Untimely Observations

Academia Fails


As if further evidence were needed that college education is a pyramid scheme; we hear today from the Associated Press:

A study of more than 2,300 undergraduates found 45 percent of students show no significant improvement in the key measures of critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing by the end of their sophomore years.

Not much is asked of students, either. Half did not take a single course requiring 20 pages of writing during their prior semester, and one-third did not take a single course requiring even 40 pages of reading per week.

The findings are in a new book, "Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses," by sociologists Richard Arum of New York University and Josipa Roksa of the University of Virginia. An accompanying report argues against federal mandates holding schools accountable, a prospect long feared in American higher education.


Overall, the picture doesn't brighten much over four years. After four years, 36 percent of students did not demonstrate significant improvement, compared to 45 percent after two.

Students who studied alone, read and wrote more, attended more selective schools and majored in traditional arts and sciences majors posted greater learning gains.

Imagine that: when working hard and studying traditional subjects, people actually tend to learn stuff! Just like those old dead white males said would happen! Who knew that bachelor's degrees in feminist queer art studies didn't equip their holders with a capacity for rational thought? I wonder what other hoary tenets of that antiquated bugbear, Western Civilization, might also be true?