David Brooks See the Symptom – But Not the Disease

Source: Mis-Educating the Young – The New York Times

Here is my comment.

You have described the symptoms well, but you have missed the disease.

The disease is letting higher education operate as a market economy – while assuming that, as a non-profit, it is altruistic. Just listen to Clark Kerr and David Riesman on what that leads to.

“…This shift from academic merit to student consumerism is one of the two greatest reversals of direction in all the history of American higher education..” (Clark Kerr, in Riesman’s book, cited below)

“…the “wants” of students…are quite different from the “needs” of students…advantage can..be taken…by unscrupulous instructors and institutions…” (David Riesman, from his 1980 book, On Higher Education: The Academic Enterprise in an Era of Rising Student Consumerism)

These two eminent sociologists warned us, but we didn’t listen. And now, 30+ years later, the overwhelming majority of graduates, though degreed, are not educated – no fault of their own.

And not getting a job is not the worst of it for society.

Most high school teachers don’t really get a college education. So how can we expect skilled high school graduates?

Even a large number of “professors” are produced to fill jobs at many regional state schools Their students, many of them future high school teachers, don’t have a chance.

To see the stories from what I have described, read some of the tales from higher education that you can find on my blog inside-higher-ed .

All of this must stop before it is too late.

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