High School and College

I agree with both George Leef’s Watered Down remarks (that the college degree has become a form of credentialling, more than a sign of real education) and Peter Wood’s Majors for Minors remarks (that rather than encouraging all students to go to college, we should concentrate on giving them a good high-school education). But as long as employers require the college degree, or at least some college credits, and these therefore do correlate with higher income, it seems the universities and colleges have assured themselves of a continuing stream of customers. Perhaps as efforts to improve lower education yield results, the high-school degree will guarantee more capability and employers will see that they do not need to require (and often pay for) expensive college credits.
For all the faults we find in Europe, Europeans are actually better at this than we are, and European high-school education, or what is equivalent there to our high-school education, does impart good skills, solid knowledge, and even career orientation. And university education there is more on the level of what university education should be, partly because they don’t try as we do to send everyone to college. (I also don’t think they bother with all the multiculturalism and separate studies areas that we have.) What started out as a well-intentioned effort to extend access to college to anyone who wanted it, had the unintended consequence of making college a practical necessity, thereby dumbing down both college and high-school curricula. (As Wood remarks, knowing that college admission is almost guaranteed meant that high schools didn’t have to work as hard to prepare students properly.)

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More