Monday, December 5, 2011

Why the University of California Should Recognize an American Baccalaureate Certificate

This is the third in a series of posts about my proposal for an American Baccalaureate Certificate. Today I'd like to place it in the contexts of a competing, proposed California Diploma and of an article in the Huffington Post that discusses Asian Americans having to deny their ethnicity in order to better their chances of admissions to highly selective universities.

Unlike the proposed California Diploma, which would further weaken our already weak certification procedures for high school graduates, the American Baccalaureate Certificate (Ameribac) would establish a world-class qualification with world-class quality assurance standards. This would solve a major problem for UC, with large numbers of newly arriving first year students underprepared for the rigors of a world-class public university and therefore requiring expensive remediation and extra years to earn their diplomas, with all the extra expenses and system clogs this causes. And a highly developed assessment system like that of the Ameribac would be color-blind and therefore would obviate the unedifying gamesmanship teenaged applicants feel forced to play so as to avoid being illegally racially discriminated against in the college admissions competitions.

If UC were to grant three years of free public university tuition to Ameribac holders, as it should, yet another advantage would be to speed the acquisition of bachelor's degrees, thus relieving overcrowding and speeding up the production of a more highly educated citizenry for our state, something we sorely need. The three-year bachelor's degree is something all but our elite private colleges will eventually have to move to, or they will see their ability to compete for students diminish in competition with, for example, Australian universities, which have already adjusted to this consequence of Europe's Bologna Process. And the California State University system, which is depended on, according to our Master Plan for Higher Education, to produce the bulk of California's bachelor's level education, should of course follow suit.

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