Monday, February 11, 2008

Postsecondary Tracking

I think it would be interesting to note that in some ways, the current post-secondary educational system is one extremely large multi-tracking system. We have stratified everything from two year community college schools, certificate programs, and vocational schools, to the very elite, top tiered and Ivy League status universities. Furthermore, within the post-secondary educational system, tracking stratifies by major, educational goals, career ambitions which can or may determine admissions into graduate schools, professional schools, or employment.

For example, the desire to attend an elite school or an elite program is a motivating force behind the post-secondary stratification system. It comes down to a matter of resources: time and money. Prestigious program offer elite professors and researchers, doctors, and business corporations who carry clout, experience, and large foundations as a consequence of their accomplishments. It could be in the best interest of any students to attempt to gain admission into those types of programs. Having said that, if all of us came out with the same education, with no means to signal the most hardworking from the least, how would anyone ever be able to advance? Lets say, you really wanted a job with corporation X because they could pay you a lot of money. How much time would it take corporation X to interview and try out with every equally eligible applicant until they found the one with the most potential to employ? The “signal” is informative in such circumstances. Perhaps the opposition against tracking is an opposition against the idea that the educational systems serve to “signal” ability and accomplishment; a signal that stratifies to be efficient.


No comments: