Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Bookends of Lifelong Learning

The moment I saw President Obama's video on Facebook about his proposal to make two years of community college free, I thought, "what a GREAT complement to his proposal for universal pre-K." And so I agree completely with Andre Perry.
It’s time for disparate educational groups as well as civil rights organizations to move Congress to make universal pre-K and the first two years of college as accessible as elementary and high school.

The nature of our workforce demands a womb to tomb educational system - real lifelong learning. It will take the early childhood, K-12, and higher education lobbies to enjoin the support of civil rights groups and others to give the public what we want.

I’m calling for teachers unions and education-reform groups to rally their members and funders to lobby Congress to fund these “bookends” of an education. I’m calling for the Urban League, NAACP, Planned Parenthood and GLAD to issue joint statements demanding universal pre-K and free community college. Four-year institutions can’t be so self-interested that they don’t muster support for their community college brethren.

At some point, the education community should act like one. The need for universal pre-K and free community college can be the basis for a short-term convergence of interest.

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