Education is only part of the solution

I took college classes to get another endorsement of my teaching credential in 2001-2004. I then left the country and when I was ready to resume classes a couple of years later, found that tuition had doubled. Unfortunately, I had resigned from my public school job and ended up earning half the amount in the second half of the decade that I had in the first half. I’m not sure how we’ll manage to pay for  our own kids’ tuition a few years from now.

So today on Facebook I was sent a link stating:

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is calling on special educators to take personal responsibility for the success of their students after graduation.

I also received a post from my Facebook friend President Obama with a Youtube link of his appearance with Jeb Bush discussing education. I didn’t watch the entire video-but I don’t think he talked about cutting tuition costs in half or making student loans available at the same rate that the Fed offers to Banksters.

I received a third link to a Paul Krugmann column that points out that jobs for college grads are disappearing just like the less glamourous manufacturing jobs that have steadily gone offshore during the Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush years. Krugmann writes:

But there are things education can’t do. In particular, the notion that putting more kids through college can restore the middle-class society we used to have is wishful thinking. It’s no longer true that having a college degree guarantees that you’ll get a good job, and it’s becoming less true with each passing decade.

So if we want a society of broadly shared prosperity, education isn’t the answer — we’ll have to go about building that society directly. We need to restore the bargaining power that labor has lost over the last 30 years, so that ordinary workers as well as superstars have the power to bargain for good wages. We need to guarantee the essentials, above all health care, to every citizen.

What we can’t do is get where we need to go just by giving workers college degrees, which may be no more than tickets to jobs that don’t exist or don’t pay middle-class wages.




March 8, 2011. Uncategorized.

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