Phi Beta Cons

Re: A Gutted Report

Anne is absolutely right. The report as it now reads is like settling for a bunt single where we might have hit a home run.
The trouble with American higher ed is not “access” or the want to innovative teaching methods or insufficient attention to math and science.
The big problem is that huge numbers of kids go to college for four or five or six years to enjoy the beer-and-circus atmosphere (to borrow the title of Murray Sperber’s book) and then graduate with little or no gain in knowledge and skills compared to when they entered.
Then, usually burdened by debt, they end up doing the same kinds of jobs that any typical high school student could easily learn to do.
Our low and declining academic standards should have been a centerpiece of the report, but it’s hardly even a bit of garnish.

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

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