Delaware Governor Jack Markell announced another initiative tied to grants to prevent students from taking remedial classes in college. This whopping $250,000 grant is coming from USAFunds, a non-profit think tank that promises to “fix” education along with the other million or so companies that promise to do the same. Funny how none of them have, despite all their big talk and reports. What causes me to shudder is some things I found on USAFunds website.
This company is big on community colleges and associate degrees. Which must make them very attractive to a guy like Jack Markell. But they go a step beyond and promote “Students Futures as Investments”. This is the ultimate goal. Not only will companies decide what you want to be when you grow up, they will also earn part of your future earnings! These income-share agreements would have investors fund student’s college education and in return they would get a share of your earnings. We pretty much already have this with student loans. USAFunds linked to a company called American Enterprise Institute (AEI) on their website. AEI has a pdf of the “promises and challenges of Income-Share Agreements“. While this organization likes to use pretty words and all-out statements to support their “cause”, it also talks about human beings as investments. First we were Human Capital, now we are Human Investments. When do we get to be just human? Add in social impact bonds to gamble on special education outcomes in pre-schools, and this is just another step to the privatization of American education.
The funds from this nearly $250,000 grant will go to select schools that participate in the Allied Health and Technology pathway as part of Governor Markell’s big “Pathways to Prosperity” push. Care to guess which college in Delaware specifically has an Allied Health and Technology program? Delaware Tech. And I’m sure any school in Delaware that offers this field as one of their career pathways is already salivating to jump onboard for this free money. Until the grant runs out, and then they make it a part of district costs, thus elevating the huge amount we already pay for education in Delaware.
But for Governor Markell, the lame-duck quacking has ended. All we hear now is the beck and call of corporations and Governor Markell selling our children out. It doesn’t matter if they are conservative, liberal, or just greedy. Markell will sell out Delaware students for any reason. But try to get an audience with the guy about his future plans or actual plans that would improve student outcomes, and we just get more of this:
“We have too many students that have worked hard to meet the requirements of college entry and yet when their coursework begins, they find themselves in need of remediation and additional supports,” said Markell. “I’m thrilled that as a result of our partnership with USA Funds, we can now take another step toward ensuring that our students enter our colleges prepared to earn credits and make progress toward a degree on day one.”
Hey Jack, if our students are still having this problem after eight years of your education reforms, perhaps the problem isn’t the students. Perhaps it is YOU. If you weren’t always trying to make money for companies, maybe our students would have a chance. Add in Common Core, and how it really doesn’t work, and we have another self-made recipe for corporate greed. I was wrong about you running for Congress today Jack, but this just tells me you are banking on a Hillary win so you can get your greedy paws into ALL of American education. You really have no shame…