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?
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.)