Jill Biden says community colleges are a key U.S. export

Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden and a longtime teacher, believes community colleges could become a tool to help economic recovery in the United States and a model for developing countries debating how to improve their education systems, reports the New York Times. Mrs. Biden made the comments as she wrapped up a five-day visit to Europe, her first independent trip abroad since President Barack Obama was inaugurated in January. "Community colleges are the way of the future," she said in a telephone interview. "Now with people losing their jobs, they’re a great place to go for new training." There are almost 1,200 community colleges among the 4,100 public and private higher-education institutions in the United States, serving almost 12 million students. Mrs. Biden described the schools as one of America’s "best-kept secrets" that could be a model for other countries. They "lead the way in preparing graduates in the fields of green technology, health care, teaching, and information technology–some of the fastest-growing fields in America and the rest of the world," she said. That message resonated in a report released July 7 by the World Bank, which said countries that aspire to build "world-class universities" to drive development and compete in global rankings of the best international universities may be "chasing a myth…"

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