The Spellings Commission Report To Change Postsecondary Education:5 Years Later

This morning, the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article on The Spellings Commission of five years ago, noting, in former North Carolina Governor James Hunt’s words: “One of the most important reports in the educational and economic history of our country-if we act on it.”

Five years later, little has been done to acted on the Commission’s recommendations, mostly because the suggestions from the Commission generally cost money and Congress and states have been too busy cutting, rather than adding, money from budgets. That makes it pretty hard to act on a Commission Report with two counter-active realities.

The second reason the recommendations have not been acted upon is that there is zero political will to do so. Higher education is simply not that important an issue in the face of the global economic collapse. Education is seen as one of the most important issues of society-until something else is. During election campaigns, education is always floated about as an important issue. However, “it’s the economy, stupid” reigns supreme in the electorate. Voters think of their pocketbooks first, their health and welfare second, and then comes the other things, like education, wars, and so on.



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