"Instead of holding Navient accountable, [the DOE's] student loan bank covered for them. Outrageous, but not surprising," Sen. Warren tweeted on Wednesday. (Photo: Senate Democrats/flickr/cc)

"Instead of holding Navient accountable, [the DOE's] student loan bank covered for them. Outrageous, but not surprising," Sen. Warren tweeted on Wednesday. (Photo: Senate Democrats/flickr/cc)

“Instead of holding Navient accountable, [the DOE’s] student loan bank covered for them. Outrageous, but not surprising,” Sen. Warren tweeted on Wednesday. (Photo: Senate Democrats/flickr/cc)

TND Guest Contributor:  Nika Knight

“It’s long past time for the Department of Education’s bank to clean up its act and start running the student loan program to benefit students—not private companies,” declared Sen. Elizabeth Warren on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday as she announced a plan (pdf) for the Department of Education (DOE) to completely overhaul its student loan servicing system.

“One of the first things that must be done is a total reform of student loan servicing to make sure nothing like the Navient disaster ever, ever happens again.” —Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Earlier this month, the Democrat from Massachusetts roundly condemned the DOE for putting the desires of the student loan industry over the needs of students, referring to a scandal in which the DOE protected one of the country’s largest loan companies (Navient, formerly known as Sallie Mae) from repercussions for defrauding U.S. service members.

Warren this week followed up that earlier critique with a detailed, five-point plan for reform.

“When a private company breaks the law and steals from American soldiers who are literally in the field fighting overseas, those companies should be held accountable,” Warren argued. “Everyone in government who is serious about standing up for the tens of millions of student loan borrowers in this country should embrace [these reforms].”

The plan also calls on the DOE to publish more data on the opaque federal loan servicing system to disclose to the public how it actually works, and asks the Department to step up aggressive oversight of the student loan industry.

“We shouldn’t be running the student loan program to create profits for private companies. We should run it for students,” Warren said.

The senator’s latest battle with the DOE over student loans was prompted by a report (pdf) last month that “found that the agency conducted a deeply flawed investigation of its student loan servicers—companies like Navient, which collect borrowers’ monthly payments—and knowingly misled the public about the findings,” as Common Dreams reported.

“The Department of Education’s bank decided it was more important to protect Navient than to watch out for our military students,” Warren said. “One of the first things that must be done is a total reform of student loan servicing to make sure nothing like the Navient disaster ever, ever happens again.”

Warren’s plan recommends introducing debt counseling, clearer communication with borrowers, and an escalating complaint process. She tells the DOE to report bad actors to relevant government agencies, decries propping up “too big to fail” student loan companies, and advocates for introducing competition between the student loan giants such as Navient.

This work was published at Common Dreams and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License
melissa degrees

melissa degrees

TND Guest Contributor:  Melissa Dykes | Originally published at The Daily Sheeple

A recent Pew Research report shows that the American middle class is disappearing. Most Americans are no longer considered middle class anymore. The wealth gap in this country, a gap that continues to grow, has already broken all records. In short, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.

Data also shows that, despite the fact that many American college students enter their adult lives by taking on tens (and sometimes hundreds) of thousands of dollars in debt for the promise of a good job with better wages when they graduate, in reality, they are starting out making barely more than the average college graduate made nearly 40 years ago.

college-graduate-wages

Male/female pay gap aside, in 1979, the average male college graduate started his new job at $20.61 an hour.

In 2011 according to this chart, that wage averaged $21.68, just a few cents over a whole dollar more. In 2014, the amount only increased to $21.86 (and 2015 data isn’t out yet, obviously).

But what does that 2014 dollar really buy these days? Because the price of everything has gone up a lot more than a dollar.

Let’s just look at the differences between the two years in the price of a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk.

pricediff1979-2014

So a college graduate, starting out his adult life as a debt slave, might make a whole $1.25 more an hour these days, but a loaf of bread costs nearly $2 more than it did in 1979, and milk is $2.26 a gallon now. Go ahead and figure this up for everything the average person buys in order to get by in daily life and… well…

You get the idea. Inflation has increased 244.24% since 1979.

And all this, despite the fact that in 2008 it was reported that college tuition fees have increased in the U.S. a whopping 439% since 1982!

Unless a person has rich parents who pay for college, taking out loans is about the only way most college students can even afford college. Over 70% of Americans have some sort of student loan debt, which now exceeds total credit card debt in this country. The average student loan debt is $33,000. The student loan debt bubble has grown to over $1.3 trillion in this country. It’s one of the main reasons more college students and graduates than ever are still living at home with their parents.

And the reality is, the jobs for grads just aren’t there. This study is one of many which shows that the growth of supply of college-educated labor is exceeding the growth in labor market demand for college-educated labor.

The jobs simply are not awaiting all these college graduates, as evidenced in this chart here:

unemployedvsjobs

Twice as many people (or more!) are looking for jobs in most sectors than there are jobs available in those sectors in this country.

And currently 48% — that’s nearly half — of America’s college graduates are working jobs that do not even require their college degree. The proportion of overeducated workers has grown substantially since the 1970s; according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some 5 million American college grads are working jobs that require less than a high school education.

So why are so many young people still taking on gargantuan amounts of student loan debt just to pay thousands more a semester to get a college degree for a job that either doesn’t exist or ultimately isn’t going to even help them pay all that student loan debt back, let alone be able to afford the basic necessities to live on?

Hope.

That’s the only reason I can figure. The promise of the American Dream. It’s a dream because the reality is, it simply does not exist.

And in other news, long-term unemployment in America is now at an all time high…

long-term

# # # #

Melissa Dykes (formerly Melton) is a co-founder of TruthstreamMedia.com. She is an experienced researcher, graphic artist and investigative journalist with a passion for liberty and a dedication to truth. Her aim is to expose the New World Order for what it is — a prison for the human soul from which we must break free.

This work was published at TruthStream Media and is reprinted with permission and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

School_officer

School_officer

 

RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. — Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott has asked the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department to investigate an incident between a school resource officer and a female student at Spring Valley High School, which was caught on video Monday and posted online. Lott placed a call to Dave Thomas, special agent in charge…

graduation-caps-in-air

Arizona State University is just giving away MBA degrees. OK, students still have to study and complete the program – but it won’t cost incoming MBA students a penny next year. There are 85 students in this year’s 2015 class, but starting next fall, up to 120 new students will have their entire tuition for the…

China-300x300

A shortage of Chinese language teachers has become an increasingly urgent problem worldwide, as more and more countries and regions have established frequent and close trade and personnel exchanges with China, according to participants at the Eighth Global Fujian Fellow Convention. The convention, held in Xiamen, Fujian province, on Friday attracted around 640 businesspeople, along with…

Nancie-Atwell-Global-Teacher-Award-screenshot-PBS

Pop quiz: who’s the coolest teacher around? Answer: Ms. Atwell. Today, for World Teacher Day, we’re shining a spotlight on Nancie Atwell, the “World’s Best Teacher” who doesn’t give her students tests or quizzes. Atwell received the first “Global Teacher Prize” earlier this year–but she’s been changing the profession for 25 years. She created “The Center…

Education-Savings

Get Smart About Education Savings

Get Smart About Education Savings by Tara Thompson Popernik, AllianceBerstein Educating your children or grandchildren isn’t just an expense: The Internal Revenue Service sees it as a gift. Fortunately, direct tuition payments to elementary and secondary schools fall under the educational/medical (ed/med) exclusion. You can pay unlimited current tuition expenses, on behalf of one or more…

clocktoschoolsm

clocktoschoolsm

TND Guest Contributor: Melissa Dykes

Can you say INDOCTRINATION? Guess having an imagination is now illegal in Police State ‘MERICA!

RANT ALERT: Yeah. I had to make a video on this. Simple investigative work (or common sense) would say that a homemade clock doesn’t do much good as a bomb if it isn’t hooked to anything that explodes.

DUH. Even Looney Tunes cartoon characters know this.

by Melissa Melton | Originally published at The Daily Sheeple

 

You know how our nation is always complaining that we don’t have enough bright young children entering STEM subjects — Science, technology, engineering and math?

Well, Irving, Texas probably isn’t going to churn out too many.

An apparently bright 14-year-old student named Ahmed Mohamed, who spent his free time in robotics club in middle school and spends his free time building his own radios at home, was arrested for attempting to impress his teacher by bringing a homemade clock to his new high school because, “It looks like a movie bomb.” They didn’t mistake it for a bomb… they essentially insisted from the get go that there’s nothing else it could possibly be but a bomb.Via Dallas News:

Ahmed’s clock was hardly his most elaborate creation. He said he threw it together in about 20 minutes before bedtime on Sunday: a circuit board and power supply wired to a digital display, all strapped inside a case with a tiger hologram on the front. He showed it to his engineering teacher first thing Monday morning and didn’t get quite the reaction he’d hoped for. “He was like, ‘That’s really nice,’” Ahmed said. “‘I would advise you not to show any other teachers.’” He kept the clock inside his school bag in English class, but the teacher complained when the alarm beeped in the middle of a lesson. Ahmed brought his invention up to show her afterward. “She was like, it looks like a bomb,” he said. “I told her, ‘It doesn’t look like a bomb to me.’” The teacher kept the clock. When the principal and a police officer pulled Ahmed out of sixth period, he suspected he wouldn’t get it back. They led Ahmed into a room where four other police officers waited. He said an officer he’d never seen before leaned back in his chair and remarked: “Yup. That’s who I thought it was.”

“That’s who I thought it was”…?

I wonder if Ahmed’s engineering teacher thinks this story is as pitiful and ignorant as I (and thousands of people across the social media sphere) do. Police investigative work is generally supposed to go like this: the cops are called to see if a crime took place. When they realize that OBVIOUSLY NONE DID, they are supposed to go back to whatever else they were doing (mostly revenue generating). Instead, by all accounts they basically insisted that some kind of crime must have taken place because… “it looked like a movie bomb”. Well, part of one anyway. A homemade clock doesn’t do much good as a bomb if it isn’t hooked to anything that explodes. DUH. Even Looney Tunes cartoon characters know this.  

Police, who were “skeptical” of the boy’s story that it was “just a clock,” (again, investigative skills much?) took the teen down to juvenile detention and fingerprinted him (for what?) before releasing him to his parents. The principal then suspended him for three days (FOR WHAT?).

Why does every adult in a position of authority in this situation sound less intelligent than the 14-year-old who was arrested?

So, even though the kid had implored the adults in the room over and over and over that this is simply a clock, and it obviously IS simply a clock, the clock itself is now sitting somewhere in an evidence room. Police are still considering pressing charges that Ahmed built a “hoax bomb,” scarring what appears to be a very smart little boy with a penchant for electronics for life because they are, by all accounts, completely and utterly ignorant.

Oh, and here’s another quote from the story:

He’s vowed never to take an invention to school again.

Great.

America’s public schools, it seems, just really aren’t places for smart kids these days.

These parents really should homeschool. This kid could probably go straight to college anyway. Nothing coming out of this so-called “school” is going to do anything but dumb him down and make him less intelligent… oh, and impress him with the idea that everyone is as moronic as these people have shown themselves to be.

# # # #

Melissa Dykes (formerly Melton) is a co-founder of TruthstreamMedia.com. She is an experienced researcher, graphic artist and investigative journalist with a passion for liberty and a dedication to truth. Her aim is to expose the New World Order for what it is — a prison for the human soul from which we must break free.

This work was published at TruthStream Media and is reprinted with permission and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

David_Dees_Education

TND Guest Contributor:  Natalie Johnson |

The House passed a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind Act in a razor-thin vote Wednesday night, ignoring a White House veto threat and pushing on with legislation that would ease the federal government’s role in public education.

The bill passed by a mere five votes in the final 218-213 roll call. No Democrats voted for the legislation, with 27 Republicans joining them in opposition.

The rewrite, called the Student Success Act, is the first serious attempt to overhaul the sweeping No Child Left Behind law since it technically expired in 2007.

Republicans touted Wednesday’s passage as a step forward in refocusing education policy to local control, while Democrats argue a provision in the bill allowing states to link federal dollars to individual students in low-income areas would exacerbate inequalities in poor school districts.

Conservatives contend the legislation does not go far enough in scaling back the federal government’s hand in public education.

“The SSA as it stands is a missed opportunity for conservatives to restore state and local control of education,” said Lindsey Burke, an expert in education for The Heritage Foundation.

Conservatives pushed for an amendment that would have allowed states to opt out of the nearly 80 federal programs under No Child Left Behind while still maintaining federal funding.

The A-PLUS amendment would have given states the option instead to direct federal education funding toward state-established programs.

Though the amendment ultimately failed to move forward with the Student Success Act, it cinched 195 votes with over 80 percent of Republicans in the House supporting it.

“Last night’s showing for the policy included in A-PLUS was a tremendous step forward,” Burke said.

Wednesday’s passage marked a success for House Republican leadership who failed to whip enough support for the Student Success Act in February, forcing them to withdraw the bill from the floor until its reintroduction this week.

Congress still has a long road ahead in overhauling No Child Left Behind. The Senate is currently debating a more bipartisan rewrite, signaling potentially contentious negotiations to smooth differences between the two bills before an update can be sent to the president’s desk.

About the author:

Natalie Johnson is a news reporter for The Daily Signal and graduate of The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program.

This article was published at The Daily Signal and is reprinted with permission.