Published on Bostinno.com
January 13, 2013
By Frank Britt
The idea that every person should have access to affordable education isn’t new—Thomas Jefferson proclaimed it essential to any democratic nation. In 1789, Massachusetts served an important historical role in requiring government provide school for all. Education, however, remained mostly private and inaccessible for the masses due to 18th and 19th century views of the public as “barbaric.”
Fast-forward to the present, knowledge-based global economy, linking learning and earning, and consider how much progress has been made in more than 215 years. The scorecard is mixed on providing affordable access to higher education, including vocational training, certificates, associate and bachelor degrees. Today, more than 75 million adults have an associate degree or less, with many struggling to earn a fair wage. Despite Jefferson’s ideals, higher education remains disproportionally accessible only to the affluent.