Tuesday, February 8, 2011

State funding linked to graduation rates

Our illustrious Arkansas State Legislature, in all of their infinite wisdom, have decided to discuss the possibility of linking the funding provided to State colleges and Universities to the graduation rates of the individual schools. What they are saying is that the schools who have the highest grad rates, get the most money.

Now, that being said, the University of AR at Fayetteville is the most exclusive State University in Arkansas. It is in the area of the state that also has the Walton Family (Wal-mart headquarters), the Tyson Family (Tyson Chicken), JB Hunt Trucking, and has been the only Republican area of Arkansas for the last 150 years. They have the highest graduation rate in the state because you have to have a higher GPA and test scores to even be accepted.

But there are also 2 Universities in the Delta region of the state, aka the poor folks. These are Arkansas State University in Jonesboro (where DD goes) and University of AR at Pine Bluff.

ASUJ( Northeastern region) has a history of being a "regional" college but they have recently been focusing on helping students stay in school and graduate with a useful degree. They also have a network of "feeder" schools, aka junior colleges, that offer 2 year degrees and let the students transfer into ASUJ after the first 2 years.

UAPB on the other hand, is a 4 year college that focuses on giving minorities a chance to get an education. They are in the poorest(Southeastern) section of the state, and in Arkansas that means the least educated. Their graduation rates have a tendency to correspond to the general education of the region.

This legislation is specifically designed to keep the rich, well educated area of the state, well educated and rich, and keep the poor, uneducated areas, poor and uneducated.

This is absolutely not what the legislature is supposed to do. They are supposed to educate the poor, economically depressed areas so they are not so poor and economically depressed. This is a classic example of the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer. The Democrats want to keep that minority voting block on the public dole.

It is just so counter-intuitive.

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