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The U.S. Department of Edu­cation added more than 700 insti­tu­tions to the College Scorecard database in January, according to a department spokesperson — but Hillsdale College remains excluded.
Last Sep­tember, Pres­ident Barack Obama described the database, created to compare col­leges and uni­ver­sities across the nation, as “com­pre­hensive.” According to the department spokesperson, the updated Scorecard includes all degree-granting insti­tu­tions listed in the department’s Inte­grated Post­sec­ondary Edu­cation Data System database.
A further update to add more insti­tu­tions is in the works, but neither Provost David Whalen, nor College Pres­ident Larry Arnn are aware of any contact between the college and the Department of Edu­cation regarding adding Hillsdale to the Scorecard.
“We’re working with the higher edu­cation com­munity to make sure that schools that weren’t included in the first round of the Scorecard have the oppor­tunity to be in the Scorecard,” said Acting Sec­retary of Edu­cation John B. King Jr. in a hearing of the U.S. House Com­mittee on Edu­cation and the Work­force Feb. 24.
Hillsdale’s Con­gressman Tim Walberg ques­tioned King on Hillsdale’s con­spicuous absence from the Scorecard. Walberg described the incom­pleteness of the database as “mis­leading.”
“I’m not sure that the federal gov­ernment should be involved in putting out some­thing like that,” Walberg said at the hearing. “As you say it is not a rating system, but it becomes a rating system. It’s impos­sible not to be a rating system when that type of infor­mation is included. And it’s not com­plete — it’s incom­plete.”
King coun­tered by saying he and the department believe that the Scorecard pro­vides infor­mation that “is important and can inform deci­sions.”
“It’s important to know the Scorecard is not a rating system,” King said at the hearing. “We don’t have rankings of the schools. It’s infor­mation — it’s a trans­parent system of infor­mation about the schools.”
As the Col­legian reported last Sep­tember, there is no dis­claimer on the College Scorecard website that any schools are missing from the database. More than 1.4 million unique users have visited the Scorecard since its Sep­tember launch, according to the department spokesperson.
The Edu­cation Department already has almost all of the infor­mation nec­essary to include Hillsdale in the Scorecard.
Scorecard data is sourced from the Inte­grated Post­sec­ondary Edu­cation Data System database — a system which draws from data col­lected by the National Center for Edu­cation Sta­tistics, another division of the Edu­cation Department.
Data sub­mitted by Hillsdale — such as tuition and fees, geo­graphical location, aca­demic pro­grams, financial aid, and accred­i­tation infor­mation — is acces­sible in the NCES database, according to NCES employee Aurora D’Amico.
To be included in IPEDS — and by extension, in the Scorecard — a school must submit racial demo­graphic infor­mation of its student body — infor­mation which Hillsdale has never col­lected for ethical reasons and, therefore, cannot submit.
Many schools are included in the Scorecard with data sets marked “not available,” but so far, the department has made no effort to add Hillsdale to the database without racial demo­graphic infor­mation.
“I don’t think that’s accurate to portray Hillsdale College — simply because it’s not included in the Scorecard — as probably not worthy of people going to the school, do you?” Walberg asked at the hearing.

  • You know, if the feds wanted to put such a system together — not that it’s their place to do so, but they’ve taken it upon them­selves, so for the sake of the argument, let’s just say that it is — the intel­ligent, wise and honest thing to do would be to wait until all qual­i­fying insti­tu­tions can be accu­rately rep­re­sented in the system before pre­senting it to the public. Of course, that would mean that the feds would have to actually BE intel­ligent, wise and honest…

    • David N

      Then it would never have launched. Bad schools don’t want to be com­pa­rable.

      • Pre­cisely.

        • David N

          So it does not seem unrea­sonable to me to launch and exclude schools that don’t want to provide all of the infor­mation we want to see. As much as I sym­pa­thize with Hillsdale’s reasons for not wanting to collect infor­mation about the racial com­po­sition of its student body, there are many other schools out there that are simply racist and don’t want their race numbers out there either, and I don’t think it’s a good idea to set a precedent that allows schools to cherry-pick what they want to appear, because then we’d only see data that makes the school look good and the value of this data release and the tools that are built on top of it is greatly dimin­ished.

          • It’s unrea­sonable for that infor­mation to be nec­essary for par­tic­i­pation at all. If a school does not collect that infor­mation because it doesn’t matter to the goal of edu­cating anyone, what business does the gov­ernment have in demanding they collect it before they’re included in such a system? That’s an absurd argument. The purpose of this system, osten­sibly, isn’t to show which schools are racist and which aren’t, it’s to give prospective stu­dents some idea of the college’s quality of edu­cation. Race has nothing to do with that.

          • David N

            The racial diversity of a school is *absolutely* on the list of factors many stu­dents want to con­sider when choosing a place to be edu­cated. Whether or not diversity of a student body pro­duces a more or less valuable edu­cation is a question that has no uni­ver­sally accepted answer. If the answer is yes, then obvi­ously that infor­mation should be reported, right? If no, then it still might be useful to be reported if only so that stu­dents that think this is important to them for reasons other than quality edu­cation can do so.

            So why aren’t we having that con­ver­sation? Why instead is the dis­cussion about whether Ed or the Obama admin­is­tration are incom­petent or mali­cious?

          • The answer is no, and it’s not useful at all, because prospective stu­dents should under­stand that such infor­mation is private and com­pletely irrel­evant to their quality of edu­cation. Have you been to Hillsdale’s campus? If so, you know there’s much diversity among both the stu­dents and the faculty and staff, but there’s no need to report it to anyone because it has no bearing on the purpose of the school, which is to educate people. We’re not having the con­ver­sation you want to have because it’s not a valid position. The dis­cussion is about the Department of Edu­cation and the Obama admin­is­tration mali­ciously tar­geting Hillsdale because the Department of Edu­cation and the federal gov­ernment in general, espe­cially under liberal control, despises the fact that Hillsdale refuses to let them­selves be con­trolled by Wash­ington. That’s all this ever has and ever will boil down to.

          • David N

            Could you provide a citation for your claim that racial diversity is “com­pletely irrel­evant to [a student’s] quality of edu­cation”. This sounds like a matter of opinion to me. Argu­ments of the form “my opinion is the only correct opinion, and people just need to be made to think like me” are uncon­structive.

            If you assume for a moment that decision-makers at Ed or in the Obama admin­is­tration also dis­agree with the premise of your argument, sud­denly there exists an alter­native expla­nation for their behavior than “mali­ciously tar­geting” the school.

            What you’re doing is akin to trying to reframe the abortion debate to be about whether murder is acceptable or not. The premise of the argument, that abortion is murder, is the thing actually under debate, not whether murder is acceptable. Sim­i­larly, the premise of your argument here is actually the thing under debate, that racial diversity is an important quality to assess about schools, not whether the admin­is­tration is making it up so that it can beat up on poor con­ser­v­a­tives.

            You’re making a ton of assump­tions here about Obama’s influence over Edu­cation and the will­ingness of Edu­cation (which is not par­tic­u­larly par­tisan) to agree to beat up on con­ser­v­a­tives for him. It’s just weird. Edu­cation is trying to do the right thing here. Just because you dis­agree with them doesn’t mean there is mal­intent. Question your assump­tions please.

          • Question your own assump­tions, David. Every­thing I’ve said is factual. It’s not my job to do your research for you. I’ve already done mine.

          • David N

            I dis­agree. But it’s clear you’re just inter­ested in shouting that you’re right than trying to have a con­structive dialog, so this is where I check out. Thanks for explaining your per­spective.

          • Where have you seen me shouting, David? I explained as far as I needed to explain. You rejected the facts and you refuse to look them up for yourself. That’s your failure, not mine. You’re leaving only because you’re unwilling to put in the nec­essary effort. If that’s what your edu­cation taught you is acceptable, you cer­tainly didn’t receive that edu­cation here.

          • David N

            You pre­sented a claim that your opinion on racial diversity was a fact. I asked for a citation, and you just repeated that you’re right and attempted to shift the burden of proof (

            Further, you presume that Edu­cation and the Obama admin­is­tration agree with your opinion on racial diversity. Therefore, if the admin­is­tration attempts to require reporting on this infor­mation, they must be doing so for other reasons.

            Finally, you con­clude that if the admin­is­tration is requiring reporting on racial diversity for reasons other than the one they claim, that reason must be to mali­ciously harm con­ser­v­ative schools. This is just a com­bi­nation of plain paranoia plus

            None of this dis­cussion is con­structive because you’d prefer to engage in fal­lacies and repeating that you’re right than try to justify your claims and engage in a dialog. Pre­suming that someone that dis­agrees with you must be doing what they’re doing so that they can hurt you is really unfair, uncon­structive and just bizarre. Please assume the people you’re talking about are intel­ligent and gen­uinely trying to do the right thing and expend the effort to figure out an expla­nation for their behavior that does not devolve into “us versus them” con­spir­acies.

            Alter­na­tively, apply for a job at the Department of Edu­cation and help them figure this stuff out in the way that you want them to. As fun as it is to assume that the gov­ernment has massive resources, time and that they’re capable of orga­nizing inter-agency con­spir­acies to harm con­ser­v­ative interests, the reality is probably much closer to “they don’t have enough people on this project to do this”.

          • No no no, David, the burden of proof was always on YOU. You claimed that it wasn’t unrea­sonable for the gov­ernment to require this infor­mation in order to be rep­re­sented in the system. The burden of proof lies with YOU to demon­strate why that infor­mation is nec­essary, and you have failed to do so.

            You can post all the links to Wikipedia articles about sub­jects that I’m quite well-versed in already all you’d like. You’re still dodging the central point here. I have no engaged in any fal­lacies what­soever. Your attempt to make your own failure mine is unwise and unsuc­cessful. You are obvi­ously unaware of the history that Wash­ington has with Hillsdale College. It’s time for you to do some studying.

          • David N

            I made no claim that racial diversity improves quality of edu­cation. Neither did I make a claim that the gov­ernment ought to require it. I did state an opinion that *IF* racial diversity is a legit­imate thing to expect schools to report, *THEN* it is appro­priate that we omit schools from being listed until they provide this infor­mation. So probably there was just a mis­com­mu­ni­cation here.

            I do happen to agree that racial diversity in a student body improves quality of edu­cation (for some def­i­n­ition of quality of edu­cation), but I offer this only as my opinion and make no attempt to frame my sub­jective opinion as objective fact.

            Either way, the status quo is what it is. If you want to change the status quo, you need to make a case for it. You can’t just say “the status quo should be changed, and it’s up to you to say why it shouldn’t”. That’s not how change works. That’s not how con­structive dialog works.

          • I’ve already made the case for it. You dis­missed that case out of hand… which, given your repeated asser­tions that this is all just one big mis­un­der­standing, proves that you have no knowledge of Hillsdale’s rejection of all federal funds, the sub­se­quent lack of requirement to abide by Title IX or fill out related paperwork for the government’s pur­poses, and both the state and federal government’s repeated attempts to not only gather that data for them­selves without the consent of the school or the stu­dents, but also their repeated attempts to paint Hillsdale as some­thing it is not (i.e. a “cer­tificate granting insti­tution”). Catch up on what’s really going on here, then you can start to lecture me on how con­structive dialog works. You’re not the authority on that matter here.

          • David N

            Your “case” was a series of opinions about what you think edu­cation should be about. This is con­sistent with your apparent belief that your opinions are objective, uni­ver­sally-accepted fact, but that’s not how most of us roll.

            That Hillsdale doesn’t like the gov­ernment isn’t rel­evant. I’m very familiar with the history here. Just because you have a spat with your neighbor doesn’t mean any given letter lost in the mail was stolen by him.

            I have made no claims or asser­tions that “this is all just one big mis­un­der­standing” between Gov­ernment and Hillsdale. I do suspect *we* are mis­com­mu­ni­cating, which should be apparent given how many claims you think I’m making that I’m not.

            Also inter­esting reading:

          • No, David, you simply reject the facts. And the fact that you phrase it “Hillsdale doesn’t like the gov­ernment” instead of the other way around just goes to show that you clearly have a bias here that doesn’t fit the reality of the history. There’s no mis­com­mu­ni­cation here, you’re simply shrugging off what is obvi­ously an inten­tional slight.

  • James

    Lets be honest, Hillsdale used to be a real college. Now it is just private day-care for shel­tered neo-con fundies run by a pack of christian nation­alist bent on fur­thering their own political aspi­ra­tions at the cost of decades pf alumnis rep­u­tation. I’m embar­rassed to say I grad­uated from this school.