I’ve been saying for years that American higher education ought to be free, but I’m far from sanguine about President Obama’s college plan. Here’s why: the plan to offer many students two free years at community college fails to take into account the general state of education in this country, from real costs to college readiness to quality of instruction.
Danielle Douglas-Gabriel in The Washington Post has already dealt succinctly with the real cost problems: i.e., that tuition is only a small part of the actual costs of college for most students. College readiness is failing dismally because of our ridiculous emphasis on high-stakes testing and its erosion of critical thought among K-12 students. Student preparation and quality of instruction are the real, deeply intertwined problems here. Free tuition will fix neither of them and might make one worse.
Call It Grade 13
Community college is often the first choice for students who aren’t quite ready for university, a kind of Grade 13. That lack Continue reading Why Obama’s College Plan Is Doomed to Fail