Higher Ed Changes Mirror K12 Changes To Come

I know, I know -- higher education issues are boring. But today's Sam Dillon piece in the NYT (Online Colleges Receive a Boost From Congress) is interesting even if you're not a higher ed person, because some of the issues raised have obvious parallels in the K12 world, and the policymaking process it describes are pretty similar no matter what type of schools you're talking about. Plus which, there's not much else going on that's new or interesting in the education world right now.


In short, the Times piece highlights the rise of the for-profits (sound familiar?), the spread of online education (ditto), and the inside baseball that got changes into the budget bill that help private online institutions to the tune of $700 million over 10.

By the way, who knew that there were about 2,500 for-profit schools already accredited to offer federal student aid, that nearly a milion of the 17 million college students attend for profit institutions, or that 7 percent of college students are already taking all their classes online?

It's a brave new world. Still, I wouldn't count the traditional universities out just yet. They are still pretty powerful bunch themselves. They have prestige, and they have powerful alumni. And the stink still isn't entirely off the for-profit crowd, much as they've gussied themselves up (and joined the online parade themselves: The Web: Become a Harvard man -- online UPI).

Bottom line? It seems like the HEA reauthorization isn't just going to be about performance and accountability after all.

Previous Posts:
Traditional College Students Not So Traditional
USA Today Comes Out For Mandatory College Grad Rate Data
Don't Buy the NYT Hype: Frist Grants Unlikely to Make Feds Master


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