Academically At Sea
American Accreditation - a Sign of Severe Deficiencies?
by Millie Fiori class of '12
In a new book entitled Academically Adrift, Limited Learning on College Campuses, Arum and Roksa point out that American colleges are in business for one thing, that is, to support the colleges themselves. (The closer to number one a college is in the national magazine rankings, the truer that statement seems to be.)
In order to make collective thinking acceptable to Americans, colleges have hired a virtual army of Kantian philosophers who year after year penalize anyone in their classrooms who might support ideas such as individual excellence, creative initiative, and the shunning of valueless behavior.
Colleges in general are willing to cooperate with any program of collective social engineering whatsoever, imposed by the US Federal Department of Education, to the extent that what has been obvious for decades has now come to full fruition. Most students who receive a bachelor's degree from a DOE accredited American university know no more upon graduation than when they entered, and, in most cases have absorbed collective propaganda to such an extent that they are willing to criticize, if not condemn outright, individual excellence in all its forms.
Report after report shows that after two full years of so-called college education in America, most students show no improvement in either analytical skills or general information outside of knowledge of the success or failure of their individual campus sports teams, and a vague idea that to be true to self is somehow to earn poor grades.
There are only two things that count on most American college campuses. First, that the undergraduate level courses are in full compliance with Department of Education standards for social engineering, the discarding of the ability to educate notwithstanding; and, 2) The winning of grants from the US Federal Government at the graduate level, especially in the sciences, with graduate student positions populated primarily by foreign nationals who have refused to be corrupted by American university standards, rarely stray very far from the laboratories, and continue to be amazed that their liberal arts friends are willing to accept what their professors are offering. Foreign nationals then go on to careers in science and mathematics in their home countries, while the best American students become attorneys -- 3.2 million of them and rising.
The American public remains unperturbed regarding how little American undergraduate programs deliver. They continue to ask the same questions, such as, IS THE COLLEGE ACCREDITED BY THE US DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. When the answer to that question is, yes, instead of running for the hills; instead of understanding that US DOE approval is a sure sign that a student is wasting his or her life and money, American families seem to simply smile, sign on the dotted line for student loans, and proceed to deliver themselves into the maw of a system that long ago should have been denied tax payer funding, simply because the system is working only for the colleges themselves, transmitting collective propaganda in step with any policy or regulation that the Department of Education formulates in those barren sixth floor conference rooms.
In other words, our best and brightest students are brought down to the level of our least promising student populations in the interest of the collective.
Ayn Rand, in her 1959 interview with Mike Wallace, and, later with Tom Snyder, said that, she loved America and was appalled that any "savage" in our Nation could criticize excellence, and, instead of being ignored, those in power change the system to accommodate lower and lower standards.
From Ms. Rand's point of view, America was headed for a sort of collective dictatorship. Subsequent developments in the United States have made Ms. Rand appear a prophetess, as we continue to deliver debt and unemployment to America's college graduates in scandalous quantities.
Of course, Linda Christas College, in maintaining its standards, has been accused of all sorts of things, including not being "in tune" with American political life. Well, I say, God Bless Linda Christas for that.
On the other hand, millions of Americans still ask the same tired question, since publicly funded propaganda is so strong.
As collective philosophy continues to be taught on leading university campuses; as professors continue to deliver Kantian collective messages in their classrooms, and, as any appeal to quality education continues to be labeled racist on these campuses, other nations delight in the seeming inability of America's citizenry to look beyond the name of an institution, to look at whether a school has accepted US DOE standards, has accepted tax payer funds and has indebted their students in the name of CASH.
"God Bless You," Ayn Rand to Tom Snyder
In all of this, Linda Christas College struggles on, having rejected DOE accreditation, and the student debt and lack of academic integrity such accreditation has come to mean. Only time will tell whether it is still possible in America to survive in education without a single direct tax payer or tax favored dollar.
By tax favored, I mean American foundations require that schools be established as charities under the IRS codes, thereby divesting themselves of the ability to lobby politicians for change. Schools must obtain this status so that foundations may, in turn, deduct contributions from their own tax returns. In other words, American government power is absolute in the area of funding education.
Foundations such as Bill and Melinda Gates maintain have never, and will never, contribute to a school that is truly innovative. Every contribution they make is to fully DOE or State approved American institutions. In other words, their good works turn out to be nothing more than contributions toward strengthening the power of American government's control over collective educational standards.
Mr. Gates often complains that American schools are not producing quality students, and then, he continues to donate to programs that weaken efforts to improve standards. His well publicized contributions to American public education are sad, in that he makes them seemingly not understanding that his money is being used to snuff out any semblance of quality in the American classroom. The same can be said of Oprah Winfrey, as she follows the same path, often joining hands with Mr. Gates in furthering the downward direction of American education and therefore American academic standing.
In Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses referenced above, we read that half of American university students did not take a single course requiring 20 pages of writing during their prior semester, and one-third did not take a single course requiring even 40 pages of reading per week.
That kind of light load sounded familiar to University of Missouri freshman Julia Rheinecker, who said her first semester of college largely duplicated the work she completed back home in southern Illinois. "I'm not going to lie," she said. "Most of what I learned this year I already had in high school. It was almost easier my first semester (in college)."
So what to do? Well, it might be nice to start by Americans looking to schools like Linda Christas College for direction. Just as with Congressman Ron Paul whose vote is often the only vote to end war, we need to look to persons and schools who go it alone against the huge monolith that has continued to undermine American education during the past half century.
We need to introduce the philosophy of Ayn Rand (at least her appeal to excellence) into the American university classroom. We need to support any school that has rejected DOE accreditation and its attendant consequences.
Said differently, we need to return to easily recognized high standards, and cease listening to the voices funded by hundreds of billions of tax dollars each year aimed at controlling the American mind through collective enforcement.
We need to once again find our way to a belief in hard work, and the praising of individual excellence in all its forms; while not being afraid to establish rules of civility, loveliness and quality that were extent in the America not so long ago.