Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for higher education. The key word being education, not taking up space and leaving four or five years later still not being able to pass a reading comprehension test. Four years of college can be paid for by taxpayers and it can still be a waste of time if that’s what the student makes of it.
FREE= without cost or payment. I’m guessing we aren’t talking about “free” college or anything else.
“Twelve years of school isn’t enough”? Who says? For a great segment of our population high school, with perhaps vocational training can be more than adequate if the individual makes it so.
Rather than throwing around the promise of “free,” our politicians would help far more Americans if they focused on strengthening pre-college education. If they assured that those who do go to college are fully qualified. That every high school graduate is proficient in reading, basic math skills, civics, economics and history. Today far too many graduates are “graduates” with little proficiency. The high school I graduated from in 1961 now has a math proficiency of 2% … ready for free college?
The problem is not the years of schooling. The problem is the schooling itself and the problem is what each student puts into the process and takes from it. And the problem is the support the family provides to the process and the quality it demands.
Every year in the United States, nearly 60% of first-year college students discover that, despite being fully eligible to attend college, they are not ready for postsecondary studies. That lack of preparedness is most evident in public institutions simply because they accept more students, students who are not ready or perhaps motivated for college.
After enrolling, these students learn that they must take remedial courses in English or mathematics, which do not earn college credits. This gap between college eligibility and college readiness has attracted much attention in the last decade, yet it persists unabated.
While access to college remains a major challenge, states have been much more successful in getting students into college than in providing them with the knowledge and skills needed to complete certificates or degrees. Increasingly, it appears that states or postsecondary institutions may be enrolling students under false pretenses.
Even those students who have done everything they were told to do to prepare for college find, often after they arrive, that their new institution has deemed them unprepared.
Their high school diploma, college-preparatory curriculum, and high school exit examination scores did not ensure college readiness.
Another government “free” program without meaningful criteria, targeted goals, measures of success or accountability is another waste of money and in the case of education a cruel hoax on many Americans.