The War Against The Young: White House Fights Distance Learning
show comments
  • Rick Caird

    Another reason why a Federal Department of Education should not exist. If a state wanted that level of control, it could pass its own legislation and [make life difficult for] its own students. There is no need for a Federal rule.

  • Corlyss

    Accustomed as I am to looking for and finding the worm in every Democratic/Lib/Progressive idea intended ostensibly to protect someone from bad guys, I would be willing to bet cash money that the real driver behind the feds’ crackdown on distance learning has more to do with the competition distance learning poses for tradtional colleges with their tenured hangers-on, their brick and mortar facilities, and their hi-powered athletic programs. As college becomes increasingly unaffordable, even with a student loan, more universities will have to let staff go. Quel horror! So to the extent that the feds can drive students into inconvenient institutions, or onto the unemployment rolls (since education is often the first place people flee when they can’t get a job or lose one), the more tenured jobs can be saved.

  • Anthony

    “In at least one way, the rule has already accomplished the department’s goal of applying more scrutiny to institutions whose students receive federal financial aid. It has drawn attention to state regulations and authorization requirements that were previously overlooked, or ignored by all parties.” So, rule brings light to online course abuse by for profit colleges using connectivity to undergird profits at expense of uninformed youngsters. Indeed, on line courses are worthwhile and searching for balance (state/federal) vis-a-vis proprietary colleges and traditional institutions before 2014 rule implementation serves interest of young – and we must keep interest of young college (distance or otherwise) learners in forefront.

  • Corlyss

    The feds treat for-profit schools, home-schooling, and religious schools like they have treated services that compete with the Post Office: delegitimize, crush, smear, and, if possible, sue for fraud and hopefully put their founders in jail.

  • Luke Lea

    Sounds in violation of commerce clause or something like that. Federal government not regulating but just plain interfering in interstate commerce? I’m no lawyer, obviously, but I bet it don’t pass constitutional muster.

  • Luke Lea

    BTW, there is plenty of free, first-rate college-level course material up on the web from many sources, most famously MIT’s open course program. The key reform would be if you could pass an exam demonstrating mastery and/or aptitude within a certain body of knowledge, and thereby gain certification. This is essentially the way Lincoln became a lawyer– you just had to pass the bar exam back then, even if you studied under a tree.

    Every profession is a conspiracy against the public, George Bernard Shaw once observed. Credentials may be necessary in a complex society, obviously they are, but they don’t have to be expensive.

  • Walter, your point is well taken, it is ridiculous to require distance learning programs to comply with requirements in 50 states. But that is not the entire story. The logical solution would be to institute and require compliance with new federal distance learning requirements.

    But somehow I have the impression you’d be opposed to that, because you don’t like the federal govt involved if you can avoid it. So my question to you is: what do you propose should be done to solve this?

  • W

    I share the skepticism about regulating education programs. No Child Left Behind is bad enough at the K-12 level, and it would add costs and complexities to higher education without providing any benefit at all. Indeed, it could help dumb-down successful programs. But I am also very suspicious of “online” education. Many subjects, including vocationals ones, require hands-on activity both to teach and demonstrate learning. That doesn’t work online. Humanites subjects done properly require intensitve writing and discussion that works better in a face-to-face process. Online courses easily lapse into multiple choice and fill-in the blank assingments that serious programs don’t use. What you have is technology facilitating the kind of mass courses taught to 300 student lectures that offer the cheap version of education at brick and mortar colleges.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2017 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.