In "In Praise of the F Word," why does Mary Sherry consider many diplomas that will be handed out to be meaningless?
"tens of thousands of 18-year-old will graduate this year and handed meaningless diploma."
Mary Sherry considers these diplomas (or at least those handed out 20 years ago when she was writing) to be worthless because too many of the people who receive the diplomas have not actually learned the skills that they ought to have learned by the time they finish high school. She says that many of the graduates are "semiliterate."
The "F Word" that Sherry is praising here is "flunk." She thinks that the school systems in the United States are too unwilling to let students fail. She says that they simply pass the students so as not to embarass them or because we feel sorry for them since they come from poor backgrounds. Sherry argues that this kind of softheartedness simply cheats the students, robbing them of their chance to get the sorts of skills they need to actually succeed in life.