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College transcripts are a terrible measure in politics
The Battalion ^ | 08-08-11 | Taylor Wolken

Posted on 08/08/2011 6:50:13 AM PDT by tysonbam

The release of Governor and potential presidential candidate Rick Perry's Texas A&M transcript set off a media frenzy this weekend as commentators and columnists feasted on the underwhelming scores.While releases like this make for fun facts and cute analysis it should be asked, "Why should we care?"

College scores can be a great indicator of skill right out of college. They're helpful for getting into graduate school and ascending the ivory tower, and they indicate a student's proficiency in each subject. When evaluating a 61-year-old potential presidential candidate low grades are both meaningless and not uncommon.

George W. Bush joked about being a C student at Yale with a four-year average of 77. The "complex" John Kerry had a four-year average of 76 also at Yale. While Rick Perry, the face of the Texas economy, received a D in principles of economics, Al Gore, the face of global warming, received a D in Natural Sciences his sophomore year and a C-plus in natural sciences his senior year at Harvard. The Washington Post said in 2000, "[Gore's] generally middling college grades at Harvard in fact bear a close resemblance to the corresponding Yale marks of his presidential opponent, George W. Bush."

The point isn't to deride Bush, Kerry, Gore or Perry, but that college transcripts are only a snapshot of a person's life. Transcripts may give you a glimpse of Perry the student but they tell little about Governor Perry.

Drawing conclusions from information almost four decades old is a fool's errand.

It would be just as absurd to assess college students by when they began walking.

It would be nonsensical to observe that Rick Perry earned a D in economics as a democrat while as a Republican governor, Texas has created 37 percent of all-net new jobs in America since the recovery began according to Richard Fisher of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

While we're using old information to draw ridiculous conclusions it should be obvious that Perry is smarter and more driven than the college dropout Bill Gates.

The perversion of Perry's 39-year-old transcript is a manifestation of ivory-tower elitism at its worst.

This pervasive dogma tells us that our measured academic achievement during a four-year period is more important than all our life lessons.

It's absurd considering real world employers rarely care about college grades after a graduate's first job.

In the real world, a college degree quickly becomes nothing more than a checkmark among more important items like work history and special skills.

This dogma would have us believe Rick Perry's D in Shakespeare is more relevant than a record consisting of years as a state legislator, agriculture commissioner, lieutenant governor, and almost a decade as governor.

This dogma implies that Rick Perry's C in gym matters more than issues like Gardasil, the Trans-Texas corridor and the seven solutions for higher education.

This culture of elitism is the reason every administration has a parade of eggheads running back and forth between Washington, D.C. and the ivory tower. These experts and policy wonks are evaluated on academics by academics more often than on unemployment rates and economic growth.

That's not to say we don't need eggheads and policy wonks, every politician has them, but when evaluating a leader, an F in organic chemistry is far less important than the decisions made after graduation.

As the longest-serving current governor of the second-largest state economy, Perry has relevant points of criticism. His college transcript is not one of them.


TOPICS: Education; Government; Politics; Society
KEYWORDS: college; grades; perry; transcript

1 posted on 08/08/2011 6:50:17 AM PDT by tysonbam
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To: tysonbam

Translation: Don’t ask to see Obama’s transcripts.


2 posted on 08/08/2011 6:51:33 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy (The USSR spent itself into bankruptcy and collapsed -- and aren't we on the same path now?)
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To: tysonbam

It would be interesting to compare Perry’s transcript with Obama’s....oh, we cannot see his? Nevermind.


3 posted on 08/08/2011 6:53:12 AM PDT by LOC1 (Let's pick the best, not settle for a compromise.)
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To: tysonbam

It would be interesting to compare Perry’s transcript with Obama’s....oh, we cannot see his? Nevermind.


4 posted on 08/08/2011 6:54:08 AM PDT by LOC1 (Let's pick the best, not settle for a compromise.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

That is an apt translation. The reason they prefer we not look at the transcript behind the curtain is that it will reveal the a shallow intellect and a lax attitude, and not the disciplined genius depicted in the mythology.


5 posted on 08/08/2011 6:58:20 AM PDT by jimfree (In 2012 Sarah Palin will have more quality executive experience than Barack Obama.)
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To: tysonbam
A college transcript is a McGuffin: the content is irrelevant, but its existence and acquisition is vital.
6 posted on 08/08/2011 6:58:42 AM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com/)
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To: ClearCase_guy
Translation: Don’t ask to see Obama’s transcripts.

The excerpt posted argues that accomplishments since graduation are a better measure. Since Obama has no real accomplishments yet, his college grades should be an issue still.

7 posted on 08/08/2011 7:01:52 AM PDT by School of Rational Thought ("The proposition that the government is always right is manifested either in corruption or benefits)
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To: LOC1

it would be interesting but Obama’s transcripts are just as irrelevant as Perry’s. Obama did graduate magna cum laude putting him in the top ten percent which goes to show, do we really care if the most anti-jobs president in American history did well in the ivory tower?


8 posted on 08/08/2011 7:06:52 AM PDT by tysonbam
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To: tysonbam

OK game on

any GOP candidate’s transcripts are meaningless unless compared to obama’s

waiting waiting

(crickets)


9 posted on 08/08/2011 7:07:02 AM PDT by silverleaf (All that is necessary for evil to succeed, is that good men do nothing)
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To: tysonbam

I daresay Obama’s transcripts would be very enlightening ... otherwise why would they be so well hidden???


10 posted on 08/08/2011 7:08:06 AM PDT by NonValueAdded (From her lips to the voters' ears: Debbie Wasserman Schultz: "We own the economy" June 15, 2011)
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To: School of Rational Thought

no Obama’s grades are not an issue at all. That he has accomplished nothing since college would be the best way to measure the man. To go back to his college record is to go back to the last time he actually did anything.


11 posted on 08/08/2011 7:10:20 AM PDT by tysonbam
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To: tysonbam

FReepers

Please chime in at The Batts site for the HUGE OMISSION of
comparing Obama transcripts to the other candidates.


12 posted on 08/08/2011 7:13:01 AM PDT by urtax$@work (The only kind of memorial is a Burning memorial !)
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To: tysonbam

How do you he graduate magna cum laude?


13 posted on 08/08/2011 7:15:07 AM PDT by CaptainK (...please make it stop. Shake a can of pennies at it.)
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To: NonValueAdded

Obama’s transcripts are hidden because he attend college as a foreign student “Berry Sotoreo from Indonesia”?


14 posted on 08/08/2011 7:19:40 AM PDT by carcraft (Pray for our Country)
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To: tysonbam
I have no love for Rick Perry. I think he is a RINO in the same basic mold as George Bush and Mitt Romney.

That being said, the news is all clucking about his released transcripts and he hasn't even joined the race yet.

The same media elected ObaMao and still hasn't even dare ask to see his transcripts.

15 posted on 08/08/2011 7:21:38 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: tysonbam

The reason that Obama’s transcripts are of a significantly greater import than other politicians is simply the fact that the media-created meme (enhanced by lib pols at every possible turn) is that this man is the most brilliant, erudite, intellectual, MENSA-personified individual ever to occupy the hallowed grounds of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. I agree with all the posts here that are postulating that The One’s transcripts (if we ever saw them) would be in complete concordance with his job performance - ie, failing grades pumped up only by the strong current of Ivy league racial preferences/politics. With our Narcissist/Megalomaniac-in-Chief surrounded by the sycophantic liberal media (Pyongyang’s 4th estate members are probably embarrassed by the ass-kissing of our modern media!), one can be absolutely certain that, had The One’s grades been stellar, they would have been publicized daily throughout the country, held up as a paragon of achievement to our youth, and utilized to bludgeon the arguments and ambitions of political opponents. Nope, this bum likely was a failure in school as he is showing himself a failure in his first “real” job. The only sad thing is that our great nation is going to have to pay the price for generations (a la Jimmy Carter) for this poseur’s incompetence.


16 posted on 08/08/2011 7:22:12 AM PDT by nuvista (Obama-care - you think that arrogant Marxist "cares" about you?)
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To: CaptainK

I know because while Harvard may not release his transcript, access to the names of those graduating with honors are openly available. Just google Obama and magna cum laude.


17 posted on 08/08/2011 7:22:41 AM PDT by tysonbam
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To: tysonbam

In my humble opinion, a college transcript is baseless information; there are too many variables to take into consideration as to whether this is a viable means to measure anything. Consider, there is no way to input whether the student was working full time, paying his way through college, or was on a full ride scholarship. Was the student married and raising a family while working? Did Mommy and Daddy buy the kid a home, cars and provide an ‘allowance’?

Then we have the gauntlet of grading policies in various universities; Consider Brown University in Texas - the AVERAGE GPA for engineers there is 3.5. Yeah, their AVERAGE is honor role at other universities. My university syllabus provided a mathematical formula ensuring that the AVERAGE grade was a C (2.0). For reasons unknown, this is not the norm - we are graduating students who AVERAGE B and A grades.

This places no consideration onto other real-life scenarios; for example Sports places pressure on teachers to pass students who have not earned a grade, as well as other political pressure. Try flunking a black student; let me know how it goes.

Grades are practically meaningless; because what is ‘C’ work under one professor, may be ‘A’ work under a different professor, for the same work, for the same class, at the same university.


18 posted on 08/08/2011 7:27:58 AM PDT by Hodar (Who needs laws .... when this "feels" so right?)
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To: tysonbam
Obama did graduate magna cum laude putting him in the top ten percent . . .

Really? If true, I think he would be proud to release his transcripts. It might even boost his dismal ratings considering how little positive he has accomplished since graduation.

If and when he ever does so, I suspect they will be some doctored version and not the real thing. I think so because, so far, there is almost nothing about this man which is real-- at least nothing which comes from his own press office.

The guy is an image, a player, an actor, an icon and anything and everything else but real. He can't even be compared to Tiger Woods in this regard because Tiger, at least, had a genuine and demonstrated talent for playing golf.

19 posted on 08/08/2011 7:28:39 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: CaptainK
Did you mean magna cum fraud?
20 posted on 08/08/2011 7:33:09 AM PDT by frankenMonkey (Because he was the son you bore, And gave to that wind blowing and that tide!)
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To: Vigilanteman

I’m 53 and running for city council. Does the grade I got in PASCAL programming on a Main Frame computer really matter anymore?


21 posted on 08/08/2011 7:33:09 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: Vigilanteman

I’m 53 and running for city council. Does the grade I got in PASCAL programming on a Main Frame computer really matter anymore?


22 posted on 08/08/2011 7:33:28 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: tysonbam

I don’t doubt that Obama is smart. One does not get out of any Harvard grad program without facing some very stiff competition.

Just like GWB graduated from the Harvard B school. Another tough egg. And he flew jets—something idiots cannot do.

I simply wish the media could be fair and balanced about this stuff. There is no shame in having someone “smart” be the leader of the country.

My goodness, you have to be pretty smart just to get to the point where you are on the the ticket.


23 posted on 08/08/2011 7:48:00 AM PDT by Vermont Lt ("Will No One Rid US of This Meddlesome Priest?")
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To: massgopguy

I does to me. I got a B.....(just kidding. I got a C, and was thankful for it.)


24 posted on 08/08/2011 7:49:02 AM PDT by Vermont Lt ("Will No One Rid US of This Meddlesome Priest?")
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To: tysonbam

1. A student who completes the requirements for the J.D. degree with distinction will receive the degree cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude.

http://www.law.harvard.edu/academics/handbook/rules-relating-to-law-school-studies/2010-2011-requirements-for-the-j.d.-degree-.html

Where does it say magna cum laude is only awarded to the top 10% of the class for a JD degree?


25 posted on 08/08/2011 7:56:02 AM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: massgopguy
It might if your entire electoral resume was based on the claim that you're extraordinarily smart, dynamic, a captivating speaker and iconic symbol who has accomplished basically nothing else in life except getting elected to ever higher electoral office.

It wouldn't matter a whit if your electoral resume was based on real accomplishments, whether in business, lower electoral office or elsewhere.

26 posted on 08/08/2011 7:58:40 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: Vermont Lt
I don’t doubt that Obama is smart.

He may very well be and he may have even earned his honors from Harvard the old fashioned way.

I'm just saying that so much in the guy's past has been handed to him or created for him that I wouldn't be surprised if it included his Harvard honors graduation as well.

I also agree that there is no shame in having someone smart lead the country. Every signer of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution was smarter than the average bear. But, with the single arguable exception of Alexander Hamilton, I cannot name a single one who went to anywhere near the effort to hide their past that BO has done. Can you?

27 posted on 08/08/2011 8:06:03 AM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: tysonbam

And Obama received no grades, but was merely “passed”, due to his commitment to activism.


28 posted on 08/08/2011 8:09:58 AM PDT by G Larry (I dream of a day when a man is judged by the content of his character)
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To: Vigilanteman

Don’t get me wrong, there is a vast difference between being smart and using those smarts for good.

I think Obama must be very sharp. But the way he uses the smarts is misguided.

And I don’t disagree that it is unusual the way he hides it.

Anyone that has been a supervisor or manager of a department knows the feeling of finding themselves in a little bit over their heads. The “intelligent” ones tend to read a book and try to come up with the answer, so they are not found to be lacking.

The really smart ones ask for help, determine the best course and fix the problem, thus gaining experience and confidence.

We are dealing with the first type. He is so scared that someone will see his record for what it probably is—filled with Gentleman, Post Racial A’s in the form of passing grades.


29 posted on 08/08/2011 11:30:35 AM PDT by Vermont Lt ("Will No One Rid US of This Meddlesome Priest?")
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To: Vermont Lt
We are dealing with the first type. He is so scared that someone will see his record for what it probably is—filled with Gentleman, Post Racial A’s in the form of passing grades.

I don't disagree with the later part of your assessment, but I disagree with your assessment that he is an "intelligent" type who will read a book and try to fix it on his own.

If he were, I'd suggest a great book like Basic Economics by Dr. Thomas Sowell which could turn the country around if the principles were applied.

The trouble with ObaMao is that he is so ideologically brainwashed that even a great author and a great economist like Dr. Sowell could not straighten out his thinking.

Still, he may very well be intelligent in the same way that Karl Marx was intelligently deceptive. Or he may just be a tool who is giving his owners what they want in return for the fun and perks of being president.

I think we both agree that one could make a reasonable argument for either case.

30 posted on 08/08/2011 12:39:36 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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