Phi Beta Cons

Could the CLA Undo the Damage of Griggs?

Richard Vedder, writing on Minding the Campus, looks at the Collegiate Learning Assessment and concludes that it could be a good substitute for the college degree as evidence of skills and trainability. He also observes that it was a decision by the Supreme Court, Griggs v. Duke Power (1971) that began the move by employers toward using college credentials to screen job applicants by ruling out anyone who had not managed to earn a degree of some sort. Back in the 70s, having graduated from college was a fairly good proxy for skills and trainability, but has become less and less so as we have processed a larger swath of high-school kids through college. Given the widespread disappointment with the capabilities of college grads, CLA results could quickly become the new B.A.

George Leef — George Leef is the director of research for the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy.

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