The Engagement Center: Because You Can Totally Force Learning

There’s a reason “The Engagement Center” will be the “first-of-its-kind”, because it’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard.

I’m not a fan of No Child Left Behind, and agree that everything should be done to make schools accessible to kids everywhere, but part of the problem with public education is the idea that you can force someone to learn.

NYC School

This new truancy center, which Mayor Bloomberg announced yesterday, is designed to give students who miss 38 days of school some extra help.

This is my point. A focus, funding, should be given to the students that at least show up to school. Who are we kidding, what makes you think that a kid that misses 38 days at a regular school is going to go a special “engagement center” that targets all of the kids just like them.

North Carolina isn’t even respectable right now as far as education is concerned, but at least when I was in school, if you missed 10 days you automatically failed.

Students that continuously underperform, or are ushered through the education process with a less than acceptable standard, do not benefit anyone. The only outcome is the devaluation of a high school diploma, which leads to the inflation of a college degree which I discussed in my post, Student Loans: What They Don’t Understand.

38 days missed is over a month. Let that simmer for a minute. Do you really think that’s a student that is going to let anyone force them to learn. It’s time to hold students responsible for their lack of concern. Taxpayers shouldn’t front the bill because someone doesn’t want to be helped.

You can take the kid to school, but you can never make them learn.

Student Loans: What They Don’t Understand

“I guess the best advice is to use your head when you are making loans and not to go over your head, to think about the job you’re trying to get and whether or not it is going to provide the income that will sustain your family and enable you to repay your loan.” (USA Today)

I thought it would be best to jump right in with that gem that Molly Corbett, American Council on Education, gave USA Today.

Corbett, President Obama, governors, it doesn’t matter who is speaking about student loans, none of them actually know how the system is working.

1344097308800_2637639someecards.com

As I did my best in college to make responsible loan decisions, this is how the one-sided conversation really went:

Welcome to college, how will you pay for it?

Oh, your father lost his job? That’s too bad, here, take this higher interest loan. You don’t want it? Well, you can’t afford to attend school without it, good luck.

We see you accepted our offer last year, and your dad found a job, that’s great! We see that he only makes half of what he did before, and you’ve got two loans that we’re cutting back, just take this Parent Loan. They can’t afford it because you’re sister is starting college next year? Well, you won’t be able to pay for school without it, and we’ll just make a note to make sure we only give your sister these options, that way we can catch her with these loans at the beginning.

Congratulations, you graduated! Now, we know this is one of the worst economies ever, and that you can’t find a job, so we’ll set your payments around $500.

Oh, you can’t afford that… Hm. Just ask your parents for help.

They still can’t afford it? That’s right, you have a sister, well congratulations on graduating, but we’re still going to need that money.

Student Loan Image

I only accepted federal student loans while I was in college, but I am paying back Sallie Mae and Great Lakes, a non-profit student loan group that I send money to every month. With that being said, I find it hard to believe that the government is actually concerned with my financial well-being, since they already made their money by selling my loans to two other companies.

The truth is, there is no job post-graduation that will provide the magic sustainability to repay loans and start a family, it simply will not happen. Personally, I am paying for loans from each semester I was in school, in addition to the loans that my parents had to take out on my behalf.

Why?

Because it isn’t my parents’ education. It was mine. Unfortunately, being responsible for yourself isn’t what pays loans or eases the burden.

Nor does losing a job.

So allow me to ask, what are college grads supposed to do when they pay their loans responsibly, because they took the first job that came their way, but that job comes to an end without a replacement to be seen?

Why should students pursuing a better future be penalized for doing things in the order it was prescribed to them?

The student loan problem will never be fixed, because there is too much money to be made from it. Thanks to the inflation of college, tuition is never going to be checked. The colleges raise tuition, they get paid by the banks making the loans, then the banks make money by sticking their hands in the pockets of the students and their families.

You tell me where the problem is, and if you really think the government cares.