Is preoccupation with college
a mistake? Frank DeFilippo
at Splice Today thinks so. He argues that our collective obsession with higher education could use some
review. "College today is little more than a finishing school, and a
very expensive one at that." We're turning out more and more graduates,
but what are they going to do? "The nation just might be
over-educated," muses De Filippo, and "in today's work-a-day world,
anyone who isn't afraid to get a little grease under his fingernails or
luxuriate in the slime and grime of a broken pipe or backed up sink
will take home a bigger paycheck than a college grad with a degree in
literature or philosophy." Why not revive technical schools and
apprenticeships rather than ramming low-income students with low test
scores (or high-income students with low test scores) through a
community college of questionable utility? Or, as DeFilippo more
colorfully puts it: "Instead of dumbing down the system with all sorts
of academic crutches and artificial remedies, why not teach people to
do things instead of offering useless courses such as 'Lesbianism in
19th Century Literature.'"
The point, he explains, is that
"America needs tinkerers as well as thinkers," and quality education is
needed for both. Respect, moreover, is needed for both. In focusing on
academia to the exclusion of all else, "educators and the educational
system are missing a terrific opportunity to deal with the growing
problem of school drop-outs, failures, the disinterested and the just
plain don’t-give-a-damns or can't-make-the-grades."
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