Conservative policies gave us the false promise of "No Child Left Behind" and the national scandal of college students graduating with thousands of dollars of debt. The progressive alternative: Making world-class education from kindergarten through graduate school a top national priority. Instead of slogans, give public schools adequate resources, enable them to hire good teachers and let them set high standards. Offer college students who need financial support scholarships and low-interest government-backed loans. Give more financial support to universities and community colleges, knowing that doing so is an investment that will keep America globally competitive.
Blogs and Opinion
BLOGS AND OPINION
The Truth about Student Debt by Anya Kamenetz, prospect.org | January 23, 2013
Teacher Rebellion: Refusal to Administer Standardized Testing Spreads in Washington by Laura Gottesdiener, alternet.org | January 17, 2013
Fighting Education Shock Therapy by James Cersonsky, prospect.org | January 14, 2013
How Our Universities Have Been Turned into Corporate Marketing Centers by Jim Hightower, alternet.org | January 14, 2013
Michelle Rhee Gets A Failing Grade On Her Report Card by Ross Eisenberry, epi.org | January 10, 2013
Families Shoulder Heftier Burdens as College Debt Swells by Marian Wang, propublica.org | January 3, 2013
Today in Poverty: An Education Wish List by Greg Kaufmann and Elaine Weiss, The Nation | December 20, 2012
Why You Can Kiss Public Education (and the Middle Class) Goodbye by Thomm Hartman, alternet.org | December 17, 2012
Schools in the Crosshairs by Abby Rapoport, prospect.org | December 2, 2012
Charter School Proponents To Announce Major Focus On Shutting Down Failing Schools by Joy Resmovits, Huffington Post | November 28, 2012
As a low-income and first-generation college student in my family, the subject of student loans has been a matter of acute concern to me. High school counselors constantly told me that student loans are “good debt.” This type of information made it justifiable for peers in similar socioeconomic situations to borrow federal and private loans. But lenders take advantage of first-time borrowers by failing to explain in full detail future payment plans, which may cause individuals to be fiscally unprepared for post-graduate life. Current student debt trends must be fixed in order to stop setting up graduates for a lifetime of financial struggles. While the nation engages in debate about the country’s financial future, the topic of student debt must be recognized as an important issue and for its potentially crippling impact on the lives of young college graduates and as an effect of the strength of our economic recovery.
From the debates in Wisconsin and elsewhere about public sector unions, you might get the impression that we’re going bust because teachers are overpaid. That’s a pernicious fallacy. A basic educational challenge is not that teachers are raking it in, but that they are underpaid. If we want to compete with other countries, and chip away at poverty across America, then we need to pay teachers more so as to attract better people into the profession.
Any day now, the Obama administration will announce $4.35 billion in extra federal funds for under-performing public schools. That’s fine, but relative to the financial squeeze all the nation’s public schools now face it’s a cruel joke. The recession has ravaged state and local budgets, most of which aren’t allowed to run deficits. That’s meant major cuts in public schools and universities, and a giant future deficit in the education of our people.