Real Education Need Not Be Only for the Elite

ACADEME BLOG

Everyone seems to think that college is all about jobs. Even former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, in a column on his blog this past Sunday, “Why College Isn’t (and Shouldn’t Have to be) for Everyone,” writes, “all too often the jobs they land after graduating don’t pay enough to make the degree worthwhile.”

That may be true, but it is a reductive view of the value of the college experience.

I suspect Reich knows that, but he doesn’t say it. Little of discussion about higher education today focuses on anything but monetary return, so it is not surprising that he sticks to the conversation as it is. After all, he’s also (in the first part of his article) talking only about college for a certain class of Americans, those who can hope to attend the “elite” colleges where connections are made that can influence the economics of a lifetime.

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