The Trump administration is threatening to cut funding for a Middle East studies program run by the University of North Carolina and Duke University, arguing that it’s misusing a federal grant to advance “ideological priorities” and unfairly promote “the positive aspects of Islam” but not Christianity or Judaism, the AP reports.
“In one of the boldest state-led efforts to expand access to higher education, New Mexico is unveiling a plan on Wednesday to make tuition at its public colleges and universities free for all state residents, regardless of family income,” the New York Times reports.
He asserted that a woman activist arguing in favor of abortion rights was a “product of higher education” and claimed that getting rid of higher education would “save America.”
“The office of an African American employee of the U.S. Department of Education was vandalized earlier this week, and other employees have expressed concern that the attack may have been racially motivated,” NBC News reports.
“African art figurines were found beheaded, with their limbs removed, and a school desegregation poster was damaged.”
A new Pew Research Center survey finds that only 50% of American adults think colleges and universities are having a positive effect on the way things are going in the country these days, while 38% say they are having a negative impact – up from 26% in 2012.
“The increase in negative views has come almost entirely from Republicans and independents who lean Republican. From 2015 to 2019, the share saying colleges have a negative effect on the country went from 37% to 59% among this group. Over that same period, the views of Democrats and independents who lean Democratic have remained largely stable and overwhelmingly positive.”
Former Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) “said he will withdraw from a planned Harvard fellowship after a social media backlash and email and petition campaign opposing the appointment,” the Detroit Free Press reports.
News of the appointment “sparked outrage over the weekend from critics who cited Snyder’s role in the Flint drinking water crisis.”
“Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) will propose on Monday eliminating all $1.6 trillion of student debt held in the United States, a significant escalation of the policy fight in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary two days before the candidates’ first debate in Miami,” the Washington Post reports.
“Sanders is proposing the federal government pay to wipe clean the student debt held by 45 million Americans — including all private and graduate school debt — as part of a package that also would make public universities, community colleges and trade schools tuition-free.”
Vox: Sanders’s free college proposal just got a whole lot bigger.
A new Civic Science survey finds 56% of Americans don’t want Arabic numerals taught in schools.
“In a major education policy speech set to be delivered Saturday, Sen. Bernie Sanders will call for a ban on all for-profit charter schools, a position that puts him directly at odds with the Trump administration and becoming the first of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to insist on such a move,” CNN reports.
“Kentucky’s 2019 teacher of the year skipped a formal ceremony at the White House on Monday — a snub Jessica Dueñas said was in protest of the Trump administration’s embrace of school-choice policies,” the Louisville Courier-Journal reports.
Said Dueñas: “I feel like the current administration is clearly attacking public education. Why come to D.C. and smile and get an award and not stand up for my students?”
NBC News: “In the wake of the $25 million college admissions cheating scandal in which 50 people were criminally charged, California lawmakers are attempting to crack down on the so-called side door that allowed wealthy parents to engineer their children’s acceptance to elite universities.”
“The six-bill legislative package, put forth in the State Assembly on March 28, takes aim at certain college admissions practices like the one exploited in the scheme, in which coaches can select a number of students who might not get in otherwise as athletic recruits, essentially guaranteeing their acceptance.”
“Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) unveiled a new plan on Monday that would offer free public college for future students while cancelling up to $50,000 in student debt for over 40 million Americans,” NBC News reports.
“Warren said her proposal was designed to confront a recent surge in student loans, now totaling $1.5 trillion nationally. She blamed insufficient funding in higher education in favor of lower taxes for the mounting student debt.”
New York Times: “Ms. Warren’s sweeping plan has several planks. She would pay for it with revenue generated by her proposed increase in taxes for America’s most wealthy families and corporations, which the campaign estimates to be $2.75 trillion over 10 years. In addition to eliminating undergraduate tuition at public colleges and universities, she would expand federal grants to help students with nontuition expenses and create a $50 billion fund to support historically black colleges and universities.”
“In the first major policy rollout of her presidential campaign, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) unveiled a plan on Tuesday to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to boost teacher salaries,” NBC News reports.
“Billed as ‘the largest investment in teachers in American history,’ the plan would devote $315 billion in federal funding over the next 10 years toward programs that would subsidize pay for public K-12 educators and reward state and local governments for raising them even higher. It would be paid for by as-yet unspecified changes to the estate tax, which currently applies only to inheritances over $11.4 million for individuals and $22.8 million for married couples.”
First Read: “The jaw-dropping college admissions scandal that ensnared two Hollywood actresses and embarrassed some of the country’s top universities not only underscores the divide between the haves and have-nots.”
“It also plays into the hands of the Democratic presidential hopefuls who have made erasing this divide a central message in their campaigns.”
“But the story also might play with Trump voters who think college is rigged, although maybe for a different reason — affirmative action.”
“The nation is rightfully outraged after yesterday’s news, which exposed 1) how the wealthy have tried to take advantage of the system, and 2) how another American institution (higher education) has let us down.”
The Atlantic: “Bernie Sanders has called for tuition-free college. Julián Castro has signaled support for it as well. Elizabeth Warren has pushed, for years, for ‘debt-free’ college. Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and Kirsten Gillibrand have signed on to legislation that could make college debt-free. Even Amy Klobuchar, who notably shirked ‘free college for all’ during a CNN town hall in February, signed on to a metered free-college proposal last year.”
“All together, the field seems to have converged on a consensus: A free-college proposal—or an answer about why they don’t have one—is something of a prerequisite for Democratic candidates hoping to challenge Donald Trump in the 2020 election.”
“A majority of Americans in every state except Vermont would fail a test based on the questions in the U.S. citizenship test, according to Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation survey.
“It suggests most Americans can’t live up to the standards we set for people applying to be U.S. citizens — and we set those standards because we expect Americans to be informed and engaged. Only four out of 10 Americans would have passed the test, and just 27% of those under age 45.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told CBS News that middle school children in Kentucky would be better off if funds that would otherwise have gone to building new schools were used for a border wall.
Said Graham: “It’s better for the middle school kids in Kentucky to have a secure border. We’ll get them the school they need, but right now we’ve got a national emergency.”