I haven’t written much about my favorite right-wing professional organization in while (American Council of Trustees and Alumni), but I feel compelled to comment on what seems to me to be a classic case of what my mom would call “the pot calling the kettle black.” The ACTA is one of those organizations that tires to create a smokescreen of reason behind which they can hide their interest in promoting a very narrow agenda supporting the current administrative status qua.
Or, rather, they support what might be called the ‘traditional or reactionary wing’ of the current status qua. So it’s fascinating to hear their support for a critic who bemoans, “Out of control tuition inflation … watered-down educational product that fails to teach graduates the skills they need… excessive hand holding — with grade inflation, deteriorating degree requirements, a growing number of non-academic degrees being offered and ever-increasing student services…”
Whatever we think about these issues, isn’t it the very policies of the members of the ACTA that have created these problems? Are we to suppose that ACTA members have labored long and hard at trustee and administrative meetings to resist tuition increases? Have ACTA members fought the ‘consumer’ model of education that has created a culture in which education is a service and grades an entitlement? Have they fought against the use of student evaluations in teacher assessment?