He may have phrased it inartfully but Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is on to something when he talks about how college isn't the panacea that the media is always touting it as. While college can be useful for getting a job in fields which require professional certification, in many cases, students are being sold a bill of goods by universities who care more about making money than helping people get a decent-paying job. That's particularly true for certain majors and graduate degree programs.
In 2008-09, America's college and universities graduated 78,009 people with journalism degrees. For those graduates who could find a job in that field, they could expect a median starting salary of $35,800.
But most won't find a job in journalism -- the number of journalism jobs is projected to shrink by more than 6 percent from 2008 to 2018, a decline of 4,400 available job positions. That data lead The Daily Beast to put journalism at the top the list of the 20 Most Useless College Degrees (a list based on crunching numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Center for Education Statistics and Payscale).
What does the New York Times have against Texas A&M, a rare public university whose student body leans right? Manny Fernandez reported Saturday from the campus in College Station, on an illegal immigrant who lost his bid for student body president: "Vying for Campus President, Illegal Immigrant Gets a Gamut of Responses." Who was to blame? A conservative student body who made him feel unwelcome.
Jose Luis Zelaya stood with a crowd of other students waiting to hear the news. It was election day at Texas A&M University here, and he was running for student body president. A victory for Mr. Zelaya, a 24-year-old graduate student from Honduras, would make history at Texas A&M: He would become its first Hispanic student body president -- and the first illegal immigrant to hold the position.
This probably won't surprise anyone, but it should be noted for the record: As of 3:45 p.m. today, almost 72 hours after the related story broke, the Associated Press has not reported on new revelations about the clear influence radical, racist professor Derrick Bell had on now-President Barack Obama 20 years ago -- so influential that Obama "routinely assigned works by Bell as required reading" in his University of Chicago law classes. The AP has also not told its subscribing outlets and news consumers about how many of its colleagues in the press withheld information on the relationship between the two during the 2008 presidential election campaign. A search on Bell's name (not in quotes) at the AP's main site returns nothing relevant, even though it has been shown that Obama told a Harvard audience that people should "[O]pen your hearts and open your minds to the words of Prof. Derrick Bell."
However, there has been no shortage of coverage at the AP and elsewhere of what Mitt Romney did with his dog 29 years ago. But of course, the dog story is far more relevant to Mitt Romney's governing philosophy than Obama's love of a professor whose core life contention revolves around insurmountable white racism (/sarc). The AP's cover-up treatment of Bell has been consistent, as seen in the first three paragraphs of its brief write-up after the professor's death in October 2011 (bold is mine):
In an interview with Newt Gingrich on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Matt Lauer hoped to get the former speaker to denounce recent comments by Rick Santorum about higher education: "Santorum said, 'President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college, what a snob.' As a former college professor, how did you feel about that exchange?"
Despite Lauer's attempt to appeal to his academic background, Gingrich refused to take the bait: "You know, you have to ask Santorum why he said that. I do think every American ought to get trained. I think it doesn't matter what your degrees are, it matters if you're employable....So, I think there's a middle ground here..."
If you were to believe MSNBC's Alex Wagner -- which, I'm sure you don't -- GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum is anti-college, believing the acquisition of higher education to be a mark of snobbery.
"Is it hypocritical, given Rick Santorum and the fact that he holds not one, not two, but three degrees -- more than the president, -- for him to allege that having a higher education is a form of snobbery?" Wagner pressed Santorum campaign spokeswoman Alice Stewart on today's edition of Now with Alex Wagner. I don't know what they teach at Brown University, where Wagner went to college, but one hopes it has nothing to do with Wagner's deliberate mischaracterization of Santorum's recent swipe at President Obama.
During his first hour today, Rush mentioned the reaction of Peter King at Sports illustrated in King's "Monday Morning Quarterback" collection to a paragraph in the magazine's cover story on Jeremy Lin, the New York Knicks' point guard who has broken through from obscurity to phenom during the past two weeks. What King wrote is indeed an interesting giveaway of what I believe is a common but unsupportable media perspective, namely that students at and graduates of elite upper-echelon universities like those in the Ivy League are presumptively free of overt racism, because, well, they're all so enlightened.
George Washington just got a promotion. Yes, he's still one of the slave-owning oligarchs who, according to liberals, stuck us with a short-sighted Constitution, and whose colleagues were probably having sex with slaves.
But with the 2012 election on the line and conservatives citing the Founders' legacy as a touch-stone of limited government, Time Magazine has found it useful to turn the first president into a proto-liberal.
Larry Sand's article "No Wonder Johnny (Still) Can't Read" — written for The John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, based in Raleigh, N.C. — blames schools of education for the decline in America's education. Education professors drum into students that they should not "drill and kill" or be the "sage on the stage" but instead be the "guide on the side" who "facilitates student discovery." This kind of harebrained thinking, coupled with multicultural nonsense, explains today's education. During his teacher education, Sand says, "teachers-to-be were forced to learn about this ethnic group, that impoverished group, this sexually anomalous group, that under-represented group, etc. — all under the rubric of 'Culturally Responsive Education.'"
American Public Media (formerly American Public Radio) says that its "Marketplace" program "focuses on the latest business news both nationally and internationally, the global economy, and wider events linked to the financial markets."
Okay. One would expect, given the track record of leftist and communist movements and causes in ruining economies and creating unspeakable human misery, that if "Marketplace" were to do a segment on, say, Saul Alinsky, that it might note his antagonism towards free-market capitalism, and how damaging his "Rules for Radicals" recommendations have been in practice. Instead, those listening to yesterday's Alinsky segment got nothing but pap and misdirection orchestrated by a far-left labor prof:
I hope that the nominations for dumbest wire service item of the year are still open, because the December 20 report by Associated Press Education Writer Jay Pope on the alleged negative impact of a successful college football team on the grades of male students on campus must be placed in the running.
Based on an eight-year study of grades by economists at just one school, the University of Oregon, who are either getting grant money they don't deserve or have totally run out of productive things to do, a three-win improvement by a football team can increase the differential between male and female students' grade-point averages by as much as 0.0144 points. Seriously. Pope never disclosed the degree of difference I just cited, and wasted almost 900 words on a story which should never have been written. What follows is some of the AP writer's vapid verbiage:
On Friday's NBC Today, MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin gushed over a new class at Georgetown University taught by liberal professor Michael Eric Dyson: "Race, class, gender, culture, all things that would be covered in most sociology classes and they're covered in Michael Eric Dyson's as well, but the issues are examined in a way that uniquely appeals to college students."
Melvin touted how, "Jay-Z's street rhymes that became stage anthems are being taught at one of America's top schools." He promoted the course as serious education: "In the Georgetown University syllabus, it's called, 'The Sociology of Hip-Hop: The Odyssey of Jay-Z.' For about 140 students twice a week it's 90 minutes of head bouncing and dissecting....Dyson uses Jay-Z's 2010 memoir 'Decoded' to break down lyrics, but maintains a traditional classroom, using articles, guest speakers, essays and exams."
Here we go again. A Christian college is revising its code of conduct for faculty members, expecting a commitment to personal conduct that's in line with biblical ethics, including on matters of sexual behavior.
But, of course, all the liberal media will focus on is a new "ban" on gay or lesbian faculty members at Shorter University, a Baptist institution with campuses in Atlanta and Rome, Georgia.
In the grand scheme of things, student loans from the government are at least well intentioned. Perhaps they even encourage students who would not otherwise attend college to do so. However, with President Obama's latest expansion of the student loan program, we are again reminded whether he is unable to learn from history or is completely indifferent to the government waste incurred by student loan programs.
Obama announced last week a plan to ease the burden of student loans by only requiring graduates to pay a maximum of 10% of their income toward their monthly federal loan payments. However, as Rep. John Kline explained, "We simply can’t keep providing money from the federal government in the form of subsidized or actual loans and Pell Grants when we don’t have the money." Do you think easing student loan payments is just another way for Obama to ensure he still has the youth vote to back him in 2012? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
At the Associated Press today, National Writer Jesse Washington attempted to dissect the relative dearth of college degrees earned by African-Americans in "STEM" (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
Not that anything he reported was particularly wrong, but in my view he missed the largest contributor to the problem, one that apparently can't be mentioned in polite press company. He used one word -- "uneducated" -- that started to get close but backed away. The five-word phrase he failed to mention, which could usefully carry the acronym "LUPUS":
If you want to know the best universities and colleges in the country, you might turn to US News. But suppose you want to know the horniest. Well, for that you'd have to consult Newsweek.
Say what you will about the pre-Daily Beast-merger Newsweek -- it was doubtless liberal and strongly slanted to the left -- but it never, to my knowledge, tried to muscle in on Playboy's turf and find the best schools for hands-on anatomical studies.
Sunday, Alexa Olesen at the Associated Press wrote an item headlined "One-child policy a surprising boon for China girls." My immediate comeback: "43-60 million Chinese girls aborted because they were of the 'wrong' gender or would have violated the one-child policy were not available for comment."
While nowhere near as odious as Nick Kristof's "Mao Tse-tung wasn't all that bad; look what he did for Chinese women" conclusion at the end of a book review on Mao's murderous legacy almost six years ago, Olesen gets into the neighborhood.
Want a little wisdom? Given we're a culture that tends to be self-help hungry, odds are that you and I aren't hostile to a little good advice. Who would be?
Well, May and June were months populated by commencement addresses. Some were memorable; some were political; some were self-indulgent. Some need to be reread now that the parties are over, internships are being settled into, vacations are being enjoyed, or the satisfactions of labor are giving way to harsh realities about paychecks, FICA --- and, well, don't ask Paul Ryan how bright that future looks about now.
Now we have Roxanne Martino, a Chicago-area member of the University of Notre Dame's Board of Trustees, who resigned Wednesday after serving less than two months. The Cardinal Newman Society noted that Martino had made $27,150 in political contributions to Emily's List over a 12-year period. Her claim, relayed through the board's chairman and the university's president, is that she "didn't realize any of the organizations she supported also promoted abortion rights." Uh, Roxanne -- Emily's List has only one mission: "electing pro-choice Democratic women to office."
Imagine if a Tea Party backer by some miracle got to teach on a college campus, and began describing ways to, oh, I don't know, keep opposing politicians from conducting business, hack into their computers and destroy data, and make their staffs feel threatened. How long would that class last, and how long would it be before it became a national news story?
Well, Publius at Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com reports that " the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL) and the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) sponsored two college courses: Introduction to Labor Studies and Labor Politics and Society, to be taught simultaneously through a video conference between to two campuses." Publius asserts, with video proof, that the courses really really are "How-to College Course(s) in Violent Union Tactics."
The two must-see BigGov posts are here and here. Direct links to the videos and brief descriptions follow the jump:
The average American, as parent, student and taxpayer, has little idea of the academic rot at so many of our colleges. Save for a tiny handful of the nation's colleges, what distinguishes one college from another is the magnitude of that rot.
One of the best sources of information about our colleges is the New York City-based Manhattan Institute's quarterly Web magazine, Minding the Campus, edited by John Leo, former columnist for U.S. News & World Report.
Last Friday the Maryland House of Delegates passed a bill granting in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. The bill had already cleared the state senate and Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has said he will sign the bill.
Today's Baltimore Sun devoted sympathetic front-page coverage to illegal immigrants who now "celebrate the approval of in-state tuition for Maryland students regardless of immigration status."
"I want to be a part," blared the front-page headline to Nick Madigan's A-1 story. Below the headline is a picture of "Missael, an illegal immigrant from Mexico who lives in East Baltimore."
On Monday's Morning Edition, NPR's David Schaper slanted towards a professor and his allies in academia who object to a recent open records request into his e-mails from the Wisconsin GOP, playing five sound bites from them versus only two from a non-Republican source who thought their concerns were overblown. One of the professor's allies labeled the request a "contemporary version of McCarthyism."
Host Renee Montagne introduced Schaper's report by putting the issue in the context of the continuing debate over state employees' collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin:
Apparently lacking any problems of graver concern in the D.C. area, today's Washington Post Metro section devoted front page real estate to young college women "Suffraging in silence."*
"On many college campuses," the subheader explains, "student government remains dominated by men, echoing gender gaps in state and national politics."
"For the past decade, women have outpaced men on key measures of college success," staff writer Jenna Johnson noted. "They attend college and graduate at higher rates, according to several studies, and they tend to earn higher grades."
But alas, lamented Johnson, "on many campuses, student government is dominated by men, echoing gender gaps in state and national politics."
A few paragraphs later, however, Johnson noted that one reason is collegiate women tend to gravitate towards investing time and energy into extracurricular clubs that follow their interests:
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman doesn't believe education is the key to solving America's economic woes.
Quite the contrary, in his recent article "Degrees and Dollars," the Nobel Laureate argued that the path to a more prosperous nation is for unions to have increased bargaining power and for everyone to have "free" healthcare:
On Monday's Newsroom, CNN's Martin Savidge teamed up with guests Rachel Sklar and Nick Ragone to oppose a proposed bill in Texas that would allow college students with concealed carry permits to carry handguns on campus. Savidge only had conservative talk show host Ben Ferguson on to voice his support for the bill during the segment, who faced off against the three.
The anchor brought on Sklar, Ragone, and Ferguson 48 minutes into the 2 pm Eastern hour for a panel discussion on the Texas legislation. He first turned to the former Huffington Post editor: "Rachel...what do you think of the idea of Texas allowing students to carry guns?" Predictably, Sklar ripped the idea:
Now that openly gay men and women will be able to serve in the U.S. military, will liberal Ivy League institutions that shunned military Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) programs work to quickly welcome them back to campus?
As ABC’s World News Sunday recounted President Obama’s failed effort to provide citizenship for immigrants who entered the country illegally as children if they go to college or enter the military, the issue was framed as conservatives standing in the way of the "dream" of such immigrants, and, as anchor Dan Harris introduced a report on the measure that failed in the Senate - dubbed the Dream Act by supporters - a graphic appeared beside Harris with the words "Dream Dies" because Republicans succeeded in blocking the bill’s passage.
Harris and correspondent Tahman Bradley both raised the possibility that Hispanic voters would punish Republicans by supporting Democrats in the next election. Harris introduced the piece:
The President was, we should say, dealt one significant defeat this weekend when Republicans blocked the so-called Dream Act, which would have provided a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who came here as kids brought by their parents. But could this legislative loss ultimately turn into a political win?
Bradley began his report highlighting the plight of Diego Alvarez, who entered the country illegally as a child, as Alvarez hoped that passage of the Dream Act would make it possible for him to go to college, with the ABC correspondent contending that his "dream" had been "deferred" because of the recent Senate vote. Bradley: "For Diego Alvarez of Marshall Town, Iowa, the Senate's vote means a dream deferred." Then came clips of Alvarez calling the vote "heartbreaking," and complaining that "it’s not right" that some believe he does not belong in the country.
On Friday, all three network morning shows expressed sympathy for protestors in London rioting against college tuition increases, despite a Thursday attack on the royal family. While CBS's Early Show, ABC's Good Morning America, and NBC's Today all reported on security concerns over Prince Charles and wife Camilla, each broadcast also lamented Britain's "drastic new budget cuts."
At the top of the Early Show, co-host Harry Smith proclaimed: "There have been these protesters in London for a couple weeks now because tuition hikes for college tuition skyrocketing there." Fill-in co-host Rebecca Jarvis then chimed in by arguing on behalf of the rioters: "Of course they pay very high taxes there so they expect something for those taxes." Later, in an 8:00AM ET hour news brief, anchor Jeff Glor pointed out: "In the last fiscal year, the government spent $60 million on household costs for the royals....But, the government still voted to triple university tuition to $14,000 a year to help control the deficit."