In my last blog, I identified grade inflation as Reason #2 why a college degree doesn’t mean what it used to. I explained that grade inflation started with the anti-Vietnam War movement of the 1960s, when college students were exempt from the military draft and sympathetic professors inflated grades to keep their students from flunking out of school and being drafted. It has persisted partly because most college professors want to be popular, and some schools even allow students to grade their instructors, so it’s hard for them to earn a good grade unless they also give them to their students.
There’s another reason for grade inflation. It’s because college education has morphed into indoctrination.
College is supposed to be a bastion of free speech and discussion of a wide range of ideas. The anti-Vietnam War movement of the 1960s and ‘70s erupted on college campuses throughout the United States (and other Western nations) as a rebellion against orthodox thinking that didn’t question government policies. Many of today’s college professors were among the student protesters and disrupters back then.
While in their youth they challenged orthodox thinking, as grown-ups they have imposed their own brand of rigid, “politically correct” thinking on impressionable students. They are committed to suppression of any kind views that doesn’t fall within the framework of their left-wing beliefs. Many of them self-identify as Marxists, even though the communism espoused by Karl Marx has been thoroughly discredited everywhere it’s been tried. These days it’s hard to find any true believers in Marxism, except in a few economically backward countries like Cuba — and among the ranks of college professors.
Even students pursuing apolitical studies like science or math will still have to deal with these ideologues in mandatory liberal arts classes needed to satisfy graduation requirements. Spew the party line when writing papers and you’ll get an A. But your grades will suffer if you show even the slightest inclination of independent thought. When outsiders come to speak, anyone even slightly to the right of center in his/her political views gets shouted down or even assaulted on college campuses these days. College administrators, who usually come from the same professorial ranks, often share the same politically correct outlook and/or are too timid to enact any punishments for the left-wing brand of fascism on their campuses.
I was the first person in my family to attend college, and I treasure the way it opened my mind to new ideas and knowledge. What I see happening on college campuses these days turns my stomach. I often ask myself, why would any employer ever want to hire someone with a closed mind who would be potentially disruptive to company morale?
The fascism that permeates college life today is the most disgusting reason why I think college is a lousy deal. But there are other reasons to come. Stay tuned.