I have no desire to punish students or deprive them of opportunity. Quite the contrary. My aim is to stop pretending that high school or college students with very low basic skills have a real shot of earning a college degree — so that they might follow an alternative path that will lead to success. A college graduate will generally outearn a high school graduate, to be sure. But a worker with technical skills will outearn a high school or college dropout with no such skills. That’s the true choice facing many students.