The Republican Presidential candidates have spent an inordinate amount of time on the trail discussing education policy, especially considering fiscal policy seems to be the determining factor in most Americans minds. Why the concentration? Well, for starters, Occupy Wall Street exposed to America the understanding the our children are not being educated when sent to four year, public universities, but rather being changed thousands of dollars for exposure to liberal indoctrination and useless “education” in things like experimental film and “Womens’ Studies.”
But there is also a deeper concern. As the star of Dirty Jobs, Mike Rowe, testified before Congress late last year, while America is busy creating shovel-ready jobs for its young people, most public universities are totally unprepared to train people entering the job market for either the first or second time, to actually hold a shovel. Our public universities have almost universally failed to prepare young adults for the working world they will encounter in tough economic times.
There’s a simple solution: empower career colleges and schools that teach valuable job skills and actual trades to serve the American people more fully and educate those looking to enter the job force without the heavy hand of government regulations. Both Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney have spent much of their time, though unreported by the media, courting for-profit schools – career colleges that provide flexible education options, but are responsible to the free market – in the hopes that actual needs – and not government checks – will help determine how we educate the next generation.
Surging Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, a longtime critic of public education, said at a recent campaign stop that President Obama has “waged war” against for-profit colleges that could serve as job-training centers in the recovering economy…
“And what we’ve seen in this president is an assault on those very schools that do most of the training out there, and that’s the private schools,” he said. “This president has had a war on private education. … He believes that private sector schools are somehow evil and they’re abusive, and his Education Department has done everything they could to make it harder for them to compete for loans and other things and to stay in business.
And he’s right. Over the last year, the Obama Administration, its Education Secretary Arne Duncan and compatriots in Congress have done everything possible to limit for-profit education and, in some cases, directly attack the entire industry at the behest of private sector bigwigs rooting for for-profit education to fail. Using low unemployment rates and high student loan bills as an excuse, the Administration has taken every opportunity to kneecap for-profit schools, which are providing some of the only necessary education in today’s market.
But at the same time, while iberals may not like the assertion that public universities are paling in comparison to schools that teach life skills and rely on the free market, even they seem to recognize that perhaps the era where every child has the knee-jerk need to attend a public university are coming to an end. Recently Jill Biden and Hilda Solis spent time in Kentucky hailing the fantastic invention that is community colleges. Public community colleges, that is.
While America’s unemployment rate continues to fall to levels unseen since President Barack Obama took office, we must train our workers in advanced manufacturing careers if we are to create an enduring economic recovery. Obama believes a key to unlocking our economic future is through smart investments in community colleges like Roane State, which has already received two federal grants totaling more than $2.8 million to train workers in carbon fiber manufacturing.
Today, we will be visiting Roane State to highlight the growing importance of partnerships between emerging industries and America’s community colleges. Our visit is part of our three-day bus tour through Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina to highlight the president’s proposal to create an $8 billion Community College to Career Fund.
That’s right. Eight billion to improve community colleges and, essentially, bring them up to the level of other career colleges currently serving the public. Although community colleges face many of the same hurdles for-profit schools face – and have some of the same problems with unemployment and debt, as all schools do in this economy – Obama is throwing $8 billion dollars their way, while at the same time handicapping schools that teach the same thing, but independently of the government dole. Interesting, isn’t it? The government, knowing full well that their pressure to attend four-year universities has failed, is still trying to railroad students into education that they pay for.
This is possibly just one single example out of the thousands of the administration being hypocritical, bit as the GOP candidates point out, the decision to handicap for-profit schools is one that actively handicaps America’s students and job seekers.