Discussion Questions

  1. Discuss: What are some of the reasons state governments have reduced their level of contribution to public colleges?
  2. Discuss (small group): Should education be viewed as a public or private good? Reasons it should be considered private, and if so, what does this imply government should do? Reasons it should be considered a public good, and implications for government role.
  3. Discuss: Should education policy remain primarily a state and local government concern or should the federal government be involved? What are the arguments for the federal government to be more involved in education policy? What advantages do states have in maintaining their responsibility in this policy area?
  4. Discuss: Assign groups of students to develop pro and con positions. Should government continue to support higher education and students who attend college? What are the arguments for and against such government support?
  5. Discuss: How do we ensure that high-quality people enter the teaching profession and how do we keep them in the field? Is it all about salary? If not, what else can be done?
  6. Discuss: How should government measure the quality of K–12 schools? Choose one or two measures. With a neighbor, using your chosen measures of quality, discuss the quality of your K–12 education.
  7. Discuss: Watch video http://www.nytimes.com/video/us/politics/100000002402884/obama-on-equal-access-to-college.html of former President Obama discussing the importance of equality of opportunity. What explains the disparity of opportunity by race in today’s society? What actions should policy makers take to address the issue? Is Affirmative Action for college dead? What other policy approaches might be effective?
  8. Discuss: President Trump appointed Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education. Why has this appointment been controversial? Discuss the implications that this new appointment has on public education and student loan borrowers.