by Jay Schalin
Director of State Policy
The information coming out of academia is often suspect. We get told such shaky assertions as: going to college increases lifetime earnings by a million dollars; for each dollar “invested” in public higher education, the state gets back umpteen dollars in return; and that it is easier and more fair to determine the best applicants without standardized test scores. We also know that the first assertion ignores such factors as “natural ability bias,” the second ignores marginal thinking, and the third ignores, well, facts (to just name the most obvious errors).
In the last couple of weeks, the University of North Carolina system released an employer survey to see whether its graduates are being prepared for the workforce properly. It contained such glowing praise as “Not a single employer thinks that the skills students are learning in their classes are substandard.”
Of course, national surveys and outcome-based tests that are not so self-interested paint a very different picture. Jesse Saffron writes about the UNC survey results and how, even when it discusses a real problem, band-aid solutions are proposed when major surgery is needed.