Re: Make School Hard Again
Posted: 28 May 2019, 18:00
Free Minds. Free Markets. Free Beer.
Building further on this -- and this is not "Me explaining things to you, DAR," but "Me 'thinking out loud' about the subject" -- I think those vile bankruptcy-proof debts's contribution to grade inflation is the part that needs to be fixed before worrying about improving academic rigor. Because -- going back to my tale of giving a passing grade to the future mechanic who sucked at Shakespeare appreciation -- how much more strongly might I, or any other teachers who quote-unquote "want what's best" for their students -- have felt that way if, had I withheld the diploma, the kid not ONLY would've been unable to get any decent job, but also would be up to his neck in inescapable debt because of it? (Again: assuming this person intends to be a mechanic or hold any other job where the ability to appreciate Shakespeare or deconstruct a symbolic poem several decades older than you is NOT needed at all.)D.A. Ridgely wrote: ↑28 May 2019, 17:16Of course it isn't, nor did I suggest any such thing. But the system as it stands is a vicious circle. If more people have college degrees, as once upon a time high school diplomas served the same function back when high schools had modestly rigorous standards, then more employers can use having a degree as a prerequisite to employment. Which in turn makes college more desirable if not necessary for more and more people, in turn leading for the 'need' for more and more colleges. The colleges in turn realize that the overwhelming majority of their students aren't prepared for college level work so they offer more and more remedial courses and dumb down degree requirements and permit grade inflation. Because demand is high, colleges can raise their prices. Because attracting students from a competitive market is necessary so they can protect themselves and their own jobs, those increased prices go to pay for more and more amenities rather than academic needs. Because we've decided as a culture that higher education is a border-line right and oh-my-gawd! it turns out that rich people can afford more expensive stuff than poor people can, we make it easy for students and their families to borrow money to pay for colleges that in turn realize they now have more money available to them so the colleges can raise prices even higher....Jennifer wrote: ↑28 May 2019, 16:11I think I watched part of the Old Testament thing -- it's been so long now, I can't remember -- but even if I had every bit of it committed to memory, I STILL am not getting any of the "benefits" of a Yale degree. And, regarding the benefits of "college degrees" in general -- at this point, a bachelor's is almost equivalent to a high school diploma, in the sense that "having one doesn't HELP you, so much as NOT having one HURTS you" -- I still can't get behind the idea that all these things should be REQUIRED before anyone has a shot at a decent career and life in our society, let alone that late teens and extreme young adults should have to add to their bankruptcy-proof debt burden to get these things.
This would essentially make a 4-year engineering degree impossible, depending on how much foreign language and culture coursework you have in mind.D.A. Ridgely wrote: ↑27 May 2019, 19:20 Yes, foreign languages should begin being taught in elementary school. That said, if you want to drastically cut down on college applications (which I do) while giving a well deserved advantage especially to bi-lingual Spanish speaking college prep students (but any widely spoken language will suffice), colleges should require four years of a foreign language in high school (or testing out equivalence) and continue to require some foreign language & culture (note, I didn't say "or culture") coursework in college. Furthermore, only community colleges should even offer remedial courses in anything whatever.
I had the same experience. And the interviewer seemed horrified and disbelieving that I didn't know it offhand, and in the post-interview conversation, the recruiter basically asked me if I were hiding something. They didn't seem to be able to grasp that some people might not care as much about GPAs as they did.
Probably no more than a year, but remember I'm addressing only Arts & Sciences B.A. and B.S. degrees. I don't care what engineering schools do or don't require if they're not awarding those degrees.Andrew wrote: ↑28 May 2019, 20:02This would essentially make a 4-year engineering degree impossible, depending on how much foreign language and culture coursework you have in mind.D.A. Ridgely wrote: ↑27 May 2019, 19:20 Yes, foreign languages should begin being taught in elementary school. That said, if you want to drastically cut down on college applications (which I do) while giving a well deserved advantage especially to bi-lingual Spanish speaking college prep students (but any widely spoken language will suffice), colleges should require four years of a foreign language in high school (or testing out equivalence) and continue to require some foreign language & culture (note, I didn't say "or culture") coursework in college. Furthermore, only community colleges should even offer remedial courses in anything whatever.
I haven't rtfa yet, but what sort of jobs actually do require a college degree beyond those requiring professional accreditation or licensing of some sort? I mean, after all, being a bond salesman on Wall Street doesn't require a Princeton diploma, you just need to have gone to Princeton to meet the people who hire for such jobs. No job in sales requires a college education or degree and time was when corporations correctly assumed management or executive trainees with degrees didn't know anything and had to be trained starting at the bottom. It's completely arbitrary in the federal and I suspect most state jobs that you need a degree even to be considered for openings. You sure as hell don't need a college degree to work in real estate sales, most general contractors rose from the ranks of some skilled trade, draftsmen rather than architects used to design most residential real estate, etc., etc.thoreau wrote: ↑31 May 2019, 19:02 https://www.newyorkfed.org/research/col ... rates.html
For nearly 30 years, a third of college graduates (all ages, not just new grads) have been in jobs that don't require a college degree.
Yes, there are non-wage upsides to an educated public, but (1) a credentialed public is not always an educated public and (2) the costs of educating so many people need to be weighed against an _honest_ valuation of the benefits. Some of those benefits are cultural, social, and political, but some of the desired outcomes are economic, and we need to speak honestly about them.
On the other hand, I'm kind of surprised how stable the fraction is. Either credential inflation isn't as serious as I feared, or requirements have been revised upward to keep the fraction stable at 1/3 of college graduates. Even then, it's remarkable how steady the graph is.
Another factor must be the huge expansion of the number of colleges in the 60s and 70s to accommodate the Boomer generation and the fact that those numbers didn't shrink when we graduated (or tuned in, turned on and dropped out, as the case may be).
Unless HR is making the call on who to hire, looking at HR is the wrong thing to do. I can't tell you how many times I've provided a carefully constructed list of reasons why the person Hiring Authority wants to choose is a terrible idea, only for them to overrule me and pick them anyway.JasonL wrote: ↑27 May 2019, 09:03 One thing I’ve wondered about is HR new hire effectiveness over time. Say something like percent of new hires still employed by hiring firm 3 years later. We are pretty far into the age of “everyone is a BA” and “everyone must pass”.
Is HR successfully screening in this environment beyond elite roles that use elite institutions as signals?