Wednesday, September 29, 2010

For-profit colleges under fire over value, accreditation

Original Article

... we shall all do the the right and justice decision through the course of this revolution.

I think you can find all the related news post and reports.

I believe the title of the article is probably very close to the reality. However, it don't have to be. What I mean is that the for-profit nature of a institution does not have to always produce low value product. It is the regulations that matters. Just think about this, almost of our daily use products are produced by for-profit companies. Even in the world of space industry, NASA isn't over achievement compared with the Scaled.

The current affair is a typical case of finding the weakest to attack. It does not attempt to solve the bigger problem - the accountability. It is reported that while the rule proposed by the Obama administration is intended for the for-profit higher education institutions, non-for-profit institutions voice to against the regulation too - for afraid that the rule may one day applied to the non-for-profit institutions. As far as I am concern, I can't see why not. At least the idea of 'gainful employment' should also applied to public institutions. The low tuition of public institution should not be considered as an exemption since public institution are usually heavily subsidized by tax dollars.

As the article said, it all comes down to the standard. If you have been following education news about accountability, you know the amount resistance from institutions and professors/teachers. I were a teacher before and even though I don't have to like to be evaluated but I am definitely not afraid of being evaluated. Sometimes, I feel that people are over-reacting to the evaluation. In my case, not all my students are the brightest or the hard working type. But to prove that I am not a good teacher, you need more than a test score - for example, they will have to prove that given the same kids, other teacher can do a better job than I can. Yes, I do against firing teachers based sololy on students' test score. But test score itself is not the subject. After all they are objective indicators. The subject is on how to move forward from there. For one, teachers should definitely be given opportunities to present their cases.

For higher education, we all understand that trainings are diverse. However, again, objective measurement is never hurt. Institutions can provide their feedback to the way measurement is done and can ask to clarify what is been measured and can voice their disagreements on their goals of education. The public can look all these information and make decisions and create the market interaction. For example, certain people may considered that the math concept is a definite requirement for a engineer degree and they can choose to attend school with solid math concept program. On the other hand, certain other people may consider, with the computer in mind, that the concept of math isn't as important as it seems, they could be listening to institutions explanation and agreed with them.

With these information in place, people will know exactly what they get and it may happens that it is no longer worth to fabricate a big lie than to actually provide a good services or product.

Personally, I think the for-profit provides a 'private option' to the higher education mix. With its very nature of for-profit, it paid for them to focus everything in efficiency. This could provide a obvious contrast to how public institution is operated. Can these institution success? Given the success of our capitalized private industries, I believe they can given enough flexibility and appropriate regulation - just like all our private companies, we do not specify how much assets they much have, as long as they can produce a good product and did not label anything the product will not do on the product.

Of cause, like we all can image that the success of these institutions could impact our current higher education institutions in big ways. The resistance and hostility from other sectors of the higher education is also expected. But we shall all do the the right and justice decisions through the course of this revolution.

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