Thursday, April 28, 2011

Oregon Public Higher Education is a Mess

Victor Davis Hanson writes about California public higher education:
"Black middle-class flight from northern big cities, failing public schools like nearby Fresno City College, where yesterday it was announced that 70 percent of students (the majority of them on some sort of federal and state loan support) fail to receive a two-year AA degree — these are just a few indications that increasing reliance on government subsidies does not eliminate, and may well perpetuate, such ills as illiteracy, poverty, and hunger.

"Here in California, the CSU system — the largest university system in the world — cannot explain why 46 percent of entering freshmen in 2001 needed remediation in math and English, still less why that number has soared to nearly 60 percent after a decade of record spending on campus budgets. Only about half of students graduate within six years, even fewer within five."
As of 2006 California was averaging more than a 60% graduation rate, doing significantly better than Oregon (see bottom chart), but has recently slumped to Oregon's dismal 50% graduation rate.

Chart from Measuring Up 2008: The National Report Card on Higher Education
All this despite the fact that higher education costs have way outstripped the cost of living. They've risen about 75% higher even than health care costs--rising an astonishing 439% since 1980 compared to only 251% for health care costs.

The health care system at least shows a longer life expectancy and better health and quality of life generally, especially in later years.

State higher education, on the other hand, shows crashing and burning by almost half of Oregon students who drop out after expending big bucks and a chunk of their life.

Chart from The National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education
On average only slightly more than half of full-time students at Oregon public 4-year colleges and universities manage to graduate within six years.

Then there's the not so nice future awaiting those who do graduate but whose education leaves them holding massive debt all the while not fitting them for real world work or living.


OregonGuy said...

T. D. said...

Good link! Thanks.

Which means, with only about half of entering students graduating, that not only are 4-year public colleges doing a poor job of educating students, they are part of the racket to sucker many students not meant for college into throwing thousands of dollars down the education rat hole. But as long as their well paying jobs are safe . . . .