Rich Vedder has an essay today on Minding the Campus in which he discusses the “sniping” at that most inconvenient book (inconvenient for the higher education establishment, anyway) Academically Adrift. His argument is that the book’s main thesis is correct: Many students these days coast through college without advancing their knowledge and skills — they’re hardly any wiser or more capable upon graduating from college than they were when they graduated from high school. Sure, students learn a few things long enough to pass tests, but that doesn’t betoken any improvement in human capital. Many schools have decided that they would rather have contented students than rigorous standards and therefore make it easy for those who just want a credential with minimal effort to get it.
- February 01, 2011