I’ve long thought that the fact that “no one fails” in school was something that made the whole thing silly. Failing has a negative connotation, but it also says that a person needs more work in a given area in order to master it.
That we have taken the teeth out of grading by continuing to process children forward even when they haven’t master basic skills is at the heart of our education problem in America.
At the heart of this matter is the concept of equality, the “right” to equal opportunity, and that we can’t let any person think that they’re smarter or better at anything– that is, until they get in the real world. When they get there, they find that there are highly specialized tasks, and that the company will want someone with skills and experience over the new shiny diploma.
So, it gets me back to the question– is college pointless? For some, it is. It’s simply a very expensive add on to high school. Colleges cost a lot of money, and they’ve had to create classes to catch students up to where they should have been at the end of high school. Plus, the number of students who are actually qualified to excel there is low compared to the entire student body.
And we won’t even go into how many people are in jobs where they don’t use their degrees.
Don’t get me wrong, there are redeeming qualities to college. For some it’s the first time a person is out on their own. For others there is a definite benefit to the structure. But the negatives like the debauchery, the debt, etc. seem to outweigh those positives.
And then there are those whose talents flourish outside of college. So, eventually, it all comes back to who the person is, their thirst for knowledge and drive, and what they can do. Those are things that cannot be taught, only suppressed while the teacher helps that other kid would still be struggling with the FOIL concept when figuring out the binomial equation.