Here’s how to ‘shake up’ higher ed

Joanne Jacobs, , Aug 14, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The next stage in the privatization of education: "Colleges are expensive screening devices, writes [economist Richard] Vedder [in Bloomburg]. There should be other ways to demonstrate potential workplace competence.  'Why doesn’t someone (College Board? Educational Testing Service? Google Inc.?) develop a national college equivalency examination that tests for the critical learning skills, literacy and basic knowledge that all college graduates are expected to have?'" The answer is twofold. First, this isn't what colleges are designed to produce. So it would be an extra credential, not a replacement of the college and university system. And second, if you allow recognition of college credentials in such an open system, this puts the riff raff, the plebes, and (gosh!) foreigners on an equal footing with elite (aka rich) students attending Yale and Harvard, and this is something the college system is definitely not intended to produce (... and that defines economists to a tee - measuring exacty the exact wrong thing).

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