Vedder: College aid should reward achievement

Federal college aid should reward achievement, argues economist Richard Vedder. The expansion of federal aid has “contributed to high dropout rates, mediocre levels of student work effort and academic performance,” underemployment for college graduates and credential inflation, Vedder believes.

About Joanne


  1. Deirdre Mundy says:

    But how to measure achievement without disparate impact? Grades are useless for comparing students between schools or even between teachers.

    Standardized test scores are handy, but won’t produce the desired results… sure, they can identify diamonds in the rough, but…..

    • Grades are somewhat useless even with the same teacher. We know that there are kids who score C or lower on exams but get A’s in classes and kids who score A’s on exams who get B’s and C’s for classes.

      Unless teacher grading is predominately about authentic content mastery, it’ll be useless. Not 30% just for being a good citizen displaying “grit”, plus 30% for journaling how you feel about math, 30% for homework and 10% for tests that I let you retake until you get a grade you like.

  2. It’s possible for teachers to sabotage tests, which supposedly show content knowledge. My nephew’s HS history teacher went over each test, question by question, the day before they were given; no need to do any reading and no need to pay attention for more than one day. The previous, retired, teacher was appalled – but he took early retirement because he was tired of fighting against the admin’s push for ever-easier assignments and As-and-Bs-only, even for sloppy and error-ridden below-C-level work. Mandated full inclusion doesn’t help the situation. Bottom line; grades are not to be trusted.