Friday, October 09, 2009

Ugly Truth

Paul Krugman discusses the danger to education during these rough economic times, with a paragraph devoted to California's community college system:

For example, the Chronicle of Higher Education recently reported on the plight of California’s community college students. For generations, talented students from less affluent families have used those colleges as a stepping stone to the state’s public universities. But in the face of the state’s budget crisis those universities have been forced to slam the door on this year’s potential transfer students. One result, almost surely, will be lifetime damage to many students’ prospects — and a large, gratuitous waste of human potential.

I'm grateful that someone is willing to state the ugly truth... that the cuts to education now will have lifelong ramifications to our students. Those of us in the classrooms are trying our best, but I had to turn away a few dozen students from my classes because I just couldn't add anymore. Those who claim the recession is coming to an end are ignoring how much of state budget allocations were backfilled by federal stimulus money. No furloughs or layoffs in my district yet, but we're expecting the worse for next year, which means worse will come for students who are already struggling to obtain the level of education they need to compete for a still-dwindling supply of jobs.

4 comments:

hagdirt said...

There was a bit on NPR last night about places in the economy where jobs are still plentiful - health and medicine, mainly. But all of these jobs require at least several years of specialized education, in most cases. The surplus of people looking for work now will not be able to fill these open - and important! - slots unless we can somehow make that training available and affordable.

And now we're cutting into that layer.

Dr. Lisa said...

And, as Krugman pointed out, in previous recessions, education wasn't impacted as much. So when education jobs open up again, there will be a lack of qualified people for them, too.

The transfer situation from the CCs to the four-years is scary, too. The four-years are doing everything they can to deny admission. If a student even takes one CC class at a non-local CC, the student loses priority. It's bad.

Virtualbri said...

Everything we do that destroys the middle class, and prevents any *new* people from getting into the middle class will have *decades* long ramifications, all bad.

It crushes me that education, especially education of women has such a strong positive effect on a society, not just in the 3rd world but hear, and yet we discount it entirely.

Dr. Lisa said...

I know. The strongest indicator for the strength of an economy is the education level of its women. It's very sad that we're making so many cuts to education across country, but especially in California. Our higher education system was the model that others built from, but not anymore.