This is one of three responses that came to mind., but I wound up listening. One woman insinuated that questions regarding student loan debt forgiveness were individual, petty problems. I disagree, as loans represent access to higher ed for a range of students who otherwise do not qualify for financial aid. For students who accept them, they right now represent a reduction in the range of occupations students prepare themselves for, esp. in the arts. It's based on a bet that the recipient will find gainful employment soon after graduation, and at a level which supports the loan. The loans have become hellatious, but the real culprit is the spike in tuition. Over the years, the cost of educating a student has shifted broadly from the State to the family. In the midst of a recession, some schools continue their building programs, and hire MBAs instead of academics to work in administration. Teachers are used to slim pay, but MBAs expect to be compensated along the lines of corporate wonks. Students pay for qualified faculty, but the faculty is hamstrung by a 2-tiered hiring system. About 60% work with no job security, much lower compensation, no benefits, and no academic freedom.The institutional savings do not go back to the students.
But access to education is a part of a quality civic life. Today's students need to be prepared to jump into a community and personal place in this world, with skills in critical thinking, analysis, the use of their intellect in conjunction with their hearts and imaginations. When we see tanks rolling out of a nation state, what is the marker that a civic life has re-emerged? Schools are open, boys and girls are at their desks. When do we say an economy is at a certain point of development? When universities are fully functioning. Poland and Ireland were examples of such hope.
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