Dear My Harvard and Making Caring Common (“MCC”),
(How well do we really know our today’ students? – Oct. 2018. Higher Learning Advocate)
I do believe your MCC should be extended to all our current educational system, for our better future, in education and in whole society.
When I reviewed your papers and suggestions for HE admission, I realized that it should not be enough, or in some ways, it is little and in my own view, it is late. We encourage HE to lead the “making caring common” (“MCC”) for high school students and their activities with communities and families, but go in details, if it does not become the “culture of support” like advised by Lumina (Beyond Financial Aid 2018 Report), we might see how fragile we are as a whole of American society or in any individual student we lost!
Might I share some thoughts I got when we think about MCC in our current situation, and what happened with no-MCC for a long time.
From the above picture, that is the truth to describe our today’ students. They did not include 2 other facts:
(i) More than 60% drop-out or not completed, with student debts and the credits they got in HE do not well recognize in any where;
(ii) Average student debt of American is $37K/person (2017), while the average national debt per person is $61,5K (2017), in which with $37K/person, assuming that they devote for our teaching works, it shall take at least 10 years – 15 years to pay off their first degree (provided that they are lucky to get proper jobs). If they go to higher learning after BA, they shall have longer period for paying debts and to date, we have in total $1,5 trillion for student debts and more than 60% is falling in minority and first-generation college students.
When we label “students”, we do not talk much about “people in poverty”, and thanks Higher Learning, they counted for us. We have 42% independent students live at or below fed poverty line (less than $22,3K/year/4 people; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poverty_in_the_United_States).
And no one talks about “teaching jobs” or our teachers also face with the same situation like their students! Salary for K-12 teachers, at the beginning and might take at least 3 – 6 years, around $35K/year (kindly note that more than 50% new hired teachers leave their works after 3-5 years and that is the key for big expense for substitutes and HRM matter in K-12). For HE, as we move to explore “course flying-in” or graduate students to teach, the payment for them is starting around $40K and is a bigger part in headcount of HEM till now.
Not me, but Mark Tucker – NCEE describes the status of our teaching works and people there is like “in – prison” they find themselves and cannot escape! [Teacher Colleges are our weakest in education].
I appreciate Mark’ views and honesty about the current situation, but the right next question is that “why and how”, we have fallen in this for a quite long time and the more time we seat in “dirty”, the more complicated mixing that has leading us to go far away the right directions to correct the mistakes such as:
1. MCC should be incorporated in any new or revised regulation, to ensure all must focus on Human Talented Development .
2. Before issuing any new regulation, how to review all current situation and status, to ensure all facts and truths have been recorded.
3. As our education system is decentralized, MCC should be detailed in line with each area, each person in education/schooling environment…
But just with some examples below, I do believe we need to “re-think” what we proposed for educational re-structures.
1. Spend ineffectively on education K-12, especially spending on substitutes rather than professional. The same for HE
2. Student Debts vs. Learning Outcomes vs. Employability
3. Mass HE : Education for All, but Quality for Few and the crisis
4. While just human/good teachers might help students to succeed; but all programs we set up for them show that we really don’t care much about their life, feeling and professional pathways. I am quite surprised that no one raised up the big package gaps between teachers/professors and their management in the same schools; or why we talk about public schools – public HE, but revenue might raised up to 37%/yr and because the tuition top up to 164% from 1980 to 2016, while the minimum wage does not change much?
The way people from business and finance involving more in HE and Public schooling have leading our education from public good to
“Good for few, but all expenses will be shared by public”!
In production, in The Affluent Society, it is recommended that we have failed as a society when we produce too much and people buy over than they can afford. Unluckily, the failing perception in production has been transferred to HE and in education general.
We focus on mass quality of education, how we can build a nation competition?
All of the above ugly facts, for me, it shows that we really don’t care about our kids, our parents, our teachers and our People in the truly and madly meaning of word “People”. And as a consequence, how to build a strong community and nation, when we do not have a strong people with their belongings to us, to our education and our community?
When I started to study about internationalization of HE in America and how to extend to Asia, I found that internationalization has been repeated as a “hot” trend, but how many American students get it, except for a few who might afford to study overseas?
The same, for the question how HE internationalization might help American students to complete their degree and have a better life? I learned that the student debts are the one matter, but not all. As the Higher Learning shared, 58% students work in college and 39% take college as part-time. To explain for more than 60% drop out, someone said that if the 4 year to extend to 6 year period, we might increase the completion more. However, the point is that with 2 more years, how much do students work and earn and borrow to pay off?
Reading the number of 37% revenue increase per year at HE, I am thinking whether we love to make mass HE enrollment because of this?
Who might benefit from long-term student debts?
Who might benefit from mass HE, but low quality and not sure the outcomes?
All these questions do not clarify the education position in the US, but they are the answer for who we are in very near future. This is the national security, the nation competition! It’s about US.
But who cares?
I sincerely hope MCC must be from Top to bottom, from policymakers, from leaders of each state and then, any individual school leader.
We build “prison” for ourselves, who will help us?
That is the reason I strongly believe and encourage to study deeper MCC to encourage all schools, from K-16 to learn how to integrate into our single activity, as the more kids, more teachers, more leaders
learn how to care for others, for public, for our future, then, we might hope we will find the right directions to fix our problems, not only in education, but all other matters.
We must back to our US values, no more and no less.
[Noted: when we go so fast into digital era and people talk a lot about AI, auto, and many other tech might replace “human labor”, the matter of education and employability has been cautiously taken, for whole society’ success or for few’ success? Bigger gaps b/w edu and resources, inequality and many others…Story WE or I still!
How to change the rule/setting
““Good for few, but all expenses will be shared by public”
“Good for All, real All”.
The fake of “share” must be stopped