Phi Beta Cons

Re: A Sharp Comment on the ‘Graduation Rate’ Fetish

I agree with George, this is a very pointed piece.  The paragraph following the one that he cited is also a head-nodder:

I want to sing the praise of education. I like talking about ideas. I think study is good. But I just know too many rudderless people with plenty of fancy degrees and big expectations that the world will some how pay them more because they read all of Jane Austen. Maybe the University of Phoenix should wear the 9% graduation rate like a badge of honor. Maybe they should be blunt and say, “We didn’t string you along for four years with false promises and plenty of extra debt.”

The elephant in the room of the graduation-rate discussion is that there are students who do not possess the ability or motivation to complete true higher education — and there is nothing wrong with saying that. More than once, I have heard faculty stating versions of “if I graded the way I want, I’d fail 75 percent of my class.” 

Graduation rates are like entitlements — on paper, the decision to increase or decrease them seems straightforward; in practice, because of the stakeholders involved, they are easier to increase than to decrease. 

There may be no turning back on inflated college degrees, but that does not mean that a better credential cannot take its place. But what is that credential?

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