Colleges and universities cannot be expected to solve America’s problems of inequity. They cannot repair broken families, or make up for learning deficits incurred early in childhood, or “level the playing field” for students with inadequate preparation. But they should be expected to try to mitigate these problems rather than worsen them—and one main reason they are failing to do so is their relentlessly rising cost.
The fervor over STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) goes beyond promoting a quartet of academic subjects. Rather, it’s about the kind of nation and people we are to be.