Saturday, February 1, 2014

Has The Quality Of Higher Education In The US Eroded?

The American Council Of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) has released a study on higher education at 29 of the elite colleges in the US.  The Washington Post provides a platform for one of its opinion writers to summarize the ACTA study.  The ACTA believes that our colleges should have a core curriculum that requires students to take courses in US history and economics.  Only a few of the elite colleges have that requirement.  The ACTA also criticizes our elite colleges for a lack of diversity.  It believes that the liberal bias on our campuses is a threat to intellectual freedom.  Its primary mission is more about ending the "liberal bias" on our campuses than it is about the rising price of higher education.  It gives higher grades to our three military academies than it does to our elite colleges.  Apparently, our military colleges encourage its students to "think the unusual" which is absent at our elite colleges according to the ACTA.

Kathleen Parker focuses her attention on price inflation at our elite colleges and she concludes that President Obama should worry more about the relationship between price and value in our higher education system. According to Parker there is no point in sending more students to colleges that do not provide them with a quality education. 

The Washington Post is not alone in providing a platform for the ACTA to tell its story about the lack of quality at our elite colleges.  The Wall Street Journal provided a platform for Michael Poliakoff to summarize the ACTA study, and Fox News has also reported on the ACTA study.  A quick look at the board of the ACTA shows that it is not a non-partisan organization as reported by Parker in her Post article.  Its board is loaded with right wing political operators including Ed Meese who was in the Nixon and Reagan administrations. Its board members are also affiliated with Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute which are major right wing think tanks.

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