What is the educational effect of the people’s bailout?

The People’s Bailout, a telethon happening this Thursday, is the beginning of the Rolling Jubilee, which buys unjust debt and abolishes it. This project of StrikeDebt, an OWS group committed to the creation of local, national, and international debt resistance movements, effects many facets of society and politics. It’s gotten HUGE media attention in the last few days.

A question for discussion: How does this project, and debt resistance generally, effect education?

Learntobe.org

Another contemporary educational initiative: http://www.learntobe.org

The question here, I think, is: What are we learning to be?

From the “About Us” page:

MISSION: To provide free online tutoring and academic resources to underserved communities.

The Learn To Be Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that operates solely on donations from individuals, businesses, and foundations. It was organized exclusively for educational purposes on the principle of using the World Wide Web as a medium for people of all ages to grasp their educational potential. The Foundation’s hope is to foster and cultivate free online tutoring services that are driven by a community of users dedicated to teaching and mentoring those in need.

The backbone of the Foundation’s website includes tutoring sessions that occur online with the tutor and the student communicating via audio and a virtual whiteboard to create a seamless transition from one-on-one in-person tutoring to one-on-one online tutoring. Today, there are over one hundred Learn To Be Certified Tutors helping students across the country.

Learn To Be works with schools and organizations to provide tutoring to students in Grades K-8 in the following subjects:

  • Math
  • Science
  • Language Arts

Debt and Study

Two interesting pieces on debt and education making the rounds today. One from Princeton, who announced that their financial aid program allows students to graduate without debt. 

“Princeton undergraduates are not required to take out loans to pay the costs of attendance. Their financial needs are met through a combination of grant aid and summer and term-time earnings, with the average aid package for the Class of 2016 consisting of $37,600 in grants and $2,100 for a campus job.”

The second is an essay called “Debt and Study” by Fred Moten and Stefano Harney.

“They say we have too much debt. We need better
credit, more credit, less spending. They offer us
credit repair, credit counseling, microcredit,
personal financial planning. They promise to
match credit and debt again, debt and credit. But
our debts stay bad. We keep buying another
song, another round. It is not credit that we seek,
nor even debt, but bad debt – which is to say real
debt, the debt that cannot be repaid, the debt at
a distance, the debt without creditor, the black
debt, the queer debt, the criminal debt.
Excessive debt, incalculable debt, debt for no
reason, debt broken from credit, debt as its own
principle.”

McTeacher’s Night

At this event, teachers put on McDonald’s aprons and serve McDonald’s food to students and parents from the school community. Part of the night’s profits go to the school district.

(From the website) In March, McDonald’s Restaurants in the St. Louis/Metro East Area partnered with educators to raise money for schools in Missouri and Illinois. Over the past nine years, McTeacher’s Night has provided students, faculty and parents with the opportunity to increase school pride and generate funds for their school by allowing them to take over a McDonald’s location from 4-8 p.m., with a percentage of the sales going directly to their school. Since the inception of McTeacher’s Night in 2003, local McDonald’s Restaurants have raised more than half-a-million dollars to benefit area schools.

All school levels (elementary, middle and senior high schools) were represented on McTeacher’s Night, including public, private and parochial schools. “This was a great social and fundraising event for our parents and students,” said one local principal. “The manager and staff were tremendous!”

McTeacher’s Night takes place at participating McDonald’s Restaurants in Missouri and the surrounding areas twice a year. The next McTeacher’s Night will take place on October 2nd, 2012. If you are interested in participating in McTeacher’s Night, please contact your local McDonald’s.

Contaminating the University

A new interview from ClassWarU.org:

From her experiences creating an occupied social center in Rome, Claudia Bernardi speaks of self-organization and self-education between migrants, students, artists, and other precarious workers.  Within the global crisis, these spaces of resistance make common institutions that cross the boundaries of the university and city. As a kind of autonomous study center, the project has intertwined labor union organizing with political movements and knowledge production.  Building occupations have spread to include artists and other cultural workers who have squatted cinemas and theaters, making culture as a common good.  In a time of proliferating borders and frontiers, we all become migrants, struggling across divisions for shared spaces, culture, and knowledge.

Bernanke just assured that the student loan bubble will be the next “financial stability issue”

Here is the issue in a nutshell: college tuition, just like government spending, is off the charts. Both are so high, that on an unlevered basis, the payback rate is N/M. Note the use of the world “unlevered” as it is one which will never occur, before the next systemic reset, when talking about anything involving the government. And what leverage does is mask true supply and demand. If college tuition was representative of real supply and demand, prices would be tumbling on average. Instead the easy access to student debt makes college seem quite affordable at any price point and thus there is no pressure to lower the equilibrium price. Which explains this chart, where the government-funded student debt surge is merely there to fill the needs of all those kids going to college, all of whom will never be able to pay it off especially as America increasingly transitions to a part-time worker society.