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Member since: Wed Feb 1, 2006, 12:17 AM
Number of posts: 2,577

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Higher education, Republicans, and Privatization

Here in Ohio, known as the "wild west of charter schools" under the leadership (?) of John (I wanna be president) Kasich, higher education is also under fire. The test case that I am most familiar with is at The University of Akron, where a new, very Republican president has engaged in a two-year campaign to undermine academic programs, privatize student services, and fill the highest parts of the administration with very expensive cronies.

This past year rumors were flying that Akron was looking at partnering with the notorious for-profit college, ITT Tech. That apparently has fallen through, but not before the student newspaper put in a records request and learned that this planned partnership had connections to the highest levels of state government. Here is a link to the information, provided by a local monthly paper that has done fantastic work on the issues at Akron: http://www.thedevilstrip.com/home/documents-reveal-a-political-whos-who-of-ohio-supported-scarboroughs-itt-tech-plan/

I know that Ohio is not unique. Republican governors and legislatures are attacking public higher education. I just wanted to share our story with you all. We all need to be paying attention to what is happening all across the country. Public higher education is so important to our health as a nation.

We need to pay attention to what is going on at The University of Akron

I don't know how much coverage The University of Akron has been getting statewide, but anyone who lives in NE Ohio knows that in the past two years a right-wing president has been slashing and burning the education and student services components of the university while privatizing such areas as food services, student advising, and grounds and building maintenance. Full-time faculty are not being replaced, and what classes are being taught on site are being taught by more and more underpaid adjuncts. The push, however, is for more classes on-line and classes taught through another outside private agency.

This is frightening. A healthy university that EDUCATES its population makes for an economically healthy region. The current model being followed at Akron is privatize, take profits, and provide a substandard education.

In the news this past year was a move on the part of Akron to partner with ITT Tech, the national for-profit university currently under investigation for all sorts of illegal activities. The student newspaper put in a records request to learn more about it, and those records show that the highest levels of Ohio state government were interested in this merger. We need to pay close attention to these guys. The mess they made of K-12 education in Ohio is something they hope to duplicate in higher ed. Akron is their test case, apparently. Here is a link to the article that includes all the documents:


HILLARY CLINTON GROUP: A few thoughts on Hillary's career

Someone I like and respect posted this piece on a local discussion board. I thought it was really cool, so got his permission to share it with you. Enjoy!

It's difficult sometimes to explain to someone all the things Secretary Clinton did during her political career, because she wasn't a pass-and-dash kind of person. As First Lady she strongly pushed along the SCHIP program, providing health insurance and vaccination in particular for children. As New York senator she was instrumental in securing $21B in federal aid to help rebuild NYC after 9/11, worked to pass legislation getting first responders of 9/11 medical coverage, co-sponsored the Pediatric Research Equity Act (making drug companies do studies to determine proper dosing of medicines for children), and led the effort to pass the Lilly Ledbetter Pay Equity Act. As Secretary of State she traveled all over the world in 112 countries pushing for women's and children's rights, greatly improved US standing in the world after the all-time low during President GW Bush's years, negotiated a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip which got Hamas to quit firing rockets continually into Israel, helped secure the START treaty ratification, and got the European Union, China and Russia (as unlikely as that was) all to join us in imposing crippling sanctions against Iran. To name a few. She was a very busy lady.

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