Murray Being Murray

Per this, Charles Murray in today’s WSJ:

First, we will set up a single goal to represent educational success, which will take four years to achieve no matter what is being taught. We will attach an economic reward to it that seldom has anything to do with what has been learned. We will urge large numbers of people who do not possess adequate ability to try to achieve the goal, wait until they have spent a lot of time and money, and then deny it to them. We will stigmatize everyone who doesn’t meet the goal. We will call the goal a “BA.”

Favorite buzzword remains: “people who do not possess adequate ability.”

–Guestblogger Mike Goldstein

4 Replies to “Murray Being Murray”

  1. Murray has made a career out of taking kernels of truth and turning them into stupidity.

  2. If the changed the words

    “We will urge large numbers of people who do not possess adequate ability to try to achieve the goal”


    “We will urge large numbers of people who are not adequately prepared to achieve the goal”

    then he is pretty much spot on isn’t he.

  3. Yes, Rory, I think you are right. But that’s not a small distinction.

    In your setup, the question becomes:

    Do we take inadequate preparation as a given and inevitable, and go from there, as Murray does?


    Do we focus more on legitimately preparing large numbers of people for college? Murray takes this option off the table.

  4. GGW,

    While I agree than inadequate preparation is a huge issue that must be addressed (count me in as a huge school reformist), I don’t think the set up changes the overall point.

    I think the key issue is whether the typical BA is required, even if every single kid in America is prepared to earn one.

    My key agreement with Murray is that a Certification system for many occuppations would be a lot more cost effective and practical than simply requiring a bachelors degree that has very little applicability to the chosen field.

    After living in Europe for many years, Germany and the Netherlands seem so have the most rational system of higher education. There is a much wider variety of job training, apprenticeship, higher education options available.

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