Richard Vedder and my wife, Sara Goldrick-Rab, squared off yesterday on Patt Morrison's radio program on Southern California Public Radio yesterday. They addressed the question, "Who needs college?"
Vedder, the founder of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity in Washington DC, recently announced a joint proposal suggesting that some kids shouldn't go to college at all (as recently described in this New York Times article). At Sherman Dorn notes, making such distinctions is tricky and generally involves suggestions that "the type of people who don't benefit from college" are "other people's kids." In fact, on the radio program, Vedder acknowledged that he would not counsel his own kids from attending college. Of course. As my wife noted in the radio program, many unprepared rich kids attend college, but many better prepared lower-income students cannot, due to affordability and other constraints. And she's got good research to back that up. Between such evidence and these exclusionary advocates up on their soapbox, one's equity radar begins to ping.
Check it out for yourself.
And here are some other recent contributions on this topic:
Thoughts On Education Policy (Corey Bunje Bower)
Public School Insights - The Purposes of College (Claus von Zastrow)
Public School Insights - Should We Give Up on College? (Claus von Zastrow)