Friday, March 16, 2007

New Priorities in Education

Once upon a time, colleges and universities strove to foster and reward intellectual excellence and achievment. Not anymore.

CLINTON, N.Y. - Hamilton College said Thursday it will stop offering merit scholarships to incoming students in 2008 and use the money instead to provide more need-based assistance to low-and middle-income families.

The move won praise from educators who said they hope it will inspire other colleges to follow suit.

The decision by the small liberal arts college would affect only a few dozen students. But it comes at a time when colleges have been criticized for using their resources to lure high-achieving students — many of whom don't need the money to attend college — thereby improving a school's academic standing at the expense of its economic diversity.

Racial and economic diversity are the new core values of America's educational establishment. Anything that fails to promote the illusion of equality and diversity - like high achievement, merit-based rewards, and intellectual excellence - is to be punished or ignored.

The consequences of such thinking will ultimately be to pull down the level, and value, of an education at American colleges and universities. But as long as the mandate of diversity is satisfied, the mandarins of American education will be pleased. Even if not one graduate can do anything useful. Look what they've already done to the public school system.


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