August 31, 2018

Need to Know

In case you missed it, this week EdNC has been blitzing the state, visiting 54 of the 58 community colleges. By the end of next week, we will have visited all 58. We’ve been tweeting using the hashtag #Awake58, posting on Facebook and Instagram, and publishing staff content as well as perspectives from thought leaders in the space. Sign up for the Awake58 newsletter to get more community college content.

A New Slant

The Manhattan Institute came out with a report this week calling for a “fundamental reordering of the nation’s misshapen educational infrastructure.” The report argues that the conventional wisdom that a college degree is necessary for a middle class life is flawed, and the education system should increase spending on Career and Technical Education (CTE).

After visiting five community colleges this week, I’ve heard over and over that students can find good, middle class jobs in the trades, yet the Manhattan Institute report argues students should not even go to community college, citing low completion rates nationally for community college students. The report states:

“The college dropout is not an outlier in the modern American education landscape. He is the standard: both the median and the modal outcome. After half a century of intensive reform efforts, only 36% of Americans aged 25 to 29 have earned a bachelor’s degree—add in associate degrees, and the total still reaches only 46%. The share attaining a BA by age 25 has not risen for two generations.”

The author argues for increased investment in CTE pathways in high school and proposes the following cost breakdown:

MI2

For Your Consideration

The Cato Institute recently released its 2018 edition of “Freedom in the 50 States,” a report that ranks the 50 states “on the basis of how their policies promote freedom in the fiscal, regulatory, and personal realms.” While the Cato Institute has an obvious bias — it is “dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace” — the report is an interesting way to compare state policies. Cato ranks North Carolina 18th in overall freedom and provides several policy recommendations to increase its overall freedom.

Cato


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