Yes, we raised our eyebrows, too.

Susan Svrluga writes at the Washington Post:

Teachers’ union: We have seen free community college succeed

President Obama’s call to make community college free was one of the most sweeping proposals in his State of the Union address. It was immediately controversial, with some alarmed by its expense, some praising its ambition, and some questioning the details. We’ll feature some arguments on both sides here on Grade Point. Here, two union advocates write that a similar program in New York has been a success.

Randi Weingarten is the head of the American Federation of Teachers. Sara Goldrick-Rab founded and directs the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, a research laboratory aimed at making higher education more affordable. She is a professor of educational policy studies and sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a member of AFT’s higher education policy council. Here’s their take:

America’s College Promise proposal must work for students and faculty alike

In the 20th century, we made high school free. We sent a generation of GIs to college. We trained a competitive workforce. These tools gave working families what they needed to climb the ladder of opportunity.

Today, our nation has changed. Our economy has changed. Technology and knowledge move at the speed of light. And working families need more tools. When two out of three jobs require some higher education, we need to aim higher and make college affordable and accessible to all.