Source: Jeffrey J. Williams, Dissent, Vol. 55 no. 4, Fall 2008
College student loan debt has revived the spirit of indenture for a sizable proportion of contemporary Americans. It is not a minor threshold that young people entering adult society and work, or those returning to college seeking enhanced credentials, might pass through easily. Because of its unprecedented and escalating amounts, it is a major constraint that looms over the lives of those so contracted, binding individuals for a significant part of their future work lives. Although it has more varied application, less direct effects, and less severe conditions than colonial indenture did (some have less and some greater debt, some attain better incomes) and it does not bind one to a particular job, student debt permeates everyday experience with concern over the monthly chit and encumbers job and life choices. It also takes a page from indenture in the extensive brokerage system it has bred, from which more than four thousand banks take profit. At core, student debt is a labor issue, as colonial indenture was, subsisting off the desire of those less privileged to gain better opportunities and enforcing a control on their future labor. One of the goals of the planners of the modern U.S. university system after the Second World War was to displace what they saw as an aristocracy that had become entrenched at elite schools; instead they promoted equal opportunity in order to build America through its best talent. The rising tide of student debt reinforces rather than dissolves the discriminations of class, counteracting the meritocracy. Finally, I believe that the current system of college debt violates the spirit of American freedom in leading those less privileged to bind their futures.
Source: William J Hussar and Tabitha M. Bailey, National Center for Education Statistics, NCES 2008078, September 17, 2008
From the summary:
This publication provides projections for key education statistics. It includes statistics on enrollment, graduates, teachers, and expenditures in elementary and secondary schools, and enrollment and earned degrees conferred expenditures of degree-granting institutions. For the Nation, the tables, figures, and text contain data on enrollment, teachers, graduates, and expenditures for the past 14 years and projections to the year 2017. For the 50 States and the District of Columbia, the tables, figures, and text contain data on projections of public elementary and secondary enrollment and public high school graduates to the year 2017. In addition, the report includes a methodology section describing models and assumptions used to develop national and state-level projections.
Source: Inside Higher Ed, October 3, 2008
In choosing between the new and old educational benefit programs, veterans have many variables to consider. Here’s a primer.
Source: Jessica Davis and Kurt J. Bauman, U.S. Census Bureau, P20-559, August 2008
From the press release:
Enrollment in two- and four-year colleges and universities in the U.S. reached 20.5 million in 2006, up 3 million since 2000. This included 17.1 million undergraduates and 3.4 million students in graduate or professional schools.
These statistics are from the U.S. Census Bureau’s School Enrollment in the United States: 2006, a report that describes the characteristics of the nation’s 79 million students in 2006.
This is the first school enrollment report from the Census Bureau to use data from both the Current Population Survey (on which previous reports have been based) and the American Community Survey. Incorporating these data result in new state-by-state comparisons of enrollment characteristics while preserving the historical comparisons of school enrollment.
In 2006, there were more students in college and high school, but fewer in nursery school, kindergarten and elementary school, than in 2000. This change reflects the composition of school enrollment by age in the United States for that time period.
– Detailed tables
Source: Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, September 17, 2008
The percentage of colleges offering domestic partner benefits grew gradually in 2007-8 — a year in which the benefits received intense scrutiny from critics of gay marriage.
The College and University Professional Association for Human Resources surveyed colleges and universities and found that 42 percent offer health care benefits for same-sex domestic partners, up from 40 percent a year ago. In addition, 34 percent of institutions provide the benefits to opposite sex domestic partners, up from 31 percent a year ago.
In states where voters have approved measures to ban gay marriage, domestic partner benefits have faced legal and political challenges in the last year, but many institutions have shifted the way benefits are provided to avoid cutting off health insurance to employees’ partners.
Source: Matthew Zeidenberg, Issues in Science and Technology, Vol. 24 no. 4, Summer 2008
Publicly funded two year colleges are facing daunting challenges in dealing with surging enrollments of disadvantaged and unprepared students.
Source: Ellen Dannin, American Constitution Society Issue Brief, August 20, 2008
From the abstract:
The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s) 2004 Brown University decision held that graduate student teaching and research assistants were not employees, and therefore, were not protected by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Deciding whether individuals are employees as defined by the NLRA is critical to labor law, as it determines whether individuals have a protected right to engage in freedom of association, self-organization, collective bargaining, and acts of mutual aid or protection. This article explains and critiques the Brown decision as a departure both from precedent as well as from the central purposes of the NLRA. It also examines how Brown University “foreshadowed other cases in which the Board would ignore precedent and the policies underlying the NLRA.” The piece advises readers about the importance of precision in criticizing such decisions, because “if that criticism is not targeted to the specific wrong, it can do damage.” It further cautions that, while criticizing specific failures to enforce NLRA rights is essential, it is important to not wholly abandon the NLRA as a vehicle for protecting such rights, stating “We must insist that the promise of the NLRA to actively promote freedom of association in order to create equality of bargaining power between employers and employees . . . is kept.”
Source: Ithaka, 2008
Our 2006 survey of faculty members sought to determine their attitudes related to online resources, electronic archiving, teaching and learning and related subjects. This study affords the opportunity to develop trend analysis of many measurements that we collected in the 2003 and 2000 faculty surveys. As in the past, we have developed a robust set of disciplinary and other demographic analyses that have allowed us to learn more about how best to serve the needs of different types of faculty members. In 2006, for the first time, we are also able to offer extensive comparison with the attitudes and perspectives of academic librarians on the perceived roles of the library and librarian on campuses; the impact of transitioning to electronic material on library practices; the place of digital repositories in the campus information-services landscape; and the future plans of academic libraries. Librarians surveyed include both directors and collection development leaders from a wide variety of 4-year academic institutions across the United States.
We have produced an in-depth white paper which details our findings and provides analysis and recommendations based on these studies. For those who are interested in investigating this data on their own, we have deposited the raw datasets from the faculty and librarian studies with ICPSR
Source: David P. Smole and Shannon S. Loane, Congressional Research Service, RL34549, July 3, 2008
Federal educational assistance programs have been authorized for veterans of the Armed Forces since 1944. The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 (P.L. 78346), or the GI Bill of Rights, provided support, including education benefits, to veterans of World War II. Subsequently, other programs were implemented for similar purposes (e.g., the Korean GI Bill and the Vietnam Era GI Bill). These new programs were primarily, if not exclusively, funded by the federal government and were intended to support veterans returning from war.
This report reviews the evolution of veterans’ education benefit programs prior to the enactment of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. It also examines how changes in the estimated value of those benefits compares with changes in average college prices, and provides a discussion of the interaction between veterans’ education benefits and federal student aid benefits made available under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), as amended.
Source: Kathy Christie, Phi Delta Kappan, Vol. 89 no. 10, June 2008
The headlines are daunting. Plunging home values, skyrocketing fuel costs, declining state revenues, and a multitude of other budget worries add up to nightmares for state budget officials and school business directors. Even the most conservative observers will admit that budget cuts in most districts go beyond trimming fat and are cutting deep into the meat.