Daily Archives: April 28, 2012

The political war on student loans is unnecessary

Student-loan brawl By S.A.MILLER

Republicans and Democrats both want to stop interest rates on federally subsidized Stafford loans from jumping from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent in July. They just can’t agree how to pay the $5.9 billion cost

Student loan reform: What will it mean for students? Christian Science Monitor

The legislation makes substantial changes in the way students get money for college, but those provisions might not necessarily be tangible for students in the immediate future.

That’s because the biggest change is in who administers student loans. Instead of private banks issuing loans guaranteed by the government, the government will now become the originator of the loan.

When I acquired a Parent Plus Student Loan it was through a bank. But now all that has changed, Note: Before July 1, 2010, Stafford, PLUS, and Consolidation Loans were also made by private lenders under the Federal Family Education Loan (FFELSM) Program. As a result of recent legislation, no further loans will be made under the FFEL Program beginning July 1, 2010. Instead, all new Stafford, PLUS, and Consolidation loans will come directly from the U.S. Department of Education under the Direct Loan Program”. All the above loans are now through the federal government, no more going through a bank. The change in legislation was to help reduce the cost of the loan program by cutting out the middlemen. However its obvious that more federal employees were hired to administer the loan program. So how much is the government really saving? But back to this war on the loan interest rate. The funding for these loans comes from the taxpayers and the interest paid returns to the taxpayers. I don’t understand the 5.9 billion dollar cost concern. Its a loan that has to be paid back with a current interest rate 3.4%. Sure there will be defaults and loan scams. But my point is, doesn’t the 3.4% interest cover the government administration cost of the student loan program? The federal fund interest rate charged banks is o.25%. I wonder where the savings from cutting out the middleman is re: student loan / banks went to? The legislators need to vote to keep the student loan interest rates right where they are.

True story, the Parent Plus Loan I acquired for baby Kilroy via the bank; I always paid a little extra each month and when the next month’s bill came it was adjusted downward. It came to a point the monthly statement indicated $0.00 due. That’s because I was paid ahead. So a few summers ago I said to the wife, the monthly statement indicated $0.00 due so let just take the money we normally paid and have a little extra for vacation. Well the next month’s bill came with a notice that the interest rate had gone up because I missed a payment! I called and explained the payment I missed indicated $0.00 due. I was informed that I was required to at least pay the interest. I said, the bill said $0.00 due and why didn’t it indicate how much interest was due? I was told to read the contract! So up went the interest rate!

WTF! 3 years teaching experience is good enough to be Delaware’s Secretary of Education

Murphy’s vision should suit Delaware just fine; News Journal

As executive director of the Vision Network for the last two years and a former teacher, Mr. Murphy has been a front-line participant in overcoming the challenges facing public education in Delaware

But Mr. Murphy will be taking on the leadership of 19 school districts with multiple administrative personalities and parent constituents. In Mr. Markell’s eyes, he is apparently that someone with a “teacher’s heart,” a “principal’s perspective” and a data-driven mind that the governor was looking for.

As a result, Mr. Murphy should be able to pick up where Ms. Lowery left off in spreading the gains in student achievement.

From his favorable comments about understanding classroom pressures, expect more help for teachers in mastering the data to correct their student learning deficiencies and their own instructional weaknesses.

Among the first winners of the Obama administration’s Race to the Top competition, Delaware has become a recognized leader in public education reform.

From Delaware Ed blog Nichole Dobo

Principal, George Washington Carver Elementary School in the St. Mary’s County Public Schools in Maryland, 2002-2006

Assistant principal, Leonardtown Elementary School, St. Mary’s County Public Schools in Maryland, 2000-2002

Teacher, Banneker Elementary School, St. Mary’s County Public Schools in Maryland, 1997-2000

Delaware Code Title 14, Chapter 1, Subchapter I; Section 102

§ 102. Secretary; Deputy, Associate and Assistant Secretaries; Acting Secretary; appointment.

(a) The administrator and head of the Department shall be the Secretary of Education, who shall be a graduate of an accredited college and shall have not less than 5 years’ experience in teaching and administration, with experience in each such category.

A teacher from 1997-2000 makes 3 years of teaching, 2000-2002 an assistant principal makes 2 years as an AP. But how did he get a year’s credit for teaching 2000? So less than 5 years teaching? Per Delaware law that makes him disqualified. “Bachelor’s in physical education.” 6 years as administrator. So was he fired or quit his principal’s job? Any little skeletons in the closet ?  However, though Mr. Murphy is highly qualified in Vision 2015 and adopted the latest Wall Street reform tactics, It appears his “teacher’s heart” isn’t seasoned. No experience running a school district or senior responsibilities. But don’t worry folks, the Delaware State Legislators will approve Markell’s selection because Markell owes them all but one. The republicans will stand-down because of the prominent republican connection at the Rodel Foundation. Wilmington community leaders won’t dare stand in Markell’s way. The real question is, don’t we want the most proven seasoned educator we can fine or do we want a person who is so aligned to Vision 2015 to the point they were  the executive director?