Education (September 2009)

Graduate America

President Barack Obama has set a defining goal for his education agenda: By 2020, America once again will have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world. A generation ago, the United States had the highest college completion rate in the world — thanks to the federal investment of the GI Bill. The percentage of adults with college degrees has held steady at about 40 percent for the past two decades. Other countries have surpassed us. We currently rank 10th in the world. To revive and sustain economic growth in America, it is imperative we meet the president’s goal. We have to educate our way to a better economy. America cannot maintain its role as the world’s economic leader if it does not have the world’s best-educated workforce.

Bill aims to make financial literacy a curriculum goal

We are facing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, in large part because of irresponsible financial practices that led to the subprime mortgage market’s collapse. To help protect our families from future crises, we need to empower people to make intelligent financial decisions. The key is financial literacy education before students enter the workplace or college. Financial literacy is not rocket science; we just don’t teach it.

More funding for pre-kindergarten, Pell Grants, means a brighter future

Learning should be a lifelong pursuit — and it begins with ensuring that the door to opportunity is unlocked for every child. In an increasingly competitive global economy, providing every American child with a world-class education is critical — not only to their future success, but to that of our nation.

Invest in Minority-Serving Institutions

President Obama’s call to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020 is a goal that I embrace. Our nation’s competitiveness in the global economy depends on it. As the president takes on an ambitious education agenda to close the achievement gap in higher education, it is imperative that we invest in and strengthen Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs), as defined under Titles III and V of the Higher Education Opportunity Act, as amended.

Student lending faces government takeover

If past is prologue, Americans wondering about the future of healthcare reform would do well to consider a decision made some 16 years ago in the arcane realm of federal student lending.

Setting forth an ambitious reform of U.S. system

Education has long been the foundation of our country and is critical for the collective success of our nation as well as the individual success of our people. President Barack Obama echoed this sentiment when he spoke to our school children on Sept. 8 about the importance of striving for academic achievement and taking responsibility for one’s education.

Youth Promise Act, other measures aim for safer learning environments

As the school year begins, we are reminded that our children deserve the best chance at success in the classroom and beyond. Our schools should be safe havens for teaching and learning, free of crime and violence. It is simply unreasonable to think that our kids can learn in an unsafe or threatening environment. Programs that stop the cycle of violence by reaching at-risk youth before they become involved in dangerous activities have been proven to help in many cases.