This weekend Mr. Lipstick and I had friends from out of town visit. One is an English professor at a school in New England. As he talked about his love of teaching his freshmen he mentioned how those in his department have seen the writing skills of the incoming freshmen go down hill despite the fact that college admissions is becoming more rigorous. He talked about how colleges across the country are being forced to increase their freshmen composition classes and change their syllabuses in non-composition classes in order to teach incoming freshmen how to write. Not to mention the lack of critical-thinking skills incoming freshmen bring with them.
What do the professors blame? No Child Left Behind. They noticed the decrease in skills after the law was in place for a few years.
How can a law that was meant to improve our academic rigor actually be decreasing it? Have we really managed to create a system that is leaving high school students less prepared for college than before?
(don't answer those questions- I know the answer to them and it only makes me sad.)
Wait - if uni admissions are truly becoming MORE RIGOROUS, then how in the world are LESS QUALIFIED students being admitted?! How does that make any sense?
Am I missing something? I don't understand...
Perhaps the criteria for college admissions does not mirror the criteria for college success. Applicants with good test scores and that balance of extracurricular activities might not have the critical thinking and writing skills that they need.
University admissions are based largely upon academic grades, extracurriculars, and recommendations of teachers/administrators. They tend to have very little to do with the application essay, so you can have very bright people who are terrible at writing.
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