How do you make something expensive affordable for everyone? The government tried to make buying a house affordable. That hasn’t worked out so well. We are about to find out what happens when we try to make health care affordable, even if it means giving it away. Can the White House create affordable colleges with threats of government control over higher education budgets?
Arne Duncan left Chicago and a school system dominated by unions to oversee the Department of Education. Has education in America changed?
The harangues about failing children, a dumb and dumber America losing its place in the world, underpaid teachers, and crumbling school buildings are tired political issues that manage to skirt one big problem: we don’t have enough money for public education in America. Why? Because too many benefit from the money that should be going to kids’ educations. Just ask Arne Duncan and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn how much money goes to pay exorbitant teachers’ pensions instead of preparing children for the future we keep hearing is slipping out of our grasp.
Big education has brought us Common Core, demands to pay exorbitant teacher salaries, battles with unions over wages and benefits, restrictions on what our kids can eat, arguments for training more STEM teachers, and the insistence that anyone coming to America has the right to a free public education whether they should be here or not. These are the issues discussed in the education category.
For better or worse, public education is a government offering for the masses paid for by taxpayers. How much can and should we expect?
The state of the economy is still being used to prove that our schools are an embarrassment compared to other countries. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan remains adamant that we need to better prepare our teaching professionals to train students for jobs the June employment numbers show are still in short supply. Washington’s solution is to train our teachers to teach:
While there are many good teacher education programs in this country, far too many of the programs that prepare our teachers are inadequate.
Illinois pensions are not doing teachers any favors, at least not until they retire. The failure of state government to solve the pension catastrophe has created a PR conundrum for teachers who will be blamed for the enormity of their promised benefits. No matter what caused the retirement funding crisis, Illinois pensions have turned the public eye to the recipients and made them into bad teachers.
What a relief. It turns out that Americans are not stupid, after all. Despite warnings that we are falling behind, of half-bright preschool kids and non-STEM teachers who can’t teach the skills to help us snag those jobs of the future, new figures show that we still beat most of our foreign-born friends and neighbors when it comes to education.
Seizing student loans from the banks just wasn’t enough. The government takeover of the student loan business was the opening salvo in the Obama administration’s college affordability crisis (see: Republicans Bear the Guilt for Student Loan Interest Bailout), a way to continue punishing banks while paving the way to clamping down on colleges so they can serve the president’s plans for our economy.