The End of Education

“Crazy U?”  Or “Crazy Me?”  A self-deprecating Andrew Ferguson must at least have been tempted by such a title.  His self-absorbed son (and what 17-year-old isn’t?) would surely have agreed, had he been remotely aware of the grief that the whole insane matriculation process was causing his father.

Certainly, the elder Ferguson did have his share of humor along the way.  He also “learned a lot.”  Those three little words are usually uttered by a D student who is pleading for a C, but in Andrew Ferguson’s case it happens to be true.

Ferguson learned, for example, that it’s one thing to bone up on the history of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and quite another to take the exam when you’re 30-plus years past your SAT-taking prime.  That embarrassment aside, he also learned that colleges initially adopted standardized testing in the name of such laudable goals as objectivity and fairness, and that colleges are now abandoning such tests, or placing minimal emphasis on them, in order to achieve fairness and, of course, diversity.  Ferguson isn’t convinced that a test-free admissions process is necessarily a good thing.  Moreover, he finds it more than slightly odd that the old Harvard of legatees and jocks, frat boys and failures, geniuses and jerks, was in many respects more intellectually...

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