The Lumina Foundation, once the USA Corporation under Fannie Mae (the student loan outfit that assures that students have no affordable access to college and that they must continue take out scourging debt to even attend college), is working to privatize all education and turn the ‘industry’ over the Wall St. Supplicants like Eloy Ortiz Oakley are used as college presidents to assure a sufficient gaggle of administrators work to implement the “Masters Plan” for community colleges, state colleges and the university system. When the trillion dollar student loan debt comes due, who do you think Wall Street will turn to for a bailout?
Last year the The Excelior College received a $150,000 Grant from Lumina Foundation to Extend Work on Presidents’ Forum-Council of State Governments Regulatory Initiative. Immediately Excelsior College, hailing from Albany, New York, met for their 9th annual meeting of the Presidents’ Forum on October 3, 2012 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC. There they were served food by the new Majority Latino population they are hustling out of schools while they featured a presentation and panel discussion on the draft “SARA” (State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement).
On behalf of the Presidents’ Forum, and its partner the Council of State Governments (CSG), Excelsior College also accepted a grant which will be used to continue work through 2013 on the Forum/CSG project to create the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) intended to align individual state regulatory requirements and increase reciprocal program approval among states. This will allow the same, standard curriculum that is being planned and exists for student learning outcomes that Lumina speaks so fondly abut to be implemented along state lines with no individual state governance. It is like a massive NAFTA planned for education.
As the criminal for-profit colleges found, pesky regulatory agencies are a threat to privatization and illegal business practices for they serve to police colleges state by state. This is true for Lumina, Obama (http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education/higher-education) and Gate’s plans for the new, massive open online courses (MOOCS). Centralizing regulation in the hands of a national system, allowing these purveyors of privatization to cross state lines with no fear of state regulations is the goal.
The state agreement being touted would do away with state regulations and substitute the Lumina greased “no borders policy”, a sort of national commerce clause for regulating, or rather assuring, on-line learning.
According to PR WEB, online:
“Most individual state regulations governing higher education institutions were created years ago to address in-state residential-based campuses. There can be considerable variation in the design and application of these regulations among the states and many jurisdictions are just now catching up with the growth of online and distance learning programs that can have a multi-state presence” (http://www.prweb.com/releases/LuminaFoundation/PresidentsForum/prweb9824120.htm).
Standardizing regulations across state lines fits well into the Lumina Foundation’s efforts to standardized student learning outcomes and thus the dispensation of cyber courses (http://www.luminafoundation.org/state_work/state_policy_agenda/).
University of Texas, ‘Public Agenda’ and university leaders receive Lumina money to implement Lumina Plans for education in Texas
The University of Texas at Austin, Public Agenda and university leaders nationwide and across Texas were awarded in May of last year, 2012, a $745,000 grant from Lumina Foundation to develop and implement cost-effective ways of increasing educational attainment and improving student success. ‘Cost effective’ translates into getting rid of liberal arts and putting everything on line for the new massive open online colleges or (MOOCS).
They say the grant will be used to expand collaboration among higher education institutions in Texas and across the nation, with the goals of improving educational access and increasing postsecondary completion rates.
“Lumina Foundation has been an invaluable partner in our quest to lead American universities to greater effectiveness through collaboration and educational experimentation,” said President Bill Powers. “This very generous grant will move us ahead in even more dramatic ways, and I thank the Foundation for its support (http://www.utexas.edu/news/2012/05/29/lumina_foundation/).
In 2010 Powers and Vice Provost Harrison Keller organized the Texas Higher Education Leaders Consortium, working in partnership with Public Agenda, HCM Strategists and Lumina Foundation. Consortium participants also included a gaggle of privatizing leaders from Austin Community College, Alamo Colleges, El Paso Community College, San Jacinto College, Texas A&M University, Texas Tech University, The Texas State University System, The University of Texas at Brownsville, The University of Texas at Dallas, The University of Texas at El Paso and The University of Texas System.
Lumina develops new ‘strategic plan’ in 2013 guaranteed to increase the rapidity of privatization and student debt
Lumina’s advocacy work to destroy public education is nothing new but they have now upped the ante. This year they announced a new strategic plan:
“…..identifying two broad areas of action that it will pursue in order to help the nation increase the number of college graduates. First, the foundation will seek to spur communities, employers, state and local lawmakers, and higher-education leaders to adopt specific goals and actions to increase the number of students who earn postsecondary credentials. Second, Lumina will help colleges and states develop new business and finance models that will lead to higher levels of college attainment” (http://chronicle.com/article/Lumina-Foundation-Adopts-New/136551/?cid=cc&utm_source=cc&utm_medium=en).
So there you have it: all across the nation the privatizers, philanthropists and their coin-operated politicians are finding entry points in what used to be the public commons to stoke the fires of corporatization and privatization. And they are being aided and abetted by the college presidents whose salaries are paid with ‘student debt’. When will it end? When you stop it.