A new report from the States Education Commission provides food for thought to compare ground rules for dual enrollment programs in different states. It’s worth checking out.
The question that immediately caught my attention was whether a given state would allow out-of-state providers to participate in the dual enrollment program in its public high schools. According to the report, more states do not allow it, but many states do not have rules somehow. (If you like, they allow it without permission.)
At the moment there is not much in the way of my own state-wide rules regarding dual enrollment. It also has a deep tradition of home rule, where small school districts compete with each other for students. Combine an incentive to differentiate one school from another with the relative absence of rules, and you’ll get a panoply of baseless systems across the state.
They are not just with community colleges. Public and private four-year schools regularly compete for dual enrollment places, including some from outside the state. Disappointingly, some wealthy individuals offer credit for dual enrollment as a loss leader, making it difficult for locally-backed community colleges to compete.
The argument in favor of laissez-faire is simple enough: both a wider range of competition options and better deals should be offered. Of course, it assumes a critical mass of intelligent consumers in each school, which may or may not be. The rationale for a more limited approach depends on quality control and the ability to build stable consulting relationships over time.
Wise and worldly readers, assuming that states have not determined a position they begin to do it, what position would you recommend and why? (Normally, I can be contacted by email at deandad (at) gmail (dot) com, or Twitter @deandad.) Thanks!