Our Colleges: Dumbing It Down

It’s so hard to learn from morons!

Motivated by a weird belief that everybody–everybody!–ought to go to college, America’s colleges and universities continue to dumb down the curriculum.

Like, dropping math requirements, says a honcho at Michigan State, will result in “more successful graduation outcomes” (https://dailycaller.com/2019/12/03/detroit-valedictorian-math-msu/). The kids won’t learn anything, but the colleges will look better.

The Daily Caller has reported on the plight of a high school valedictorian from Detroit now “struggling with low-level math” at Michigan State. In high school she got all A’s. Now she’s up against it, academically.

Meanwhile, the California State University system may do away with the SAT and ACT tests as admissions requirements–because those tests, they say, promote “inequity in student populations.” Honk if you can figure out what that means.

Michigan State dropped algebra in 2016, while Wayne State went them one better by dropping general math altogether.

And another wizard of education has proclaimed that requiring right answers, and expecting students to do their assigned homework, is–you guessed it!–“prejudiced.”

But look, there’s a very simple solution to this problem.

Let every high school student who wants to go to college send his chosen college a check for the tuition. When the check clears, the student is automatically accepted; and when the next mail comes, voila!–a college degree. This will save an immense amount of time and space, not to mention the frustration of flunking out.

Of course you’ll still be able to go to a university, if you’ve been looking forward to parties, game day, sex with people you hardly know, etc. To accommodate these students, it will probably be necessary to drop all academic requirements, the whole batch of ’em, just collect tuition and fees for four or five years, and then hand out the diplomas: everybody gets one, so that’ll be that for “inequity.” With a graduation rate of 100%, college administrators can hold up their heads in pride.

That’s where we’re obviously headed, whether the colleges adopt this plan or not. The only question is how long it will take to get there.

10 comments on “Our Colleges: Dumbing It Down

  1. Yeah, math is a problem for the globalists. They don’t want us knowing where our electronic money went as they control its demolition. 911.

  2. This is all so depressing for me. When I first started teaching (my third career!), it was all so intellectually exciting, both in undergraduate and graduate courses. The students, although some weren’t well prepared, were almost all bright, eager to learn, polite (!!!), excited about the material, and grateful for the opportunity to learn. Best of all, they let me love them. I was known as one of the hardest graders in the department, and yet most of their end-of-course evaluations thanked me for being tough on them. And many of them came back to see me or dropped me notes after they graduated, to tell me about things they’d done or seen or read that reminded them of things we’d studied in our classes. It was wonderful. It was grueling. It was worth every 60-hour work week that I put in.

    And then something happened. More and more “studies” courses in the department, fewer and fewer real courses, lazier and ruder students with the attitude that they were owed good grades for showing up…. At first I thought I was losing my touch, but then I heard from other faculty in other departments — even the hard sciences and honors courses — that they were seeing the same things happening. And that’s when I decided it was time to retire, several years before I’d planned to do so. As the HR person said when I told him why I was starting the retirement process, my “day [had] come and gone.”

    I still get the listserv emails from my old department, and I glance at the web site now and then … and I almost weep for what’s happened to my discipline. I retired just in time (2009). I wouldn’t be able to teach there at all any more. I might even be physically assaulted.

    So I wish I could laugh at the academic moronic developments, but it’s still too painful. I really loved my students. I loved teaching and research. And it’s all gone.

    Okay, you can turn off the violin music now. Sorry I got so maudlin. 🙁

  3. I’m beginning to suspect that colleges are already pretty much giving out degrees with little in the way of academic rigor, but in many cases with plenty of partying on the side. I’ve seen people with degrees in my field whom were totally incapable of the most basic understanding of networks and network security. Four years of studying this, admittedly, vast subject. And they were all but helpless in the workplace.

    There is an endpoint, and I believe it is developing quickly. When colleges dilute the value of their degrees in this manner, eventually these degrees will lose their perceived value to employers. Already, experience seems to outweigh education, in the eyes of many employers. I know that when I’ve hired people in the past, I’ve always looked at experience and never gave even a passing thought to education as a substitute for experience.

    I’ll end with one last anecdote. A few years back, I hired a technician to assist in my IT department. There were four candidates. One was well educated and had held down a very demanding position. Simply stated, we could not pay enough to retain him. Another was highly experienced, but had never made more than a paltry wage. If he had been in the industry for many years and never advanced, my suspicion was that there was a problem of some sort. It just didn’t add up. The third was just finishing a modest degree, but had zero practical experience. The fourth had experience and had worked for us as a temp. No degree, but a good, verifiable track record.

    The first two candidates were never strongly considered. I just didn’t feel that either was a good risk. The third was passed over and the fourth was hired, and has since been promoted.

    Later on, I called the third up and offered him a temporary position, which he gladly accepted. Two days before his start date he called and told me that he had no idea what to do when he actually started working. I assured him that he’d be alright and that we’d help him to get started. He was a bright fellow and willing to work, so he did quite well. After the temporary job ended, he found another position, and has bettered himself in many ways, but even with his education, he needed a bit of assistance to gain his footing in the industry. I’d like to think that we were able to help him move from a theoretical education to a practical skill.

    1. ” The college house of cards will inevitably come down.”

      What I see, already starting to happen, is they are bringing older workers into the workplace because some of these youngsters with advanced degrees are just not working out. What I’ve seen with more than a few younger workers is that they change jobs fairly quickly. It’s quite chaotic in tech because turnover can be rapid.

  4. I have no argument about math not being stressed for those whose discipline is not in the hard sciences. Algebra I should suffice for most students who hate math to begin with – why torture them with math they will never use and will forget? On another note, when I asked the Jr. High Science teacher how it was going this year, he said better but the kids still are not handing in their work. Hey, why should they, they are passed to the next grade anyway.

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