Higher Education Reform Now

2016 Presidential Elections

September 7, 2016

By Michael Dannenberg

Do you think higher education is held accountable for poor outcomes? No? Me neither.

On one end of the spectrum, we have high-quality, wealthy colleges reaping the benefits of public support despite serving an unacceptably low number of working class and low-income students. On the other end, we have significantly underperforming and under-resourced colleges serving many low-income students, but serving them poorly. Both types of schools receive state and federal higher education public dollars, not to mention nonprofit status, regardless of whom they serve or how well they perform.

Modified cartoon from timothyjoseph.net/wealth-inequality/


What can be done? It’s time, if not past time, we shift a portion of higher education resources away from wealthy universities that are willfully bad on equity and have plenty of institutional funds to finance improvement, and toward desperately needy and underperforming colleges — particularly minority-serving institutions that still suffer the vestiges of legal racial discrimination. All colleges and universities receiving added funds should, in exchange, be held to bare minimum access and quality standards.

Let’s penalize unethical colleges, help under-resourced ones, and protect students from those that persistently and grossly underperform even after receiving added help.

Read More Here (pp. 57-60) in Bellwether Education’s new publication 16 for ’16.