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Obama

New federal regulations could force for-profit universities such as The University of Phoenix to disclose more information to applicants about average student debt levels and loan default rates.

The U.S. Department of Education proposal, announced Friday, would set new thresholds for federal student aid eligibility of for-profits, by considering their students’ annual debt-to-earnings rate and student loan default rates over a three-year period.

In its announcement, the department said the new regulations would help rein in career-training programs that leave students swimming in debt while doing little to advance their careers.

But institutions that would be affected said any new rules should apply across the board — to include public universities — and that the data behind the proposal rule could be flawed.

Officials at Apollo Education Group Inc., the Phoenix-based operator of the for-profit University of Phoenix, said they were still reading through the proposed regulations and could not comment specifically on it. But they agreed with others that any transparency requirements should apply across the board…

For-profit universities are often criticized for the higher than average debt levels, low graduation rates, and poor post-graduate employment and earnings statistics among graduates.

Critics of for-profit universities say students should be better educated about the likely return on investment prior to enrollment.

(Image by 401k2012)

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The Heritage Foundation’s news blog The Foundry reports on the controversy raging in the state of Indiana over the Federal government’s common core curriculum standards:

Indiana today is a battleground for one of the Obama administration’s preferred prescriptions to improve public schools — uniform national education standards formally known as Common Core State Standards…Common Core began as a broad reform, dreamed up by the bipartisan National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, to provide a high-quality base of academic standards that any state in the country could choose to use. In 2010, Indiana became one of the first states to adopt the standards. By June 2012, 45 states, plus the District of Columbia, also began the implementation process.

Common Core already is woven into the fabric of American education. And where the words “Common Core” appear, protests are not far behind.

Resistance began at the individual level, with parents such as Heather Crossin, an Indianapolis mom of four. Crossin, now one of Indiana’s most vocal opponents of Common Core, asked her school’s principal why 8-year-old Lucy’s math homework suddenly focused on abstract concepts, even drawing pictures to solve problems, instead of practicing formulas.

“I assumed initially it was just a bad textbook selection. I found out that was not the case,” Crossin says…

Read more.

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CNN reports on a recent White House event, honoring several American music icons:

While the President was paying tribute to Aretha Franklin, he had a hard time with the spelling of a word famously spelled out in one of her best known songs.

“When Aretha first told us what R-S-P-E-C-T meant to her, she had no idea it would become a rallying cry for African Americans, and women, and then everyone who felt marginalized because of what they looked like or who they loved,” Obama said to chuckles from the audience.

The president’s gaffe calls to mind a similar mistake Vice President Dan Quayle made more than twenty years ago, when he incorrectly spelled the world “potato” while judging a school spelling bee. Quayle was mercilessly mocked by the mainstream media for his gaffe, and was portrayed, basically, as an idiot rather than someone who simply made a mindless and momentary error.

Somehow, we think Obama will get more favorable treatment form the media than Quayle did.

(Image: PeteSouza.WhiteHouse)

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Constitutional law scholars on Wednesday told members of Congress they’re a bunch of lily-livered wimps when it comes to dealing with President Barack Obama’s abuses of power, the Washington Post reports.

“Recently, Congress has seemed — frankly — feckless and uncertain as to its authority,” testified Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University. “For Congress not to act, in my view, borders on self-loathing.”

He made the comments during a committee hearing Wednesday called “Enforcing the President’s Constitutional Duty to Faithfully Execute the Laws.”

“If you want to stay relevant as an institution,” said Elizabeth Price Foley, a law professor at Florida International University, “I would suggest that you not stand idly by and let the president take your power away.”

The comments come on the heels of Obama’s recent and infamous remark that he would bypass Congress to pass his pet projects.

“I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone — and I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions that move the ball forward,” Obama had said in January.

Obama has repeatedly changed aspects of  his signature Affordable Care Act law, seemingly at will, most notably his decision to delay the employer mandate. Columnist Charles Krauthammer said of the delay: “This is the stuff you do in a Banana Republic.”

And writing for Forbes, David Davenport points out:

He has defined his role as commander in chief in a breathtakingly powerful and detailed manner.  For example, he committed the United States to war with Libya without Congressional authorization, an action that both allies and critics agree exceeded proper presidential power.  He has claimed authority to target individual enemies for death by drone, including some American citizens located overseas.  I’m sorry but the last time I checked, the death penalty for U.S. citizens was reserved to the judicial branch.

When liberal professors join forces with conservative voices, you know times are really bad.

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We finally agreed with President Barack Obama on something, and he goes and takes it back!

Back in January, Obama said this: ” … alot of young people no longer see the trades and skilled manufacturing as a viable career. But I promise you, folks can make a lot more, potentially, with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree. Now, nothing wrong with an art history degree – I love art history. So I don’t want to get a bunch of emails from everybody. I’m just saying you can make a really good living and have a great career without getting a four-year college education as long as you get the skills and the training that you need.”

Well, the president *did* get a bunch of angry emails, and now he’s said he’s sorry.

Inside Higher Ed reports that the president responded to one of those angry art history scholars, Ann C. Johns, Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Professor and senior lecturer in art and art history at the University of Texas at Austin, with this: “Let me apologize for my off-the-cuff remarks. I was making a point about the jobs market, not the value of art history. As it so happens, art history was one of my favorite subjects in high school, and it has helped me take in a great deal of joy in my life that I might otherwise have missed. So please pass on my apology for the glib remark to the entire department, and understand that I was trying to encourage young people who may not be predisposed to a four year college experience to be open to technical training that can lead them to an honorable career.”

We had actually liked his point. While some focused on his dig at art history, we took it another way: Obama basically admitted it’s better to be a carpenter than an unemployed college grad with $60,ooo in debt, no job prospects, and a firm grasp of some obscure topic no one in the real world cares about.

IMAGE: Pete Souza/Flickr

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Did you know highspeed internet access is a civil right?

Students deserve it.

In reality, here’s President Barack Obama’s latest way to shmooze young people and teachers unions at the expense of taxpayers: Fast internet for all.

Take a look at this picture U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan tweeted Thursday. They’re pushing this hard:

duncantweet

Here’s the backstory, as reported by College Fix contributor Julianne Stanford recently:

Obama revisited another plan from his 2013 State of the Union address, once again asking Congress for their aid in making high-speed Internet available to 99 percent of the nation’s students.

The president’s plan, known as ConnectEd, seeks to “foster a robust ecosystem for digital learning” and “make our schools an integral part of the broadband and technology transformation.”

“Tonight, I can announce that with the support of the FCC and companies like Apple, Microsoft, Sprint and Verizon, we’ve got a down payment to start connecting more than 15,000 schools and 20 million students over the next two years, without adding a dime to the deficit,” the president said.

Oh, really?

According to tax reporter Kelly Phillips Erb of Forbes, the program is slated to cost between $4 billion and $6 billion.

“But the administration has a plan to pay for it: raise fees on cell phone users,” Phillips Erb reported. “[It] could result in as much as $12 in increased fees for cell phone customers over three years.”

The Federal Communications Commission would determine the increase in tax, bypassing Congress.

… (FCC) chairman Thomas Wheeler issued a statement in support of ConnectED following the address, stating:“The Federal Communications Commission shares the president’s commitment to seizing the opportunities of digital learning, which is why we’ve already launched an effort to modernize our successful E-Rate program – the nation’s largest education technology program.”

E-rate is a part of the 1996 Telecommunications Act signed by President Clinton, helping “schools and libraries obtain access to state of the art services and technologies at discounted rates.”

Because students apparently can’t learn without a fast Internet connection, so billions of dollars later, and taxpayers are on the hook.

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