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Friday, June 24, 2005

Mr. College

I'm going to give PBS a pass this week even considering their campaign to get more money. I've found myself watching more on WCNY this week than any of the other networks. Thursday's offering was "Declining by Degrees," a documentary about college. The focus was on the way that colleges are not living up to the ideals of a learning institution turning out bright and capable adults.

I found the first hour to be very representative of the negative experiences I had in college. Large classes, disinterested students and inadequate preparation in high school lead to students who sink and some who get by parroting information and regular cheating. I made just about all the mistakes in college, including being to ashamed from falling behind to ask for help that was not frequently available anyway.

Typical of PBS, the second hour became an indictment of the broken "social contract" where the Federal government gives Pell grants that pay 95% of a college tuition. The problem is that the social contract was written by President Johnson at a time when a large majority of the successful were able to modestly fund the poor and unsuccessful. Since that time, the costs of "social" functions like medicine, education and housing have exploded well beyond the growth of inflation as well as wages.

Putting that aside, I do think there is a serious problem with class disparity in America. Of course, I thought that in the mid 1990s while Clinton was president. At that time, I thought the problem was mine. Now, I'm told that a three year political period has made the country a cesspool of waste and corruption.

I'm not buying it. Government spending leads to cash addiction. Students who got a free ride to college initiallyy had to work hard or be flunked out. Then the colleges learned to moderate their grading and expectations. Colleges turned out kids who had less abilities and needed more training by business. Lately, colleges have turned to expensive building projects to lure students with parental incomes to pay full rides to college.


  • At June 24, 2005 1:43 PM, Blogger Martin said…

    Not me mines all loans. Yes I want a nice college but having a compitant staff is also more important. Allot of times you can judge a college based on gosip. From everything I have heard SUNY IT has a good mix of both.


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