Thomas Lindsay At The National Review: ‘How Universities Devalued Higher Education’

Full piece here.

Our author suggested that the Texas legislature enact a bill to include median grades for each class taken, in addition to each students’ grades for that class.  There was much resistance. Dartmouth implemented such a program on their own a while back.

‘As one recent graduate told me yesterday after reading the PolitiFact piece, “I’m angry. My parents and I spent a lot of real money, in exchange for monopoly-money grades.”

Of course, we all have a stake in broadening minds, aligning risk with reward, challenging the young (not excessively flattering them), and getting smart people where they need to be.

That said, perhaps using political means is fighting fire with fire, as our politics seems to be burdened with many of the same ‘inflated’ problems as higher ed, which I might call the end of the ‘greatness model.’  Ever more inclusion in the egalitarian spirit until everyone’s looking for greatness at every turn.  We’ve inflated our institutions in some cases beyond capacity, and now they’re slowly deflating and the blame begins.

In the case of education, it’s often been overtaken by excessive egalitarians, administrators, and it’s given students mixed signals, and many enter colleges with diminished skills, driven harder to compete for rewards.

Here’s Harvey Mansfield speaking with Peter Robinson a while back about Mansfield’s two-track grading system:  the public grade his students receive which keeps up with inflation, and the private grade he thinks they deserve:


If many colleges and universities do successfully make these ‘course corrections,’ they will still likely have to navigate the waters of technological dislocation, the student-loan bubble, and the large psychological buy-in in many of our minds that a college career is the only way to get ahead (which may be evaporating shortly as this recession drags on).

It’s going to be a tougher road for smaller and less prestigious schools, and for all of us, especially those with fewer resources.

Related On This Site:  Repost: Mark Cuban From His Blog: ‘The Coming Meltdown in College Education & Why The Economy Won’t Get Better Any Time Soon’…From The New Criterion: ‘Higher Ed: An Obituary’,,,Ron Unz At The American Conservative: ‘The Myth Of American Meritocracy’

Analagous to old media? What to change and what to keepFrom The Arnoldian Project: ‘Architecture, Campus, And Learning To Become’

Should you get a college degree, probably, but you also probably shouldn’t lose sight of why you’re going and divorce yourself entirely from the cost:  Gene Expression On Charles Murray: Does College Really Pay Off?…Charles Murray In The New Criterion: The Age Of Educational Romanticism

A deeper look at what education “ought” to be:  A lot like it is now?: A Review Of Martha Nussbaum’s ‘Cultivating Humanity: A Classical Defense of Reform in Liberal Education.’

Allan Bloom thought about some of this in The Closing Of The American Mind, at least with regard to what he saw as a true liberal arts education: Update And Repost: ‘A Few Thoughts On Allan Bloom–The Nietzsche / Strauss Connection’

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