Saturday, October 20, 2012

A bit mind boggling - Minnesota is trying to outlaw free online education

When first reading this you might think it was a joke:  Not From The Onion: Minnesota Bans Stanford’s Unauthorized Free Online Education.

Here is the first two paragraphs:

This story of government overreach is so outrageous that we have to re-iterate that it is, in fact, real: the State of Minnesota has banned popular free online education site, Coursera, and has sent warning notices to its institutional partners, such as Stanford and Princeton, for providing high-quality instruction without paying a registration fee. According to Slate, Minnesota manager of institutional registration, George Roedler, says the law is meant to protect students from substandard online education, and that top-tier universities would have no problem obtaining permission (after paying a $1,200 registration fee). The issue, as Slate correctly points out, is that no organization could provide free education if they had to pay off every city, state, and federal agency aiming to cash in on the permission granting process.

Coursera Co-founder, Daphne Koller, says that most Coursera students are simply looking to brush up on their skills without obtaining a degree, so Minnesota officials shouldn’t be worried. “The law’s focus is on degree-granting programs as opposed to free, open courseware,” she told The Chronicle of Higher Education. Nonetheless, she has updated their site with a warning

The warning goes on to tell Minnesota residents the will have to do the majority of the work outside the state of Minnesota. 

How sad that the Minnesota government feels they have to protect people from a free education.


Happy Elf Mom said...

Seriously? Absolutely nuts.

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It's not good, absolutely.

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