Phi Beta Cons

The Lowering of Academic Standards

Writing on Minding the Campus, University of South Carolina sociology professor Mathieu Deflem observes that the push to constantly expand “access” to higher education has had the effect of pressuring faculty members to lower their standards.

Exactly. Colleges and universities enroll more and more students who have scant academic abilities and often negligible interest in anything except having fun on campus. But holding those students to rigorous standards would be “insensitive” and (more important) cost schools revenue if they drop out. Thus does college become the new middle school.

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

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