Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Education Privatization Grift Spreads To Public Universities?

Privatizing America's Public Universities as "Shock Doctrine" (or not)

Higher education is already rife with grifters of the overpriced private college and online university variety. But it's never enough.  

"You mean charters aren't the whole story of privatizing education? What fresh hell is this? I've got to say my jaw dropped when I read this in Bloomberg; I hadn't thought that privatization rot had gone so far: From Pennsylvania to Oregon, the number of top public universities bidding to shake off government control keeps growing. How exactly does "public university" "shake off government control"? By letting the administrators cut their own checks? The universities want more control over tuition and academic programs as they become less dependent on public subsidies. Some state systems have resisted because, without their flagships, they lose premier faculty and students as well as clout in legislatures that set funding. Pennsylvania's West Chester University, the fastest-growing of 14 state-owned campuses and the one with the highest SAT scores, could break away under legislation filed this year. Its departure would deepen a divide between independent 'haves' and tightly controlled 'have nots' plagued by dwindling funding and enrollment. Pennsylvania State University and three other public institutions already operate autonomously. "Plagued by"? Note the lack of agency. Who's doing the "plaguing," and why? And what does "autonomously" mean? After gaining greater independence, many public universities have increased tuition, raising fears that West Chester would follow suit."

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