Split Decision: Pro – Colleges need to be held accountable
Johny Garcia, Connection Staff
November 2, 2011
Filed under Opinion
It is recommended that colleges be rewarded for reducing dropouts and penalized if they fail to do so, according to a study released by the American Institute of Research.
Because of the current economic situation, this is the correct choice to make.
The system we have right now is failing.
From 2004 to 2009, nearly 18 percent of all California community college students dropped out after their first year of school and $160 million dollars was wasted because of it, according to the study.
Because of this, schools need to work on reducing their dropout rates.
Right now, many community colleges baby their students.
With programs including academic forgiveness, students do not have to worry about responsibility.
Classes may, “upon petition, be discounted in the computation of his grade point average,” according to the Cosumnes River College website.
This means that somebody could just mess around, for up to 30 units, before there is any affect on their grade point average, wasting money in the process.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there.
With many forms of financial aid, such as the Board of Governor’s Fee Waiver, there is absolutely no accountability.
As long as the student is “financially eligible,” then the classes are essentially paid for by tax money.
It doesn’t matter what the student’s progress is towards his educational goal, he would still be getting free classes.
Even a lot of the classes themselves are “gimme” classes, where the teachers honestly either do not care or have jokes as standards for passing the class.
A friend of mine took a class at CRC where a few essays were required. One of the essay’s requirements was to be at least five pages in length, or else a failing grade would be received.
After writing a total of four pages, he gave up and put a blank page in the middle of the essay that only contained one sentence in the middle of the page: “the weeble wobble multi-fluctuates.”
To his surprise, he received a “B.” He said he did the same thing when writing another essay in the class and still received a passing grade.
Needless to say, my friend of over seven years received transfer-level credit for that course.
Rewarding and penalizing colleges based on improvement or deterioration seems harsh initially, but it isn’t.
The American dream is based on the idea that things can and will eventually get better. Families moved to this country, not speaking English and sacrificing everything, knowing that it was all worth it because their kids would have a better life than they did.
As an educational system, both nationwide and statewide, we have some sacrificing to do.
Will we automatically succeed and quickly get better? Probably not, but what we will do is bring the one thing that seems to be lacking from this community college system.
The thing we lack that makes the other school systems chuckle at us—represented by the dropout rates and amounts of wasted taxpayer money—is accountability.
Would the changes place more stress on students? Of course. And would some students collapse under the pressure? of course. But I truly believe that most people would step up to the plate and step up to the challenge that awaited them.
Think of how a natural diamond is made.
“The formation of natural diamonds requires very high temperatures and pressures,” according to geology.com.
Although rewarding and penalizing colleges based on their dropout rates would place more pressure on students, the outcome would be worth it. The outcome would be the equivalent of a diamond.