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#1
caltrek

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I still feel so lucky that I seemed to have grown up at just the right time where a college education was both available and affordable to young folk from middle class families like myself.  That feeling of luck is matched by a profound sadness at how young people must now face a choice of crushing debt or foregoing a college education.  It pains me that even a lot of forum readers, at least readers who live in the United States, are wrestling with this problem with little or no outside financial assistance. This needs to change.  Even people of my generation need an educated work force.  Without that, our whole society faces the danger of collapse.  Ignorance is no small reason why Trump was able to get elected in the first place.

 

 


Facing Our Student Debt Burden: Can We Slay the Trillion-Dollar Leviathan?

 

https://nonprofitqua...llar-leviathan/

 

Introduction:

 

(Nonprofit Quarterly) “You can pay me now—or you can pay me later.”

 

Once, this was an advertisement for an oil filter. Today, it is an apt description for the leading cause of our nation’s mounting—$1.6 trillion and rising—student debt overhang.

 

Between 2000 and 2012, a 2015 Pew report indicates, average state spending for higher education fell nine percent (adjusted for inflation), while enrollment grew 45 percent. Did the nation experience a remarkable gain in higher education efficiency?

 

Well, not exactly. Part of the funding decline was made up for by increased federal spending, which included rising research spending (for example, National Institutes for Health grants), but also higher spending on veterans’ education benefits and Pell grants. Even so, an increase of a little over $1,000 per student in federal spending did not compensate for a $2,500 decline in spending per student by state governments.

 

What made up the difference? We all know the answer—new federally guaranteed student loans. In the early 1990s, originations (in 2014 inflation-adjusted dollars) totaled around $20 billion. By 2000, these had doubled to a little over $40 billion. By 2010, annual student loan originations exceeded $100 billion. Combined, Pew reports that local, state, and federal spending in the 2013–14 academic year totaled $157.5 billion. For $157.5 billion in taxpayer dollars, we got over $260 billion in education services delivered.

 

 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#2
starspawn0

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And, sadly, if poor people don't go to college, they won't get the 1 to 5 IQ point "bump" per year (at least for 1 year) that is well-documented:
 
https://www.scienced...80621112004.htm
 

"Our analyses provide the strongest evidence yet that education raises intelligence test scores," says psychological scientist Stuart J. Ritchie of the University of Edinburgh. "We looked at 42 datasets using several different research designs and found that, overall, adding an extra year of schooling in this way improved people's IQ scores by between 1 and 5 points."

Research has long shown that years of education and intelligence are correlated but it has been unclear whether this is because education boosts intelligence or because individuals who start off with higher IQ scores are likely to stay in school for longer.

Many individual studies on this question have now been published, and Ritchie and coauthor Elliot Tucker-Drob of the University of Texas at Austin saw an opportunity to clarify the nature of the schooling-IQ relationship:

"We felt the time was right to do a meta-analysis, combining all the previous studies to come up with an overall result for how much education boosts intelligence," Ritchie explains.


It's still not understood how this happens. Education should mostly be about knowledge, not raw intelligence. If I remember correctly, the effect can be seen in both crystallized and fluid intelligence scores.

Does somehow being made to learn a broad set of things rewire the brain? Is it more about socializing with peers? Is it about learning how 5o be more self-possessed? Nobody seems to know how the improvement comes about.

A 5 to 10 point IQ bump can have a big effect on life outcomes, enough to pull them out of poverty -- not that poverty always implies a lower IQ (there are lots of poor and smart people); but statistics show the two are correlated.

#3
caltrek

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A top Trump student loan official just resigned, calling for debt forgiveness

 

https://www.vox.com/...ebt-forgiveness

 

Introduction:

 

(Vox) A senior official in charge of student loans for the Trump administration resigned Thursday, calling for sweeping student debt forgiveness and announcing his plan to seek a Senate seat in Georgia.

 

“We run through the process of putting this debt burden on somebody ... but it rides on their credit files — it rides on their back — for decades,” said A. Wayne Johnson in an interview with the Wall Street Journal’s Josh Mitchell, who first reported Johnson’s resignation.

 

Johnson, who managed the federal government’s $1.5 trillion student loan portfolio as chief operating officer of Federal Student Aid, told the Journal that he wanted near-total forgiveness of student loans, citing data that suggests they will never be repaid and his firsthand experience with the “fundamentally broken” system.

 

Johnson called for forgiveness for student loan balances up to $50,000, which would erase debt for 37 million people, according to the Journal. Rather than making loans in the future, he said, the federal government should give students a $50,000 voucher to use for college or graduate school — a far more generous financial aid program than currently exists.

 

The movement to forgive student loan repayment is gaining traction. A Politico poll found that 56 percent of registered voters support a plan to eliminate student loan debt owed to lenders and the federal government. Advocates point to the burden it places on those trying to make payments and the boon to the economy that debt-free educated workers pose.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#4
caltrek

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How Charter-School Billionaires Corrupt School Leadership

 

https://ourfuture.or...hool-leadership

 

Introduction:

 

(Our Future) It’s rare when goings-on in Kansas City, Missouri schools make national headlines, but in 2011 the New York Times reported on the sudden departure of the district’s superintendent John Covington, who resigned unexpectedly with only a 30-day notice.

 

Covington, who had promised to “transform” the long-troubled district, “looked like a silver bullet” for all the district’s woes, according to the Los Angeles Times. He had, in a little more than two years, quickly set about remaking the district’s administrative staff, closing nearly half the schools, revamping curriculum, and firing teachers while hiring Teach for America recruits.

 

The story of Covington’s sudden departure caught the attention of coastal papers no doubt because it perpetuated a common media narrative about hard-charging school leaders becoming victims of school districts’ supposed resistance to change and the notoriously short tenures of superintendents.

 

Although there may be some truth to that narrative, the main reason Covington left Kansas City was not because he was pushed out by job stress or an obstinate resistance. He left because a rich man offered him a job.

 

Following the reporting by the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times about Covington’s unexpected resignation, news emerged from the Kansas City Star that days after he resigned, he took a position as the first chancellor of the Education Achievement Authority of Michigan, a new state agency that, according to Michigan Radio, sought “radical” leadership to oversee low-performing schools in Detroit.

westport1-1024x675.jpg


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#5
Jessica

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DeVos admits latest nationwide education scores are so bad they're 'devastating'

Source: raw story


Published 5 mins ago on October 30, 2019

By David Badash, The New Civil Rights Movement




Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has just admitted that under her leadership nationwide education test scores have dropped so far they are “devastating.” Her plan: more of what she’s been doing for nearly three years.
............................................

“Fourth- and eighth-grade average scores on the ‘Nation’s Report Card,‘ released today, declined since the 2017 assessment, except for an increase in mathematics for fourth graders,” Politico reports, in an article titled, “Test scores slump in ‘Nation’s Report Card.’”



...................


DeVos’ plan is to privatize as much of the education system and infrastructure as possible. Her “solution” to “devastating” education test scores is more vouchers, more charter schools, more federal, state, and local taxes being shoveled into the hands of her friends who run those programs.

She calls it “education freedom,” and claims it is “the only way to bring about the change our country desperately needs....................


“Two out of three of our nation’s children aren’t proficient readers,” DeVos admits. “In fact, fourth grade reading declined in 17 states and eighth grade reading declined in 31. The gap between the highest and lowest performing students is widening, despite $1 trillion in Federal spending over 40 years designated specifically to help close it.”........................................

 


Read more: https://www.rawstory...re-devastating/



#6
caltrek

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Charter Schools’ Billion-Dollar Fraud Stinks Worse Than We Thought

 

https://ourfuture.or...than-we-thought

 

Introduction:

 

(Our Future) Earlier this year, when members of Congress repeatedly confronted U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos about a study finding the federal government’s charter school grant program had wasted an estimated $1 billion on schools that had never opened or opened and quickly closed, she dismissed the findings and accused the report authors of having a “political agenda against charter schools.” On December 10, the organization that published the study DeVos disparaged issued a more detailed examination of waste in the government’s charter grant program and concluded the $1 billion figure was indeed likely not correct—it was an underestimate.

 

The report “Still Asleep at the Wheel: How the Federal Charter Schools Program Results in a Pileup of Fraud and Waste” by the Network for Public Education (NPE) calculates approximately $1.17 billion in federal funding has been spent on charters that either never opened or that opened and have since shut down. Much of the added waste the study found in the charter program comes from the researchers’ findings that way more of these charters have closed or never opened than originally estimated. Based on its second passthrough of the data, NPE upped the failure rate of taxpayer-funded charter startups from 30 percent to 37 percent.

 

The new report arrives at an especially critical time in the discussion about charter schools in the Democratic presidential primary.

 

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, one of the four front-runners in the race, has proposed “halting the use of public funds to underwrite new charter schools.”

 

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, another front-runner, has pledged to, if elected, “eliminate” the federal charter school grant program and “end federal funding for the expansion of charter schools.”


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#7
caltrek

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Bipartisan lawmakers slam Betsy DeVos for yanking funds from 800+ schools

 

https://www.alternet...om-800-schools/

 

Introduction:

 

(Alternet) Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos came under fire after her department made a bookkeeping change that would result in major funding cuts for America’s rural schools.

The Department of Education quietly informed state education officials that it would change how districts report the number of students who live in poverty, which could result in funding cuts for more than 800 of the “poorest” and “most geographically isolated” schools, according to The New York Times.

 

The changes to the Rural and Low-Income School Program came after the department found that some districts “erroneously” received funding despite being ineligible. The department previously allowed schools to report the percentage of students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, which it used to calculate poverty rates, for nearly two decades. Under the new rule, districts will be required to use data from the Census Bureau’s Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates to determine if they meet the threshold of 20% of students living below the poverty line to qualify for the program.

 

Education spokeswoman Liz Hill told The Times that the department’s new rule follows existing law, but added that it had “drafted the legislative fix needed to use a free-and-reduced-lunch funding formula.”

 

“When you discover you’re not following the law Congress wrote, you don’t double down. You fix it,” Hill said. “If that’s what Congress wants, Congress should pass it, and the Education Department will happily implement it. We will also continue to look for ways to help ensure students are not unnecessarily harmed.”


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#8
caltrek

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Biden Beefs Up Student Debt  Plans to Woo Sanders Voters

 

https://www.courthou...sanders-voters/

 

Extract:

BOSTON (Courthouse News) – Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday proposed lowering the Medicare age to 60 and forgiving student loan debt for low- and middle-income borrowers who attended public colleges and universities.

 

…for student loans, Biden’s positions have “evolved a lot” over the course of the campaign and this is the latest of a series of iterations, noted Robert Kelchen, a Seton Hall University professor who has written a book about college debt.

 

“I propose to forgive all undergraduate tuition-related federal student debt from two- and four-year public colleges and universities for debt-holders earning up to $125,000, with appropriate phase-outs,” Biden said. The plan would also apply to private historically black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions.

 

The proposal would affect some 20 million Americans and result in an average debt forgiveness of about $10,000 per person, so it would cost about $200 billion, Kelchen estimated.

 

The plan applies only to “tuition-related” debt and thus presumably wouldn’t go to debt from room, board, books and other expenses, he noted.

 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#9
caltrek

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Education Secretary DeVos Is Using COVID To Get What She Wants

 

https://ourfuture.or...-what-she-wants

 

Introduction:

(Our Future) As American deaths from COVID-19 crested 100,000, the New York Times reported U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos declared her intention to “force” public school districts to spend a large portion of federal funds they’re receiving through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on private schools.

 

Going beyond the traditional practice of education secretaries to issue guidance on how states should interpret federal law, she now wants to write the laws herself.

 

Her actions are akin to the executive orders President Trump routinely issues to bypass Congress in order to implement his extremist agenda.

 

Trump has been mostly able to get away with this. Can DeVos?

 

Since her bumbling appearances at congressional committees and in media interviews, DeVos has often been caricatured as “incompetent” and “ignorant,” and she may indeed be all of that and more, but it’s dangerous not to see how her agenda is advancing during the current crisis.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#10
starspawn0

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Forbes piece on how MOOCs have been an utter failure:

https://www.forbes.c...ws-about-moocs/
 

The hype was exceeded only by the failure, which has been well documented. And the news isn’t getting much better.

That’s because, from the start, MOOCs had abysmal completion rates. While they attracted tens of thousands of “students,” very few stuck around long and evidence emerged that a heavy proportion of MOOC attendees already had college degrees or were actually already teaching the subject they were supposed to be studying. It has also become clear that MOOCs served the most motivated students, those who likely find a pathway to achievement with or without a MOOC.

In other words, MOOCs are education voyeurism, not education.


Honestly, I think BCIs could fix a lot of the problems with MOOCs. But it would take some time to do the research and build the platform around them.

For example, if someone starts learning a subject, and gets frustrated because they don't understand something, the MOOC program could detect that from BCI readings, and then adjust the lesson accordingly. You could reduce the frustration level a lot for people who don't have the background.



#11
caltrek

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The Supreme Court’s big decision on the separation of church and state, explained

 

https://www.vox.com/...school-religion

 

Introduction:

(Vox) The Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, as Justice Sonia Sotomayor writes in dissent, “weakens this country’s longstanding commitment to a separation of church and state.” Yet Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion, which held that Montana may not exclude religious institutions from a program that provides scholarships to private schools, also reads like the next incremental step in a line of cases permitting the government to fund religious education.

 

As Roberts argues in his opinion, the result in Espinoza flows from the Court’s previous decision in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer (2017), which held that the state of Missouri could not exclude religious organizations from a state program that offered “grants to help public and private schools, nonprofit daycare centers, and other nonprofit entities purchase rubber playground surfaces made from recycled tires.”

 

But the Montana program at the heart of Espinoza involves something far more profound and important than recycled tires: Montana’s effort to subsidize private schools. The state provides a $150 tax credit to state taxpayers who donate to a scholarship program that pays the tuition of private school students. Espinoza asks whether the state is required to include religious schools in this program.

 

Writing for himself and the Court’s other four Republicans, Roberts answers this question in the affirmative. “A State need not subsidize private education,” he writes. “But once a State decides to do so, it cannot disqualify some private schools solely because they are religious.”


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#12
Jessica

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DeVos demands 'fully operational' schools in the fall: 'Not a matter of if'

Source: The Hill



Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Tuesday told the country's governors in a conference call that she expects schools to be "fully operational" come the fall, regardless of the coronavirus pandemic. “Ultimately, it’s not a matter of if schools need to open, it’s a matter of how," DeVos told governors, The Associated Press reports. "Schools must reopen, they must be fully operational. And how that happens is best left to education and community leaders."

DeVos's words echo the White House's stance on the matter, as President Trump has staunchly supported in-person teaching returning for the upcoming school year.

On Monday, Trump claimed in a tweet that the Democratic lawmakers wanted to keep schools shuttered in the fall for "political reasons.”
“They think it will help them in November. Wrong, the people get it!” Trump tweeted.

Some districts have proposed a hybrid between traditional in-person learning and virtual learning, suggesting that students only physically go to school a few times a week. DeVos disavowed these ideas ... “Students across the country have already fallen behind. We need to make sure that they catch up,” DeVos said.

 


Read more: https://thehill.com/...ts-not-a-matter



#13
caltrek

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The Science About Whether It’s Safe to Send Kids Back to School Is a Total Mess

 

https://www.motherjo...pening-schools/

 

Introduction:

(Mother Jones) Ask any parent in the Mother Jones office and it’s clear they are eager to get their kids back to school. But as more schools move to reopen this fall—and as President Trump increasingly pressures and even threatens schools to reopen—experts warn there’s still quite a lot we don’t know about kids and COVID-19. What role do children play, for instance, in spreading this virus? Are they just as likely to get infected as adults? Are they just as infectious? And why have a small number of children developed a potentially deadly inflammatory illness after testing positive for COVID-19? 

 

Reopening schools may very well be a risk worth taking—after all, so much of our economic recovery depends on it—but it’s unlikely that we’ll have clear answers to many of these questions in the near future and know with any certainty just how safe schools would be for kids, teachers, and communities. While it feels like we’ve been living with the coronavirus forever, we’re still in the early phase of understanding it; the research on children and COVID-19 is relatively limited, and the studies that do exist have shown conflicting results. At this point, “following the science” to safely reopen schools simply doesn’t mean much—and it’s near impossible to try to rely on data to help you decide whether you should send your kids back to school.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#14
Jessica

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Trump administration, congressional Republicans eye tying school aid to reopening in next funding

Source: Washington Post



Trump administration, congressional Republicans eye tying school aid to reopening in next funding bill

The debate comes as Congress prepares for next round of coronavirus relief talks.


The White House and Senate Republicans are developing plans to prod schools to reopen by attaching incentives or conditions to tens of billions of dollars of new aid as part of the next coronavirus relief bill, people involved in the talks said Wednesday.

The deliberations come as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) prepares to unveil legislation next week that would serve as the GOP’s opening offer for negotiations on what could be Congress’s last major coronavirus spending bill before the November elections.

Republican officials familiar with the negotiations said the bill may include somewhere between $50 billion and $100 billion for elementary and secondary schools, with one person familiar with the talks saying the target was about $70 billion.

Negotiators are looking at $20 billion to $30 billion for higher education, GOP officials said. The officials cautioned that the sums were fluid and that no final decisions had been made.

 


Read more: https://www.washingt...op-coronavirus/






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