Thursday, March 18, 2010

Minnesota: Soaring Costs, Waning Quality

by Daniel L. Bennett

Our friends at ACTA, along with the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota, just released a state report card for public higher ed in Minnesota. Anne Neal and Annette Meeks have an OpEd in the Star Tribune today discussing their findings, which are generally consistent with the overall state of public higher ed in the US:
many state institutions have poured money into the Ph.D. equivalent of candy -- hiring administrators -- while neglecting their true purpose: delivering a quality education in the classroom.

Cutting costs is, however, only half the battle. There is an equally pressing need to ensure that more students get a well-rounded and timely degree. Getting a bachelor's degree, for instance, is supposed to be a four-year process. But not one of the institutions we assessed graduates even half its students in four years. And on most campuses, the students who do complete their degrees can do so without having taken a broad survey of American history or economics -- the kind that would prepare them to become informed citizens.
ACTA has done similar analyses for the states of Illinois, Missouri and Georgia. Keep up the good work of informing the public and especially, trustees and alumni, of what is really happening on college campuses - exploding costs and declining quality.

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