I’m sure you saw the coverage of this week’s Community College Summit, especially as related to our Chancellor’s attendance (if not you can see some here or here or here). There was plenty of analysis, too, but I didn’t read much of it, since it all seems to say about the same thing (depending on whether it is coming from faculty or politician/administrator/business person).
Anyway, three pieces that didn’t seem like the rest and made for interesting reads (to me anyway), can be found here and here. The first one includes this section:
President Barack Obama’s administration has, as you well know, placed a big emphasis on boosting college completion rates. A worthy goal, without dispute. And yet I have heard some in the high school improvement arena worry that in zeroing in too much on college completion, we risk losing our focus on the tough work needed to make high schools work better (and thus boost students’ chances of success in college)…But even as heavyweight policy folks talked about improving community college outcomes yesterday, high school reforms that could help with that—such as increasing rigor and smoothing the transition to higher ed—didn’t even make the radar, Caralee noted in concluding her coverage of the summit yesterday.
Both of them focus on the idea that the best thing anyone could do to improve community college completion rates would be to make changes at the high school level. Not that I’m saying community colleges couldn’t be better–of course they can. But failing to forefront that part of the equation does the project a disservice. Anyway, it’s interesting material to think through and read if you find yourself sitting inside on this glorious October afternoon.
Really, though, you should go outside.