Ideas Worth Exploring

Thursday, March 19, 2009
You'll have to forgive me for not writing a nice post in complete sentences this morning, as I'm running/flying between Santa Monica and Nashville with hardly any time to spare. But since the policy conversations in Washington these days feel friendly to good ideas, I want to throw some out there -- and see what kind of support we can generate. I'm not claiming any of these are uniquely mine, just that I think they're worth researching further and potentially backing as policies. Here we go:

1. Tie loan forgiveness to college completion. Create incentives for students to choose a loan over long hours of work while in college, and give them a reason to be sure and finish a credential.

2. Forgive student loans as a way to stimulate the economy. Instead of sending people checks, let them keep the money they already have.

3. Do NOT tie need-based grant aid to college completion.

4. Start teacher induction/mentoring programs for junior professors. If we know new k-12 teachers need help getting started teaching kids, why would we think new assistant professors are prepared and able to teach 18-year-olds?

5. Make one during or post-college service option (e.g. for loan forgiveness) serving as a 'college coach' in a high-poverty high school.