Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Down the Toilet
That is where American higher education is headed, following on the heels of elementary and secondary education into the cesspool of mediocrity. Much like its lower ed. peers, colleges and universities have become more concerned with student's self esteem than with their education. And in order to boost self esteem grades are inflated. Gone are the days of D's and F's for incompetence. Now, students are either given the opportunity to re-take tests, re-write papers or simply get a grade their work does not merit. Part of this can also be blamed on the culture of higher education, where consumerism is in and students will shop for the easiest professors and lobby for their grades, often times invoking the assistance of lawyers and parents.
But this post from Erin regarding a Brooklyn college professor who has been removed from the classroom for damaging student's self-esteem is just scary. Apparently, the professor thought it was more important that students mastered the ability to write at the college level than to protect their self esteem by passing them along. I'm sure that I am not the only person who remembers the stories of athletes with college degrees who read at the 3rd grade level. There was an uproar and colleges and universities upgraded their academic tutoring for their athletes. Yet, if the administration at Brooklyn College as their way, we can look forward to many more college grads who lack the ability to read and write at the college level.
Someone should remind the college that it is an institution of higher education, not a nanny service. What damage will be done to a graduate's self esteem when s/he cannot hold a job because they do not have the skills expected of a college graduate?


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