Those are some shocking numbers, aren’t they? Daniel K. Lautzenheiser of the American Enterprise Institute has written a lengthy piece on various aspects of higher education but here’s a key excerpt.

Getting more bang for our college bucks

The Golden State. California has been particularly ambitious in considering how MOOCs and other online course providers can lower costs. Two endeavors merit mention because of their cost-saving potential and because they
are representative of some of the challenges facing these new providers.

First, with Governor Jerry Brown’s support, California legislators introduced a bill that urged public institutions to allow students who could not find a seat in overenrolled introductory classes to earn those credits through an online equivalent, including MOOCs. As AEI’s Andrew P. Kelly and KC Deane commented at the time, the bill would “empower students to fulfill their degree requirements in a timely manner even if their own university can’t fit them in the lecture hall that semester”—a much-needed investment in a state where each community college averages 7,000 enrolled students who are stuck on course waiting lists, and where only 16 percent of the 420,000 students in the California State University system graduate within four years.[21]

Despite passing the California State Assembly in June 2013, the bill’s sponsor, Senator Darrell Steinberg (D-CA), decided to shelve it in August. Ostensibly this was because California institutions had promised to expand online courses on their own accord, lessening the need for the state to force them to do so via legislation. But vague institutional promises are a far cry from actually providing such online courses, prompting journalist Steve Kolowich to write that the “political, regulatory, administrative, and faculty barriers to the kind of unfettered online education that MOOC promoters originally envisioned have proved quite high.”[22]

Hat tip to Charles Lane.