Archive for the ‘School Funding’ Category

Commercialization of Higher Education – Good or Bad?


In times gone by, education and money were distant entities. But with rapid globalization, universities started facing stiff competition from their peers to provide a far better quality of higher education. Like any quality service in the market costs more money, so does better quality education. However the federal and state governments are often faced with budgetary constraints and are unable to provide enough funds to all the universities for the purpose of higher education. This has resulted in commercialization of higher education. We need to have a look now into the pros and cons of commercialization of higher education.

Commercialization of Higher Education – The good in it for us:

Firstly, commercialization of higher education generally results in state-of-the-art facilities for all students as money is no longer a constraint. Moreover as universities are free to enter into corporate ties with variety of industries they can improve and upgrade their infrastructure through corporate funding. The better infrastructure ultimately benefits the students. The students also get the opportunity to get trained in corporate firms and get valuable industry exposure because of a Memorandum of Understanding that is in place between the university and the organization. Another boon of commercialization of higher education is the fact that surveys found privatized universities being more professional in their approach than their public counterparts.

Commercialization of Higher Education- The bad in it for us:

The main drawback of commercialization of higher education is the high tuition fees associated with it. Most parents belonging to the lower middle class with more than one child to educate usually find it impossible to afford such a luxury. Privatized institutions are being symbolized by the rich and elite sections of our society. We may argue that education being the basic right of an individual must be provided uniformly to all irrespective of their financial status. Some academicians have even voiced their concern over procurement of knowledge in exchange of money.

Commercialization of Higher Education- verdict:

After looking at the good and the bad of commercialization of higher education we may conclude that it must be carried out in a regulated manner after ensuring proper opportunity for those who cannot afford it. We must also ensure that the rich and the wealthy are unable to procure a degree based on the power of money.

All articles contributed in full or part by Athens Learning college preparedness resource.


The No Child Left Behind Dubbed Debacle


According to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, all public schools need to conduct a uniform test held every year in all the states for all students. Schools that have been awarded Title I funding, has to fulfil the criteria of Adequate Yearly Progress in the test scores, and failing to do so means being featured in the list of “failing schools”. Parents can then transfer their kids to another school. Failing to qualify AYP for a second year, entails providing special tuition for students who cannot afford the same.

NCLB did address many unresolved issues that were long overdue. First, it tried to solve the inequality plague in many schools, by abating differences in student performance by race and class. Second, it insisted that all students are entitled to qualified teachers. Hence, places where, students suffered with a string of untrained teachers did not have to face the hassle anymore.

But the NCLB act undoubtedly raised many eyebrows. For starters, one of the main authors of the ACT was Margaret Spelling, a B.A in political science, but with no formal training in education or no experience in the school system. Possibly the second biggest debacle in Bush’s term after the Iraq fiasco is the NCLB.

In contrast to the negligible positives, that NCLB has had a large number of cons attached to the term. It stresses on teaching as a path to tests, and not as a facilitator for learning. It has resulted in an unnecessary numbers of tests covering almost all grade levels. This has led to the abolition of other necessary subjects like art, music, foreign language and sports in many schools. As the tests mainly concentrate on Maths and English, there has been a considerable reduction in teaching of subjects like science and civics. Though it has labelled innumerable schools as failures, it has failed itself in providing additional funding to these schools. Many low income area schools have faced closure. They had failed to meet the federal standards, and thus the staff had been fired. This has indirectly been a way in trying to make districts fund charter private schools rather than the ‘failed’ public ones.

The Act has, in all its sense, misunderstood the problem underlying the schools; it is basic elementary changes that the schools need for development and not a stricter stringent measure similar to a carrot and sticks approach.

All articles contributed in full or part by Athens Learning college preparedness resource.