Colleges and College Majors

There appears to be a big difference between generalist (I’m being generous here) college majors and specialist college majors, based on the level of post-graduation, on the job satisfaction of the graduates with their majors.

Among arts and humanities majors, nearly half wished they’d studied something else, while STEM graduates tended to feel they made the right choice.

Note that this is far from a properly done survey, limited as it is to just two cities. However, there’s a large hint here, if today’s colleges and universities will pay attention. Or even if they won’t.

Progressive-Democrat Lies

These two are especially egregious in this final runup to voting in two weeks.

The first is by Joe Biden, our Progressive-Democrat President:

The most common price of gas in America is $3.39, down from over five dollars when I took office[.]

No, the most common price of gas in America as of the week ending January 25, 2021, the week Biden was inaugurated, was $2.39 [hit the full history XLS link for “U.S. Regular Gasoline Prices*(dollars per gallon)”, and select Data 3 in the resulting spreadsheet]. (Lots of good data on the US Energy Information Administration site.) Biden knows the actual price of gasoline, both then and now.

Apologies

Elliot Kaufman had an op-ed in Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal that talked about the utility of apologies from Stanford University and the various failures of that school in its serial mistreatment of Jews along with the several machinations the school used to push that mistreatment.

I’m less interested in apologies from schools like Stanford than I am in changes in the schools’ behavior.

Such changes, though, won’t be possible without a complete turnover in school management, from the President/Chancellor/what-have-you on down through middle management, along with removal/replacement of Department Chairs and their seconds, and elimination of frivolous departments like the plethora of DEI and related claptrap.

Snowflakes

A New York University chemistry professor—at NYU after four decades at Princeton—has been fired because his students, many of them doctor wannabes, circulated a petition complaining about how hard his class was. Their petition read in pertinent part,

We are very concerned about our scores, and find that they are not an accurate reflection of the time and effort put into this class….

Duplicity

The American Civil Liberties Union and Southern Poverty Law Center are at it, this time.

‘Way back in 2019 the Tennessee legislature created Education Savings Account pilot programs for Davidson and Shelby Counties. The ESAs grant money to students accepted into the programs; the funds facilitate students’ departure from poorly performing schools in favor of better schools.

The two county governments promptly sued to block the ESAs from taking effect, and the Tennessee Supreme Court ultimately ruled, last May, that the ESAs were jake, and in June that court denied the counties’ petition to reconsider.

A Thought on Money-Follow-the-Child Programs

A letter writer in The Wall Street Journal‘s Sunday Letters had one.

Quoting Toni Jennings, retired teacher and former Florida Lieutenant Governor, Dave Trabert, Kansas Policy Institute CEO, wrote

The more competition we had in education, the better off we became. So, I for one believe that competition is good. But you will hear those who say, “Oh no, you’re making the public schools compete with others.” Well, those children are going to have to go out and compete with others in the workaday world.

Absolutely, and those public schools are not only failing those children, they’re defrauding those children’s parents, whose tax money is paying for those schools.

A Good Beginning

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) wants random inspections of Texas’ schools focused on safety checks and protocols. In a letter of instruction, Abbott wrote Texas School Safety Center Director Kathy Martinez-Prather:

Your team should begin conducting in-person, unannounced, random intruder detection audits on school districts. Staff should approach campuses to find weak points and how quickly they can penetrate buildings without being stopped.

The inspections are intended to lead to a series of recommendations for legislation regarding security system improvements.

It’s a good start; although I would have thought such inspections already would have been de rigueur on individual school administrators’ initiative for some years, at least since the Columbine shooting.

What’s the Logic?

President Joe Biden (D) has decided to forgive all $5.8 billion of the loans outstanding still held by the folks who went to any of the Corinthian Colleges institutions.

[T]he remaining 560,000 borrowers will be eligible for automatic discharges of their remaining Corinthian federal student-loan debt. All remaining federal loans held by anyone who attended a Corinthian school between its founding in 1995 and its 2015 closure are eligible.

Education Secretary Miguel Cardona:

As of today, every student deceived, defrauded, and driven into debt by Corinthian Colleges can rest assured that the Biden-Harris administration has their back and will discharge their federal student loans[.]

A Bit More on Student Debt

I wrote a bit ago about what colleges and universities should be required to do regarding student loans and student debt.  Here’s a bit more concerning why college and university management teams’ feet should be held to the fire. Mike Brown, writing for lendedu, has some data that compares, by school, student salary expectations with salary reality. In general,

median expected salary after graduating was $60,000, but the PayScale data showed that the typical graduate with zero to five years experience makes $48,400.

Brown published salary expectation vs reality for 62 schools; here are those data for the first 15 schools in his table:

Close in Spirit

…but wide of the mark. Wide of the target itself, even. In Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal Letters section, a letter-writer offered this on the matter of student loan debt:

The solution is to hold academic institutions accountable. If they want government to give my money to their students, they need to prove the value of their product. Set parameters: an 80% graduation rate in five years, and the ability to secure a job at a reasonable salary one year postgraduation. Failure results in withdrawal of federal money available to future students until parameters are met.