Letter to the editor: a college degree

Written by Muleskinner Staff

Dear Editor,
A college degree does not guarantee what used to be thought of as a college education.
A high school diploma long ago was a mark of distinction. No more. A high school grad today often cannot solve a simple equation or write a literate paragraph.
The same is now true of some college grads. Society’s insistence that almost everyone graduate from high school has made the diploma meaningless. In fact, so meaningless that not having a diploma is a sign of something far below mediocrity. The same is also true of many college diplomas. The stricter the entrance criteria for a college, the more likely it is that a grad of that institution will be competent. But so many schools these days have laughably low admission standards and often graduate extremely marginal people.
I am grading a batch of papers from a 4-level class. Most of the students plan to teach high school English. Some of the papers show scant knowledge of English grammar and usage, among other problems, such as failure to be clear.
James Obertino
Associate Professor of English