Interesting Reads This Week

Sometimes neither the problems nor the solutions are what they seem

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During the pandemic, someone once pointed out to me that life in Covid was like raising children: the days are long, but the years are short. Increasingly I think that describes life in general, and has nothing to do with either kids or Covid. Such a lot seems to happen every day, and yet time seems to fly. Among all the things that happened this week, what should I tell you about?

Higher education problems brewin’ in in the south

An interesting report from the Helios Foundation looks in some detail at college going rates in Florida. One startling statistic is the drop in the rate at which graduates of Florida public high schools attend Florida postsecondary institutions, dropping 8 points from 64% in 2010 to 56% in 2019. Students were opting to enter the workforce directly at significantly higher rates

This is some nice qualitative detail on the continuing grim news for higher education generally and community colleges in particular. Demographic declines are one thing, but if the rate at which people attend higher education keeps dropping, the effect is hugely magnified.

It would be interesting to be able to see if those who went directly to the workforce ended up going back for some postsecondary education at some point, and at what points they did that, and what triggered that move.

A different study conducted by the Art & Science group surveyed a national sample of students who had seriously considered attending a four-year institution and comparing those who ended up choosing to go with those who chose not to. These details are important – they surveyed students who had given some serious thought to going, not only to college but specifically to a four-year school.

It turns out that among those students who ultimately decided not to go to a four-year college, most were still planning on getting a higher education, just not a four-year institution or not immediately.

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