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The Brookings Institution’s Greater Washington Initiative has surveyed the District’s educational system, and concluded that all this “everybody can go to college” cheerleading is so much baloney. Rather, a new report says, the city’s kids need more work experiences in high school, and should be encouraged to view professional certificates and two-year degrees as a viable route to a career.
Money quotes from the executive summary:
The ‘college for all approach’ that dominates the educational establishment leads to the mainstream ideal of completing an academic program of study in high school and then graduating from a four-year college. Integrating employment and occupational skills into the high school and post-secondary curricula is often disparaged, with career and technical education (previously known as vocational education) seen as a dumping ground for students not deemed ‘college ready.’ The legacy of tracking, segregation, and discrimination in the educational system certainly provides support for that view—-education can be a vehicle for upward mobility, but it can also perpetuate inequality based on race and class…
“Only about 30 percent of Americans earn a four-year degree by their mid-twenties, showing that the ‘college for all’ approach is not translating into the desired outcomes. While post-secondary education is clearly a gateway to economic opportunity, two-year degrees and certificates can also lead to family-sustaining wages.
Read the full thing here.