Monday, November 03, 2008

Racine Promise Questions

Some city officials are exploring the idea of offering free college tuition to graduates of Racine high schools. The program would be modeled after the Kalamazoo Promise. More detail is available at the Racine Post.

The grant proposal seeking to explore this program suggests that the program would transform RUSD such that all children would be prepared for a post secondary education. It would increase the incentives to finish high school and college, it would result in more disposable income for racine families, it would attract people and businesses to Racine, improve the local housing market and would improve the regional economy.

A few thoughts in no particular order:

Do we really want to look to Michigan for economic development and population retention  ideas? The economy of Michigan is tanking and people are fleeing to other states.

The Kalamakoo web site touting the program mentions nothing about who is paying for the program.

The program in Kalamazoo is for public school students only. Would Racine graduates of St. Catherines be discriminated against by this program?


Denis Navratil said...

Correction, the Kalamazoo program is run by a private anonymous group.

Anonymous said...

Why don't they just offer to pay for online degrees for everyone? It would be cheaper and people like Helding think it's the same thing anyway.

Anonymous said...

... and cancel Christmas", Sheriff of Nottingham (Robinhood Prince of Thieves)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like school choice to me, isn't that one of your pet programs?

Denis Navratil said...

This is not a school choice program anon. It offers financial incentives above and beyond a free secondary education only for those attending public schools. This incentive to attend public schools/disincentive to attend private schools limits choice even more than our present free education.

Anonymous said...

There are people trying to sell houses in order to get out of here and can't - and we need another freebie to attract more people to live here. If we only had that train it could be used to bring in big bags of money.

As a former college professor, I also get a kick out of a program that will send even more unprepared/unqualified students to college, turning it into an extension of the dysfunctional high school system. I recall the increase, every year, in students blaming me for lousy grades and parents actually calling my colleagues and I in our offices to claim that we were holding their son or daughter back, asking "what our problem is", saying "if you don't give my child a B (when they weren't even passing in some cases) they'll lose their scholarship and it will be your fault", etc.

Pariah Jeep

Anonymous said...

At which college were you a professor? I thought professors had tenure and could not be let go.

Anonymous said...

I left to take a private sector job. I LOVED the academic world but thought I could do more (and make more, yes that was part of my decision) in industry. Now I miss the students every day.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the students and went out of my way to help anyone who tried. I used to spend many nights in my office and told students if they saw the light on you are welcome to stop by, but if I'm busy with a grant or something please understand.

What I started to hate was the few who didn't try, didn't have the ability AND tried to whine their way through (along with their mom or dad whining). Again, I could work through the not trying and lack of ability BUT not the fact that some students tried to overcome these with the whining.

Anonymous said...

BTW, my first position was at a private university that didn't have tenure - they had what they called "continuing appointment". You had a three year probationary period in which you generated enough evidence of teaching and scholarly activities for a board that would then recommend/not recommend you for another five years. If you made it to that point, you had the same thing every five years. I think this system was far superior to the tenure system because no one can get tenure then stop publishing or start doing weird things.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute! Are they actually proposing that those of us who sacrifice to pay to send our kids to Prairie, Lutheran, or St. Cat's while simultaneously paying the bills for RUSD will get to pay for those same RUSD students to go to college, at the same time we sacrifice to put our own kids through college?

It is time to get the hell out of this county and this state - and given what Obama wants to do, overseas is looking better and better.