In his State of the Union address, President Obama pitched his plan for making two years of community college as “free and universal in America as high school is today.” He thinks it would be a great thing. But at the community college where I taught English from 2007 to 2010, Georgia Perimeter College, the joke was that it was already an extension of high school.
I am strongly committed to higher education, especially in the sciences and math where we are lagging other countries. I also understand that there are students of limited means, and they need a hand up in life. But we seem to no longer draw rational lines between serious students who need assistance, and the many non-serious students who squander it.