Thursday, December 13, 2007

Required Hiding

A few decades back when I was in college as an under graduate, there was one of those beloved, smirky, commonly accepted bits of wisdom that fell from the lips of almost every wag who could get another soul to listen to it. It went something like this: "College is a warm place to hide for 4 years between high school and real life."

Those who studied hard sciences or professional courses like pre-accounting, pre-med, pre-law etc. wouldn't understand. But any of that vast majority of souls who prepared for professions like teaching or counseling or who were Humanities majors or who may have studied soft sciences like 'poli sci' or "phyche" will understand and nod in agreement that while college may have been easy or hard depending on your bent, abilities, and the level of need to maintain an appearance of rigor of the institution you attended, it is hard to say exactly what one did or was supposed to accomplish there despite all those lectures, books purchased and sold back at a loss to the college bookstore, term papers written over Oreo Cookies and instant coffee, all nighter 'gotta pass this one to keep up my GPA' cram sessions, and furtive glances at that gorgeous classmate in the 2nd row by the window.

Simply stated, it is very hard to see what this type of school attendance has to do with actually preparing for whatever the attendee does in real life after graduation!

However, because our Education policy makers appear to be eaters of the menu and not the meal - walkers on the map, not the mountain, they continue to perpetuate the myth that the prosperity and well being of our nation depends on all citizens getting a good education and that there is no better measure of this having been achieved than graduation from college.

And so, as reported in an article on the policy makers in Maine have an important idea to share with the world (sarcasm used to make the point)
"Plan requires high schoolers to apply to college to get diploma"

Wouldn't life be wonderful if it could be this simple; force kids to apply for college and walk away satisfied that you've successfully impacted a real problem in our society, that not enough people are sufficiently educated? And, of course, one has to ask 'how much time, energy, attention, money, and other types of resources that might have been applied to actually improving education were wasted on this partular bit of high profile posturing?'

Read full article at its source:

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