USPSA - United States Public Service Academy ?!

"The Academy will cost roughly $205 million annually. It will be funded as a public-private partnership with Congress appropriating $164 million "

I found that interesting.... it will cost 205 million, but it will be funded by 164 million ???? isnt that 41 short???
I don't agree with this. Unlike the present service academies, this proposed idea would train them for "public service" how do we define that? What "public service" billets would open up for them and provide them with a path to development post-graduation? Do we really want our policy makers all coming from the SAME institution? What will happen to the well known private institutions that provide this, like Kennedy School of Govt. or the Fletcher School?

No, it's not for me, but it would give all of the service academies a common bond, someone they could all make fun of.


The USPSA is planned to be a very small academy of about 5000 undergraduate students. All policy makers would not come from this institution and the Kenney School and Fletcher School will still produce the same high quality public servants they always do.

In the coming years there will be a large amount of public servants that retire from every branch of government. With the baby-boomers gone - how will we fill their posts? They out number younger generations! The USPSA will help (other existing institutions of with high caliber programs) to prepare our country's next generation.
"The Academy will cost roughly $205 million annually. It will be funded as a public-private partnership with Congress appropriating $164 million "

I found that interesting.... it will cost 205 million, but it will be funded by 164 million ???? isnt that 41 short???

Uh the public-PRIVATE partnership. Congress is hoping to get 41 million from private supporters and then match that 4 to 1 with government funding (41*4 = 164).
The USPSA is planned to be a very small academy of about 5000 undergraduate students.

Given that both USMMA and CGA are under 1,000 students, I don't think you can call under 5,000 "very small." In fact, that sounds about the same size as the "big 3," USNA, USMA, and USAFA. :confused:

I share jamzmom's concerns about funding. If there are problems finding sufficient funds for existing academies, where is the money going to come from for a new one?
It's an interesting comment, but I do have some concerns over the issues already presented. One of the biggest is "what qualifies as public service?"

...and where do we get the funding for the largest SA in the United States? (USAFA is authorized 4400, IIRC).
Honestly, this sounds like a good idea, but after reading through the site, there's way too many holes in the plan to make this happen, and their "ideal student" examples want to make me retch. I thought I'd probably take a positive stance on this, but I guess I couldn't. While I'm sure it has some redeeming features, unlike the service academies now, the jobs do not put life on the line of duty, so it's really just like getting a free education without much of a sacrifice (which, of course, can be a good thing).

Perhaps I'm just narrow-minded, but while the service academies have been grounded for ages and supported by the government, this was proposed by two "TeachAmerica" veterans. While there's nothing wrong with that, I just don't feel that that's going to be enough.

Again, money also comes into play. If the service academies now don't have enough money at the moment, how is this going to?

Finally, many people I know of who go to service academies do so to serve their country and for the discipline. Sure, you'll get to serve the needs of your country after graduation, but will you have the discipline service academy graduates come out with? Probably not.
I think this is sort of what Obama was talking about when he said that if a student was willing to give back to his/her country, then the price of education would be made affordable to him/her. It sound like a good idea to me, and although it would give the bigger academies something to make fun of, I don't think it's intended to be looked at the same way as AFA, NA, MA, MMA, or CGA- it's just public education with a "catch" (serving your country in a different way than the military). Remember that many are discouraged from receiving a college education because of their economic status, and serving in the military may be against their religion or their desires. We don't want people going to West Point or Annapolis just for the free ride, and nothing else- do we?

Again, I think their intentions are good, but with our economy, and what the real service academies are receiving, I think it's a little pricey.
The idea for a USPSA should die, but the NYT keeps it alive

A Plan to Turn the Lowly Bureaucrat Into a Cherished Public Servant

Jason DeParle does a good job of summarizing the critics' objections to the "USPSA" in this article. If we have to create "superbureaucrats" then I think Stephen Joel Trachtenberg's suggestion is better than creating a "USPSA":
Rather than a civilian West Point, he suggests creating a civilian version of the Reserve Officer Training Corps — offering scholarships at existing schools in exchange for future service.

Here is the entire article:

WASHINGTON — There is West Point for soldiers, and Annapolis for sailors, but no parallel place of grit and glory for that maligned tribe of government workers known as bureaucrats.

Chris Myers Asch is trying to change that.

With no money, contacts or obvious qualifications, Mr. Asch quit his job three years ago at a Mississippi after-school program and started a campaign to create a civilian service academy — a West Point for bureaucrats.

What began on the back of an envelope found a champion in Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, legislative allies in the House and Senate, and a glimmer of plausibility in an age where President-elect Barack Obama pledges to “make government cool again” — the very words Mr. Asch has long used to sell his plan.

“The Public Service Academy can be Barack Obama’s Peace Corps,” Mr. Asch said. “He needs to take advantage of this moment when people are recognizing the importance of government and build institutions that will last.”

There is no word on whether Mr. Obama agrees, but the proposed academy has drawn past endorsements from the vice president-elect, Joseph R. Biden Jr.; the incoming White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel; and at least three cabinet nominees. People who once mocked Mr. Asch’s presumption now congratulate him on his timing.

The surprising ascent of Mr. Asch’s idea can be read as an upbeat tale of Washington’s openness to a citizen-advocate (Mr. Asch’s view) or evidence of its enduring weakness for expensive big-government schemes (as some of his critics contend).

But it is also a sign of something more basic: the frustration Americans feel with the bureaucratic status quo.

“There’s no doubt that we don’t have the best and brightest in government,” said Senator Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican who has joined Mrs. Clinton, Democrat of New York, in proposing legislation to create an academy.

A former elementary school teacher with black belts in two martial arts, Mr. Asch, 35, has labored with such ascetic focus and cheerful earnestness that even his plan’s detractors call him a “sweet” and “admirable” guy.

He argues that American culture derides government work and dissuades bright young people from pursuing it. Campuses glorify material gain, he said, and even students who choose public service often enter the nonprofit world. The result, he argues, is weakened bureaucracies behind disasters as different as the Sept. 11 attacks and the response to Hurricane Katrina.

“When government institutions fail, people die,” he said.

Like its military counterparts, the United States Public Service Academy would offer a free four-year education in exchange for five years of government service. Supporters see both substantive and symbolic benefits: 1,200 skilled graduates a year, spread across federal, state and local agencies, and a flagship institution that would give new prestige to government work.

“Creating a public service academy would send a clear message that public service is a priority,” Mrs. Clinton said last week in a written statement.

Mr. Asch said an academy could change attitudes toward government work, “the way Teach for America has changed the way people feel about public education.”

Critics range from small-government conservatives who deride what they call “Bureaucracy U” to representatives of public administration schools, who say they already train people for government jobs.

Some object to the proposed cost, $200 million a year. Some doubt whether the academy could compete with elite private schools for students and faculty members. Some warn of creating a clubby group of superbureaucrats.

Many argue that an academy, however good, would not address the problems young people often see with government jobs. Those include a difficult application process, lower pay than some private-sector jobs, and civil service rules that emphasize seniority, making it hard for young workers to gain promotions.

“An academy would not fix that,” said Philip I. Levy, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.

Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, president emeritus of George Washington University, notes that the country already has about 150 schools of public administration. (There is one named for him.) Rather than a civilian West Point, he suggests creating a civilian version of the Reserve Officer Training Corps — offering scholarships at existing schools in exchange for future service.

Mr. Asch notes that most of the public administration programs are for graduate students, who often take nongovernment jobs. He wants undergraduates to have “a whole campus of people who are committed to a shared mission.”

Fondness for government workers comes naturally to Mr. Asch. His father spent 36 years in the Foreign Service. His mother is a civilian doctor at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. Mr. Asch attended Washington’s public schools and chafed when friends at private schools put them down.

After graduating from Duke in 1994, he spent three years in Sunflower, Miss., with the Teach for America Program, which recruits recent college graduates to teach in the nation’s poorest schools. Then he founded an after-school and summer program and earned a doctorate in Southern history.

He had been mulling the academy for a while, he said, when the botched response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 “got me off my duff.” He recruited a partner (Shawn Raymond, a Houston lawyer), and sent his plan to everyone he could, working for months with no salary. In the spring of 2006, an editor at The Washington Post visited Mississippi and heard of Mr. Asch’s idea. The resulting article reached Mrs. Clinton, and by that September she had introduced a bill. The latest version has 23 Senate sponsors and 123 in the House, though few Republicans.

Mr. Asch now works from a donated office near the Capitol, with a foundation grant of $30,000 and the support of his wife, a rabbi. He has not yet landed Mr. Obama. Mr. Asch cornered the president-elect at two fund-raisers last year, and plied him with quotations from his own book about the nobility of public service. Their exchanges yielded nothing firmer than “I’ll look into it.”

Still, when Mr. Obama’s wife, Michelle Obama, spoke in Cincinnati last year, she found a friendly man standing nearby with his baby in his arms and a pamphlet in his hand. “It was shameless but it worked,” Mr. Asch said. “She came over and held the baby and she sounded interested. She put me in touch with the staff.”
Mr. Asch presented during the USAFA NCLS this weekend. I went to find out and ask some of the questions seen here. He never answered my questions and skirted the biggest problems I saw in the proposal. While I'm sure he's always defending it 24/7, I just got a BAD vibe from it.
This is a very simple concept, you have to listen to the Liberal agenda! They are telling you exactly what this program will be, and you have to believe what they are going to do with it, it's not a secret.

To instantly shut down the program, demand that mandatory military service is required, then on to your life long entrenched bureaucrat job.