Obama and Higher Ed

Could Obama just butt out of higher ed and go mess up some other area of human existence? We have enough problems as it is, without his outdated and bizarre fixation on the defunct MOOC scam.

I understand that he realizes what a disappointment his entire presidency has been and wants to leave “a legacy.” But in what concerns higher ed he is just like he has been in everything else: he has no idea how this stuff works, he believes there is no time to try to learn, so he comes up with a pastiche of Dem-pleasing and Repub-pleasing talking points and gimmicky half-measures that will improve nothing and will simply destroy what is there.

If you look at what he’s actually proposing, the shit is scary. Take, for instance, the idea of tying the Pell grants to colleges whose graduates make the most money upon graduation. How is anybody going to find out what graduates make? Asking people to report that info is useless. Only the most successful ever do and not even they do it in overwhelming numbers. Do you fill out the questionnaires sent out by your college? Mine doesn’t even know where to find me because I moved 2 months after graduation.

So what’s left? Spying on people? Even more spying? Don’t we have enough of that already?

And gosh, when I imagine the insane number of deanlets, deanlings and deanazoids that will be hired to “ensure compliance”, I just shudder.

The tragedy of the situation is that a good college-rating system is surely needed. But it has to be created by the people who actually work on academia. If 70% of higher ed teachers are adjuncts, then the committee should consist of 70% of adjuncts.