Away with the BA?

It may seem sacrilegious to say for someone who has invested so much time and energy in the academy, but this piece by Charles Murray in the WSJ, which argues for the replacement of the 4-year, BA-track college education with certification tests of every variety, makes no little bit of sense. One wonders what administrations will muster as a defense, undoubtedly something along the lines of: “College campuses foster communities of critical thought and creative production which certification testing could never possibly quantify.” True. But then again, that’s an argument of thinking for thinking’s sake, and though I’m sympathetic to the idea of finding realms of experience that cannot be instrumentalized by career or market forces, it would seem to me that “college,” especially at the undergraduate level, has already lost out on that front. Why else would so many people (myself included) find themselves returning to the academy for “advanced” degrees, and there finding the intellectual engagement they either missed or squandered over the course of that first four year try?

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