Wilson vs. Woods

If you haven’t yet read the Sept. FC “Open Debate” between Steven F. Wilson and George Wood regarding private sector involvement in (or in lieu of) public education, I’d encourage you to do so.

I only wish to chime in with a comment about the University of Phoenix: Many people view Phoenix with some level of disdain, pointing to its rate of non-graduating students. But its a mistake to only look at Phoenix vis-a-vis other colleges and universities. A more relevant way to view Phoenix is with respect to high school education. Phoenix is offering not so much an alternative to other colleges and universities but remedial education to overcome the deficiencies in our public school systems. Phoenix’s $2.3 billion in revenue — along with the revenues of Wilson’s Advantage Schools and hundreds if not thousands of other private-sector educational businesses — is one way to begin quantifying the cost of public education’s shortcomings.

Students often go to Phoenix to get what they failed to learn in high school. And frankly, even its non-graduates can often make for better employees that many non-students graduating from “finer” colleges and universities.

All of this is really my way of disguising yet another sports-related entry here on Sports Wednesday at FC Now. Yes, the University of Phoenix has just paid $154.5 million for the naming rights to the new NFL Phoenix Cardinals stadium:

University of Phoenix gets naming rights to Cardinals’ stadium.

The Cardinals move out of ASU’s Fiesta Bowl for this? The irony!