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Should Everybody Go To College?

Should everybody go to college? A new report questions some basic assumptions about the best path for American kids.

Students walk through the UMass Amherst campus. (Andrew Phelps/WBUR)

Students walk through the UMass Amherst campus. (Andrew Phelps/WBUR)

Libya’s ablaze. The Arab world’s in revolt. Wisconsin’s in turmoil. Unemployment’s still sky-high. The world, the future, looks so up for grabs.

Meanwhile, a new, young generation of Americans is trying to figure out what to do with their lives — where to aim their careers. The big strong message to high school students has been “go to college.”

But is that really the answer? Should everybody go? A new report says no. It says we need to develop much stronger, prouder paths in vocational education.

This hour On Point: Questioning “college for all” calling for something new.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Robert Schwartz, leader of the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Pathways to Prosperity Project, which has released a new report on American education strategy.  He’s also academic dean and professor of practice of educational policy and administration at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Matthew Crawford, author of “Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work.” He’s a research fellow at the University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture.

Paul Harrington, labor economist and director of Drexel University’s new Center for Labor Markets and Policy.

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Feb 27, 2015
Federal Communication Commission (FCC) ChairmanTom Wheeler, center, joins hands with FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn, left, and Jessica Rosenworcel, before the start of their open hearing in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015.  (AP)

A US-Israel rift. A win for net neutrality. “American Sniper” verdict. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Feb 27, 2015
This image released courtesy of the Lead Belly Estate shows folk and blues musician Huddie William Ledbetter, better known as Lead Belly. Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter never had a hit record before he died of Lou Gehrig's disease in 1949. (AP)

Going back to Lead Belly. The blues legend is back. His influences, as big as ever.

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Humanist chaplain Bart Campolo, center, a former Evangelical Christian youth minister, and his wife, Marty, right, mingle with students as they wait for the start of a forum at the University of Southern California, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP)

More Americans are turning away from religion. We’ll look at how to live a moral life without it.

 
Feb 26, 2015
This Feb. 20, 2015 photo shows an arrangement of peanuts in New York. (AP)

New breakthroughs on peanut allergies – treatment and prevention. And a question: are we too clean for our own good? Plus: did giant gerbils from Asia really bring the bubonic plague to Europe?

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Two Congressmen Weigh In On DHS Funding
Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland present their views on the ongoing Congressional budget fight over Department of Homeland Security funding. (Spoiler: They do not agree on a resolution of the crisis).

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Our Week In The Web: February
Friday, Feb 20, 2015

We explain what happened with the old podcast feed this week and last, share some other Oscar categories and reminisce about the golden days of Double Rainbows and Honey Badgers who just don’t care.

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The 87th Academy Awards, As Heard On On Point
Thursday, Feb 19, 2015

Want the inside scoop on who will win big on Sunday’s 87th Academy Awards? (Look elsewhere, sorry). But we’ve got great shows on some of the year’s best movies, all right here.

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