DIY U: The Accreditation Question

degree

In a column today for the online edition of the Washington Post, blogger Ezra Klein wrote a short review of Anya Kamenetz‘s DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education in which he praised innovative approaches to higher education but worried that the accreditation factor would be too important for alternative education to appeal to any but committed “lifetime learners”:

But there’s a reason I didn’t drop out of UCLA despite the fact that I was learning more elsewhere: Accreditation matters. It matters more, in some ways, than the learning does. Just look at the pipeline that Ivy League English majors have into Wall Street firms. They’re not getting hired for their skill with a calculator or their feel for a trade. They’re getting hired because they have a diploma from Harvard.

Here’s Anya’s response:

This question assumes that the system of accreditation we have works well today, for the majority of people.
Actually, accreditation today works well for people like Ezra and myself who managed to get into and graduate from selective schools. This is by definition a small minority of people since “selective” means “lets in a small minority.”

It works less well for people who graduate from less selective schools.

It works extremely poorly for people who do not get degrees–often because they are poor and have to work more hours while they’re in, or instead of going, to school. They are cut out of a good percentage of decent-paying jobs. In fact, even in progressive circles there isn’t much public conversation about improving the quality of non-college jobs because the human capital policy we have assumes–”oh we’ll send more people to college so they can qualify for good jobs.”

This third group is a majority of Americans–just over 60 percent have less than an associate’s degree.

Read the entire Ezra Klein article here.

Read Anya Kamenetz’s complete response here.

 
Related Articles:

Read The Book

DIY U

Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education

$14.95

Recent Articles

Victory Over Big Ag: How a small town said “Yes!” to a pesticide-free future

A Precautionary Tale shares the inspiring story of a group of citizens in Mals, Italy who fought Big Ag and won and, in doing so, became the first place on Earth to ban pesticides by a referendum vote. Their colorful, courageous, and ultimately savvy campaign is being heralded around the world as a landmark effort in…

Read More

VIDEO TED2018: A healthy economy should be designed to thrive, not grow

What would a sustainable, universally beneficial economy look like? “Like a doughnut,” says Oxford economist Kate Raworth. In a stellar, eye-opening TED2018 talk, Kate explains how we can move countries out of the hole — where people are falling short on life’s essentials — and create regenerative, distributive economies that work within the planet’s ecological limits. (Afterward,…

Read More

Freedom from Poison: How One Small Town Banned Pesticides, Preserved Its Food Heritage, and Inspired a Movement

“The movement for freedom from poisons in our food and agriculture is the most important freedom movement in our times. . . . Read the story of Mals to get inspired. And act.” —from the foreword by VANDANA SHIVA The recent uncovering of The Poison Papers—a collection of documents revealing years of apparent collusion between companies…

Read More

Books to Curl up with this Winter!

William Wordsworth was right when he said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her.” Nevertheless, the cold, dark days of winter can still get the best of even Nature’s most tenderhearted admirer. What’s one to do? We here at Chelsea Green have concocted the perfect cabin fever remedy with our suggested winter reading…

Read More

BORN ON THIRD BASE author, Chuck Collins, to be interviewed by Bernie Sanders

On Tuesday, October 3rd at 11:30 a.m. EST, check out Facebook.com/SenatorSanders for a special Facebook Live event with Senator Bernie Sanders and Chuck Collins, Institute for Policy Studies, author of Born on Third Base, co-editor of Inequality.org. In case you miss the live broadcast, you can watch the replay on the Facebook event page. In…

Read More