President Barack Obama begins a speaking tour in New York on Thursday to push his plan to make college more affordable at a university in Buffalo, N.Y., and a high school in Syracuse, N.Y.
The plan the president will propose focuses on tying funds for schools to performance, spurring innovation and competition and keeping student debt affordable, according to a fact sheet released by the White House on Thursday.
Obama will propose tying federal aid to universities to performance of students and affordability, as opposed to the number that enroll. To do this, the Department of Education will develop a rating system for college value by 2015, and that will be used to make aid decisions by 2018. He also will push a “Race to the Top” for states to reward better higher education with lower costs, the White House said.
The president will also propose a $260 million fund to spur schools to innovate, including with technology, and the administration will issue “regulatory waivers” to schools for experimentation.
Can VAM for college professors be far behind?
Look, college cost is a huge problem.
So is student loan debt.
Do you know how you solve those problems?
Increase the Pell Grant.
Curtail loan programs (which the feds make money, btw, - an estimated $184 billion over the next ten years.)
Incentivize states to fund their state university systems to keep costs low.
Raise taxes on rich people and put the money toward Pell Grants and state university systems.
If private colleges want to continue to raise costs beyond inflation, year after year, let them.
If there are viable state university system alternatives that are fully funded by state governments and provide quality educations comparable to private colleges for a fraction of the cost, you can bet the president of NYU is going to think twice about raising tuition another $100 a credit so that he can buy up more Greenwich Village real estate.
But there is too much money to be made from the loan programs, both for the banksters and for the government, for them to ever curtail those.
And the oligarchs and plutocrats who run the country are not interested in paying higher taxes for any reason - especially not to fund state university systems.
So instead we get Race to the Top Mach 3 - College and University Edition.
A neo-liberal dream.
Not going to solve what they say it's going to solve.
But there will be some money to be made by the "innovators," "entrepreneurs" and "disruptors" of the system - lots of it.
And isn't that what this is all really about anyway?
Using a self-manufactured "crisis" to make billions for the vulture class - that's what this is.