Reforming education across New England
By Evan Dobelle | December 1, 2006
Evan Dobelle is president and CEO of the New England Board of Higher Education.
Addressing higher education access and success should be a top regional priority for New England’s governors. Problems and solutions will vary somewhat from state to state, but here are some regional strategies for the six chief executives to consider:
Hold a summit meeting on how public education is financed. New England is failing its urban, rural, low-income and first-generation students from the Berkshires to Boston. All the best intentions about making these underserved students “college-ready” and closing the “education gap” are empty as long as tax-poor cities are dependent on local property taxes to finance their schools.
Isn’t interesting how when, on the rare occasion when they will admit the system is a failure, no one ever says “let’s try something else”. It’s always more big gubamint solutions, more taxes, more programs, more funding, and ad nausum.
Look at technical education in the marketplace for an exemplar of how it COULD work.
You can be “certified” in Cisco, Microsoft, and bunch of other stuff.
For example, if you invest ~30k in your education and get a Cisco certification, then you can expect to make ~75k per year. That’s a ROI!
In the technical education field, there is tremendous competition. So costs are low and benefits are high.
Now compare that to “public education”?
Mandatory attendance. Drug problems. Performance problems. Graduating functional illiterates. Any entrenched unionized bunch of “public employees” with big pensions, lifetime employment, and guaranteed employment.
Can you imagine a bigger disaster?
So let’s close the gubamint propaganda reeducation camps and let people figure out the “education problem” free from government interference.
Then stand back and watch what freedom can deliver.