We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Students learn the new orthodoxy quickly. Fearing classroom humiliation, they keep any reservations to themselves, instead regurgitating on their exams their force-fed lessons. As a result, they learn little. The landmark national study, Academically Adrift, finds 36 percent of students show little to no increase in fundamental academic skills—critical thinking, complex reasoning, and clear writing—after four years in college. Their natural desire to know gives way to repeating whatever is required for a good grade.
And what good grades they get! Under the new student-teacher compact, professors award more A’s than ever in exchange for students’ acquiescence in the transformation of classrooms into ideological training camps. Fifty years ago, 15 percent of all college grades given were A’s. Today, an A is the most common grade (43 percent), despite the fact that, during the same period, average student study-time has fallen from 24 to 14 hours a week.
Come on, we all know that nowadays it's just a credential for most college attendees except for the special ones for whom it is a wonderful opportunity for intellectual adventures. The business needs to please the consumers. "The customer is always right."
Sad to say, an Ivy "A" means nothing today and everybody knows it.That's why so many firms these days avoid hiring Ivy grads. Too arrogant and entitled for today's world, often. I am happy to report that they still like Dartmouth kids, though.
These are the questions most students want answered (for any class): how will I be graded? what information will I be tested on and in what format? Do I have to show up for lecture? Is there extra credit? 80% of questions in class, by e-mail or through an office visit (and now, also via some sort of parent contact) throughout the semester will be a variant of these questions. My experience as a teacher was that the only students who did not ask these questions were the ones who were home schooled.
" And what good grades they get! Under the new student-teacher compact, professors award more A’s than ever in exchange for students’ acquiescence in the transformation of classrooms into ideological training camps. Fifty years ago, 15 percent of all college grades given were A’s. Today, an A is the most common grade (43 percent), despite the fact that, during the same period, average student study-time has fallen from 24 to 14 hours a week."
They have learned the lesson they were taught, but nothing about the subjects of the various courses they took. the leftists are destroying their preferred institutions. Woe will be upon them.
And then there's the slush fund of excess tuition at UW Madison.
Haven't yet read Ann Althouse...
I can buy that...about 36% of my classes get D's and F's because of that pesky bell curve that the socialists fail to understand. And, yes I'm a tenured professor at a state university, and yes, I'm a constitutional conservative. These students fail because they don't come to class, they are stoned, they are texting, they are working on their Facebook page, or they are completely over medicated.
And, no...I'm under no pressure from administrators to reduce the Darwinian pressure here.
My latest exasperating experience with a student, who when the class was asked in the next-to-last session of the semester if there were any questions about the final replied: "I really haven't understood any of your questions [multiple choice and true false exams in a 100 level course, with two 4-page papers] on the tests. Will they be different on the final?"
I actually gave her a bit of an explanation, but I wanted to say, "First, why did you wait until now to ask for help? Second, may I see you notes to see if you have taken to see if you're writing down the important items [knowing full well she had taken no notes at all]? Third, it probably hasn't helped that you haven't gotten to class on time the whole semester. Fourth, you have spent the entire time you're in class on your smart phone, so how could you possibly expect to know what I am asking? And finally, you have apparently availed yourself of none of the help that I and the university have offered, so why don't you quit school before running up a huge debt? You'll probably like welfare."
Alas, I can't retire for a few more years. My classes average around 10% A grades, and I don't have tenure and I don't care. So far [13 years] no one in the dept, nor the college nor the university admin has complained.
You did a lot. Long ago, in a class far far away from what is called university today, a woman in my intro engineering class asked why the problems on the test weren't like the homework. The instructor was also exasperated but gave a short, to the point answer, "Because I want you to think."
Sad to say, an Ivy "A" means nothing today and everybody knows it.That's why so many firms these days avoid hiring Ivy grads. Too arrogant and entitled for today's world, often.
When I was an undergrad, the scuttlebutt comparing state schools to the Ivys was that while it was easy to get into state schools but difficult to get into the Ivys, things changed once inside the institutions. Once in the Ivys, at least outside of STEM courses, it didn't take a lot of work to stay in - if you chose you could coast by. By contrast, at a state school, if you didn't work, you were flunked out.