As the Obama administration continues to roll outs his plan to eliminate tuition for community college students, columnist Jay Mathews remains skeptic of this initiative.
My first conclusion, after reviewing data compiled by several researchers, is that community colleges at the moment are pretty much a mess. They get far too few of their students on the road to good jobs or four-year college degrees. Many of their classes are poorly taught. Many of their programs are poorly organized. Even their best efforts are poorly funded.
Instead, Matthews offers another solution.
But the educators I have interviewed think that will do little good. The problem isn’t tuition. It’s guidance and teaching. Students are turned off not by the cost of community college but by the frustrating entrance standards and classes that do not take them in the directions they want to go. They are given little assistance in navigating the confusing requirements.
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