Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Why Are Taxpayers on the Hook for Student Loans?
We recently relayed the story of Barack Obama’s efforts to pick winners and losers in the for-profit college market. Obama yanked federal aid from ITT Tech, leading to the entire operation shutting down — leaving 40,000 students and 8,000 teachers out in the cold. Our aim was primarily to note that Obama attacks the private sector at every opportunity, but that isn’t the only angle. The Washington Post reports, “Former students at ITT Technical Institutes are refusing to repay their federal student loans in a protest designed to pressure the government into canceling the debt of everyone who alleges they were defrauded by the now-defunct for-profit chain.” The Post quoted one 39-year-old graduate with $80,000 in student loans who said, “We’re not irresponsible brats whining about our loans. ITT lied to us. It’s fraud.”
Simply being a for-profit company doesn’t make a business the good guy, and if the accusers are correct, then the college network didn’t deserve to survive. The Post reports that “ITT spent years battling allegations of fraud, deceptive marketing and steering students into predatory loans.” Indeed, by the accounts of many former students, ITT provided a terrible education, handed out a worthless piece of paper, and charged ridiculous rates for it. ITT is hardly alone either. Corinthian Colleges went out of business in 2014 after evidently running a similar scam, and last year Obama agreed to forgive millions in student debt for that institution. We warned last week that the government may end up forgiving as much as $500 million in federal student loans to ITT students. ITT has about $90 million on hand to cover loan forgiveness. Who will be stuck with the bill for the remaining $410 million? Got a mirror handy?
Indeed, that’s just it. The larger problem is guaranteed access to federal money for education, which puts taxpayers on the hook. Guaranteed access means every education entity public or private is going to do whatever’s necessary to get a slice of the pie. Nowhere does the Constitution enumerate such a federal power or individual right to the fruits of someone else’s labor. Americans now owe $1.3 trillion in student debt, of which $1 trillion is held by the federal government. The policy consequences of the federal government’s massive role could be a greater fraud than anything ITT or Corinthian ever dreamed of.
Ireland: Teachers defy union ban on assessing their students
The difficulties for the ASTI in securing compliance with directives has been compounded in recent weeks by the decision of a significant number of non-union or former ASTI teachers in voluntary secondary schools to transfer to membership of the TUI
Junior Cert results issued this morning indicate that a significant number of members of the Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) are defying a prohibition by their union on engaging in assessing their own students in oral Irish.
A total of 20,220 students, or 38 per cent of candidates studying Irish this year, took the optional oral component in 2016 compared to 16,529 in 2015. These were spread across 357 schools, representing almost half of all second level schools.
There are within the Irish education system 360 schools either managed by Education Training Boards (ETB) or falling under the Communality and Comprehensive (C&C) bracket.
Collective bargaining within these schools falls to the Teachers Union of Ireland (TUI), which has no objection to teachers assessing their own students for oral components of languages. The state’s other 375 post-primary schools, known as voluntary secondary schools, fall within the ambit of the ASTI.
A spokesperson for the State Examinations Commission told The Irish Times it was “aware that the optional Irish orals are sat across all three sectors” – ETB, C&C and voluntary.
At a meeting last June, the ASTI standing committee stepped up its campaign against self-assessment by teachers in schools by issuing a revised directive to members.
Education Fat Cats No Joke for Taxpayers
Chris Evans, superintendent of the Natomas Unified School District, bears a strong resemblance to the late Chris Farley of “Saturday Night Live,” but for students, parents and taxpayers, Evans’ latest happy meal is no joke. As Diana Lambert notes in the Sacramento Bee, the district’s board just boosted Evans’ pay by $46,130, a raise of more than 20 percent bringing Evans salary to $270,000, almost $100,000 more than the $182,791 Jerry Brown pulls down as governor of California. Evans’ lucrative deal now extends to 2020 and includes a $500 monthly car allowance, $1,500 per year “to pay for technology” and a $12,000 annual annuity. It was less clear what superintendent Evans had done, if anything, to deserve all that, plus his new raise of $46,130.
Natomas school board president Teri Burns issued a statement citing Evans’ “continuity in leadership, stability in administration” and “a clear vision for the district.” Burns cited no increase in student achievement during Evans’ five years with the district, no reduction in truancy, nor any savings he might have achieved in administrative costs. To calculate the raise, Lambert wrote, the district “used data from other school districts in the state.” The only one cited was the Twin Rivers School District, also in the Sacramento region, where superintendent Steven Martinez makes, $260,000 a year. As we noted, that raise was not tied to any achievements by Martinez, and the district has seen more than its share of troubles.
This dynamic models the entire government monopoly K-12 system, the state’s collective farm of ignorance and mediocrity. If schools fail, the money keeps coming. The educrats keep crying for more, and they get it, regardless of achievement or accountability. The education establishment resists reform, particularly parental choice. Their latest quest is to make schools more difficult to evaluate, which Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee describes as “at worst a cynical maneuver to evade true accountability.”
Posted by jonjayray at 12:44 AM