Education and the pretense of excellence

This is an example of why the much-ballyhooed predominance of women in education is not translating to meaningful real world success and why the disappearance of men from higher education is not tantamount to either their replacement by women or an inevitable decline into technological stagnation:

My best students were guys who weren’t really paying attention in class, they were doing the stuff on their own, and called me only for help. They were ahead of the program. I was ok with putting zero grades (F-) to the ones who didn’t care about learning the stuff. My take: if you can’t do this stuff, you ain’t gonna be making money with it on the real world, so why do you want a grade on it? Go do something else.

Nonetheless I got the “best teacher award” from the students four times in a row.

So. A couple of women protested and wanted to pass my course, on the basis that they had been attending to class and had done most of the assignments. Were they able to do the stuff? No. But they wanted recognition for their efforts. I got pushed by the directive board so I gave an A+ to everyone.

That’s some quality black-knighting there. It’s based on agreeing and amplifying. If pushed to delink genuine achievement and grades, then delink it entirely, don’t permit the retention of a convincing appearance of a nonexistent link. Education that recognizes efforts rather than results is not education, it is selling paper.

Remember, fraud is always based on deceit. Exposing the deceit to all and sundry is very nearly as effective as preventing the fraud from taking place.  And it is important to expose it, because allowing false excellence to be substituted for the real thing can have significant consequences, as the UK is discovering to its detriment.

The country’s top woman civil servant is clinging to her £180,000-a-year job after being accused by MPs of a ‘catastrophic failure of leadership’ on securing Britain’s borders. Lin Homer’s disastrous tenure in charge of the UK Border Agency lead to a huge backlog of hundreds of thousands of immigration cases. But astonishingly she emerged unscathed and was rewarded with promotion through the civil service and is now in charge of HM Revenue and Customs. The powerful home affairs committee today said they were ‘astounded’ she was considered suitable for the job of collecting the nation’s taxes.

It is hardly astonishing that the UK’s top woman civil servant wasn’t held accountable for her catastrophic failure, given the Prime Minister’s mandate to promote women at all costs.  As was the case in the class that Yohami mentioned, Lin Homer was rewarded with bonuses and promoted for her effort rather than her results… and now she is in charge of the nation’s tax revenues.