April 23, 2024



Educational Think Tank Topics for Radio Listeners and Online Readers

Welcome to our radio show, today’s topic will be acim and we will cover a number of side topics along the way. Just so you know the ground rules, and they are very simple; I talk and you listen. After 30 minutes I will open up the phone lines, or if you are reading this transcript online as an online article that you may leave a comment below for an upcoming future program. Okay so let’s begin, as you know I don’t like to waste time.

I guess it goes without saying that a nation is only as strong as its education system was 20 years prior. And that makes this topic very important, especially because it is now October 25, 2012 and we have an election coming up in only 10 days. Although both candidates are very strong for education, our path forward will be determined by the presidential leadership which follows. President Obama is very strong with his belief in the need for education, especially giving everyone a fair chance, regardless of ethnic background, or socioeconomic status. In fact, he himself could not have become president without his college education.

His opponent Governor Mitt Romney is also strong in education, in Massachusetts while he was governor they boosted their state to the number one slot, a remarkable achievement for any state. Further, both presidential candidates believe that we need ongoing research in our universities and colleges, and we must carefully focus on math and science for our technologically advanced future. Very few could deny those are good policies, but it won’t be free. Local school districts and states have complained that the federal government all too often passes laws such as; NCLB – No Child Left behind Act, and similar mandates without funding them or sending money to the schools.

Most teachers unions claim that the heavy hand of the federal government is too much oversight and too restrictive for their teaching in the classroom, and they are afraid that too many teachers are teaching to the test to ensure that all the kids are able to read, and therefore it becomes more of a “no child allowed to advance” doctrine. Of course, those are hardly the only problems, as we see right now college tuition has gone through the roof, and the default on student loans is now at 10%. Regardless if you are a left-leaning socialist professional academic, you only have to look at that number to realize that it is; unsustainable. To borrow a trendy socialist term, now then, the let’s go ahead and talk about what’s going on with regards to these high tuition costs.

1.) Students Rally to Ensure That Budget Cuts Do Not Hurt the Community Colleges

There was an interesting article in the Los Angeles times on October 16, 2012 by Carla Riviera titled; “A Dash for Classes – Community College Students Are Commuting – By Bus, Car and Train – To Multiple Campuses Because of Severe Budget Cuts.” This is simply because the community colleges have cut classes and the number of teachers out in California. Therefore the students have to go to two or three different community colleges to get the classes they need, and then merge the transcripts later so they can graduate. Interestingly enough this problem has been going on for decades and it was even a problem after I graduated high school from what I remember.

Now the teachers are gathering with the students in protest. They are telling the California legislature that they are angry, and if they don’t get their money, they will show up en masse to vote against those that have cut, or will cut the community college budget in the future. There was another article a little over a week before on October 14, 2012 in the same newspaper titled; “Prop 30 Inspires Student Voter Drives – Gov. Jerry Brown’s tax hike proposal is being touted as the only way to avoid tuition hikes,” by Larry Gordon. So what we have now is the teachers union which is lobbying for more money, and the students who were going to vote to get more college at a lower cost.

Do you know what this means? It means that the taxpayer will now have to pay more to subsidize these college students, but I ask as a taxpayer; why it’s my problem, I’m not going to school? Why should I have to subsidize someone else’s education? There are student loans available, everyone else is getting student loans, and the community colleges don’t cost that much anyway. Further, why don’t some of these students go out and get a job? Well, it just so happens that there are not that many jobs available because our economy is in shambles, mostly because the economic stimulus didn’t work, as the Obama Administration spent the money on things which did not drive employment numbers as was planned.