If you’ve followed the news recently, you’ve seen a lot about community colleges — and their opportunity to close the state’s “skills gap” — the thousands of high-paying, high-quality jobs that are sitting vacant because unemployed Massachusetts residents do not have the skills to fill them.
You’ve heard about Governor Patrick’s plan to improve community colleges by giving them additional resources, a mission more focused on 21st-century workforce development, and requiring additional accountability to make sure that we are embracing the best the system has to offer and building upon those successes.
You might have also heard that this has been nothing more than a power grab, designed solely to eliminate local control, end opportunities for transfer to four-year schools and turn the community college system into nothing more than trade schools.
If anything in that last paragraph were true, we’d hate the idea, too.
Every year, more than 200,000 students, young and old, attend community colleges in Massachusetts. For them, community colleges play a critical role in their development as citizens, providers and workers.
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