another article not about math

Posted on September 19, 2021


… except it might be.

Preston Cooper, a “visiting fellow at the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity,” has penned an article: Why Free Community College Solves the Wrong Problem. I wondered what it would be about šŸ˜‰

Okay, he starts by implying that community college is so cheap that nobody really has to pay any tuition with “existing financial aid,” so why the “obsession” iwth making it free? The answer’s painfully obvious: if it’s really cheap to be able to say “free college!” then of course people are going to “obsess” about it.

He then explains how much nurses can make w/ an Associate’s Degree from a California college, and that nationwide yes, it’s a good way to make lots more money. He *then* points out, though, that … most people don’t get nursing degrees; that “general studies” or “liberal arts” are the most popular, and that those programs *don’t* have folks landing in good jobs, and that while people might intend to transfer only 16% succeed. (I think that’s in general, not just “general studies” folks…) He notes that cosmetology programs have 90% of graduates earning under 20K.

Oh, the associate’s degree that looks the worst for earnings? “Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Levels and Methods.”

He compares certificates — Criminal Justice and Corrections looks reasonably good– and the salaries are *better* than those for actual degrees. Cosmetology comes in last…

“The biggest problem in the sector is the uneven quality of the education on offer.”

Then he goes to the lousy completion. He notes that Democrats slashed the funds “to help community colleges retain and graduate their students, but kept the “free college” plan intact.

Now, his solution is that “Congress should use the federal purse to reward community colleges that produce good results.”

Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. Once more we’re in a capitalist business model instead of serving the community. Forget supporting students who are aiming at that CNA. Forget students who need more time to get to a 45K qualified job if they’re thinking of going into something like *teaching.* And no, forget is not really the F word going through my mind.

Yes, we have a problem in that there are too many jobs that don’t pay 45K or better. Until that’s fixed, then … I get to add these folks to the kind of “reformers” that white supremacists will be glad to rally behind.

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