Report: Kara DioGuardi Out At American Idol

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REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

First Ellen, now Kara. American Idol is wiping the slate clean, according to TMZ. Well, except for Randy.

TMZ is reporting that DioGuardi was fired by producers, making way for Steven Tyler (of Aerosmith fame) and Jennifer Lopez (of Maid in Manhattan infamy, and, yes, a singing career) to join Randy Jackson on the panel. Reps for American Idol and DioGuardi did not respond to TMZ’s request for comment. (via)


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One should not consider the student loan (and parent loan) situations without looking at the whole scam that is called "college".  It used to be you had to be exceptional to go to college; that is no longer true.  Colleges are businesses first (and second, and third).  Their game is to get more revenue to pay their administrators (not the teachers by the way) more and to expand their kingdoms, oops, administrations.  To do this you need more students.  Well most of them cannot pay, so enter the student and parent loans.  Kids (and parents) borrowing hundreds of thousands per family so their kids can get jobs, maybe.  Who wants to be left off the bandwagon?  Kids can't, they want to be able to have some chance of a decent life.  Parents all want their kids to do better than they did, so now that means advanced degrees too.  

Colleges do not compete on price (there are a few, but not many and none making a difference yet).  Instead they compete on features (climbing walls, gyms, cafeterias, bedroom suites, don't really see anyone claiming to pay their teachers more in order to have better teachers, and you don't see anyone saying "we don't hire adjuncts").  Features cost money.  But the scam is, everyone gets financial aid!  Anyone with a basic understanding of incremental costs know that if you have a capacity of 1000 students and you have 900 already,  it is not going to cost them much to support a hundred more, so get the extra hundred in by discounting, only don't call it discounting, call it student aid and spread that aid to all 1000, they all feel special!.  Make sure you have good athletics, because geez you really need to know your team was No. 1 when you apply for that job at McDonalds.   And that kid on the football team, he didn't have to worry about the SAT, the financial aid, or even going to class.

In on the scam of course are the testing partners, SAT in particular.  They are announcing right now another revision in their tests, which is really another dumbing down.  They have dumbed it down a few times in recent decades.  Don't like essays?  Fine, let's not do them anymore.  Don't like difficult words?  Ok!    The industry (colleges and testers) have spooked students into thinking these tests are important.  Take them twice, three times!  Take a class.  Take two.  Buy books.  Take AP courses, Take more tests.  My god, my eldest kid was a basket case going through this, I wanted to tranquilize her, it is such nonsense.    Most of these average colleges will take you if you can fog a mirror, why bother with the test.  The really good schools can, and do, develop applications that take work (oh no, essays!) and evidence (recommendations, transcripts, evaluation of how good your high school was).  Sure, they use the Sat also.  Do you really think that if you take the SAT 4 times they won't take that into account?  

Finally, the government is on the scam too.  First, they have their own colleges to run.  Why states have to be running colleges is beyond me in the modern era.  McDonalds could run an inexpensive college if we wanted to contract the business out.  Think of how many state colleges you have in your state, and then think how much cheaper they'd be if they were just one college with multiple campus'?  Eliminate all the extra people, but you see, this is kind of a big jobs program.    Then, the fed and state folks want more college educated, because its good for us.  Why having a kid take on $150000 debt to become a teacher is good I don't know.  I'll have to think on that.  Yes, it is good for the economy for us to be college educated, but for most people, deep in their hearts, they know it was just a four (or five) year extension of high school.  What they learned in college had little to do with their ultimate careers (excepting doctors/lawyers/and a few other professions).  


To notLostInSpace: thank you for delivering the best concise yet thorough rant I've read regarding today's "college" bubble. I've told my two teenagers to consider pursuing several alternatives to college after high school, then maybe circle back when you really know what you want from higher ed, and do the value equation!

It's sad that a college degree has shifted from American dream to basic expectation. Each year that thousands of students graduate (or drop out of) "universities" without much advancement in the skills that society and businesses need, we are all victims of the scam.