A list of the worst college degrees.  Several of these target low-IQ individuals, and some derive psychic value through paternalism.  El-ed probably hits both of those descriptions most clearly.

Related to this, Ironman wants student loans to be dischargable debts in bankruptcy proceedings.  That’s probably a decent third-best solution, with a first-best solution being to remove government interference in the higher education market.  That would cause the student loan market to crater, but would also cause tuition to drop considerably as college-age students (and their parents) would be responsible for footing the bill and thus would choose more wisely.  As it is now, a lot of those students are hoping to get a free ride at the expense of people who made better choices.

2 thoughts on “Poor Educational Choices

  1. I don’t buy your first premise — that low-IQ individuals are more likely to take these degrees, as I know (and so you do) several people who would not fall into the el-ed category you cite. I do agree that the whole “warm fuzzy feeling” thing is most likely the predominant factor in a lot of these.

    1. Check SAT scores by major. For example, http://www.joshuakennon.com/sat-scores-ranked-by-intended-college-major-show-teachers-are-below-average/ or http://anepigone.blogspot.com/2009/03/iq-estimates-by-intended-college-major.html. Schools of education are considered the easiest to graduate: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505145_162-37245744/heres-the-nations-easiest-college-major/. Broken down by type, el-ed majors are well below-average and have been for some time: http://educationrealist.wordpress.com/2012/01/15/teacher-quality-pseudofacts-part-ii/satscoresbytype/. That there are noteworthy exceptions does not invalidate the general rule.

      Also, note what is **not** on that list: high school math and science (which tend to be the high-IQ side of education).

      Incidentally, there’s an interesting question as to whether actual schoolteachers are as dumb as education majors, or whether there is enough of a selection effect to weed out most of the stupid ones: http://isteve.blogspot.com/2012/01/are-schoolteachers-as-dumb-as-education.html.

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