As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Tag Archives: education

Obama Proposes Lots More Free Stuff

Updated 6:20 pm ET.

The White House today announced that President Obama wants to make the first two years of community college free for all, a new bundle of free stuff that of course isn’t free and could cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars.

The White House was careful not to put out a price tag yet. Obama wants to presumably hear only cheers, not jeers, when he travels to Knoxville, Tennessee today to officially unveil the program. But White House officials said the plan could save up to nine million students an average of $3,800. Anyone with, say, a little community college can do the math.*

Combined with the president’s drive for universal early childhood education, the community college plan is the next piece in agenda that would have taxpayers foot the bill for a cradle-to-college education.

Such spending, of course, is labeled “investment” by the White House. Unfortunately, with the tab for federal “investments” having just broken the $18-trillion mark, it might be time to scale back some of the investing. Obama, rather, is scaling up.

Obama on counter

Yay! Free Stuff!

It’s not clear the investment will in this case be working very hard for you, dear taxpayer. Students need only maintain a C+ average – at a community college, not Harvard. They can attend half-time and need only show that they are making “steady progress” toward completing the two years.

Meanwhile, the federal government, which is already planning to issue “report cards” for private colleges and universities it helps fund and which is exerting control over schools through the “common core” education standards, gets even more influence over what students will learn.

According to a White House fact sheet, states participating will only have to pony up a quarter of the cost – the other three quarters a gift from the federal government, but must “coordinate high schools, community colleges, and four-year institutions to reduce the need for remediation and repeated courses and allocate a significant portion of funding based on performance.”

Uh oh. What’s does that mean? Coordination. Performance standards. I assume the Department of Education will decide how good the coordinating is going. Looks like more federal control of the curriculum to me.

“Giving away free stuff is a hard thing to compete with,” Mitt Romney said after losing the 2012 presidential election, to much criticism.

Of course, Romney hit on the eternal struggle for conservatives, opposing federal purview and spending while trying not to be cast as Grumbling Grinches. In this case, expect Obama to make the case that Republicans trying to thwart him on this don’t care about educating people – perhaps with a guest appearance by the income gap, with Obama suggesting Republicans want to keep the poor and the middle class from getting the knowledge they need for “good jobs.”

All in all, between now and 2016, we are in for a two-year education in art of class warfare.

*UPDATE: The White House said today they cost would by $60 billion over ten years.

Reagan? Who’s That Dude?

Yes, let’s throw some more money at education. It’s really working out great.

And let’s make sure everyone goes to college, even these kids, who should instead be moving immediately into the cashier profession. Instead, Obama wants to make sure they’re in debt for advanced schooling, and that taxpayers are covering a bunch of their college costs too.

I’m sure these sweet young things are well versed in the various groups, countries, animals, and ecosystems that have been oppressed by the United States. Please, someone give them a couple of serious history and civics lessons before the country goes slurping and swirling down the drain!

I’m willing to be that the young men who landed on Normandy 70 years ago today knew in which decade Woodrow Wilson was president. Imagine, even before we had a Department of Education.

Carney: “I Haven’t Seen Arne’s Full Comments”

Oh please. Somebody get me out of Washington. Does anyone have a room for rent in Nebraska?

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney Monday showcased one typical Washington way not to answer a question: Profess ignorance.

He employed the tactic Monday when asked if Education Secretary Arne Duncan was appropriate in invoking race when he sneered at “white suburban moms” for complaining about the Common Core education standards.

Said Carney:

I haven’t talked to the president about this issue and I haven’t seen Arne’s full comments.

Hasn’t seen his full comments? You mean like, since Duncan took office?

Anyway, Carney then immediately belied his own assertion by obviously reading a prepared response:

But if his point was that we need to be honest with kids and parents about whether we’re providing the skills they need to succeed, I think we can all agree on that.

If his point was? The White House doesn’t have Arne’s phone number to find out his address? His email account? Is the White House friends with him on Facebook at least?

So Carney knew enough to generate some spin, but not to answer the question. Got it.

School Forced Back Into Session for Obama

In an apparent planning snafu, President Obama today will visit an early learning school in Decatur, Georgia that happens to be in recess this week.

But no problem: According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, staff and bus drivers will be summoned back to work for the day to accomodate Obama’s appearance.

College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center Principle Suzanne Kennedy alerted parents that the staff will interrupt their vacations for the “amazing opportunity” for students to “expand their worlds” by seeing the president:

President Obama’s visit is an honor for College Heights and the City Schools of Decatur. Since the school system is on winter break, we are offering a one-day experience for pre-K and Head Start students on the day of his visit- Thursday, February 14, 2013. This day would resemble a normal school day: same bus routes and times, same school beginning and end times, regular instructional day with the same staff, and breakfast and lunch offerings.

The district apparently has an unusual system that includes more breaks during the year and a shorter summer vacation, accounting for the mid-February recess.

Obama will be on hand to promote his State of the Union suggestion that early childhood education be made a new entitlement “available to every single child in America.”

Spend More on Education, Because It’s Worked So Well

President Obama is fearlessly fighting for students to get a three percent break on their student loans for college.

My question is: WHY DO WE HAVE TO SUBSIDIZE COLLEGE EDUCATIONS THAT STUDENTS CAN PAY FOR WITH A SUMMER JOB AND SOME PART TIME WORK WHEN THEY DIDN’T LEARN ANYTHING IN HIGH SCHOOL?

According to Xavier University’s Center for the American Dream, one in three native Americans would fail the U.S. citizenship test, based on answering just 6 out of 10 questions correctly. Had the pass rate been 7 out of 10, 50 percent would fail.

How many zillions of dollars have we spent on education to get this result? Clearly, we need to spend more.

Obama to Bash GOP Over Head With College Diploma

President Obama today unpacks his newest tool for smacking evil Republicans. It’s called the Stafford Loan.

Currently, students can get this already-subsidized loan at 3.4 percent instead of the usual 6.8 percent. They don’t start paying until they’re six months out of school – or until six months after they get depressed over being dumped by their girlfriend and drop out.

Not a bad deal for a student loan, on which nearly ten percent of of those who take one default within the first two years. And with a Stafford Loan you can even take a holiday from paying for up to three years if you find you’re out of money.

Obama and Georgetown students
Georgetown University students reach out to Obama, hoping he will give them a loan.

Republicans, Obama plans to explain at events today in the presidential swing states of North Carolina and Colorado, oppose continuing the reduced rate not because they think the $6 billion a year it costs taxpayers may not be the best investment of scarce federal funds as the Obama deficits range over $1 trillion. They oppose it because they hate young people, and they don’t want anyone else to have the privileges they and their rich friends have.

But Obama, turns out, hates young people even more, because he MISSED THE TWO VOTES in 2007 that originally cut the loan rate for five years from 6.8 to 3.4 percent.

Mitt Romney, who made noises during the primaries about ending such federal help, has of course preemptively caved and agrees with Obama – despite being severely conservative – putting pressure on House Republicans who oppose extending the rate cut.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney teed up the coming fusillade of nastiness Friday during a White House briefing on the matter:

This is another issue that should enjoy broad bipartisan support, because you really have to have a brick in your head not to understand that education is the cornerstone of our economic future.

OMG, Carney, who is also a famous neurosurgeon, has diagnosed what’s wrong with Republicans: They have bricks in their heads!

I should have known. All this time I thought they had holes in their heads. Maybe some do, and then I would hopefully be able to see the brick and confirm Carney’s diagnosis.

At the risk of finding I do in fact need to have my head examined, I wonder, is it really appropriate that everybody go to college? Does everyone need to be saddled with debt for years paying off loans for a degree they perhaps didn’t need, given what they ended up doing for a living?

And just how hard is it to go to college anyway without a little help from our taxpaying friends?

Obama smokes pot
Obama puts his student loan to use.

According to a CNNMoney report last October, living and studying on campus at a typical private college costs $42,224. Of course, that’s the sticker price. Nobody who can’t afford it pays the sticker price.

If the student aid office doesn’t come through, there’s an alternative. The price to be an on-campus student at the average public university is about $21,447. Still can’t do it? Well then live off campus. The cost for tuition alone at a public university is $8,244.

This last option, and along with financial aid probably the others too, should be achievable IF YOUR PARENTS BOTHERED SAVING FOR YOUR COLLEGE. That is, save to buy the product before you buy it, not after you’ve purchased it. I know it’s a novel idea.

If your parents didn’t do this, tough luck. If you’re disappointed enough, what can I tell you  – disconnect the brakes on their car and collect an early inheritance. Just don’t come badgering taxpayers to make up for their negligence.

But wait. There’s ANOTHER option. Tuition at the average community college is $3,000.

Stop! Don’t murder your parents! Go to a community college!

Is someone going to tell me that the average college student can find no way of making $3,000 over the course of a year? Or perhaps go on the six year plan and pay $2,000 per year?

I know jobs are tight, but you should be able to get something.

HAS ANYBODY EVER HEARD OF WORKING IN A SPORTING GOODS STORE?? It’s not hard. I did it. Here’s what you do. You say:

“Would you like to try this on?”

And then, you say to the next person, “Would you like to try this on?”

Or maybe you will have to learn to say, “This one is for use outside, and this one is for use in a gym.”

And so forth.

I used to knock on doors during the summer and wash peoples’ windows. Nice little income. Got to play with their kids’ toys too.

But really, a college education isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. After all, I obviously still HAVE A BRICK IN MY HEAD.

Obama To Aussie Students: Our Kids are Behind

There’s an unwritten rule in politics that politicians must not criticize the president when they are overseas. How about adding America’s school kids to the list of untouchables?

Speaking at a high school in Australia, President Obama told a group of Aussie students that their counterparts in his country had “fallen behind” when it comes to math and science, saying he wants to reform the public school system.

Obama also asserted that poor children don’t get “support they need when they’re very young’’ and are “already behind’’ when they enter grammar school, according to a press pool report.

Obama might have thought twice before casting America’s public school kids in a negative light to foreign students. Especially since he can exclude his own children from the system by paying for them to attend private school.

One might feel uncomfortable saying many types of unpleasant things about our country to people overseas. But then, one would have to be an American exceptionalist.

Another Day, Another Power Grab

What’s the major difference between George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind law and the new education program that will be announced by President Obama today? It’s there in the very sentence above. The Bush law is a law. It was the result of arduous bipartisan negotiations that led to an agreement between, of allContinue Reading

High School Students to Obama: Get Away!

The One thought it would be a good idea for students to compete to hear him. The Students thought it was not such a good idea. According to veteran CBS Radio White House Correspondent Peter Maer, the White House is having a real bad time getting schools to compete for the right to host himContinue Reading

Obama Stuns a High School by Showing Up

Obama dropped in on a shocked high school in Wisconsin yesterday. From the pool report. Surprise stop: La Follette High School (As in Robert L. La Follette) Lots of shrieking — “Oohh myyy god! It’s the president!” Obama posed with a photo with five volleyball players. And he walked over to the football team —Continue Reading