September 21, 2006
Levine’s Vision on Education in the Future Is Incorrect
It is obvious that Arthur E. Levine’s article, “Sure Changes for Colleges in the Future,” wrongly suggests that the future of education will be questionable. Levine writes that “educational passports” (283) will be needed to track down a student’s educational records. He also questions whether “faculty will become increasingly independent of colleges” (282), and whether “degrees will wither in importance” (283), because of the variety of new ways degrees can be earned. All these points that Levine speculates on seem to be far fetched and inaccurate in describing the progress education is making in our world. It is misleading to say that “degrees will wither in importance,” when employers are constantly choosing people who have a better educational background than others. Furthermore, “Educational passports” (283) are not a good way to record a student’s educational achievements, because they fail to record the learning that happens outside of a classroom. Likewise, would students actually watch faculty members on “weekly PBS programs”(283)? It is almost impossible to believe that Levine’s “Sure Changes for Colleges in the Future” is written with considerable concern for education in the future, because of the extreme improbability of degrees withering in importance, educational passports replacing degrees, and faculty becoming more popular than their colleges.
Although Levine proposes that the easy availability of degrees from online websites, community colleges, or even local high schools lessens the value of degrees from accredited colleges, certainly, the accessibility of degrees is not something that will lessen the value of degrees from accredited colleges. For instance, a working mother is now able to take care of her kids and still take online courses to improve her education, thus opening up doors for better jobs for her. Even though she can get a better job by taking a few courses, it is still not equivalent to the time and effort a four-year degree requires at a prestigious college. So, if employers recognize the value of degrees from higher institutions over online courses, how could degrees wither in importance? Just because degrees are more accessible now doesn’t mean that the value they hold changes. Colleges are still the primary form of education that employers seek in an applicant. Although online courses can provide a degree, online courses do not teach face to face learning, but their students make up for this on their own through their jobs. Employers still look for a wide array of qualities in applicants and being able to successfully communicate orally is one, which is developed faster in classroom face to face interaction. Levine, further, goes on to claim that since degrees will be less exclusive, “student’s competencies . . . will be far more desirable” (283). However, this could never be true since a student’s competencies aren’t the only factor an employer considers. Both a student’s competencies and where the degree comes from are equally important to complete a resume. Although the accessibility of earning a degree from any place, whether it is online or at college, is beneficial to a person seeking a better job, degrees will never wither in importance since employers recognize the value of a degree alongside a student’s competencies. Furthermore, Billy Collins, a poet, indirectly proves that the availability of degrees is something to embrace rather than criticize. Billy Collins exemplifies that availability of knowledge is also a good thing in poetry by using less poetic diction and everyday language, so more readers can understand him. In his poem, “The Trouble With Poetry,” he talks about how he reads other poets and takes their ideas, but just simplifies the language to form his own poetry. In fact, Collins is...