Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You but What Coursera Can Do For Your Country, Part 1

Tressie McMillan Cottom:

Seriously, I emailed my chair and said, “they’re turning my dissertation and manuscript into a satire.” Thanks, Obama.

First, a little cursory background. Coursera is a major Massive Open Online Course provider. MOOCs provide (mostly) free online content for anyone who can log in. Coursera had to make a hard “pivot” when selling its platform to universities didn’t go too well. It turns out some people want to learn for the love of learning but other people want something that will get them a job. So, Coursera started offering certificates of completion (i.e. “credentials) for a fee, of course. Then they decided to go after employers by offering corporate training solutions. I suspect they found, like a for-profit college executive once told me they discovered, that employers aren’t nearly as interested in training workers as we seem to think they are. I use “we” loosely. I am not “we”.

Let me tell you something. If you ever want to get rich do two things. One, find some way that inequality is being reproduced and then tell the government that you can fix that for the bargain basement price of free.99.

That’s what for-profit colleges did.