Thursday, May 28, 2009

Support for Community Colleges

According to vice-presidential wife, Jill Biden, "Community colleges are the way of the future." Biden, a former teacher at Delaware Technical and Community College and current teacher at Northern Virginia Community College, was in Denver on a visit with her husband, and she offered this insight during an interview with the Denver Post. It's nice to see someone near the Obama administration talking more specifically about this post-secondary option, especially as more high schools push the four-year college track on everyone. While President Obama has said it is his goal that all students seek some secondary education or training, his Education Secretary has been more assertive in focusing on four year colleges. And anyone with any true knowledge of the education system or our economy knows that is naive and myopic. Biden has the experience to speak credibly on this issue, noting the increased enrollment in tough economic times.

Biden said Delaware Technical & Community College, where she used to teach, logged a 30 percent increase in enrollment this year. Enrollment is up about the same amount at Northern Virginia Community College, where she now teaches English as a second language and developmental English for foreign professionals. After watching EMS faculty and students respond to a simulated heart attack in the school's mock street scene, Biden told the group, "I've taught many EMTs, firemen, police cadets and nurses. You all play such a vital role in our communities.

"In fact, we had a fire in our house four years ago. As we were running around in a panic, one of the firefighters waved and yelled at me, 'Mrs. Biden, I'm Harry, remember me from your class?' "

Biden is on the mark. Perhaps, the administration will start letting her give more interviews.

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