Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Links for 3/23/10

George F. Will
Doubling down on dubious bets is characteristic of compulsive gamblers and federal education policy…
Donald Marron
Opponents have denounced this change as a government takeover of the student loan market. That makes for a great soundbite, but overlooks one key fact: the federal government took over this part of the student loan business a long time ago.

In a private lending market, you would expect lenders to make decisions about whom to lend to and what interest rates to charge. And in return, you would expect those lenders to bear the risks of borrowers defaulting. None of that happens in the market for guaranteed student loans. Instead, the federal government establishes who can qualify for these loans, what interest rates they will pay, and what interest rates the lenders will receive. And the government guarantees the lenders against almost all default risks.

In short, the government already controls all of the most important aspects of this part of the student loan business. The legislation just takes this a step further and cuts back on the role of private firms in the origination of these loans…
Rick Hess
Anybody out there want to take a stab at what will happen to a scholar who pens a piece that doesn't start from a presumption that cognition, policy, and practice are indelibly racist? Or that offers a less than conspiratorial take on U.S. schooling or "privatization"? I'll venture a guess: they will be rejected out of hand. Mind you, the editors would tell any who asked that this did not reflect bias or an assault on free inquiry; it would simply reflect the failure of authors to conform to the criteria for the special issue of an influential journal. Such is the invidious, largely invisible, groupthink that promotes narrow orthodoxy under the guise of academic routine.
Doug Lederman
when all the shouting and the horse trading and, finally, the voting was done, Congress's Democratic majority had indeed given approval to what supporters, without engaging in hyperbole, characterized as a dramatic reshaping of the federal student loan programs…

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