We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Higher Education Erodes

5th September 2017

Read it.

College is the new High School and that should terrify everyone.

Higher education erosion is a continuation of a long trend. College graduates, we know, are not what they used to be. In 1970’s, 1-in-2 college grads aced the Wordsum vocabulary test given by the General Social Survey. Today 1-in-6 do. Using that as a proxy for IQ of the median grad, in the 70’s it was ~112, now its ~100.[1] College degrees are increasingly expensive and may increasingly signal nothing at all. The only similar good that explodes in cost while at the same time loses value is the American wedding. Black or white, selling hope means getting into the gown business.

Cal State is setting an example for the re-definition of “college readiness”towards “willingness to sit tight and pay the cash.” They are announcing college credit for courses that 9th graders should have completed (The typical grade for Algebra 1). The pessimistic take is easy to formulate: A reduction in academic rigor, pushing what were once high school expectations into college, happening in the largest college system in the US. If anyone can explain why we should be happy with a future of thousands of college grads with high school reading skills, I’m all ears for the optimism.

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