EDPS 360 (A2) Fall 2013

Do higher entrance standards hit the mark?

In Commentary on October 17, 2013 at 9:00 am

Has Simons hit the mark? Should U of A be a more “elitist” university? Does she make a good point, or does her argument rise and fall on her trust in high school exam results?

Simons: Rising entrance standards hit the mark.

  1. I actually agree with many of the points being made throughout this article. I think that letting nearly anyone and everyone in is a major flaw in the university system. Let me take that thought one step further and say that I do NOT believe that each and every individual that attends a high school should graduate from said high school. I think at this point we are just pushing individuals along through the system, hoping that they succeed, or simply getting them out of our hair. But why? Are these schools benefitting each and every student in much the same way or are they simply benefitting those that have an interest in the material? How many students do well simply because their parents are on their asses to do so? To so many kids schools aren’t a place of opportunity, they are instead simply places that you go, you stick it out, and then you move into the real world.

    With all this being said, I will clarify a few things. As of now, I believe the funding to ensure that educational institutions succeed, i.e. set their students up for life after high school, is absolutely not enough. As it exists, the system does not cater to students, it coddles them! I also do not believe that standardized tests are the answer! Tests limit what students know and in many cases they also limit what teachers teach! Educational institutions need to conform to their students, NOT the other way around. So I will restate my initial point. Not everyone should have a university degree, and no, not everyone should have a high school diploma, but WE should ensure that students are able to take something from their time spend in educational institutions.

    Should the U of A be more elitist? Maybe? More selective? Yes. It’s not about who has money or who is seen as elite. Over half the students here have a giant student loan, so to lead with the elitist sentiment is somewhat unnecessary. The people that attend these institutions should be recognized as having accomplished something academically, they should not be grouped with everyone else. Just a few thoughts.

  2. I agree with the post above, that ‘elitist’ implies a lot of negative ideas about the UofA. I perceiving raising standards as a way to deal with budget cuts. They have laid off a hundred-ish staff and my bet is, if there are less students to teach, more the reason to lay-off additional staff.
    That’s a bit of a tangent above.

    I actually do like the increase in university entrance requirements. Unlike what Simons said, not every student strives to go to the ‘best’ university. What I hope from this is that more students will aim for technical degrees, certificates and diplomas from other institutions so that within the next few years, we see an increase trades workforce. The basis of our education system is to fill quotas in the work force and right now, there are too many students with arts degrees working at Starbucks. Their coffee isn’t even that great.

    My statement above is candid, but I also believe we can teach students passionately and try our best to get as many of them to realize their potential is whatever career they choose. It is flawed like any system sadly and some students will be disheartened by a university rejection letter.

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