Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Another Glimpse Into Online Academic Fraud

By Professor Doom

      The real problem with our higher education system is the academic fraud, predominantly paid for by the student loan scam. If our schools offered a legitimate education, the bulk of the issues we’re seeing there would be irrelevant.

      A somewhat buried scandal gives a clue what’s going on here:

     At first glance, this looks like your typical run-of-the-mill athletic fraud:

A former tutor at the University of Missouri at Columbia performed academic work -- including taking three full online courses -- for a dozen athletes, helping to keep many of them eligible to compete, the National Collegiate Athletic Association found Thursday.

      This is little different at UNC, where athletes were being given bogus courses for bogus credit to the student (sic) athletes could stay on the team. At UNC, things got out of control and the regular students started taking the fake courses as well (although there were also tutors ready and waiting to do the student (sic) athlete’s coursework also).

      It’s hard to read the following without laughing:

The NCAA committee said the penalties could have been worse had the panel concluded that the tutor was acting either at the encouragement or with the knowledge of other university officials, as she asserted was the case.

     That’s right, the NCAA is actually asserting that the tutor did all that coursework “just for fun,” that absolutely no university official encouraged her in any way, that nobody thought it odd that the student (sic) athletes, who often read at around the 2nd grade level, were passing actual college courses.

The former mathematics tutor…whose November 2016 confession to Missouri administrators brought the case to the university's (and the NCAA's) attention, had asserted that athletics administrators pressured her to make sure her tutees passed, and that supervisors had "approved and rewarded her for her conduct,"

      The tutor, of course, claims that her bosses directed her to assist the athletes in passing in any way possible. The gentle reader should understand that I had bosses in higher ed direct me to pass students, too, and I saw many corrupt faculty rewarded for similar conduct…I find her story quite credible. But, admin at the school denies everything, so that’s the end of that (admin at UNC also denied everything for nearly 20 years before the mountains of evidence became insurmountable to deny).

She wound up, over the next 18 months, completing work for six athletes in University of Missouri math courses, including a self-paced online applied statistics course for which she completed and in some cases submitted assignments on the athletes' behalf.

     Seriously, the NCAA is actually buying admin’s claim that she did all this all on her own, for no benefit at all.

The NCAA concluded that the tutor had also helped two athletes score high enough on Missouri's (unproctored) math placement exam to place out of remedial math.

      I’m really supposed to believe that the tutor had the ability to order the exams to have no proctors? Does truly nobody at the NCAA have a clue how exams work? The only way this can happen is if admin set up the tests to be as easy to cheat on as possible…any actual scholar would have asked the exams to be proctored, and no, a tutor would not be in a position to override such a request. If the NCAA’s investigation was this credulous, you can pretty much write off the rest of what their investigation had to say.

       Granted, college sportsball is so hideously corrupt that this really is just a typical story, hardly worth a mention…but there’s something buried in the article:

She also helped athletes fulfill some of their university math requirements through online courses offered by other colleges, which the NCAA asserts that "a significant portion of the [Missouri] student population" does because "Missouri's math courses are historically difficult." (A university spokesman did not respond to requests for information about how commonly that actually happens.)

       As luck would have it, I actually know “a bit” about undergraduate math courses. A quick review of Mizzou’s course offerings reveals nothing particularly difficult about their courses. I don’t expect the NCAA to realize the university is simply lying again here (and I respect the spokeman’s unwillingness to reinforce that lie in any way), but I want to address the little detail glossed over in the above.

       As I covered in detail many times on this blog, online degrees are basically worthless. This has been known “in the real world” for well over a decade…but the bottom line is there’s good money to be made in online “education.”

       Online degrees are worthless because online courses are generally worthless. But what of “brick and mortar” degrees? Those are still considered of some value, at least more than fully online degrees…and here’s where the trick comes in.

      Schools, not just Mizzou, often allow students to transfer in a few credit hours. So, if the “real” math course is difficult, students just buy a fake course from some online place, and then transfer it in.

      Now, supposedly, the math course is preparation for harder material, but many degree programs are set up, deliberately, so that a student can fake his way through the prep (or “general education”) courses and be fine taking their “advanced” material in fields of no relevance.

      I know the race riots, shutdowns of free speech, and rampant plundering of the student loan money, to list just a few issues, appear to be big issues in today’s higher education system, but bottom line, all of these would be forgivable (or nonexistent) if we could at least insist on legitimate education in that system.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

There Is A College Course on “Problematizing Whiteness”

By Professor Doom

    In my book I detail how academic fraud is systemic in higher education, detailing how our corrupted accreditation system and corrupt “leadership” have allowed what used to be the greatest university system into the world to debase into predominantly a massive scam to indebt and enslave our kids.

     That was over 5 years ago, and things have changed. I’m strongly considering writing a new edition, with at least one new chapter discussing how corruption of the system has led to a fresh debasement: our campuses are turning into indoctrination centers, engulfing students into a self-destructive and academically irrelevant system of belief.

    It used to be every college course was designed with an academic, or at least professional, purpose in mind. No course could exist unless it had a good answer to the question of “what future improvement does this course prepare you for?” With ideology now trumping academics, this question is no longer relevant, and the only question that now matters seems to be “does this reinforce our ideology and indoctrination?” A recently highlighted course demonstrates what I say:

     One might hope from the title that perhaps this course would look at how “whiteness” is being falsely demonized and misrepresented in our media narrative, to prepare students to fight the constant lies being forced on them every day. Such hopes are quickly dashed:

CU Denver ethnic studies class: ‘educating for racial justice’

In March, I wrote on the “American Political Thought” course offered by the political science department at the University of Colorado Denver that deliberately removed all white males and their contributions from the curriculum,..

     Wow, imagine trying to remove all black males from the curriculum…the shrieking in protest could be (rightfully) heard from orbit. Why is this type of racism so tolerated? This course indoctrinates students, often white students, into hating themselves and the majority population. How could this possibly prepare them for anything more?

      One of the commenters immediately spells out what a disaster it is for students to be taking this course:

As an employer I will start to require transcripts to see if the applicant chose any of these courses as an elective. That applicant will be promptly eliminated from consideration. Too great a risk.

     So apparently this course will be preparing students for complete unemployability. Whether the employer is black or white, he’s still making a sound business decision, as you simply can’t have employees who have been trained to hate and disrespect a broad swath of the customer base. Of course, if the employer is white, he can’t hire people trained like this because they’re very like to hurt him in some way because of his skin color.

     A college course is supposed to have college work and college material in it.  A look at the syllabus will tell us what we really are going to learn in this course. Before going on, I want to emphasize anyone who wants a college education can do so without going into debt, as many colleges put their entire curriculum and syllabi for courses on line. Both teacher and grader of this course are almost certainly not white males, incidentally. 

     Let’s start with a quick course description:

Critical Whiteness Studies provides a deeper analysis of race that accounts for both sides of the race coin: the plight of people of color AND how Whites are complicit.

     Um…citation needed? “People of color” in the United States are much, much, better off than the “people of color” in Africa, where whites are far fewer in number. In light of this empirical and easily observed evidence, I’m having a tough time accepting the premise of the course, and I don’t see how this could be approved in any legitimate academic setting.

      The course comes with a warning:

No permission to record any lecture or discussion without my written approval first.

     And yet again I see reason to disallow this course on campus. Granted, such recordings should be made with permission as a matter of politeness, but I worry that the un-truths discussed here would cause problems if the people paying for the teaching (i.e., taxpayers) knew the kind of “stuff” they were being forced to pay for.

     This is, incidentally, a 4000 level, senior level course, and does have a number of books assigned. That’s promising, at least, though I certainly have some concerns over the kind of ideological material in those books (to judge by the titles).

     There don’t appear to be any actual assignments, however, so (thankfully?) the students can do well in the course even if they don’t read the books. For the most part, students will sit in the classroom and talk about their feelings. 

     What are the objectives here?

      I respect that this topic is so blatantly fake that their “academic language” (aka “newspeak”) is so dense that it needs to be translated to “everyday speak” for anyone to make sense of it. That said, this is a senior level course intended for students who’ve been studying this stuff for 3 years. 3 years of training, enough to become quite conversational in any language on Earth, is not enough to learn even the rudiments of a discipline which obviously has worked quite hard to make itself as vague as possible.

      Again I wonder what these courses are for, if after three years the courses don’t even prepare students for the courses. What?

      Let’s just look at one discussion topic:

Theme 2: How Does One Become White And Uphold Whiteness? Psychoanalytics and Dialectics Of Whiteness?

     Wait…you can become white? If that’s all there is to it, then why not just declare everyone white and call it a day? The “oppression” would end overnight and then we wouldn’t need these courses. 

     Ultimately, the issue remains: how does this material prepare anyone for anything but ideological servitude?