Sunday, July 15, 2012

Get Rid of Colleges…Mostly

When Woodrow Wilson was president of Princeton he was once asked how many students were there. “About ten percent,” he answered.

The story may be apocryphal but I doubt it. But it illustrates something I have believed for a long time: most college is a waste. Ninety percent of the people attending shouldn’t be there. As far as I’m concerned, anyone with an IQ of less than 120 shouldn’t be allowed to go to college.

Approximately ten percent of the people in the U.S. have IQs of 120 and above. That fact illuminates Wilson’s observation that only ten percent of the students at Princeton were motivated to learn. The rest were there for the same reasons most students go to college today: party and do the minimum work to pass and get a job. And what little they do learn flies right out of their heads when they pass the class.

I doubt anyone with an IQ less than 120 is, for some examples, going to be interested in the conflicts between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. Or Kurt Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem.

They may, however, love cars. Or building houses (I knew a carpenter who when the house was finished stood back from it and said, with pride and satisfaction, “I built that.” He hated school so much he had dropped out of high school – although later he got his G.E.D.).

I graduated from the largest producers of teachers in a very populous state. I only met one smart education major, and he was a friend of mine. The rest of them were girls, and I never met a smart one. In fact, besides my friend I never met another male education major.

The fact I never met another male education major in my school was odd, since the high school I graduated from had quite a few men and a lot of them graduated from my university. But apparently, for some reason I know not, men aren’t going into education anymore – and certainly not below the middle school level.

But I digress a bit. But not much. If universities did not allow anyone with less than a 120 IQ to attend, the Education major would cease to exist, since Education majors have the lowest IQs/SATs/ACT scores of those attending college.

Education degrees are worthless anyway. BS, MA, Ed.D – all worthless. You can have a Ph.D. in Mathematics and teach at a university, but without a degree in Education you can’t even teach kindergarten. That’s bizarre, to say the least. It’s also stupid.

The second-lowest IQs belong to business majors. That’s another worthless degree. Bill Gates and Steven Jobs didn’t have college degrees. Neither did Andrew Carnegie and Thomas Edison. Both Gates and Jobs dropped out.

I’m not saying one education class or some business classes aren’t good. But the degrees themselves are not necessary and in fact worthless. They shouldn’t exist.

There are other worthless degrees. Sociology. Economics. Economics should be combined with Political Science and be called Political Economy. Psychology, Sociology and Social Psychology (I actually had a worthless teacher with a Ph.D. in Social Psychology) should be combined and given a new name.

And please don’t get me started on utterly worthless degrees such as Black Studies, Women’s Studies and other ethnic-oriented “degrees.” Anyone who gets such a degree is out of his/her mind and will never get a worthwhile job.

We should return to the past in some ways, as in the word “cub.” As in Jimmy Olsen, cub reporter, from the old Superman TV series. My father, who was a general contractor, started out as a cub carpenter. There aren’t “cub” anythings anymore, and there should be. People should start at the bottom and work their way up.

I’d trust a cub who worked his/her way up before I’d trust someone with an MBA (not only a worthless but a dangerous degree) who gets put in charge of a business they know nothing about. I’ve worked for MBAs from Harvard and Yale and I’ve only met one who knew what she was doing – and her MBA was from the University of Chicago. The rest didn’t have a clue and in fact drove businesses out of existence with their incompetence. I talked to these people long enough, and worked them long enough, to know they didn’t know what they were doing.

College degrees are filters, anyway, although they’re not very good ones. They’re supposed to filter out the people who wouldn’t make good employees. That hasn’t been my experience. Oftentimes they filter out good people and let the morons graduate. These days, a college degree is what a high school degree was 100 years ago – and a Master’s today is what a BA was a century ago.

My friend who got the Education degree finally got an MS in Economics and then a Ph.D. He tells me they’re worthless. Everything he needed to know he learned in six undergraduate classes. The rest of his “education” – a waste.

People who are motivated should be allowed to pass proficiency exams for a college degree. It’s better than daydreaming in class because of boredom. For four years. I took proficiency exams for three classes and would have preferred to take them for three years of my degree. One year in class would have suited me just fine.

Many people would be better off going to vocational school. That’s what a lot of kids are doing anyway. They take practical classes, get out fast and get a job. Who is their right mind wants to take a bunch of boring, impractical classes? I did it and regret all but half-dozen classes I took in college.

This is supposed to be a free country. That means you should be free from 13 of public schooling, from four years to get an undergraduate degree, and the four or more years to get “advanced” degrees – and all of it to get a “good job.” A lot of which don’t exist anymore. And it’s got to the point with the crushing load of “education” that it’s as bad as the Mandarins in ancient China.

Woodrow Wilson was at least right once in his life: 90% of the students in college shouldn’t be there.

1 comment:

Kent McManigal said...

"But apparently, for some reason I know not, men aren’t going into education anymore – and certainly not below the middle school level."

I'll tell you why: No man in his right mind will risk being alone with a group of kids anymore. He'll be accused of molesting one eventually, no matter how careful he may be.