KAI RYSSDAL: You can hear the music, you know what it means. It’s time to take a look at your letters.
We’ve been covering the growing scandal in the student loan market. Colleges and lenders have been in cahoots to deny students a fair borrowing market to pay for their educations.
Tim Spence wrote to say he loves being a professor at Hollins College in Roanoke, Va. . . .
TIM SPENCE: But I don’t make enough money as a teacher to pay a mortgage and to pay off my student loans. The private sector makes a lot of money off of my PhD, and education in general. More than I have so far, or probably ever will. Shouldn’t the state be interested in an educated, debt-free citizenry?
Desiree Zamorano heard a conversation I had with Princeton economist Alan Blinder about free trade last week. Professor Blinder’s changed his mind a little bit about whether free trade’s always a good thing. And he told me that America ought to reform its education system to produce workers who can compete better in a global economy.
Ms. Zamorano, a professor of education here in Los Angeles as it happens, doesn’t see it quite the same way.
DESIREE ZAMORANO: Here’s a radical thought for our schools. How about fostering creativity and critical thinking: synthesis, analysis and evaluation? These are life skills, transferable across all industries and pursuits. Unfortunately, in American schools, “achievement” is narrowly defined by bubble-in tests that feed an enormously wealthy and growing testing industry.
I was off for a couple of days last week. And while I was gone, Tess Vigeland took a tour of her garden with flower expert and author Amy Stewart.
Sue Rosenberg in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., says we might not have stopped long enough to smell all the flowers.
SUE ROSENBERG: Pesticides may not add much to the dollar cost of a bunch of roses. But poisoned workers and polluted fields exact a high price in health care, lowered productivity, water treatment, you name it. When you tick off the reasons why a Mothers’ Day bouquet costs so much, don’t forget to count the price of pollution and exploitation.
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