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Republicans right to address education, but wrong on agenda

During this week’s Republican debate in Milwaukee, the issue of K-12 education was again substantively ignored even though the focus of the debate was the U.S. economy. However, higher education was not left out of the debate as Senator Marco Rubio availed himself of a couple of opportunities to attack the U.S. higher education system. He posited that the system is “outdated, too expensive, and hard to access.” In the debate, he didn’t lay out solutions beyond his talking points, so I visited his campaign website to understand how he would “modernize” U.S. higher education. He argues that we need to “overhaul our outdated higher-education system” and more specifically “modernize higher education system to fit 21st century economy” in four ways:

  • Increase access to career and vocational education;
  • Better utilize apprenticeships and valuable on-the-job training;
  • Ease access to state colleges and online educational opportunities;
  • Increase hiring of non-degree holding workers.

First, I have a hard time understanding how the hiring of non-degree workers is in any way related to the modernization of higher education. To me that seems like the anti-thesis of valuing higher education and the skills necessary in a 21st century economy. I suspect you could argue that an increase in career and vocation education is part and parcel of that argument. To support this modernization argument in the debate, Senator Rubio incorrectly argued that welders earn more than philosophy majors— which isn’t true early or late career. Notably, Carly Fiorina, presidential candidate and millionaire, holds a philosophy and medieval history degree from Stanford University.

I do think many can find common ground with Senator Rubio on… Continue reading at Education Votes →.

See also my recent piece in The Progressive Magazine Education needs to be on the agenda at the Iowa Debate about the last 2016 Democratic presidential debate.

p.s. For the trolls out there reading Cloaking Inequity that now have millions of neoliberal dollars to run your websites to criticize blogs and community-based education reform causes— I did not receive ANY compensation to write this piece. I wrote it on behalf of our nation’s children.

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Twitter: @ProfessorJVH

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About Dr. Julian Vasquez Heilig (667 Articles)
Julian Vasquez Heilig is an award-winning researcher and teacher. He is currently a Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and the Director of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership at California State Sacramento.

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