by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A bachelor’s degree is no longer proof that any graduate can read critically or write effectively. National college-entrance-test scores have generally declined the last few years, and grading standards have as well.
Too often, universities emulate greenhouses where fragile adults are coddled as if they were hothouse orchids. Hypersensitive students are warned about “micro-aggressions” that in the real world would be imperceptible.
Apprehensive professors are sometimes supposed to offer “trigger warnings” that assume students are delicate Victorians who cannot handle landmark authors such as Joseph Conrad or Mark Twain.
“Safe spaces” are designated areas where traumatized students can be shielded from supposedly hurtful or unwelcome language that should not exist in a just and fair world. …
… Universities entice potential students with all sorts of easy loan packages, hip orientations, and perks like high-tech recreation centers and upscale dorms. On the backside of graduation, such bait-and-switch attention vanishes when it is time to help departing students find jobs.
College often turns into a six-year experience. The unemployment rate of college graduates is at near-record levels. Universities have either failed to convince employers that English or history majors make ideal job candidates, or they have failed to ensure that such bedrock majors can, in fact, speak, write, and reason well.