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  • by pudge (1) on 2002.07.23 14:49 (#10983) Homepage Journal
    Want another truism? If you make it so everyone can go to school, it lowers the value of an education to be had there. That's not to say everyone shouldn't be educated, but it used to be hard to graduate from college. Before that, it was hard to graduate from high school. These days it is often easy to get a postgraduate degree. We lower our standards so everyone can graduate, and in the process inevitably make graduation meaningless.

    Or to put it another way: our focus is far too heavily weighted on the end result of school -- some piece of paper -- instead of the process of education.

    I went to college primarily to get a job. I said that on my way in, and on my way out. I wasn't even interested in an education for the purposes of getting a job, but just the little piece of paper that came with it, because for most well-paying jobs, you need a college diploma. It doesn't matter what that paper says, as long as it exists, and so I was going to get one.

    And perhaps expectedly, I did not take one class that related directly to my current vocation, and my most interesting and useful classes were electives. The rest of my classes were mostly factory classes, designed to make me a productive member of society. Of course, they failed. ;-)

    I'd be happier if we failed more people from high school and college, or if we simply had fewer people bother trying. Actually, I'd really just like them to be difficult and challenging, and to fail people who don't succeed there. That may not mean more people fail; it may -- perish the thought! -- mean that all the graduates end up with a better education. At the least, it should mean that the people who do graduate are better off, with a better education, with fewer years of their lives wasted. Either way, it's all good.
    I want everyone to be educated as much as anyone else does. But more diplomas doesn't equate to more education.