so, rick santorum, what you’re saying is “be conservative: don’t go to college”

Don't wanna be conservative anymore so I went to college

Rick Santorum’s real beliefs on education are finally frothing up and boiling over. Unfortunately, he’s saying them aloud in public.

Kyle Munzenrieder wrote a brilliant response for the Miami New Times to Santorum’s most recent comments, as did The Hill‘s Daniel Strauss. Allow me to offer my own.

Rick Santorum finally said aloud what many fundamentalist Christians have felt for a long time: “be conservative: don’t go to college. And if you do go to college, make sure it’s a Republican party-approved private conservative Christian college. (I’m looking at you Liberty University, Bob Jones, Oral Roberts, Regent University, BYU, and Pepperdine.)

Listen to what Santorum told a Florida audience:

“It’s no wonder President Obama wants every kid to go college..the indoctrination that occurs in American universities is one of the keys to the left holding and maintaining power in America. And it is indoctrination.”

Evangelicals would prefer that students either attend schools with the words “evangelical,” “theological,” and “seminary” in the title (preferably all three) or not at all. Because according to Santorum’s and other evangelicals’ line of thought, when the nation’s top colleges and state universities educate students, it’s liberal indoctrination. But, when private conservative evangelical schools educate students, it’s not indoctrination; it’s a simple dissemination of facts (and by facts, I mean faith claims that are often contrary to scientific facts).

It’s almost comical: Evangelicals don’t want kids to go to America’s top colleges because they might actually learn something besides a fundamentalist, conservative, literalist, theologically-laced worldview, which often leads to a biblically defended suppression of the civil rights of groups that don’t look and/or think like they do. So, from a very early age, they encourage like-minded people to isolate and insulate their kids from any point of view other than their own by placing kids in home schools, private (approved conservative) Christian schools, conservative Christian colleges, and if they do attend graduate school, they often receive some fantastic degree in education, physics, and applied scripture from Southern Evangelical Theological Seminary (I made this title up. If it does exist, my point has only been further underscored.)

So just to clarify:

Public school: Liberal indoctrination
Home school: NOT indoctrination

Public High School: Liberal indoctrination
Christian High School: NOT indoctrination

Public or Ivy League university: Liberal indoctrination
Christian College: NOT indoctrination

R1 Research Graduate School: Liberal indoctrination
Evangelical Theological Seminary: NOT indoctrination

I shake my head.

HT: Jim West

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you should attend ucla

in defense of the digital humanities, open courseware, and online publishing

This is one of the best cases I’ve seen for the Digital Humanities, open courseware, and online publishing. It demonstrates the need for universities, and especially tenure-granting committees to consider digital media as equally worthy of consideration during tenure reviews as scholarly articles printed on paper in peer-review journals and monographs published by traditional academic publishers. This transition should be hastened by the present scampering of traditional print publishers to establish digital publishing presences online (as I’ve mentioned here). It is also a clever demonstration of the legitimacy that advances in online education, improvements in Wikipedia contributor rules, blogging, Google scholar projects, harnessing social media tools like Facebook and Twitter, course management systems like Moodle, and new forms of 3D and hypermedia publishing have brought not only to the Digital Humanities, but to scholarship in general. Give it a view and leave comments below.

HT: Amanda Waldo

u.s. news: harvard is the nation’s top school

US NewsHarvard University is the nation’s top school according to the 2011 U.S. News & World Report rankings released today.

California once again landed the most schools in the top 50 with 9 schools, with 5 of those in the top 25:

Read more here.

oops. getting into college just got easier, er, i mean harder

there’s no other way to say it: this sucks.

cnn is reporting:

A computer glitch mistakenly caused around 2,500 applicants to Middlesex University in the United Kingdom to receive acceptance letters to study at the school in error.

i remember how tense of a time it was when i was applying and i cannot begin to tell you how torn up i would be if i had received one of these letters only to be told later that it was in error. imagine all of the excitement, validation, encouragement, and celebration a student experiences upon opening that letter, and then heap upon that the disappointment of rejection.

argh!

it was an obvious mistake by the university’s admissions office, but still. my sympathy goes out to all affected by this error.

my 2010 ncaa men’s hoop bracket

Cargill's 2010 NCAA Men's Hoop Bracketsince some consider march madness a religion, i figure i can share my bracket publicly, so that i’m on record.

ucla did not make the tourney, so this year doesn’t count ;-) btw, the hardest one i had to decide was #5 butler vs. #12 utep. i really think utep can surprise folks, but i chose butler. we’ll see. kansas should win.

click the image to see the bracket (and ridicule my picks).

have a nice day.

u.s. news & world report 2010 college rankings released

US News & World Report

U.S. News & World Report

u.s. news & world report has issued its college rankings for best colleges 2010. harvard caught princeton for the #1 ranking. the top 10 are as follows:

1. harvard
1. princeton
3. yale
4. cal tech
4. mit
4. stanford (another california school in the top 10)
4. penn
8. colombia
8. chicago
10. duke

other notables (read: universities i like, attended, or choose to highlight) include:

11. dartmouth (beautiful, and winner of the new category in commitment to undergraduate teaching)
21. uc berkeley
24. ucla (which again beat #26 usc, and was ranked the #2 public university in the country ;-)
26. usc
35. uc san diego
42. uc davis
42. uc santa barbara (tie)
46. uc irvine

58. pepperdine (which when i attended there had climbed into the top 50, sank to 58)

this means 9 california universities (cal tech, stanford, cal berkeley, ucla, usc, uc san diego, uc davis, uc santa barbara, and uc irvine) ranked in the top 50.

of course, many colleges that did not rank as high as they would like are already complaining about the formula used to compute the rankings. an associated press article reports that:

The ranking formula takes account of factors such as SAT scores, peer reputation, selectivity and alumni giving.

critics argue that too much emphasis is placed on library size, alumni giving, and university presidential voting, which can skew the objectivity of the vote (because each university president ranks his or her college higher than it should be), but because everyone most likely inflates their school’s status, it all evens out. other systems of college ranking place more of an emphasis on teaching, student debt upon completion, employability, and affordability.

then again, the schools in the top tier are largely recognized as being the best in the country. likewise, u.s. news and world report remains the standard for college rankings.

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