IBJOpinion

Educational quantity sacrifices quality

April 24, 2010
Keywords
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
IBJ Letters To The Editor

Morton Marcus is right to question postsecondary completion rates as the litmus test for evidence of learning (in the March 29 issue). While most college graduates today couldn’t tell you why it is called a bachelor’s degree, they do know it’s a credential that earns on average 30-percent more than a high school diploma. In our rush toward quantity in the production of college degrees, we do seem to be sacrificing quality.

The Pew Charitable Trusts funded a study a few years ago that revealed some disturbing trends (www.air.org/news/documents/Release200601pew.htm). Sampling nearly 2,000 college graduates randomly selected across 80 public and private colleges and universities, the study found that more than 75 percent of students at two-year colleges and over 50 percent of students at four-year colleges were not proficient in basic literacy, meaning they lacked the skills to perform such tasks as “comparing credit card offers with different interest rates or summarizing the arguments of newspaper editorials.”

Moreover, only 30 percent of students in two-year institutions and nearly 20 percent of students in four-year institutions possessed the basic math skills needed to compare prices or calculate costs from a menu.

This ought to scare even the most optimistic dean of students when passing out the vellum at commencement. And, in case you were wondering, the word bachelor comes to us from the Old French and Middle Latin, baccalarius, meaning tenant farmer, squire or advanced student. Thus the bachelor’s degree was only a step on the way to becoming a fully qualified master. Give me a bricklayer who can set a plumb line.

____________

Thomas A. Orr
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. How can any company that has the cash and other assets be allowed to simply foreclose and not pay the debt? Simon, pay the debt and sell the property yourself. Don't just stiff the bank with the loan and require them to find a buyer.

  2. If you only knew....

  3. The proposal is structured in such a way that a private company (who has competitors in the marketplace) has struck a deal to get "financing" through utility ratepayers via IPL. Competitors to BlueIndy are at disadvantage now. The story isn't "how green can we be" but how creative "financing" through captive ratepayers benefits a company whose proposal should sink or float in the competitive marketplace without customer funding. If it was a great idea there would be financing available. IBJ needs to be doing a story on the utility ratemaking piece of this (which is pretty complicated) but instead it suggests that folks are whining about paying for being green.

  4. The facts contained in your post make your position so much more credible than those based on sheer emotion. Thanks for enlightening us.

  5. Please consider a couple of economic realities: First, retail is more consolidated now than it was when malls like this were built. There used to be many department stores. Now, in essence, there is one--Macy's. Right off, you've eliminated the need for multiple anchor stores in malls. And in-line retailers have consolidated or folded or have stopped building new stores because so much of their business is now online. The Limited, for example, Next, malls are closing all over the country, even some of the former gems are now derelict.Times change. And finally, as the income level of any particular area declines, so do the retail offerings. Sad, but true.

ADVERTISEMENT