Washington -- It is gratifying to see others come to the same views that are expressed occasionally in these pages.
Today the President is using the phone and the pen with his Secretary of Education to deal with the student loan mess. He will be making it easier for borrowers to pay off their loans and will be changing the way the collection industry operates.
This should be followed by more such actions, all under authority of existing law. The Secretary needs to enforce transparency requirements and use his limitation, suspension, and termination powers to root out waste and abuse especially in student loan, proprietary school, and enrollment management enterprises. It is long past time to stop college dream exploitation industries from ruining yet more lives and grievously harming our very society. Hardly a day goes by without major media coverage about what the student loan muddle is doing to hurt the economy, let alone what damage has been done to individuals and families across the country.
Likewise, thanks to Kevin Carey for his report on the sorry state of affairs at the Association of American Universities (AAU), and to Paul Basken for his coverage at The Chronicle of Higher Education. Clearly, I am not the only one who is deeply disappointed in this organization. The AAU is a lobbying organization that asks Congress for federal funds for research. If I were staff on the Hill (which I once was) and the AAU came petitioning to my office, I would ask them to leave until they got their own house in order.