California debates performance funding

California Gov. Jerry Brown wants to tie a percentage of university funding to performance goals, such as raising four-year graduation rates. But university officials say the plan is unrealistic.

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  1. wahoofive says:

    Unrealistic is one word for it. Counterproductive might be better.

    Whenever the pendulum swings towards increasing graduation rates (aka reducing dropouts) in high schools, the usual result is lowering of standards and administrators increasingly giving diplomas to kids who haven’t learned anything, because hey, that increases the graduation rate. Do we really want that to happen in our colleges too?

    Also, why is graduating in four years so much better than doing it in five or six?

    • Mark Roulo says:

      Also, why is graduating in four years so much better than doing it in five or six?


      Because it is cheaper (for whoever is paying the bills) and it lets the kids get on with their lives two years earlier?


      Pushing high school from four years to six, so graduation at age 20 (with no additional learning … I’m not talking about HS being equivalent to an AA degree) would have the same problem.

      • wahoofive says:

        I was assuming that most 6-year college students are part-timers (since they’re usually also working), so the overall cost wouldn’t be much more. If somebody’s full-time but it takes them six years to complete because they keep flunking classes, that’s a problem, but I doubt it’s a large population.

        • Mark Roulo says:

          For a lot of the California public schools, the typical reason for more than 4 years is *supposed* to be that the students can’t get the classes they need to graduate. The kids aren’t part-time because they are working. They are part-time because they can’t get the classes they need.


          Or so goes the claim. This was the same story I heard when I was in college ~25 years ago. A lot of my classmates graduated in five years, but not because they were working. And a number of others got out in four. The party-line was difficulty in scheduling needed classes. But lots of folks managed to get the classes that they needed.


          I hear the same complaints today about needed classes not being available. But I do not know if this is the actual problem.

    • GoogleMaster says:

      My first thought was, “Great news!” because the best way that I can think of to increase the four-year graduation rate is to admit fewer “students” who need remediation and are unlikely to graduate.

  2. Thanks for finally writing about >California debates performance funding — Joanne Jacobs <Liked it!