Monday, September 09, 2013
Should Community Colleges Be Free?
That addresses your concern about not getting your Federal taxes worth if the state stepped up its support of CCs by themselves or just leveled the spending for frosh and soph classes across the CC and Uni boundary.
Another alternative would be to have a federal-state demonstration project (with contracts in place requiring a continuing level of effort by the state) where money that would have gone to individual Pell grants goes to the college so it is free for everyone.
However, none of that would work without some stricter limits on withdrawals and repeats or some students would hang around forever. You would need to charge for repeating a class.
One thing that I would like to see is a differentiation between 'failed but tried' and 'didn't bother'. I would raise tuition after the first 'didn't bother' but not the first 'failed but tried'.
How would you tell the difference reliably? When talking with peers, among quite a few right out of High School, "didn't bother" sounds much better than "I'm a failure". Neither reality, nor what they tell their parents are what will be heard on campus, only what is said, so you'll have to recognize that the information you're receiving may not be valid.
Likewise, what do you do when a student receives a grade of "didn't bother", and then files a complaint that the teacher's ideological bias caused them to deliberately punish the trying but underprepared / non-comprehending student for daring to express in class a viewpoint or idea opposed to the instructor's? I believe there are plenty of videos on the internet currently which could be used as proof on that instructor's bias, and how would you go about refuting a claim that those biases weren't responsible for the instructor's decision to grade the student "didn't bother" instead of "failed but tried"?
Making something theoretically "free" is a recipe for disaster.
I'm curious, but have no real idea, whether a very low, but non-free cost is actually better...
Fortunately, Google suggests the post:
CEGEP students do have to pay for repeat classes.
Some schools have a different F for students who stopped attending or missed several tests that serves this purpose. In my experience, there is such a thing as a well-earned D that usually promises a pass the next time if the kid doesn't slack.
The counterexample to Edmund Dantes @6:21AM would be the University of California system in the 1950s, which is hardly a failure.
There are also states where HS grads with a certain level of performance got a scholarship that covered or mostly covered tuition (but not room and board) before tuition soared. Because they have to keep up their performance to keep the scholarship, they are motivated to not slack off.
"didn't bother" would mean "failed AND did not complete assignments worth more than x% of the grade." The precise percentage is debatable but I would say 30% would be a good mark for uncompleted assignments -- if a student didn't complete assignments worth more than 30% of the grade, they can hardly be said to have even attempted to pass the class.