Don’t taint college with the inefficiency of U.S. public school system
Published: Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, January 24, 2012 22:01
Long before I knew which college I wished to attend, I understood the financial obligations an education would bring to me and my family. Luckily, my parents had enough foresight to start a prepaid college tuition plan for me shortly after I was born.
Unfortunately, the dream of attending college becomes monetarily unattainable for some.
What is the answer to financial limitations? One solution, taxpayer funded colleges, was posed to me and my colleague at Eagle News. We hold opposing views on the subject.
Even the shortest glance at the public school system in America would show a menagerie of dysfunctional bureaucrats vying for every last dollar the state is willing to dole out.
Teachers unions cripple the system and elected school boards fight with superintendents over policy issues. Schools, intended for learning, become riddled with apathetic youth waiting for the final bell.
All of these negative attributes add up to a taxpayer-funded disaster, which ends up affecting the student for the worse.
Bear in mind that I was public school educated and in my humble opinion, I turned out just fine academically. But the notion that we would burden our higher education system — a system that should remain outside of partisan bickering over funding — with being 100 percent underwritten by the taxpayer is naïve at best. At worst, it is positively unrealistic.
In addition, funding our schools completely by taxpayer dollars — essentially making college a right for everyone — creates a fundamental lack of competitiveness among high school students seeking to further their education.
When I think back to my days in middle school, my academic pursuits were much less disciplined knowing that I was guaranteed admittance to Barron Collier High School. However, when I began my freshman year at Barron Collier, I knew that I had to apply myself fully to my studies if I intended to matriculate to a respected university.
While the idea of free college for everybody may sound like noble premise, in reality it will only lead to the lowering of academic standards in universities, discord among the administration and the state and eventually a mess in our higher education system that is similar to the same problems we see across our country in public schools.
In short, leave the pursuit of higher learning to those who deserve it — high school students who apply themselves to their studies, achieve scholarships from private organizations and the colleges themselves, or from Bright Futures. Doing so will guarantee the highest level of erudition in our higher-education system.