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August 09, 2013 1:15 PM A Warning to College Professors from a High School Teacher

By Erik Voeten

This is from a retired high school teacher of AP U.S. Government and Politics classes:

If you, as a higher education professional, are concerned about the quality of students arriving at your institution, you have a responsibility to step up and speak out. You need to inform those creating the policies about the damage they are doing to our young people, and how they are undermining those institutions in which you labor to make a difference in the minds and the lives of the young people you teach as well as in the fields in which you do your research.

The argument is that No Child Left Behind and other laws have created testing requirements in high schools that leave little room for students to develop critical thinking and writing. I have never gone to an American high school and I must admit I know frighteningly little about what goes on there. At Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service we select students based on their ability to write and think critically. Faculty actually read the essays of applicants. I have no complaints about the level of our freshmen but I know this is a very selective example.

So what should/can higher education professionals do?

[Cross-posted at The Monkey Cage]

Erik Voeten is the Peter F. Krogh associate professor of geopolitics and global justice at Georgetown University.

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