A Letter From A Reader

I just learned about your organization today, following a link from, of all places, the Chronicle of Higher Education. Thank you for what you are doing.

As a voice crying in the wilderness, I find that many of the points being made on your site resonate with my own critiques that fall, inevitably, upon deaf ears. I teach at a very conservative Catholic college, so the political-correct issues do not dominate the landscape here so much. Still, the question of what higher education is really supposed to be about is very much an issue here—or ought to be. I am persuaded that there are two factors dominating this crisis, even where left-leaning bias is not the governing model. We are dealing with a spiral-effect from the interplay between tuition-driven funding for institutions and doctrinaire Education experts. Here, I am extremely critical of, at the very least, the NEA, but also the basic paradigm at work in Education conceived as a discipline deemed competent to oversee all other disciplines in the academy, but itself, remaining above critique. We can observe a clear historical correlation here. The “education paradigm” rises in the academy in conjunction with government-endorsed accrediting agencies peopled by those who embrace this paradigm. These agencies arise in an effort to protect the public interest by judging whether federally administered or guaranteed funds for tuition were being used well. Calling for constant navel picking and sweeping plans for growth as requirements for accreditation, colleges must seek more and more money to remain accredited. They have to hire people to oversee and manage their ever-expanding programs and self-studies. They have to pay for new buildings, etc. They have less and less money to pay faculty, but ask faculty to seek ever-higher qualifications at their own increasing expense, only to have them teach at ever lower standards in the increasingly unlikely event that they can find employment once they have assumed what amounts to a mortgage to gain the privilege of applying for the diminishing number of permanent posts.

In any event, I will be visiting the website often.

Thanks!

Anthony Paletta

Anthony Paletta is a freelance writer.

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