The United States has long been seen as the world's leader in higher education, but in fact its academic outcomes have been stagnating or falling for years. Newfield shows that the current funding model for higher education is not the solution to this educational crisis but its source. Using datasets recently compiled by scholars with unusual access to student records, he demonstrates that underachievement is directly tied to underfunding. The antiegalitarian effects of the current American Funding Model cause the decline of U.S. educational attainment. But why do educational leaders face little resistance from faculty in perpetuating the current funding system? In part this is because faculty mistakenly believe that their own interests are served by the current system. In fact, Newfield shows, the current funding model also creates inequities in research funding that have done particular damage to the humanities. Both overall national educational attainment and advanced academic research will be improved by building funding structures with egalitarian procedures and goals—which require greatly expanded public funding—and faculty will need to adopt egalitarian values in order to improve national education and to fix their own institutions.
Christopher Newfield; The End of the American Funding Model: What Comes Next?. American Literature 1 September 2010; 82 (3): 611–635. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00029831-2010-026
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