Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Conversations That Matter: Claudia Dreifus and Zac Bissonnette

The comments from insiders and higher education policy wonks increase each day on Education Matters. Several authors have also been in touch with me to share their thoughts on issues about student loan debt and higher education. Most notably, I've had some great exchanges with Claudia Dreifus and Zac Bissonnette.

Ms. Dreifus and her husband, Andrew Hacker, have a forthcoming book entitled, Higher Education? How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money, And Failing Our Kids, And What We Can Do About It. There's already a lot of buzz and positive reviews about this new book. It is a pleasure and an honor to be in touch with Ms. Dreifus, and I want to publicly thank her husband and her for listing Education Matters on their website. As many of you are aware, I am in the midst of writing my own book about the student lending crisis (the working title is The New Indentured Educated Class: How Higher Education Has Impoverished The Best And The Brightest, And What We Can Do About It).  I look forward to receiving feedback from Mr. Hacker and Ms. Dreifus on that book, too.

As I said, I have also been in touch with Zac Bissonnette.Mr. Bissonnette is a frequent contributor to and the HuffingtonPost. We have had some lively discussions about the student lending crisis. It is so refreshing to find a person like him, as we agree on so many issues surrounding the student lending industry and how education is financed in the U.S. He, too, has a forthcoming book, which is also getting quite a bit of attention (it was just mentioned by Suzie Orman on a recent show), called Debt-Free U: How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, or Mooching off My Parents. 


Anonymous said...

Sounds like Zac's book is just another Horetio Alger story being sold to tell the story, "if you work hard you too will win it all." Its propaganda being sold as public policy.

Cryn Johannsen said...

Well, based upon our conversations via email, he knows that there is a huge problem with the way in which higher education is being financed. I appreciate the fact that he is also concerned about it. That's why I mentioned his forthcoming book.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about his book (haven't read it) but, after studying his columns on AOL's "Daily Finance" site, he appears to be a pro-lender, anti-borrower pundit who spouts the GOP line that Fannie/Freddie, in collaboration with a small group of poor, minority borrowers, somehow brought down the world economy during 2007-08. I would encourage you guys to consider another viewpoint. .

Anonymous said...

Now he's also joining the highly-paid defense of the sector of postsecondary institutions which are the most damaging to students' finances and credit histories overall. He doesn't seem to care about consumers at all . . . sad.