Should universal post-secondary education be our goal? There is good evidence that the answer is no.
Our goal should be to create an economy substantially independent of the burning of fossil fuels.
It is not clear that a college education per se supports higher productivity. Rather college completion is an indicator of industry and ability (as well as childhood financial advantage).
The direct evidence about what employers are actually looking for in new hires in “good” jobs is mixed and suggests that personal virtues are more important than particular skills.
There is little to suggest that high school mathematics content is directly relevant to most jobs.
It is hardly clear that our economy is capable of offering everyone the opportunity to realize their full potential, but we at least want to get kids to the starting gate of adult working life with an education that maximizes their early potential.