Tuesday, March 7, 2006

A Community College Prof from Cali Tells Us That It's Time to Brace Up, As If We Didn't Already Get That Memo

My classes are large, so I mostly use multiple-choice tests. One day, being one question short of a nice round number, I used this question: "The answer to this question is D. Be sure to mark D on your answer sheet." The offered choices were: (A) This is the wrong answer. (B) This is the wrong answer. (C) This is the wrong answer. (D) This is the correct answer. Be sure to mark it on your answer sheet. (E) This is the wrong answer.

About 20% of the students got it wrong. One possibility is that they couldn't read any English. Another is that they didn't care. But one student had the courage to admit that he always marked B for every answer (true, that's what he did) in hopes that all the answers were B.

I have students who want to turn in scrapbooks with newspaper clippings, rather than take exams. These are some of the more motivated ones.

Students with any sort of goal are rarely a problem. Any sort of goal at all.

But really, who cares? You and I know that there is little opportunity for the educated person in the USA today, unless you went to the Right College and know The Right People. Merely studying a useful major isn't good enough, unless you're satisfied with unpaid internships and the like.

The problem is self-caused by the educators. Let the dropouts be dropouts. The only difference will be less employment for the educators. Oh, you say that you don't want that? Well then, it's your own fault, so stop complaining.