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Want the Secretary of Education to Answer Your Questions?

How often do you have questions about the inner workings of our political system? How often do you get a chance to have those questions answered by two high-ranking White House advisers? Not very often. Although Congress passed a major student-loan bill this month, health care was getting all the attention. Most students really don’t know how this bill will affect them.

In an apparent attempt to fulfill their promise of transparency, and in continuation with their dominance of political technology, the White House team ( is teaming up with the Huffington Post to present a 30 minute video chat with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and the White House’s top domestic national policy adviser, Melody Barnes. They’re calling it “Open For Questions“.

The best part? The questions could be yours.

So here’s the deal. On Friday, Onward State is going to submit the top 3 questions we receive to the Huffington Post. Just leave a comment as yourself (not guest, or anonymous. We need to know you’re a real student) at the bottom. If we pick your question, we’ll ask you to write a 350 word blurb about your question’s context.

Huffington Post will pick the top 25 questions and ask that they be recorded by the original student (it could be you!). These videos will then be voted on, and the editor of the video that receives the most votes will be flown out to D.C. to ask questions to Duncan and Barnes.

“What kind of question should I ask?” you may be wondering. First, I’d suggest reading our article about the bill. This bill is meant to be the start of a progressive higher education program that the Obama administration is spearheading. They’re looking to accomplish these major goals:

  • Expanding the maximum amount for Pell grants and maintaining funding
  • Students receiving loans through their schools, not banks, through the Direct Loan program
  • Affordable student loans
  • Debt forgiveness
  • Investments in community college

How does the Obama administration plan to do this? When will it happen? What change can we expect to see? These are the kinds of questions we hope to hear from you in the coming days. I encourage you to check out some of the information on the White House’s website and to generate insightful questions. You have the opportunity to take part in one of the core aspects of democracy: open debate and discussion. Don’t let the chance pass you by.


About the Author

Noah Simmons

Noah is an International Politics major minoring in French. Noah participates in the Mock Trial team, the Sailing Team, and is the president/founder of the Odyssey of the Mind club. Besides pushing the limit of what is journalistically acceptable, Noah enjoys long walks on the beach and football. In a previous lifetime he was William Wallace


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