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.
At WhatWillTheyLearn.com, students can click onto ACTA's recent survey of more than 1,000 American four-year institutions—and find out how their colleges and universities rate. Two findings jump out. First, the more costly the college, the less likely it will require a demanding core curriculum. Second, public institutions generally do better here than private ones—and historically black colleges such as Morehouse and service academies such as West Point amount to what ACTA calls "hidden gems."
Alas, much of the debate over the value of a college degree breaks down one of two ways. Either people pit the liberal arts against the sciences—"Is it a vital interest of the state to have more anthropologists?" asks Florida Gov. Rick Scott—or they plump for degrees that are thought to be more practical (e.g., business). Both are probably mistakes.
"By that ACTA means universities should require a core curriculum with substantive courses in composition, literature, American history, economics, math, science and foreign language."
In other words, get rid of the "XXX Studies" programs and instead concentrate on hiring for and teaching the classical core liberal arts curriculum that has stood the test of time? I agree, but how are you going to convince or force colleges to reform themselves when the business of higher education is now politics and "social justice"?
"The fundamental problem here is not debt but a broken educational system that no longer insists on excellence," Ms. Neal says.
I disagree; they are both extremely serious problems. In any event, flunking out students who are lazy and undisciplined and unwilling to put in the hard work that it takes to become educated is not something most faculty are prepared to do these days. And their students are not prepared to accept being flunked out without a court fight, either. Like the much older Liberals who preceded them, students are fond of casting the blame for their failures on other people.
"College tuitions have risen more than 440% over the last 25 years—and for what?
To sustain and enrich the many Liberals who have captured the nation's educational system, that's what for. I have long believed an educated citizenry is better than an uneducated one but, truthfully, some of the dumbest people I know can write Ph.D. after their names. As Instapundit keeps saying, excessive government funding of risky investments by students in higher education is creating a financial bubble that is about to burst, in the same way that subprime mortgages led to a housing bubble that eventually collapsed, in the process taking down our economy.
My college got an 'F,' partly because students are not required to take a composition class or a foreign language class.
However, when I was a student, the school assumed we had already covered those things in high school. We had to have two years of a foreign language. My roommate did not, so she had to take the language once she got to college. We also had to have four years of math and three years of science. We had a writing test the first week of school. If the student did not do well on the test, she had to take freshman composition.
Also, we had to take two SAT subject tests.
I'm not sure how valid the analysis is at that site as it does not consider admissions requirements.
Tenure Bedevils the University
Why are so many academic departments so ideologically homogeneous? Why are assistant professors so hard at work producing so many books and articles, for so few readers, on narrow subjects of such doubtful value? Why are teaching loads so light for so many of the permanent full-time faculty at many universities? Why is it so hard to clear out the “deadwood” of lazy or incompetent teachers in the ranks of senior faculty? Why are so many classes taught by adjunct faculty with no substantial role in the life of the institutions where they teach? Why are curricula, graduation requirements, and available courses chopped up into such a crazy quilt of incoherent academic programs? Why is it so hard for university administrations to reform or shut down underperforming or misdirected academic units, and to reallocate resources? The answer to each of these questions is: tenure.