If College Is The Same As High School, We Can Cut One

Georgi Boorman:

Recently I discussed how the College Board’s Advanced Placement program, pushed and sponsored by big government, fails at preparing high school students for college, much less earning them college credit that might reduce their college spending.

Well, federal legislators are at it again, this time with a bipartisan bill called the “Go to High School, Go to College Act.” It would allow Pell Grants to fund college coursework in low-income high schools. Theoretically, such courses would provide students transferable credits to college, “if and when they do attend.”

Sen. Rob Portman, a bill cosponsor, said “This, in our view, is one way not just to get kids college-bound but to keep them in high school.” Does helicopter-dropping college-track programs into poor, struggling schools sound familiar? Does it sound an awful lot like Advanced Placement (AP), but with a different source of funding? Yes. Yes, it does.

I’m not opposed to dual-credit programs or ones aimed at jump-starting college education. They can be quite useful for students who might, for instance, write at a college level but do algebra at a high-school level. I personally benefited from a Washington State program called Running Start, which allowed me to attend community college full time during my junior and senior years of high school, allowing me to graduate two years early with nearly half the debt of a traditional college attendee.