27 January 2008

Hiding Behind the Adult Children

Down the street from me is a precious boutique college erecting a 2-block long, $40 million athletic facility. This is the same place that's doubled its tuition since my not-yet-40-year old wife graduated from the place. I keep harping that the lack of administrative accountability around tuition costs is the greatest unreported story of our time and every now and then, someone else does, too:

That means suspicion of higher education is not a partisan issue and that the era of accountability and cost sensitivity will not end when the Bush administration leaves town. Key public officials like Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy and California Rep. Howard P. (Buck) McKeon will probably continue to rail about rising college costs. And the higher education sector will probably continue to be hampered by its inability to tell a believable story about why tuitions keep increasing at rates higher than inflation.

The dominant meme describes American colleges and universities as institutions driven by their own self-interest rather than by the interests of students or of society. Lost in the debate is any sense of the public’s interest in anything other than the politics of resentment, which builds its persuasive case through portrayals of colleges and universities as bloated, elitist, inefficient, unworthy of tax payer support, and lacking the ethical high ground.
Read it all.

This week, the legislative and executive branches will try to hammer out a plan to bribe voters who have been convinced by CNN that the sky is falling. Joust like health care, Americans are too busy or lazy to dig into this one, so they'll just line up a the government window expecting someone else to pay for what they want.

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