A couple of interesting education articles. One notes how schools are now moving heaven and earth to get minorities to graduate, mostly, by lowering standards and giving out grades. As a consequence, we’ll have a bunch of highly credentialed but uneducated people, whose failures in business and on later certification exams will likely be blamed on racism, when these failure in fact arise from over-promotion. Their earnings, life course, and success will depend on continued support at every stage. Perhaps they still end up better off, after all, affirmative action is ubiquitous. But they and the broader society are expending resources that might better be spent making money. Everyone would benefit by destigmitizing the lack of a college degree. It means little to a great many “graduates.” A related article notes how a great many entry-level jobs for which only a high school diploma is required are now populated by college graduates. This is a huge waste of these people’s productive years.
In any society, only a smallish percentage of people should go to college. It takes a minimum 115 IQ to benefit from a real college education, and, by definition, that excludes 85% of the population or more. While a greater percentage than 15% are attending and graduating now, it’s only because pseudo-degrees from pseudo-universities have become more common, and vocational training masquerading as a college degree (such as “hotel and restaurant management” or “packaging”) has displaced real college education. A college degree is supposed to denote the acquisition of a broad critical thinking capacity, and, at a minimum, people should be learning physics, calculus, reading Shakespeare, learning a foreign language, learning how to write a 50 page paper, etc. This experience rarely happens, particularly at state schools.
America was more productive when it had fewer college graduates and more factory jobs. We’re at war with reality because of the liberal belief in equality and the mistaken, tabula rasa world view of Boasian anthropology. We cannot engineer a more intelligent population (other than by eugenics); intelligence is distributed on a curve. We can however unleash the productive potential of everyone by removing barriers to business, supporting domestic production (and abandoning the myth of a “knowledge economy”), allowing more IQ testing by employers (to prevent the use of a college degree as an overly expensive sorting mechanism), and, finally, by abandoning the preoccupation with equal outcomes that corrupts business and education. Finally, we can invest more as a society in preparing energetic young men to work rather than struggling through differential equations.