What isn’t broken in American higher education?

By Bill Destler Some day, I am going to write a book in which I will discuss the laws that govern academia in America, and one of them will be: “U.S. higher education is widely regarded as the best in the world, which is why so many people want to change it.” There is real truth in this statement. Even though hundreds of thousands of international students come to the U.S. each year to pursue college degrees here, often at enormous personal sacrifice, American higher education is increasingly under attack by politicians and the media. Why? There are real issues confronting colleges and universities in the U.S., such as ever-increasing tuition charges that have negatively impacted accessibility to a college education for lower and middle income families, and “mission creep” in which more and more institutions aspire to be the next Harvard or Berkeley. But the challenges confronting higher education are nowhere near as dire as those confronting our K-12 public schools. And some of the attacks on higher education, although in many cases well-intentioned, have the potential to do real damage to this sector of our national educational system at a time when a college degree is increasingly seen as the gateway to a meaningful and rewarding life and career. So, what isn’t broken in American higher education? 1. In the U.S., we don’t ask 17 year-olds to take a national competency test that determines whether and where they will go to college. In fact, a college education can be pursued by almost anyone who has a high school diploma or its equivalent at any age. Read the entire article here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-destler/what-isnt-broken-higher-education_b_4967227.html

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