Sunday, September 17, 2006

Solve all your problems: go to college!

The New York Times is calling on states and the federal government to heavily subsidize college education ("Killing Off the American Future," editorial; September 16, 2006).
America’s domination of the global information economy did not come about by accident. It flowed directly from policies that allowed the largest generation in the nation’s history broad access to a first-rate college education regardless of ability to pay. By subsidizing public universities to keep tuition low, and providing federal tuition aid to poor and working-class students, this country vaulted tens of millions of people into the middle class while building the best-educated work force in the world.


The warning about American vulnerability, which has been sounded in several reports of late, was underscored yet again in a study by the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, a nonpartisan research organization. The report highlights some ominous trends. As the well-schooled boomers march off into retirement, the generation that replaces them is shaping up to be less educated by far. No longer the world leader in terms of the proportion of young people enrolled in college, the country now ranks 16th among the 27 nations examined when it comes to the proportion of college students who complete college degrees or certificate programs.
Nice as the idea of subsidizing college education sounds, it seems to me that many people think that's the only problem.

What about those who get into college? It's obscene that a freshman can't read adequately. Starting in first grade, schools aren't really educating people.

And what is this about college being a mandate for everyone? College should be for people who are prepared for it. There are perfectly intelligent people in the world who should never go to college because it's not for them.

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