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View Full Version : Why Ivy League schools are overrated



Elspeth
07-23-2014, 12:48 AM
Don't Send Your Kid to the Ivy League The nation's top colleges are turning our kids into zombies
http://www.newrepublic.com/article/118747/ivy-league-schools-are-overrated-send-your-kids-elsewhere

...“Super People,” the writer James Atlas has called them—the stereotypical ultra-high-achieving elite college students of today. A double major, a sport, a musical instrument, a couple of foreign languages, service work in distant corners of the globe, a few hobbies thrown in for good measure: They have mastered them all, and with a serene self-assurance that leaves adults and peers alike in awe....

These enviable youngsters appear to be the winners in the race we have made of childhood. But the reality is very different, as I have witnessed in many of my own students and heard from the hundreds of young people whom I have spoken with on campuses or who have written to me over the last few years. Our system of elite education manufactures young people who are smart and talented and driven, yes, but also anxious, timid, and lost, with little intellectual curiosity and a stunted sense of purpose: trapped in a bubble of privilege, heading meekly in the same direction, great at what they’re doing but with no idea why they’re doing it....

...So extreme are the admission standards now that kids who manage to get into elite colleges have, by definition, never experienced anything but success. The prospect of not being successful terrifies them, disorients them. The cost of falling short, even temporarily, becomes not merely practical, but existential. The result is a violent aversion to risk. You have no margin for error, so you avoid the possibility that you will ever make an error....

...College is not the only chance to learn to think, but it is the best. One thing is certain: If you haven’t started by the time you finish your B.A., there’s little likelihood you’ll do it later. That is why an undergraduate experience devoted exclusively to career preparation is four years largely wasted.

Elite schools like to boast that they teach their students how to think, but all they mean is that they train them in the analytic and rhetorical skills that are necessary for success in business and the professions. Everything is technocratic—the development of expertise—and everything is ultimately justified in technocratic terms.

Religious colleges—even obscure, regional schools that no one has ever heard of on the coasts—often do a much better job in that respect. What an indictment of the Ivy League and its peers: that colleges four levels down on the academic totem pole, enrolling students whose SAT scores are hundreds of points lower than theirs, deliver a better education, in the highest sense of the word.

At least the classes at elite schools are academically rigorous, demanding on their own terms, no? Not necessarily. In the sciences, usually; in other disciplines, not so much. There are exceptions, of course, but professors and students have largely entered into what one observer called a “nonaggression pact.” Students are regarded by the institution as “customers,” people to be pandered to instead of challenged. Professors are rewarded for research, so they want to spend as little time on their classes as they can. The profession’s whole incentive structure is biased against teaching, and the more prestigious the school, the stronger the bias is likely to be. The result is higher marks for shoddier work.....

SaintLouieWoman
07-23-2014, 01:21 AM
This actually sounds like the defnition of Obama. He thinks that he can't fail and apparently believes that he is so brilliant that he cannot accept failure or challenges to his opinions. After all, he's the smartest person in the room (sort of like Hillary being the world's smartest female).

Col Ralph Peters has been saying that Obama is timid. He is. He can't seem to orient himself to what is going on in the world and just lets things go by.

We'd best turn to religion in this country and start praying mightily. We're going to need a whole lot of prayers to protect ourselves for the next 2 years. Our might nation has become a nation of failure, at least in the national leadership. Thanks to God for the energetic people who will rise in protest against the malaise that has fallen over the land.

Elspeth
07-23-2014, 02:17 AM
This actually sounds like the defnition of Obama. He thinks that he can't fail and apparently believes that he is so brilliant that he cannot accept failure or challenges to his opinions. After all, he's the smartest person in the room (sort of like Hillary being the world's smartest female).

Col Ralph Peters has been saying that Obama is timid. He is. He can't seem to orient himself to what is going on in the world and just lets things go by.


This is very insightful, SLW. It actually might explain a lot about the Empty Suit.

JohnnyJeb
07-23-2014, 09:07 AM
A lesson learned through failure...known as the school of hard knocks....will stay with you a life time. One learned in the classroom may not.

Retread
07-23-2014, 10:12 AM
Revisiting (http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/21/revisiting-the-value-of-elite-colleges/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=0) the Value of Elite Colleges

By DAVID LEONHARDT FEBRUARY 21, 2011 9:30 AMJuly 21, 2011 3:44 pm

Fred R. Conrad/The New York Times

A decade ago, two economists — Stacy Dale and Alan Krueger — published a research paper arguing that elite colleges did not seem to give most graduates an earnings boost. As you might expect, the paper received a ton of attention. Ms. Dale and Mr. Krueger have just finished a new version of the study — with vastly more and better data, covering people into their 40s and 50s, as well as looking at a set of more recent college graduates — and the new version comes to the same conclusion.

Given how counterintuitive that conclusion is and, that some other economists have been skeptical of it, I want to devote a post to the new paper.

The starting point is the obvious fact that graduates of elite colleges make more money than graduates of less elite colleges. This pattern holds even when you control for the SAT scores and grades of graduates. By themselves, these patterns seem to suggest that the college is a major reason for the earnings difference.

But Ms. Dale — an economist at Mathematica, a research firm — and Mr. Krueger — a Princeton economist and former contributor to this blog — added a new variable in their research. They also controlled for the colleges that students applied to and were accepted by.

Doing so allowed them to capture much more information about the students than SAT scores and grades do. Someone who applies to Duke, Williams or Yale may be signaling that he or she is more confident and ambitious than someone with similar scores and grades who does not apply. Someone who is accepted by a highly selective school may have other skills that their scores didn’t pick up, but that the admissions officers noticed.

DumbAss Tanker
07-23-2014, 10:35 AM
Neither Manbearpig nor G. W. Bush got into an Ivy League school on their grades or intellect, they got in as legacies. In addition to a large number of these oligarch legacy students, there is certainly a large percentage of Ivy League students who are the Wunderkinder described, whose family incur the debt to buy a modestly-large mansion in order to place them, but most of them are fated to just be high-level middle management...the advantage they get isn't actually that 'Learning how to think' balderdash, it's connections with the half-wit offspring of the oligarchs.

Lanie
07-23-2014, 11:00 AM
Religious schools tend to be ridiculously expensive. If you think those public universities are bad......


I think all these online schools are a great, cheaper option. You get the education you need without the indoctrination attempts, the special interest groups, the fees for services that you don't use, etc.

Dori
07-23-2014, 01:17 PM
Religious schools tend to be ridiculously expensive. If you think those public universities are bad......


I think all these online schools are a great, cheaper option. You get the education you need without the indoctrination attempts, the special interest groups, the fees for services that you don't use, etc.

I agree with you. We need more alternatives so anyone who wants to can get a higher education without all the expense and time constrictions.

Not everyone can go from high school right into college, and those that don't sometimes find themselves so obligated and over extended with life to be able to drop everything to attend college. There should be at a minimum, accredited courses you can take in the basics to at least get any pre-requisite work done.

I resent the lecture classes that aren't even given by the professors. Sometimes they are student assistants or whose English is so bad you can't understand what they are saying.

RobJohnson
07-24-2014, 04:39 AM
We'd best turn to religion in this country and start praying mightily. We're going to need a whole lot of prayers to protect ourselves for the next 2 years. Our might nation has become a nation of failure, at least in the national leadership. Thanks to God for the energetic people who will rise in protest against the malaise that has fallen over the land.

Amen.