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Hold college presidents accountable for failure

With the help of an intervention by Albany, the Buffalo Public Schools at last have a plan to improve student performance. The problems of our area’s failing colleges, however, remain unsolved. Erie County Community College graduates only 18 percent of students, below the level of many city high schools. It’s time we held all educational institutions to the same standards.

Shouldn’t presidents of colleges be held accountable for the performance of their facilities in the same way we hold superintendents of districts accountable? Shouldn’t Bryant and Stratton (with an 18 percent graduation rate) and SUNY Buffalo State (58 percent) be investigated for their failure to achieve a respectable success rate?

Failing colleges also produce students who have the highest default rates on student loans. Why do students continue to get money if they are failing? What happened to requiring a minimum GPA to receive scholarships and loans?

Colleges accept students with minimal competency in high school and take their money without providing the supports the students need to be successful. The Institute for College Access and Success praised President Obama for saying we need to tie financial aid to success, measured by graduation rates. As the cost of higher education continues to outpace inflation, it’s essential his ideas be implemented.

If we are to be competitive in a global economy, the word “work” needs to be put back into our universities and colleges. Students should be responsible for maintaining respectable GPAs to be awarded loans and scholarships. Colleges need to provide the support their students need to succeed, and students need to know if they don’t take advantage of that support and work hard, they will not be able to continue.

Calvin Deyermond, Ph.D.

Retired college teacher

Buffalo