In response to:

Let’s Help Academia Destroy Itself

Kodiak5 Wrote: Mar 04, 2013 12:29 PM
Distance education has great strengths, but also limitations. I'm a lifelong CONSERVATIVE, so don't come back with a knee-jerk "you lazy bums" wave-off because I make my living as a professor. From my 20 years in the business, the most important thing we need to do is separate the teaching and the evaluation (credentialing) elements. The students put up with the teacher’s BS because the teacher controls their grades: If students had to prove their knowledge and skills to an independent evaluator the professors’ power over them would deflate like a popped balloon.
JustMC Wrote: Mar 04, 2013 12:40 PM
I think this is correct. Though, the real approach to separating grades from credentialing is NOT something that should happen in academia at all. The real way to do it is to:


If the only money in colleges is that paid by willing consumers of what those colleges offer, very quickly colleges will become places that offer:

1. truly productive training that will pay for itself in the job market, for the few who can actually make use of such training.
2. a fun, summer-camp like networking experience for the very rich but unproductive.

The former category will succeed in the marketplace because their real skills will enable them to please willing customers and thus command higher pay.
JustMC Wrote: Mar 04, 2013 12:46 PM
The latter category will be fundamentally no different from any other sort of entertainment spending,

But circling back, my real point here is that Kodiak's point about separating teaching and evaluation is technically correct but not clear enough and is potentially misleading. What we DON'T need is a so-called "separate" credentialing agency that functions as a parallel structure to the teaching. Such things are NEVER separate.

What we need is the RAW, FREE MARKET doing the credentialing BY WAY OF SINK-OR-SWIM measurement of productivity. A truly free market of willing customers will quickly VOTE WITH ITS DOLLARS for that which is productive. Perhaps it will CREATE its own accrediting organizations much as UL does testing...
JustMC Wrote: Mar 04, 2013 12:46 PM
...for risk.

But if the taxpayer money stays in the mix, funding the useless "education" then the market for that useless, wasted "education" will remain both present and expensive. It will remain a parasite on the truly productive people, lowering living standards for the masses.
JustMC Wrote: Mar 04, 2013 1:23 PM
And again, to be fair, I don't know what Kodiak was advocating. I only wanted to clarify in what context I thought his statement was correct. If he means that a separate agency that does testing/credentialing can fix the problem even if public money remains the the system, I think he is incorrect.

If he thinks that purging the taxpayer money from the system and letting the market choose what is useful education (by WHATEVER sorts of means the market does so) then I agree entirely.

Conservatives should welcome the decline of academia as we know it. I, for one, will celebrate its death by engaging in the same activity that characterized my four years at what some call its pinnacle– drinking a lot of Coors Light.

There is still nostalgia among conservatives, especially older ones who have forgotten what college is really like, for the idea of higher education as a rigorous venue for intellectual growth, an environment of exciting and vibrant ideas shared by wise, caring educators dedicated to the pursuit of truth.

Today, it is nothing of the sort.

For the vast majority...