Thursday, January 23, 2020

The Master’s Degree Bubble Has Burst

By Professor Doom

      The student loan scam flooded our schools with students when it went into full swing over a decade ago—triggered by the 2008 crash/recession, when many “no degree required” jobs vanished, never to return. A half dozen or so years later, these students flooded the market with their shiny new degrees. 

       These students were told their degrees would be valuable, and before the degrees were awarded, they were, up to a point. Trouble is, much of the value of a degree comes from its scarcity. Most of the degrees, the common ones, were worth nothing in the job marketplace. 

     Many of those graduates floundered for a few years before deciding “hey, I need a graduate degree to get a good job.” The same vicious admissions officers who suckered people into getting worthless undergraduate degrees simply repeated the game, enrolling far too many people into Master’s degree programs.

      Whenever I look at people with unpayable college debt, invariably the largest numbers come from the poor souls to when back for graduate school, which can easily be twice as expensive as undergraduate, even for a 2 year degree like a Master’s degree.

       In any event, the cohort of students who got creamed by undergraduate loans starting in 2008 are now getting creamed by graduate loans. Word has gotten out that Master’s degrees (particularly in Fine Arts, but in many other fields as well) are basically worthless now, for many of the same reasons undergraduate degrees are of little value.

      In 2014, the 10 year projection for Master’s awarded was well over a million—our schools hugely expanded their graduate program, as the “leaders” running our system lack even rudimentary understanding of what they’re doing.

      In 2019, the 10 year projection is more like 840,000,  roughly a 20% drop. As this projection is from the same fools who estimated over a million in 2014, I suspect the drop will be much, much worse.

Analysis suggests projections of rapid growth in the master’s degree market were vastly overstated.


      The article I’m reading here phrases the bubble bursting as a question, but this is rubbish. With undergraduate enrollments falling, with widespread information of just how worthless most Master’s degrees are, this is only going to drop.

many colleges have overestimated the popularity of new degree programs. They may anticipate awarding hundreds of degrees per year, but the true number is often a single digit…

      The article doesn’t address it, but I would like to highlight the horrific mismanagement here. A college opens up a new program, say, a Master’s degree in Dog Breeding, and then uses adjunct, “temp” faculty to teach the dozen or so courses. The administration who came up with the idea gets a fat pay raise based on the ridiculously huge growth projections revolving around 10 year old data.

       And then perhaps half a dozen people sign up for the program. Huge money flows into administrative pockets for the loan money even when you have this disaster. But suppose 300 people ended up with a Master’s in Dog Breeding in a couple of years…what lunatic thinks there’s even a minute chance things will go well for more than a handful of the new graduates?

        Many Master’s degrees are based around very specialized topics. There are a few general degrees, and those have their own problems. 

      The Master’s in Education is the most common Master’s degree. Teachers have the loosest schedule, are most able to “take time off” from work to complete a degree program (more accurately, they’ll take most of their coursework over the summer). It’s all well and good, I suppose, but every examination (including my own) of these programs find them to be loaded down with ideology. Granted, “education theory” is such proven rubbish, repeatedly shown to harm students, that replacing that false knowledge with the false knowledge of ideology doesn’t sound all that horrible at first glance…but a look at our schools’ steady conversion into indoctrination camps for the ideology quickly reveals the massive extent of horror here. We really should just annihilate the Master’s in Education and instead insist on our teachers having actual degrees in the subjects they’re supposed to teach (instead of what we have now, where teachers all too often morph their subjects into ideological indoctrination).

Trace Urdan, managing director at Tyton Partners, agrees that the growth in the master’s degree market is a bubble fueled by the “basically unlimited funding” offered by Grad PLUS loans. But he doesn’t agree that the bubble has burst, at least not yet. Growth could easily pick up if the economy took a downward turn, he said.

      Seriously, the bubble has burst, despite what the guy above said. I used to never be asked by friends and family (most don’t know me as Professor Doom) about grad school, but now it’s a regular event. I do what I can to steer them away or guide them to what few programs remain which are viable…but years ago, everyone was always just so happy to see their kids go into grad school.

Thare still some good schools, some good plans…but far too many traps are laid out for the unsuspecting, and much like with undergraduate school, far too many were enrolled.

       Now, I concede that if we get the repeatedly predicted massive economic crash, then perhaps we’ll see massive growth in Master’s again…but I assure the gentle reader, this isn’t a good thing, as one reader reinforces:

We are conferring an astonishing amount of master's degrees in this country, to the extent that in cities like Boston and DC and San Francisco, they have become the de facto bachelor's degree.

     Perhaps it’s wishful thinking on my part that this bubble has burst, but the fact remains: it really should burst. We’re not doing any good churning out these degrees, any more than we were at the undergraduate level.

Monday, January 20, 2020

New Campus Commissar: Departmental Academic Diversity Officer

By Professor Doom

     UMich is currently paying $10.6 million each year(!!!) for its 82 “diversity officers,” MLive reported. Further scholarships and a new $10 million multicultural center are all part of a five-year strategic plan, launched in 2016 to diversify the campus.

--the Vice-Provost alone rakes in over 400k a year…

     I’ve written before of the incredible high price of diversity, and the diversity educrats who make bank pushing their ideology on campus. Now, usually these guys collect their fat checks and sit in glorious palaces on campus, so mercifully most faculty and students don’t have to interact with them except when sent to a re-education camp or the like.

       Making money is all well and good, but it is harder to indoctrinate when you’re sitting in palace. Also, a palace puts a hard population cap on just how many commissars you can have on campus. What to do about these problems?

University of Michigan shares insights from its decentralized diversity accountability structure, in which individual academic and administrative units have their own diversity officers.

     That’s right, UMich has taken the “bold” step of imitating the USSR, and embedding the commissars into each unit. No department is safe, as now one of these guys is looking over the shoulder of whatever goes on there.

       However did universities survive centuries before we ever had such an “innovation”?

       Michigan has had these commissars pushing their thoughts for four years now, so it’s time to see what the results are:

More precisely, the campus’s National Center for Institutional Diversity just published a report on the experiences of these academic diversity officers, or ADOs. Beyond making various recommendations for academic deans and academic diversity officers, the report finds that ADOs require special skills.

“Special skills”? Uh huh. Be advised that this Academic Diversity Officer initiative expands the bureaucracy on campus by a very significant amount ($10 mil a year!), so you can expect the campus to publish a very glowing report about how amazing the campus’ own initiative is.

Based on their backgrounds, ADOs tended to draw on different “logics,” according to the report.

     Ah, the old “different ways of knowing” canard. At least in the USSR, you could count on the Commissar to reliably know quotes from the Communist Manifesto. Granted, that book is still the most common book on campus, so I suppose you still could but…does it bother anyone that this supposedly “correct” ideology is enforced to different “logics” depending on the commissar?

      The logics were basically broken down into four types (a surprisingly large number, from a mathematician’s point of view which holds there is only one correct logic), “community organizer,” “faculty,” “administrator,” and “student.” A quick comment on each type:

Community organizers-turned-ADOs generally valued…some tension to create diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)

      To summarize: the community organizers know they need to justify their position, so instead of the happy campus there was before, they work to increase racial tensions. Hmm. The students/taxpayers are paying for the protests here. 

Faculty ADOs in the sample, meanwhile, worked on issues of representation, such as faculty and student recruitment and retention, and inclusive pedagogical training. They prioritized data collection…

       Again, easily summarized. The faculty tried to figure out what percent of representation would satisfy the ideologues (nothing will, however), tried to reach that, and backed up their claims with objective data. Of course they did, they know this is rubbish, but mandatory, and so did what they could finish up and get back to doing legitimate work.

ADOs from general administration had “latent qualities about methodically addressing issues through structure, processes and rules.”

      Heh, “latent qualities.” This is just a very polite way for the study to say they couldn’t see any benefit to administrators, and past that is just spewing administrative-sounding words.

Student affairs-minded ADOs made personal connections and focused on promoting inclusive communities.

      They made some friends and connections, the better to further their career. Good activity for a student, at least.

      Pop quiz: which of these four types of “logic” actually helps students on campus? (Hint: none).

       They’re spending over $10,000,000 a year on diversity at UMich.  That’s full ride scholarships for a thousand students, more like 5,000 students when actual costs of education are considered. There I go again, thinking like an educator again. It’s just such a colossal waste of money. 

       After 4 years of this, was any improvement shown at all? Nope. Let’s sit back and laugh at all the effort they put into justifying wasting $40,000,000 over 4 years for this:

Whatever their backgrounds, knowledge of DEI concepts, interventions and best practices were “necessary to create change,” the authors found.

     Uh, nope. I could spend $40,000,000 to bulldoze the whole place and turn it into a parking lot. That’s change. Is it good? A matter of opinion, and they don’t even bother to justify if the changes, if any, were any good.

“I feel like we will do DEI work a disservice if people that don’t have proper training come into doing this work, because then it leads to this assumption that anybody can do it, or we can just hire a grad student, and they can lead this charge. When really, I feel like it requires specific skills and competencies.”

      Too bad the report just demonstrated anybody can do it, because every ADO could do whatever he wanted, all versions of “logic” are legitimate, and all “change” is apparently good.

DEI work is “complex, difficult, always changing and rigorous,” reads the report. “The hiring process and ongoing professional development necessary to sustain and increase DEI competency should be encouraged by supervisors of ADOs.”

     Again, no…it’s already been demonstrated anyone can do this. The cry for “ongoing professional development” is particularly noxious, as already far too many of our administrative staff go on long distance junkets, all expenses paid, for “job training” for jobs which used to be temp positions changed out every couple of years.

Establishing “legitimacy” for their positions and in the eyes of colleagues concerned ADOs interviewed. The officers generally found two ways of building it: connecting with their units through a shared discipline, or by being a faculty member -- what the authors call "academic standing legitimacy."

      I agree, establishing legitimacy should be tough, since it’s clearly not legitimate and a massive, massive, waste of funds. Why is there no consideration at all of what that kind of money could have done to help students?

These officers also rely heavily on interpersonal skills. That’s regardless of their academic backgrounds. They respond to individuals’ needs and concerns,

      The above could apply to nearly every job on the planet. I again point out this money could have given full scholarships to thousands of students. I bet the taxpayers would have preferred that by a wide margin. Any legitimate study of installing diversity commissars in every department should have weighed the benefits (none found) against free higher education for thousands of the citizens paying for it (questionable, but probably better than “none found”).

       In the coming years, based on this study, expect other schools to adopt this new method of instilling commissars in every department and fiefdom on campus…

Friday, January 17, 2020

Review of At the Community College: Smiles And Reflection

By Professor Doom

      A while back I reviewed The Philip Dolly Affair, a work of fiction that nevertheless pulled back the curtain on the brutal reality of community college. I recently received a copy of a sequel of sorts…At The Community College: Smiles And Reflection. it’s not as good as 'Dolly, but it still brings back a few bone-chilling memories of the most fraudulent part of the American higher education system.

        This isn’t so much a book as a series of very short stories and anecdotes, or personal reflections of faculty on campus. A few highlights:

She was amazed at how much energy the faculty at Copperfield spent on meetings–daily meetings about quality initiatives, constituency labor concerns, salary negotiations, golf tournaments, strategic planning, organizational,  learning, wellness exams, potlucks, and even baby showers. Kat reckoned she spent sixty percent of her on campus time at college restructuring and reorganization meetings. “

     Going to graduate school at a university, I never really saw, much less interacted with, the immense bureaucracy at a community college (CC), and so was overwhelmed when I finally saw it. The bureaucracy is much heavier, relatively speaking, at a CC, and they’re all eager to justify their jobs…typically through mandatory meetings. Oh so many meetings, on topics of no interest or value to an educator, but immensely fascinating to admin.

President and Dean…Pleasant enough men, they talked incessantly, but in actuality did so little, she thought to herself. She often marveled at the proliferation of dean and vice president positions the last few months…

      The above is so consistent with what my own eyeballs always showed me…they had nothing to so say. I saw a CC go from a 3:1 faculty/admin ratio to under 1:1 (the national average) once it became accredited and the government money started flowing it.

…pleased to learn she had won a BISON (Big Institute for Staff and Organized Normalization) award for teaching excellence, but her joy was tempered somewhat when she learned seventeen other CCC faculty members also received their BISON plaques…

      Wow, I’d forgotten about all those awards ceremonies, more mandatory meetings where you typically watch admin congratulate each other on their perceived incredible skill at getting ignorant kids to come to campus and receive checks. And yeah, sometimes faculty got some empty awards too (I have a few in a box somewhere…).

      The biggest, dirtiest secret in higher ed isn’t the proliferation of administrative positions, it’s the annihilation of faculty positions by exchanging them for “part time,” “temporary” adjunct positions. Most college professors are adjuncts now. This was bad 20 years ago, but these are no-retirement, no-health-care, no=benefits at all positions, and that’s a bad job to hold for much of a life.

       The book details a few adjunct stories:

take on several part-time sections at the college–at the decision-point of his initial “hiring” at SSTCC, a since long-departed Dean (who is now a successful community college President somewhere in Eastern Wales) assured him he would have a good chance at becoming a full-timer in just a year or two. (That was in 1995. Twenty-four years have passed.)

Together, if they both teach four classes during the semester, they take in about 15,000 dollars per annum.

He had no health or dental insurance and had not been “in” for a physical for decades. (And one of his back molars was screaming for extraction!)

At one Adjunct Action Meeting, a frustrated biology professor shouted out, “Fight for $15? Hah! I’d be happy to get $5 an hour! I can barely afford to drive out here to teach–and I sure can’t afford to buy a #$%$#@@ Moonbucks cup of coffee. #PiratesforPay! #PiratesforPay! #PiratesforPay!” They had no health insurance, campus offices, or recognition. Now, they would force the administration to meet their demands–or else. They could only teach nine credit hours a semester, according to strict benefit thresholds for part-time employee guidelines, so an adjunct teaching six classes (eighteen credits) during the school year would earn $11,700. Compare this to the thirty-seven assistant and associate deans and VPs each making over $175,000 a year!

       Really, what’s being done to our educated citizens is criminal…or would be, except CCs are state run institutions, and the State gets to decide what is criminal.

       Part of what makes CCs so consistently fraudulent is they’re sold to the community as “jobs training centers” but primarily their student base is taking academic coursework. It’s a train wreck, and for every legitimate job certificate issued, hundreds of worthless academic degrees are printed as well.

      Buried in the book is a clever idea:

…job training degrees at community colleges require an academic component. Consider the “opposite.” What if all academic degrees required a job training component? Why not require all AA and BA degree recipients to take eighteen or so hours of job training course work–enough courses to earn a certificate or minor credential in medical transcription, culinary arts, or some other job-ready field?...

      What an idea! We might even consider having non-academic degrees like Gender Studies also require, in addition to the bogus coursework, some legitimate work in hairdressing or something. At least those graduates will have other job options besides pouring coffee.

       While students and faculty are getting destroyed by “cheap education,” the people running the place are making fortunes. The book contains a few fake news releases, such as a Poo-Bah who decides to give even a small fortune of the wealth, half his salary, rained down upon him back to the school:

. “Let me explain…My 19,800 square foot house is paid for, my wife Michaela doesn’t want her Mercedes convertible anymore, my seven children have completed their university experiences in Switzerland, and I have a hard time spending $766,000 a year (post tax). At retirement in three years, my state pension is secure at $463,462 per annum for life, no matter what I do with my current salary.


       That salary isn’t too far out of line, and the gentle reader needs to understand there are many perks to the job beyond insane retirement packages:

$62,000 yearly car allowance and $46,000 travel perks, which would include his wife…for trips including both national and international travel and Hawaii. Membership in the Northern New Mexico Hot Air Balloon Diners Club–$23,000 dollars monthly. An allowance for Michaela to cover weekly dog grooming service at the Proper Pooch and Poodle Pretty Pet Pantry. $750 a week, which is itemized as petty expenditures Presidential Membership at the Santa Koloas Country Club is traditional, historic, and permanent– and has no connection to other salary package adjustments.”

      One final shot at a fake headline that’s pretty close to accurate:

College Suspends Instruction. President Devotes Full Resources to Rewriting Strategic Plan

      CCs often have such huge bureaucracies that they really don’t think education is a reason for the school. Instead, the college exists simply to support the administration. One thing nearly all administrators get involved in is the “strategic plan,” which can easy run 1,000 pages, covering all sorts of ideas for covering even more ground, the better to put up more palaces to hold more administrators to work on a more grandiose plan. When the Poo-Bah retires (every few years, usually), the plan is scrapped, and then all the admin get together to build an entirely new plan from the ground up.

       It’s pure madness, but par fot the course as a community college.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Ed Dept: Degree Debt Exceeds Degree Earnings

By Professor Doom

     It’s been known for a decade or two that we have a real problem with the cost of a college degree relative to the financial boon of having one, but at long last our government is catching on as well:

… the U.S. Department of Education released data on first-year earnings for thousands of different college programs. The data are both limited and flawed in some ways, but they are also some of the most accurate outcomes information currently available about different academic programs and majors.

     Our “leaders” in higher education have been screaming about how invaluable the degrees they sell are for a very long time. Perhaps so, but cost to acquire the degree needs to be a part of the consideration. Gold is valuable too, around $1550 an ounce today…but just because it’s valuable doesn’t mean you should pay $3,000 an ounce for it, and the same is true for degrees (if you’re getting one for the money, anyway).

      So what kind of results do we officially have?

At for-profits, over half of bachelor’s programs resulted in higher debt than earnings. For bachelor's degrees at nonprofit institutions, that number was only 17 percent, but rose to 71 percent for doctoral degrees.

     There are only two sentences in the above, but several points bear highlighting. The first two points are easy. First, for-profits are already widely considered scams, and every way you measure this, you get the same result; the above is no surprise, but realize that only about 3% of Federal student loan money goes to these places. Second, debt is much higher when it comes to graduate programs. The remaining points are more subtle.

      The reason graduate programs have more debt is because accreditation indirectly allows this, by specifying graduate courses “should be” more challenging. Greater challenge somehow justifies grossly greater expense, even if the program involves, say, reading PDF copies of ancient texts instead of building a miniature atom smasher. Even though the former costs nothing for the school to produce and the latter would cost millions…both cost the same tuition. It’s why “art schools” and “education schools” offering useless graduate degrees little our educational landscape.

       And what of state schools, the greatest culprits of the student loan scam?

Public institutions fared relatively well under this metric. The data show that 15 percent of associate degree programs, 9 percent of bachelor's degrees and 13 percent of master's degrees resulted in higher debt than earnings.

     I smell foul here. The above sounds good, but you can pick up a two year associate’s degree for less than $5,000…I think it sounds pretty awful that 15% of people with such degrees still can’t manage to pull down $5,000 of yearly income. We still see the graduate degrees coming out on top for debt, but it’s not at all clear why doctoral degrees don’t get mentioned here.

Professional programs, such as medical or law degrees, appear to have relatively high debt burdens. Eighty-two percent of those degrees resulted in debt greater than earnings.

However, because of the common extended pathways to earnings in those fields (such as medical residencies), that may not be cause for concern for all programs.

     Again we have a bit of spin here. Yes, doctors might well make the money eventually, but what’s going with our law schools is downright criminal (metaphorically, of course), even if burying people in debt for useless law degrees is perfectly legal. It’s been a while since I’ve written about this, but most people should already know.

“Oftentimes, the heaviest debt produces the highest earnings,” said Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, referring to medical and dentistry programs.

     Spin, spin, spin…dentists are going broke, because they have basically priced themselves out of the market trying to make enough money to cover the debt. Granted, dubious “dental insurance” and other factors are part of the problem…but don’t buy the “heaviest debt produces the highest earnings” line. The biggest debt is usually held by art students, making nothing.

      The article I’m quoting from does have a bit of criticism:

“There are a lot of programs at the graduate level where you have to wonder how a school could in good conscience hand out the debt they’re handing out to people,” he said, pointing to a master’s degree in social work from the University of Southern California that he said was “immorally priced.” The program's debt levels drew criticism when the feds released those data earlier this year. Median earnings for the USC master's in social work were about $50,000, but median debt reached over $115,000.

   Now, sure, theoretically you could just give up 2 years’ pay to pay off that debt, but the reality is you have bills to pay. And taxes to pay on the income. You also have to service that debt, and no, you don’t get to deduct those payments from your tax burden. Most student loan payments are structured so that the payments strictly address interest, it’s why commonly you find people who have made their payments for years, but still owe just as much (if not more) than when they graduated.

     Another great criticism:

Michael Itzkowitz, a senior fellow of higher education at the think tank Third Way, said certificate programs showed some of the most troubling earnings results. “The average high school graduate makes around $28,000 a year,” he said. “Most certificate programs show students earning less than that.”

     “Go to community college, we’re cheap!” is the cry, but getting those job training certificates still don’t pay as much as nothing at all. We really need to reconsider what we’re doing in our community and technical college system, because it shouldn’t be this obvious that things are very wrong here.

Among public university bachelor's programs, the communications bachelor's degree at Grambling State University and the social work bachelor's at Mississippi Valley State University, both historically black colleges, took worst honors, with debt outweighing earnings by over $20,000 in both programs. Neither university responded to a request for comment.

      You know, our social justice warriors, if they honestly felt the way they do, would speak up about this. They don’t, of course, even though, again, it’s long been known how our student loan system has been targeting minorities for optimal exploitation.

     Now let’s talk about the stuff that really matters: the degrees and schools which make sense:

On the opposite end of the spectrum -- public and nonprofit bachelor’s programs where earnings exceeded debt by the greatest magnitude -- the list contains many computer science and engineering programs at highly selective institutions, such as Brown University, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pennsylvania.

      Note the word “selective” in the above. This has always been what made higher education valuable: the scarcity created via selective admissions. Any parents reading this, please only consider sending your kids to schools which have entrance exams or otherwise restrict who gets to come on campus.

      What about professional programs, what works there?

However, many nursing or health programs at smaller public or less selective nonprofit private institutions also rise to the top of that category. The bachelor’s program in nursing at Sonoma State University, for example, features a median debt of $12,500 and $110,300 in earnings.

       While medical training for doctors is ridiculously pricey, nursing programs so far haven’t been exploited. The reason here is much like before: not everyone is cut out to be a nurse. Having spent so much time on my back in hospital beds this last year, I’m speaking from experience.

At the associate level, Kelchen's analysis found that the lowest-earning fields included criminal justice, health administration and teacher education.

       Many reasons for the above, but no, “low teacher pay” isn’t an issue. Education programs are notoriously wide open for admissions (as is criminal justice, I have no input on “health administration” beyond my suspicions), and so the market is flooded with people with teaching degrees.

At the graduate level, educational administration broke the top five in earnings, mostly, Kelchen said, because school superintendents tend to do quite well.

       Now wait just one second here. I’m quoting from a higher education-specific site. They know full well how ridiculously outrageous the pay is for administrators in higher education. Yes, “school superintendents” tend to do well, but let’s not forget the legions of deanlings on campus here, shall we?

       Getting back to those good professional degree programs, one thing not well measured here is how many people flunk out of those programs. Yes, engineers and nurses get good pay relative to debt, but a good overall consideration would account for the wide swaths of students who enroll in those programs and then drop out…ending up in those poor yielding other programs.

      Still, at least our government is finally noticing what most people knew a generation or so ago.


Saturday, January 11, 2020

The Media Spin On A “Racistsexisthomophobe” Professor

By Professor Doom

     For years I’ve covered faculty being removed from campus for having integrity, or at least the sense enough to not agree with “the narrative,” and First Amendment protections never seem to apply. Thus I was more than a little puzzled when I saw the following headline:

Indiana University admits a professor has 'racist, sexist, and homophobic' views but say they can't fire him because of the First Amendment

       After years of over-use, the cry of RACIST has lost its strength, and now extra slurs are typically tacked on, in this case, “sexist and homophobic,” although “right wing” and other scare words are typically used as well.

      But this can’t be right. I’ve seen professors removed before, the First Amendment has offered no protection against the ideologues running many of our campuses today. So, I was suspicious, and seeing the link is from fake news site MSN, I found considerable amusement in the spin here. Let’s take a look:

  • Indiana University says it will continue to employ Eric Rasmusen, a professor of business economics and public policy at the university, despite his "racist, sexist, and homophobic views."
  • University Provost Lauren Robel said the school can't fire Rasmusen because the "First Amendment of the United States Constitution forbids us to do so."

       So the university really is slathering these labels on their employee, and is hiding behind the First Amendment. What exactly did he do or say, anyway?

Rasmusen came under fire earlier this month after he tweeted about an article called "Are Women Destroying Academia? Probably."

     His crime? He linked to an article. I’ll probably look at that article in more detail later, as I rather disagree with it (I maintain strongly the student loan scam is destroying academia). That’s some pretty extreme guilt by association. What did the professor say, exactly?

His tweet said "geniuses are overwhelmingly male because they combine outlier IQ with moderately low Agreeableness and Moderately low Conscientiousness."

     This is MSN, so I guess I should be impressed they went this far before becoming misleading. The professor’s tweet may have said the above…but that’s actually a quote from the article. A casual reader might think the professor said the above, but, no, he’s simply hitting a highlight from his link, to entice others into reading the article. 

       MSN doesn’t bother to explain what the quote means, but I’ll summarize. Human males are more common at extreme levels of behavior and ability. Your murderers, drug addicts, and, yes, geniuses tend to be male. It isn’t simply brainpower here, it’s also personality traits such as “low Agreeableness” and “low Conscientiousness,” which allow someone with sufficient brainpower to pursue truth and knowledge, even if others might not like it much.

       Back to the point, to attribute this quote to the professor is quite misleading, a proxy plagiarism.

       Did the professor say anything to justify those labels the Provost put on him?

Robel said that Rasmusen also believes that women don't belong in the workplace, gay men should be banned from academia, and black students are unqualified for elite universities.

      Uh, the above is certainly an accusation, but this is just a belief from the Provost about what the Provost believes the professor (Rasmusen) believes. That’s quite the string of conjecture. How is this information relevant to the slander MSN is promulgating? Note the careful phrasing here, as MSN makes it clear, with specific reading, that they’re only quoting beliefs piled on beliefs. I doubt all readers consume this fake news in a discriminating way.

Robel, a provost and executive vice president for the university, said in a letter to students that Rasmusen, who has been employed by the university since 1992, has "for many years" used his social media accounts to "disseminate his racist, sexist, and homophobic views."

     More undocumented slander. It’s a shame MSN couldn’t be bothered to take a few minutes to find something from the professor backing up the slander. Oh well.

Robel said that while Rasmusen is still employed at the school, no student will be required to take his classes, and Rasmusen will be required to use a double-blind procedure while grading that will make it impossible for him to know whose assignment he's grading.

     So, the professor won’t be fired for his alleged views, but the university will make things very unpleasant for him, in addition to using the media to spread slander.

"Academic freedom should protect me even if I believed all the things the provost attributed to me," he said.

     I emphasize that the professor is denying the accuracy of his university’s slander. Who should we believe? If the slander were true, the university and MSN would have no trouble actually citing examples…seeing as that hasn’t happened, I’m inclined to believe the professor’s denial.

      The professor has an additional comment on his blog (where, I repeat, if the Provost/MSN were being honest, they’d have no trouble documenting their claims):

Indiana University is not discouraging bias, but encouraging it, even requiring it, as a condition of teaching.

       Ultimately this is the problem. Since higher ed (and our mainstream media) is incredibly biased to the point of shutting out all opposing views, we probably shouldn’t be paying for it. I disagree with the Professor’s linked article that women are the problem here…but I’ll let him have his say without calling him racistsexisthomophobe.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

College Entrance Exams Are RACIST. No Kidding.

By Professor Doom

     The edu-fascists running so many of our schools are predictable. The educationists want growth at all costs, while the Progressives want to advance their destructive ideology at all costs.

      Entrance exams, what used to be a gatekeeper for getting in to higher education, have long been abandoned at many of our open admissions state schools. This was done to “loosen restrictions” (as an educrat would say) or “promote diversity” (as a Progressive would say), but bottom line this was done as it coincided with both sides’ interests. That it was destroying the citizens/unqualified students with unpayable student loan debt was of no concern to either side, of course.

     Our elite schools still require students to demonstrate some actual interest in learning before taking on student loan debt, but this has been changing of late as they, too, have been taken over by the same sort of people. A recent Taki’s Magazine article discusses the “problems” with entrance examinations as written about in a book on the subject, but misses one big detail, which I’ll correct.

Tough Testing

     One of the less remarked-upon gender gaps is in college attendance: Young men have fallen far behind young women. Males now make up only 43 percent of college students despite continuing to earn slightly higher average scores on college admission tests.

     One way “opportunities were expanded” and “equality was achieved”  (depending on which faction was lying talking) in higher education was encouraging females to pursue higher education en masse. Basic human biology makes this a bit problematic, but I just want to point out the main issue here demonstrating both sides are full of crap: although females greatly outnumber males on campus and have done so for years, although more females today hold college degrees than males…there’s still an endless push to attract even more females on campus. One side really only wants growth no matter what harm is done, while the other wants to pursue ideology with similar unconcern for humanity.

Perversely, journalist Paul Tough’s much-praised new book, The Years That Matter Most: How College Makes or Breaks Us, calls for America to worsen this inequality by dumping the SAT and ACT for being biased toward boys.

     This is all part of the push to destroy the few good schools which still require entrance exams. Please understand anyone who wants to enter an open admissions school can do so already, we have a surplus of “higher education” available in this country. We don’t have a surplus of legitimate schools, however.

       While the above is “merely” a claim that entrance exams are sexist, it’s a single sling of mud away from calling them RACIST as well:

To Tough, college entrance examinations are just another conspiracy to make white boys look good.

      Why bring up “white”? One big open question comes to mind about our society as I read this: what will we collectively tire of first: the jailhouse “suicides” of people about to testify against our big politicians, or the cries of RACISM against everything which made our society?

One important fact that Tough points out is that prestigious colleges have vastly more money to spend per student than do less famous colleges. 

      The above is where the article goes wrong, and it spends far too much time railing against those wealthy private schools which restrict admission. It might be a “fact,” but it needs to be clarified with the well known fact that “money spent per student” has almost no effect on outcome, as has been shown time and time again. Honest, you give me the lowest amount spent per student anywhere in the U.S., and give me the top 10% of scorers on entrance exams, and I promise you I’ll have more success with them than any amount of money spent on the bottom 10%.

      At least the article laughs at the implied racism of our elite schools using such exams:

These students were more likely to live in small towns or rural areas in the middle of the country and to attend schools where they would be one of only a few high-achieving students. They were also significantly more likely to be white; 80 percent of them, in fact, were white, compared to just 45 percent of the achievement typical students.

In other words, this country’s most underprivileged reservoir of underutilized talent is Red State white boys.

--emphasis added.

       While the above is accurate, the edu-fascists running our schools will ignore this detail, instead targeting the much broader market of low performing, “diverse” students.

Tough, for example, is much agitated about the inevitable fact that some college applicants have higher test scores than grades while others have higher grades than test scores. He tendentiously labels the former “inflated SAT score students,” although one might with equal justification call the latter “inflated GPAs.” 

     How twisted is that? The whole point of standardized tests is they have standards. Taki’s is right to laugh at this inversion of truth, but the book referenced will still be used to eliminate standardized tests. Because the book is published and supports the narrative, after all.

The students with the inflated SAT scores were more likely to be white or Asian than the students in the deflated SAT group, and they were much more likely to be male…. The inflated-SAT students were more than twice as likely to have parents who earned more than $100,000 a year and more than twice as likely to have parents with graduate degrees. These are the students—the only students—to get a big boost in admissions from the SAT.

     There’s considerable idiocy to unpack in the above, so I’ll only go lightly over the “problems” here, which the article doesn’t really touch on.

      The SAT tests are basically used as a proxy for intelligence tests; any group scoring high in one is scoring high on the other. Of course, intelligence tests were long since branded as RACIST and discarded. I assure the gentle reader, once the SAT receives this treatment, another proxy will be found. The market is like that, after all.

      Having parents with graduate degrees just means the kids come from a family which values education…so, much as children of obese parents tend to be obese, we see the same thing here. And? I know talking about “genetics” is RACIST as well, but we all know, deep in our hearts, that children tend to take after their parents.

       The book gets another shredding, as the article points out how an important fact “not supporting the narrative” isn’t mentioned:

Tough is likewise outraged that kids from families that make $40,000 to $80,000 earn a 3.63 GPA in high school and score 1624 (out of the old 2400 maximum) on the SAT, while kids from families making over $200,000 earn only a slightly better 3.66 GPA, but average a notably higher 1793.

Of course, that’s because, on average, rich kids attend schools with more rigorous grading standards than do not-rich kids.

--emphasis added. Honest, you ask more from students, you get more.

     Another issue commonly raised against the rich is they can afford to spend more money on test prep for their students. There’s some truth to this, and I’ll be the first to admit that preparing for a test is a great thing to do, and purchasing materials helps quite a bit.

       A short anecdote: I doubled my subject test score (more accurately, my percent rank) for the GRE mathematics subject test after buying a test prep book. I went to a weak State U with a reputation for partying, and learned I had catching up to do based on that prep book. The book cost $18, but I had to study it on my own. Yes, I had my “rich” parents spend the money on it (if memory serves), but comparable books are available today for about the same price (if by “book” you mean “PDF,” anyway). 

      Yes, spending money helps, but my parents weren’t going to help me with the material, it was on me to study and learn. That’s how it works, and how it always works, greed and ideology notwithstanding.

       The book rails quite a bit against test prep, but it really is all about the effort:

Of course, Asians get, by far, the highest test scores of all, and have been widening the gap in this century. But Asians don’t come up all that much in The Years That Matter Most. They tend to confuse The Narrative.

      Of course they don’t fit the narrative, that’s why they never get mentioned..,and the gap is widening because they’re preparing even harder than before in response to the racist rules Progressives stack against them . As I’ve shown time and again, Asians are more a minority than what the ideologues call minorities…and so get swept under the rug since they don’t support the narrative.

     Facts are irrelevant to the people running our schools, of course, and so more legitimate schools will turn into open admissions schools, scraping up that last bit of student loan money before we finally figure out that there’s simply too much going wrong in our higher education system to keep supporting it this way.