Martha Kanter Urges College Leaders To Help Reshape Higher Education Act
"The Obama administration's top college official called on Monday for a leaner federal Higher Education Act that allows institutions to focus on producing graduates who will help ensure America's economic and civic strength," The Chronicle of Higher Education reports. "Martha J. Kanter, U.S. under secretary of education, drew applause at a question-and-answer session here during the 2013 annual meeting of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities when she took a poke at Congress in the wake of a 16-day government shutdown that stymied much federal activity and cost the country an estimated $24-billion. 'We shouldn't have a Congress like we have,' she said. 'Seriously. We've got to get people understanding what a democracy is and how they're part of it.' President Obama has proposed transforming how higher education is financed by awarding federal aid to institutions based on their performance ratings, a shift that will be debated as policy makers shape the next reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. Ms. Kanter, who announced in August that she would step down this fall after four years in her post, encouraged the public-college leaders to play a strong role in the reauthorization effort. She said the goal should be a document that is more streamlined and focused on outcomes, affordability, and access. 'The status quo is our greatest barrier,' Ms. Kanter said. 'Keeping things as they are is the easiest thing to do, and I hope that doesn't happen, because we're not going in the direction we need to.'"
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