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Cheapening of College Education

March 13, 1985

Today's Times (Feb. 26) contains two articles that ought to be of great interest in their informativeness and in the contrast in the attitudes expressed therein.

I refer to Robert Samuelson's article (Editorial Pages), "The Cheapening of College Education and the news item, "Riches Give Japan New Confidence."

Samuelson laments what he describes as a lowering of standards for admission to colleges. On the one hand, he calls for better preparation of students in elementary and secondary schools, which no one could argue with. On the other, he notes that degrees and credential, as such, don't mean that, armed with them, students can indeed be competent enough to be qualified in their various fields of endeavor. That's OK, too.

But, what about the basic idea of opportunity for all? I, for one, would hope that this ideal would never be abandoned, especially not in this country.

And, on that note, in the piece about Japan, just look at what freedom of opportunity has done for the benefit of just about everyone there. There's absolutely no comparison with what used to be in that country only a few short years ago. Think how the vastly improved living conditions in Japan affect all other countries in the world community.

Most important, it seems to me, is that if it can happen in Japan, it can happen everywhere, ultimately.

My point is that education for all (to the utmost of each and according to his abilities) unlocks the potential for the greater good of all humanity.

All this seems to obvious to me that I can't understand how it can escape the notice, especially of those who ought to be very much aware of what I'm writing about.

In the long run, more importantly, it surely won't escape the vast majority of people worldwide.

Why?

Because our way, with its obviously greater opportunity for all, will supersede and eventually expunge communism simply because it so much better suits and serves people's needs.

Why then even think of constraining education to a chosen few?

Seth Storm Costa Mesa

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