“Diploma Disaster?” is the title of an essay by Selwyn Duke at The New American. As low as my opinion is of the Proggressive_Multi-Cultural_Politcally Correct system of education that our country has suffered for the last four or five decades, Duke’s article was an eye opener for me.
As the Center for College Affordability and Productivity (CCAP) tells us in “From Wall Street to Wal-Mart: Why College Graduates Are Not Getting Good Jobs,”
Colleges and universities are turning out graduates faster than America’s labor markets are creating jobs that traditionally have been reserved for those with degrees. More than one-third of current working graduates are in jobs that do not require a degree, and the proportion appears to be rising rapidly. Many of them are better described as “underemployed” rather than “gainfully employed.” Indeed, 60 percent of the increased college graduate population between 1992 and 2008 ended up in these lower skill jobs, raising real questions about the desirability of pushing to increase the proportion of Americans attending and graduating from four-year colleges and universities. This, along with other evidence on the negative relationship between government higher education spending and economic growth, suggests we may have significantly “over invested” public funds in colleges and universities.
Okay. None of that is news to any of you. We’ve been hearing for years now that college graduates are finding themselves deeply in debt an unable to find suitable jobs. I read the other day there is now a record number of young adults living with their parents. When I first came to Venezuela in the early 90’s, I was taken back by how many young professionals were married and raising a family in the homes of their parents. The point I want to make is that young adults having live with their parents is something one might expect to see in a third world country __ not in America!
But, here is a quote from the Duke article that caught my attention:
This is especially relevant since it has been said that today’s college degree is the educational equivalent of only a 1947 high-school diploma, although with studies evidencing the ignorance of college graduates, rating it even that highly is questionable. The point is, however, that employers can no longer view a college degree as a guarantor of basic knowledge. As Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa write in their 2011 book Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses:
Growing numbers of students are sent to college at increasingly higher costs, but for a large proportion of them the gains in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and written communication are either exceedingly small or empirically nonexistent. At least 45 percent of students in our sample [of the study they conducted] did not demonstrate any statistically significant improvement in Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA) performance during the first two years of college. (Further study has indicated that 36 percent of students did not show any significant improvement over four years.) While these students may have developed subject-specific skills that were not tested for by the CLA, in terms of general analytical competencies assessed, large numbers of U.S. college students can be accurately described as academically adrift. They might graduate, but they are failing to develop the higher-order cognitive skills that it is widely assumed college students should master.
Wow! So, what does that say about our K-12 public education system that our governments keep throwing more and more money at with each succeeding year? Maybe the statement that a college degree today is equivalent to a 1947 highschool degree isn’t scientifically accurate. I don’t known. But, we do know that education today is not what it use to be and that is especially true in the big urban centers. it use to be that K-12 education was to prepare the young to function in an adult world. Now college graduates can’t function in an adult world. Is this what the “Progressives” who control our education system call progress?
With all due respect to the teaching profession, I am sick and tired of hearing how you are the “professionals” and you know what is best for our children. It is painfully obvious that you DO NOT know what is best for our children! That is why Home Schooling is growing so fast. But, home schooling is not for everyone. Some people are not equipped to teach their children and others can’t because they are working a full-time job. I am not convinced that educating children is all that complicated. The one-room school-house of my parents time did a pretty good job educating children. (I know that there are a lot good capable teachers out there. But, the system or the politics of the system make it very difficult for them to teach the way they know how to teach.)
I am reminded of Dr. Ben Carson, who broke onto the national scene at the President’s annual Prayer Breakfast. He told us about how he and his older brother grew up poor. They were raised by a single illiterate mother who worked cleaning the houses of rich people. But, Mrs. Carson was a remarkable woman. She noticed while working in the homes of the rich that their children often spent time reading and so she decided that her boys would read, too. She came home from work one day and told Ben and his brother that from that day on they would have to read one book per week and write a book report and turn it in to her. (The boys didn’t know that their mother couldn’t read or write.) Ben and his brother were not good students, at the time. They were not doing well in school. And, they were not a bit happy about being forced to read a book per week by their mother. No doubt Mrs. Carson did not give them a choice. In time, Ben and his brother began to enjoy reading books. For the first time they were learning about the world out of their city block. And, because of their reading, they became interested in learning other things and this showed up in their improvised grades at school. By this simple act of an illiterate mother, Ben’s brother grew up to be an Aerospace Engineer and Ben would become a world renowned Neurosurgeon at the John Hopkins Children’s Hospital. Ben Carson and his brother escaped the vicious circle of poverty because their mother insisted they read. It wasn’t other world stuff, was it? All it took was a parent who sincerely wanted her sons to get a real education.
I would recommend four things to America’s parents if they are serious about helping children to be ready to function in an adult world.
- Use your votes to get the federal government out of our education system. Education should be the purview of the local community.
- Do away with compulsory education laws. An education should be a privilege; not a sentence handed down by our governments.
- Discipline bad behavior at home and at school. Five days a week, the schools have your children as much as you do. Discipline in the schools should complement what parents expect of their children at home.
- Insist that your schools concentrate on the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. It worked in the one-room school-house and it will work today.
I stand by the title of today’s post. America’s education system deserves a grade of “F”.
Well, that’s what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts.