March 6, 2012, 5:16 pm
President Obama’s agenda for higher education includes the goal of having nearly all Americans receive at least one year of formal education beyond high school. For shorthand, he has often referred to this extra year as “college,” which has prompted controversy. College for all? He referred to this in his January 24 State of the Union address as part of “the basic American promise,” namely:
if you worked hard, you could do well enough to raise a family, own a home, send your kids to college, and put a little away for retirement.
What this means is a matter of some dispute. According to the New York Times, “almost 70 percent of high-school graduates in the United States enroll in college within two years of graduating.” Is that figure too low? When Obama addresses this issue he sometimes sounds like he is enunciating a general principle that all or nearly all should go to…
February 15, 2012, 6:13 pm
The most conspicuous part of President Obama’s agenda for higher education is his plan for gigantic increases in enrollment. Obama announced this goal very early in his term. In February 2009, in a speech to a joint session of Congress he declared, “by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.” Translated into actual enrollments, that would mean more than doubling the number of domestic students attending the nation’s colleges and universities.
Last week in Obama’s Higher-Education Agenda I said I would in a series of posts examine the eight majors components of that agenda, and then try to put them together as a whole. His dream of gargantuan expansion comes first both as first-announced and as the foundation for everything else.
The idea of gargantuan expansion did not pop out of the blue. Rather it popped out of the…