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I think the idea was that it would lead to better social outcomes as the barrier of the lack of diploma has been removed. Has that happened?I think the problem is that basically we see education as a requirement to be successful (which I strongly agree with). The issue is it is only a requirement to being successful if we are actually teaching them what they need to know. Since we correlate success with education the result must be everyone passing said education. The problem being if we pass everyone without making sure they know what they are supposed to, you haven't actually educated anyone only provided a check in the box.
That check in the box is meaningless if it doesn't have the knowledge behind it. That 'education' is meaningless if they never learned anything from it. But people are so fixated on having the check in the box they forget what that check is supposed to represent.
It does matter, it degrades the quality of education for everyone else. It matters because if they haven't actually learned what that says they are supposed to have learned, why give them a pass? We are too tolerant of incompetence as a society. We are seeing the effects in all trades, jobs and even the CAF now. We keep dropping the standards in everything when people aren't making them. This is leading to a race to the bottom which instead of correcting the issues that exist only compound them long term.
I dont know when this magical period of education existed. My first wife came up in a one room school house whoose teacher was half the time some girl that decided to teach for a year until she got married and we were the first generation to have access to greater education