department of education
Later today U.S. Senate confirmation hearings begin for Betsy DeVos, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Education. If confirmed DeVos will lead the primary government agency tasked with establishing policy and administering most federal funding for public education and enforcing federal educational laws regarding civil rights.
Science and education professionals are increasingly alarmed about the impact Donald Trump’s cabinet picks — many of them evangelical Christians — could have on science standards in public schools.
Candidate Trump repeatedly pledged to end the existing Common Core curricula standards for math and English. Critics worry that could open the door to rethinking science standards, and lead to the teaching of creationism and Intelligent Design, pseudo-scientific notions about Earth’s origins with little or no support from scientists.
The Department of Education will forgive the federal loans of thousands of students who attended Corinthian Colleges, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced Monday.
Corinthian, a large for-profit education company, last month filed for bankruptcy amid multiple charges of fraud.
Duncan explained the move as an attempt to counter "the ethics of payday lending," according to the New York Times.
But the announcement is proving divisive, with critics citing the potentially huge taxpayer burden — the cost to the government could amount to as much as $3.5 billion if every former Corinthian student applies for relief.
Supporters, on the other hand, are hailing the move as a compassionate stance for students in unexpected need.
The New York Times reports:
“A lot of men and women have been hurt by this unfortunate situation, including low-income and minority students,” said a joint statement from Representative John Kline, the Minnesota Republican who is head of the Education and Workforce Committee, and Representative Robert C. Scott, Democrat of Virginia, the ranking minority member.
“Helping those eligible students who have been harmed is the right thing to do,” the statement said.
Mr. Duncan also said the department planned to develop a process to allow any student — whether from Corinthian or elsewhere — to be forgiven their loans if they had been defrauded by their colleges.
Read more here.
America is at a crossroads: We live in a society that promotes working for our own ends, but if we are to survive and flourish it is time to start sacrificing for the common good by working together.
In early April, advocates for public education traveled to Washington D.C. for Occupy the Department of Education (Occupy the DOE). Students, parents, educators, and community members came together to protest a current system that is designed to segregate our society, while demanding a public education system that devotes itself to the common good through sacrifice of self for the love of the whole.