Lately universities, especially high status public universities, have been introducing courses in stupid, to accommodate the increasing number of students that have difficulty doing traditional university courses. The students who attend courses in stupid are overwhelmingly female and disproportionately lower class. At the same time, degrees in smart, for example Computer Science, get women and blacks affirmatively actioned into them, and when those students struggle, get quietly and furtively dumbed down, becoming yet another degree in stupid.
In Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality the authors note with puzzlement that lower class students that come to university with a high GPA, tend to struggle doing traditional university courses, and repeatedly switch majors towards courses in stupid. Because they repeatedly change majors, they spend an unreasonably long time in University and thus rack up unreasonably high debt, finally leaving university with high debt, a low GPA and a degree in stupid. They then fail to get middle class jobs, being stupid people with a degree in stupidity.
Of course, back in the early nineteenth century everyone knew that parental achievement was the best indicator of a child’s likely achievement. Tests are easy to game, so are only a reliable indicator when the test outcome does not affect anything.
But why does lower class GPA droop in university? The authors of Paying for the Party, noticing that upper class students tend to party their way through university, doing no actual studies, staying drunk and chasing girls, yet nonetheless get high marks and good degrees, followed by good jobs, suggest that there is magic invisible classism dripping off the walls, much like the magic invisible racism that holds blacks back and destroyed Detroit.
It has long been obvious that schools and universities are artificially marking girls up and boys down. You can see this from the discrepancy between GPA (girls higher) and SAT (girls lower), and from the outstanding incompetence of female computer science graduates. But lately the extreme pressure, represented by such projects as “no child left behind”, is for low achieving high schools (schools mostly attended by lower class and non asian minorities) to achieve the same results as high achieving high schools (schools largely attended by upper class and whites). Of course the easiest way to comply with such requirements is to cheat and lie, so we would expect that As are a lot easier in lower class schools than in higher class schools, so that a good GPA in a lower class high school means much less than good GPA in a higher class high school.
Of course higher class schools have compensating advantages:
If you go to a lower class school, and you are smart, you will get beaten up and robbed. thus lowering your self perceived status and expectations. The teachers, being startlingly dumb, will hate you for being smarter than they are, and vindictively find ways to harm you. You will learn burglary, and how to do drugs.
At a higher class school, you will learn that non fiction reading is interesting and fun, you will learn how to fake a history of left wing activism to impress the universities you are applying to, and you will make friends and connections that may well be valuable in later life. (And you might even learn something from the teachers, though I doubt it.) But your GPA will be markedly lower than if you went to a lower class school.
However, even though lower class high schools are under pressure to equalize their GPAs with higher class high schools, universities are not under pressure to equalize the GPAs of their lower class students with that of their higher class students. And so, when two students with supposedly equal GPAs enter the same class at the same university, the one whose GPA came from a lower class high school fails, because her high GPA is a lie, and the one whose GPA came from a higher class high school passes, because his high GPA is the truth.
Two kids, one with a high GPA from a lower class school, one with a high GPA from a higher class school, go into the same class, take the same tough course, but, the authors of Paying for the Party tell us, the one from the lower class is wasting time and money, while the one from the upper class schools graduates with flying colors while partying his way through university. The authors of Paying for the Party think this is due to magical invisible classism, but I think that the course has been so dumbed down in an unsuccessful effort to accommodate students with fake GPAs, that the student with the genuine GPA (a male from an upper class school) would be wasting his time to pay more than minimal attention to the course, and so is considerably better off spending his time partying, thereby laying girls and making connections that may well serve him in future life.
Hence the swarm of lower class people, mostly lower class women, getting very expensive degrees in stupid.
Schooling largely exists because it is government subsidized child minding. The government wants to get hold of your children to indoctrinate them, so compels schooling and arranges social institutions so that schooling is needed. Absent subsidy and social engineering, formal schooling would be vastly reduced. People would instead rely largely on home schooling, apprenticeship, and internship.
One of the mechanisms for ensuring adequate attendance at government indoctrination sessions is that schools perform a sorting function. For the able and industrious to be sorted into the able and industrious category, they first have to attend X amount of time listening to government propaganda.
But that propaganda, that indoctrination, is against sorting – sorting is discrimination. We are therefore proceeding to subtler forms of discrimination, degrees in stupid, versus degrees in smart. The logical endpoint of this process is that everyone in America gets a PhD which costs six hundred thousand dollars, but most of the PhDs are in basketweaving and puppetry. The sorting function, which is the incentive to attend college, is continually sabotaged and subverted.
No one should run up large amounts of debt to get a degree in stupid.