Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Academia's Lies

Recently, George Washington University, an educational institution with astronomical tuition rates, lost its coveted spot in the college rankings list produced by U.S. News & World Report, a guide often consulted by parents, students, and guidance counselors.  Excerpt from this article in the Washington Post:
George Washington University, which U.S. News & World Report had ranked 51st among national universities, is now unranked after the school’s disclosure...that it had overstated the academic credentials of incoming freshmen.

On Wednesday, the architect of the U.S. News Best Colleges listings, Robert Morse, wrote that GWU will remain unranked until the next rankings are issued in September and the university confirms the accuracy of data it submits.

[...]

Many GWU students prize its location a few blocks from the White House and its status as an upper-tier school that had been no lower than 54th on the U.S. News list for a decade. Such prestige, students said, has made the school worth the annual sticker price of more than $45,000 a year in tuition and fees.

[...]

At issue with GWU is the percentage of freshmen in fall 2011 who were said to have graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class. Originally, the university said the share was 78 percent. But GWU officials said last Thursday that the correct figure was 58 percent....
Apparently, a least a few other institutions of higher learning are participating in a similar scam:
Two other prominent schools, Claremont McKenna College in California and Emory University in Atlanta, acknowledged this year that they inflated SAT scores of incoming freshmen in public reports. But U.S. News concluded in both cases that the 2011-12 rankings of the two schools were not affected....
A few months ago, a former student who had recently entered the doctorate program at a prominent university not mentioned in the above Washington Post article phoned me to relate what had transpired during his second week of  classes.  Only three of the doctorate-degree students in an area of study that should contain only excellent candidates for the university's rigorous program arrived to class with the assignment completed.  Only three!  The assignment: to write a three-page paper on the given topic.  All but three of these doctoral candidates presented work of only one paragraph, and that paragraph was filled with egregious errors in grammar and logic.  How is such incompetence at this level even possible?

The best that I can say about the above anecdote is that this field of study is in no way related to the medical profession.  But I have to ask, "Of what caliber are today's medical students?"

America as moronocracy is upon us!

11 comments:

  1. As the mother of two college students, I have heard my share of horror stories about the state of education in this country, but I hadn't heard about this. I imagine it's not confined to these three schools. Parents would be shocked to know half the shenanigans their tuition dollars are funding in those hallowed halls of academia.

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  2. Years ago I had a friend (he really was a friend) who was a degreed professional, a family man, fun to be around; but who cheated a golf all the time. Everyonf who played with him knew he was cheating and, worse, he knew we knew but he would never admit that he cheated. So, there ar e people out there who will gladly take a degree they haven't earned. Mostly they are cheating themselves; but it can in som cases be dangerous to those they serve or are around them. Pathetic!

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  3. In any sane world, Big Ed would be completely discredited by now.

    It grants diplomas to people who cannot read, and degrees to people who cannot think, reason or write coherently.

    It is a money-gobbling industry that produces educated fools, outside of a few narrowly-defined hard science areas where you cannot fudge.

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  4. The latest scam are the online courses. One more reason to start off at a community college.

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  5. Who, in his/her right mind, would spend $45,000 where Bob Beckel is a facility member?


    http://gspm.org/robert-beckel

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  6. A ranking of 54th being considered prestigious should give some clue, without even looking it up, of just how very many colleges and universities there actually are in the U.S.

    There must be thousands. Considering that, why is this newsworthy? One college out of thousands mis-stated the entry qualifications of some students.

    I know you're a teacher, AOW, but there are much larger and more important issues facing us in education than this. I just can't get excited about this one college's exaggeration designed to jack up it's prestige a bit because no one is saying that they actually degraded student's educations in that college. They just fudged on their standing a little.

    Over-rating the caliber of incoming students has nothing to do with lesson plans and grading requirements. Your last paragraph about the doctorate med students would make me ask which college they attended. I note that they're doctoral candidates and not doctors. Very possibly they failed to graduate, and the particular college may really be one of those that rich parents send wayward children to, to get them out of their hair and let them get a degree without having to work too hard at it.

    That the educational level of America's youth is dropping steadily can be laid at the feet of the entitlement system and the drug culture, not the teachers.

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  7. Well, AOW, business is business.

    ... and EVERYTHING (including religion) is business. We are all living the kapitalist dream.

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  8. That is pathetic, about only three in the class completing the assignment. Yet they expect to get degrees?

    Debbie
    Right Truth
    http://www.righttruth.typepad.com

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  9. I think the problem is that education is considered a business and no longer a seat of learning.

    The result is concentration on facilities and promotion that ultimately will result in the GWU "error".

    We may have some of the best instutions in the world (mostly because of money spent) but the real determinator is how much of our own population gets to use them.

    Steve M

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  10. This does not bode well. And it is quite disconcerting. I have a few years to see what would be the best colleges for my boys because as of right now, I am looking at our local college.

    God help us and our kids.

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