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Justification For Higher Education Essay

1542 words - 6 pages

Justification For Higher Education
After analyzing William A. Henry III s In Defense of Elitism and Caroline Bird s
College is a Waste of Time and Money , it is clear that Henry s argument concerning the
purpose of an education is more rational than Bird s due to the fact that Henry supports his claims
with credible statistics, logical insight, and uses current real world scenarios. Bird, on the
contrary, bases her argument solely on manipulated statistics, overly dramatic claims, and
ridiculously out-of-this-world scenarios.
While there are various viewpoints and perspectives on the subject of higher education,
Henry for one, has landed the conclusion that in America higher education for the masses has not
only been extremely costly economically, but it has also greatly lowered the educational standards
and therefore defeated the purpose of higher education itself.
Henry s primary grievance against higher education for the masses is that the influx of
mediocrities relentlessly lowers the general standards at colleges to levels the weak ones can
meet (335). Quite simply, higher education is by no means any higher if the standards keep
lowering just so some students can barely meet the minimum standards. For example, although I
am a full supporter of the bell curve in college, it is certain that this recent innovation has had its
share in lowering the university s educational standards. This practice of calculating the students
average score on an exam and then re-scaling grades to help those who didn t fare as well is a
clear example of bringing the standard of college down to everyone s level (336). I can certainly
attest to this claim because I was recently directly affected by the bell curve. In the first quarter of
my freshman year, I received a score of 44 out of a possible 100 points on my Physics 7A final
exam. According to the general 10% increment grading scale, this would mean that I earned an F
on the exam. However, thanks to the mediocrities earning even lower scores than myself and
the establishment of the bell curve, I fared quite nicely and escaped with a B- grade. Although this
is definitely good news for me, Henry s claim that the mediocrities tend to lower the educational
standard seems to prevail.
The influx of mediocrities flooding college campuses has also lowered the credibility and
status of a college degree. Henry acknowledges this and states that the trend in recent years has
been eliminating layers of middle management"much of it drawn from the ranks of those lured
to college a generation or two ago by the idea that a degree would transform them from the
mediocre to magisterial (334). Of course, this is no longer the case. Higher education does not
necessarily lead to higher income or status. For example, the median income for a stockbroker
who has a college degree is approximately $50,000 a year .A truck driver earns the same income
and potentially even more depending on the amount...

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