Goals of Education
Labaree argues that higher education has three goals namely “democratic equality, social efficiency, and social mobility". The Cal Grant program’s funding policy change will affect these goals in interesting ways. Democratic Equality Education makes it possible to have an informed citizenry who can then make informed decisions on matters affecting the nation – this is the core of democracy. Informed citizenry is very significant because a society is often run on a collective judgment basis thus ensuring that a significant portion of the citizens is competent is the way to democracy. In order for this to be realized, there has to be “citizenship training, equal treatment, and equal access as pertain to education”. Using this insight, the Cal Grant program’s change in policy to a means-target scholarship in favor of public university students will obviously have a negative effect on the efforts of building an informed citizenry. This is because a portion of the citizens who will wish to attend private universities might not be able to do so and if they are ineligible for public universities their dream for higher education might have to wait longer. In this manner, according to the democratic equality goal, the societal competence is lowered and depending on the statistics involved, this will affect the kind of decisions that a society will make. The policy change by the Cal Grant program will therefore lead to reduced levels of citizenship training, propagates unequal
treatment, and unequal access to education. ...
r hand, sponsoring undocumented students can arguably be said to be a move towards achieving the democratic equality goal because there are higher chances that these students will eventually be incorporated into the US citizenship. Social Efficiency Schooling should enable students to be useful economically to the society by ensuring that they “fill structurally necessary market roles” (Labaree, 1997, p. 42). Labaree (1997) suggests that voluntary sponsoring should not be allowed to solely fund this goal. This is because some individuals may take advantage of this and engage in a form of education that will maximally benefit them. This will not create socially efficiency as the market will experience some kind of imbalance in availability of skills whereby some skills will be in excess while others will be in shortage. This seems to be a call for partial sponsorship. In the context of the Cal Grant program, the new means-target sponsoring may be said to be in line with Laboree’s (1997) view. This is because, if students enrolling in private universities are heavily sponsored, they will only tend to engage in forms of education that would bring them maximum benefits. This will not be ‘filling structurally necessary market roles’ as Labaree (1997) puts it. Reducing the funding to private universities will therefore channel students to other areas or just limit them to lower levels of education thus enabling them to effectively fill the market gaps that need their levels of education hence creating social efficiency. On the other hand, funding of undocumented students does help in creating social efficiency. This is because the undocumented students form or will later form part of society’s workforce, and therefore funding them to gain skills will help them to