Have you ever wondered why the United States does not have free higher education anymore? Did you even know that the United States used to have free higher education? Well, an article written by two college students answers just that, stating who made the change, the effects from this change, and they provide examples. Aaron Bady and Mike Konczal wrote about Ronald Reagan in 2012, they did this in order to explain and spread how Reagan changed our higher education system drastically. According to Brady and Konczal, “ the conservative project he put in place in California in the 1960s remains with us today. Reagan was the trendsetter in making higher education into a problem to be solved with fee hikes and police.” “Today, we can clearly see the results. Limiting the ability of the government to plan for the education of its citizens has left us with the worst of both worlds: students and families with too much debt and too few options” (These quotes can be found in the concluding paragraph). Brady and Konczal support these statements all throughout their article, stating exactly how Raegan changed our education system and the ongoing effects of this change.

Brady and Konczal may have been inspired to explain the change and the multiple troubles of our education system because of President Barrack Obama. During 2012 President Obama released a new Education Reform Plan to improve the teaching quality of our nation, this drew focus to the many problems that exist in our education system. Obama’s goal was to launch a competitive federal grant that would attract, support, prepare, and reward teachers who are great at helping students learn (Partee). Brady and Konczal may have heard of this news and felt a need to inform others on how our nation got to such a troublesome point.

The information provided in Brady and Konczal’s article pertains to the struggles students face in modern day. College is very expensive now-a-days, many people cannot afford to go to college, and those who cannot pay for it but still want to get a higher education go into serious debt for most of their lives, since their debt accumulates interest with every day that passes. This is all because of Ronald Raegan, “He cut state funding for higher education, laid the foundations for a shift to a tuition-based funding model, and called in the National Guard to crush student protest, which it did with unprecedented severity” (Brady and Konczal). Raegan convinced the nation that educating the youth is not a patriotic duty, that free education is dangerously close to being socialist. He stated that tuition-based funding would make students value their education more, since they would be paying for it, thus ending their protests. Raegan’s actions severely damaged our education system as a nation.

We, as people who live in this nation, should care about what is going on with California’s higher education system, as well as every other state’s education problems, because it relates to our own. If we are not aware of the injustices that happen in other states, then we cannot help our brethren fight those injustices; for all we know they may happen in our state as well. We may also share the same problems as them and possibly collaborate to try and create a solution. It is good to be aware of the problems going on in our country and to try and feel empathy for others.

“Behind every fee hike, a line of riot cops” What do you think this means?

What are your thoughts on Raegan’s decision to change the system?

“Occupy Everything, Demand Nothing” What do you think this means?

Why do you think people should or should not care about what’s going on in California’s higher education system?

What are your overall thoughts on the articles we read?

                                                            Work Cited

Bady, Aaron, and Mike Konczal. “From Master Plan to No Plan: The Slow Death of Public Higher Education.” DISSENT. N.p., 2012. Web. 16 Sept. 2016.

Partee, Glenda L. “President Obama’s New Education Reform Plan Building on Earlier Successes, Next in Line Are More Effective Teachers.” Center for American Progress. N.p., 26 Jan. 2012. Web. 16 Sept. 2016.

(I apologize for the second citation not being spaced properly, it is correctly formatted in my document, but once I put it here it changes and does not correct itself no matter what I do.)

3 thoughts on “REAGAN DID WHAT?!?!?!?!?!”

  1. Well done, Eryka! You managed to precisely break down the messages from our assigned readings and connect them in thought. To me, the line, “Behind every fee hike, a line of riot cops” references that the law enforcement is called as first response when there are student protests. The fee hike refers to costs rising for students such as tuition, which is generally what causes the protests. Raegan drastically changing the system was unacceptable. It was solely a move to benefit the government by reducing state aid, not for the good of it’s students– it’s people. People should definitely care about what’s going on in California. It may be a different state, but it can be a microcosm of what’s coming for other colleges and universities throughout the United States. In order to strengthen the education system, all states must come together as one to save quality education for future generations.

  2. I think that people has to care about what’s going on California, especially because education is the foundation for a better society. The higher educated is this society, the better quality of life we will have in the future. We also should care about this situation not only as a present issue, but as a future issue for the upcoming generations. This is because, as a society we have to ensure the wellbeing of our future generations and if this situation where the government is neglecting about education keeps going in the way it is currently, sooner than later it will get worse.

  3. Very interesting analysis and your writing style truly drew me in. In response to your question about Reagan we must have a level of historical background. That time period was one of, if not the most sensitive time in our countries history. It was soon after the battle against fascism in WWII and during a time where the United States took a complete 180 degree turn. The U.S. went from the who cares about anywhere else strategy to the protect democracy at all costs. The U.S. was waist deep in a war that had no direct affect to the U.S. in Vietnam, all for the sake of democracy. This was a time that if you were in the communist party pre-WWII era, there was a chance you were to be thrown in prison as an enemy of the state. There was a hypersensitivity to the issue and it was a time when the country was on a complete purge of anything that resembled it. I do not think Reagan was in the wrong. I do however think its a problem that over the last 25 years since the USSR fell and communism became a non issue or worry, that they have yet to rectify and fix these issues.

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