We set aside the sordid Sandusky scandal and the summer footballess slump in order to turn to another favorite Turkey whipping boy: the higher education system. However, this time, we lay down the whip and hand out some kudos.
Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, best known for his union busting efforts in the public sector and the failed recall attempt at the behest outraged unioners and unionettes, has released a proposal to revamp higher education in his state, which this Turkey hopes is the vanguard of other states’ innovation to modernize curricular delivery and reduce the overall cost of education.
Bloated modern universities pursue a set of conflicting aims with a great deal of inefficiency and dilution of product. If the primary function of most state universities is producing well educated baccalaureates, then their mission has largely failed and has done so at so high a cost as to cause a student loan crisis to boot. Attempts to throw money at the problem by the misguided federal government has only served to exacerbate the problem.
Walker’s proposal, dated June 19, aims to reform public higher education in his state by creating a hybrid model between on-line and in-class instruction that is self-paced and aims at competency and mastery of material rather than tight time tables. He states:
The unique self-paced, competency-based model will allow students to start classes anytime and earn credit for what they already know. Students will be able to demonstrate college-level competencies based on material they already learned in school, on the job, or on their own, as soon as they can prove that they know it. By taking advantage of this high quality, flexibility model, and by utilizing a variety of resources to help pay for their education, students will have new tools to accelerate their careers. Working together, the UW System, the State of Wisconsin, and other partners can make a high-quality UW college degree significantly more affordable and accessible to substantially more people.
You’re talking my language, Your Excellency!
For more information on the UW Flexible Degree plan, check out this brochure.