Independent testing systems?

I know, the title sucks.

I saw two articles recently.

In one, a group of law students who felt that their schools oversold the job market are suing their schools (or the gov’t, or something) to remove the requisite of 3 years of law school needed before one can take the bar exam. Now, I’m not an attorney, so I’d love some input from someone who is, like X-Wing.

The other was an article about how much money universities waste on stupid shit, and how there isn’t much we can do about it because universities have a monopoly; only they can bestow bachelor’s degrees. Someone recommended that a separate, independent testing system be developed to remove this monopoly, much like the tests required to qualify as an actuary. Again, I have only the foggiest idea of what one must know to become an actuary, so if anyone could enlighten me, or if anyone knows if any progress is being made to reconcile the image of competence, which a college education can provide, with actual competence.

PS. I’m not saying that all college educated persons are morons; it’s just that there’s no way to prove they aren’t.

I’m a little iffy on the idea of lawyers not actually going to an accredited law school simply because they could be missing vital things that a lawyer should know, or they could be lacking the quality of education that they need. There is a difference between studying for the bar exam and studying to become good at whatever profession you’re going to do, so I would not create a scenario where people can take the bar exam over and over again until they pass despite being horribly undereducated about law in general. That’s not to say that people who are in law school can’t be doing this too, but it’s much harder when the law school itself will test you on the basis of it being worried for its reputation for producing quality lawyers or not.

Independent tests like the LSAT/Bar and the MCAT/Boards already exist; are you advocating that there be more of these (for, say, system administrators or plumbers)?

In California and New York (and I believe a couple of other states), people can sit for the Bar without going to law school if they did something like study under a lawyer mentor for five years.

Isn’t that a sort of apprenticeship?

Finding out how to create these independent tests is what I’m interested in. Would I have to appeal to professional groups, or to to my state representatives?

I’m not advocating so much as testing the waters, looking for useful knowledge in other people’s perspectives. As much as I hate to admit it, Zeppelin was right, to a degree; knowledge alone is useless for someone looking for a conventional job in a first world country. Such a person needs proof that they can do what they say they do.