Someone will be given the task of workforce education every X miles, and in a post-financial-crisis world where corporations have sloughed off on-the-job training, community colleges are those someones. Community colleges have joined high schools as legatee institutions–Larry Cuban’s term for social institutions that inherit a broad range of purposes. I don’t think it is easy to undo that history.
Specialization, as one element of a larger strategy, may or may not work. But waiting for the money fairy to come back and make everything okay again just won’t. I’ll plead guilty to taking an unconventional view, but expecting the status quo to last is truly unrealistic. The Giving Tree dies in the end. We can still avoid its fate, but we’ll have to stop imitating it first.