Obama's College Plan Is Smart, but Maybe Doomed
Congress would have to go along with ranking system: Jordan Weissmann
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2013 12:33 PM CDT
President Obama speaks about affordable college education at Henninger High School Thursday in Syracuse.   (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

(Newser) – President Obama's plan to ease the student debt problem is "simple, powerful, and long overdue," writes Jordan Weissmann at the Atlantic. It's also probably doomed. As he spelled out yesterday, Obama wants to help students figure out which schools give them the best value, factoring in things like tuition and employment after graduation. Schools with higher rankings would see more federal aid, which would theoretically spur reform and thus lower costs. "On a broad philosophical level, the proposal would fundamentally rewire the relationship between the federal government and the world of higher education, by introducing at least somewhat meaningful accountability measures for the first time across all sectors of the industry, from the Ivy League, to the University of Phoenix," writes Weissmann.

The catch? The Department of Education can come up with any ranking it wants, but tying the results to federal aid needs the approval of Congress, and Republicans already seem skeptical. Marco Rubio, for instance, called such a plan a "slippery slope" that would give "Washington bureaucrats" too much sway over the private sector. The plan is an "important first step," writes Weissmann, "but it's not clear when, or if, it will lead anywhere." At Business Insider, Josh Barro is more enthusiastic. "In the case of higher education, the constituency getting its ox gored by cost control will be college professors and administrators, hardly a fixture of Republican fundraisers or Tea Party town halls," he writes. "That bodes well for bipartisan compromise on this issue." Click for Barro's full column, or Weissmann's full column.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Obama's College Plan Is Smart, but Maybe Doomed is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 100 comments
Aug 30, 2013 8:42 PM CDT
Instead of changing it at the top, change it at the bottom. Most of 6th grade can be an evaluation period. By the end of the term, all kids find out where they will go next. Track 1 is to a college preparatory school of 7th to 12th grade. Instead of kids taking on loans, the US simply pays for all tution, room, board, books, fees, etc. They won't fail because 7th to 12th created the well prepared student. Think of it as 10 years of college. Maybe we won't need four years for a Bachelors degree. Maybe two will suffice if we don't have to teach HIST1000 or ENGL1000. So what about the other kids who were not selected for the college track. Track 2 is career oriented. It includes the allied arts, allied medicine, construction, municipal services (police,fire,medic), and the trades. The kid graduates in the equivalent of 12th grade with a license in that area. I think that's the best solution to the loan problem. Its very European and has a good track record.
Aug 27, 2013 7:52 AM CDT
The 16 AMENDEMENT IS A FRAUD! Taxes taken out from your checks is unconstitutional because YOU ARE NOT ALOUD TO TAX ON LABOR!!! USA has more Germans than any other nationality! There are more than 60 millions germans in the USA... Meaning, this is Germany!! Hitler peoples are doing the same thing here like they did in Germany. They are the Rothschild!! Rothschild are connected to the Draconians from the draco galaxy, which they call the cat eye and the Freemason refers it as the ALL SEEING EYE!!!! Look humans, sheep, puppets, machines, junk dna, whatever they refer you as please wake up!!! Here's are those who has been manipulation humanity over 25,000 years ago since the Lucifer/Head Draco rebellion... they are the followers and workers of the 13 bloodlines, G3 Free Trade Agreement, Group of two,Group of four, Group of six, Group of seven, Group of eight, Major Economies, G8 Summit resorts, Group of nine, The Next Eleven, The Melanesian Spearhead Group, The Cooperation Council of the Arab States of the gulf, Mercosur or Mercosul, MIKT, The African Union, The Commonwealth of Nations, Trilateral summits, The CCTS- Cooperation Council of the Turkic speaking States, The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, The United Nations, The Union for the Mediterranean and The Union of American Nations...FOR THOSE THAT THINK THIS IS A JOKE GOOGLE OR BING IT AND PROVE ME WRONG! EDUCATED YOURSELF RETARDS BEFORE AMERICA STARTS WORLD WAR 3 WITH CHINA AND RUSSIA!!!!!
Aug 26, 2013 4:26 PM CDT
I detect an undercurrent of sour grapes by "conservative" anti-intellectuals who don't have what it takes to make it in college; usually they don't have the self-discipline to do their assignments, to learn to study effectively and to think rather than just follow whatever societal norms their environment presents to them. Rush Limbaugh, who denounced PhD to mean "post hole digger" never made it past his first semester. If you disagree with something like global warming and you want a vote about it you have to earn the authority the hard way: years of graduate school with long hours of hard study, qualifier exams that, in the case of physics consist of four full days of closed book tests, and a peer reviewed dissertation that passes the committee. Then you do some post-doctorate research as an apprentice on whatever part of global warming or whatever else you want to challenge and you earn your right to be respected as an authority. But if you don't have the prolate spheroids to do all that, and you want a bicycle tire pump to your self-esteem that will create the illusion that you don't need to do all that because you have natural common sense by which you demand to be treated like a professional scholar, then that's no problem. Just call the real authorities and real scientists "liberal" and like the tinkling of Pavlov's bell, everybody will respond by smacking their lips, dropping their National Enquirers, and ejaculate, "Yeah, uh huh!".