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Experts Praise Rubio’s Higher Education Reform Proposals

Feb 14 • 497 Views • View Comments

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George Leef: “Most politicians are happy to go into the cheerleading mode whenever the subject is education. … One politician who is not just a cheerleader is Florida’s Senator Marco Rubio.” (George Leef, “Senator Rubio Advances Reform Ideas About Higher Ed,” NRO, 2/10/14)

 

  • Leef: “In my view, the most interesting idea here is the Senator’s view of alternatives to the current accreditation system, which does little or nothing to ensure educational quality, but does act as a barrier to entry against innovative means for young people to learn skills and show their competence.” (George Leef, “Senator Rubio Advances Reform Ideas About Higher Ed,” NRO, 2/10/14)

 

Richard Vedder: “Rubio hits a home run with his third new proposal. He wants to create a framework where investors can buy equity in students as opposed to lending to them. In effect, students sell stock instead of bonds in themselves.  Under these Income Share Agreements (ISAs), a student agrees to pay the investor a certain percent of his or her income for a fixed number of years -say five percent for 10 years in return for a $15,000 investment in college costs.  If the student ends up making $125,000 a year well before 10 years are up, the investor makes a huge profit; if the student makes only $30,000 a year, the investor likely loses on the student. The risks of borrowing move to the investor away from the student.” (Richard Vedder, “Four Ideas for Higher Education,” Minding The Campus, 2/11/14)

 

Bill Bennett: “I think your recommendations are great. … Thank you for entering into this fray, your voice is very much needed.” (Bill Bennett, 2/12/14)

 

  • Bennett: “We saw the other day, Senator Rubio – and this is great stuff you’re doing – Virginia College of Medicine and Health graduates, and most of them are nurses going into a job, make more money in their entry point than graduates of the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, a so-called prestigious university. And these are great jobs, so we need to rethink this whole thing. The whole job thing, and education thing, has been shaped by the lens of the people running higher education, which may not be the same lens that a lot of us see the world through.” (Bill Bennett, 2/12/14)

 

CNBC’s Joe Kernen: “For Republicans to win back the hearts and minds of voters, we need to fix this, because opportunity is not equal. It depends on where you’re born and what kind of family you’re born into. And until we fix it, the other side is going to make headway by trying to guarantee outcome. So you’ve got some answers here. And I applaud you for it.” (CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” 2/11/14)

 

AEI’s James Pethokoukis: “New reforms proposed by GOP senators Mike Lee and Marco Rubio attempt to deal with the college cartel and the related issue of how to make higher-ed more market-like. What their ideas have in common are a variety of market-based approaches to improving educational opportunity. Among them: (a) give students better info on outcomes and costs; (b) lower barriers to entry by creating alternative, state-level accreditation systems so new providers of cheaper courses and programs could compete against existing players; (c) leverage private capital to finance individual students through income-share agreements.” (James Pethokoukis, “Lee and Rubio understand the need to disrupt the higher-ed status quo,” AEI Ideas, 2/12/14)

 

  • Pethokoukis: “Lee and Rubio understand the need to disrupt the higher-ed status quo” (James Pethokoukis, “Lee and Rubio understand the need to disrupt the higher-ed status quo,” AEI Ideas, 2/12/14)

 

This week Rubio devoted time to the [Student’s Right to Know Before You Go] proposal in one of his biggest policy speeches of the year. He mentioned a few other reform proposals as well, including a plan to allow investors to pay students’ tuition for a cut of future earnings and a measure to increase the use of income-based repayment plans for college loans. As Marco Rubio and other fellow Republicans like Mike Lee begin to stake out positions on higher ed reform, their colleagues across the aisle may follow suit.” (“Marco Rubio Goes to Bat for Higher Ed Reform,” The American Interest, 2/11/14)

 

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