Saturday, October 29, 2005

Spellings in Austin

Margaret Spellings is in Austin this weekend. She toured a KIPP school here and spoke about NCLB in this KUT (Austin public radio) interview.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Access = Opportunity?

Access to college education is important, but access isn't everything.

I wrote yesterday about Rep. Emanuel and Sen. Edwards' calls for universal access to college education.

But today I read this article which highlights a major pitfall of such proposals.

Students from poorer homes pay more for higher education in Scotland and tend to take any job available to try to clear their debts, a study suggests.

Their report, Early labour-market experiences of graduates from disadvantaged families, said fewer than six in 10 were in a graduate-status occupation a year after graduating.

So 40% of those studied were no better off with their degree than without it. I wonder if any similar studies exist in America. My guess is that that figure would be far higher on this side of the Atlantic.

One of the author's of the study had this to say:

"The lesson for policy makers is that their support for wider access needs to be matched with fairer funding arrangements."

More Pell Grants, more Teach for America programs, more proactive government involvement to make sure that students who earn a college degree get more out of it than debt.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Edwards, education, and ending poverty

I moved over the weekend and my cable still hasn't been hooked up, so posts have been a bit sparse over the last couple of days. I should be running at full speed pretty soon though, hopefully by tomorrow.

One quick note, I had a chance to hear John Edwards speak at UT and then attend a blogger interview session afterward. I asked him about the economic integration program in Raleigh. He said he was in favor of replicating any program that could help end poverty. I didn't get the sense that he knew too much about the program (even though two of his kids attended Raleigh public schools) so he kind of gave a non-endorsement endorsement of it.

More interesting, though, is that Edwards also promotes the idea of a universally available college education. I wrote recently about Rahm Emanuel's (Chairman of the DCCC) statements to the same effect on Meet the Press. Could this become a major issue for Democrats to seize upon? Would Republicans play Scrooge and not support universal college education? Hmmmm...

More on this later. And sorry for the sparse posts recently.
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