First Lady Michelle Obama said Thursday that college “has to be for everyone,” and that students who enter college are often the ones who can afford to go and have been “shepherded through every step of the process.”
In various venues, Mrs. Obama has urged both government and school officials to change what she refers to as the “two worlds” of college students, and her goal is in keeping with those of both supporters of the Common Core standards and the College Board.
During her address in Washington, D.C. to the College Opportunity Summit, the First Lady pushed for more counselors for the other “world” of students who “don’t know what classes to take, or how to prepare for the SAT or ACT.”
“No one helps them decide which colleges to apply to. No one reviews their applications,” Mrs. Obama said. “And plenty of kids have no idea that they’re eligible for financial aid, so they assume they just can’t afford college, and they don’t even bother to apply.”
The First Lady contrasted this “world” with another:
The other world is much smaller — it’s a world of schools where the question isn’t where students are going to college, but — or whether they’re going to college, but where. Kids in this world start preparing for college long before they even start high school. And from the first day of freshman year, they’ve been shepherded through every step of the process. They’ve got SAT and ACT prep courses, they take those tests again and again to improve their scores. Counselors have much smaller caseloads, and they walk kids through every deadline, they edit every draft of their essays. Honestly, when Barack and I talk about this, we look at the kind of college counseling many of the kids are getting today and we wonder how we ever managed to get ourselves into college.
In February, Mrs. Obama and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan also appeared at a high school in Virginia, where the First Lady told students just about all of them are eligible for federal aid for college.
“Don’t leave money on the table,” Mrs. Obama said. “Almost everyone is eligible for some form of financial aid, and all you have to do to access that aid is fill out this one little form. It’s so simple.”
While on Thursday Mrs. Obama may have been trying to paint the students in the “smaller world” as privileged, the argument could certainly be made that these students have parents and supportive families who help them navigate the world of education. A stable marriage of a mom and a dad who have saved for college and want to advocate for their children’s education could mean the difference between being in one “world” or another. The President and Mrs. Obama’s own daughters have attended a private school which they chose for them.
Not surprisingly, the First Lady’s comments are completely in sync with those who support the Common Core standards.
As Breitbart News reported in June, Common Core champion and financial backer Bill Gates revealed in a Washington Post interview that the goal of the controversial education initiative is to address the issue of improving education for low-income students.
“The country as a whole has a huge problem that low-income kids get less good education than suburban kids get…and that is a huge challenge,” Gates said.
Gates’ answer to this “huge problem,” however, is to use his wealth to influence public education policy and force schools to adopt what many critics have referred to as a “dumbed down” academic initiative that will simply make it easier for students who have not been challenged to get into colleges.
The Obama administration has made it clear through its federal incentives to states that another infusion of social justice into education will occur through these “common” standards.
In November of 2013, Duncan responded to critics of the Common Core standards with a statement that it was “fascinating” that some of the opposition is coming from “white suburban moms who – all of a sudden – their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.”
Additionally, at an annual Strategic Data Project conference last year, David Coleman, “architect” of the Common Core standards and current College Board president, welcomed members of Barack Obama’s re-election campaign to head up the College Board’s student data collection. Coleman said the data team would be reaching out to the “low-hanging fruit,” or low-income and Latino students.
With the promise of more “free” financial aid – just for filling out a simple form, the hiring of more college counselors to help students, at least some of whom have parents who don’t choose to take on the task of guiding their children’s education, and the introduction of academic standards that will allow most students to perform adequately enough on the SAT to warrant college admission, the government continues to snatch personal responsibility from students themselves and their parents, putting it instead in the hands of bureaucrats.
“This charade is bound to explode, unless a way is found to force regular state colleges to accept the low-level college-readiness offered by the Common Core,” Hoover Institution visiting scholar Ze’ev Wurman told Breitbart News in March. “The goal is, as the College Board says, to ‘bridge economic and demographic barriers’ rather than assure that college freshmen are adequately prepared.”
“So, in the name of this ‘social justice,’ the SAT is now being dumbed down so it will find more students ‘ready,’ whether truly ready or not,” he said.