• Beth & Tim Manners

Vox: "The pandemic, says Kevin Carey, the director of the Education Policy Program at the New America Foundation, is hastening what he thinks is the long-term trend: 'the integration of technology into the planning, design, and implementation of college in a way that’s so taken for granted and ingrained that the distinction between in-person and online really starts to collapse altogether' ... Unlike a live lecture, a recorded one has a shelf life. It might take two-and-a-half hours to record one hour’s worth of lecture, but once it’s done, a professor could use that hour for four or five years straight ... While those digital lectures might not be as good as live lectures, professors will not have to spend time creating them and can devote their freed-up time to discussions, office hours, and other forms of high-value engagement."

"Digital lectures also have logistical benefits from the student’s standpoint. With asynchronous delivery, you never miss out on a class simply because it happens at the same time as another class. Seven years ago, then-Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, making the case for investing in classroom technology, argued that with 'streaming video, students — particularly those who are geographically isolated or who are taking advanced courses with limited enrollment — can connect with experts who might be thousands of miles away and can use nearly limitless instructional resources'.”

"The most selective schools could still offer unique advantages in terms of their in-person discussion seminars, providing students access to the best peer groups and other factors. And in the near future, it should be possible, through licensing or other schemes, for everyone to benefit from the best lecturers in the world. Faculty, meanwhile, could have more time for their research or for real teaching and mentoring activities rather than duplicative lecturing."

  • Beth & Tim Manners

USA Today: "University of California schools can no longer use SAT and ACT test results in deciding undergraduate admissions as the school system's 'test optional' policy at some of its campuses may unfairly benefit those who can access a test amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a judge ruled. Alameda County Superior Court Judge Brad Seligman said that 'test optional' policy at some UC campuses denies students who do not submit standardized test results a 'second look' during the admissions process that those who do submit the tests are afforded."

"The system allowed for a 'test optional' policy at some campuses, which permitted students who wanted to take the SAT and ACT to submit their scores in hopes of boosting their admission chances. Seligman said attorneys for the UC system showed that by submitting their scores, students at the 'test optional' campuses 'can only help, and never hurt an applicant ... Put another way, the tests are treated as a plus factor, and thus test-submitters are given a second opportunity for admission consideration'."

"In a statement provided by spokeswoman Claire Doan, the University of California system said it 'respectfully disagrees' with the ruling and would consider further legal action. 'An injunction may interfere with the University’s efforts to implement appropriate and comprehensive admissions policies and its ability to attract and enroll students of diverse backgrounds and experiences,' the statement said."

  • Beth & Tim Manners

Manhattan Institute: "Tuition inflation has been extensively examined. These studies neglect to deal with this question: Why has pressure from the market failed to mitigate these effects, as would normally happen in competitive markets for other products and services?" 1) Price v. Value: In the market for higher education, buyers’ willingness to pay will depend, to a large extent, on their perception of the long-run financial value of education, in the form of higher wages and more consistent employment.

2) Price Opacity: Published prices for tuition and fees are often far different from the prices that students pay after taking into account the discounts provided by the college and grant aid given by the federal and state departments of education ... The result of this pricing process is that aspiring students must make decisions about if and where to enroll based on a limited set of information about the options available to them."

3) Oligopolistic Competition: A geographically constrained marketplace means that many potential students will choose between a limited number of options within a reasonable commuting distance from home ... In practice, this can lead to what is known as oligopolistic competition, in which a market is dominated by a small number of firms—or, in this case, colleges. 4) Regulation: To gain eligibility for federal financial aid, colleges must participate in a process of accreditation ... The result is that innovative higher-education providers often have to exist without the benefit of access to federal financial aid ... the disadvantage of lacking access to federal aid dollars limits the extent to which they can prosper."

© 2020 by The Manners Group.

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