For Frank Bruni: First Demand That They Have Integrity, The Rest of Your Good Ideas Will Follow

Demanding More From College – NYTimes.com.

I think that this opinion is important for the misunderstanding it exhibits.  I believe that this misunderstanding is based on a misplaced belief that college couldn’t really be so corrupt.  But it is.

By searching under “Bruni” on this blog you will find more on Mr. Bruni’s beliefs.  I believe that the fact that he has trouble seeing the problem with higher education is not unusual among many people.  That is why I hope that they read my tale and follow up by asking “Is this really happening?”, because, yes it is.

Here is my comment.

Mr. Bruni, you have missed the point.

Arum and Roksa’s books point out symptoms – symptoms of the corruption of higher education.

It is a symptom that students can study only 10-15 hours a week, and believe that they are getting the same “college education” as their grandparents, who studied 25 hours a week.

It is a symptom that most graduates show little change in their thinking skills, when their grandparents showed very significant change.

It is symptom that so many college grads can’t find decent jobs.

It is a symptom when citizens, even those that are college graduates, can’t recognize whether or not an argument is rational.

The corruption of higher education is like a cancer that has metastasized throughout our society, damaging our economy and, as you point out, our politics.

It has even infected our high schools, leading to a downward spiral in education (something that Jefferson recognized as necessary for a democracy). High school teachers need a real college education – especially in their subject area – but that is not what they get.

As a former professor I have seen all of this from the inside – and it isn’t pretty. People like David Riesman tried to alert us as far back as the 80’s. Until this corrupton is recognized, no wishful thinking about what college should be will help.

Mr. Bruni, I have a blog, inside-higher-ed . Please go to it. Please read some of the stories and documents there. Then you will understand. Then you can help.

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