We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
In my dotage I have two young sons.Both are smart.And, I help and drive them.I worry about whether I’ll instill enough in them so that after I’m a goner they’ll be able to handle life’s decisions well.I also worry how well the major financial investment in college will work out.
So I got drawn into a series of blog posts from the American Enterprise Institute about a study listing colleges’ graduation rates, based on US Department of Education gathered data.The discussion has centered on why many rankings don’t make sense.The latest post reveals that colleges are not under any compunction to accurately report data.
For example, “Arkansas Baptist College, which boasts a 100 percent graduation rate in the database, admitted that the school’s data were reported erroneously.”An author of the AEI study comments: “It is worth noting again that these data are congressionally mandated and collected by a major federal agency. Would we tolerate such inaccuracies from the companies who report workplace injury rates to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or the state agencies that administer the food stamp program?”
I don’t think my sons will end up at Arkansas Baptist College.But, before Washington funnels hundreds of millions or many billions of taxpayer dollars into higher education, it does seem reasonable to require greater accountability, of Washington and of colleges.
So--what difference--why is the graduation rate important when the whole four years of undergraduate study is a fraud. For example: a school that provides two $10.00 microscopes in a closet and calls it a biology laboratory--no qualified lab teachers of course. No oversight professors guiding, and examining the students understanding of biology--no, none of that--just two microscopes. The student pays the course fee--reads something written by Al Gore and graduates with 5 credits of biology to her credit. What is it that we are questioning--content, ethics, and coursework? No---well then what are we criticizing--the number of graduates--who the hell cares at this point?