Training College Graduates for Dependency By Counterfeiting Genuine Accomplishment
Some excerpts from "The College Degree Fraud," by Robert Weissberg, Professor of Political Science-Emeritus, University of Illinois:"For more than a half-century, government has tried to close racial gaps in educational attainment. Sad to say, those gaps have proven intractable. Nevertheless, the impulse remains as heartfelt as ever (perhaps due to its financially lucrative character), but the emphasis is now shifting from actual learning to equality of graduation rates. President Obama has spoken of adding 5 million graduates to the workforce by 2020, and credential-mania is now all the rage. This shift is a disaster in the making; imparting knowledge is commendable, but just handing out diplomas is harmful deception. A cynic might aver that the shift from knowledge to graduation rates is a tacit admission that the gap-closing quest is futile.That today's college degrees, regardless of the recipient's race, are increasingly "manufactured" versus reflecting real learning is strongly suggested by a recent Bureau of Labor Statistics report. Specifically, contemporary "college graduates" are increasingly employed in positions once occupied by high school graduates.For example, in 1992, 17.6% of all college graduates were in positions classified as "noncollege level jobs." By 2008, this percentage had doubled to 35.2%. In 1992, some 119,000 waiters and waitresses had college degrees; by 2008, this number had soared to 318,000. No doubt, unprepared black students who owe their diplomas to intense institutional effort and deception have fared even worse in today's difficult job market. In a sense, America's long quest for both educational equality and excellence is being satisfied by a combination of gullibility, linguistic trickery, and craven opportunism. Ill-prepared black students are the real losers in this deception, and one can only speculate why their liberal "friends" tolerate the dishonesty. Many would have been better-advised to enroll in a trade school and acquire a well-paid, marketable skill. In the long run, if a college degree is the aim, a "tough love" strategy of requiring passing arduous courses with modest outside help would be more beneficial. Surely President Obama has encountered these subterfuges in his academic career and must realize that calling for more and more diplomas will only increase the supply of college-educated waiters.Some exceptions aside, granting ever more college diplomas only signifies the power of today's universities to counterfeit genuine accomplishment. Particularly worrisome is that many of these graduates have been trained for dependency. Picture these graduates navigating a cruel world deprived of role models, mentors, counselors, sympathetic evaluators, resource centers, pre-job bridge programs, and bosses unwilling to substitute ego-enhancing identity politics for difficult work."