Sunday, January 18, 2015

Open Admission Administration Gibberish

By Professor Doom

     Administration: “Pure lies.”
--often I quote things I’ve heard with my own ears, but here I’m just paraphrasing.

     When I was at a college, it was amazing how many times administration would spew such open lies, and I, and other faculty, would simply sit there with our mouths shut. Even when the lies were so blatant that only an idiot could believe, we said nothing. Granted, we had no choice, and no power to do anything about it.

      As always, the gentle reader need not take my word for it, as another article shows just how stupid administration in higher education thinks everyone else is. Their arrogance doesn’t let them see that the only reason they get away with their lies is because the student loan scam, and the thorough corruption of accreditation, means administration can do whatever they want. That they fritter away such power on pointless lies further illustrates their worthlessness, but I digress.

      So, here go again with another flurry of lies:

     At first glance, this is just another school going to open admissions. I was a big fan of open admission to higher education, too…I drank the Kool-Aid. “All those tests are elitist!” I was told to believe. But the reality is, for all the problems of standardized testing, in lieu of nothing else, standardized tests do at least give a slight clue as to whether a prospective student has any interest in academics. Incidentally there’s a big difference between the endless high stakes tests-for-all of public schools and entrance examinations for those-that-want-it of higher education, but I digress.
      Let’s see how the college rationalizes the elimination of using test scores:

Thomas College will continue to concentrate on a student’s high school record and activities as the primary factor in offering admission…”

     Rubbish. Entrance will be reduced to “has a high school diploma or GED”. Keep in mind, the school already uses the high school record (the word “continue”)…administration will deliberately now use LESS information to decide to accept a student.

     Well, gee, since they’re using less information, that means that some administrators will be fired, and other administrators will have their pay cut, since they’re doing less of a job now, right? Right? Yeah, right.

     Back to reality, the only thing that can happen from this decision is that the school will be taking worse students than before.

“Thomas College joins a growing movement among universities and colleges nationwide by no longer basing its admissions decisions on standardized test scores.”

     This is from the article, and not from administration, so it’s true. The only thing administration cares about, at any school, is “growth.” Trouble is, roughly 88% of our high school graduates eventually go to some sort of college…the other 12%, through a variety of good reasons, aren’t going to go despite all the easy student loan money. Admin things getting rid of standardized tests will allow them to screw over the remaining 12%.

     Really, higher education has captured 88%...there is just so little room for more growth. While normal businesses at this point would try to stand out amongst the crowd of competitors with quality or something like that, in higher education, they’re still trying to get into new markets. “Open admission” is a very simple way to expand the market, by lowering standards to as low as possible, although, seriously, there is no more market to expand into.

      “Our faculty recognize that admissions criteria need not rely on singular examinations,” commented Academic Dean Dr. Jim Libby…”

      Back to quoting administration, and thus quoting lies. The Dean, by the way, has his Ph.D. in Public Policy in Higher Education…in other words, an Administrative Degree, which I’ve investigated before. The bald-facedness of this lie is amazing. The faculty didn’t make this decision. No honest faculty member, anywhere, says “our school will be better if we take worse students”. Faculty don’t even have the capacity to make this sort of change…it came from admin.

      Faculty know that standardized tests aren’t that great, but faculty also know that you don’t simply throw away data when you have nothing better to replace it. This lie from administration is being crammed into faculty’s mouth.

“…the College feels that standardized test scores are not as accurate as an applicant’s high school career in predicting success in college for most students…”

     Wait, I thought this decision came from the faculty? Administration can’t even keep their story straight. Anyway, this is just more lies. See, there are lots and lots of high schools out there, and no institution can possibly keep track of what’s going on at every high school in America. A student might be valedictorian, president of three different service organizations, and winner of “best student in school” award for 4 years running…but that doesn’t mean much when the high school only has 1 student. Between the grade inflation and social advancement of public high schools, there’s just no way to tell much about a student looking just at a high school diploma and whatever the student says…and we all know admin is too lazy to do any real follow-up on the high school transcripts.

     Hence the entire point of standardized tests: they provide the institution a unified standard of measurement. While public high schools have many, many, scandals, ETS (which runs many standardized tests) does an extraordinary job of maintaining integrity. ETS has to, as a private institution. If they lose their integrity, they have nothing...that doesn’t seem to apply to public schools, however.

      Why does the gentle reader suspect institutions in higher education are avoiding anything that looks like integrity? 

     Anyway, everyone knows that eliminating standards will reduce quality.

      Vice President of Enrollment Management Jonathan Kent emphasized that a “test-optional” admissions process does not mean the College is lowering admissions standards…

      Vice President of Enrollment Management…that’s a spiffy title for a school with less than 1400 students. Seriously, way too many administrators in higher education…

      Anyway, how can removing standardized test scores, RAISE admission standards? That’s impossible, on the face of it. The vice-Poo-Bah here is saying it’s not lowering it, either. Hmm, not lowering, not raising…so it’s exactly the same as before?

     Wait, what? If it’s exactly the same as before, then there’s absolutely no point in making any change! Why the wasted effort, then? 

     It’s so easy to catch administration in their lies, all you have to do is think for a second. 

“Thomas College is a special institution…”

     It’s amazing how pretty much every word out of an administrator’s mouth is a lie. If Thomas is so special, why are they trying to be like everyone else? How is that an advantage?

     "The College believes this policy change will allow a larger and more diverse applicant pool…"

     Ah, finally, after torturing it for a while, administration lets the truth out, sort of. “Larger and more diverse applicant pool”. In other words, growth, although couched in words that make it sound good. Keep in mind, most every other school in the country is open admission now, and yet Thomas is actually crowing about it.

      Let’s put that in perspective. When Jackie Robinson became the first African-American professional baseball player, it was a big deal. But imagine if, today, every single time a baseball team recruited a minority baseball player, it had a big press conference to make a big deal out of it getting a player, just because that player is a minority.

     We’d look at the team owners and administrators like they were idiots. And yet somehow the media and public don’t think it’s idiocy when administration in higher education does the same thing?

    Of course, in baseball, we all understand being a minority is irrelevant in a team member, what matters is quality. “Racial purity” silliness was discarded in pro sports, because what is critical to owners of professional teams is having quality players—owners (generally) want wins, above all else.

      In higher education, however, quality is discarded whenever possible, because administration wants growth, above all else.

     Once again, administration in higher education is standing up and saying “we’re going to reduce quality” and being proud of it. Every potential student of that school should listen to what administration is saying, and head somewhere else.



  1. Some growth may be possible on an international scale. Believe it or not, in some school systems, it is possible to complete all the high school courses and nevertheless get no degree because of the high-school leaving exam that not everybody can pass. The bad "colleges" would then attract students abroad or set up shop in the country or online and grant "degrees" to those people and to others. It may also be possible to set up MOOCs or partner with existing ones to grant actual credit courses, since the "college" is "accredited" and can grant real credits, which MOOCs generally cannot. If a college has an actual building, it could handle the testing, since the main problem with distance education is how to supervise testing.

  2. "Distance education" is a FRAUD. There is no way anyone can prove they actually did any work. Cheating is nearly totally expected since it is rewarded.

    1. There's more to it than just the "no way anyone can prove" issue. You'll note, even after 10 years of it, there are still no distance education schools with any particular reputation for legitimacy.

      You'll also note these schools have the "community college structure", which is ripe for fraud. Key to this structure is all hiring and contracts are short term, and done via administrators that care nothing for education, only for growth.

    2. Not all distance education is fraud. For instance, I once took a correspondence course from a real university. The exams were held at the university. I am also taking language courses at and Udemy. They are not credited, but I'm learning. I intend to renew my Babbel subscription and take more courses at Udemy. While Babbel gives me flexibility (it's basically a site with good lessons), Udemy has the advantage of consistency. I am taking one short lesson per day every single day. Where is the scam? If I could get credit for this, I would do it honesty and that wouldn't be more of a scam. But I know I'm not getting any and that the courses are not free. I'm open to the idea of trying other similar services but I'm busy enough as it is and some online educational services do not offer the things I would like to study. But the idea of distance/online education is not a scam.

  3. YOU might have learned the material but aside from testing you in person, no one can prove you know your material. This is key. Testing has to happen when someone is observing you during the test otherwise, you can have someone take the test for you.