Has there ever been another president as unable to separate his politics from his job like Barack Obama? One expects any president to be colored in his ideology 90% of the time, but we don’t even get the last 10% with this guy. Surely there are moments when you should put your liberalism aside, no? Like, oh to name a random example, when you’re advising Americans on where to send their kids to college?
Unfortunately, anyone waiting around for the College Scorecard is bound to be unimpressed. This is an Obama idea a long time coming, though it’s not exactly the ambitious ranking system he first proposed. Instead, it’s a list of some 7,000 universities, each of them graded according to graduation rates, average annual cost of attendance, and median earnings of alumni. While this information would seem helpful on the surface, a report like this isn’t worth much if you’re leaving colleges out for politically-motivated reasons.
Which is, of course, exactly what the White House is doing.
Several respected conservative colleges were left off the scorecard, ostensibly because they don’t accept federal funding. Department of Education spokesperson Denise Horn said, “As of now, institutions that do not participate in Title IV federal financial aid are not included on the site because they are not required to send us data.”
This effectively left schools like Michigan’s Hillsdale College and Pennsylvania’s Grove City College off the list, skewing the final report towards federally-funded institutions. Which is fine as far as it goes, but the White House has certainly not gone out of its way to explain that this report is missing some great universities.
That’s not the only problem, though.
According to officials at Hillsdale, the DOE told them they were left off the list because they awarded only certificates and not degrees. “This statement is false,” a spokeswoman told Fox News. “Contrary to the Department of Education’s spokeswoman, Hillsdale issues only four-year undergraduate degrees as well as master’s degrees, and does not issue certificates of any kind for academic credit.”
It’s unlikely that schools were left off due to their religious bent or conservative views. Not that Obama would be above that kind of petty politicking; he’s proven that he isn’t. But you don’t need to dig that deeply to see the problem here. As a Democrat, Obama doesn’t want to include private, for-profit colleges because he sees them as the very embodiment of evil. You want to go into competition with the big, bad federal government? Oh no, Obama don’t play that. It wouldn’t be surprising if the entire point of the college scorecard was to purposely leave those institutions out of the book.
The idea of a scorecard like this isn’t inherently terrible, but it may as well not exist in its current iteration. Maybe the next president can go in there and demand a resource that isn’t dripping with agenda. Hopefully Obama’s legacy of relentless partisanship will not last.