Wednesday, November 30, 2011

An American Baccalaureate Certificate

Today Secretary Duncan has voiced support for current, limited efforts to contain higher education fees and student debt, while organizers aligned with Occupy Wall Street are proposing more fundamental changes without, however, saying anything about what students might do to justify the new claims upon taxpayer money that they are making (both sides' positions are referred to in this story). Both positions are inadequate, although, as has often been the case lately, that proposal arising from the streets is more appealing than almost anything that might possibly come from Washington, D.C. at this time of federal gridlock. But I have another idea.

As a social democrat, I like many of the domestic policies that have made western Europe inviting to so many new democracies and so many millions of immigrants, and a relevant European policy we could adapt and adopt would lead to an American Baccalaureate Certificate. The relevant background report on higher education funding comes from the Educational Policy Institute, and the qualification for public funding of three-year bachelor's degrees would resemble the European Baccalaureate.

Tomorrow I will outline what learning would be required to earn an American Baccalaureate Certificate, and what benefits this new qualification would earn.

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