April 2, 2012

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: What’s wrong in California? “The huge investment by students, parents and taxpayers made in colleges to provide a foundation of knowledge and critical thought has already or is in process of sinking into the hole of politicized instruction that is one-sided indoctrination. The California Association of Scholars details this in a just published 87-page report, A Crisis Of Competence:The Corrupting Effect of Political Activism in the University of California.”

More here: University Echo Chamber Drowns Out Diverse Voices.

Political activism has drawn the University of California into an academic death spiral. Too many professors believe their job is to “advance social justice” rather than teach the subject they were hired to teach. Groupthink has replaced lively debate. Institutions that were designed to stir intellectual curiosity aren’t challenging young minds. They’re churning out “ignorance.” So argues a new report, “A Crisis of Competence: The Corrupting Effect of Political Activism in the University of California,” from the conservative California Association of Scholars.

The report cites a number of studies that document academia’s political imbalance. In 2004, for example, researchers examined the voter registration of UC Berkeley faculty. They found a ratio of 8 Democrats for each Republican. While the ratio was 4:1 in the professional schools, in more political disciplines, the ratio rose to 17:1 in the humanities and 21:1 in social sciences.

Over the last few decades, the imbalance has grown.

All this might be forgivable if graduates were still emerging with first-rate educations, but not so much.

The analysis begins from a nonpolitical fact: Numerous studies of both the UC system and of higher education nationwide demonstrate that students who graduate from college are increasingly ignorant of history and literature. They are unfamiliar with the principles of American constitutional government. And they are bereft of the skills necessary to comprehend serious books and effectively marshal evidence and argument in written work.

Higher price, lower quality.

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