See Thru Edu is a project of the Texas Public Policy Foundation

Thomas K. Lindsay, Ph.D., Editor in Chief and Director, Center for Higher Education, Texas Public Policy Foundation

Uncle Sam, Student Loans, and The Sopranos

The federal government operates what looks like a predatory loan program for families. . . . Politico’s Michael Grunwald says the PLUS loans have “much higher interest rates and fees, and far fewer opportunities for loan forgiveness or reductions.”

Whatever you need to know in the future, you don’t know it now

What if you could save tax-free for education no matter your child’s age, without limits on how much you could save, or what educational expenses are allowable? What kinds of opportunities would open up for students of all ages with that kind of flexibility? You could use the funds to prepare for college or for job training later in life.

Higher education and private sector investment

Income share agreements would take the burden of college tuition repayment off of taxpayers and ask employers to invest more in the human capital they hope to find in the job market. That is certainly an improvement over Washington’s method of asking taxpayers for more money.

“All-time high” graduation rates, and what they mean

Nationwide, nearly 3 million students take remedial classes once they get to college, according to the Wall Street Journal. In 2012, the makers of the ACT college entrance exam said some 60 percent of high school graduates are not ready for higher education.

Learning from experience

Just as the 529 tax plan was a misguided proposal, the Common Core testing regime is a train wreck. In 2013, Florida abandoned the consortium designing one of the tests, Tennessee left last year, and Mississippi left in January.

Students winning in court

These flexible debit cards allow students to pay for K-12 expenses like private school tuition and tutoring as well as college tuition and fees. Parents can also use the accounts to save for college.

Whither remedial classes?

Some lawmakers are relying on high school diplomas as the main indicator of student readiness for college and whether or not a student needs remedial work. Unfortunately, the spotty and often poor quality of education that students receive in K-12 schools is what causes students to need remediation.