Obama pledges job training, lower college costs

Community colleges will become “community career centers” working with employers to train 2 million Americans for skilled jobs, said President Obama in the State of the Union speech, which also promised to make college affordable for middle-class families.

States cut funding for colleges and universities by 7.6 percent in 2011-12, a new study finds. The federal stimulus money ran out and state budgets couldn’t make up the difference.

Also: More on free and cheap online college courses’ challenge to traditional higher education. It’s all about the credentials.

About Joanne


  1. I’m opposed to any funding, either for the school or for the students, which is not tied to student knowledge and skills. For academic courses, the SAT/ACT and for vocational courses whatever specific testing is best should be used to identify those students who have the necessary knowledge and skills; otherwise, no taxpayer support. Taking money from one group of people and giving it to those unlikely to benefit, let alone repay it, is just wrong. The k-12 system, the politicians and the educrats (ed school, accrediting and admins) need to be pressured to ensure that real grade-level and HS-grad-level designations mean something. If that means that HS-grad levels plummet, so be it. Right now, the diploma is often meaningless. Also, the system has plenty of money, both k-12 and colleges; the problem is the way it’s used.

  2. tim-10-ber says:

    Just where is all the money coming from? There isn’t any…

  3. I am officially freaked out that this guy wants EVERY CHILD to stay in school until graduation or birthday #18. This is ridiculous. (Not to mention expensive… but I’m thinking of the rights of these families to make those decisions more than the cost so much.)

  4. Requiring kids to stay in school until the age of 18, especially without creating vocational tracks, is tantemount to turing schools into juvenile detention centers.

  5. As I recall, the unions were strong, early supporters of mandatory schooling laws and child labor laws, because they didn’t want competition from younger workers who might take lower wages. That, of course, was back in the dark ages when few unmarried teenagers without full-time jobs procreated, so had only themselves to support.

  6. If we’re going to keep kids in school until they’re 18, and I wish we wouldn’t, we should give them solid voc ed choices DURING HS, so they’d be ready for good jobs after graduation. Not everyone has the aptitude or the motivation for college and all shouldn’t be forced into the same mold. It’s just as bad to shove everyone into “college prep” as it used to be to shove certain groups of kids OUT of it. Until somewhere in the 70s, real voc ed programs were the norm, at least for larger schools. They were in no way dumping grounds for the unmotivated or unprepared; kids had to apply and they knew they would have to work to qualify and to stay in the program. In my DH’s city, most kids attended Catholic ES, but even those kids knew what they would have to be able to know and to do in order to get into the (public) Tech HS. They had jobs waiting for them; sheet metal, auto shop, LPN, cosmetology, tool-and-die, office/admin etc.

  7. Bill Leonard says:

    Lest anyone miss the point: The speech Tuesday night was a campaign speech, pure and simple. Instead of bilious Gingrich, patrician and out-of-touch Romney, et. al. sniping and grousing at each other, the Prez had an orchestra and a friendly crowd — timely applause and all — and the well of the House as his platform.

    And overall, the message was this: Vote for me again, and it’s pie in the sky for everybody. Who will pay for it? Why, “the rich,” of course!