John Rogers

John Rogers

Ten years ago this spring, hundreds of high school students from across East and South Los Angeles joined together to address the poor quality of education in their neighborhood schools. Chief among their complaints was that their schools institutionalized low expectations by offering few college preparatory courses.

With the support of community based organizations like InnerCity Struggle and the Community Coalition, the students collected thousands of signatures on petitions calling for the Los Angeles Unified School District to improve learning conditions and make college preparatory curriculum a common standard across all schools.

Wearing red-and-blue “Let Me Choose My Future” T-shirts, the students delivered the signatures to the LAUSD School Board, who then voted 6-1 in favor of the “Resolution to Create Educational Equity.” Board members and civic leaders predicted that Los Angeles would become a national leader as the first large district to achieve college for all.

John-Rogers-Rally

Parents from Familias Unidas rally outside LAUSD headquarters in 2010 to promote college readiness.

Now, a decade later, members of some of the same community groups are beginning to press for a new board resolution that will refocus attention on promoting college access across Los Angeles.

Today’s activists acknowledge that some progress has been made. A full array of college prep courses are now offered across all LAUSD high schools. Whereas fewer than half of all entering 9th graders in the class of 2005 graduated with their cohort, more than two thirds did in 2014. Further, the proportion of students completing the college prep curriculum has roughly doubled since 2005 – from less than 15 percent to 28 percent.

Yet, despite this hard-won improvement, the goal of college access for all is far from being realized. So too is the resolution’s promise to provide the learning supports students need and the “resources necessary” to build the capacity of district educators to achieve this new and expansive goal.

Certainly, the district would be further along in its efforts had it not faced three years of budget retrenchment during the Great Recession. But it is also the case that district officials often allowed their focus to be diverted by other agendas, some driven by corporate or foundation interests, and some by internal battles for control. More than a few ideas simply have been ill-conceived.

There are several reasons to believe that conditions are coming together now to create a new moment of opportunity for the district to advance college for all. Previously dissenting voices on the board have applauded the district’s new contract with the teachers union and UTLA’s new leadership has asserted a muscular interest in working with community groups to improve conditions for teaching and learning.

For the first time in recent memory good ideas can be paired with resources, as Governor Brown’s Local Control Funding Formula promises to bring substantial new funding to the district over the next few years. Finally, in the interregnum between John Deasy’s tenure and the appointment of the next permanent superintendent there is a brief suspension of the rush to unreflective action and a chance for taking stock of lessons learned.

What can a new college access resolution accomplish?

First, it can recommit LAUSD to college-going as the overarching goal of the district and make this the core criterion for selecting the next superintendent. This goal reflects what Los Angeles parents want and expect from their schools. Indeed, when the Public Policy Institute for California recently asked parents to name the most important goal of the state’s public education system, far and away the most popular answer given was “preparation for college.” Parents offered this answer five times more often than the next most common choice – teaching basic skills. Of all California parents, Latinos were most likely to frame college access as the purpose of K-12 schools

Second, a new resolution can prompt the district to identify programs and strategies worthy of new investment. The district needs to examine the challenges that schools experience as they seek to expand the pool of college-ready graduates. Research I conducted with colleagues a few years ago suggested that a large number of students graduated from high school just one or two courses shy of being eligible for a four-year university. The district needs to locate the bottleneck courses and then develop strategies that allow teachers to support students’ achievement in these courses.

There is also much to be learned from the unsung successes within district schools, particularly in the small autonomous pilot schools. We need to learn more about what schools like Social Justice Humanitas Academy in Pacoima or the Community School in Pico Union/Koreatown do to promote high rates of college readiness and how these strategies can be made commonplace across the district.

Finally, a new college access resolution must target the district’s investments toward students with the greatest needs – students from low-income families, English learners, and foster youth. Targeting schools that enroll the highest concentration of such students places resources where they can have the most impact. It also carries forward the legacy of student activists who laid claim to a better future for themselves and their classmates. It is a future we have not yet realized, but, with much work and commitment, may well be within our reach.

•••

 John Rogers is a professor of education at UCLA where he directs UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access. With Marian Orr, he co-edited Public Engagement for Public Education: Joining Forces to Revitalize Democracy and Equalize Schools (Stanford University Press), which includes a chapter on the College Access for All campaign of 2005.

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  1. Dawn Urbanek 1 year ago1 year ago

    John - The real sadness is that the State's new funding formula is intentionally designed to underfund wealthy suburban school districts. My child is in the Capistrano Unified School District which receives $7,002 per student. I think everyone can agree that it is impossible to provide a student with a basic education for $7,002. The average per pupil funding in California is $9,501 while the average in the United States is $11,226. So while the … Read More

    John –

    The real sadness is that the State’s new funding formula is intentionally designed to underfund wealthy suburban school districts. My child is in the Capistrano Unified School District which receives $7,002 per student. I think everyone can agree that it is impossible to provide a student with a basic education for $7,002. The average per pupil funding in California is $9,501 while the average in the United States is $11,226. So while the State of California is enjoying $6 billion in unanticipated revenue the best my child can expect to receive in per pupil funding is $8,500 by 2021. That amount will not be sufficient to cover the increase in CalSters and CalPers which will amount to 10% of the District’s total budget. So if Employee compensation is currently 92% of CUSD’s budget and retirement benefit contributions are 10% of the budget what is left to actually pay to educate kids- might I add we have the highest class sizes in the US average 36 per class all grades – might I add that having suffered $15 million in budget cuts since 2006 we have yet to restore a single program, or maintain our falling down facilities. But I guess that is the plan… to make sure all children living in a wealthy area should be as deprived of resources as the ELL and poor – well now we are all equally dumb. Now irrespective of wealth, race or ethnicity only 23% of high school students are proficient in math… 22% of English Language Learners are proficient in math. Do we really want every US born – native english speaker to perform equally to someone who has just entered this country and isn’t even fluent or literate in their native language?

    It is my opinion- that when all is said and done California will be a third world country. Everyone will be equally poor, equally uneducated. We will not have running water or electricity. I must only assume that before Jerry Brown dies- it is his desire to undo everything his father did to make this the once great Golden State.

    Replies

    • Dawn Urbanek 1 year ago1 year ago

      Budget cuts at CUSD were $150 million not $15 million our peak budget was $457 million in 2008.

  2. Jim 1 year ago1 year ago

    The idea of everybody going to college is ludicrous. To benefit much from a college education probably requires an IQ of at least 105. Twenty five percent of the US population has IQ’s below 90. Estimates of the percentage of recent college graduates woking in jobs not requiring a college degree are about 45-50%. The US needs more college graduates like it needs a hole in the ead.

    Replies

    • Dawn Urbanek 1 year ago1 year ago

      Has anyone else noticed that California has been 2 years behind in math forever and cannot send everyone to a 4- year college until they go to a 2- year college to complete their High School math requirements and completed their A-G requirements???? also- I found this to be very odd- The Old California Math requirements for graduation: 2 years of Math and the completion of Algebra I The Standard in 2010 when California adopted the Common Core: … Read More

      Has anyone else noticed that California has been 2 years behind in math forever and cannot send everyone to a 4- year college until they go to a 2- year college to complete their High School math requirements and completed their A-G requirements????

      also- I found this to be very odd-

      The Old California Math requirements for graduation: 2 years of Math and the completion of Algebra I

      The Standard in 2010 when California adopted the Common Core: 3 years of math and the completion of algebra II

      Now if you look at the CDE web site we have the new “California” Common Core Standards which are the same as the old California standards: 2 years of Math and the completion of Algebra I

      Should I laugh or cry???

  3. Scott M Petri 1 year ago1 year ago

    Policy makers should advise both students and teachers how grim the college graduation statistics are for C students. Only 4.9 percent of C- and D students (GPA less than 2.0) earned a bachelor’s degree by their mid-20s. Read the IES longitudinal study: A First Look at the Post Secondary Transcripts of 2002 High School Sophomores. NAEP data has not shown significant growth in student achievement since then. Thus, it seems as if encouraging unprepared students … Read More

    Policy makers should advise both students and teachers how grim the college graduation statistics are for C students. Only 4.9 percent of C- and D students (GPA less than 2.0) earned a bachelor’s degree by their mid-20s. Read the IES longitudinal study: A First Look at the Post Secondary Transcripts of 2002 High School Sophomores. NAEP data has not shown significant growth in student achievement since then. Thus, it seems as if encouraging unprepared students to attend college will only misspend federal financial aid funds.

    Replies

    • Manuel 1 year ago1 year ago

      Scott, if one bothers to look through the web pages of CSU campuses, one can find that on the average no student was admitted with less than a 3.1 GPA. A C student has no chance at all of going to CSU much less UC (unless s/he is a highly coveted athlete, of course). A D student? Forget about it. (In all fairness, they could, but only if they can get through the Community College gauntlet and … Read More

      Scott, if one bothers to look through the web pages of CSU campuses, one can find that on the average no student was admitted with less than a 3.1 GPA.

      A C student has no chance at all of going to CSU much less UC (unless s/he is a highly coveted athlete, of course).

      A D student? Forget about it.

      (In all fairness, they could, but only if they can get through the Community College gauntlet and manage to transfer with the right classes. But given their poor work habits as evidenced by such low GPA, well, their chances are next-to-nothing when it is all said and done. They might as well get an apprenticeship in a trade.)

      • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

        No, you don't get to go to a university if you're an ordinary C student or worse, even handicapped by poverty. Access to AG courses is a legitimate equity issue for students at many schools. Access to good grades is not, especially considering how relative they are to one's in-school peers. Those that claim "poverty made me do" can - but the poor kid down the street … Read More

        No, you don’t get to go to a university if you’re an ordinary C student or worse, even handicapped by poverty. Access to AG courses is a legitimate equity issue for students at many schools. Access to good grades is not, especially considering how relative they are to one’s in-school peers. Those that claim “poverty made me do” can – but the poor kid down the street with straight As is better bet for universities.

        • FloydThursby1941 1 year ago1 year ago

          I agree. If you study 5.6 hours a week, the California average, you are probably going to go to college and prioritize partying over learning and skill building. If you study that little, you are showing by actions that no matter your words, you don't really want to go to college. The average teenager spends over 40 hours a week watching TV or playing games. You should have to work hard … Read More

          I agree. If you study 5.6 hours a week, the California average, you are probably going to go to college and prioritize partying over learning and skill building. If you study that little, you are showing by actions that no matter your words, you don’t really want to go to college. The average teenager spends over 40 hours a week watching TV or playing games. You should have to work hard in high school and elementary school and middle school to be able to go to college. You get higher income, double and it should be a reward for making the moral decisions between studying or not in school. Poverty has little to do with it. No one can legitimately say I was so poor, I could watch 40 hours a week of TV but couldn’t study more than 5. That makes no sense. Libraries are free and filled with poor Asians, but not many poor kids of other races. College requires a sacrifice.

    • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

      Scott: That's who CA's community college system has been so important for CA. All of those HS C & D students who mature a little and develop a direction in life have always had a great second chance to return to school and pursue an academic degree if that's what they want. Unfortunately the system is strained by years of underfunding (as is the K-12 system) and has had austerity hawks attack that honorable and laudable … Read More

      Scott:

      That’s who CA’s community college system has been so important for CA. All of those HS C & D students who mature a little and develop a direction in life have always had a great second chance to return to school and pursue an academic degree if that’s what they want. Unfortunately the system is strained by years of underfunding (as is the K-12 system) and has had austerity hawks attack that honorable and laudable vision to give people a second chance and/or just continue in the pursuit of life-long learning.

  4. navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

    Not all A-G courses are created equal. Some of these courses should probably be considered part of a normal, well-rounded educational experience, and not necessarily simply a pre-requisite for college. Currently there are 15 total years of A-G reqs, and I expect 2/3 of those could be considered things we want people to have whether they go to college or not (history, social studies, foreign language, art, english, and probably even at least one year … Read More

    Not all A-G courses are created equal. Some of these courses should probably be considered part of a normal, well-rounded educational experience, and not necessarily simply a pre-requisite for college. Currently there are 15 total years of A-G reqs, and I expect 2/3 of those could be considered things we want people to have whether they go to college or not (history, social studies, foreign language, art, english, and probably even at least one year of math). In contrast, 3 years of math, 2 of lab science and a college prep elective might be considered ‘unnecessary’ for someone who decides not to go to college (clearly other people would consider even those mandatory for ‘normal life’; especially given we’ve pushed algebra back into high school–note that some districts have created hs graduation requirements over and above A-G reqs for some courses, and lower than them for others. Other districts have even created multiple versions of hs diplomas to address those differences).
    Regardless, the problem with A-G seems to be that historically we’ve apparently been willing to use the lower than expected college attendance rates in some areas as justification for not providing adequate access to these classes for those students (Manuel’s excellent point about cruel jokes notwithstanding). This was the source of the movement referenced in the opening of the piece.
    The call here seems to indicate the desire to move from equal opportunity questions to more equal outcome questions (something that should be justified lest readers mistake them for the same thing… 🙂 ). I hope that indicates the former has been addressed? If so, it would be nice to see something that corroborates that.
    The issue referenced at the opening of the piece led to a number of studies, including a nice one by LAUSD that outlined access and attendance at all the high schools in the district. This is good background info for the issue, and any update to that kind of research should also be referenced.
    Since its illegal to post URLs here 😉 if you google ‘access to eligible courses across lausd schools’ you should get two pdfs, the one that starts with ‘access’ is the school by school analysis. The other shows how students progressed through a-g at that time. A comparison to today would be enlightening.

    One thing to glean from the first report is that the most under-attended A-G courses tended to be English and Foreign Language (both arguably fall into the required for all category; though its possible the low english enrollment was a function of that req being a 4-year one). English class sizes were the lowest of all, which may indicate focus should be on creating demand as opposed to focusing on supply.
    Another is that social studies class sizes were the largest of all, while they also had the highest over-represented college-likely enrollment–probably an indication of an unserved demand?

    That all said, if we really cared about college attainment, it would be free.

    Replies

    • Manuel 1 year ago1 year ago

      Indeed, navigio, the fact that CSU/UC are only meant to serve a limited population, per the Master Plan of Higher Education, is what drove the old "college track" system, now morphed into the "AP" course system, which is closely aligned with the "A-G" set of requirements. Yes, there is a component of social justice woven into this. But simply declaring that it must be so without providing resources does not turn it into reality. Today's LA … Read More

      Indeed, navigio, the fact that CSU/UC are only meant to serve a limited population, per the Master Plan of Higher Education, is what drove the old “college track” system, now morphed into the “AP” course system, which is closely aligned with the “A-G” set of requirements.

      Yes, there is a component of social justice woven into this. But simply declaring that it must be so without providing resources does not turn it into reality. Today’s LA Times (May 6) has an article quoting a student saying “Why didn’t my school or the district ask me if there was a reason for me falling behind?” That’s a reasonable question, especially since her school, Mendez High School, is managed by the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, not by LAUSD. She claims that she was “counseled out” instead of receiving the wrap-around services that would have helped her.

      So, if a school that is administered by an organization that alleges to do better than LAUSD engages in this kind of behavior, what can be expected other than lip service to the A-G policy from LAUSD itself?

      Yes, all actors in this farce-turned-tragedy admit they had to lower the bar, first by requiring a C to pass the courses and then lowering the total number of units to graduate, in order to meet the pretense that all students could graduate. Now they are admitting that this is not even possible.

      So what to do?

      From what I can deduce from certain budgets, LAUSD is diverting anywhere from $4 to 7 million in LCFF funding from each high school and spending it in administration costs. That money could easily reduce the teacher-student ratio from 45-to-1 in most classrooms to something more manageable. For example, according to LAUSD’s own accounting, $4 million would pay for 40 teachers more at each high school. Surely, this would increase the level of teaching and if some of that money went to more counselors, then students like the one cited above would have been asked better questions rather than being counseled out.

      While this would help, that’s not enough as the intervention must start at middle schools when students are no longer closely supervised by a single teacher but must now start navigating the multiple demands posed by their teachers. This is where dropouts are made and it is all a question of resources not being there. (And let’s not even talk about the effort that must be put by the student in the first place.)

      At any rate, demanding “college for all” is simply a slogan. If the LAUSD Board Member who is chiefly behind this would have been doing her job she would not have trotted out a student from a school that she herself championed as the best alternative to big bad LAUSD. She, together with the Usual Suspects, is part of the problem, not the solution despite their pious protestations.

      • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

        Changing the qualifying grade to a C was raising the bar (from a D), no? In any case, it's interesting that when requiring a C grade, you could reduce the English requirement to 2 years and still graduate fewer students than requiring 4 years with a D. Mucking with the credits is not going have much impact. Also note the board is supposed to discuss this today in a special meeting at 4:30pm. In that … Read More

        Changing the qualifying grade to a C was raising the bar (from a D), no?
        In any case, it’s interesting that when requiring a C grade, you could reduce the English requirement to 2 years and still graduate fewer students than requiring 4 years with a D. Mucking with the credits is not going have much impact.
        Also note the board is supposed to discuss this today in a special meeting at 4:30pm.
        In that order of business a few things are mentioned:
        – that the goal of the original resolution was to improve access, not so much outcomes.
        – only 28% of the class of 2014 would graduate had these A-G requirements been enforced this year. (37% projected for the first year of implementation, as mentioned in stories linked elsewhere here).
        – The 2014 numbers for subgroups are obviously much lower: black 19%, hispanic 26%, english learners 3%. (compare with asians at 57% and whites at 39%)
        – refocus on investing in that 63% of the class of 2017 who are currently not on track to graduate.
        – A-G courses are necessary, but not sufficient
        – Sticking to the goal of access
        – Additional funds allocated to A-G passage rates
        – within 120 days a report on what needs to happen
        – Creation of an A-G Coordination of Services Team
        and last, but surely not least: “the board directs the superintendent to modify the graduation requirements for Class of 2017 forward to be consistent with those of the Class of 2016 and ensure that all students graduating from the class of 2016 foward with a grade of ‘C’ or better in the completeion of the A-G course sequence will earn a diploma documenting this distinction at graduation.”
        In other words, this seems to be a roundabout way of making the grade of C no longer a graduation requirement?
        Anyway, this is just a resolution. It probably will be modified before voted on today.

    • Dawn Urbanek 1 year ago1 year ago

      Gary- In Orange County it takes 6 years for a kid to get through Saddleback Community College because they cannot get the classes they need to graduate. Now our District is no longer offering adult classes (to save money that is being passed to saddleback). Also- the District is handing over all students who need course recovery to complete high school graduation requirements. If students could not get classes before does anyone really think they can … Read More

      Gary-

      In Orange County it takes 6 years for a kid to get through Saddleback Community College because they cannot get the classes they need to graduate. Now our District is no longer offering adult classes (to save money that is being passed to saddleback). Also- the District is handing over all students who need course recovery to complete high school graduation requirements. If students could not get classes before does anyone really think they can get classes now with all the added students?

      Really?

      Community College should focus on skills and giving students a job without having to go to a four year college. Is this really about helping studnets or creating more jobs for educators? Sometimes I wonder…

    • Dawn Urbanek 1 year ago1 year ago

      It would be free to a select few- not to everyone which is the way every other country does it. Why can't we think about gain full employment for the masses rather than a college degree that means little if nothing and fails to translate into meaningful employment. If it takes a student 4 - 6 years to graduate from community college they are never going to makeup the lost earnings in the future- … Read More

      It would be free to a select few- not to everyone which is the way every other country does it. Why can’t we think about gain full employment for the masses rather than a college degree that means little if nothing and fails to translate into meaningful employment. If it takes a student 4 – 6 years to graduate from community college they are never going to makeup the lost earnings in the future- they will be forever behind hence the need for a “living wage”.

  5. Carl Petersen 1 year ago1 year ago

    The fact is that not all students are capable of going to college. Nor are all students interested in this path. What message does a “goal of college for all” send to these students? No wonder our drop out rates are so high.

  6. Free Jones 1 year ago1 year ago

    I'm shocked ... SHOCKED that another college professor is calling for "college for all." So yesterday and so detached from the realities facing middle class students, who desperately need marketable skills, not mountains of debt and too often a college degree not aligned to the real economy. We need to get real about the constant call for more education reform from elites who have little connection to the real drivers of our economy. Those … Read More

    I’m shocked … SHOCKED that another college professor is calling for “college for all.” So yesterday and so detached from the realities facing middle class students, who desperately need marketable skills, not mountains of debt and too often a college degree not aligned to the real economy.

    We need to get real about the constant call for more education reform from elites who have little connection to the real drivers of our economy. Those are less and less found in 4-year institutions of higher learning and more in community colleges, trade schools, apprenticeships and other venues that require less formal education, less student loans and less time expended in irrelevant pursuits that don’t lead to full employment opportunities.

  7. Manuel 1 year ago1 year ago

    College for all? By getting all students to fulfill the A-G requirements? And what are they going to do with that? Are there any seats for them waiting at CSU and UC? Back when I was an undergraduate, I could pay for my entire tuition/reg fees bill as well as my living expenses out of my half-time work-study wages. Can a hard-working student do the same today? Hell, no. So why is Prof. Rodgers suggesting … Read More

    College for all? By getting all students to fulfill the A-G requirements? And what are they going to do with that? Are there any seats for them waiting at CSU and UC?

    Back when I was an undergraduate, I could pay for my entire tuition/reg fees bill as well as my living expenses out of my half-time work-study wages.

    Can a hard-working student do the same today? Hell, no.

    So why is Prof. Rodgers suggesting that all students should be able to “choose their future” when there is no way the Great State of California is going to make it possible for them to go to college?

    We should be increasing the number of seats at CSU/UC and simultaneously making them affordable before increasing the number of students needing those seats. Otherwise, it is all a cruel joke on most of them.

    Replies

    • Andrew 1 year ago1 year ago

      The for-profit diploma-mill "universities" will be waiting for them with open arms and student loan applications. Marketeers will help them "choose their future." Their future will be a lifetime of paying back student loans. A few will ultimately rise to the stature of adjuncts teaching part-time at those for-profit "universities." Read More

      The for-profit diploma-mill “universities” will be waiting for them with open arms and student loan applications. Marketeers will help them “choose their future.” Their future will be a lifetime of paying back student loans. A few will ultimately rise to the stature of adjuncts teaching part-time at those for-profit “universities.”

      • Manuel 1 year ago1 year ago

        Andrew, I guess you are not familiar with all those graduates from "non-profit" universities working as adjuncts at said "non-profit" universities because these same universities do not want to increase the number of tenured professors. In fact, many of these same universities "fire" these adjuncts when they get close enough to qualify for permanent status as lecturers only to rehire them again later. Meanwhile, the "for profit" companies who bemoan the lack of qualified STEM graduates … Read More

        Andrew, I guess you are not familiar with all those graduates from “non-profit” universities working as adjuncts at said “non-profit” universities because these same universities do not want to increase the number of tenured professors. In fact, many of these same universities “fire” these adjuncts when they get close enough to qualify for permanent status as lecturers only to rehire them again later.

        Meanwhile, the “for profit” companies who bemoan the lack of qualified STEM graduates import labor via H1B visas who they have to retrain while refusing to do the same with US STEM workers.

        In the good ol’ days of the Cold War, many companies had extensive “technical staffs” in house. How many of them now rely on “just-in-time” consultants to do important work?

        The business model has changed but it is still a racket. We must follow the money.

      • Fred Jones 1 year ago1 year ago

        The "for profit" trade schools have flourished because our major 4-yr universities have largely spurned skill-building coursework and majors that lead to well-paying jobs (just look at the many "_____ Studies" majors that have blossomed in recent decades … how economically valuable are those?). And kids coming out of those 4-yr colleges (in 6 years!) with little marketable skills are being strapped with just as much loan debt as those from trade schools (who … Read More

        The “for profit” trade schools have flourished because our major 4-yr universities have largely spurned skill-building coursework and majors that lead to well-paying jobs (just look at the many “_____ Studies” majors that have blossomed in recent decades … how economically valuable are those?).

        And kids coming out of those 4-yr colleges (in 6 years!) with little marketable skills are being strapped with just as much loan debt as those from trade schools (who often earn a certificate within months, not over a half-decade). So it’s not about “for profit” vs. “public” schools; it should be more about relevance and net value to students that should drive enrollment trends, but these realities are still being ignored by elites and counselors (who continue to peddle the notion that there’s only one way to win, and that leads to/through a 4-yr institution).

        • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

          A couple of points here: 1) One of the nations largest "trade schools" has just shut its doors after being fined for basically gulling students into paying for high cost programs that would lead them to employment when there was no employment to be had. 2) The real purpose of university education should never be confused with making people more employable. Employability may, or may not, be a consequence of education. The big point is that education, … Read More

          A couple of points here:

          1) One of the nations largest “trade schools” has just shut its doors after being fined for basically gulling students into paying for high cost programs that would lead them to employment when there was no employment to be had.

          2) The real purpose of university education should never be confused with making people more employable. Employability may, or may not, be a consequence of education. The big point is that education, real learning, has a much higher purpose than just being “marketable.” This is America’s anti-intellectual tendency taken over the cliff.

          • Don 1 year ago1 year ago

            Great points.

  8. Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

    Granted there are certain benefits that accrue to individuals and society by having as many people as possible attain the highest levels of education as possible. That being said, we have (had) a college/university/community college system in place, now threatened by austerity theology, that allowed individuals the flexibility to pursue further advanced education as their circumstances and goals changed over time (what we called "lifelong learning). We now, in the US, have over 30% of … Read More

    Granted there are certain benefits that accrue to individuals and society by having as many people as possible attain the highest levels of education as possible. That being said, we have (had) a college/university/community college system in place, now threatened by austerity theology, that allowed individuals the flexibility to pursue further advanced education as their circumstances and goals changed over time (what we called “lifelong learning).

    We now, in the US, have over 30% of the population with bachelors degrees or better. This is the approaching the highest levels in history, and to the extent that has been compromised it seems more due to the finance sector driven recession than anything to do with K-12 education. What are the real needs for formally college educated individuals and to what extent should the K-12 system drive students in that direction when their current circumstances and goals might be different? As is often said, “one size fits few.”

    There is some pretty good data available suggesting the STEM job market, which seems to be the force behind many of the current arguments, may well be saturated. This in spite of industry claims to the contrary.

    An education system that focuses, for many if not the majority of students, on a well rounded education that equips them, when motivated, to pursue multiple goals and may offer the best opportunities for all.

    Replies

    • Andrew 1 year ago1 year ago

      It isn't possible for there to be too many STEM grads - if you are an employer on the cheap wanting to hire the cheapest STEM grads to work in sweat-shop conditions. The same applies to the teacher "shortage" "crisis". It is a crisis when an administrator no longer has 300 eager fresh faced and desperate student-debt laden applicants vying for one vacant teaching position with poor working conditions, too many students, … Read More

      It isn’t possible for there to be too many STEM grads – if you are an employer on the cheap wanting to hire the cheapest STEM grads to work in sweat-shop conditions.

      The same applies to the teacher “shortage” “crisis”. It is a crisis when an administrator no longer has 300 eager fresh faced and desperate student-debt laden applicants vying for one vacant teaching position with poor working conditions, too many students, little respect, and not enough pay to live in the community or pay student debt. If the crisis continues, it might be necessary to provide reasonable starting pay and decent workloads and conditions so that prospects are drawn to the profession to stay. Alternatively, standards can be lowered and marketing efforts renewed and the churn and burn continued.

      • Gary Ravani 1 year ago1 year ago

        Andrew: I could certainly take issue with you re the reality of the teacher shortage, one just has to look at the plummeting numbers of sign-ups for credential programs; however, in large part I don't disagree much. Your post reminds me of an Onion post some time ago re How to Discourage Teacher Turnover: Downplay the importance of having money and "respect." I put "respect" in quotes because teachers do enjoy respect from the general community and … Read More

        Andrew:

        I could certainly take issue with you re the reality of the teacher shortage, one just has to look at the plummeting numbers of sign-ups for credential programs; however, in large part I don’t disagree much.

        Your post reminds me of an Onion post some time ago re How to Discourage Teacher Turnover: Downplay the importance of having money and “respect.”

        I put “respect” in quotes because teachers do enjoy respect from the general community and particularly from those who have children or grandchildren in school. (See the annual PDK/Gallup poll.) It is the billionaires, tech savants, some politicians, and members of the judiciary who show disdain for the profession.

    • navigio 1 year ago1 year ago

      quick stats nit: while it's true that we have college attainment at all time highs, it's probably worth noting that that is a cumulative metric. To get a better understanding of trends one should look at the rates for each year or for the potentially recently graduated subgroup (usually 25 to 30 or so). While those are also at or around all time highs, they have been flirting with plateaus for the past few decades … Read More

      quick stats nit: while it’s true that we have college attainment at all time highs, it’s probably worth noting that that is a cumulative metric. To get a better understanding of trends one should look at the rates for each year or for the potentially recently graduated subgroup (usually 25 to 30 or so). While those are also at or around all time highs, they have been flirting with plateaus for the past few decades (between 25% and 30%).
      Perhaps more importantly is the ‘gap’ we see between states. Our highest college degree rate state for 25 to 34 year olds is almost 50% (that was 2012 so it may be above 50 now). While on the other end it’s barely over 20%. Thats a huge difference. Note the ‘prognosis’ that somewhere around two-thirds of jobs will require a college degree (not condoning that claim, just pointing out that some believe it).

  9. Linda Legaspi 1 year ago1 year ago

    How about rephrasing it to post-secondary eduction for all?

  10. Bob Tyra 1 year ago1 year ago

    Thank you for your comments with regard to “college for all” efforts.

    As a longstanding CTE advocate, I believe that the conversation needs to be broadened to include multiple pathways. Kevin Fleming’s video “Success in the New Economy” provides some perspectives that I believe should be given some attention.

    It’s at: https://vimeo.com/67277269

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