Obama’s Buffalo Stance On New College Rating Scheme: It’s About Opportunity, Not Academics

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President Barack Obama announced a plan Thursday to deploy a program that rewards or punishes American colleges and universities based on how they’re rated under a new Federal assessment system his Administration is devising.

The ambitious plan, which is founded on metrics that will rate colleges based not on academic merit but on the degree to which they extend financial incentives to needy applicants, is supposed to go online in time for the start of the 2015-2016 academic year. The President called on Congress to support him in crafting legislation to implement his plan, which will require tying Federal student aid to colleges’ compliance under the new rating scheme.

The new plan will monitor graduation rates, postgraduate employment, and admissions practices that ensure the poor can get into school and receive a degree – or, as the President said, “how successful colleges are at enrolling and graduating students who are on Pell Grants.”

Critics are already warning that the scheme appears to reward colleges that intentionally weight their admissions processes toward low-income students, regardless of their academic potential, while punishing those that selectively admit students based chiefly on their capacity to succeed at rigorous academic work.

From Obama’s speech, given Thursday at the University of Buffalo (H/T: ShallowNation):

My plan comes down to three main goals.

First, we are going to start rating colleges, not just by which college is the most selective, not just by which college is the most expensive, not by which college has the nicest facilities. You can get all that on the existing rating systems. What we want to do is rate them on who is offering the best value so that students and taxpayers get a better bang for their buck.

Number two, we’re going to jump start new competition between colleges, not just on the field or on the court, but in terms of innovation that encourages affordability and encourages student success and doesn’t sacrifice educational quality.

And the third is we are going to make sure if you have to take on debt to earn your college degree that you have ways to manage and afford it.

…I am directing Arne Duncan, our Secretary of Education, to lead an effort to develop a new rating system for America’s colleges before the 2015 college year. Right now, private rankings, like the U.S. News and World Report, puts out each year their rankings — and it encourages a lot of colleges to focus on ways to… “How do we game the numbers?” and you know it actually rewards them, in some cases, for raising costs. I think we should rate colleges based on opportunity. Are they helping students from all kinds of backgrounds succeed? And on outcomes – on their value to students and parents.

So that means metrics like: how much debt does the average student leave with? How easy is it to pay off? How many students graduate on time? How well do those graduates do in the work force? Because the answers will help parents and students figure out how much value a college truly offers.

And our ratings will also measure how successful colleges are at enrolling and graduating students who are on Pell Grants. And, it will be my firm principle that our ratings have to be carefully designed to increase, not decrease, the opportunities for higher education for students who face economic or other disadvantages.

The President also said that State legislatures “are going to have to step up” to support their public universities.

“They can’t just keep cutting support for public colleges and universities. That’s just the truth. Colleges are not going to be able to just keep on increasing tuition year after year, and then passing it on to students and families and taxpayers. Our economy can’t afford the trillion dollars in outstanding student loan debt, much of which may not get repaid because students don’t have the capacity to pay it.”

If the State schools cooperate, while simultaneously accepting the new yoke of a Federal “opportunity” ratings metric, Obama promised to reward them.

“We are going to deliver on a promise we made last year, which is colleges that keep their tuition down and are providing high-quality education are the ones that are going to see their taxpayer funding go up,” he said. “And we’re also going to encourage states to follow the same principle.”

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • Warrior

    Man o Man, where does find the “rewards” program in the U.S. Constitution? For the universities that keep their costs down, the taxpayers are going to provide “rewards”. In one sentence, the “taxpayer” is being “fleeced” and in the next sentence the “taxpayer” is going to be “fleeced” again. Whomever is running the “show” these days for this “regime” certainly is one conflicted individual. “Recess” is over and the “rodeo” is back in town!

    • Vis Fac

      ODUMBO fabricatesmakes his own constitution depending on a specific application he wishes focus on. ODUMBO; being a constitutional law professor (?) (all my profs held (Ph D’s) at a less than prestigious Chicago University ( I guess anyone can buy a degree now-a-days) and all; who best to re-author our constitution right? A clown that every conservative lawmaker/politician/charlatan seems to be afraid of while all the others adore him
      The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing–Edmund Burke

      A republic is defined as a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president…

      Our republic no longer exists because we have an omnipotent self centered clown in the Oval office who is as unconstitutional as anyone can be. Anyone believing we still live in a republic had best take notice of what OUR elected officials are doing WITHOUT OUR consent. Our republic no longer exists because “We the People” no longer have power!

      Benjamin Franklin once said … A democracy can be best described as two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”

      Our Republic that allows for a well armed sheep to contest the vote!”
      shall soon be a fond memory for our rubber stamp liberally controlled congress is eagerly waiting to disarm us.

      Libertas inaestimabilis res est

      Semper-Fi

  • rivahmitch

    Watch that “economic or other disadvantages”. Here comes a detailed racial, ethnic, religious, gender, and politically biased quota system, enforced by the Kenyan fascist with taxpayer money and a new educratic gestapo.

    What of “the best and brightest” who work the hardest? Who gives a damn?…. Not the mulatto Mussolini. KTNN!

  • Warrior

    Looky looky, more “rewards” programs.

    Malik Obama was running a “non-profit” that appears to have been funneling money outside of the country. Malik Obama’s non-profit was illegally operating as a non-profit, so the IRS’ Lois Lerner retro-actively granted 501c3 status when watchdog groups began to notice. Malik Obama has been documented as working with and collaborating with terrorist related committees and organizations, some with very specific ties to Muslim Brotherhood. – See more at: http://www.libertynews.com/2013/08/revealed-barack-hussein-obamas-brother-an-investment-architect-for-muslim-brotherhood/#sthash.XaFJ0xmr.dpuf

    • KENYAN KRUSHER

      Gotta take of your brother, no?

  • BEN CARSON IN 2016

    More Govt. regs & subsidies to throttle true market equilibriums…his plan will painfully not work as usual!

  • dan

    well…it’s obvious HE went to school for the opportunity and not academics….

  • http://www.OlGreyGhost.Blogspot.com/ Ol’ Grey Ghost

    Obama has never met a private service, in this case College Rating Firms, that he doesn’t think that the government can’t do better. That tuition continues to go up faster than the actual inflation rate is caused by, and will not be relieved by, government interference in the higher education industry…

    http://olgreyghost.blogspot.com/2013/04/government-enforced-racial.html

    Just expect tuition to continue to rise until only those with incredible amounts of wealth, or political connections, will be capable of going to college…

    • Nadzieja Batki

      Since colleges and universities will be under government control by way of federal funds and tuition paid by such, then the government will be dictating who can and will be going to colleges and universities. They will once again become select and closed educational system. Your kids or grandkids who do not meet the government criteria will not be seeing the hallowed halls of academia.

      • Virgil Lipinski

        And now that federal moolah is involved there will be cheating scandals with grades, I’m sure

      • http://www.OlGreyGhost.Blogspot.com/ Ol’ Grey Ghost

        Or the time usually spent in college can be added to the sentence that the children are forced to serve in the government-owned, politician-managed public education system. Then young people can spend all their time from age three (Pre-pre-K) till 23 (the 17th grade) receiving a full course of indoctrination in obedience and obeisance of the state…

        http://olgreyghost.blogspot.com/2009/07/they-are-coming-for-children.html

        “Can you say, ‘homeschool’? Sure, I knew you could…”

        • Michelle

          Great post!

          • http://www.OlGreyGhost.Blogspot.com/ Ol’ Grey Ghost

            Thank you…

  • red neck

    Really????…. Ah yeah, king obama touting educational “reform” I have a feeling it will end up looking like obama-care… Time for another round of golf since he has done his speeches for the week…. Whatever happened to that “red line” in the sand surrounding the Syrian government using chemical weapons on their civilians??? I think that king obama has a “YELLOW” line…..

  • Bob in Florida

    So, . . . “The new plan will monitor graduation rates, postgraduate employment, and admissions practices that ensure the poor can get into school and receive a degree – or, as the President said, ‘how successful colleges are at enrolling and graduating students who are on Pell Grants.’”

    To “. . .ensure the poor can get into school. . .” the ‘successful colleges’ will have to lower the enrollment qualifictions to the point where the only qualification is that you be ‘poor enough;’ and
    at the “successful colleges” to “receive a degree” and “graduate”, all objective measurements of achievement will have to be eliminated until the only real requirements are that you ‘be there’ and have a ‘Pell Grant’ to pay the college.

    That should really make our education system stand up and shine in comparison with others around the world.

    Thus another aspect of ‘American Exceptionalism’ has been ‘fundamentally transformed’ by this man.

    God help us all.

    • Vis Fac

      I don’t think so much the poor to get into college but the minorities. If one takes into account of all the illegals whites ARE the minority so according to his ideas whites should receive preferential treatment. As I stated above ODUMBO is interested in creating clones of himself.

      Regarding the lowering of standards colleges now teach what was once taught in high school. you cannot lower standards any further even though the NEA and liberals manage to do so in the indoctrination camps masquerading as public schools.

      The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing–Edmund Burke

      A republic is defined as a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president…

      Our republic no longer exists because we have an omnipotent self centered clown in the Oval office who is as unconstitutional as anyone can be. Anyone believing we still live in a republic had best take notice of what OUR elected officials are doing WITHOUT OUR consent. Our republic no longer exists because “We the People” no longer have power!

      Benjamin Franklin once said … A democracy can be best described as two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”

      Our Republic that allows for a well armed sheep to contest the vote!”
      shall soon be a fond memory for our rubber stamp liberally controlled congress is eagerly waiting to disarm us.

      Libertas inaestimabilis res est

      Semper-Fi

      • Bob in Florida

        Recon –

        You’re probably right! Even though the President used the words, ” . . . that ensure the POOR can get into school and . . . .are at enrolling and graduating students who are on PELL GRANTS.” we can probably expect he really ‘meant’ only the minority poor!

        I think you’ll be surprised how much further they CAN lower standards. If they expect the ‘successful’ colleges and universities to raise the graduation rates – they’re going to have to lower the bar to get the additional ‘products of the public education system’ to achieve ‘acceptable’ grades. Like I said, “. . .all objective measurements of achievement will have to be eliminated until the only real requirements are that you ‘be there’ and have a ‘Pell Grant’ to pay the college.”

        • Vis Fac

          Bob in Fla

          I left a clause out of my second sentence of the second paragraph which I wanted to add and still retain accreditation. Truth be told Colleges are a business otherwise Athletics programs would not be utilized for acquiring revenue from television broadcasts.

          We all know colleges set their own standards and criteria so in theory if a “college” wants to they can award a diploma if the “student” can sign his or her name can’t set standards much lower than that.

          OR one can go to one of many online diploma mills where there are no standards where a checkbook or credit card can purchase a degree of ones choosing.

          The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing–Edmund Burke

          A republic is defined as a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president…

          Our republic no longer exists because we have an omnipotent self centered clown in the Oval office who is as unconstitutional as anyone can be. Anyone believing we still live in a republic had best take notice of what OUR elected officials are doing WITHOUT OUR consent. Our republic no longer exists because “We the People” no longer have power!

          Benjamin Franklin once said … A democracy can be best described as two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”

          Our Republic that allows for a well armed sheep to contest the vote!” shall soon be a fond memory for our rubber stamp liberally controlled congress is eagerly waiting to disarm us.

          Libertas inaestimabilis res est

          Semper-Fisee more0

          • Bob in Florida

            Good point!

            I suspect this ‘new’ program will just add incentive to expand that practice.

    • Robert Messmer

      Actually to live up to his “how well they do in the workforce” would require at lease one year’s graduates from all universities/colleges to be monitored for a minimum of forty years. It is only at the end that one can truly tell how well one did. Since the “rewards” are to be based on results, we should be safe for a while. Yeah, right!

  • Jing Yagunazie

    so the best colleges will now be found at the bottom of the list. Or Americans will need to learn spanish before college

    • Vis Fac

      No it is because ODUMBO was one of those supposed needy foreign students that was awarded a scholarship to cut class and still have a worthless degree all on taxpayers dime. only ODUMBO wants colleges to pony up so he can keep more taxpayer money. And the biggest reason ODUMBO wants clones.

      The Only Thing Necessary for the Triumph of Evil is that Good Men Do Nothing–Edmund Burke

      A republic is defined as a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president…

      Our republic no longer exists because we have an omnipotent self centered clown in the Oval office who is as unconstitutional as anyone can be. Anyone believing we still live in a republic had best take notice of what OUR elected officials are doing WITHOUT OUR consent. Our republic no longer exists because “We the People” no longer have power!

      Benjamin Franklin once said … A democracy can be best described as two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”

      Our Republic that allows for a well armed sheep to contest the vote!”
      shall soon be a fond memory for our rubber stamp liberally controlled congress is eagerly waiting to disarm us.

      Libertas inaestimabilis res est

      Semper-Fi

  • Emanon

    Just like common core, the leftist tool to indoctrinate & dumb down the populace, the govt. will dangle the “funding” in the face of the state. When you become dependent on the government, this is what happens. Control, dominance & manipulation. You either obey OR you don’t get a share of the loot that it steals every year from the taxpayer… and digital ‘fake’ money. Sickening. Kinda odd that the federal government can use taxpayer monies as a leverage to bribe. Shouldn’t taxpayer monies be equally available to all states? hmmmmm.

  • emanon

    Just like common core, the leftist tool to indoctrinate & dumb down the populace, the govt. will dangle the “funding” in the face of the state. When you become dependent on the government, this is what happens. Control, dominance & manipulation. You either obey OR you don’t get a share of the loot that it steals every year from the taxpayer… and digital ‘fake’ money. Sickening. Kinda odd that the federal government can use taxpayer monies as a leverage to bribe. Shouldn’t taxpayer monies be equally available to all states? hmmmmm.
    WHY IS MY POST BEING DELETED?