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Dismantling The Middle Class: The Hidden Cost Of Higher Education. For decades, education was viewed as the most important step on the path out of poverty and the golden ticket to class mobility in American society.

Dismantling The Middle Class: The Hidden Cost Of Higher Education

While this may still ring true for those managing on a hand-to-mouth existence, the role of education in securing the continued upward economic trajectory of the middle class is much less certain. Indeed, with rising costs of tuition and cuts in student aid, the debt burden of a college education may be enough to break the middle class.

The American middle class, historically admired for its size and diversity, owes much of its existence to the public universities that made access to higher education available to everyone regardless of socio-economic background. Education is Ignorance, by Noam Chomsky (Excerpted from Class Warfare) DAVID BARSAMIAN: One of the heroes of the current right-wing revival... is Adam Smith.

Education is Ignorance, by Noam Chomsky (Excerpted from Class Warfare)

You've done some pretty impressive research on Smith that has excavated... a lot of information that's not coming out. You've often quoted him describing the "vile maxim of the masters of mankind: all for ourselves and nothing for other people. " NOAM CHOMSKY: I didn't do any research at all on Smith. I just read him. There's no research. He did give an argument for markets, but the argument was that under conditions of perfect liberty, markets will lead to perfect equality. He also made remarks which ought to be truisms about the way states work. This truism was, a century later, called class analysis, but you don't have to go to Marx to find it. The version of him that's given today is just ridiculous. But even more interesting in some ways was the index.

I want to be clear about this. This is true of classical liberalism in general. It's the same when you read Jefferson. CHOMSKY: ... ... Capitalist universities and fightback « Workers Party (NZ) Joel Cosgrove Universities are an important part of modern society.

Capitalist universities and fightback « Workers Party (NZ)

The Education Act of 1989 defines them as being the “critic and conscience of society”. In practice the record has been patchy at best. Students (and staff) have historically joined in repressive actions against striking wharfies in 1913, deputised and moblised to put down peaceful marches by unemployed workers during the depression. In the documentary 1951 author Kevin Ireland recalls calling a Student Representative Council meeting to make a stand against the draconian laws passed to smash the locked out watersiders in 1951 and finding his progressive motions drowned out 10-1 by conservative students, bent on supporting the authoritarian actions of the state. Forecast Tertiary Education Funding vs Forecast Inflation Per capita funding for universities rose in real terms through to the mid-70’s and since then has been declining. How Online Learning Companies Bought America's Schools.

This article was reported in partnership with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute.

How Online Learning Companies Bought America's Schools

If the national movement to “reform” public education through vouchers, charters and privatization has a laboratory, it is Florida. Finnish Education Reform. Pasi Sahlberg. Charter schools: Parents protest. Charter schools will mean bigger classes elsewhere, says school superintendent Charter schools have been praised for injecting new energy into inner-cities in the United States.

Charter schools: Parents protest

But it's not a one-sided story. There are also parents who see them as a threat to local education. Gloucester is a town about 40 miles outside Boston. A fishing port with white clapboard buildings, it's a world away from the inner city. But there is rebellion in the air here. Setting up another rival school will mean taking away money and pupils from the local school system, they argue. They're angry at what they say will be the disruption of their local schools for the sake of what they see as a political gimmick. While charter schools have a strong emotional appeal in the inner city, in this small Massachusetts town there is hard-headed opposition.

"When you look at the funding, they're going to be draining away resources to fund this other school," says parent, Jason Grow. Former ACT President Catherine. Last updated 16:26 01/02/2012 Former ACT president Catherine Isaac has defended her proposed appointment to lead a trial of charter schools.

Former ACT President Catherine

The as-yet unconfirmed role has been criticised by political and academic opponents of the scheme. Isaac said she was ''not entirely surprised'' by the outcry, but insisted she would ''do a more than competent job''. ''I didn't put my hand up for the role,'' the Wellington businesswoman said today. ''I was invited to take it on and I am very pleased to serve. ''I'm honoured to have the responsibility. Isaac, who stood as a candidate for ACT is last year's election, is managing director of a public relations firm. She also served on the board of trustees of Wellington College between 1995 and 2001 and the city's Clifton Terrace Model School.

Isaac denied suggestions by the PPTA that the appointment - by sole ACT MP John Banks - was ''ideologically driven'' or politically motivated. Her pending appointment was a provocative move, according to an academic.