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Thursday, March 14, 2013

But Then, Future Generations Don't Really Deserve the Same Educational Opportunities We Enjoyed

Posted by on Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 6:27 AM

I don't really have much to add, except to say that this is exactly where we're heading here in Washington State:

The education capitalists have a great plan. We starve the universities by reducing their state funding so much that students can’t easily graduate in 4 years. Then we get our lackeys in the state legislature to pass a law forcing schools to accept online classes as credit. That opens up the possibility for gigantic MOOCs that has two benefits. First, we can cut state education funding even more. Second, we can make a ridiculous amount of money through the continued privatization of education.

[...] I mean, there won’t actually be jobs for any university graduates. And they won’t have actually learned anything. But what do we care? We just made $50,000 in the last 4 years off each student!

I'm not opposed to online courses in theory, but anybody who pitches them as a replacement for the traditional university experience is selling you a load of hooey. But, you know, the market! Yay!

[via Atrios]


Comments (9) RSS

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rob! 1
The literal end-game for the medical, legal, financial, and now education industries is to separate us from our last dime just as we draw our last breath.
Posted by rob! on March 14, 2013 at 6:33 AM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 2
I know someone who got an MBA from the University of Phoenix, and cannot even form a single sentence, let alone a paragraph. I doubt that he would have been able to graduate from my Iowa high school. Plus, he is now saddled with debt from his student loans.

On the bright side, they taught him to do Excel spreadsheets and mail merges. He would be a great secretary if he learned how to spell.

But since an MBA is a meaningless degree (sort of like a degree in Marketing) it really doesn't matter.
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on March 14, 2013 at 6:55 AM · Report this
Chef Thunder 3
It's also important to know that college and university administrators are proponents of MOOCs. It's an easy way for them to disenfranchise unions. Justify hiring slow downs etc.
Posted by Chef Thunder on March 14, 2013 at 6:57 AM · Report this
AFinch 4
heh...nope, it's indentured servitude (at best) - we are all becoming, quite literally, sharecroppers for the Financial Aristocracy. It's not land they hold a monopoly on any longer; it's capital, but it's a trivial (meaningless) distinction. All we get is a tenancy (debt instrument) which holds us in economic bondage as a requirement for access to the modern economy. You want a job? You'll have to take out a loan and allow the Economic Aristocracy to make a percentage on your income (interest on student loan debts).

If anyone ever wonders who is on the side of the 99% and the side of the 1%, just look at how badly Obama pissed them off when he took just part of the punch bowl away on student loans (debt "servicing" income).

This is exactly Sharecropping - and it's the age-old Feudalism practiced in the south when the more obvious and direct form of slavery was eliminated. Sure, you're "free" starve.

Can you really live the (Rand & Ron) Paul-ist LIbertarian fantasy?

- no home loan
- no car loan
- no bank account
- no securities account (IRA, 401K)
- no telephone

Can you really still go off the grid and reject these abusive monopolies? Free market my a** - it's not free unless I have the freedom to opt out.
Posted by AFinch on March 14, 2013 at 6:59 AM · Report this
AFinch 5
@3 - I work for a top public University (notorious in the news right now, over this exact issue) and not all administrators are excited about this at all. Many feel the need to "embrace" new technology, but even then, many recognize the very real limits of distance learning, and the fundamental dilution of brand (which is what pedigreed higher ed really sells).

It's not union-busting. All of the union-busting (anti-labor) action they want to undertake is already available in the form of "Adjunct Faculty" - and there is a glut (overproduction) of PhDs in nearly every single field (the other big "STEM" lie) versus jobs, so you've got a nice hefty UE rate to keep wage pressures low and down in these fields. No, MOOCs are labor-friendly, but they also aren't necessary to be anti-labor.

The Phoenix example - also DeVry, Colorado Tech. and a few of the other degree-mills - demonstrate why most of higher ed won't go for this: you let anybody in (the most important criteria for controlling the quality of your output) and you flood the market with your product (driving down your brand name value).

No, this is about coming up with a way to tap into the money stream that flows from the government to education - public education - the education capitalists care only about being able to skim/siphon from that stream.
Posted by AFinch on March 14, 2013 at 7:08 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 6
Let's feast on the golden goose!
Posted by Pope Peabrain on March 14, 2013 at 7:14 AM · Report this
Sir Vic 7
Goldy, you forgot Step Three. Schools start selling off assets they no longer can afford or need, and connected individuals/organizations get sweetheart deals on Montlake property.
Much like the planned destruction of the Postal Service, this is modeled on the 1990's post-Soviet asset grab. Use the public coffers to build valuable assets, then steal them through legal & financial hustles.
Posted by Sir Vic on March 14, 2013 at 7:26 AM · Report this
AFinch 8
"MOOCs aren't labor friendly"

Posted by AFinch on March 14, 2013 at 8:26 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 9
What @4 said.

Feudalism. Indentured service. Sharecropping. Company towns.
A turd by any other name still smells like shit.

One of the major problems of capitalism is that no amount of capital is ever enough for the wealthy. Even if one of them owned everything, they'd still feel unfulfilled.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on March 14, 2013 at 9:22 AM · Report this

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