Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Monday, May 05, 2008

College degreed is the new high school diploma.

Because these are the kinds of things I think about, I've formulated some opinions on education here in our wonderful country.

There are enough books about dumbing down our schools to give one pause for thought. When even 20/20 has a story on how difficult it is for bad or criminal teachers to be fired because of tenure, it's there. The upshot was they have holding tanks for teachers they can't let in the classroom, where they get paid to read the newspaper and drink coffee all day. [Never mind some were doing that anyway; now they're not doing it in front of students.]

I read recently that now a college degree is becoming less of a job or career placer and is instead a stepping stone. What one really needs today is a master's degree.

We could ask the question of why, forty years ago, a young man could graduate from high school and find a job that would support him and his family and now with that he can't find one to pay the bills he incurs while still living in his parents' basement. My father, God rest his soul, said more than once, "The least you should get out of a college degree is a job that you like." Now you can't even get that.
Perhaps it's the surfeit of degreed candidates out there, and as they become more plentiful the market gets pickier. In this economy, it's entirely possible. I don't think that's the whole answer, though.

If high schools are being dumbed down, of course colleges are going to have to develop more accomodations. It's a trickle-up effect. If one wants to teach a course on, say, Shakespeare's histories and one's students have no idea who Julius Caesar was or when the Pax Romana was, one must backtrack. Right? One loses precious time on the subject at hand by giving background that should already be there.

I'd also argue that it's also the proliferation of meaningless degrees. Which will be a whole 'nother post.



At 7:20 AM, Blogger Catherine said...

I don't just think about this stuff, I unfortunately stress about it. Even though I have no desire to return to the workforce, and the Husband does have his master's. I cringe at many of the education "principles" that are being tried out on the children that I see. I hang with homeschoolers, who are generally impressive, Catholic-away-schoolers, who are a bit more diverse as far as aptitude goes, and some public-schoolers, who generally inadvertently induce the cringes. There is a creed that the public schoolers recite each morning (where we used to do the Pledge, and the prayer in Catholic school) that could be straight out of Brave New World. Recess is curtailed to make more room for "classroom instruction" which could double as indoctrination. And kids graduate from high school with (maybe) just basic algebra and geometry knowledge, if they can read.

And then they go and get a worthless degree, courtesy of lazy professors, and sit in front of my husband at an interview acting like they deserve a job. And then someone else hires one just like them, and they hate my husband because they didn't get the job, and he must just be a racist/sexist/what-have-you because he didn't extend a job offer.

Sadly, then the trickle-up effect lands in the market's lap. I had to sit through two weeks of training when I entered the workforce after college, and most of it was stuff I had already learned!

Um, yeah, you hit a nerve...


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