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.
And what is presented in college is increasingly irrelevant, even detrimental, to future success. But no worries, in 40 years or so, college will have adapted, if only because the money will dry up otherwise.
But, I want to go to the other end of the spectrum, which is intellectual services. It used to be, if you wave your Bachelor's degree, you're going to get a great job. When I graduated from college, it was a sure thing that you'd get a great job. And, in college, you'd basically learned artificial intelligence, meaning, you carried out the instructions that the faculty member gave you. You memorized the lectures, and you were tested on your memory in the exams. That's what a computer does. It basically memorizes what you tell it to do.
But now, with a computer doing all those mundane, repetitive intellectual tasks, if you're expecting to do well in the job market, you have to bring, you have to have real education. Real education means to solve problems that the faculty who teach don't really know how to solve.
And that takes talent as well as education.
So, my view is we've got to change education from a kind of a big Xerox machine where the lectures are memorized and then tested, into one which is more experienced-based to prepare a workforce for the reality of the 20th century. You've got to recognize that just because you had an experience with, say, issues in accounting, doesn't mean that you have the ability to innovate and take care of customers who have problems that cannot be coded.--Econtalk podcast with economist Ed Leamer, April 13, 2020
People with actual training in something useful get good jobs. Engineers and chemists and pharmacists etc are hired immediately. The people with English degrees, studies degrees, etc do not. They get no actual training in anything useful. These schools are committing educational malpractice by lying to these kids. These kids come out of school with no more training than they had in hs. And all have debt they can never pay back.
I have a granddaughter who is in her second year of college at a fine university up North. She is making top grades and she told me that she thinks it is a bit too easy. She graduated from one of the best schools in Texas and my advice to her was just to, play the game, give the professors what they want and move on and graduate with good grades, Get her ticket punched and don't confuse this part of your life with actually learning a whole lot more about what really matters in life. That stuff about life will come latter with all of the bumps and bruises and the stuff that really matters.
She has a great boyfriend and she want's to get married and have children which would be great, we have several children and lots of grandkids and one great grandchild and that is what life is really all about, making more good people so I am one happy old man.
More than 25 years of teaching at a community college has shown me that most of my current students are not able to focus on school long enough to be successful.
When I started all those years ago, I was tougher and gave less help than I do today. Yet even so, about twice as many students have trouble just passing the basic survey courses I teach. Granted, I am not teaching at one of the prestigious universities that have the ability to cherry-pick the richest and most-prepared students.
I suspect that the rot in public schools (not teaching the basics but instead dumbing down the curriculum to ensure that "the most at-risk students" meet mandated performance benchmarks) has bled over to almost all public schools to some degree.
The good news is that I still get some students who are smart and can handle the workload. And some of them survived public school and poor home lives. But a disproportionally high number of my best students went to private schools or were home-schooled.
Oh, and COVID really accelerated the atrophy. It seems that the VAST majority of public school teachers had no ability to teach well when everything went online. As someone who has done it for almost two decades before COVID, I can tell you that teaching online is a different animal than being in the classroom.
I think we are in the last days of Big College. The death throes will be long, but the last of the good days are over, I am afraid.
It seems that the VAST majority of public school teachers had no ability to teach well when everything went online.
Two decades I took an online course in grad school. I had trouble adjusting to a professor on-the-screen instead of in person, and dropped the course. I don't think the professor was doing that bad a job. I just had trouble with adapting to the screen.
I have no idea what a teacher needs to do to make an online course a teachable one.
That's a somewhat higher percentage of people attending college who should not have ever been admitted than I expected. But it's roughly the right order of magnitude.
Secondary education has failed all but the most self-motivated for nearly 3 decades (maybe more). What mostly issues out of our high schools are in no way ready to tackle college, and many of them never will be.
We've made college credentialing a useless exercise. The majority of college degrees should never have been awarded.