Multiple Choices

It was interesting that education was one of three primary topics in President Obama’s address to Congress last night.

Also somewhat surprising considering that in the past few of decades the subject usually received a one-sentence mention in the laundry list of other stuff crammed towards the end of the speech.words.jpg

Even more pleasant to hear was Obama expanding the concept of post-K12 education beyond the traditional four-year university degree.

It is our responsibility as lawmakers and educators to make this system work. But it is the responsibility of every citizen to participate in it. And so tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma.

The idea of high school graduation being an act of patriotism is also something new and unique.

And dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It’s not just quitting on yourself, it’s quitting on your country — and this country needs and values the talents of every American. That is why we will provide the support necessary for you to complete college and meet a new goal: by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

His administration’s concept of school reform (at least the parts I’ve read) still doesn’t go far enough.

However, making it possible for students to select from and plan for a variety of paths after they finish high school would be a major step in the right direction.

[Word cloud created at Wordle]

One thought on “Multiple Choices

  • February 26, 2009 at 3:43 pm
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    It’s exciting to have education goals, but I hope that in the implementation of the plan we don’t just measure the number of college graduates. You get what you measure…what we actually need is a more skilled workforce, and more college degrees does not equal a more skilled workforce.

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