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

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Basics of the Competency-Based [sic] Scam

Emily Talmage and Alison Hawser McDowell have done major sleuthing into the dark world of "competency-based" education (CBE), which is now the next big thing in corporate education reform.  Sure, charter schools will continue to drain public systems for as long as the public remains uninformed about the greed, racism, and elitist paternalism driving these Wall Street missionaries, but as the public wakes up to the charter scam, the competency-based, "personalized" isolation of online or hybrid schooling will be ready to gain ascendancy, from elementary school through college.  That is why it is so important now to know what is going on in pilot programs across the country and large scale in some states like Maine and New Hampshire.  Alison McDowell wrote this insightful piece last fall.  I have provided some links to Alison's piece for those who find this all new.

by Alison Hawser McDowell
Emily Talmage noticed a connection between ed reformers, those funding CBE, and student loan financing. I was thinking about it today, and I think I see how it will play out. Follow the money. Who stands to gain?
  1. Move to the idea of online credentialing. Call it standards-based skills mastery, etc. Get everyone on board with CBE.
  2. Break down old-fashioned notion of "seat time." Everything is student-centered and self paced. You don't really need true distinctions between high school (even middle school) and community college and four-year college and professional certifications. It's all just one process of gathering up the "bits" of education required.
  3. Collecting badges is seamless and you just transition without any real breaks. If they get rid of physical school buildings and campuses and move learning into an online virtual world that will be easy.
  4. Accept that a four-year liberal arts education will be beyond the financial reach of most people. Provide federal funding for community college.
  5. Take over the boards of the community colleges to ensure they only offer coursework that is pre-professional and serves industry's needs
  6. Have the government underwrite or subsidize Associates degrees to boost college completion for more students. But at the end, the students will still need more training.
  7. Online for profit [and non-profit] companies (Florida Virtual School and Western Governor's University models) will offer students the chance to get their needed credentials for a price much lower than a liberal arts college, but still at a level that it will need to be financed-say $10,000 or so.
  8. Accept the fact that companies will no longer pay to train you for their jobs. They don't want thinkers with raw potential. They want a set of credentials to do the job they have right now.
  9. The robot algorithms will sift online resume submissions for those jobs demanding the right set of credentials in the online portfolio.
  10. When industry outsources your job or makes it obsolete, they lay you off and put up another online ad for a job with different competencies.
  11. People throughout their life (lifelong learning) will chase the newest set of in-demand credentials. Rather than paying for a four-year college, plus some higher degree maybe, you just have a baseline pre-professional education and chase competency/credentials so you can keep chasing the changing job market.
  12. A liberal arts education is less and less valued unless you have a job at the highest levels of a company, and those jobs will go to the grads of elite universities. [A third of all Fortune 500 CEOs have liberal arts degrees.]
  13. Companies will no longer do on the job training in a real sense. You will need to be serviced by these online companies to get them.
  14. There will be a big new market for student loan financing that will be repeated throughout your life. That's where Lumina and Nellie Mae [and Sallie Mae] come in.
  15. Redefining education as a largely online process will also benefit technology companies as well as Internet providers (but not human teachers or those whose job it is to support school operations and facilities).
  16. There will be zero quality control. People pay online education providers up front to try and get the credential for mastery, but if they don't ever attain mastery, they don't get their money back. But the debt stays with them.
Read this story given what I have just said and imagine the money to be made, the players who stand to gain, and what will happen if we don't change course.

No comments:

Post a Comment