Putting Education Reform To The Test

Columnist: Gov. Scott’s Panel Will Sell Out Higher Education

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Gov. Rick Scott has appointed a "blue ribbon" panel to suggest changes to the state higher education system..

Stephen Goldstein, writing in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, opens up both barrels on Gov. Rick Scott’s plan to overhaul the state’s higher education system.

Scott has appointed a panel, but Goldstein says the recommendations are already written: Sell out state universities and turn them into glorified vocational institutions.

The real solutions are simple, he writes:

What Scott knows about education could fit in a thimble. He made millions as a bean-counter, vulture capitalist, and financial bottom-feeder. He cannot see beyond benchmarks of profit-and-loss. He cannot deal with what he can’t quantify. He’s nervous in the face of nuance. He’ll always opt for short-term gain over long-term perspective, because in business he was out to make as fast a buck as he could before bailing. Once a CEO, always a CEO. He will never grow into a governor with true vision. He is beyond being able to learn anything, especially about education.

Anyone who knows and cares about higher education, especially in Florida, knows you don’t need a Blue Ribbon Task Force to tell you how to reform it: Invest mega-bucks, as you would in any business — to hire the best faculty, attract the best students, and provide the best campus facilities.

Do you agree? Should state universities focus more on what comes out of the university than what’s going in? Can state policy address training students for future job growth, or will the market solve the problem?


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