Rubio: “The Pew study yesterday found that the gap between college graduates and non-college graduates on an income basis is as wide as it’s ever been. We can close that gap, but we have got to make higher education more affordable, more flexible, and more available.”U.S. Senator Marco Rubio
Bill Bennett’s “Morning in America”
February 12, 2014
Senator Rubio: “The point is you need more skill than ever before. And our system of delivering skills, our education system, is not 21st century. It’s built on 20th century concepts that no longer are truly meeting the needs of our students. So, the single mom with two kids who has to work full-time and raise her family, she has no way to go back to school because there are no programs designed for someone like her, that are flexible enough. The individual who has lost their job, because it was automated or outsourced, needs to be retrained, can’t access the system. And then we have a bunch of young people graduating high school and going into college and getting degrees that don’t lead to jobs. And that’s a big problem because universities are feeding that and they’re giving students no information about their future prospects.
“So one of the proposals I have is that students have a right to know before they go. Before you take out a student loan, the school you’re at should tell you, ‘This is how much graduates from our school, with your degree, make.’ So you can make an informed decision about whether it’s worth taking out, you know, a Greek philosophy degree for a $20,000 dollar loan.”
Bill Bennett: “This whole venture, tell me about it. Because people entering into the debate about higher education are often surprised by what they find. If you walk into the temple, the keepers of the temple do not particularly like it. They don’t take criticism well is what I’ve found.”
Rubio: “Well they’re very insulated, clearly, because tenure insulates them. They believe they’re above politics in many ways, but ultimately why do we invest in public education in this country? Because it is preparing a workforce. It is human infrastructure preparation that allows us to grow and expand our economy. The 21st century economy looks different than the 20th century economy. It demands a certain type of learning, a certain type of skill acquisition, and we need people to learn this stuff faster than ever before. We have an opportunity gap in America. And I said it in the speech, between haves and have-nots — those that have higher education, or some advanced education, and those that do not have it. The Pew study yesterday found that the gap between college graduates and non-college graduates on an income basis is as wide as it’s ever been. We can close that gap, but we have got to make higher education more affordable, more flexible, and more available.”