Towards the finish of every single year in South Africa hundreds of thousands of young people at school go into examination mode.” The college leaving examination right here is referred to as matriculation and is often a time of great tension as the Matric Certificate” issued to these who pass the examinations play a big function in determining entrance to larger education and the job industry, which is in any case smaller sized than the number of students who write the matric exam. The 1st bill Obama introduced in the Senate was to aid make college far more reasonably priced by growing the maximum Pell Grant from $four,050 to $5,100. As president, Obama would remove wasteful subsidies to private student lenders, which will save nearly $6 billion dollars per year, and invest the savings in added student aid. Obama co-sponsored legislation to create a National Teaching Academy of Chicago that recruits, prepares and develops high quality teachers for high-require urban college districts. He peppered the speech with inspirational accounts of students who overcame tough odds to become productive.
Duncan has driven far a lot more adjust than any previous education secretary, but as he heads into the home stretch of the Obama administration, much of that legacy is at risk. He’s helped push big modifications in higher education as nicely: a government takeover of student loans, a harsh crackdown on for-profit schools, a enormous expansion of student aid. He’s been unusually outspoken on behalf of progressive causes like gun control, immigration and criminal justice reform he marched in Al Sharpton’s Black Lives Matter protest.
They also share a vision of education as an engine of chance, particularly for the kind of at-threat kids on Chicago’s South Side that Duncan tutored at his mother’s after-college program, and Obama fought for as a neighborhood organizer. He’s the ultimate Obama loyalist, determined to maintain plugging until the finish of the president’s second term even though his family just moved back to Chicago for the school year, and the education reforms he has pushed have been amongst the president’s most disruptive policies.
That is partly since education is an issue where Obama really does split the difference among left and appropriate, supporting charter schools that innovate inside the public technique but not vouchers for private schools, battling teachers unions even though defending their collective bargaining rights. Test scores are slightly up, with some of the most significant gains in states that embraced the administration’s strategy to reform.
Education reform has become a rare bipartisan lead to in policy circles, thanks in element to lavish funding by billionaires like Bill Gates, the Walton loved ones and Mark Zuckerberg. In a forthcoming book on Obama and basketball titled The Audacity of Hoop, Alexander Wolff calls Duncan the beau ideal of a pickup teammate.” He’s unselfish, passing and rebounding much more than he shoots.