Federalizing community colleges is a bad idea
President Biden's proposal to pay community college tuition -- directly to the colleges not to the students -- rewards institutions for meeting federal priorities rather than local needs, Blew writes.
It also funds the expansion of colleges that aren't helping most students earn a degree or improve their job prospects: Of first-time, full-time community college students, only 35 percent complete a credential in six years.
Many states heavily subsidize community colleges, keeping tuition very low for lower-income students, Blew writes. (California waives the already low tuition for most community college students.)
"Free college" doesn't solve the big problem: Many community college students aren't prepared to pass college-level courses.
"The key to fixing our education and workforce problems is not to throw federal dollars at adding 13th and 14th grades to our under-performing K-12 system, hoping somehow that will improve student outcomes," Blew concludes. "The answer lies in reimagining our one-size-fits-all education assembly line."