I swear, my soul dies a little every week when I have to grade discussion questions. From the complete and total lack of grammar, misuse of preposition, subject verb disagreement, spelling errors, not to mention the actual lack of understanding of the material and the obvious plagiarism–it just hurts my heart. American education is lagging behind much of the developed world, and that’s just ludicrous and sad.
The entrance requirements to get in to public universities seem to be dropped every year. In fact, here, if you graduated from a Mississippi high school (a dubious achievement these days), you can get in to one of the state universities without even having to TAKE the ACT. And the actual required ACT score is, I’m fairly sure, possible to achieve merely by going through the entire test and marking at random.
Since we’ve exported a great many lower level jobs in industry and other vocational type fields, there is now an expectation that everyone should get a college education. Which, I’m sorry, is just bullshit. At least 50% of my students have no business being in college. And a program that lowers requirements, lowers expectations, in order that this segment can graduate, produces students that are still unprepared for the job market and devalues the degree for everyone else, such that then larger numbers are going on to get advanced degrees. And so on and so forth. Until having a degree is all but useless on a practical scale in terms of getting a better job–and yet you still have to have one to compete with the scores of other people who also have that useless degree.
I don’t have any answers. At least not any that are currently legal or politically popular. I just want to get out of all of this and go hide in my fictional world.