D.C. students would be required to apply to college or trade school and take the SAT or ACT under the most sweeping education legislation passed by the D.C. Council since a 2007 law set the stage for former Chancellor Michelle Rhee’s aggressive reforms.
Under the Raising the Expectations for Education Outcomes Omnibus Act of 2012, the District is set to become the first “state” in the nation to require students to apply to a postsecondary institution, according to council staff.
If college is going to mean anything, it must have standards, preferably in realm of intelligence and academic accomplishment. This implies that some people won’t live up to the standards. If everyone could live up to the standards, then either the standards are too low or everyone is an ubermensch. In the case of the former, the standards are irrelevant; in the case of the latter, the standards are irrelevant.
Anyhow, what’s interesting is how little thought DC officials have apparently put into this program. Consider: either every student in DC has the potential to go to college or they do not. Since DC is not Lake Woebegone, it stands to reason that either collegiate standards have devolved into a flaming pile of crap or not every student has the potential to go to college. Given the sheer amount of federal money in postsecondary education (not to mention state money besides), and seeing the corresponding increases in college enrollment as a result, it seems likely that collegiate standards are becoming more meaningless.
At any rate, this continued emphasis on going to college simply indicates that college is becoming worthless, in terms of educational value and in terms of labor market value. After all, if everyone can presumably clear the bar, how high can it really be?