OK. Not that I am against the idea of fixing education. But now The Phil want to make it a special session? Nothing like waiting until the eleventh hour, as he waddles out the door in absolute lame duck status, to actually quack about some real change.
I will give him the benefit of the doubt for the "Race to the top" money. I can see him calling for a special session to try and qualify for that.
But the problems in higher ed have been there for years and years. These issues did not just pop up six months ago. The need is no greater now then it was last year, the year before that, the year before that, the year before that or any of the years before that. Where has he been the last 7 years? Now, suddenly it has jumped into emergency, must do immediately if not sooner, now! Now! NOW! category?
The only sudden change I see (over all the years in the past) is the number of Republicans in office. Is Bredesen trying to jump out in front and trying to act like he is leading the parade of where Republicans are walking anyway or has he always wanted to go our way, only now he can pull it off?
I am not sure.
Johnny come lately or not. I will take the allies where ever and when ever they come.
A few ideas for higher ed (Some that I have brought up in the past) are.
1. Cheaper tuition/ More scholarship money/ lower GPA scholarship requirements for needed majors. Nursing, Teaching, math, science.
2. Standardize classes for similar majors for instant transferability between state funded universities. This will speed graduation and encourage transfer to 4 year schools.
3. No maximum hour limit of transferable common courses, between state funded universities. This will also speed graduation.
4. No cost, or making all non credit remedial courses non mandatory. These courses slows graduation and increases cost for students. If there is a problem, it needs to be fixed before kids graduate high school.
5. Standardize grading between schools (at least k-12). Some schools do and some don't use a +,- system and in some systems the grades are skewed one way or the other. This hurts some students GPA (a big need to get into most colleges). Some students who may actually have better grades then people in different school systems end up with lower GPAs. Go to a state wide system set something like A(100-97),A-(96-91),B+(90-87),B(86-82),B-(81-77), C+(76-73), C(72-70) D+(70-67) D(66-65) F<65.
6. Put the lottery scholarship money where it was intended to go. In scholarships. When there is extra money then talk about other programs. The money isn't there this year.
7. Combine or remove large, redundant functions of UT, TBR and THEC and get the costs in line. UT is top heavy in a lot of other areas as well.