Need for the Yes We Must Coalition
During the past 3 years, a national spotlight has been focused on higher education for very good reasons. We can no longer claim the best educated population in the world. We are investing far fewer public resources in higher education now than we did in the past and college tuitions are increasing at a rate that is out of reach for most Americans. While it is statistically true that having a college education leads to numerous positive life outcomes, including increased earnings, better health and more satisfaction with life, questions are being raised about the actual learning that results from the 4 to 6 years it takes to obtain the credential. Moreover, as income inequality among Americans has widened dramatically in the past 30 years, the correlation between the income level of one’s birth family and educational level achieved flies in the face of the American dream and the American need for a more open system of attainment. It is time for colleges and their faculties and administrations to look beyond their individual campuses and act boldly to clarify these questions and create new measurements, practices, systems and structures that can better serve the needs of our country and our global community. It is a time for new thinking about taken-for-granted- assumptions about the academy. It is time for new voices to be heard.