Clay Shirky writes:
Of the twenty million or so students in the US, only about one in ten lives on a campus. The remaining eighteen million—the ones who don’t have the grades for Swarthmore, or tens of thousands of dollars in free cash flow, or four years free of adult responsibility—are relying on education after high school not as a voyage of self-discovery but as a way to acquire training and a certificate of hireability.
Though the landscape of higher education in the U.S., spread across forty-six hundred institutions, hosts considerable variation, a few commonalities emerge: the bulk of students today are in their mid-20s or older, enrolled at a community or commuter school, and working towards a degree they will take too long to complete. One in three won’t complete, ever. Of the rest, two in three will leave in debt. The median member of this new student majority is just keeping her head above water financially. The bottom quintile is drowning …
The number of high-school graduates underserved or unserved by higher education today dwarfs the number of people for whom that system works well. The reason to bet on the spread of large-scale low-cost education isn’t the increased supply of new technologies. It’s the massive demand for education, which our existing institutions are increasingly unable to handle. That demand will go somewhere.
And ditto for high school, right?
Read the whole post.
The Blogess says:
I used to think that that it was a small sin to waste time rereading silly books you’ve already read, or watching shows about robots with hearts, and time travel, and impossible things, but then I grew up and realized that those things were the only things that mattered. So instead of giving up on Alice and Wonderland and Lost in Space I’ve decided to give up on thinking. Or at least, to give up on thinking that it’s a waste of time to simmer in the beauty of things you can’t always explain with words. I’ve decided to give up on caring about wasting time and, in doing that, I’ve suddenly saved so much time I would have spent hating myself for reading The Princess Bride for the 89th time. And now I can spend that time I’d allotted for self-doubt locked in a TARDIS or vanishing in a phantom tollbooth.
Full post here.