Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

July 15, 2009


The good news. . . .

Washington Post - [Obama's ] proposed American Graduation Initiative would pump $12 billion into community colleges and add 5 million new graduates by 2020. The program, he said, would offer training to millions of students who cannot afford four-year universities and opportunity to older workers who need new skills. . . As the national unemployment rate has steadily risen, the White House has come under increasing pressure to explain why the president's economic policies are not translating into better news for workers. . . Obama's new higher-education initiative includes $2.5 billion for construction and renovation at the nation's community colleges, $500 million to develop new online courses and $9 billion for "challenge grants" aimed at spurring innovation at the colleges.

The bad news. Once again the Obama administration is exercising too much centralized control. On what basis are Obama and Duncan wiser than college presidents and deans on such matters?

The heart of the program, White House officials said, is the grants, which will require colleges to compete by designing innovative new programs or revamping their existing curricula. The grants are similar to the "Race to the Top" funding that Education Secretary Arne Duncan has proposed for the K-12 school systems.

"We're going to take a careful look at how well these things work, and only the ones that demonstrate results will receive continued funding," said James Kvaal, a special assistant to the president for economic policy. . .


Anonymous dumbing down higher ed said...

Yeah we need a few more "criminal justice" associates with burr haircuts. They'll grow up to be fat little sadistic racists who think it's their job to beat the crap out of working people.

July 15, 2009 9:19 PM  

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