We all know education is a must to succeed in life. But over the years, the meaning of such education has changed drastically.
Take, for instance, that a college degree used to be only for those seeking specialized skill sets or the most elite among us. For the rest of us, a high school diploma was all that was needed.
However, in the 80s and 90s, this idea began to be transformed. And since then, it has become near common knowledge that just about every job, no matter the skills needed or industry it falls within, appreciates at the very least a bachelor’s degree.
You’d think this would mean that more of America is educated, and therefore, we are all a little smarter, right?
Well, according to recent studies, that’s not actually the case. Instead, it seems college has become a way for life’s most notable slackers to continue to get away with their bad habits and to carry them into the rest of their lives.
The study, conducted by members of Purdue University, Stanford University, and Brigham Young University, found that graduation rates are being increased by what is “grade inflation.” But it doesn’t really mean that students are learning any more or becoming more efficient in their skills.
The study, published by Education Next, says, “Students who were slated to graduate high school in 2004 are 3.8 percentage points more likely to graduate college than students from the class of 1992. This trend is confirmed in federal data, the Census, and registrar data from 10 public universities.”
It sounds good, right?
But what explains this increase in graduation isn’t necessarily a good thing. As Education, Next says, “Compared to decades past, college students have been earning better grades in recent years, and better college grades are strongly associated with higher rates of graduation.”
You might say better grades are good. And to some degree, you’d be correct.
But what if students were getting good grades regardless of how well they actually learned the topic or completed a task?
For example, in two science classes noted in the study, students were given tests over the curricula over time. But while students’ grades kept going up, their performance on the same tests stayed the same. Meaning they weren’t actually learning anything more.
Over that time period, the school’s graduation rates continued to increase as well, rising from 83.1 percent to 85.9 percent. And grade point averages went up too, from 2.77 to 3.02 on a 4.0 scale.
As the study said, these facts raise “important questions about the meaning of some college degrees.”
And indeed, they do.
I mean, at one time, a college degree proved that you were proficient in the areas you studied. It also meant that you were better equipped to enter the workforce and contribute to society. However, with higher grades and higher graduation rates, but lower skills sets, the implication now is that college isn’t really preparing you much for much of anything anymore.
Oh, sure, you can spend four to eight years studying antiracism or how to undo white privilege. But few know how to balance their checkbook, how loans work, or what our constitution says and means. No wonder companies aren’t satisfied with just an associate’s or bachelor’s degree anymore. Instead, like the days of old, they want real-world experience too.
Students are being coddled, given better grades based on how often they use particular inclusivity pronouns than how well they understand the lesson. Instead of being schooled on whether or not they comprehend our nations’ history, they are graded based on their skin color and any trials they might have endured.
And yet, we question why youth nowadays feel entitled to everything and anything without working for it.
Hell, according to the study, one-third of all US students don’t even finish college, and yet, they still manage to have above-average grades, even after six years of college classes and no actual degree. In summary, the purpose of college is no longer to prepare you for your life ahead but to see how woke you can become.