(Online edition headline: College isn't what it used to be, but it's critical)
By Frank Waterous
Recently, the value of a college education has come into question. Robert J. Samuelson of The Washington Post, for one, said the "college-for-all crusade has outlived its usefulness."
In these tough economic times, with unemployment high and college graduates facing a bleak job market, the question might seem worthy of debate. But that's because the question misses the mark on two crucial points:
State Republicans announce education agenda for 2008 session; New report questions definition of ???rigor??? in high school reforms; House slated to vote today on overriding Bush???s SCHIP veto; The ???cliff effect???: When getting a raise puts you farther behind; National studies show work supports are critical for low-wage earners; Weeden, Maushart are Bell???s new 2007-08 fellows.
Graduating from high school not only marks the beginning of one???s passage to adulthood, it is an increasingly critical milestone on the road to opportunity. A high school diploma represents the successful acquisition of the knowledge and skills needed to function in the working world and to pursue further education and training.
Leaving school ready to succeed is the next important opportunity gateway. For much of the last century, so long as you were a loyal employee and worked hard, it was possible to get and keep a good paying job that had decent benefits even if you did not have a high school diploma. Those days are gone. Today, the successful completion of high school is virtually indispensable to one???s prospects for success.