Your Massively Open Offline College Is Broken

Clay Shirky.

It’s a great article about colleges and universities.

A quote:

Because if there’s one group you’d pin your hopes for an American renaissance on, it would be state legislators.

Another one:

Imagine picking a thousand students at random from among our institutions of higher education. Now imagine unpicking everyone at one of US News‘ Top 100 liberal arts colleges or universities. You’d expel anyone from the Ivy League, Stanford, MIT. Anyone from from Emory or Rice. Anyone from Vanderbilt, Clemson, Drexel. Anyone from the famously good state schools—UMass, Virginia, the California universities. After ejecting those students from your group, how many of the original thousand would be left?

About 900.

Again:

This vitiation of the diploma is Goodhart’s Law in action, where a socially useful metric becomes increasingly worthless, because the incentives pushing towards adulteration are larger than those pushing towards purity. This is not some bad thing that was done to us in the academy. We did this to ourselves, under the rubric of ordinary accreditation…

Finally:

In the academy, we’re fine with anything that lowers the cost of education. We love those kinds of changes. But when someone threatens to lower the price, well, then we start behaving like Teamsters in tweed.

Please do go read the whole thing. It really is on point with the problems in higher education.

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