Higher education's first major salvo is a study reported in the New York Times, authored by Anthony Carnevale (pictured right,) one of higher education's long-standing insiders and apologists. He argues, deceptively, for higher education's value while skirting inconvenient truths about the hundreds of thousands of weak students admitted to so-called four-year colleges.
As I've reported previously (probably ad nauseam at this point--here's a link to an NPR interview and article,) most such students don't graduate even if they're given eight years. And because of the elitist, real-world-irrelevant arcana so heavily taught in higher education, even many students who graduate grow nearly not at all in reading, writing, critical thinking, mathematical reasoning, etc., nor become employed in a job they wouldn't be qualified for without college. And of course, there's the opportunity costs: what the students could have been doing if they hadn't been spending the enormous sums of money, time, and assaults to their self-esteem in college, for example, in an apprenticeship program or learning entrepreneurship at the elbow of a successful and ethical entrepreneur.
As I've also written previously, the federal government should mandate that all colleges prominently post an externally audited report card on themselves disclosing key information that prospective students can use to decide whether a college, indeed any college, is--given their high school record--the wisest post-high-school choice. And of course, colleges' being forced to report their shockingly bad product would pressure them to improve and perhaps become the national treasure that the higher education marketing machine has led us to believe it is.