Dumbing Down Princeton

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More than 3,000 Princeton University students have signed a petition demanding that the school do away with standard grading and replace it with “Pass/Fail” (https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=14557).

Why? Tut-tut–that you should even ask! Why, getting rid of A,B,C,D, F would naturally “alleviate stress”! Who needs the stress of getting good grades? And as an added bonus, there’ll be “academy equity”!

Why not just hand out diplomas to anyone who wants one? That would really alleviate stress.

The campaign for pass/fail is being led by the editorial board, 11 students, of The Daily Princetonian. They want the new system to start next semester, if not sooner.

Well, heck, what do you want for $54,000 a year tuition? (“Play-Doh! We want Play-Doh!”)

Just a thought: If colleges stay shut down, due to the Wuhan virus scare, for any considerable time… what’s going to happen when we learn how easily we can live without them? I mean, really–“Hire me, I passed college!” Heaven know what you’ll have to do to fail–eat Tide pods? Die?

Our country’s “higher education” system is the biggest unfunny joke on the planet.

11 comments on “Dumbing Down Princeton

  1. Eating Tide pods might might not cause a student to fail if he called it Performance Art.

    A couple of colleges tried the pass/fail thing in the Stupid Sixties, but they had to go back to regular grades when the better students — who as alumni afterward became the better donors — complained.

    1. I was a newspaper editor when Livingston College (part of Rutgers U.) went to pass/fail; in fact, they were already playing with it while I was a student. I wrote a column suggesting that they’d just made a Livingston degree practically worthless.

      In just a day or two the dean showed up at our editorial office, fit to be tied. His mood didn’t get any better when I suggested that maybe tuition ought to be paid with Monopoly money.

      But now it’s an idea whose time has come! It only remains to hand out automatic diplomas and degrees to anyone who wants one.

  2. Who would pay $54,000 for the 50-50 possibility of a fail? Would a FAIL be followed by a BECAUSE? If not, it will be dangerous not knowing on what a professor based his opinion. Perhaps more rich people will be donating more money and the more things change, the more they stay the same.

    1. What would be more likely to happen would be that almost everyone would get a pass, since “pass” would cover everything from an A+ to a D-. And few professors would want to take a chance on failing a student under those conditions, unless the student had simply not shown up all semester or had handed in blank exams, or something else quantifiable. So everyone would pass — which was the whole idea, really, like “free tuition, free everything” — and no one would know whether a student had excelled or barely scraped through.

    2. YES! “…almost everyone would get a pass” – continuation of the dumbing down. This is so much worse than my initial reaction. Thanks.

  3. BA degrees today are like high school diplomas in the 60s. To be able to teach at the university in our city you have to have a Masters degree. Give it time and the Maters degree will be worthless. Most people don’t go into their field of study as a career anyway, so would have been better off in an apprentice program where they could be making money instead of running up tuition debt. Bill Bennett said foreign exchange students who go back to their home country have been taught that America is a bad place. Thanks a lot colleges and universities – NOT!

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