Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Failing to Educate

Say you were running a business and you found out that just under 1/2 of your customers were not satisfied with your products. Time for some pretty big changes, wouldn't you think? Not if you are in the undergraduate education business apparently.

According to a recent annual national survey of freshmen conducted by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, 44.6 percent said they were not satisfied with the quality of instruction they received (as reported in this story from The Chronicle of Higher Education). The story reports some other disturbing statistics about the proficiency of college students
College students may be dissatisfied with instruction, but, despite that, do they learn? A 2006 study supported by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that 50 percent of college seniors scored below "proficient" levels on a test that required them to do such basic tasks as understand the arguments of newspaper editorials or compare credit-card offers. Almost 20 percent of seniors had only basic quantitative skills. The students could not estimate if their car had enough gas to get to the gas station.

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