- As usual, education got several mentions in Tuesday's State of the Union address, including another call from President Barack Obama to cut the cost of college through free community college proposals.
- EdSurge reports that the president touted reform that reduced student loan borrowers’ payment obligations to 10% of their income and said the next step is cutting the actual cost of college.
- Obama pledged to keep fighting for an expansion of free community college, which he mentioned in last year’s State of the Union address but has not been able to move forward in Congress.
In highlighting the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math education, Obama celebrated a rise in the number of engineering graduates. He continues to push for quality STEM education that can lead students to well-paying jobs. The focus on college as job training has taken hold in Washington, spurring accountability proposals that rate the success of institutions by the earnings of their graduates.
This has created some angst within the higher education community, especially those advocates of liberal education and the broad critical-thinking skills that prepare students for a lifetime of jobs, even if they’re not the most high-paying ones just a couple years out of college. The reauthorization of the Higher Education Act is likely in 2016 and it is sure to bring with it new responsibilities for our nation’s post-secondary schools.