x
schencka
on higher ed
My snipy reply to this.

Mr. Schwartz,

You printed one of the weaker columns I've seen in the _AZ Daily Star_ in a while.

The title goes, "Education system needs to adjust to job market." You proceed to talk about the economic difficulties that drive many people away from higher education, and argue that degrees should be more accessible.

However, I'm perturbed by your completely unsupported claim that "Our education system has not adapted to the needs of the job market." How exactly? Offer some evidence, especially in that this is the title of the column.

You argue that "[p]ublic high schools ought to be able to equip their graduates with the equivalent of a liberal arts degree." How would this happen? Give some evidence this is possible.

It is true that education is getting more expensive. The simple point you fail to acknowledge is that in a burgeoning economy, where upper-level degrees become more and more necessary, the actual number of people getting those JDs, MAs, MDs and PhDs will be determined not by availability, but by the ambition, drive and willingness to learn and work of the individual student.

In sum, you blame the education system without corresponding evidence. Go to a 100- or 200- level class at the University of Arizona, and see the students reading the Daily Wildcat, texting on their cell phones, sleeping, chatting and eating fast food. I know where the fault lies when these people end up in dead-end jobs. It ain't the education system.

In fact, our education system is working, especially higher education. The function of an institution like the UofA is one of socialization: creating individuals that can communicate articulately and that can work hard on long-term projects (like getting a four-year degree).

There's a saying, "You're in law school to learn the law, not to be a lawyer." May our higher education system *rebuff* attempts to make it into corporate training lite.

Sincerely,
Adam Schenck
 
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