Saturday, September 12, 2015

Caveat Emptor

The current President had some two years ago proposed that the Federal Government in its wisdom provide a list of some to be determined quality metrics and evaluations of the Nation's Universities. According to the NY Times the same folks have decided not to go with that idea.

The Times states:

(the President) on Saturday abandoned his two-year effort to have the government create a system that explicitly rates the quality of the nation’s colleges and universities, a plan that was bitterly opposed by presidents at many of those institutions. Under the original idea, announced by (the President)  with fanfare in 2013, all of the nation’s 7,000 institutions of higher education would have been assigned a ranking by the government, with the aim of publicly shaming low-rated schools that saddle students with high debt and poor earning potential. Instead, the White House on Saturday unveiled a website that does not attempt to rate schools with any kind of grade, but provides information to prospective students and their parents about annual costs, graduation rates and salaries after graduation. (The President) praised the new website in his weekly address, saying that by using the new College Scorecard, “Americans will now have access to reliable data on every institution of higher education.”

Now we thought it was a rather dumb idea at the outset. Imagine a group of GS-9s beholding to their politically appointed leaders deciding on how to rank say MIT, Stanford, and Cal Tech. You think they would understand the courses? How about what people do?

Now take MIT as an example. Frankly if some Junior drops out of school to do a start up which in turn changes the world for the better, is that drop out bad or good? By the way this happens all the time. So to the good old GS-9, who may have made it through a Community College somewhere, it would be bad.

Just think, the same folks who brought you the ACA wanted to drop a bomb on Higher Education!

But wait, look at the Web Site. I looked for Engineering and ranked them by highest salary upon Graduation. What one was highest? SUNY Down State Medical School! Are you nuts! They are graduating MDs, in Medicine. Best I know MDs and Engineers are a bit different, been there done that. The The Merchant Marine Academy! That is not engineering, it is ship steering and maintenance. It is not Annapolis. Then fourth comes Harvard. What happened to Stanford, Cal Tech. Keep going and going!

When one puts a list like this together one should try it out on real people to see if it makes sense. Not the Government! Who cares about reality!