Monday, January 31, 2011

When I read this on Sunday I could only shake my head. How incredibly naive...and elitist.

Don't get me wrong. I am a big proponent for people getting educated. I can sympathize with the dream of all students having the preparation and the confidence to apply and attend. Do I think that is realistic, though? No.

Who would fund all these applications? Who would pay for the remediation that would undoubtedly be needed? Who would cover the tuition? How about all the additional expenses the colleges would have if enrollment skyrocketed? HELLO.

And what about the flip side of the author's assertion (that getting an acceptance letter would boost self-esteem) about the rejection letters that would be generated? Wouldn't that make some young people feel even worse about academics?

Finally, isn't there dignity in all work and all workers? What's wrong with the trades? Most are lucrative and offer decent opportunities, even the possibility of being self-employed and owning a business. Not everyone needs (or wants) a four year liberal arts degree. In fact, I have friends and relatives who found their calling and landed in careers that were unrelated to their college degrees; in some cases higher ed was not necessary for these jobs. I'm not arguing that there are no returns to education. I know there are. And even putting aside the economic aspect, I'm sure the higher education experience benefited them, but can't people learn, and be smart, in all different ways?

If reform of high school is the subject, why bother with this simplistic (and likely expensive and ineffective) change in graduation requirements? Why not focus on curriculum or course-taking or some of the other expectations in school?

The byline says the viewpoint is the author's, not the employer's. Wow, I certainly hope so!

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