Standards: Just Lower Them Already

October 5, 2022

Snow flurries? Cancel grade school and high school classes. Covid? Cancel in person classes and shift to the “tech will solve it” approach to education. Algebraic identities? Talk about TikToks.

The clash of the dinobabies is illustrated in “NYU Chemistry Professor Fired After Students Said His Class Was Too Hard.” The subtitle to the article identifies one issue:

Students were misreading exam questions at an astonishing rate

The idea is an important one: Reading with comprehension.

A college professor expected students to read the course material, do the required exercises, read examination questions, and answer them. A failure to understand what one reads means that one does not ingest information, understand it, and explain what one has learned.

That seems to have been a problem at New York University, a school distinguished by its proximity to a thriving informal market in controlled substances.

How did the students react to the professor who expected the students to learn chemistry? The TikTok aficionados protested.

How did the university respond to the bleating students? The institution fired the professor. No tenure; therefore, no problem.

Several observations seem to be warranted:

  1. Learning can be fun, even easy, but in most cases, learning requires carving new pathways in the brain and forcing new connections therein. Focus, effort, are commitment required. TikTok learning and YouTube short cuts may not do the job.
  2. Reading is FUNdamental. Was, is, and will be. Can’t read? Flashing warning lights.
  3. Institutions tossing standards in the dumper ensure an accelerating decline in decision making, understanding, and sticking to a difficult task. Lose these skills, lose trust in education, government, people, and probably most touch points in life.
  4. Discipline is a valuable trait. No discipline and one’s life may wobble.

Who cares? TikTok and YouTube don’t. Why are falling standards in vogue? Ah, that’s an interesting question. Let’s Google it.

Stephen E Arnold, October 4, 2022


Comments are closed.

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta