Extreme Sloppiness at the Wall Street Journal

 
Hillsdale College

Hillsdale College.

At noon, while waiting for lunch, I glanced at The Wall Street Journal and noticed that, in the “Personal Journal” section, on pp. R4-R9, that newspaper — with the help of Times Higher Education — had provided its readers with a list of 497 American colleges ranked in light of endowment, likelihood that graduates would get a job, engagement, environment, average salary of graduates, and the like.

Naturally, I looked through the list to see where these publications ranked Hillsdale College. But I could not find it on the list. Figuring that I might have overlooked the entry, after teaching my afternoon seminar and participating in the oral examination of a graduate student, I went to the website, which had a convenient search facility. When I typed in Hillsdale, it did not come up. There was, however, another way to search. One could do so by state, city, and so forth. So I typed in Michigan and learned that, on the website, they ranked many more than 497 institutions.

Here is what it showed for Michigan:

RANK COLLEGE OUTCOMES RESOURCES ENGAGEMENT ENVIRONMENT OVERALL SCORE
#24 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor 38.2/40 22.2/30 17.4/20 6/10 83.8/100
#63 Michigan State University 32.9/40 15.5/30 17.7/20 5.7/10 71.8/100
#150 Michigan Technological University 25.8/40 17/30 16.6/20 4.1/10 63.5/100
#172 Kalamazoo College 24.7/40 17.1/30 14.8/20 5.4/10 62/100
#182 Albion College 22/40 20.1/30 16.9/20 2.5/10 61.5/100
#206 Kettering University 23.7/40 16/30 15/20 5.2/10 59.9/100
#235 Hope College 23.8/40 15.3/30 17.2/20 2.5/10 58.7/100
#238 University of Detroit Mercy 20.9/40 17.2/30 15.9/20 4.7/10 58.6/100
#261 College for Creative Studies 20.1/40 17.3/30 15.2/20 4.9/10 57.5/100
#267 Alma College 20.6/40 18.3/30 15.4/20 2.8/10 57.1/100
#281 Calvin College 18.9/40 16.4/30 17.5/20 3.4/10 56.2/100
#315 Andrews University 11.3/40 18.8/30 15.7/20 8.2/10 54/100
#325 Lawrence Technological University 16.4/40 16.6/30 15.1/20 5.5/10 53.7/100
#344 Wayne State University 12/40 17.3/30 15.9/20 7.9/10 53/100
#473 University of Michigan-Dearborn 15.5/40 10.9/30 15/20 6.8/10 48.3/100
#492 Ferris State University 17.6/40 9.1/30 17.3/20 3.7/10 47.7/100
#501-600 Adrian College – /40 – /40 – /40 – /40 44.3-47.2/100
#501-600 Western Michigan University – /40 – /40 – /40 – /40 44.3-47.2/100
#601-800 Grand Valley State University – /40 – /40 – /40 – /40 39.3-44.1/100
#601-800 Madonna University – /40 – /40 – /40 – /40 39.3-44.1/100
#601-800 Spring Arbor University – /40 – /40 – /40 – /40 39.3-44.1/100
#> 800 Aquinas College – /40 – /40 – /40 – /40 23.7-39.2/100
#> 800 Central Michigan University – /40 – /40 – /40 – /40 23.7-39.2/100
#> 800 Cornerstone University – /40 – /40 – /40 – /40 23.7-39.2/100
#> 800 Eastern Michigan University – /40 – /40 – /40 – /40 23.7-39.2/100
#> 800 Lake Superior State University – /40 – /40 – /40 – /40 23.7-39.2/100
#> 800 University of Michigan-Flint – /40 – /40 – /40 – /40 23.7-39.2/100
#> 800 Northern Michigan University – /40 – /40 – /40 – /40 23.7-39.2/100
#> 800 Oakland University – /40 – /40 – /40 – /40 23.7-39.2/100
#> 800 Rochester College – /40 – /40 – /40 – /40 23.7-39.2/100
#> 800 Saginaw Valley State University – /40 – /40 – /40 – /40 23.7-39.2/100

As you can see, the list is long. But Hillsdale is not on it. What makes this especially ridiculous is the fact that, if you were to rank the schools in the state by the average ACT scores of this year’s entering freshman class, we would rank alongside the University of Michigan as the top school in the state.

How did this happen? The slobs at The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education appear to have used a database called “College Scorecard” provided by the US Department of Education. This database lists only college and universities that take federal aid to education, and we avoid taking that money because there are strings attached that allow the authorities to micromanage the institutions which they “aid.”

There is no excuse for The Wall Street Journal missing this. When the College Scorecard was published by the Department of Education last year, our Provost published an op-ed in that newspaper about our omission from the list. It says something about the state of journalism in this country that the writers and news editors at The Wall Street Journal do not even read their own newspaper.

Somebody should give Bill McGurn a call.

Published in Education, Education, Journalism
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There are 38 comments.

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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    So, those are only the fascist colleges that have been taken over by the government?

    • #1
  2. Basil Fawlty Member
    Basil Fawlty
    @BasilFawlty

    “Sloppiness” is too kind.

    • #2
  3. Eric Hines Inactive
    Eric Hines
    @EricHines

    Well, you know.  The Government has said that Hillsdale doesn’t even offer Bachelor’s degrees.

    Eric Hines

    • #3
  4. Mark Wilson Member
    Mark Wilson
    @MarkWilson

    Reminds me of a less-than-useless feature by the CBS News website entitled “How heavily armed is your state?”  It was trying to be a ranking of states based on per capita firearm ownership.  The problem was that they got all their data from the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record, which only includes federally registered machine guns, short-barreled rifles, short-barreled shotguns, and a few other rare devices regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934.  So it excludes the vast, vast majority of common firearms.

    As a result, they produced a list that simply defies common sense.  It should have been obvious there was a problem since there are approximately the same number of firearms as people in the US but their “most heavily armed state” (Wyoming) had less than 200 guns per 1,000 residents, while New York was down at 3.3 guns per 1,000 residents.  It also should raised eyebrows that the #2 spot was claimed by the District of Columbia, one of the most anti-gun jurisdictions in the country.  Compare the list against common sense and you’ll see what I mean.  Very, very sloppy.

    • #4
  5. billy Inactive
    billy
    @billy

    An alt-right college professor off on an anti-media diatribe…

    • #5
  6. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    billy:An alt-right college professor off on an anti-media diatribe…

    Man, you have it down. Can you tell us what Hillary will be saying in the next debate?

    • #6
  7. billy Inactive
    billy
    @billy

    Arahant:

    billy:An alt-right college professor off on an anti-media diatribe…

    Man, you have it down. Can you tell us what Hillary will be saying in the next debate?

    Sure! “Bush did it, not me,” “Colin Powell did it first” “TRUMPED UP trickle down economics”

    And with these brilliant debating points, which will leave Donald Trump speechless, and leave Jonah Goldberg and Mona Charen to declare Hillary the only viable choice.

    • #7
  8. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    I am a Wall Street Journal Opinion Leader, and I will be communicating with them about this issue.  Thanks for bringing it to our attention, Dr. Rahe.

    • #8
  9. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    I would call it “extremely careful and deliberate sloppiness.”

    • #9
  10. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Mark Wilson: Compare the list against common sense and you’ll see what I mean. Very, very sloppy.

    Just about all WSJ articles these days are based mainly on information the reporters get from government people. I’m not sure they even know how to talk to ordinary people.  I’m sure there some who are brave enough to do it now and then, but it’s mostly news for the government, by the government, and of the government.

    • #10
  11. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Email sent.  Bill McGurn copied.

    • #11
  12. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Why would anyone pay to subscribe to the WSJ? Nonsensical rag.

    • #12
  13. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    This means they also left off my alma mater, Grove City College.

    • #13
  14. MJBubba Inactive
    MJBubba
    @MJBubba

    Eric Hines:Well, you know. The Government has said that Hillsdale doesn’t even offer Bachelor’s degrees.

    Eric Hines

    If we elect Hillary, Big Ed will be working on making Hillsdale’s degrees un-accredited.

    • #14
  15. Steve in Richmond Member
    Steve in Richmond
    @SteveinRichmond

    And given what the Dept of Ed is doing to the for profit colleges, the lack of leverage over Hillsdale must be infuriating to them.

    • #15
  16. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    Eric Hines:Well, you know. The Government has said that Hillsdale doesn’t even offer Bachelor’s degrees.

    Eric Hines

    Wow – according to the Obama Administration, Hillsdale is maybe a step above Trump University.

    • #16
  17. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    skipsul:This means they also left off my alma mater, Grove City College.

    Yes, I believe so.

    • #17
  18. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    MJBubba:

    Eric Hines:Well, you know. The Government has said that Hillsdale doesn’t even offer Bachelor’s degrees.

    Eric Hines

    If we elect Hillary, Big Ed will be working on making Hillsdale’s degrees un-accredited.

    The thought has occurred to people on this campus.

    • #18
  19. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Paul A. Rahe:

    MJBubba:

    Eric Hines:Well, you know. The Government has said that Hillsdale doesn’t even offer Bachelor’s degrees.

    Eric Hines

    If we elect Hillary, Big Ed will be working on making Hillsdale’s degrees un-accredited.

    The thought has occurred to people on this campus.

    “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.”

    Maybe this concept could be discussed in the debates.

    • #19
  20. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    The excellence of Hillsdale stands as a rebuke to government education and “aid.” As I’m sure Prof. Rahe is aware, at this year’s commencement, President Arnn explained that for the first time in Hillsdale’s history, the Provost encouraged (bribed with $25 Amazon gift cards) graduating seniors to participate in proficiency exams in an attempt to forestall the denial of accreditation to Hillsdale.

    Of the seven categories being tested, Hillsdale’s students scored in the 99th percentile on three of them… and 100th percentile in the other four. The forty-nine students who took the test had a 3.4 GPA (average for Hillsdale) and represented nearly every discipline of study.

    Excellence speaks for itself. We’re very proud (and immensely relieved) that our daughter is a freshman at Hillsdale this year. We can’t imagine a better environment for her intellectual and moral development.

    • #20
  21. Ray Kujawa Coolidge
    Ray Kujawa
    @RayKujawa

    No excuse at all. The US DOE essentially is only rating their ‘customers’ who take their money, and avoiding making the rating list meaningful. It would be eye opening to include colleges both in and out of the federal feeding trough system, as regards individual universities as solutions to the problem of how to most effectively educate and prepare students for success in the real world. Leaving out parts of the the real world that work very well — thank you very much — does a disservice to those who are not only in the university system (college faculty and administrators), but who are in the process of choosing to employ their services as students.

    • #21
  22. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    Dr. Rahe,

    The government protects us from racism by committing the purest form of racism. They have manufactured race into an absolute category. If you don’t take the bribe money and categorize everyone by race we will act as if you don’t exist. We will obliterate your reputation. You will be a non-institution.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #22
  23. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    As James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal says, “We Get Results”.  I heard back from Bill McGurn, pointing out the two sides of WSJ, opinion and “news”.  I pointed him toward this article.

    • #23
  24. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    billy:An alt-right college professor off on an anti-media diatribe…

    I guess you haven’t read much of Rahe’s writing.  Alt-right is not an accurate description.

    • #24
  25. profdlp Inactive
    profdlp
    @profdlp

    Clavius:

    billy:An alt-right college professor off on an anti-media diatribe…

    I guess you haven’t read much of Rahe’s writing. Alt-right is not an accurate description.

    More like Gault-right.

    PS:  I think (hope?) that billy was being facetious.

    • #25
  26. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    profdlp:

    Clavius:

    billy:An alt-right college professor off on an anti-media diatribe…

    I guess you haven’t read much of Rahe’s writing. Alt-right is not an accurate description.

    More like Gault-right.

    PS: I think (hope?) that billy was being facetious.

    If it was in jest, I missed the joke.

    And if I was in error in being critical, I withdraw my criticism.

    • #26
  27. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I’ve trusted the WSJ for a long time. But of late, I’ve seen articles that cause me to seriously question their orientation. It’s not looking good. And it’s outrageous that you were left out because of the list they used. At least many of us know the reputation of Hillsdale and stand behind you!

    • #27
  28. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    What has Trump said about Federal support to our Universities?  Is that on the table as well?  It should be ended along with everything the DOE does.  Research dollars can be handed out to autonomous research institutes but shrunk enough to cause real competition for the grants.

    • #28
  29. Paul A. Rahe Contributor
    Paul A. Rahe
    @PaulARahe

    I Walton:At noon, while waiting for lunch, I glanced at The Wall Street Journal and noticed that, in the “Personal Journal” section, on pp. R4-R9, that newspaper — with the help of Times Higher Education — had provided its readers with a list of 497 American colleges ranked in light of endowment, likelihood that graduates would get a job, engagement, environment, average salary of graduates, and the like.

    The chief motive for federal aid is that they can attach conditions that have nothing to do with the use of the aid. The folks at Hillsdale figured that out long ago and balked.

    • #29
  30. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Paul A. Rahe: The chief motive for federal aid is that they can attach conditions that have nothing to do with the use of the aid. The folks at Hillsdale figured that out long ago and balked.

    As we used to say back in the 60s, there is no such thing as federal aid without federal control.

    • #30
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