It seemed strange to me that a credit-bearing college course should be dedicated to telling students why they should go to college, but the entire first-year sequence turns out to be an almost surreal riff on the socialization process of higher education, where secondary characteristics of college graduates become the actual subjects of the courses.
To supplement my stipend, I taught at one of these shit holes while I was in graduate school. The bright side was that they pay pretty well. The down side is that I had to teach out of a textbook that is used at prep schools for 8th and 9th grade students in getting ready for physics type classes--and yet they had the audacity to call it physics. Maybe the place to look is at the accreditation boards. This particular school was accredited by the North Central association, who also accredits a lot of the major universities around here. The education isn't even similar though, so I don't know what the deal is. Kickbacks? Who knows?
The economy falters and people panic. Our leadership allows snake-oil salesmen to swoop in and "educate" the disenfranchised we have neglected. In Michigan where I teach, we are being chided over test scores increasingly. Leadership at my school has compared us to a "higher-performing" neighboring district we should be aim to be like (we are losing students to them), rather than the "lower-performing" district nearby (we are gaining students from them). What has been neglected to be mentioned is that the "higher-performing" district has a per pupil allowance from the state of $10,000+, while the district in which I teach gets close to $7500 per pupil, and the neighboring "lower-performing" district gets $7000 per pupil. If we want everyone to succeed, the United States to succeed, why is it that we ignore clearly measureable differences and disadvantages that exist within our educational systems? Is the Finnish system unattainable for us in the U.S.? Is it that our divisions run too deep? Or, is it that we have not experienced an "education bubble" yet? We can pretend that our faulted system will be fine if we allow for less regulation and fair market opportunity. Will this help our country and it's citizens to a better life?