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:

Share This:

Read The Book

DIY U

Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education

$14.95

Recent Articles

There’s No Room for Politeness in Politics

The polite thing to do when asking for something is to say “please” and wait patiently. However, this doesn’t work in our current political climate. Movements and change will only occur when the people demand action, when they have strong voices delivering their messages, and when they leave politeness on the table. Take Bernie Sanders…

Read More

The Man Who Hated Work and Loved Labor

In response to one of the nation’s darkest labor-history chapters, Congress passed a law in 1894 making the first Monday of every September “Labor Day,” to pay tribute and honor the achievements and contributions of American workers. While the passing of the law helped to improve conditions, standards, and relations there was still work to…

Read More

A Grassroots Revolution for Pesticide-Free Communities

As the ‘poison cartel’ creeps relentlessly across food systems, there is overwhelming evidence that something must be done to stop them. The small town of Mals, Italy took a stand and started a revolution to stop the corruption and pave the way for a pesticide-free future.  The following excerpt is the foreword by Dr. Vandana…

Read More

Radical Thinking for 21st-Century Economists

The economy is a complex, evolving system, and that’s an empowering thought: it means that every one of us can play a part in shaping its evolution. When it comes to understanding economics you may be familiar with classic texts like Adam Smith’s, but don’t view that as the be-all-end-all, lest you get stuck in…

Read More

Community Food Forests in Action

Alright. We’ve covered the basics of what a community food forest is, how to plan one, and which approach is best. Now it’s time to see some in action! Keep reading to learn more about some of the pioneers of the food forest movement. The following excerpt is from The Community Food Forest Handbook by Catherine Bukowski…

Read More