Universities and teacher unions have forgotten basic economics. When you price yourself out of the market, something better replaces you.
If you have kids, want an education, know anyone with kids, or just want to help save the world, spread the word about edX which is free to everyone, everywhere.
There is simply no doubt about it, education in the U.S. is a complete failure. It starts at the local level where teacher unions make it impossible to fire terrible teachers and reward great ones, resulting in graduating math and english illiterates at a rate of about half of all high school graduates. While school taxes go up and buildings crumble, graduates can’t find work because even if they did pass today’s courses, they still prepare most students for factory assembly line work which doesn’t exist any longer.
Here in Punxsutawney, PA a few years ago we needed new books, new computers, better trained teachers. What we got was a nattatorium – a swimming pool in a building. Probably the school board thought it would help students lock down all those lucrative lifeguard jobs.
(At the time it was built, just a few years ago, a local school teacher told me she was thinking of buying her first computer.)
Universities, faced with incoming illiterates and rising costs, have raised the yearly cost of a moderately good education to about $30K/year and even then most students can’t qualify for or pass the classes in majors with any future such as engineering or science. How many English lit or art history graduates do we need today?
It used to be that any college graduate could enter fields such as computer management because there were too few computer scientists, but no longer.
So, physical schools are too expensive, teach the wrong subjects, and fail to even teach most of those to the average students.
But a change is coming. Just as Amazon killed bookstore clerk jobs, totally FREE university educations are about to kill off the great Ivy halls (or at least many Junior Colleges) and some of the most venerable of those universities are carrying out the slaughter of the less relevant.
edX is a major attempt to offer free, university level courses, being led by MIT and Harvard. Harvard (Est. 1636) has long been in the forefront of low-cost education believe it or not, because you could graduate from the night school (Harvard Extension) in four or five years for a few thousand dollars back in the 70’s.
Now, working with Berkeley, The University of Texas, Wellesley, and Georgtown, they offer courses covering topics from global poverty to quantum mechanics/quantum computation, AI, solid state chemistry, and Introduction to Computer Science and Programming. All courses with potential jobs waiting for graduates.