The US doesn't need more college grads
Here are a few excerpts:
There are lots of American students who are eager to learn and proceed to master skills that aid them in their careers. But government and private support already get almost all of these passionate pupils into college. The trouble is that many other students enter college with no enthusiasm for learning. Boosting college participation would mean recruiting still more of these disengaged students. Increasing their numbers will not give us a more skilled workforce; it will just put more downward pressure on academic standards.
Already standards have been falling for decades, as schools have lowered expectations to keep weak, indifferent students enrolled. Indeed, many students who graduate from college are deficient in even the most basic skills that employers want. Last year's National Assessment of Adult Literacy found, for example, that less than a third of college graduates are proficient in reading and the ability to do elementary mathematical calculations. Similarly, the National Commission on Writing has found that many business executives are appalled at graduates' poor writing skills.
I agree with this observation:
We currently find many college graduates employed as waiters, cashiers, healthcare aides, and in other jobs that don't require any special background. Expanding college access will just mean more young people with college debts doing low-paid work.
This is my favorite quote from the article:
As one student I know puts it, "People would be amazed if they knew how easy it is to graduate without learning anything."
This sure rings true with my experience at college.
This issue effects homeschoolers, as well as public school students. As a parent, I'm reluctant to invest so much money for a dumbed down college education. Nor, do I wish to pay for an ivy league education.
My siblings and I all attended college, though I'm the only one to get a degree. Both my brother and sister were very successful in their careers and other pursuits without one. My sister is especially well educated and articulate. At some point she would like to finish a degree, but she already has a better education than most college graduates.
I think my college experience is a benefit for homeschooling. Not that it makes me a better teacher, but that it lends more legitamacy to our home education efforts. In other word, it looks good on paper. Most of what really makes a difference in education is what I learn as we go along, and that has almost nothing to do with what I learned in college.
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