Yes, this is a play on the president’s once-successful television show, but it is really about something more important: the country’s growing recognition that college for everyone is a failed idea. Apart from the unconscionable expense involved and the failure of higher education to prepare its graduates for the jobs market, this recognition also reflects a clear fact of life: not everyone wants or needs what college has to offer. Many of those who have gone four years or more and saddled themselves unproductively with huge debts would have been better off learning a trade. So also would American business, for the economy’s most acute need these days is less for new BAs than for trained technicians, what employment economists refer to as the “semi-skilled” or “middle-skilled” worker.
In responding to this individual and economic need, the United States