Higher Ed Reform as a Confidence Game


On the editorial page of the May 15 edition the Toledo Blade, the editor criticizes the plans to reform higher education in Ohio, asserting in the headline: “This Is No Reform: Gov. John Kasich Is Only Making a Less Valuable Degree Accessible. What Kind Of Bargain Is That?”

Here are the opening paragraphs that establish the context:

“Governor John Kasich has a big education reform bill before the legislature—House Bill 474—that is said to have a good chance of passage.

“Beware big complicated pieces of legislation based on big sweeping ideas.

“The intent is usually good, but riders, second thoughts, and addendum sneak in that can do a lot of harm because they have not been fully vetted—not thought through.

“One such add­on in this bill is a provision to allow community colleges to grant four­year degrees, which the governor says will help greatly with ‘access’ and ‘affordability.’ That sounds compassionate…

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