So Predictable, So Tiresome: Democrats' Disdain for Rick Scott's Affordable Ed Plan
Around the State
Of course the Democrats are going to look down their noses at a $10,000 college education: 1) they didn't think of it first; 2) it can't have any merit if Rick Scott is promoting it; and 3) heaven forbid debt-spooked students and their families get a choice.
It's the Liberals' 11th Commandment -- you throw money AT. You never roll back.
Is that, I wonder, why Dems are calling Scott's "challenge" for state colleges to create a $10,000 four-year degree "the Walmart of education"?
It was the same in Texas in 2011. When Gov. Rick Perry first introduced the $10,000 college education -- and that included tuition, fees and even textbooks -- Democrats and academia screamed bloody murder.
Basically, Daniel Hurley, director of state relations and policy analysis at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, said if government wants to see a $10,000 college education, government should compensate the colleges for it.
Hurley said "graduates would have to go out of their way to clearly communicate to the employer community that the quality of the degree" is not compromised, because employers recognize that "you get what you pay for."
They do? Since when?
I know students in their last year in Florida colleges who have never seen a full professor. Not once. They paid upward of $20,000 a year for an education administered by adjunct "professors," grad students, teaching fellows and every manner of instructor. Full professors are names on a door, names on a grant, names on a catalog. In Higher Education World they are prestige cheesecake who walk unburdened by the bumps and bother of a teaching schedule. And, no, most employers haven't got a clue.
Those target-shooting the affordable college education will never tell you that college educations in America have been downgraded. They aren't worth what they used to be. A May 2012 study from the Pew Research Center showed that 57 percent of Americans say colleges fail to provide students with good value for money spent and 75 percent of Americans say college is too expensive for most Americans to afford.
What if the media put away the clubs for a minute and considered that maybe the governor simply saw a problem and found a possible solution in Texas Gov. Rick Perry's affordable education plan. What if they just looked at higher education in Florida and could see what I see -- a bureaucratic, unaffordable, debt-loaded, one-size-fits-all monstrosity that, frankly, is unacceptable.
If the Democrats have an idea -- any idea -- for facing this fiscal reality, for doing something about a student loan debt that just passed the $1 trillion mark, they've kept it to themselves.
In the meantime, the governor's $10,000 "challenge" may be a long shot for bending the college cost curve. But it's positive, seven colleges are already on board, it has the whole of the business community behind it and it deserves a chance.
Reach Nancy Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (850) 727-0859.