Over the past four years, President Bush has failed higher education in many ways. He has failed to properly distinguish the differences in K-12 and higher education. His administration has shown indifference to skyrocketing tuition costs. Most importantly, Bush has not provided adequate funding for student aid programs.
Neglecting the Unique Needs of the Higher Education Community.
President Bush has paid very little attention to higher education over the past four years. Instead, he has spent the bulk if his efforts on K-12 education. His No Child Left Behind accountability program was enacted in 2001, and has since drawn heavy criticism from parents, educators, and law makers for its inadequate funding and punitive motivational techniques. Currently, Bush is trying to implement an accountability model for post-secondary education. However, the only way that his education team has approached this issue is through attacking graduation rates. .
An accountability model that focuses on graduation rates does not take into account the many nuances of higher education that set it apart from K-12 education, most notably that higher education is not compulsory. The federal government has little say in holding public schools accountable. Students are legal adults, and can exercise their rights to complete their education at their own pace, if at all. In addition, twenty percent of all college students finish at a school different than the one at which they began. Some students arrive on campus and quickly realize that they made an incorrect decision and either transfer or dropout all together. According to federal rules, transfer students are counted against the originating university as dropouts. Additionally, the schools that students transfer into cannot count transfers as graduates because their studies began somewhere else. .
State schools serve a larger proportion of non-traditional students, many of whom attend part-time while working and thus do not finish in four years.