Well, it has indeed been a busy week in the White House. Around the world we are all settling in to a new President, one who seems to be swift with pen, and has obviously, while remaining silent has been cultivating the changes that would be in place before the end of the month of January. A man of action, now that is a good thing. So if he is so swift of pen, then some of these “to do’s” will not be difficult to implement. He is an education president, so it should be in keeping with the “changes” to get to business in the educational realm.
Recently, I was stunned by the current interest rate being imposed upon students who are receiving subsidized and unsubsidized loans. (student loans are higher, and have remained higher than mortgage rates, and are used against you when you do attempt to purchase a home, car, anything)
You see, there is, what I believe is a form of collusion taking place between banks, Sallie Mae and the education system. Suddenly, the only way to get ahead is to have a degree, then an advanced degree. So you get a BA, you think, “wow, now I am competative!” Wrong, because you will quickly find that you will be encouraged to pursue a MA, once you get wrapped up in the student loan game, you never really make enough money to pay back the loans, so you go back to school, you are encouraged by “Career Builder” “MonsterJobs”! Don’t believe me? Go on-line and sign up for one of the job search sites, within minutes of registering you will get a request to attend University of Phoenix, Walden, and umpteen million other on-line programs. (recently my friend and I attended a monsterjobs, job fair in Chicago, they called for minimum BA to even attend, we arrived to discover that the majority of the vendors there were actually on-line Universities looking for saps who would feel threatened to go back to school. Convincing the individual job hunter that the reason they can’t get a job is because they are under-educated)
As the cost of higher education continues to rise, so is the interest rates on government sponsored loans. Along with the increase need in the relationship between getting ahead as an individual is the availability of unconditional lending by Sallie Mae, at a rate of 6+%! Now if you are in education, you will never make enough to pay back your student loans, and believe me, they just grow and grow.
So President Obama and Arnie Duncan, you want America to teach, then freeze all student loan interest. Bail out the worker, the teacher, the one who is preparing the next generation. It is nice that fast track educators are getting in some cases free Master’s degrees and/or no interest loans, but what about the teachers, the veterans who have been forced back into school to keep up with NCLB, and mandates by the individual states for which they work?
Provide for them what the United States did for the military. Many teachers are in a war zone, they are sacrificing, the noble profession does not receive noble attention, but rather is forced to go back to school to keep up. Most teachers purchase a great deal of their supplies out of their own pockets. Many teachers who are close to being recipients of food stamps are providing food for their students, paper, pens, and more.
As student loans along with medical expenses are the primary cause of bankruptcy, we as a nation continue to convince Americans, especially teachers that the answer is to go back to school, take out more loans, and all the while the Universities, and the banking system are making money hand over fists.
President Obama, if you can justify a bailout of the auto-industry and the banking industry, then you can immediately bail out those who saw to it that you are in office!
The teachers need your help! Now! Loans at 6% interest imposed upon those that desire to teach our children how to read is inconscienable!
To Do item #6, maybe its time for public educator to become Federal Employees…does compulsory mean anything to anyone? What about his as a solution, “general purpose education?” That will be item #7.