Phi Beta Cons

Difficulty in Transferring Credits Is a Minor Problem

In the May 10 Wall Street Journal, William Bowen had an op-ed piece arguing that difficulty in transferring course credits was a significant problem holding many students back. Today’s edition contains several letters that push back against his position. I copy in what I regard as the best of them below.

With colleges and universities competing for students who at one time would have been ignored due to their several and severe deficiencies, these institutions of higher education seek to recruit the inept and intellectually lame by increasingly and deliberately promoting entertainment married to low standards and inflated grades in place of rigorous academic standards.

Mr. Bowen’s argument here has nothing to do with stagnant educational attainment with which he claims to be concerned, but with the relatively trivial issue of bureaucratic inefficiencies that result in nontransferability of courses, a non sequitur of the first order.

Having taught college undergraduates in the behavioral sciences for 28 years, I assure Mr. Bowen that the absence of skills by students and the absence of standards by the colleges trump questions of transferability.

Wil J. Wellisch

Edgewater, Colo.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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