Friday Roundup: Housing policy and social mobility, student debt at community colleges, new performance measures in California schools, education attainment in labor force

There are always a few items we’ve read during a week that deserve more attention but don’t make it into our regular posts. So we bundle them for the Friday roundup.

Here’s this week’s bundle:

The American Interest: A Tax on Social Mobility

Unlike many other public policy areas, our failed housing policy doesn’t reflect what we have called the “drought of ideas.” It represents the triumph of bad ideas over good ones. Politicians in both parties need to urgently address the overregulation of home building to sustain the health of our economy and the promise of upward mobility in America.

The Lens: There’s Affordable Housing for the Few, But Not for the Many, in Greater Seattle

Seattle and Central Puget Sound are beset by a growing housing affordability crisis manifest in ever-rising prices and an ever-tighter supply. It is most acute in Seattle-King County and neighboring Snohomish County, to the north.

The more restricted the supply, the greater the upward pressure on prices.

Stateline: The Student Debt Crisis at State Community Colleges 

But while plenty of community college students graduate with a degree that leads to a better job, or to a four-year college, many community college students drop out. And a growing number of students are taking on debt they cannot repay. 

Los Angeles Times: California’s schools will soon be on the hook for things like suspensions, attendance and graduation rates.

California’s schools are going to have to answer for more than just test scores, by the year after next. The state may also judge them on suspension rates, graduation rates, attendance and the rate at which students who are still learning English are becoming proficient.

Those are the measures the California State Board of Education voted on Wednesday to include in its new school ratings system. The vote came after more than 100 members of the public spoke about what they think a good school looks like.

Calculated Risk: Trends in Educational Attainment in the U.S. Labor Force

Currently, approximately 53 million people in the U.S. labor force have a Bachelor’s degree or higher.  This is 39% of the labor force, up from 26% in 1992. This is the only category trending up.  “Some college” has been steady, and “high school” and “less than high school” have been trending down.

Based on currently trends, probably more than half the labor force will have at least a bachelor’s degree within two decades.