Tag Archives: college

God Help Us — Now Obama Wants Gov’t to Rate Colleges — but SO DO AMERICANS? WHAT?

28 Jun

So Rasmussen reveals today, in its “Daily Update” of survey results, that

77% of Likely U.S. Voters who gave yes/no responses agree that a “world-class education is the single most important factor in determining whether our kids can compete for the best jobs and whether America can out-compete countries around the world”, that

69% (probably at least 75% of yes/no respondents) think U.S. PUBLIC SCHOOLS do NOT provide a world-class education, and that

64% (of yes/no respondents) favor a government college rating system.

 

Can we not see the problem here?  A major part of the reason why we are not getting world-class educations through our public schools is because of government intervention – yet – YET – people are willing to continue to think that giving government more control is a big part of the solution.  Can you not just anticipate what the rating system will look like that our government comes up with?  Will it have ANYthing to do with academic prowess?

Institutions of higher education are already rated by – who is it? Forbes? U.S. News and World Report? Others? – and colleges and universities have gamed these rating systems unmercifully, and created some degree of havoc in the school-seeking segment of our society.  And a strong majority of America’s voters think that a government system will be better?  When was a government system ever better in the mid- to long-term?

We deserve what we get.

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Random Thoughts from a Close Observer

28 Jul

Another excellent piece by Thomas Sowell.  A collection of observations, the totality of which can be found at www.Creators.com

 Dr. Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.  A black conservative economist (a rare breed), he has published several excellent books and essay collections.

 Some excerpts from this column:  [Bolding is mine]

 Random thoughts on the passing scene:

Even squirrels know enough to store nuts, so that they will have something to eat when food gets scarce. But the welfare state has spawned a whole class of people who spend everything they get when times are good, and look to others to provide for their food and other basic needs when times turn bad.  .  .  .

Two reports came out in the same week. One was from the Pentagon, saying that, in just a few years, Iran will be able to produce not only a nuclear bomb but a missile capable of carrying it to the United States. The other report said that the American Olympic team has uniforms made in China. This latter report received far more attention, both in Congress and in the media.

People who lament gridlock in Washington, and express the pious hope that Democrats and Republicans would put aside their partisan conflicts, and cooperate to help the economy recover, implicitly assume that what the economy needs is more meddling by politicians, which is what brought on economic disaster in the first place. (Skeptics can read “The Housing Boom and Bust.”)

Racism is not dead, but it is on life support — kept alive by politicians, race hustlers and people who get a sense of superiority by denouncing others as “racists.”  .  .  .  .

Those who talk as if more people going to college is automatically a Good Thing seldom show much interest in what actually goes on at college — including far less time spent by students studying than in the past, and a proliferation of courses promoting a sense of grievance, entitlement or advanced navel-gazing and breast-beating.

One of the most dangerous trends of our times is making the truth socially unacceptable, or even illegal, with “hate speech” laws.  It is supposed to be terrible, for example, to call an illegal alien an “illegal alien” or to call an Islamic terrorist an “Islamic terrorist.” When the media refer to “undocumented” workers or to violence committed by “militants,” who is kidding whom — and why?  .  .  .  .

Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” Then he proceeded to generate fear among businesses for years on end, with both his anti-business rhetoric and his anti-business policies. Barack Obama is repeating the same approach and getting the same results — namely, an agonizingly slow economic recovery, as investors hang on to their money, instead of risking it in a hostile political environment.  .  .  .

There seems to be something “liberating” about ignorance — especially when you don’t even know enough to realize how little you know. Thus an administration loaded with people who have never run any business is gung-ho to tell businesses what to do, as well as gung-ho to tell the medical profession what to do, lenders whom to lend to, and the military how to fight wars.

[End of excerpts] 

Anything to add?

 

Make College Available to All?

26 Jun

Walter Williams recently wrote a column, “Too Much College”, which can be found in its entirety at http://www.creators.com/conservative/walter-williams.html    Williams is a black conservative economics professor at George Mason University.

 Excerpts from that column:   [Bolding is mine; content in brackets [] are mine.]

 In President Barack Obama’s 2012 State of the Union address, he said that “higher education can’t be a luxury. It is an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford.” Such talk makes for political points, but there’s no evidence that a college education is an economic imperative. A good part of our higher education problem, explaining its spiraling cost, is that a large percentage of students currently attending college are ill-equipped and incapable of doing real college work. They shouldn’t be there wasting their own resources and those of their families and taxpayers. Let’s look at it.

Robert Samuelson, in his Washington Post article “It’s time to drop the college-for-all crusade” (5/27/2012), said that “the college-for-all crusade has outlived its usefulness. Time to ditch it. Like the crusade to make all Americans homeowners, it’s now doing more harm than good.” .  .  .The U.S. Labor Department says the majority of new American jobs over the next decade do not need a college degree. .  .  .  More than one-third of currently working college graduates are in jobs that do not require a degree, such as flight attendants, taxi drivers and salesmen. Was college attendance a wise use of these students’ time and the resources of their parents and taxpayers?

There’s a recent study published by the Raleigh, N.C.-based Pope Center titled “Pell Grants: Where Does All the Money Go?” .  .  .  [that] report[s] that about 60 percent of undergraduate students in the country are Pell Grant recipients, and at some schools, upward of 80 percent are.

Pell Grants are the biggest expenditure of the Department of Education, totaling nearly $42 billion in 2012.

 The original focus of Pell Grants was to facilitate college access for low-income students. Since 1972, when the program began, the number of students from the lowest income quartile going to college has increased by more than 50 percent. However, Robinson and Cheston report that the percentage of low-income students who completed college by age 24 decreased from 21.9 percent in 1972 to 19.9 percent today.   .   .   .

Citing the research of AEI scholar Charles Murray’s book “Real Education” (2008), Professor Vedder says: “The number going to college exceeds the number capable of mastering higher levels of intellectual inquiry. This leads colleges to alter their mission, watering down the intellectual content of what they do.” Up to 45 percent of incoming freshmen require remedial courses in math, writing or reading. That’s despite the fact that colleges have dumbed down courses so that the students they admit can pass them. Let’s face it; as Murray argues, only a modest proportion of our population has the cognitive skills, work discipline, drive, maturity and integrity to master truly higher education.

Primary and secondary school education is in shambles. Colleges are increasingly in academic decline as they endeavor to make comfortable environments for the educationally incompetent. Colleges should refuse admission to students who are unprepared to do real college work. That would not only help reveal shoddy primary and secondary education but also reduce the number of young people making unwise career choices. Sadly, that won’t happen. College administrators want warm bodies to bring in money.

[End of excerpts]

Your thoughts?