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…