A pal of mine on staff at UC Berkeley has been watching heads hit the ground around her for months. My friends who are teachers are fretting about cutbacks in budgets that had already been slashed to the bone. From other educators, I know that from pre-K to post-docs, school funding has slowed to a drip of a trickle. In a thought-provoking recent NYT piece, "The Uneducated American," Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman wonders why we permit starving our seed corn like this.
In part, Krugman blames the U.S. Senate, who decided last February
that much of the stimulus funding aimed at schools and universities
should be cut. The trickle-down (or trickle-not) on that is to break
the long-standing social contract between community colleges and state
universities, in which competent students from the JCs found it easy to
move up the educational ladder when the time came. Now, in California
at least, state universities say they may not be able to take any
transfers at all. So much for supporting self-improvement and upward
The result, as Krugman points out with maximum irony, is that now "
On this topic and many others, it currently seems that those who wish to fast-forward us back to the 19th century are wielding more clout in Congress than the rest of us.