Is the ivory tower basement still college?

With a lot of focus on college preparation and readiness as early as middle school (including the charter on whose board I serve), it’s disquieting, but probably important, to read another view.  Here is a piercing article from The Atlantic on the “destructive myth” that higher education is for everyone, written by someone who sees the other side all too often:

Some of the failing grades I issue gnaw at me more than others. In my ears rang her plaintive words, so emblematic of the tough spot in which we both now found ourselves. Ms. L. had done everything that American culture asked of her. She had gone back to school to better herself, and she expected to be rewarded for it, not slapped down. She had failed not, as some students do, by being absent too often or by blowing off assignments. She simply was not qualified for college.

This, on top of the recent news on college remediation rates from Colorado high schools, where 30% are unprepared for college work, should not be passed over too quickly.  Like so much else, the act itself of attending college — without quality preparation – is the veneer of success masking eventual failure.

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