"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Anya Kamenentz, Beautiful Shill for Corporate Higher Ed, Pt. 1

A drastic shortage of college educated workers is the latest fabricated educational crisis by the hedge fund swindlers from Wall Street and the corporate foundations.  Here is the astonishing bullshit news as presented on the website from the diploma mill, College for America, which is the exploitative moneymaking scam for Southern New Hampshire University:
In a city, a business opens a new plant. The expansion brings 500 additional job openings to the area. 22,000 individuals apply. Only 150 applicants are qualified. Even in this difficult economy employers struggle to find workers with the skills they need. Too many employers have employees who lack the skills necessary to advance and keep their firms viable. 
A college degree no longer signals sound basic skills in oral and written communication, quantitative literacy, and collaboration. Graduates often lack the fundamentals. Key employees seek advancement. Yet without a degree, which often is too difficult to complete in traditional settings, many are held back. 
The U.S. ranks 16th among developed nations in percentage of sub-baccalaureate degree holders. By 2018, the U.S. will require an additional three million workers with college degrees, and 63 percent of all jobs will require some college. Access to traditional higher education and its guarantee of mastery of relevant skills is at an all-time low. Without radical change, the U.S. will see its competitive strength continue to wane. By building competencies rather than credits and reducing the cost burden, the College for America breaks down the barriers to college-level education for millions and is poised help put America back in its position of global leadership.
Since there is no mention of where these 22,000 mostly-illiterate applicants were turned away, I went googling.  What I found was something quite different. I found this from the Toledo Blade from 2012:
After an early glitch to a listing for hourly employees in Detroit, it only took four hours for Chrysler to meet its applicant quota earlier this year. Also earlier this year, Hyundai made news when it said it quickly collected 22,000 applications for about 900 jobs at a plant in Alabama. 
And then there was this from Bloomberg News in 2012:
Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL), the world’s second-largest carrier, received 22,000 applications for about 300 flight attendant jobs in the first week after posting the positions outside the company.
So it would seem that the truth, as we have to come to expect, is exactly the opposite of what these scammers present as fact: the shortage is REAL JOBs, rather than capable and educated workers.  

In terms of the 3 million additional workers with degrees needed by 2018, the U. S. Dept. of Education clearly indicates there is no problem.  In fact, there will be a surplus of college degrees in most fields:

During the 2013–14 school year, colleges and universities are expected to award 943,000 associate’s degrees; 1.8 million bachelor's degrees; 778,000 master's degrees; and 177,000 doctor's degrees (source, source, source, and source).
In fact, there is a troubling oversupply of college graduates now "mal-employed":
Paul Harrington, director of Drexel University's Center for Labor Markets and Policy Studies in Philadelphia, said that trend coupled with what he calls “mal employment,” masks the struggles many new college graduates face.He said mal employment — college graduates working in jobs that don't require a college degree, estimated to be as many as 40 percent in recent years — is troubling.
“All the economic gains associated with getting a college degree stem from getting a job in the college labor market. If you don't, there is virtually no payoff (in earnings),” Harrington said. “If you're an engineering major and you work for a financial institution as analyst, I'd call that college labor market. But if you had a biology major and you're a shoe salesman, I'd say you're not in the college labor market.” 
The supply of new college graduates has grown much faster than anyone anticipated, from 1.23 million in 1999-2000 to 1.7 million this year.

Of course, if you are a company like Microsoft seeking to hold down labor costs while finding new ways to deepen dependence upon computer technology, or if you are in the college loan business, then an oversupply of college students is just the ticket to more wealth. 

Enter the Gates and Lumina Foundations to lead in the promotion of an oversupply of college grads from online diploma mills.  These behemoth foundations are in the lead on channeling this new river of revenue, with the education industry's personal promoter, Jeb Bush, along with Red State governors, in hot pursuit as well.  

With Lumina founded to promote the interests of the college loan industry and the Gates Foundation founded to promote tech solutions even where there are not problems, these two heavyweights are fueling the further development of the lower end of the college caste system, whereby those with little pay the most for the education that is worth the least.  

Anna Kamenentz has emerged as a chief spokeswoman for this new global corporate exploitation scheme to turn college for the poor into an limitless blood source for the corporate vampires.  See her in action here from 2010:

Somehow Anya expects us to equate the value of digital texts AND canned curricula to save faculty from costly consumption of time for class preparation. Apparently, with faculty costs outweighing all other university expenses, we need to concentrate on cutting costs even if we must carve up the golden goose at the same time we expect to gather its eggs.  No more of those old school knowledge experts required, at least in colleges for the non-privileged.

The result? A university taught by academic sharecroppers with Pearson or McGraw-Hill canned courses that students plug into in order to pass "competency" tests. Welcome to Corporate College for the poor.


  1. Even if the fallacy about not enough skilled workers was true, they could easily be trained-just like they used to do 20-40 years ago.

  2. I can clearly remember sitting in a NJDOE meeting back in 2008. It was a presentation on why NJ must move toward the Common Core Standards and reinvent curricula. Their main argument was the NJ businesses were becoming increasingly unable to hire NJ graduates because they were ill-prepared; as a result NJ corporations were being "forced" to hire off-shore labor or educated people from other countries. I knew then - as a I know now - that they were full of it. They failed to address our point that NJ corporations were not employing US citizens en masse because of NJ tax policies, federal tax policies, and cheap labor.

    Kamenentz, Gates, Duncan et al are intentionally defacing and devaluing American public education - and the edu-corps are profiting more than anyone else.