How Colleges Are Ripping Off a Generation of Ill-Prepared Students

The 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress stated that of the nation’s 12th-graders only 37% tested proficient or better in reading and only 25% in math. But the graduation rate is 80%. That is awful. It is dishonest.

Moreover, 70% of high schools students go on to college. Best case 33% of HS grads going entering college are not proficient in reading and 45% are not in math. While this is—well, should be—a national scandal, the universities are complicit. Universities know that their students are not prepared for secondary education. But not admitting unqualified students is not an option because the universities must keep biggering and biggering, just like the Once-ler.

Consider this paragraph.

During a recent University of North Carolina scandal, a learning specialist hired to help athletes found that during the period from 2004 to 2012, 60 percent of the 183 members of the football and basketball teams read between fourth- and eighth-grade levels. About 10 percent read below a third-grade level. Keep in mind that all of these athletes both graduated from high school and were admitted to college.

That means only 30% could read at 9th grade or better. Likely those 30% were overwhelming bench warmers. If the above numbers were prorated by playing time, I suspect the percentage would plummet to single digits. That is unconscionable behavior. But this it not limited to just athletes. It effects all students because the college degree is being dumbed down and becoming worth less.

According to Richard Vedder, distinguished emeritus professor of economics at Ohio University and the director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity, in 2012 there were 115,000 janitors, 16,000 parking lot attendants, 83,000 bartenders, and about 35,000 taxi drivers with a bachelor’s degree.

Read the whole thing. I’ll end echoing the author’s conclusion. BTW, the author is the brilliant Walter Williams.

I’m not sure about what can be done about education. But the first step toward any solution is for the American people to be aware of academic fraud at every level of education.


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