Thursday, June 30, 2016

Hillary Clinton: 'Let's Set the Goal of Making College Debt-Free for Everyone'

Setting a goal does nothing of itself. It's just propaganda

"Let's set the goal of making college debt-free for everyone," Clinton said, without giving details.

In her remarks, she pointed to one of her own campaign volunteers: "Let's make it right for young people, like Erica Roitblat in West Lake (Ohio)," Clinton said.

"She dreamed her whole life of going to Ohio University in Athens. But the housing crash in 2008 wiped out her parents' savings and their small business. So to get her college degree at a public university, Erica wound up $100,000 in debt. We cannot let this student debt crisis continue; we have got to give hard-working students and families relief.

"And you know what Erica is doing now?" Clinton continued. "She is volunteering for our campaign and working to elect Democrats across Ohio."

(So, according to Mrs. Clinton, a young women with $100,000 in student debt is working for no money.)

Clinton told the crowd she got into the presidential race "because I wanted to even the odds for people who have the odds stacked against them. And this is not a time for half measures," she said.

She laid out "five ambitious goals" for the economy, including goal number two:

"Let's set the goal of making college debt-free for everyone, like Erica," Clinton said.

"And let's provide debt relief -- let's provide debt relief as soon as we can, as soon as we start to work, Elizabeth," Clinton said, addressing Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) who was campaigning with her.

"We'll take the day off for the inauguration, and then the Senate, the Congress, the White House, we're going to get to work to give students and their families relief from this debt."

On his Monday talk-radio program, conservative host Rush Limbaugh predicted that Clinton plans to forgive all outstanding student loans.

"I'm going to make a prediction to you," Limbaugh said. "And I've been expecting this for a long time. I think, at some point in this campaign, Hillary is going to propose forgiving all outstanding student loans. 

"She got close to it today (Monday) by saying it was unconscionable or outrageous that students should incur so much debt just trying to get an education. You mark my words.  And Obama and the Democrats run the student loan program now. So, at just the right time, they can announce a plan to forgive all student loans. You wait.  Don't be surprised."

Clinton's rival Bernie Sanders campaigned on a promise of free college tuition for everyone: "I'm going to have a tax on Wall Street speculation to make certain that public colleges and universities in America are tuition free," Sanders said at the Democrat debate on Dec. 20, 2015.

Clinton told the same debate, "I have debt-free tuition plans, free community college plans, getting student debt down." At the time, she directed people to the "New College Compact" found on her campaign website.

That compact says:

-- Students should never have to borrow to pay for tuition, books, and fees to attend a four-year public college in their state under the New College Compact. Pell Grants are not included in the calculation of no-debt-tuition, so Pell recipients will be able to use their grants fully for living expenses. Students at community college will receive free tuition.

-- Students will do their part by contributing their earnings from working 10 hours a week.

-- Families will do their part by making an affordable and realistic family contribution.

-- The federal government will make a major investment in the New College Compact by providing grants to states that commit to these goals, and by cutting interest rates on loans.

-- States will have to step up and meet their obligation to invest in higher education by maintaining current levels of higher education funding and reinvesting over time.

-- Colleges and universities will be accountable for improving outcomes and controlling costs to ensure that tuition is affordable and that students who invest in college leave with a degree.

-- We will encourage innovators who design imaginative new ways of providing a valuable college education to students—while cracking down on abusive practices that burden students with debt without value.

-- A $25 billion fund will support HBCUs (traditionally black schools), HSIs (Hispanic schools), and other MSIs (minority serving institutions) serving a high percentage of Pell Grant recipients to help lower the cost of attendance and improve student outcomes at low-cost, modest-endowment nonprofit private schools.


Dept. of Ed Offers Guidelines on Avoiding 'Underrepresentation' of Sexes in Careet & Tech Programs

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has sent a “Dear Colleague” letter to guide educational institutions offering career and technical programs on how to ensure that all students are given equal opportunities to succeed regardless of their gender.

The letter notes that even though “disproportionate enrollment” is not against federal law, institutions that receive federal funding “must conduct their admission, recruitment, and counseling practices in a nondiscriminatory manner” and address “any unlawful sex discrimination and sex stereotypes in their policies and practices.”

As examples, the letter points out that underrepresentation of women in CTE (career and technical) programs is a potential factor in the gender pay gap. Less than two percent of plumbers and less than three percent of electricians are women, DOE claims.

On the other hand, CTE programs that train students for careers in childcare and cosmetology are disproportionately filled by women, with females making up 90 percent of the workforce in these traditionally low-paying fields.

The DOE thinks that “discouraging men and boys” from fields that are “non-traditional for their sex” is a problem as well.

Since fewer men are enrolled in CTE programs for nursing and education, they make up a minority of these workforces. Less than three percent of early childhood education teachers are men, and males comprise just 10 percent of nurses and medical assistants.

DOE says it wants career and technical education (CTE) programs to be more gender-inclusive and increase “overall participation” in “fields where one sex is underrepresented.”

“As the father of two daughters, I want my girls - and all young women in this country - to have access to the careers of their dreams, no matter the path,” U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr. said in a June 15 statement. “Career and technical education is not just about preparing some students for successful lives and careers, it’s about giving all students the tools to succeed.”

According to the Association for Career and Technical Education, CTE “prepares students to be college and career ready by providing core academic skills, employability skills, and technical, job-specific skills.” CTE uses high schools, career centers, and community and four-year colleges to guide students down a variety of career paths.

In the letter, The DOE offers several ways to end “disproportionate enrollment” in career and technical fields.  

When promoting their programs, institutions must not “create or perpetuate stereotypes.” Instead, they should try to “portray males or females in programs and occupations in which these groups traditionally have not been represented.”

Moreover, when admitting students, institutions cannot use “any test or criterion” that “has a disproportionately adverse effect on individuals of one sex.” Counseling programs must be non-discriminatory as well, as counselors cannot give students career advice based on their gender.

In accordance with Title IX, institutions have to explicitly state that they will not discriminate based on gender. They also have to designate a “Title IX Coordinator” to monitor and prevent potential discrimination.

Finally, the letter urges educational institutions to prevent sex-based harassment, and to treat students and applicants equally regardless of whether they are married, pregnant or have children.

The letter notes a potential situation in which an advanced manufacturing program will not allow pregnant women to take a machine lab course because of the danger involved.

However, DOE states that this would be a violation of Title IX which “prohibits schools from excluding students from classes based on pregnancy.”

On June 17, the Department of Education announced that ten schools were the prizewinners in the CTE Makeover Program, which called “on high schools to design makerspaces that strengthen next-generation career and technical skills.” As a prize, each school received $20,000 cash to improve their its CTE program.

Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Catherine E. Llahamon and Acting Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education Johan E. Ulvin both think that the guidelines will help reduce gender discrimination in CTE programs.

“Ensuring equitable access to CTE programs by eliminating sex discrimination supports a pathway to high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand jobs for all learners, free from stereotype and consistent with our nation’s civil rights laws,” Llahamon said in the press release.

Ulvin added that “this guidance will improve equitable access, participation, completion and post-program outcomes in CTE by discouraging discriminatory practices and encouraging school communities to take proactive steps to expand participation of students in nontraditional fields.”


The Fraud Goes On

Thomas Sowell

Last week the Supreme Court of the United States voted that President Obama exceeded his authority when he granted exemptions from the immigration laws passed by Congress.

But the Supreme Court also exceeded its own authority by granting the University of Texas an exemption from the Constitution’s requirement of “equal protection of the laws,” by voting that racial preferences for student admissions were legal.

Supreme Court decisions in affirmative action cases are the longest running fraud since the 1896 decision upholding racial segregation laws in the Jim Crow South, on grounds that “separate but equal” facilities were consistent with the Constitution. Everybody knew that those facilities were separate but by no means equal. Nevertheless, this charade lasted until 1954.

The Supreme Court’s affirmative action cases have now lasted since 1974 when, in the case of “DeFunis v. Odegaard,” the Court voted 5 to 4 that this particular case was moot, which spared the justices from having to vote on its merits.

While the 1896 “separate but equal” decision lasted 58 years, the Supreme Court’s affirmative action cases have now had 42 years of evasion, sophistry and fraud, with no end in sight.

One sign of the erosion of principles over the years is that even one of the Court’s most liberal judicial activists, Justice William O. Douglas, could not stomach affirmative action in 1974, and voted to condemn it, rather than declare the issue moot.

But now, in 2016, the supposedly conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy voted to uphold the University of Texas' racial preferences. Perhaps the atmosphere inside the Washington Beltway wears down opposition to affirmative action, much as water can eventually wear down rock and create the Grand Canyon.

We have heard much this year about the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of the great Justice Antonin Scalia — and rightly so. But there are two vacancies on the Supreme Court. The other vacancy is Anthony Kennedy.

The human tragedy, amid all the legal evasions and frauds is that, while many laws and policies sacrifice some people for the sake of other people, affirmative action manages to harm blacks, whites, Asians and others, even if in different ways.

Students who are kept out of a college because other students are admitted instead, under racial quotas, obviously lose opportunities they would otherwise have had.

But minority students admitted to institutions whose academic standards they do not meet are all too often needlessly turned into failures, even when they have the prerequisites for success in some other institution whose normal standards they do meet.

When black students who scored at the 90th percentile in math were admitted to M.I.T., where the other students scored at the 99th percentile, a significant number of black students failed to graduate there, even though they could have graduated with honors at most other academic institutions.

We do not have so many students with that kind of ability that we can afford to sacrifice them on the altar to political correctness.

Such negative consequences of mismatching minority students with institutions, for the sake of racial body count, have been documented in a number of studies, most notably “Mismatch,” a book by Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor, Jr., whose sub-title is: “How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It.”

When racial preferences in student admissions in the University of California system were banned, the number of black and Hispanic students in the system declined slightly, but the number actually graduating rose substantially. So did the number graduating with degrees in tough subjects like math, science and engineering.

But hard facts carry no such weight among politicians as magic words like “diversity” — a word repeated endlessly, without one speck of evidence to back up its sweeping claims of benefits. It too is part of the Supreme Court fraud, going back to a 1978 decision that seemingly banned racial quotas — unless the word “diversity” was used instead of “quotas.”

Seeming to ban racial preferences, while letting them continue under another name, was clever politically. But the last thing we need in Washington are nine more politicians, wearing judicial robes.


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