Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Making College Mandatory - Comments on an Article

     I recently ran across a very interesting article on the finance section of yahoo. It peaked my interest because just recently, I had written a research paper in my composition 2 class about a different perspective of not attending college.
     So with my former experience with studying, talking with, and researching college graduates test scores as opposed to incoming freshman, and average annual income, I decided to offer my opinions on the article.
     “We need to make post-secondary education the norm for everyone, not just the advantaged,” they wrote. “In today’s economy, a high school diploma is not enough; now, more than ever, college is the gateway to the American Dream.” - Richard Reeves and Quentin Karpilow
     There is nothing more I love in the world than a guy in a suit talking about "The American Dream". Like it's one thing that people strive for, not subjective, but objective; that somehow this doesn't intrinsically go against the nature of the United States. How doesn't it? A nation of freedom, where people should be free to do what they want, to live for what they want, to be who they want to be, without fear of the government trying to stop them, that's what I think of when I think of the United States. If you become an adult at 18, why should anything become mandatory, especially education? Indeed, we need intellectual individuals in our country, that's a given. However, what these men are suggesting is assimilation, for every person to be learning the same things, to further progress our businesses, corporations, to keep everything running smoothly. Is this really necessary though? What happened to individualism? To artistic self expression? To doing what you want to do?

     Referencing the last quote of the article, “We may think college isn’t for everyone, but 50 years ago a lot of people were saying high school isn’t for everyone,”. Personally, and I'm probably pretty alone on this one, I don't believe High School should be mandatory either. If somebody knows exactly what they want to do when they're that young, and it doesn't require high school education, I'd say let them go for it. Don't attend high school, and do what you love. But also be aware of the consequences if you don't get that diploma, don't just rush into it. For example: you probably don't need a high school diploma, if you've been working on cars your whole life, to be a mechanic. Or to be a fireman. Or secretary. If a person is even the least bit competent, they can easily find the materials they need to learn what they need to learn without attending high school or college.

     There's also the issue with an over-educated society. Sounds like a good problem to have, right? Wrong-o. With an overly educated society, we run into problems with manual labor. Nobody with a college degree in Biomedical Engineering is going to want to work in a field, getting paid maybe $10/hour. Then those farms and companies start depending on illegal immigrants and high school students, leading to perhaps worse grades for those students, and no tax revenue on those illegal immigrants. No taxes on increased illegal work = decreased economy. Not that I'm an economic expert or anything, but that's my understanding of it.

     Not to mention there is hardly any correlation of attending college improving critical thinking skills. "Forty-five percent of students made no significant improvement in their critical thinking, reasoning or writing skills during the first two years of college, according to the study. After four years, 36 percent showed no significant gains in these so-called "higher order" thinking skills.". Thirty-six percent of people who have attended 4 years of college showed "no significant gains in these so-called "higher order" thinking skills". Just think about that for a moment, more than a third of the entire group of people who have gone to college for 4 years or more, showed no significant improvements in these skills. Do these people really need to be going to college? Do more people need to be going to college if a third of people who are finishing up their degree show no significant gains in critical thinking skills?

     College is definitely not needed for all people, and pondering the thought that it should be mandatory is outright insanity. One should be looking at the facts of college graduates before spewing out ideas like this.
Read more here:"

No comments:

Post a Comment