Higher Ed

Inside and Outed

The Cost of College: The Pushback

CJ Westerberg, January 27, 2012 11:19 AM


"Morning Joe" and "Fox & Friends" Videos Below

Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, is having a busy week on the heels of President Obama's State of the Union address, which included a few notable education proposals.
First up, an excerpt from today's front page news via The NY Times:

The competition for individual institutions would reward colleges or nonprofit
organizations that boost productivity through such approaches as course redesign
that exploits new technology; early-college preparation that reduces the need for
remedial work; and competency-based approaches to college credit that replace
the traditional model of rewarding hours spent in class.

On Wednesday, Duncan addressed a town Hall in Tallahassee, Florida, addressing adult education, community colleges, and workforce training.  Here is an excerpt which sets up the backdrop for the urgency of this issue, from WCTV:

Duncan said that the high school dropout rate nationwide is about 25 percent, rising to close to 40 percent for minority students. He noted that there are approximately 240,000 ninth graders in Florida, but only 172,000 twelfth graders--which means the state is losing 68,000 young people to the streets each year. Duncan explained that President Obama wants to address the high dropout rate by changing the rules so students may not leave school until they reach age 18 or graduate.

The pushback?  From Reuters:

Some in the higher education community are nervous that the Obama administration could be setting a new precedent in the federal government's role in controlling the rising costs of college. Following the speech, Molly Corbett Broad, president of the American Council on Education, issued a statement saying there's concern that the proposal would "move decision-making in higher education from college campuses to Washington, D.C."

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., a former education secretary, said the autonomy of U.S. higher education is what makes it the best in the world, and he's questioned whether Obama can enforce any plan that shifts federal aid away from colleges and universities without hurting students.

Plus, two video clips below from this morning's news programs with Arne Duncan "visiting."  The first from MSNBC's Morning Joe (where the conversation quickly moves toward teacher pay), and the other video from Fox & Friends. 

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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