Monday, May 28, 2012

More on College-for-All Failure

"It's time to ditch the college for all crusade" opines Robert Samuelson of the Washington Post, joining the growing chorus which acknowledges the inefficient folly that has become our universal college access experiment.  Of course, an op-ed writer like Samuelson is going to look at the basic economics of this, conceding the values and benefits while exposing the myth of the universal bachelor degree.

Samuelson cites the importance statistics regarding how many people have college degrees of any kind - about 40% - while explaining that barely 3 in 10 jobs in this economy actually need a degree.  The greater myth of college degrees is the over-rated value of of the bachelor degree.  Certainly, many jobs in the tech field these days can be accessed with community college programs and associate degrees.  That is certainly true in health care.  And there is no denying the benefit of college degrees during the past century or so.  America's prosperity has certainly aligned itself with the progress of moving from a population of 5% college degrees to nearly 40%.

But the college-for-all myth has become the college-for-all fiasco.  And Samuelson cleverly aligns this misguided policy with the same misguided belief that every American can and should be a homeowner.  Everyone from higher ed guru Diane Ravitch to researchers Arum and Roska - who wrote Academically Adrift - have clearly exposed the problems of promising and expecting college-for-all.  It's inefficient and unnecessary.  Hopefully, some of our policy makers inside the Beltway read the Washington Post each weekend.

Did you hear that, Arne Duncan?

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