Karl Marx, the Father of Communism, would be blushing if he could come up from Hell and look at what the United States Department of Education is trying to pull off on the American public. The power grab began when the economic downturn hit us. The provider of college student loans, SallieMae, was a victim like many other institutions. Like a “duck on a June bug” the federal government pounced on it. It wasn’t long before the U.S. Department of Education became the owner of SallieMae, shut it down permanently and took total control of student lending. It was the beginning of the end for student lending as we know it.

With its newfound power, it initiated the “Gainful Employment Rule.” This rule, which is a way around actual Congressional legislation, would calculate loan pay-back ratios against students of particular schools. If the formula was substandard than that particular school would no longer be allowed student financing. Thus, a school not meeting the requirement would be destined to destruction. The formula was “cooked” to go against for profit schools like Kaplan, University of Phoenix, DeVry, etc. What is noticeable is the fact that these schools graduate the lion’s share of minority students — particularly Black students. Obviously, this rule will deliver a deathly blow to the futures of millions of Black students and so, we cried foul! The Department of Education didn’t care and pursued this vicious plot.

We caught the attention of Congress, particularly the Congressional Black Caucus. They politely approached the White House about this. Even liberal groups such as Operation Push voiced much concern. Noticing the attention, the Department of Education decided to publish a “study.” The saying “figures don’t lie but liars figure” applies here. They actually had the audacity to present to Congress and the public a study that claimed there would be no disproportionate impact on minorities resulting from the implementation of the Gainful Employment Rule. Oh, what a lie! It took a formal lawsuit by the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities to get to the truth. It was proven in court that the so called study by the Department of Education omitted Black students from its calculation. Can you believe it? They were looking for impact on minorities but excluded any information about Black students. It was a total deceit.

A deceit that will cause irreparable harm to our youth, our youth who are working hard to make a better life for themselves and to begin a positive legacy. But no, the Department of Education has other ideas for our youth. Getting educated through for profit schools is not it. Keep in mind that as this rule is written, 93 percent of our historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU’s) also will no longer qualify for student loans from the federal government. What will happen to them? The power hungry Department of Education would shut down their legacies and merge them into state university systems. Our college tradition will be gone forever. Black folk, I think you need to pay more attention to this.

There is another thing this “freight train” is trying to do. They are encouraging state legislatures, such as Indiana and others, to no longer have a licensing system for barber and beauty schools. Why? They want to take the entrepreneurship out of this industry. So many of our youth are given a second chance by going to barber college or beauty school and getting a license to open up their own shop and earn an honest living. Many times it is the only way an ex-offender can get a professional license. By doing this, it would kill all of these schools. Then, the giant Department of Education can start producing barbers and beauticians through their federally funded community schools. It would kill a long standing and prosperous way of life within our communities.

The above is all about “Europeanizing” our educational system. Before long, they will be deciding what Black youth ought to do with their future. They will reserve college space for their chosen ones (including Black bourgeoisie) and for the common folk they will slot in particular spaces and crafts. They will choose what a youth is going to do at an early age, not what the youth dreams of doing or what his parents encourage him/her to become. They will be sent to culinary schools, hospitality fields, machinists and blue collar activities. Freedom of choice, entrepreneurship and living the American dream will soon fade away if we let these zealots have their way. America, it is time to “dig in” and fight back. Don’t let them destroy our way of life. — (NNPA)


Harry Alford is the co-founder, president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce®. Website: www.nationalbcc.org. Email: halford@nationalbcc.org.

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