Publications

Publications

Give Our Kids a Break: How Three-Year Degrees Can Cut the Cost of College

The American higher education system is the finest in the world. Our universities and colleges are unmatched, and we have more highly rated schools than all of our competitors combined. Students from across the globe continue to flock to American universities, while the competition among U.S. students for slots at our elite schools is tougher…

Young Americans: Is Recovery Coming?

Young Americans – the 80 million Americans age 16-34 – have had a rough recession and an almost non-existent recovery. This is reinforced by the latest jobs report, which shows unemployment falling at the expense of labor force participation, now a historically low 70.9 percent. For young Americans age 16-24, labor force participation is just…

Student Debt: The FAQs on Pay As You Earn (PAYE)

In August 2013, President Obama announced a major drive to increase enrollment in “Pay As You Earn” (PAYE), a federal student loan repayment option based on income and family size. PAYE was introduced by the administration in 2011 as a temporary relief for struggling borrowers. With the planned expansion, however, the program is fast turning…

Student Debt Investment Fund (SDIF): A Preliminary Proposal for Addressing the Student Debt Crisis

The Progressive Policy Institute proposes the creation of a new, private sector Student Debt Investment Fund (“SDIF”) that would address the student debt crisis. The proposed SDIF would act as a secondary market for student loan debt, capitalized by corporate profits currently held abroad. In return, participating U.S. corporate entities would receive tax credits. The…

Democratic Devolution: How America’s Colleges and Universities Can Strengthen Their Communities

In the face of a deepening economic and political crisis, the U.S. political and governing system is deadlocked. We need a new way forward. The old and tired government versus markets debate is just that—old and tired. It’s time for a broader mobilization of America’s civic resources, including the nonprofit sector and especially our colleges…

Improving Charter School Accountability: The Challenge of Closing Failing Schools

Today some 5,600 charter schools are in operation, with more than two million students. Some critics persist in a fruitless argument that these schools have failed, despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary. But regardless of your opinion about them, charter schools are here to stay. Those concerned about public education should quit debating…

The Payback Stress Index: A New Way to Measure the Pain of Student Debt

For new college graduates, the world is their oyster. Without many of the real-world burdens the rest of us face, they can do anything they set their mind to. That is, unless they start their careers staggering under a pile of student debt. It would appear that student debt is one rather onerous real-world burden…

Policy Brief: The Digital Teachers Corps: Closing America’s Literacy Gap

Almost 30 years after the landmark study A Nation at Risk, and the subsequent hundreds of billions spent trying to ramp-up children’s mastery of basic skills through Head Start, Title 1 and No Child Left Behind, American school performance is stuck in wet cement. In the United States today, the majority of low-income children and…

Economic Uncertainty and the Challenges of For-Profit College Regulation

The so-called “gainful employment” rule currently being proposed by the Department of Education (DOE) has generated extensive controversy. The rule, designed to crack down on widespread recruiting frauds that can lead to huge student loan debts and ultimately put taxpayers on the hook, has drawn 90,000 comments. DOE announced recently that it would implement the…