It was hard to comment on this article since it was so good. I agree with it wholeheartedly. I did add information that readers of this blog already know. Here is what I wrote.
“Thank you for this wonderful essay. From my perspective as a former professor, I
think it is important to note the role of higher education in the outcomes in
k-12, especially in high school. As I wrote in my blog (www.inside-higher-ed.com), “It starts in the eighteenth
Here is an outline of one important way this happens. A top math
department gets a “national-need” grant to attract more American students into
doctoral math programs. One, or more, ambitious, unscrupulous professors then
grant PhD’s to students who aren’t even good at math. Some of these go on to be
college professors at regional state schools that educate our high school
teachers. They can’t think well on their feet, so they avoid problems by making
their course extremely easy. Then we wonder why high school teachers aren’t
competent enough in their subject.
Oh, of course, then many college
professors claim that they have to water down their courses since high school
students don’t know enough. (I call it “content deflation”. Grade inflation is
so twentieth century.)And so it goes.
The problem starts in college.”