Global College Crisis is now leading to deaths

Posted: January 24, 2012 in education, Occupy
Tags: , , , , ,

Global College Crisis is now leading to deaths

As many of you know from reading this blog I work in education, specifically at the community college level.  Now I can have worked at the four-year level but fortunately a lot of the students at that level would be successful in spite of our best efforts.  The few that wouldn’t were the reason I was there but they were too few and far between.  I decided to work at the community college level because this is where the rubber hits the road.  A high percentage of the students we see every day are educationally and financially disadvantaged, we routinely work with folks who utterly and completely let down by the secondary system, folks who have screwed up and are trying to make their life right.

In California where I work the budgets have been shit for the last three years and we have gradually cut and cut and cut in response.  Today was the first day of school and we had classes that seat 25 people with 28 extra people waiting in the hopes of finding a seat.  At the end of this week I have a department chair who will come into my office and tell me about the over 500 students who couldn’t get into classes in his department this semester.  At our community college alone, we will deny access to over 5000 students this semester.

My school is not unique, there are estimates that the 112 schools in the California Community College system will turn away over 670,000 students this year, that’s not a typo.  We cannot, world-wide, continue to tell young and sometimes not so young, knowledge hungry people that they cannot be educated because we don’t have space.  This is the type of problem that creates the knowledge and wealth gap, that creates the inequity that fuels the anger of the Occupy movement.

Where does this lead to?  Well we may have gotten a little bit of a preview in Johannesburg, South Africa where students trampled each other trying to be first in line to get to some of the few remaining seats in classes available, check out the link below: 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/11/world/africa/stampede-highlights-crisis-at-south-african-universities.html

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