Chronicle of Higher Ed

pic via America's Promise

One in three students drop out of high school. America’s Promise, the campaign that hosted Obama today, says just 12 percent of the nation’s high schools generate half of the nation’s dropouts.

Obama proposals such as early-college high school and dual enrollment are based on evidence that high school students will be more motivated to stay in school and finish if they see that their classes are related to a valuable credential and to jobs. The more straitened circumstances that students are in, the more important the economic motive for further education.

I’m a bigger fan of dual enrollment and career academies than early college, because I like the idea of students having a right to free public education that connects them to jobs.

However, if we don’t stop underfunding our community colleges, creating new programs isn’t going to get any more students through them. California’s community college enrollment dropped by 1 percent this year thanks to budget cuts.

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