Student Records Targeted by FBI

(cross posted from http://benwaxman.blogspot.com)


A journalism student at Northwestern  University has uncovered a previously unknown effort that used student loan records to track potential terrorists. Known as "Project Strike Back", the program was a joint effort between the Department of Education and FBI. Launched in the days after the September 11th attack, Project Strike Back allowed federal authorities to have access to thousands of student records. The program has allegedly been discontinued, but many questions remain about student rights during wartime.

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Small Colleges Drop SAT

(Cross posted from http://benwaxman.blogspot.com)


Across the country, dozens of small liberal-arts colleges are dropping the SAT requirement for admissions. This trend started a few years ago and is an extremely positive development. There are a variety of reasons that I oppose standardized tests in college admissions, but I think this quote sums up the issue quite nicely:

"We hope that now that there are more test-optional schools, students will think about not taking it, and putting their time and money into other activities, like music or writing or community service, said Jane B. Brown, vice president for enrollment at Mount Holyoke, which dropped the SAT requirement in 2001. We hope they will have more interesting lives."

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Rationing the Tickets to a Better Life...

We often refer to America as the land of opportunity. Talk to everyone who's made it and he'll tell you that it is so. No surprise there. I don't know if it's easier to make it today than it was in the "good ol' days", but I do know one way to improve your lot is through education. Statistically--you know those numbers that reveal what happens to most people--more Americans are working longer hours, have less job security, are more likely to be uninsured, and they can earn 73% more money over a working lifetime if they have a higher education degree!

As of July 1st, the cost of attending college got more expensive. OK, everything gets more expensive over time, but the question is whether the new pricing system of and the access to higher ed will prevent people from earning a degree. I assume if the economic pressures on the individual and the family become greater this task would also become harder. Actual family income has fallen. Sure certain consumer items have become cheaper, but the cost of living as relating to the money people make has been rising faster than their earning power.

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Bridging the Economic - Education Divide

Higher education will be the cornerstone of a successful future for the current and future students of Ohio. In the modern economy, a high school graduate is not prepared to enter the work force without the advanced skills gained from post-secondary training.  Thus it is imperative that the State of Ohio undergoes every effort to ensure that those qualified and willing to attend Ohio's colleges and universities are able to financially do so.

However, Ohio policy has been quite to the contrary. The percentage of the budget allocated towards higher education has dropped from 17.7 in 1979 to 11.7 in 2005. This is during a period in which the necessity of higher education has increased immensely.

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Universal statewide college scholarships in Ohio's future

The Ohio Learn and Earn Committee is introducing an amendment to Ohio Consitution that would create a huge statewide scholarship program that will, upon maturity, provide college scholarships for every Ohio high school student admitted to an Ohio college and university.

Under the Learn & Earn initiative headed for the November 2006 ballot, Ohio school children will be guaranteed college tuition support for any public or private College or University of an estimated $900 million a year. In addition, Ohio local governments would receive an estimated $200 million annually in development dollars to attract new business and local jobs.

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