February 12, 2011

RICK PERRY CALLS FOR $10,000 B.A. DEGREE: Democrats Respond That Proposal Will “Dumb Down” Texans. Hmm. You can get a computer for a lot less than you could a few years ago. Is the new computer dumber? And maybe Texas can cut a deal with the Khan Academy — and maybe even answer the certification problem.

More on Perry’s proposal here.

Perry was inspired by comments that Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corp. and co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, made at a conference in California, said Catherine Frazier , a spokeswoman. A video posted on YouTube captured some of Gates’ remarks.

“College, except for the parties, needs to be less place-based,” he said. Web-based instruction and other technology could drive the price down to $2,000 a year, he said.

Perry wrote to university regents last week , urging them to develop $10,000 degree programs and to scale up those programs so at least 10 percent of the sheepskins awarded by their schools are based on this approach. He said programs could include online classes, classes at no-frills campuses, credit for prior learning, credit for Advanced Placement classes in high school and other elements.

There’s room for increased efficiency. In particular, certification based on skills rather than time served, offers real potential.

UPDATE: A reader emails:

From your link: “After Perry’s speech, State Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin, asked reporters, ‘Now how many people do you know that stated they got a Ph.D or a law degree online which you hired to represent you in court?” No one who utters a sentence like that should be lecturing anyone on education policy.


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