Wander a college campus at night, follow the students around, listen in at campus bistros, check in on the residents, take a class, and you'll quickly see two types of students: the ones who do care, are motivated and who are getting their money's worth and those who feel that work is an imposition on their sex and drinking lives.
"I can't write an essay, that's the weekend."
"My computer stopped working so I didn't do that assignment."
Facebooking during class.
Watching video on the laptop.
Why would anyone be surprised "that 45 percent of undergraduates gain little in thinking and writing skills in the first two years of college, and 36 percent show little gains in four years of college"?
Jay Matthews:My answer to Jay: "No, we expected that 9% are losers until they get the junior-class wake-up call and that 36% never hear that call."
The previous post on this blog is my Monday column, complaining about the lack of much reaction to last year's study, which showed that 45 percent of undergraduates gain little in thinking and writing skills in the first two years of college, and 36 percent show little gains in four years of college. This is based on results at 24 colleges on the Collegiate Learning Assessment, a lengthy essay exam.
I failed to address this question. Do we care about such results, or is the reputation of the colleges of more use, as we choose colleges? Some colleges do release their National Survey of Student Engagement results, which indicate if they are teaching the right way. Have any of us ever sought that data while making a college admission decision? Are colleges right to keep such information confidential if it makes them look bad? Or would anyone care?
- College is not for everyone. Plumbers are people, too. (And they work harder to get as good as they are - that's why they get paid more than a newly minted graduate.)
- Education gets more complicated and demands more from you as get older. That's why it costs more and takes more time while taking less class time.
- You get what you pay for.
- You get what you work for.