by Paul Schmitz, Special to CNN
Editor's note: Paul Schmitz is the author of "Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up" and CEO of Public Allies, a nonprofit that advances new leadership to strengthen communities and encourage civic participation.
(CNN) - A college degree can be an important gateway to employment, a career and a better standard of living. But a college degree does not equate to someone's level of intelligence or talent. For those seeking the best workers or leaders, there is a plethora of intelligent, inventive people without degrees who should not be overlooked.
Recognizing this does not negate the importance of a college education - the intellectual knowledge, access to a wide array of subjects and experience gained on a college campus can be transformative. Studies demonstrate clearly that without a college degree, you will likely earn less, be more liable to be unemployed and have fewer opportunities for career advancement.
The challenge is that access to college has become more limited. At a time when degrees are so important to income potential, they are going increasingly to privileged and affluent young people. As the 2010 book "Rewarding Strivers" points out, among those who scored in the highest quartile of a national standardized test, those from affluent families were twice as likely to attend college as those from poorer families.Read the full story
Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:
Courant.com: Nearly One In Five High School Students Does Not Graduate In Four Years
Nearly 82% of Connecticut's high school seniors graduated on time last year. About one in five seniors takes longer than four years to graduate, or does not graduate at all, and the numbers are worse for students who are Hispanic, black, poor, in special education or learning English.
TBO.com: 4-day school week is his assignment
A Tampa Bay area school board member is researching a four-day school week as a way to tackle his district's $54 million revenue shortfall.
SFGate: South San Francisco school teaches parents to get involved
A pilot program at a South San Francisco elementary school educates parents on how to get involved at school. Research supports the importance of parental involvement in children's success, and the school's principal says she has already noticed a difference.
USNews.com: Top 10 New Year's Resolutions for Scholarship Seekers
The Scholarship Coach provides a few tips for grabbing scholarships that could help pay for college.
CNN's Brooke Baldwin talks to Lisa Snell, Director of Education and Child Welfare at the Reason Foundation, about the tracking of children by the U.S. Department of Education.