House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Friday delivered an impassioned call for education reform, citing in part schools that are “too dangerous” and saying that the answer is school choice.
“One of our priorities this year will be to move heaven and earth to fix our education system,” Cantor (R-Va.) said at CPAC, referencing his commitment to moving on education reform in Congress.
He said that the best way to solve the problems ailing American students is to promote school choice.
“In short, school choice is the answer,” Cantor said. “It puts our conservative values to work and provides opportunity for our kids. Now President Obama and the Democrats have got to see the light. We can find common ground. But as Ronald Reagan said, ‘If they don’t see the light, we’ll make ‘em feel the heat.’ The fight for the future of our country is here.”
Cantor said that in the current education system, underprivileged students ultimately fall victim to poor job prospects — “or worse, a life of crime.”
“Our schools are too dangerous,” he said. “They don’t teach to grade level and they certainly aren’t preparing our kids for college or a better future. Too many end up unemployed, or worse — a life of crime. Yes, that costs us as a society, but worse, it costs our children their future. We’re losing them. It’s a tragedy, we’ve got to fix it.”
Oh, yeah - Cantor cares about poor kids so much.
I'm sure "choice" has nothing to do with, you know, this kind of thing:
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) rehashed the education portion of the GOP platform Tuesday, promoting for-profit colleges in a speech labeled a "rebranding" of the Republican Party.Whenever you hear the word "choice" come out of some politician's or political functionary's mouth - whether it's Eric Cantor, Joel Klein Michelle Rhee or Bobby Jindhal - you can be sure the profit motive is not far behind.
"Over the course of this Congress, we will also work to reform our student aid process to give students a financial incentive to finish their studies sooner," Cantor said in his speech at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington. "We will encourage entrepreneurship in higher education, including for-profit schools. And we will fix the way we subsidize education by making the costs more transparent to parents, students and the millions of taxpayers who help pay some of the bill."
Cantor said a goal for the year is to "move heaven and earth to fix our education system for the most vulnerable," and to "expand" choices for college. It's those "most vulnerable" students that for-profit colleges have been accused of exploiting.
According to a Government Accountability Office report and a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee investigation, for-profit colleges aggressively recruit ex-soldiers and people from low-income backgrounds, who are eligible for more federal student aid. A 2012 study by Education Sector, a think tank, found for-profit college students more likely to end up with student loan debt and no diploma than peers at non-profit institutions.
Cantor's support of for-profit colleges is nothing new for the GOP. Republicans wrote a defense of the industry into the party platform in 2012, and presidential candidate Mitt Romney was the top recipient of campaign funds from for-profit education in the 2012 election, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.