Friday, February 20, 2009

An A For Effort?

Talk About a Lousy Idea

by Michelle Cottle - February 18, 2009 - The New Republic

There's a wicked little piece in today's NYT about how college students' somehow, somewhere along the way came to believe that if they put in the effort then they automatically deserve a high grade, regardless of the actual quality of their work.


What would be wrong is if a university trained its students to believe that they were excellent simply for getting up off their futons and doing what was expected of them. Did the reading? Attended class? Stayed up late working on a paper? Good for you, puppy! Sure, you did a craptastic job on that paper--not to mention the final--suggesting that you have no more than a fourth-grader's grasp of the material. But what the hell!? You worked hard. You showed up--even when you had that reallllly bad hangover. You may not have learned much, but you sure did try. Have a nice fat A. And here's hoping it comes in handy when your first employer fires you for not being able to tell your ass from your elbow when it comes to doing your job.

Sweet Jesus, where did such dizzying nonsense come from?

Even better, when did we ever expect to see such honesty about education non-sense from a publication like The New Republic. Are we really seeing a rebellion against the sense of entitlement of today's generation? With the election of the Magic Marxist Messiah, it is probably too late.

My favorite excerpt from the New York Times article is:
Jason Greenwood, a senior kinesiology major at the University of Maryland echoed that view.

“I think putting in a lot of effort should merit a high grade,” Mr. Greenwood said. “What else is there really than the effort that you put in?”

“If you put in all the effort you have and get a C, what is the point?” he added. “If someone goes to every class and reads every chapter in the book and does everything the teacher asks of them and more, then they should be getting an A like their effort deserves. If your maximum effort can only be average in a teacher’s mind, then something is wrong.”

Yeah. Something is wrong okay. You are not the brilliant thinker you visualize yourself as and reality is slapping you in the face. Only an idiot thinks that reality is the problem and that you can argue against it.



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