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Obama’s Education Proposal Ignores Value of Catholic Colleges, Says CUA President

Chase McAlpine

Matthew Archbold - published on 09/05/13

The president of The Catholic University of America expresses disapproval over Obama's newest education reform idea, saying that Catholic colleges face particular obstacles with the plan.

Asked about President Barack Obama’s newest education reform idea, which links federal student aid to college ratings established by the federal government, John Garvey, president of The Catholic University of America, expressed his disapproval and said that Catholic colleges face particular obstacles with the plan.

“I’m not sure it’s a great idea to have the federal government rate colleges,” Garvey reportedly told The Washington Post.

Garvey said he understands the reason the government seeks accountability, as the federal government spends a great deal of taxpayer money on financial aid. “But one of the questions we need to ask is, how much deeper do we want the government to get into this business, if it means the government will also be calling the tune,” he said. “There is something squidgy about having the government, federal or state, oversee our intellectual life in any of its important sectors.”

Garvey went on to say that the President’s proposal presents problems for Catholic colleges in particular. He pointed out that even though CUA would fare well under the metrics proposed by Obama, including loan default rates and graduation rates, “the metrics don’t measure well the true value of our educational experience.”

“We invest much of our time and effort in seeing that our students grow in both wisdom and virtue during their four years here,” he said.“Numbers like transfer rates and earnings don’t tell prospective students much about this, and they don’t provide a basis for comparing an investment in our degree with other options.”

Originally published by Catholic Education Daily on 4 September 2013.

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