The New York Times proclaimed: “Dreams Stall at CUNY”as decades of defunding catches up with one of higher education’s premier institutions. No surprise. It’s happening all across the nation. Public higher education is dying, replaced by a new pragmatism. Education is out, training is in. Unless, of course, you are already part of the elite or simply lucky to be one of those who succeed no matter what. Otherwise, in the very near future, don’t expect access to genuine higher education. A training center, disguised as a “college,” awaits you.
To see this new reality unfolding, look no further than to what has happened at community colleges, those former institutions of low-cost, quality higher education where the masses used to go to find their dreams. These have been starved of funds and left to drown in debt as a bloated, well-paid bureaucracy proliferates. Crowded, decaying and under-resourced classrooms have become the norm as state and local aid has plummeted while student tuition has sky-rocketed. Community college students, often themselves the product of under-resourced schools and communities, must work full-time to pay tuition and fees as well as support themselves. Not surprising, retention rates for these over-worked students is low. Politicians now point to this as their justification for transforming community colleges into essentially career centers. It never occurs to them that expecting students to work full-time while trying to get an education isn’t a recipe for success. No matter, their real goal, Democrat and Republican alike, is to quickly train those born into modest and struggling communities, so they can supply local businesses corporation with targeted, cheap labor. The dream of education as America’s great equalizer has, already, all but vanished.
What happens to that narrowly trained individual when that job eventually evaporates either due to technology or out-sourcing? Ho hum, we’re all disposable, aren’t we? Welcome to the new America of: “Dream No More.”
For the cited NYT article, go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/29/nyregion/dreams-stall-as-cuny-citys-engine-of-mobility-sputters.html?ribbon-ad-idx=6&rref=homepage&module=Ribbon&version=origin®ion=Header&action=click&contentCollection=Home%20Page&pgtype=article