What’s all this then about… the Worcester T&G

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The June 5 T&G makes one more point worth mentioning.  As Monty Python used to say, What’s all this then about… free community colleges?  As the editorial notes, the idea “disappointingly fails to address more immediate concerns.”  As the piece notes,

Community colleges play a vital role as a portal into post-secondary education — including four-year colleges and technical programs — for nontraditional students, limited-English speakers and others.

While state funding may have made community colleges beyond the means of some, doesn’t everyone agree that we have a lot of work to do to ensure that CCs are effective delivery systems for skills needed in the market place?  I mean, a financial services firm, to remain unnamed, has a wonderful relationship with a business school in a neighboring state that is now helping to produce the custodial investors it needs.  Result?  They have hired hundreds of workers in that bordering state.  Can’t we ensure our community colleges are providing that kind of benefit to local businesses before we make them free?

Two thoughts:

  • Do the hard work of making CC offerings more of a value-added proposition before you make anything free.
  • Rather than making them free across the board, create an incentive for high school students to strive for success by only providing free CC education for those that achieve high test scores or are on the high end of their classes.  Oops, I forgot, MCAS is now a bad word.