In the case of public higher education, the answer to the “crisis” in the “rising cost of higher education” might be to spread that cost around to the motherfucking citizenry that benefits from having an educated populace. If we really believe that we “need” our citizens to get an education in order to have a “thriving economy in the 21st century,” then this is a no-brainer.
Yes, this sounds eminently reasonable. Or it would if we lived in a country where at least 51% of the citizenry agreed that having an educated populace is a good idea and then somehow managed to force their elective representatives to get behind it. And that’s not really happening right now.
Look at all those Fundamentalist fanatics screaming down evolution, global warming, and progress. Do they pine for educated citizenry? Probably not since the educated people are not as easily zombified and terrorized into compliance.
And what about politicians? Have you listened to any of the debates among the presidential contenders? Which one of the candidates looked like he couldn’t wait to have more educated voters?
The mainstream journalists? They keep churning out those articles on how horrible, mean, commie-pinko Profs brainwash the good, simple-minded American kids in order to turn them into Liberal activists and steal their good, homey values.
A day doesn’t pass by that I don’t find (or receive from my readers) a link to an artcile where educators are vilified. Even I sometimes feel almost convinced that a teacher equals an enemy of humanity. The vitriol against used-car salesmen and telemarketers is a thing of the past. Now it’s dump-on-the-teachers season.
The only people who get portrayed as even more nasty and dangerous than the teachers are college students. Every time I come to campus to teach my students, I look around and see smart, curious, hard-working kids who somehow manage to hold down two part-time jobs, put themselves through school and organize student clubs. Then I wonder where all those boozing, rowdy, angry, stupid students are who – as I am being told all the time – only care about hooking up, getting drunk and razing the town to the ground.
Some idiot millionaire offers scholarships to kids for dropping out of college and everybody applauds him.
So where is this society that wants educated citizenry? I’m not seeing it.