Approximately 20-30 years, the belief that the quality of person's academic grades serve as an accurate indicator of his level of intelligence, consequently, the more intelligent the person is, the more likely he is to be successful by conventional standards.
To be successful by conventional standards simply means to make a lot of money and to hold a prestigious position.
On average, I would say that people who did get good grades are more likely to make a lot of money at a prestigious positions of employment than those who did not. Whether or not the case is such because the former have more merit than the latter is a debatable matter, however, very few could argue that the person who did have high grades is more marketable at an employment market than a person who did not. One reason why the case is such is that employers tend to believe that people got high grades are simply better workers than those who did not. Many employers today believe that the former are better workers than the latter because they are smarter.
I don't think that this is true. However, this does not mean that this belief of conventional employers is without merit altogether. I would argue that people who did get high grades are better workers than those who did not for a reason other than that they are smarter.
Our conventional education program, especially that of pre-college course-work focuses intensely on mindless memorization of various notions and a wide range of other route work. What set of qualities does this set of activities help an individual develop? Certainly not intelligence as route tasks do not help one become any more creative or analytical. However, they do without a question almost, help one develop the quality of perseverance and the skill of following vague and subtly logically inconsistent instructions that often make almost no sense.
An overwhelming majority of jobs require an employee to have exactly those two qualities. 1. Work hard consistently or persevere. 2. Accept all instructions uncritically even if they are downright absurd. In a conventional business environment critical thinking is discouraged as businesses have only one goal in mind; making as much money as possible and in order to do that they need to have as many people as possible working as hard as possible at tasks that require very little critical thought or solution of complex problems. (Business work is after all very concrete and practical as opposed to theoretical and is lacking in conceptual depth)
It is true that most businessmen would profit from a careful, theoretical overview of their circumstances, but they simply do not have the education or intellectual talents to do so, hence, they see it as a flat out a waste of time. That is one reason why they would have an incentive to censure critical thought as intensely as they do. Secondly, if people in their organization do begin to think critically, they may devise a strategy that will lead to a loss of profit for the business owner. The whole and sole purpose of a conventional American capitalist entrepreneur is to procure as much money for himself as possible, all of his other activities are merely means to the end of achieving this goal. Thus, as subtly as possible, in almost all cases, he will try to pay himself more at the expense of those who work under him. (For example, a CEO of Walmart makes many millions of dollars per year, yet a conventional worker makes $9 per hour at the most) In order to see that this is truly happening and to discover exactly how it is happening, serious critical thought is necessary. The fact that most CEOs in America are hooligans who dressed themselves up as leaders of serious and respectable companies is not obvious to an unaided eye. They have been involved in this practice for many decades and doubtlessly devoted a lot of serious thought to the subject-matter of how they could steal money from their people without making it clear that this is what they are doing. They would be in serious trouble if a person who is skilled in critical thought was to discover what they are doing and inspire their workers to demand better treatment not only in the financial regard but also in all the other respects that the Corporation gets its way at the expense of the people. If even one such iconoclast could cause major problems, imagine what would happen if an average person was skilled in critical thinking?
In addition to this, the temple of human dignity indubitably rests on thought or the ability to think independently and critically. Our intellect is defined by our ability to think independently and critically, that is the main distinction between humans and animals. Accordingly, almost by our very nature we obtain self-respect by being able to think for ourselves. When we do that we feel that there is something in life that we have accomplished on our own endeavor and did not merely follow our animalistic urges or the dictates of our authorities.
Since the primary purpose of a conventional businessman is to make as much money as possible, he certainly does not want people who have dignity to work for him as this would prevent him from getting his way at their expense. As a general rule, employers treat the employees in a disrespectful manner only in a subtle way, by severely underpaying them, but cases of outright disrespect are rare. However, because people are stripped of dignity due to their inability to think for themselves, the employer has his options to treat others in a disrespectful way again. As utilizing this option may increase his capital, he certainly would appreciate the fact that people do not have much dignity.
But most of all, in recapitulation, the fact that people cannot think critically is to be appreciated by the employer the most on the account that they are unlikely to know what the employer is doing, hence, they would be unlikely to stop him from getting his way at their expense. On a smaller note, people who cannot think are generally better at doing the mindless tasks than those who can as they are much less likely to become bored with the tasks.
The educational system creates the kind of people who would be the most well-suited for exploitation by the conventional employer. In most cases, especially in pre-college education, students who diligently follow the instructions receive high grades and those who do not are likely to fail. Most schools are influenced heavily by politicians and businessmen who are interested in maintaining the system where people can be exploited. Most of them are in a similar position as the CEO of Walmart who makes millions of dollars per year whilst most of his employees make less than $10 per hour. Thus, it is persuasive that they are purposefully supporting a system of education that creates docile people who can be savagely brutalized by their avaricious fiat until the very day their casket drops under the ground.
A 'good' student is likely to be a 'good' worker just as truly as a good soldier would. A 'good' citizen (in this case both student and worker) is one who satisfies the agenda of the contemporary American capitalist system that creates prosperity for a very small portion of the population at the expense of everybody else. (Note, the Wealthiest 1% of the population has a higher Net worth than the entirety of the poorest 95% of the population)
In order to be a 'good' citizen, you have to be industrious and uncritically follow whatever instructions you are given. We are taught to do this since grade school and up until High School. Only people who have successfully developed those two qualities are admitted into college. Mindless adherence to the instructions is less pronounced in college, however, it is still significant. Why? Because the University is first and foremost a business and a bureaucratic organization. In this 'free-market' economy, they are forced to offer only the kind of a service that the public would be willing to pay for. The public is only willing to pay for the kind of a service that turns them into 'good' citizens, or teaches them to uncritically accept all instructions and to work hard.
The conventional school is the ultimate 'training ground' for people to become 'good' citizens. In school people are drilled with countless routine, thoughtless tasks that will prepare them for anything that the bureaucratic businesses will put them through. On that note it is not surprising that many adults who go back to school find that they are no longer 'good' students as they are either too demanding or have a hard time following the instructions as they simply cannot see a point behind doing that.
In summary, the conventional education program accomplishes the following.
-Strips people of their dignity by robbing them of their critical thinking faculties
-How does it do the above point? By teaching them to perform many mindless tasks uncritically.
-Teaches the skill of following directions, regardless of how confusing or ridiculous they are.
-Teaches perseverance and causes people to become industrious.
Why does the conventional education program do that? One reason why is because it is influenced very heavily by philistines and bureaucrats who have an interest in making the public stupid, docile and devoid of the basic respect that they all deserve as human beings. There can be no doubt that the conventional businesses do not drill their workers nearly as much as the educational program does, but they do drill them with thoughtless tasks enough and they need the public to do such tasks in order to be financially successful. Thus, for this reason the thoughtless tasks in question are much more common in a school curriculum than in a professional environment as the school is a mere training ground for the professional environment. The training in question is with regard to turning people into imbeciles who can do no other than to follow instructions that lead them to do mindless tasks for eight hours each day. The propagandists who support the current educational system deftly conceal this by convincing the people that they are doing the opposite of what they are truly doing. That is, they convince the people that the schooling system is genuinely edifying and it is turning people into independently minded adults who can think critically.
Yes, there are professors, teachers and even schools with regard to which this does not apply. However, they are mere exceptions and rebels to the most prevalent politico-educational system.
In addition to the purely conceptual thought that I put into this inquiry, how else can I support my views? Am I merely engaging in armchair deduction? No, not at all. I hold a degree in Philosophy and Religious studies, the two subjects that are renowned for encouraging critical thinking and an open-minded attitude. Many of the professors and students that I dealt with rebelled against the system that I have described above and appreciated my drive for knowledge and intellectual growth. However, many of them did not and even those who did had authorities that they had to answer to. Accordingly, every time I followed instructions, I got very high grades, yet when I did not, I was penalized. The rebels of the system granted me a B, part of it was a token of appreciation for my independent thought, if they were to follow the system as they were expected to, they should have flunked me altogether. Those who were not rebels, penalized me severely and some of my friends who have produced genuinely illuminating papers have received a zero grade because their essays were not relevant to the assigned topic. This of course, was the case with the conventional instructors who are slaves of the system.
When I attended courses that were not part of my major, I truly had no choice but to follow instructions as I could not have passed otherwise. In those courses, what I knew or what ideas I could come up with were not relevant, all that mattered was whether or not I could follow the instructions. To put it crudely and simply, all that mattered is whether or not I could 'do the ritual'.