competition for Lit professors? It isn't there of course but the Union puts enormous pressure on the college to pay equally for academic tenure.

Which means, outside of a few specialized fields, college professors are way over paid. Hence the college bean-counters solution to use scabs... er I mean, adjunct or associate staff.

Most universities these days are much more administration heavy than they were in the past. Much higher percentage of the budget not going to faculty.


LazarX wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:


That was directed at Obama and our alleged left.

America has a Left? That can't be Obama, whom like Clinton, is pretty much to the right of Nixon. If someone thinks Rachael Maddow and her crew are Leftists, that's only in comparison to the insane polarization that Fox has taken itself over the last couple of decades.

I did not say that the allegations or the people making the allegations had any credibility. :)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:
Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
The solution is to not use associate faculty as large scale replacement for professors. Problem is money.

The problem is that good engineers get paid six-figure salaries plus good benefits and in order to get engineering faculty the college has to pay competitively to private.

The pressure is even greater in computer science.

Same with medical faculty.

Where's the competition for Lit professors? It isn't there of course but the Union puts enormous pressure on the college to pay equally for academic tenure.

Which means, outside of a few specialized fields, college professors are way over paid. Hence the college bean-counters solution to use scabs... er I mean, adjunct or associate staff.

Most universities these days are much more administration heavy than they were in the past. Much higher percentage of the budget not going to faculty.

When I was at Rutgers, I'd sometimes read the newsppers that were circulated for faculty. (One could keep oneself quite busy if you read every newspaper Rutgers prints out on a daily or weekly basis) One of them was a bout a review of Rutgers made just prior to the university decided to undergo a reorganization that led to among other things, the elimination of separate college faculties. It said that one of the strikes against Rutgers was that too high a priority was placed on teaching undergraduates. While not exactly hidden material, as one might guess this wasn't something that was published generally.

Think about that for a moment. It underscores the major mission differences between universities and colleges. The mission statement of the former places published research as the highest priority of a university, whereas colleges have as their primary mission the education of their students.


Freehold DM wrote:
Quark Blast wrote:

stuff... Ever hear of grade inflation? Is that coming solely from Pell/TAP? Don't know but it can't be helping.

Public institutions that are chronically being underfunded (State U e.g.) are loathe to say no to easy money. A kid walks in with funding, no matter what the source, and as long as their activities aren't criminal, there is financial pressure to let them stay regardless of performance.

Give them a "C-" and keep the money coming in or give them a "F+" and lose the student and her money? Hmmm? Let's see. The college has a potential budget shortfall so.... sure, give'm a "C-" and let'm stay.

Not to mention all the hassle an "underpaid" college professor has to go through if she actually dares to flunk a deserving student. The horror!

... If what you said was true, all colleges would be making a killing as all students would be passing. As someone who changed majors in college and has the gpa to prove it, I'm telling you the grade inflation idea that you are proposing should come with a tin foil hat.

But I'm already wearing my hat. o_0

There doens't have to be a 1:1 correlation for the very real pressure to be there.

More rules, more regulations, more programmatically qualified but academically iffy students,... all lump together to create the bureaucratic mess we call higher education.

It's a game. At least it is outside of a few very specialized fields.

My view, presently, of the whole college thing is:

Life is not fair. Sometimes it's not fair in your favor, but mostly not in your favor. However, don't forget to take advantage (ethically) of those times where the situation tricks your way.

All else is water under the bridge.


Quark Blast wrote:
Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
The solution is to not use associate faculty as large scale replacement for professors. Problem is money.

The problem is that good engineers get paid six-figure salaries plus good benefits and in order to get engineering faculty the college has to pay competitively compared to the private rate.

The pressure is even greater in computer science.

Same with medical faculty.

Where's the competition for Lit professors? It isn't there of course but the Union puts enormous pressure on the college to pay equally for academic tenure.

Which means, outside of a few specialized fields, college professors are way over paid. Hence the college bean-counters solution to use scabs... er I mean, adjunct or associate staff.

hmm...


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LazarX wrote:
Fergurg wrote:
Hudax wrote:
Fergurg wrote:
Why would I need an excuse?
You need an excuse because there is no valid argument against the proposal.

I gave 2.

1) The argument that the more common a degree is, the lower its value.

2) I should not have to pay for somebody else's children to go to college. If you want to be generous, do so with your money, not mine.

I imagine the exact same arguments were made against free public high school, and elementary school for that matter.

Exactly. It makes as much sense to oppose free community college as it does to oppose the free public education we already have.

To the arguments:

1) A rising tide raises all ships. There is nothing to lose from everyone becoming smarter and better educated. I mean, what if we create a smarter, better educated nation for nothing? It's a ridiculous argument because education is an end in itself.

Scientific research pays off 2 to 5 times on the money invested, on average. Research is never wasted. Research and education are the same in this regard. Education is never wasted. Money allocated to education will pay society back well beyond what was invested.

The disconnect here is the inability to wait for the payoff. Granted, it would take many years. But the hallmark of successful people is their ability to delay gratification. If as a nation we decide we want instant gratification, on this or any other investment, then as a nation we will fail.

And ultimately if "everyone" has a CC degree, and that means the only job you can find is road construction, then maybe one of those higher educated people will come up with a better way to fix roads, or even a better way to build them, or something so fantastic it would eliminate the need for roads entirely. That may look like loss of value on your degree, but it's actually the opposite. That's the return on investment. Making the world better.

And also ultimately, maintaining the quality and competitive value of one's education is one's own responsibility. There's a reason why doctors and others with professional bodies of knowledge constantly have to do continuing education. To keep up. If more people getting CC degrees forces you to keep up or fall behind, so be it. That's your choice to make. And since the thing that would be holding you back is FREE, it's a pretty easy choice!

2) Right now, you pay for other people's children to do a lot of things. Go to the ER. Collect unemployment. Collect disability. Collect social security (everyone is someone's child regardless of age). Drive on public roads, perhaps in public transportation. Go to the library. Go to high school. What's two more years? Nothing. And regardless of precisely where the tax money comes from, you would be paying for it somehow, one way or another, unless you stop paying taxes.

This is the price you pay for living in a nation that invests in society, even to the low extent that the U.S. does.


Hudax wrote:
LazarX wrote:
Fergurg wrote:
Hudax wrote:
Fergurg wrote:
Why would I need an excuse?
You need an excuse because there is no valid argument against the proposal.

I gave 2.

1) The argument that the more common a degree is, the lower its value.

2) I should not have to pay for somebody else's children to go to college. If you want to be generous, do so with your money, not mine.

I imagine the exact same arguments were made against free public high school, and elementary school for that matter.

Exactly. It makes as much sense to oppose free community college as it does to oppose the free public education we already have.

To the arguments:

1) A rising tide raises all ships. There is nothing to lose from everyone becoming smarter and better educated. I mean, what if we create a smarter, better educated nation for nothing? It's a ridiculous argument because education is an end in itself.

You are assuming that everyone getting smarter and better educated would happen. The two are not always connected, and many times, aren't. As for education being an end to itself, that is a ridiculous premise - education for the purpose of education is worthless. What has value is education that applies to something.

Hudax wrote:

Scientific research pays off 2 to 5 times on the money invested, on average. Research is never wasted. Research and education are the same in this regard. Education is never wasted. Money allocated to education will pay society back well beyond what was invested.

The disconnect here is the inability to wait for the payoff. Granted, it would take many years. But the hallmark of successful people is their ability to delay gratification. If as a nation we decide we want instant gratification, on this or any other investment, then as a nation we will fail.

But how long are we supposed to wait? Five years? Ten? A hundred? It isn't the unwillingness to wait for the payoff that I have; it is the disbelief that there will be a payoff at all. It's the same reason I don't buy lottery tickets.

Hudax wrote:
And ultimately if "everyone" has a CC degree, and that means the only job you can find is road construction, then maybe one of those higher educated people will come up with a better way to fix roads, or even a better way to build them, or something so fantastic it would eliminate the need for roads entirely. That may look like loss of value on your degree, but it's actually the opposite. That's the return on investment. Making the world better.

That is still a LOT of people paying a LOT of money for a "maybe" to happen. Gamble with your money, not mine.

Hudax wrote:
And also ultimately, maintaining the quality and competitive value of one's education is one's own responsibility. There's a reason why doctors and others with professional bodies of knowledge constantly have to do continuing education. To keep up. If more people getting CC degrees forces you to keep up or fall behind, so be it. That's your choice to make.

But why should I have to pay to be in that situation?

Hudax wrote:
And since the thing that would be holding you back is FREE, it's a pretty easy choice!

NOW, we're getting to the core disconnect - it's not free. It's just that other people are paying for it.

Hudax wrote:
2) Right now, you pay for other people's children to do a lot of things. Go to the ER.

Very rarely; usually, the hospital writes it off if they can't collect the money.

Hudax wrote:
Collect unemployment.

Nope. Businesses pay into unemployment insurance.

Hudax wrote:
Collect disability. Collect social security (everyone is someone's child regardless of age).

Check again. You pay into social security, which was designed to be you getting your money back.

Hudax wrote:
Drive on public roads, perhaps in public transportation.

All people benefit from that directly and indirectly, not just people who are 18-20 years old and whose parents didn't provide for them to go to college.

Hudax wrote:
Go to the library.

Actually, I would be in favor of a privatized library system. There is enough passion for literature and books that private individuals would run them, all without the baggage of "why are my tax dollars paying for 12 year old boys to look at porn?"

Hudax wrote:
Go to high school.

High school is a joke, and no small part of the reason is because it is free for the students. It has degenerated to the point that a high school diploma is an award for staying awake for 12 years.

Hudax wrote:
What's two more years? Nothing.

First of all, two more years out of my pocket is everything. If I take $10 out of your wallet and give it to the Tea Party PAC, you would not be happy.

Second, since high school is a joke now, I want to do the opposite of "make community college just like that".

Hudax wrote:
And regardless of precisely where the tax money comes from, you would be paying for it somehow, one way or another, unless you stop paying taxes.

Or unless you are one of the people collecting the "freebies" that other people's taxes pay for.

Hudax wrote:
This is the price you pay for living in a nation that invests in society, even to the low extent that the U.S. does.

This is a poor investment, taking money from people who did contribute to their children's future and redistributing it to people who did not, all on the premise of "this might pay off for society, even though it hasn't worked in other areas we tried."


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Fergurg wrote:
Hudax wrote:
2) Right now, you pay for other people's children to do a lot of things. Go to the ER.
Very rarely; usually, the hospital writes it off if they can't collect the money.

Technically yes, but the hospital still has costs associated with that care. Those costs are passed on to those patients who can pay. Including you.

Fergurg wrote:
Hudax wrote:
Collect unemployment.
Nope. Businesses pay into unemployment insurance.

Which raises the cost of doing business. Which costs are again passed on to customers. Like you.

Fergurg wrote:
Hudax wrote:
Go to high school.
High school is a joke, and no small part of the reason is because it is free for the students. It has degenerated to the point that a high school diploma is an award for staying awake for 12 years.

Never mind. You're against public education at all. (Or maybe you think public elementary school is okay?)

Still, no point in discussing this with you.


Fergurg wrote:
Very rarely; usually, the hospital writes it off if they can't collect the money.

Who lives on which planet now?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Fergurg wrote:
Gamble with your money, not mine.

The accurate word for tax dollars is "ours," not "mine," I would think.


That said, I'm not sure this is the best of all plans. I'm not an expert, but I am told there are fairly good reasons to suggest focusing on early education over late education if given the choice.


Fergurg wrote:
High school is a joke, and no small part of the reason is because it is free for the students. It has degenerated to the point that a high school diploma is an award for staying awake for 12 years.

What, what? Are you seriously proposing what I think you are proposing?


Hudax wrote:
stuff...Research is never wasted. Research and education are the same in this regard. Education is never wasted... stuff

Ha!

Nuclear bombs.

New math.

See these problems here and then know why I don't want college to start looking like K-12 education. Read it if you dare. If not...

...here are a few notable bits:

Quote:
While the bigger school worked well for kids who were self-motivated or had parents urging them on, it soon became apparent that kids from less-involved families, many of them lower-income, lagged behind their peers.

and

Quote:
If schools were in such horrible shape, how was it possible that immigrant students — from Korea, Vietnam, Iran and other trouble spots around the globe — could enter T.C. Williams speaking little or no English and end up at top universities?

and

Quote:
It should have been obvious that such a system wouldn’t fly at T.C. Grouping students together for all their classes would have meant a separate academy for high-achieving kids enrolled in Advanced Placement courses. And the prevailing ultra-liberal philosophy in Alexandria abhors tracking, in which students are separated according to ability, or anything that could look like ethnic or class-based segregation.

and

Quote:
Although T.C. offers more than two dozen AP courses and more than 80 percent of its graduates go on to college, it has never figured out how to meet the needs of its most underprivileged and least prepared students. Hindered by social issues that schools can’t control, these students have lagged behind since the early days of the T.C. merger. And because of changing demographics, there are now many more of them, bringing down the school’s state test results and graduation rate.

and

Quote:
We were under pressure to pass all our students, even if they should have failed. “And for the better students,” says Eleanor Kenimer, a 2011 T.C. grad now at Duke University, “it allowed us to get lazy and quit challenging ourselves because it was so easy to calculate the minimum amount of work necessary to get an A.”

and

Quote:
A passion for communicating one’s subject matter to the next generation isn’t among the 74 items on Alexandria’s Curriculum Implementation Walk-Through Data Collection list, which Sherman, who left Alexandria schools last month, used to evaluate faculty. But it’s what all great teachers have in abundance. And it’s what will keep them going when the next wave of reforms comes rolling through.


Quark Blast wrote:
We were under pressure to pass all our students, even if they should have failed. “And for the better students,” says Eleanor Kenimer, a 2011 T.C. grad now at Duke University, “it allowed us to get lazy and quit challenging ourselves because it was so easy to calculate the minimum amount of work necessary to get an A.”

Oh come now. That sentiment is as timeless as the sands. There's always going to be a person in class who's that smart. I was that person for about three years. Then I went to another school where I was one of the dumber kids. It happens.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber
Quark Blast wrote:
Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
So, we have more interest in not bumping an F to a C.

What about a "D+" to a "C"?

Also, any professor who uses multiple guess for testing is, outside of testing for jargon comprehension or conditions where the real learning presupposes a certain amount of wrote knowledge, a failed teacher.

Multiple choice gets used a lot (although usually paired with an essay portion) in my experience because doing an essay or short answer only testing isn't practical for classes with something like 90+ students.

Very few of the classes I took in the sciences completely relied upon multiple choice, but often they did include a subset. And honestly, unless its a complex question, MSC usually is just as viable as short answer or essay.


Let's break down your statements here.

Quark Blast wrote:


The point I was making is that until... what? ... sometime in the 1970's? A person could pay his way through college with summer work and part time work while at college.

When people could afford to pay for their own education, they could receive it and provide for themselves.

Quark Blast wrote:
Today college tuition is way out of proportion with the benefit it gives.

Now that college education is harder to obtain (the monetary barrier), it's worth less.

Quark Blast wrote:
But giving more people degrees, in effectively the same manner we give high school diplomas (i.e. they can be "earned" simply by showing up and marginally participating), we will only produce less value in college degrees as a whole.

Therefore if we make them easier to obtain again, they will become worth even less.

Your conclusion is false based on the premise YOU propose.

You keep harping on this concept that college degrees will be handed out just as easily as high school diplomas. Do you have proof that this is intended? Do you have something to compare this to?

I had a great-granduncle who had his university degree at 18. I don't say this to point out that he was some sort of genius, but rather that I believe the standard for a degree in the 1890's was lower than it is today. I highly doubt that the qualifications for his job were near as stringent as they would be in comparison to today.

Here's a challenge. If you think an increase in the number of degrees in society has an impact on wages, show it. Right now you're making a bunch of claims, but history doesn't bear them out.

Something to consider, in the 70's there was an increase in college graduates entering the workforce (the baby boomers were graduating). This lead to an initial dip in wages for entry level jobs requiring degrees, but as time went on, wages went back up and productivity increased faster. The overall net effect for the individuals (college graduates average $1,000,000 more in lifetime wages than non-college graduates) but had positive impacts on the overall economy as well.

In numbers, if you count 25-65 year olds, the US ranks 5th in higher education levels (42%). If you look at 25-35 year olds the percentage stays the same, but that ranking drops to 14th. South Korea for example is at 65% in the same age bracket, while their 55-65 bracket has fewer than 15% with college degrees. Their unemployment rates for people with college degrees is 2.6%. 40 years ago South Korea was extremely poor, it's actually a rather amazing turn around. Education has been a major focus for them, they are the third highest in the world for the % of GDP spend on education.

If you want to argue for stringent standards on college degrees, I'm all for it. You'll get no complaints from me that we need high standards in education. But arguing about HOW we do it is different from arguing about IF we should do it.

Please, dig up some information that a higher educated workforce is bad for us. I'd be really interested to hear that.


Irontruth wrote:

Let's break down your statements here.

Quark Blast wrote:


The point I was making is that until... what? ... sometime in the 1970's? A person could pay his way through college with summer work and part time work while at college.
When people could afford to pay for their own education, they could receive it and provide for themselves.

Though this isn't directly related to your point, a good part of that difference in cost, at least for public colleges, was direct state support for the schools. That's been largely replaced with government subsidized tuitions, through grants and government backed loans.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
Irontruth wrote:

Let's break down your statements here.

Quark Blast wrote:


The point I was making is that until... what? ... sometime in the 1970's? A person could pay his way through college with summer work and part time work while at college.
When people could afford to pay for their own education, they could receive it and provide for themselves.
Though this isn't directly related to your point, a good part of that difference in cost, at least for public colleges, was direct state support for the schools. That's been largely replaced with government subsidized tuitions, through grants and government backed loans.

The important statistic that you've not allowed for is that students are now being made to account for a greater percentage of a college or universities's operating expenses. Especially with schools like Rutgers who has taken no hit in student enrollment from raising tuition. (the middle class families who can no longer afford to send their kids to NJ's state university are being replaced by upper class families who's kids can't meet the standards for Princeton.)

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