There was a time when thoughts of college didn’t have to begin until high school. Those days are over, particularly for many students who will be the first in their families to attend college. The national GEAR UP week is being implemented in Bibb County middle schools through a federal grant to make students start thinking about college now, not later. As New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman explained in a recent column, the days of telling children to “Work hard and play by the rules,” to attain the American dream, are over. Not that working hard has fallen out of fashion. On the contrary, Friedman expands it, saying students today have to “Work harder, regularly reinvent yourself, obtain at least some form of postsecondary education, make sure that you’re engaged in lifelong learning and play by the rules.”
The best time to prepare oneself for taking steps toward that goal is in middle school. And GEAR UP helps students begin thinking about what their futures might be rather than being trapped by present realities.
-- The Editorial Board