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What the Brookings Institution thinks the career pipeline should look like.

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.