Education letters 8/31

Academic research is part of school’s mission

John Zmirak seems to assert that virtually all academic research is devoid of value — “After all, the teaching is what you are paying for.” In business education, academic research adds significant value in several ways.

First, some research influences business practice, directly contributing to society. Second, many business professors bring relevant research into the classroom to expose students to business issues and to the scientific method.

Third, performing research enhances professors’ skills and keeps them current in their discipline.

Finally, accreditation bodies and organizations that rate business schools often focus heavily on the quality of research published by the faculty. Accreditation, rankings and reputation contribute to the value of the student’s degree.

In the final analysis, both knowledge creation (research) and knowledge dissemination (teaching) are critical to the mission of the university.

Dana R. Hermanson, Dinos Eminent Scholar Chair of Private Enterprise, Coles College of Business, Kennesaw State University

SAT tells real story of Georgia education

Just two months ago Kathy Cox and her minions at the state Board of Education were touting the statewide improvement in CRCT test scores.

Today, the real pigeons came home to roost when the College Board reported that Georgia’s average SAT score declined for the third year in a row.

Which measure best reflects Georgia commitment to a “world class education” for its children?

Teachers are urged to teach to the CRCT, but cannot teach to the SAT. In other words, if the quality of our children’s education was truly getting better, the average SAT scores would be going up, not down. Once again, Georgians are thankful that South Carolina’s scores are worse.

David Strauss, Milton

A degree doesn’t equal intelligence in leaders

I have a college degree and an MBA, and I’m gainfully employed. Although the degrees helped me get my job, 100 percent of what I do at work I could have done right out of high school. Like most jobs I’ve had, intelligence and a willingness to figure things out on my own and solve problems have served me well.

I’d rather have an intelligent and clever man with only a high school degree in the governor’s office than a moron with a college degree. There are plenty of morons with college degrees, and plenty of people who would make excellent governors without advanced degrees.

Somehow I don’t see how someone getting a women’s studies degree makes them a better candidate than someone with a high school degree and plenty of real world experience. If anything, I would say many degrees would be a detriment.

Ben Skott, Roswell

Students have to take role in their learning

A recent article on the dropout crisis stated “Businesses, parents and extended family, faith-based organizations, community organizations and government must take ownership of their part in the solution to Georgia’s graduation crisis.”

Where is the part where the student has to take responsibility? Is there no consequence if they choose to drop out of school? Why are we not making laws that make it unattractive to drop out of school?

Why don’t we make the student sign a form that states that they give up all rights to any government assistance forever should they choose to drop out of school? Now, they may see their parents getting along just fine being supported by the government.

Where is the student’s responsibility in this whole matter? There must be some kind of consequence or this crisis will just continue.

Nancy Ortner, Johns Creek