The preceding entry in this blog argues that paying for college is better understood as “smart consumption” than as “investment.” Here’s one example of the pernicious effects of thinking of higher education as “investment”.
Talk about “investments” soon turns to strategies for maximizing “ROI” -- return on investment. Governor Rick Scott of Florida knows how to do that, he tells us. A press release from his office dated February 11, 2013 is titled “Governor Scott Highlights Higher Education Investment,” and goes on to explain what that entails:
“Every institution will have a standard way to measure the criteria and the funding will be allocated based on the institutions that do the best in achieving the three criteria. The performance measures include: the percentage of graduates employed or continuing education; the average wage of employed graduates; and the average cost to produce a graduate.“
What’s the right word for this? It’s “impoverishing,” isn’t it?