According to an email sent to me by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, “Massachusetts becomes first state with majority college educated workforce”. The email brags about the fact that “Massachusetts and New Jersey have the two best-educated workforces and the two highest median wage levels in the United States. Nationwide. It also reports that “Expanding educational opportunity can help a lot of young people and strengthen our economy, but it won’t by itself ensure that economic growth leads to rising wages for working people.” It ends with the statement that “By 2016, the median wage for Massachusetts workers with a college degree was twice that of workers with no more than a high school diploma.” (emphasis mine) .
In the boilerplate section of the email, it reads: The Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center (MassBudget) produces policy research, analysis, and data-driven recommendations focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income children and adults, strengthening our state’s economy, and enhancing the quality of life in Massachusetts.
I am puzzled.
If Mass Budget is focused on improving the lives of low- and middle-income adults – why all the emphasis on a college degree? Is the message here that we need to reach a population where 100% of the population is college educated? Is this how we get to a commonwealth where grocery clerks, hotel housekeepers, department store cashiers, car maintenance techs, restaurant dishwashers and so many members of our working class will live a better life because there is a college diploma (and the associated debt) hanging on their wall?