Yesterday, President Obama was in Buffalo and Syracuse for the roll out of his brand new plan for higher education. Here’s how MSNBC described the event and his plans:
President Obama unveiled a new higher-education plan Thursday that promises to make college more affordable by ranking colleges and universities based on performance. The changes could help students and their families make more informed decisions about where to enroll based on graduation rates, graduates’ earnings, and other outcomes. But would the plan actually make higher education better deal?
At the heart of Obama’s plan is a system that aims to reward institutions based on their upfront costs and long-term benefits to students’ pocketbooks—and punish those that don’t. ”We can’t price the middle class, and everybody working to get into the middle class, out of an education,” Obama said in a speech at the University of Buffalo outlining the plans.
Within the next two years, the administration will create a new ratings system that would measure graduation rates, graduate earnings, average tuition, scholarships awarded, and the percentage of the students receiving Pell Grants, among other metrics.
The Obama administration’s obsession with grading schools as a way to “reform” the American education system is not new. But, as we’ve seen with the the work of Obama’s former Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel and now Mayor of Chicago, in practice this usually means an attack on teachers, especially teachers unions. While we have not yet waded through all the details of his plan, we have some deep concerns.