Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia’s Education Bill Package Successfully Passes the Assembly

AB 2453, Air Pollution: Schools works to make schools in communities identified for Community Emission Reduction Programs pursuant to AB 617 eligible for funding for air quality adaptation efforts, including but not limited to installing vegetative barriers and upgrading or installing air filtration systems. Additionally, it would declare that updates to air filtration systems are eligible for facility modernization funding.

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De Blasio Wants to Scrap Admissions Testing for Elite High Schools

Mayor de Blasio unveiled a plan Saturday to boost black and Latino enrollment at the city’s eight specialized high schools — and he wants to scrap admissions tests outright.

In an op-ed for education-news site Chalkbeat, de Blasio announced that 20 percent of seats at those eight schools would be reserved for low-income applicants.

Kids in the Department of Education’s Discovery Program who score just below the admissions cut-off would be given one of those saved seats, according to the plan.

{snip}

“The Specialized High School Admissions Test isn’t just flawed — it’s a roadblock to justice, progress and academic excellence,” he wrote. {snip}

“With these reforms, we expect our premier public high schools to start looking like New York City,” he wrote. “Approximately 45 percent of students would be Latino or black.”

Under the current system, Asian kids predominate at the city’s top high schools. They make up 74 percent of the population at Stuyvesant, 66 percent at Bronx Science and 61 percent at Brooklyn Tech. At Queens HS for Science at York College, 82 percent are Asian.

{snip}

De Blasio has attributed racial disparities to the accessibility of test-prep classes and tutors to economically advantaged families.

{snip}

But Brooklyn Tech Alumni President Larry Cary has said, “The solution isn’t to kill the test. It’s to improve the quality of education offered in African-American and Latino communities.”

{snip}

At least 60 percent of kids at three of the specialized schools are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, according to DOE data.

The post De Blasio Wants to Scrap Admissions Testing for Elite High Schools appeared first on American Renaissance.

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QUANTUM CORP /DE/ : Change in Directors or Principal Officers, Financial Statements and Exhibits (form 8-K)

Bonus Opportunity: Mr. Dodson will be eligible to participate in the Company’s annual incentive plan on terms determined by the Leadership and Compensation Committee of the Board, with a target bonus of 50% of his annual base salary. Performance Units …

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A Response to the Idea of Removing the Natural Born Citizen Clause From Our Constitution

A Response to the Idea of Removing the Natural Born Citizen Clause From Our Constitution Thursday, May 17, 2018 University of Richmond School of Law Professor Kevin C. Walsh proposes ridding our Constitution of its “natural born Citizen” clause.  See his article, “The ‘Irish Born’ One American Citizenship Amendment,” here https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3165238 . Professor Walsh writes that the original Constitution is not perfect and it is time to change its actual text.  In that connection, he advocates that naturalized American citizens should be eligible to be President.  He states: “There are not two classes of American citizenship, just one. It is…

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Deadline approaching for electric vehicle credit from SDG&E

San Diego Gas & Electric customers who drive plug-in hybrids or electric vehicles are eligible for a utility bill credit. San Diego Gas & Electric customers who drive plug-in hybrids or electric vehicles are eligible for a utility bill credit. (LiPo Ching …

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Oxford Faces Anger over Failure to Improve Diversity Among Students

Oxford’s glacial progress in attracting students from diverse backgrounds has been revealed in figures showing that more than one in four of its colleges failed to admit a single black British student each year between 2015 and 2017.

Several of the most prestigious colleges, including Balliol, University and Magdalen, each admitted two black British students as undergraduates during the three-year period.

The worst figures belonged to Corpus Christi College, which admitted a single black British student in those three years and attracted a dozen such applications.

Overall, white British applicants were twice as likely to be admitted to undergraduate courses as their black British peers – 24% of the former gained entry and 12% of the latter.

David Lammy, the Labour MP who has repeatedly criticised Oxford and Cambridge universities for failing to improve their track record on admissions, said the latest data released by Oxford showed little had changed.

“The university is clearly happy to see Oxford remain an institution defined by entrenched privilege that is the preserve of wealthy white students from London and the south-east,” he said.

“If Oxford is serious about access, the university needs to put its money where its mouth is and introduce a university-wide foundation year, get a lot better at encouraging talented students from under-represented backgrounds to apply and use contextual data when making offers, not just when granting interviews.

“The underprivileged kid from a state school in Sunderland or Rochdale who gets straight As is more talented [than] their contemporary with the same grades at Eton or Harrow, and all the academic evidences shows that they far outshine their peers at university too.”

The figures show marked variations between colleges, including wide gaps in the proportion of state-school and female students admitted.

Across the three years, less than 40% of Balliol’s British undergraduate intake were women, while Trinity College admitted three students from independent schools for every two they admitted from state schools.

Samina Khan, the university’s head of admissions and outreach, denied that the variation in admissions by colleges was hampering Oxford’s efforts to widen access. “I think the admissions process here does work, it’s fair and it’s transparent. It’s a strength of our undergraduate admissions,” she said.

In a press release accompanying the figures, the university said it “recognised the report shows it needs to make more progress”. It said it was adding 500 more places to its spring and summer school programme for students from under-represented backgrounds.

The expansion is to be part-financed by a £75m donation from the philanthropists Sir Michael Moritz and Harriet Heyman, which will also be used for Moritz-Heyman scholarships for British students eligible for free school meals or from households earning £16,000 or less each year.

The summer schools allow prospective A-level students from disadvantaged backgrounds to spend a week at the university and receive advice in making their applications. Students who attended the programme, known as Uniq, have a 34% chance of a successful application, compared to 20% for UK-wide applicants.

The data shows Oxford has struggled to recruit black and minority ethnic students to some of its most famous degree courses. PPE, the influential course in politics, philosophy and economics that has trained generations of politicians and policymakers, had 10 black British students enrolled between 2015 and 2017.

Oxford’s highly regarded course in English literature and language, taken by literary figures such as JRR Tolkien and Jeanette Winterson, admitted six black British students in the space of the three years.

Seven of Oxford’s 25 largest courses received fewer than 10 applications each from black students in 2015-17 and admitted only very small numbers.

In the three years to 2017, not a single black British student was admitted to theology, biomedical sciences or earth sciences courses. None of the 30 black British students who applied to study computer science or psychology gained entry.

Khan said Oxford faced particular challenges in convincing students from minority backgrounds to widen their aim away from law and medicine, where the majority of black British applicants applied, to pursue less competitive subjects.

“It’s less of a challenge in terms of the students, because the students want to do English literature or want to do theology and religion. It’s usually the parents or the community that say: ‘what job are you going to get after that?’” Khan said.

“So it’s the parents we really have to convince and turn around. But what we are working on is to show them that a degree from Oxford opens doors to so many careers, and that we have an excellent progression route from our degrees on to graduate employment.”

The figures are the first tranche of detailed data on admissions to be voluntarily released by Oxford. The university said it planned to release further spreadsheets offering more detail on Wednesday, and to make the release an annual event.

The post Oxford Faces Anger over Failure to Improve Diversity Among Students appeared first on American Renaissance.

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Brownells Retro XBRN177E2 Carbine Rifle Giveaway Winner Announced

Brownells Retro XBRN177E2 Carbine Rifle Giveaway Winner Kenneth H
Brownells Retro XBRN177E2 Carbine Rifle Giveaway Winner Kenneth H

Manasquan, NJ -(Ammoland.com)-The winner of AmmoLand New’s most recent Brownells Retro XBRN177E2 Carbine Rifle Giveaway is AmmoLand reader Kenneth H. of Ohio.

“I wish to extend my thanks to AmmoLand Shooting Sports News and Brownells for their gift to me. It is really appreciated” says Ken.

“We are very happy to see that Ken is the winner, he is a loyal AmmoLand News subscriber and we are thrilled that he is the new owner of one of the coolest rifles we have given away this year” said AmmoLand Editor, Fredy Riehl.

Out of 80,000 plus eligible AmmoLand News subscribers, Kenneth was the lucky guy to get his name pulled from the hat! He now has a very cool, brand-new, Brownells Retro XBRN177E2 Carbine Rifle to keep by his bed.

If you have not seen our recent review on this new line of guns you can read recent range report and Retro XBRN177E2 Carbine Rifle details here.

BrownellsThank you to our sponsors at Brownells.com for making available an excellent product for our readers.

At AmmoLand News we love our readers and supporters! We are delighted to have so many rock solid and loyal fans.  We wish we could give every one of you a new rifle, but we can give you a chance to win the next one.  Please if you have not already done so, be sure and subscribe to our email newsletter, so we make sure you are in our system for our next awesome gun giveaway. (rumored to be a high-end long-range tack driving rifle).

Enter your email address and subscribe on this page here!

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Around the Felicianas for May 24, 2018

The Restore Louisiana Task Force is reminding people who flooded in 2016 that assistance is still available. Make sure to fill out a survey at restore.la.gov or 735-2001 by July 20. The is the first step to aid, and if homeowners do not fill out the survey by this deadline, they will be ineligible for aid, even if programs later expand.

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George F. Will : Free-speech advocates taking the fight to campus

On election night 2016, Mark Schlissel, the University of Michigan’s president, addressed more than 1,000 students, declaring that the 90 percent of them who had favored the losing candidate had rejected “hate.” He thereby effectively made those who disagreed with him and with the campus majority eligible to be targets of the university’s “bias response teams.”

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What explains this incredible bubble?

Dear reader,

Our May issue was all about the state of education in America…

And today, we bring you an essay that we couldn’t fit in the magazine… It’s the “missing chapter” that explains the history and rationale behind the incredible rise in student-loan debt.

Read on for more…

Good Intentions and Fiscal Recklessness

By Bryan Beach, financial analyst

Over the past 10 years, students (most of whom have virtually no income) have racked up enormous debts. As of 2017, student debt totals more than $1.5 trillion – the second-largest source of household debt after home mortgages.

Incredibly, that’s what our entire federal government owed a little more than 30 years ago. Virtually all this money was borrowed in only the last 10 years.

The average college student graduates with more than $30,000 in debt… and by his late twenties, has racked up more than $6,000 in credit-card debt. Meanwhile, median earnings for Americans aged 25-34 are $36,000-$40,000.

Can you imagine starting out your adult life with a personal debt-to-income level at close to 100%? What does this say about the state of our economy? What does this say about the state of our culture?

All the signs show that the debt piled on our youth will become another catastrophic bubble in the American economy.

This expansion had nothing to do with real supply and demand or the creation of value. Instead, it was simply an outgrowth of the government’s good intentions and fiscal recklessness…

The government first got into the student-loan business in the late 1950s. President Dwight “Ike” Eisenhower decided the U.S. needed to mint a lot of new engineers and scientists to catch up with the Soviet Union’s first successful efforts in space. So the federal government began providing low-interest-rate college loans to America’s best and brightest…

Then in 1965, Lyndon Johnson changed the focus from national defense to social welfare. As part of the “Great Society” initiatives, the new Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) gave loans to low-income students.

More important, Johnson changed the way the government financed the loans. Instead of loaning students money directly, FFELP loans would be made by banks… but the government would still pick up the tab on defaults. That created an environment where banks could recklessly lend, without any risk of default.

In 1972, Richard Nixon and Congress created the Student Loan Marketing Association (better known as “Sallie Mae”) to service these debts. In 1984, its shares began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Ultimately, Sallie Mae “privatized,” formally cutting its ties with the U.S. government. As we’ll show you, no entity would profit more from Johnson’s gravy train.

Student loans grew steadily and – for the most part – slowly, until around 1992, when the U.S. Congress decided to include for-profit institutions in the official definition of “institution of higher learning.” Suddenly, “for-profit” colleges were eligible to receive financial aid. Two years later, the for-profit University of Phoenix went public… backed by Wall Street’s money.

By 2000, for-profits were spending tens of millions of dollars lobbying in Washington, and the government began encouraging more citizens to pursue higher education.

How Lenders Can Exploit a Broken System

As the 2007-2008 mortgage crisis showed… when you shield lenders and borrowers from the consequences of reckless behavior, they act recklessly. This is the definition of “moral hazard.”

And as you’ll see, the student-loan program has become one vast moral hazard…

For years, Sallie Mae’s business model churned out mountains of cash. It was impossible not to. Sallie Mae got to borrow from government agencies at miniscule rates, loan it to borrowers for high rates… and if the deal went bad, the taxpayers were on the hook.

Starting in the 1990s, politicians began pressing to eliminate the system’s moral hazard by going back to the Sputnik-era direct-loan system. But Sallie Mae and the for-profit colleges were a powerful lobbying force and fended off legislative changes for nearly 15 years.

By 2010, the gig was up. As part of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, Congress established that the only entity able to issue government-backed loans would be the U.S. government. That meant Sallie Mae could no longer originate loans backed by the U.S. government. Its gravy train had ended.

To fill the void left by originating FFELP loans, Sallie Mae turned up the heat on another revenue stream – servicing loans held by others. Uncle Sam doesn’t want to be bothered with actually collecting payments. Sallie Mae was happy to do that for a fee.

Sallie Mae quickly recognized that collecting payments on active accounts was a lousy, low-margin business. To really make money in the servicing business, you had to collect delinquent accounts.

This created a new moral hazard… Sallie Mae had no incentive to keep loans current. So it treated the borrowers like dirt. According to various filed and settled claims, Sallie Mae employees intentionally sent confusing or misleading correspondence. They neglected to tell borrowers about loan relief they were entitled to. They called them dozens of times, day and night.

The company’s “bad cop” tactics infuriated borrowers, often making them even less likely to pay. This played right into Sallie Mae’s hands. Once a borrower moved from the “small fee” service-revenue bucket to the “fat percentage” delinquency bucket… Sallie Mae turned on the charm. It brought in its “good cops,” who cooperated with the customers and collected the cash.

It worked. Sallie Mae regularly generated $300 million-$500 million a year in “Contingency Revenue.”

The Tide Turns Against Sallie Mae

Eventually, Sallie Mae’s tactics caught up with it. Frustrated constituents began writing their congressmen. Various media outlets reported on Sallie Mae’s deplorable customer-satisfaction statistics. Thousands of people followed the “I HATE SALLIE MAE” Facebook page. Finally, when it became news that the company had specifically targeted 78,000 military servicemen with its predatory practices… Sallie Mae was officially in Washington’s crosshairs.

The government passed various measures – primarily from 2007-2013 – to ease the borrowers’ burden, including:

  • Allowing students to put off payments if they attend graduate school.
  • Capping the exorbitant “Contingency Fee” plan.
  • Holding servicers accountable for how they treated customers.
  • Implementing “Income-Based Repayment” (“IBR”) and “Pay as You Earn” plans, which cap payments at a percentage of disposable income… or allow borrowers at a certain income level to cease payments altogether. Often, any balances not repaid after 20 years will be forgiven.
  • Allowing graduate students to essentially borrow unlimited amounts under various federal programs (in contrast to capped undergraduate loans).
  • Creating a “not-for-profit loophole,” which forgives the entire outstanding balance after 10 years for any graduate student who becomes a teacher, public defender, or works at a not-for-profit organization.

As always… the government’s best intentions simply gave borrowers license to act recklessly. It shifted the “moral hazard” from the lenders to the borrowers.

Take Bonnie Kurowski-Alicea, a chronic borrower who managed to run up a $209,000 tab earning a doctorate from Capella University in “Industrial Organizational Psychology.” Bonnie couldn’t find a job after earning her online undergraduate degree, so she compounded the problem by piling one useless degree on top of the other. As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, “Dr.” Kurowski-Alicea’s main motivation for earning master’s and doctorate degrees was to postpone repaying her student loans. Her unemployed husband has $75,000 of student loans himself.

Then there’s Virginia Murphy. Her tuition at Tulane Law School was nearly $150,000, and she racked up federal loans of around $250,000 to take care of living expenses. According to the Wall Street Journal, Murphy never had any intention of paying the money back. Loan forgiveness was “the only reason (she) even considered” going to law school. Thanks to the IBR program, Murphy’s monthly payment doesn’t even cover the interest… which means her outstanding balance actually increases every month. As a public defender, her loan balance will be forgiven after 10 years… at which point the outstanding balance will have ballooned to more than $300,000.

The “not-for-profit loophole” was intended for folks like Murphy who, by serving the community as a public defender, is presumably forgoing more lucrative opportunities in the private sector.

But most of the forgiven “not-for-profit” loans will benefit doctors and surgeons. People like Emily Van Kirk and her husband, who managed to rack up $700,000 of debt while attending medical school in St. Maarten. Much of this balance will be forgiven as – like a lot of doctors – the couple plans on working in hospitals. (Uncle Sam must have forgotten that almost 80% of hospitals are “not for profit”… leaving a loophole a mile wide for some of the workforce’s highest wage-earners.)

Many student loans went to honest people who plan on paying back every penny they borrowed.

But some… an awful lot, in fact… had no such plan. Hundreds of billions of dollars in student debt is out there that won’t be or can’t be repaid. And the result is going to be a disaster.

Regards,

Bryan Beach

***

 

If you’re interested in reading more about America’s debt bubble, we recommend the new book, The American Jubilee

Massive amounts of debt have been piled on the weakest in our society. The poor – and especially the young and poor in our country – have no hope of being able to afford the American dream anymore.

When this bubble breaks, it will be an entire generation of young Americans who will suffer.

And it’s not just the size of Americans’ debts that’s the problem… It’s who owes the money that’s the bigger concern. When the rich get in trouble with debt, it’s an economic problem. But when the poor and middle class get in trouble with debt, it’s a political problem.

That’s what makes a national “Debt Jubilee” inevitable. To read more about this problem, click here.

Now on to the latest news…

Far more Americans are having trouble “keeping up” than you realize…

Exclusive: 40% in U.S. can’t afford middle-class basics

At a time of rock-bottom joblessness, high corporate profits, and a booming stock market, more than 40% of U.S. households cannot pay the basics of a middle-class lifestyle.

A fantastic read from American Consequences contributor Matt Labash about writer and reporter Charlie LeDuff in Detroit…

A Little Bit of Real People

“I got love for people,” he says without guile, not a pronouncement you hear generally misanthropic reporters make every day. Charlie saw the Hole getting deeper – more and more falling prey to the effects of corporate greed, government neglect, or personal dissolution.

In the meantime, the New Yorker is reporting on rich folks eating gilded food…

Twenty-Four-Karat Chicken Wings and the Allure of Eating Gold

The whole point of eating Ainsworth’s wings (or the gold-leaf donut that was once sold in Brooklyn, or the maki roll dressed in gilded nori in Tokyo), by contrast, is the languid extravagance of destroying value.Robert Shiller warns on cryptocurrencies with a look back at the rise of “time money” in the 1800s…

The Old Allure of New Money

New ideas for money seem to go with the territory of revolution, accompanied by a compelling, easily understood narrative…Infighting and disorganization inside a left-leaning grassroots group… 

Bernie’s army in disarray

‘Our Revolution’ has shown no ability to tip a major Democratic election in its favor — despite possessing Sanders’ email list, the envy of the Democratic Party — and can claim no major wins in 2018 as its own.

 

Read our latest issues of American Consequences by clicking here.

And let us know what you’re reading at [email protected].

Regards,

Steven Longenecker
With P.J. O’Rourke and the American Consequences Editorial Staff
May 23, 2018

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