By Gabriel Martinez, October 4, 2010 in Pedagogy and Teaching, Professional Development, What is Education?
At a recent convocation at a college near me, the Chancellor read the following quote from the Chronicle of Higher Education:
Mediocrity happens. At this very moment at an institution of higher education near you, a mildly hung-over student is finishing a mildly plagiarized paper on travel-industry marketing, for which he'll receive a B-plus. Across campus, an assistant professor is drafting a tepid scholarly article that will eventually be read by 43 people and cited by one. In yet another building, administrators are holding a five-hour meeting about how to spruce up the campus golf course, which is four more hours than they'll devote to their flagging graduation rates.
He used it to attack grade inflation and retention-for-retention's sake, over the priority of educating students and challenging them. I'm curious to hear what my colleagues-across-the-airwaves think.
Of course, as a teacher, I'm sympathetic. But (just to be contrarian) it seems to me that this is not a problem that can be solved by going after the for-profits. If it's true that more than 60 percent of high-school graduates are unprepared for college, what's a school that must balance its budget to do? It seems that the problem (and the solution) starts in K-12.