It used to be that the quality of an American university or college degree spoke for itself. An employer could evaluate one’s academic achievement by looking at a transcript and making a fair assessment. Well, those days appear to be fading fast. Decades of academic bureaucratic bloat, grade inflation, and dumbing down curricula have had such a profound effect that a standardized, online college exit exam is being introduced in the spring of 2014. The 90-minute test, produced by the non-profit Council for Aid to Education, is called the Collegiate Learning Assessment Plus (CLA+), and its scores can be shared with employers.
This article and this letters column (“Dear Joyce”/ Joyce Lain Kennedy) from the Chicago Tribune provide good background information on the CLA+. From these articles it becomes clear that “grade inflation” has destroyed the value of the college transcript. Here is another interesting observation:
Additionally, some employers are rethinking the value of famous-name institutions. Is a degree from Harvard or Stanford really worth multiple times that of a solid state university? That rethink is why the CLA+ could level the hiring field by valuing the individual over the institution.
Wow. So, these bloated educational bureaucracies are producing wildly overpriced educations that may soon have to be validated by a $35 national test that assesses “analysis, problem solving, writing, quantitative reasoning and reading.” Now that is adding insult to injury.