ERIC Number: ED317232
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jan
Educational Morality: A Task of Resisting the Economic Corruption of Academic Excellence.
Van Allen, George H.
Although the United States leads the world in spending for education, the quality of education is under attack from all quarters. On college campuses, the perceived necessity to maintain enrollment levels, and a post-60's reluctance to be selective in admissions contributed to waning academic standards. Economic interests have become the dominant force behind the mediocrity in higher education, with full-time equivalency (FTE) production becoming an end in itself. Grade inflation, prevalent in colleges and universities throughout the United States, helps to maintain retention and graduation rates, but leaves students without commensurate skills. The academic establishment must return to the tradition of using grades to measure academic achievement, rather than motivation, persistence, or participation. The community college system has sustained phenomenal growth and credentialling activity despite academically unprepared students. This productivity is attributed to inflated grades and a decline in standards. Studies have shown several community colleges to give disproportionately high numbers of A's and B's, despite the students' academic underpreparation on entering college. In addition, community colleges have traditionally embraced remedial programs, which analysis has shown to be ineffective in some cases. The intrusion of political forces into the educational arena are welcomed, but colleges need leaders of their own. Higher education needs leaders who will concentrate less on economic conditions and more on student achievement. Community colleges have traditionally looked to schools of education for decision makers, yet these schools routinely accept students with below average scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). In order to breed educational morality, graduate schools of education must become role models and distance themselves from mediocrity. (WJT)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A