What Obama Left Unsaid About Education In The State Of The Union

Career College Central summary:

  • What President Obama left unsaid about his education policy in the State of the Union address might be significant. He didn’t call for Congress to rewrite the No Child Left Behind law, and he didn’t lambaste colleges for rising tuition. On higher education, Obama in his 2012 and 2013 addresses warned colleges that they must act to contain rising tuition.  In 2013, the president said: “But taxpayers can’t keep on subsidizing higher and higher and higher costs for higher education. Colleges must do their part to keep costs down, and it’s our job to make sure that they do. So, tonight, I ask Congress to change the Higher Education Act so that affordability and value are included in determining which colleges receive certain types of federal aid.”
  • This year, the language was much less pointed. Last week, Obama said: “We’re shaking up our system of higher education to give parents more information and colleges more incentives to offer better value, so that no middle-class kid is priced out of a college education.”
  • In this arena, the policy action is intensifying. The administration is in deep discussions with colleges and others about a federal college rating system that Obama plans to launch — without congressional approval — by 2015. Some college presidents — including one of Duncan’s former Cabinet peers, Janet Napolitano of the University of California — have expressed deep skepticism about the rating plan. But Duncan is forging ahead. In the view of administration officials, Obama has succeeded in sparking soul-searching among colleges about how to contain rising prices. So there was no need for the president to ratchet up the rhetoric.

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