Should we stop funding Liberal Arts Education with public dollars?

Discussion in 'Education' started by Corfieldb, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. Corfieldb

    Corfieldb New Member

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    Florida Governor Rick Scott, citing shrinking financial resources, supports a strategy that would showed preferred funding for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math programs (STEM). Governor Scott says, "If I’m going to take money from a citizen to put into education then I’m going to take that money to create jobs,” Scott said. “So I want that money to go to degrees where people can get jobs in this state."

    The Governor is expected to include several different reforms aimed at Colleges and Universities across Florida when he submits his new budget next January. With more money being provided to the STEM majors, less funds will be available for Liberal Arts majors, plus some other "science" based fields of study such as Psychology and Anthropology. “Is it a vital interest of the state to have more anthropologists? I don’t think so.” says, Governor Scott.

    Now's probably a good time to mention that Governor Scott's daughter, Jordan Kandah, earned an Anthropology degree from William & Mary College. She did not work in the field, rather was a Special Education teacher before enrolling in a MBA program earlier this Fall.

    As fun as that sounds, its not really evidence that Scott's policy is hypocritical or would even be a bad one.

    As I understand it, students would'nt be prevented from study Liberal Arts, they just wouldn't get as much public dollars via student grants and loans to do so. This wouldn't effect Scholarships or other private sources of tuition assistance.

    I don't profess to know how the coffers for Florida higher education look at this moment. In general, with the shape of the economy, rising health care costs, unemployment's effect on the tax base, etc. it doesn't sound crazy to me to accept Scott's...

    Continue reading here...
     
  2. PatrickT

    PatrickT Well-Known Member

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    No, but I don't think we should fund everyone to go to college. We should pay for only those who are bright.
     
  3. perdidochas

    perdidochas Well-Known Member

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    Well, given a choice between a liberal arts education or a communications degree, I would support the liberal arts education. Liberal arts meaning a generalized education, that includes a wide variety of courses. I have a liberal arts and sciences education (major in Biology), but I don't discount the non-science as unimportant, rather it complemented my science courses.

    The other thing is, government money is limited. We have a shortage of STEM graduates. Shouldn't we encourage students to go into fields that we have need of?
     
  4. PatrickT

    PatrickT Well-Known Member

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    Liberal arts does a lot less damage than sociology.
     
  5. Jack Ridley

    Jack Ridley New Member

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    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zCrtHq29KE"]Oh the Humanities![/ame]
     
  6. Caeia Iulia Regilia

    Caeia Iulia Regilia New Member

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    Most of the non STEM degrees are garbage. What exactly can a person who studies English Lit do with that degree? Congrats, the government has just wasted $50,000 of MY money to teach some kid a degree that won't get him a job. The same is true of 99% of "liberal arts" subjects. No job at the end, and a huge bill for the rest of us.

    Besides which those trash degrees drive up the cost of college for the smart STEM students. College costs so much because everyone goes -- even people who have no business being there.
     
  7. perdidochas

    perdidochas Well-Known Member

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    You missed my point. My point is that liberal arts education is a good thing. Liberal arts degrees, for the most part are not. I have a liberal arts and sciences degree. What that means is that I have coursework in a wide range of things (humanities, social sciences, literature, etc.) as part of my science degree. IMHO, a liberal arts education in a science is probably the best form of education possible. I can discuss non-science issues with the majority of people in the arts/humanities world, but I can also discuss science with engineers. Best of all worlds. It is what we need to produce truly educated people. Another name for a liberal arts education is a classical education.
     
  8. cenydd

    cenydd Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Science is what makes it easier to live well. Art is what makes it worth living. Both are important.
     
  9. Stay_Focused

    Stay_Focused New Member

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    We should cut our funding to undergraduate programmes. My first hand experience just proved how it is a waste of tax payers's money. You have kids there who went through four years of bureaucracy as "IQ Test" just to prove to the fututre employers they have some capability to make it into the school, and some, with good GPA. They do not prepare you for working life. And even as a signal of appitude, I do not believe that we need four years. I went to a decent public school in Pennsylvania. The kids were not to be blamed as they were mostly hardworking people and many were under pressure to work hard to pay back the loan. But the system as a whole is very inefficient and not worth the time and money.

    There are also alot of junk public schools there. It ended up become state-sponsored parties with rampant grade inflation to cover up for the lack of academic substance. It wonders little when many remembered "college as the most memorable part of their lives". In many places, it is an experience of tax-payers funded parties getting drunk in dorms, lack of academic substance, a system detached from the working world reality(No one cares if you are late for lectures, but try that for work).
     
  10. Caeia Iulia Regilia

    Caeia Iulia Regilia New Member

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    I'm not addressing that point, but since you bring it up, I think that such things are great to study on your own time. I can get a lot of free philosophy books and so on for my kindle -- doesn't cost you anything, and that means that I can spend the thousands of dollars that college costs me or the taxpayers on a degree that will get me a job. Math, science, engineering or business (esp accounting) are good choices for career training. English Lit, while fascinating, is not going to get you hired as anything more than an English teacher. It's a poor ROI especially in a job market like we have right now.
     
  11. DarkDaimon

    DarkDaimon Well-Known Member

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    The same could be said of athletics yet I don't hear any rhetoric about slashing their funding.
     
  12. Caeia Iulia Regilia

    Caeia Iulia Regilia New Member

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    Well, at least in the colleges, men's sports are roughly self supporting. The football and basketball teams fund PE for everyone else. And most of the guys in PE majors are playing for said teams and on full scholarships. Sure the 90% of them that are NOT turning pro get screwed in the deal, but it's a self supporting enterprise, not like LibArts that require government funding for both the program and the students.
     
  13. Clint Torres

    Clint Torres New Member

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    I support non-funding of any education program that requires public monies that have no accountability and no management of the funds. It is the same in every USA state; just throw tax money at the education system and they think it will improve the system. Fact is the system is worst off and the money goes to the education administrations and unions who make a greedy living off the taxpayer.


    Here are some options for people wanting to get an education in the USA

    If people want to get an education they should work their ass off for it, so they don't take education for granted. There are those who go through live expecting/praying/hoping/worshiping for a hand out and end up in debt for their entire life.. And there are those who strive for a goal, work hard, and accept no hand out of gubment cheese, and make it to graduate college. Who do you think I'm going to hire?

    If a student does not have the academic ability to be award scholarships, than they do not need to take out a loan and waist their family's money to pay a corporate entity like the university system to pay for school. Those kind of people (who don't get offered the scholarships) need to take a step into the real world of employment (get a job), and work for their education. At the same time they can evaluate themselves and realy try to see where they fit in the real world, and what they want out of life.

    Better yet, if they cant afford to pay the corporate university systems the "fees", they should join the military (if they can qualify).

    And if they are too lazy and simple to get a job, than they should take out a massive loan, and borrow massive amounts of money to get into college Liberal Arts, and live off the parents.
     
  14. oldjar07

    oldjar07 Active Member

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    Exactly. And I don't care if you can get a job or not with a liberal arts degree. Just because you can make money off of something doesn't mean it's beneficial to society.
    Here is an example: I work for a job that doesn't help anything in society. I work for a company that conducts interviews over the phone to help improve customer service of clients. We conducted surveys for a bank. Most of the complaints we got were about a service charge the bank recently imposed. Is it really that hard to figure out that a service charge is going to (*)(*)(*)(*) people off? I don't think the bank learned anything they didn't already know. Instead of paying our company to do surveys, they should get rid of their service charge.

    We need a lot more engineering, science, and math classes. These areas produce great benefits for society. The example I just showed you is the reason why you now need both a father and mother to work to support a family now instead of just the father. This is the reason our economy sucks. People could work half the time and get paid the same if we got rid of stupid jobs like mine.
     
  15. oldjar07

    oldjar07 Active Member

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    Is science not an art? I'd say it is the greatest form of art. It is the art of discovery and truth. You don't think it takes great imagination to come up with the ideas some of these engineers and scientists do? I just don't see how painting a picture or writing poetry is useful in society.
     
  16. oldjar07

    oldjar07 Active Member

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    Why work your ass off for something if you don't have to? Like I said in my earlier example, if people were smarter and there was no stupid jobs like mine, people wouldn't need to work their asses off for something. Work smarter, not harder. Another example would be the difference in economies of Mexico and the U.S. Mexicans work just as hard as people in the U.S., yet they make half as much.
     
  17. Clint Torres

    Clint Torres New Member

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    Liberal arts are good for the undergrads to prep them for grad school degrees. Depending on the level and ability of the university it is foundation for intelligent people to continue to graduate level educations due to the requirements for more math and language, writing, and basic reasearch skills vs the science degrees that focus on one industry skill.

    But both have their benifits and limitations.

    As for the cost. The universities should not be a bottomless pit for tax money and should be mandated to alert the public taxpayer how much tax money the university spends on their programs. Because the cost of universities are so high, the government has no clue on how much tax money goes into each program. Hence there is no way to financialy manage the university or public schools for that mater.

    IMO people should pay more for college. And they should work and save to attend college if they are not talented enough to get a scholarship. School can always wait, unless you are trying to be a Medial Doctor.

    Too often I see immature kids in college with no real goals in life other than to "Attend". they breeze through or get by and miss the opportunity to really focus on what they want. After they turn 30 they sometimes regret going another direction. And now they need to start all over again, and it cost more now.

    I think there should be alimit on how much a State and it's taxpayers spends on Universities. and public schools. The cost of public education is what is destroying the USA, not to mention the failure of the moron factories of the K through 12.
     
  18. DarkDaimon

    DarkDaimon Well-Known Member

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    Why does everything have to be about the bottom line? Shouldn't we be interested in knowledge for the sake of knowledge?

    Alright, let's assume that the only thing important in this world is the bottom line. Does that mean that the Liberal Arts are useless? On the contrary, Liberal Arts includes things like English, communications, political science and sociology. Are those things not important to a business person? So what you can program an entire OS in machine language. Who's going to hire you if your resume consists of text-speak and 1337 spelling. All the engineering skills in the world don't mean excrement if you can't communicate to others.

    Here is the tale of two Steve's. Steve Wozniak was a hacker and a phreaker in the 70's. He started building his own computers and selling them to his buddies at the Hombrew Computer Club. However, it was his friend Steve Jobs that took the idea of building computers for people and turned it into a multibillion dollar business. What college did Steve Jobs attend? Reed, a liberal arts college in Oregon. Is it coincidence then that the big selling points of iPhones, iPods and Macs are their ease of use and unique design? Is it coincidence that it was Steve Jobs that did the public speaking?

    How much of a CEO's job is actual business and how much of it is politics? An IT manager once told me that as a tech he relied more on the technology classes of his college degree, but as a manager, he relied more on the general education classes (i.e. the Liberal Arts classes) of his college degree.


    Maybe if the bank had some managers who knew a little about human behavior and not just math they wouldn't have needed to pay your company to do surveys, they could have figured out that the fees were a bad idea themselves.

    The funny thing is that math is considered a Liberal Art. Of course the irony that we're arguing over whether or not to fund Liberal Arts, which includes Political Science, on a political forum is not lost on me.

    In every job, there is an element of human interaction, after all, we're social animals. Wouldn't it be a huge benefit to be able to understand your fellow humans? That is what Liberal Arts is all about.
     
  19. LeConservateur

    LeConservateur New Member

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    I have a degree in general studies, one in history and am doing another one in French. It could be argued at all three of these are "useless" degrees, but there is no question that my education has helped me get jobs and, most important, to think critically.

    I say let kids study what they want, but give them loans that they have to pay back and only approve them for what they are reasonably going to be able to pay. I don't think any degree should be on the taxpayer's dime.
     
  20. LeConservateur

    LeConservateur New Member

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    Not to mention the liberal indoctrination in these places.
     
  21. clarkatticus

    clarkatticus New Member

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    At the height of WWII Winston Churchill was asked to support the defunding of the arts, he was Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative party. His answer? "What are we fighting for?" In this forum, there are those who think with the left side of their brain, some that think with the right, and some that utilize both sides, all are American.
     
  22. Clint Torres

    Clint Torres New Member

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    And there you have why americans ar lazy, employers want someone that is a go getter. One that will innovate and improve. maipulating into a job with "I know a guy" don't often cutt it to keeping a job in the real competitive world of employment.

    But as you say, do less for more. The only place that can be successfull is the public schools system.

    Like all the people of America (other than the Native Americans) their families worked hard in tuff conditions to get to where they put their families. At this juncture in the American histor, that trend does continue with most of the immigrants. Chinese and Mexicans on the West coast, and West Indians, jewish, Indians, and Pakistanis on the East coast and areas all over.

    Only in the confinds of the sheltered safe and structured relm of the public education system does the adults come to take advantage of their benifits throughout their careeers as an educator.

    For the massess that suffer trhough the public school it is only a small part of their real world life, and the things they learn in "school" don't realy apply to the real world. More often than not, the massess move on and mature to learn about the real world and real skills needed to survive in the competitive world of real employment and buisness.
     
  23. oldjar07

    oldjar07 Active Member

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    It depends on what you count as liberal arts. If you count math, politial science, economics, etc. as liberal arts, than some liberal arts classes are good. However, things like music, english, foreign language, art, and music are stupid. The thing is you don't need a class for most liberal arts things anyway. You can't understand your fellow humans without a class? Do the managers at the bank really have to take a class to know about human behavior? I could tell you customers would be pissed off with a service charge without having to take a liberal arts class.
     
  24. oldjar07

    oldjar07 Active Member

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    What are taxpayers going to do with that money? Probably blow it all on (*)(*)(*)(*) they don't need.
     
  25. Clint Torres

    Clint Torres New Member

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    In the USA most of those "Art" classes like music literature, poetry, photography, art, sculpture, etc... are not a significant requirement of the Liberal Art degree. Unless the major is in those diciplines. But forigen Language is very important; Americans need to get ready to abandon their native land for better job opportunities. Seriously, They need to go abroad to be successfull in the future. That's were the real good paying jobs are and will be in the nest 3 to 4 years. Call it the new gold rush. Those without the language ability will not be able to do it, by the time people realize it, it will be too late and all the gold will be gone.


    Corporations establish buisnessess and corporations abroad, and they take their staff with them to manage the establishment of their forgen corporations.

    This is a global interconnected world in which we live. And that trend will continue, as the emerging countries need corprations to assist in their development. IF not from the USA they will take it from Russia, China, India, Korea, And most of the South Americas.

    I digress:
    The only reason they have thses fun art classess is because some are good at it and they need jobs within the education systems. Why? because it's fun, and it's easy, and they get child hours.
     

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