The Advocate series on higher education is certainly timely, and its articles thus far have been somewhat informative and revealing, but the one published on Jan. 25 has elements of a disingenuous, overly limited analysis.
Even errant people can do good things, and Bobby Jindal’s keeping TOPS scholarships available to the middle class is certainly a worthy achievement. Snide captions such as “middle class entitlement” are wrong by definition as “entitlement” is only properly applied to status-based, not merit-based benefits. How strange to see the article’s attempts to twist a good thing into a bad thing. Do you need a call from Sanders, Trump, Cruz or even Romney to discover that the most struggling middle class has the least help from government policy? It is the charade of people who do not care about the citizenry at large to exhort for benefits only on the basis of minority, poverty or gender. This state cannot afford such narrow vision.
So with a Democrat, public education-oriented new governor, here’s your chance:
Exhort him to amply fund early childhood education. That, as child development experts know, could be the best chance to boost children from low-literacy households to the TOPS eligible ACT 20 score. Lowering that score to 17 (while limiting middle class access) would likely prove a cruel hoax in opening the door only to academic failure. Hopefully, The Advocate won’t blow this chance to live up to its name.
pupil appraisal examiner, retired school social worker