Re: High stakes
May 14, 2008
Mushy Mike knows it's not news that college graduates live longer than high-school graduates. The article??to which he refers??is a comment on the lousy healthcare that many poor Americans receive, and it really doesn't have??much to do with getting a college education. To assume (as Mike seems to) that if we directed more academically unprepared pupils onto ivied campuses we'd see a marked drop in healthcare disparities is, for sundry reasons too numerous to expound upon here, an incredible oversimplification. College attendance, of course, does not cause disparities in health, wealth, happiness, etc. as much as it reflects the disparities that already exist. And I do not believe universities have the redemptive powers to magically reshape anyone who attends their classes.
K-12 schools are supposed to be places where students, regardless of their backgrounds, can garner the information they need to succeed at college or in the workplace. K-12 schools, not colleges,??are supposed to be the equalizers. Obviously, America hasn't yet structured the k-12 system to work as it should, and we keep graduating 18-year-olds who can't read. Therfore, ed reformers, having so far failed to markedly improve k-12 classrooms,??are??shifting their aspirations for k-12 schools onto colleges. It's a foolish strategy, and it will have bad consequences.