[Fwd: Education as a Commodity]

Karen Allendoerfer ravena at cco.caltech.edu
Tue Nov 18 09:03:43 EST 1997


In article <34712132.84C78D67 at umbsky.cc.umb.edu>,
Lelia C. Orrell <orrell at umbsky.cc.umb.edu> wrote:
>
>(5) Grade inflation.  As long as top schools fail to fail failures and
>kick them out, students will continue to squeek by, earn degrees, and get
>jobs based upon name recognition for the institutions they attend.

It's not clear to me that kicking them out, such that they don't get a
degree or a job, is necessarily a panacea.

It also seems a bit harsh to me to say that admitting "bad" students is
a "cash cow."  Yes, this is a real economic problem, but calling it a
"cash cow' seems rather insensitive to what the schools face.  How
would you have them get the money they need?  Cut faculty salaries
and benefits further, abolish tenure and hire only low-paid adjuncts?
Should the schools who "just can't compete for the best students" go
under?  Have them hit up their alumni even harder than they already do?  This
whole post seems very long on gripes and very short on anything 
constructive.
>
>In some respects, a college education has become a commodity.  Gone are
>the days when only the few, the white, and the rich could get into
>college: and good ridance to those days.  Sure, it costs a lot to go to
>many colleges and universities today, but money is not the bottleneck it
>once was for most middle class parents and students. 

This strikes me as also way too glib.  You must not know the middle
class parents and students I know.  Private school education is going to
cost $100,000 for four years very soon, if it doesn't already.  My
parents' house didn't cost that much.

>I hope you were all taking notes.  This WILL be on the final exam.

Oh, puh-leez.  

Aren't there any students reading this group?  Doesn't anyone remember
what it was like to be a student?  It would be nice to hear the other
side, and what student life is like today from the student's perspective.

If I were a student reading some of these postings, I'd be kind of 
scared, and definitely put-off.

Karen




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