The Push to Put More Students in College Ignores Human Uniqueness

Ashley Thorne

I posted this as a comment on Richard Kahlenberg's Innovations blog post, "The College-for-All Debate":

Peter Wood and I debated Education Sector's Kevin Carey last week in a four-day online debate through Minnesota Public Radio. The assertion was: The drive to increase college enrollment threatens to lower academic standards.

You can find our debate here and the MPR forum (with comments by the moderator and readers) here.

Some main points from our closing statement: 1. Everyone should have access to college, but not everyone should go to college. 2. Most-educated is not the same as best-educated. 3. If almost everyone goes to college, a degree won’t signify any particularly noteworthy achievement. 4. A society that recognizes the laws of human nature – that each person is unique and that a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work – can then begin to help its rising generations to choose their paths. Such a recognition can also save higher education from trivializing itself into irrelevance.

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