Economic downturn spotlights college advantage

The Great Recession that began in December 2007 hit America hard and exposed many of the shortcomings of our nation’s workforce. Now, a new study from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, co-funded by Lumina Foundation, shows undereducated workers are increasingly being left behind and that policymakers, employers and institutions must do more to produce the skilled talent our nation needs to compete more effectively in the global economy.


We must make anti-bullying a mainstream message

On the heels of the Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin, the U.S. Department of Education is hosting its Third Annual Bullying Prevention Summit this week, which is fortuitously timed and desperately needed. Without question, the Sikh temple shooter, Wade Michael Page, a self-proclaimed skinhead, neo-Nazi and white supremacist music bandleader, had been trying to bully and intimidate any non-white American into feeling unwelcome, un-American and unsafe.  And we know that Page is not alone in his fear-inducing, hate-mongering bullying practices. In fact, there are hundreds of thousands of hate crimes occurring every year in America.


Police for-profit school abuses, but be fair

Higher education costs are rising at roughly two-and-a-half times the rate of inflation without producing dramatically improved outcomes. This is unsustainable, and for America to compete over the next 20 years, this dynamic must be reversed. Costs must come down while we dramatically increase our completion and employment outcomes.


For-profit schools need better oversight and more empowered students

An eye-opening congressional report released this week paints a picture of a too-familiar scenario in which unvarnished greed and lack of oversight grips an industry, exploits consumers and squanders billions in taxpayer funds. It is yet another situation that calls for increased oversight to stop abusive business practices.


Misleading the public about University of Phoenix

Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), the chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, released a report on for-profit colleges and universities, including University of Phoenix. This report is the culmination of a two year review.


The National Endowment for the Humanities: Caught in the collision of politics and budgetary restraint

In politics, as on highways, innocent bystanders are sometimes victims of collisions. The annual budget of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is neither the cause of nor the solution to the nation’s fiscal problems. But once again it may become a casualty of the determination of legislators—on both sides of the aisle—to show they are serious about reducing the federal budget. What losses, for our nation and for our communities, further reductions of the NEH budget would entail!


Assault on Pell Grants has serious implications

In recent years, both Republicans and Democrats in Washington have lost their way when making policy around one of most important things we will ever do: educate our children. Most recently, this has found its expression in the bipartisan assault on Pell Grants.

If we were to eliminate these grants tomorrow, the 9 million college students who rely upon them would be in peril of dropping out of college, including nearly half of African-American undergraduates and 40% of Hispanics.