Fixing the Schools
Breaking The Higher-Ed Monopoly
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  • qet

    Some quick thoughts:
    (1) Eliminating “accreditation” entirely would solve many, probably all, of these problems. Why have it? The market will decide which are the better programs and which the worse. Accreditation is just a licensing scheme similar fundamentally to those for opticians and barbers, e.g.
    (1A) Speaking of licensing, licensed vocations should just move to a professional certification regime as suggested in teh 3rd paragraph of the excerpt. A doctor who passes his boards in cardiology ought to be able to practice as a MD without having to have first paid for a 4-year general medical degree. Ditto lawyers and state bar exams. However, it is not certain that such a regime would not simply divert to itself the revenues now going to 4-year residential colleges, rather than reducing or eliminating them.
    (2) Per 1A–Allowing multiple accrediting bodies will simply multiply the opportunities for rent-seeking by state actors and exclusionary rules lobbied for by established institutions.
    (3) The analogy to private medical practice is ironic, seeing that today economic and regulatory forces are busy destroying private medical practices and doctors are more and more “choosing” to become salaried employees (i.e., wage workers) of ever-growing hospital corporations.
    (4) What is preventing professors from forming those new business models right now? University professors don’t want to teach; they want to write books, publish papers, attend conferences and be recognized by their peers as “leading” their respective fields. People who always already wanted to teach don’t go for the university tenure track.

  • Anthony

    Higher Ed continues as one of the more reinforcing purveyors of dominant (class) values. On top of that and underneath senator Lee’s premise to federalize higher ed accreditation, one cannot not avoid what is absent: systemic special interest groups developed around corporate institutions of capitalism – in this instance higher ed – that preclude changing practices (“New School: A Plan for State-Based Accreditation of Alternative Education) beyond tweaking. Decoupling Title IV eligibility and enrollment at degree institutions appears to be integral to senator Lee’s proposed legislation in contradistinction to systemic behavior thus relevance of absent information.

    A need exists: licensing education acquisition differently. Necessarily, licensing infers systemic arrangement and process of selection (power) in order to operate as licensure – what interests, biases, agenda, etc. (if any) motivates proposed legislation. This absent information more than focus on Title IV, and unaccredited teachers (since brilliant minds either as teachers or as scholarly producers will generally not be stifled by posited difficulties) allows for additional context as senator Lee’s legislation is considered.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    Monopolies suck, and the Government is the biggest monopoly of them all. Without the “Feedback of Competition” forcing continuous improvements in Quality, Service, and Price, all a monopoly can look forward to is stagnation and decay.

  • TommyTwo

    “More importantly, many of these alternative programs could be much
    cheaper than their traditional counterparts, and could be completed
    without encouraging students to stay out of the workforce for years.”

    Gasp! And raise the unemployment rate?!

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