Thursday, January 20

IS QUALITY OF EDUCATION NO LONGER COMPELLING?

No surprise here I suppose. Colleges and universities have done a poor job on the whole of managing their costs in contrast to the private business sector. Tuition, room and board, at most of the nation's institutions of higher learning have far outstripped the rate of inflation over the past 10+ years and, as competition over enrolling freshmen intensifies, the huckster will emerge. Look at the courses catalogues for a number of these schools, or the liberally-biased platforms from which most professors "teach" ("inculcate"), and you begin to sense that their prowess in educating pales against their ability to give entering and returning students alike "a good time" and a nurturing political philosophy. Many of these schools no longer give grades, other than pass/fail marks, and for those who still do, grade appreciation has outpaced the rate of inflation.

Parents think long and hard over major buying decisions (e.g., houses and automobiles), but toss fate to the wind, provided their budgets can remain afloat with the additional debt burden, if dear son or daughter can only garner one of those prized, thick admissions' letters from any institution trumpeted as top-tier, quasi-top-tier, or prestigious in some way or another.

It would seem Tom Wolfe ("I Am Charlotte Simmons") and CNN are on to something.