National / International News

Should community college be free? A Twitter chat roundup

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-02-07 06:51

This week my colleague Kate Davidson did a story on the governor of Tennessee wanting to make community college or technical school free for all high school graduates. If the proposal goes through, Tennessee will be the only state to offer associate’s and technical degrees for free. 

In an interview with Marketplace, David Baime with the American Association of Community Colleges said that  this measure may make more students want to enroll in community and technical colleges.

"So when a message is sent out loudly and clearly that for qualified students community college is free," says Baime, "We think that it could make a big difference in terms of people's willingness to enroll in our institutions."

What Governor Haslam is proposing is not a new concept. California provided free junior college for years and the City University of New York didn’t charge fees until the 1970s.

The recent buzz around this issue got us thinking. Should students have to pay for community college?

We asked the question on Twitter and here’s what you told us:

@MPWealthPoverty @MarketplaceAPM small charge to cover some costs; easy to get scholarship programs for those who can not afford tuition

— Joanne Reiter (@JoanneReiter) February 5, 2014

@MPWealthPoverty There are careers that #CommunityCollege is perfect for and only has the training for. #Free will get more skilled workers!

— Ja'Net Adams Speaker (@JaNetAdamsSpeak) February 5, 2014

@MPWealthPoverty @Ketchcast I attended a CC for 2 years. Helped me knock out some gen elects; mostly that I needed to mature more. #USNavy

— Erik Newcome (@ErikNewcome) February 6, 2014

.@MPWealthPoverty @MarketplaceAPM all public colleges should be free. Not just community college.

— Brian Ecker (@Brian_Ecker) February 6, 2014

@MPWealthPoverty The revenue hit should instead be put to increase completion rates and subsidize loans.

— Jason Inofuentes (@tnofuentes) February 6, 2014

@MPWealthPoverty Yes!!!! Responsiblity!!!!!

— Jennifer Heffner (@writewitch) February 6, 2014

When your safety net ... disappears

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-02-07 06:43

The size of Janet Zipper's weekly lifeline: $579.

But at the end of December, Congress took no action to renew emergency jobless benefits. The unemployment checks stopped coming, and Zipper started letting friends and family pay for her trips to the supermarket.

"At first, I felt embarrassed. And then I thought, well you know I need help," she says.

Zipper is 49 and lives in suburban New Jersey. She isn't a victim of downsizing. But the bank where she used to work as a systems administrator switched its computer operating system. Out of a job, Zipper learned the OS she knows so well is becoming obsolete.

"Those skills that I had before that were very popular, paid well, are no longer in such demand," says Zipper.

Since the New Year, Zipper has applied for food stamps, and gotten a foreclosure notice.

Olga Calhoun is also fighting to stay in her home, a rental in Queens. She's been without work since last spring.

When I caught her on the phone, Calhoun had just applied in person for a job as a bank teller.

"I gave them the resume. They said they'd call if they have an opening," Calhoun says.

But she's not hopeful. Calhoun is 64, and thinks companies don't want to hire older workers. To make ends meet, she reluctantly started drawing social security early.

Calhoun also kept busy, emailing the members of Congress. She can't understand why anyone would block extended jobless benefits.

Don't they have the same problem in their state," Calhoun says, "What about the people in their state that voted them in?"

So far, there's not much momentum in Congress.

Things are looking a little better for Janet Zipper. After signing up for classes in another operating system, she found out she was eligible for a state program that supports workers who are learning new job skills.

Now she's getting a weekly check - the equivalent of her old unemployment benefit - for six more months.

Roache set for summer Street return

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 06:41
Coronation Street actor William Roache will make his return as Ken Barlow in the summer, the BBC understands.

Mother slashed TV star's daughter

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 06:39
A mother of two who used a glass shard to slash the daughter of Ground Force star Tommy Walsh in a nightclub is jailed for five years.

Jennings takes on Willy Wonka role

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 06:37
Alex Jennings will replace Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka in West End show Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

VIDEO: Why Europe spends billions on space

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 06:34
European countries invest billions of euros into the European Space Agency, despite the financial problems of the eurozone.

Vidic's Man Utd exit 'mutually agreed'

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 06:27
Serbia defender Nemanja Vidic will leave Manchester United when his contract expires at the end of this season.

VIDEO: Osprey aircraft: Helicopter or plane?

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 06:13
Frank Gardner looks at the US Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey aircraft - an important tool as the US expands its military operations in the Horn of Africa

Much-Needed Snow Arrives In The Nation's West

NPR News - Fri, 2014-02-07 06:12

Parts of Oregon and Washington got up to a foot of snow earlier in the week and could get 6 to 12 inches more. Colorado, which has suffered its worst "snow drought" since the 1980s, could also get a big dusting.

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Day in pictures: 7 February 2014

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 06:04
24 hours of news photos: 7 February

Super Bowl leftovers: This week's Silicon Tally

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-02-07 05:56

It's time for Silicon Tally. How well have you kept up with the week in tech news

This week our guest, Molly Mulshine, a tech writer for the website Beta Beat, takes the test.

Play along at home, below.

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Police watchdog to get staff boost

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 05:43
The independent police watchdog could more than double the number of staff investigating complaints against officers in England and Wales, the BBC's Newsnight learns.

Who, What, Why: How do you drive in floods?

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 05:42
Many of the UK's roads are very wet or underwater after weeks of rainfall. But how do you drive in floods?

CAR's Muslim civilians 'at risk'

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 05:37
Muslim communities in many towns in the Central African Republic are threatened as reprisal attacks on civilians continue, a medical charity warns

Swansea to Heathrow rail link plan

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 05:36
A train service running from Swansea to Heathrow Airport, which could be in operation by 2021, is announced by Network Rail.

David Black murder: Woman charged

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 05:21
A woman is charged with perverting the course of justice over the murder of prison officer David Black, who was shot as he drove to work in 2012.

Biden: 'No Obvious Reason' He Shouldn't Run For President

NPR News - Fri, 2014-02-07 05:20

"That doesn't mean I'm the only guy that can do it," the vice president tells CNN. "But if no one else, I think, can, and I think I can, then I'd run." He's far behind former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a recent poll of Democrats. Biden said he'll decide by summer 2015.

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What's Wrong With Getting Help On A 'Personal' Essay?

NPR News - Fri, 2014-02-07 05:18

The organization that hands out Rhodes Scholarships says application essays — which are often heavily edited by family, advisers and universities — no longer reflect a student's true "values and aspirations." In a new rule, the organization says that help is no longer allowed.

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Why was Dickens' dying wish ignored?

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 05:04
Why was Dickens' dying wish ignored?

Pension age rise 'could be delayed'

BBC - Fri, 2014-02-07 05:00
Analysis by economic experts suggests an independent Scotland could delay the rise in the state pension age by 12 years.

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