OREGONLIVE: Tom Hanks backs President Obama’s community college plan, but the proposal leads to some unexpected opinions

Career College Central Summary:

  • Tom Hanks went to a community college in the 1970s. In a New York Times opinion piece on Wednesday, he says that the school — Chabot College in Hayward, Calif. — "made me what I am today."
  • "Classes I took at Chabot have rippled through my professional pond," the Oscar-winning actor writes. "I produced the HBO mini-series 'John Adams' with an outline format I learned from a pipe-smoking historian, James Coovelis, whose lectures were riveting. Mary Lou Fitzgerald's Studies in Shakespeare taught me how the five-act structures of 'Richard III,' 'The Tempest' and 'Othello' focused their themes."
  • Hanks, a longtime supporter of Democratic causes, is telling us this because he wants Congress — and the American public — to get behind President Obama's proposal to make two years of community college free for some nine million Americans. The estimated cost of the plan is $60 billion. "High school graduates without the finances for a higher education can postpone taking on big loans and maybe luck into the class that will redefine their life's work," he writes. "Many lives will be changed."
  • No doubt many lives will be changed if the president's idea becomes a reality. But that doesn't necessarily mean the proposal as it presently stands is good policy. The debate about the plan has been vigorous since the president announced it, and the opinions haven't fallen cleanly along partisan lines.

Click through to read the full article.


PHOTO CREDIT: Featureflash / Shutterstock.com

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