Odds & Ends, Targeted Debt Relief, Janus Fallout, ESSA Innovation Compliance, Thank You Charlie…More…

This Panic at the Pondiscio piece seems directionally right. The longer this goes on the more the seeds for change germinate, a lot of parents really not satisfied. School board recalls are up, for instance. Look for some Bellwether work on where parents are, literally and figuratively, next week.  And from BW this week, BW intern Saidah Rahman on multilingualism. 

Matt Yglesias on DC Impact.

New Ed Trust on ESSA and equity – turns out the compliance mindset remains. Who woulda thunk it?

1776 Unites writes to school boards (note the Clarence Page sign on).

What’s up with Janus? New data and context via The 74

This seems like an important chart for a few reasons. (It’s from Axios based on Census data.)

First, and you have to go to the source data, it’s a good reminder that while college debt is a central political issue for people who went to college, most people don’t have college debt. And even most who did go to college don’t have debt. And a lot of debt is advanced degrees. All of that is one reason the averages and the panic/crisis driven coverage are not especially useful. Pay more attention to median debt and degree level and who holds debt.

The data points up, it would seem, both the case for targeted debt relief and the really torturous class based politics of broad scale loan forgiveness. When you add up all the Americans who don’t have debt, once did but paid it off, or never darkened the door of a college in the first place and don’t plan to, that’s a lot of voters. Many of them are not especially excited about seeing other people get their debt forgiven – especially people they perceive, often not incorrectly, as having means. Here’s an overview of the politics and state of play. 

Second, the figures for Black Americans should be especially concerning. That data in no small part reflects people trying to improve their circumstances by doing what they’re told is the right thing to do – get more education – but then falling into a system that is often predatory, especially at the graduate level and in the for-profit sector.

That, too, seems addressable via limited and targeted debt relief focused on income level, and perhaps degree level, that would be politically palatable and also provide a lot of relief to people who need it, have a reparative effect, while not spreading benefits to higher income Americans or creating a political backlash. And it’s important to bear in mind that debt relief doesn’t have much of a stimulative economic effect. Worth watching as the Biden Administration is currently sorting out its legal and policy options on debt relief and is under a lot of pressure to go big.*

The Last Time.

*Update, this was announced yesterday after this post was live.