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The Atlantic: Better Schools Won’t Fix America

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Replies to: The Atlantic: Better Schools Won’t Fix America

  • Groundwork2022Groundwork2022 1811 replies20 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,831 Senior Member
    Along the lines of this article and discussion...

    I just finished reading "Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream". The main focus of the book is soaring college costs and the students on the lowest rungs of the SES ladder. Even if these students have full tuition (or a very low EFC), it often isn't enough*. So many of them have to help their families or have a child or two of their own to support. They may start off working 15 hours a week on top of a full course load, and holding it together, but before long they end up working 20, 30, even 40 hours a week. Those hours are detrimental to their studies. They can't keep up. They turn in stuff late or miss classes, even regularly fall asleep in class. They drop classes or go part-time without much, if any, understanding as to how it will affect their Pell Grants or other aid. Drop out rates are extremely high, and many are left with loans and no degree.

    So the author's implication is that these students would be more successful, more likely to graduate and graduate on time or sooner if they were given some sort of personal stipend in addition to full tuition. She advocates getting rid of all merit aid in favor of need based aid. Personally I think both those ideas are political non-starters (publics don't necessarily give merit aid as it is, but those that do are using it to move up in the rankings) although a few of her other ideas could be workable.

    Anyway, it ties into the idea that there is a lot more to success or failure than the quality of the school.

    *Most of the students discussed in the book lived at home while attending college. "Room and board" scholarships didn't get as much coverage, but the basic rule still applied that if a student works more than 15-20 hours, his/her studies are much more likely to be impacted.
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  • barronsbarrons 23031 replies1951 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 24,982 Senior Member
    The author of that book is not worthy of credibility. The idea of signing up for college leads to a myriad of benefits that do not go to the just poor non-students seems to be very problematic.
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  • HiToWaMomHiToWaMom 1382 replies16 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,398 Senior Member
    edited June 17
    delete
    edited June 17
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  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger 2686 replies139 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,825 Senior Member
    JHS wrote:
    It's funny -- This is probably the only country in the world where people talk like that about education and health care, and it has gotten really mixed results. There are some very bright spots of quality -- some associated with "free market" systems, others really not so much -- and a lot of general failure, all at exceptionally high cost. The quality record of large-scale (i.e., not just an individual or two), for-profit providers in both fields is actually horrendous.

    For the most part, the most prestigious colleges are private, not public universities. Harvard operates a lot like a for-profit institution. It may not have a stock price to look after, but there is a drive to perpetually increase the size of the endowment.
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  • sorghumsorghum 3495 replies109 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,604 Senior Member
    https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/retail/our-insights/mapping-chinas-middle-class
    The explosive growth of China’s emerging middle class has brought sweeping economic change and social transformation—and it’s not over yet. By 2022, our research suggests, more than 75 percent of China’s urban consumers will earn 60,000 to 229,000 renminbi ($9,000 to $34,000) a year.1
    In purchasing-power-parity terms, that range is between the average income of Brazil and Italy. Just 4 percent of urban Chinese households were within it in 2000—but 68 percent were in 2012.2 In the decade ahead, the middle class’s continued expansion will be powered by labor-market and policy initiatives that push wages up, financial reforms that stimulate employment and income growth, and the rising role of private enterprise, which should encourage productivity and help more income accrue to households.

    It is easy who have never visited the US to sit in China and write relentlessly negative stories about the US, racism, poverty, healthcare, educational inequalities, etc., etc. Anyone who lives in US will say yes..., but..., in reality it's not like that. The same applies in reverse. In real life, life in China is simply not as horrible as current popular propaganda wants to claim.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5036 replies66 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,102 Senior Member
    edited June 22
    Just between Brazil and Italy is not a screaming economic policy endorsement.

    Sure it’s an improvement. And that says nothing about the general environmental standards.

    Check out the Rare earths processing facilities.

    And sorry but when 3mm people take to the streets to protest being tried in a parent country court system. Something isn’t swell and dandy.

    This is not China bashing. Wonderful culture and people. It’s just the average American complaining about our woes and our system doesn’t fully comprehend the massive benefits and wealth of an average citizen compared to the world. And the idea of switching to those models is frightening.
    edited June 22
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  • sorghumsorghum 3495 replies109 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,604 Senior Member
    From where it was 30 years ago to between Brazil and Italy is pretty impressive.

    And everybody wants to use the rare earth minerals.
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5036 replies66 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,102 Senior Member
    It’s impressive, I guess. The oldest culture on earth, unrivaled natural resources, a population of a billion humans and with that kind of work ethic and brains.

    Seems to me the systems have been bad -and continue to focus wealth in the hands of the state. Which was my only point.
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