Something must be done

The alarming results of a survey of college faculty hopefully opened some eyes on this campus to the inadequacy of our educational system.

More than two-thirds of the 5,000 faculty polled said universities—under the guise of institutions of higher learning—are reduced to teaching students what they should have learned in high school. Most NIU faculty probably agree that too many students enter their classes ill-prepared for college-level instruction.

Three-fourths of those polled said undergraduates in their classes lack basic educational skills. Although colleges feel the effects of these statistics most deeply, the rest of the educational pyramid must be held responsible for the unequipped students it turns out in droves.

From kindergarten through high school, students must learn more than grammar and algebra. They must learn the value of a good education and feel the need to attain one.

On the surface, there might seem little that NIU, or any other university, can do to combat these disparaging statistics. But NIU can make a statement by continuously reviewing and upgrading its standards for admission and graduation.

It is hard for NIU to change what happened to students before they came here. But the mark of a good university is to graduate educated people, regardless of what skills the students started out with.