Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Wayne State Univ. Cuts Math, Wants "Diversity" Requirement for Gen. Education Curriculum

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Wayne State University (WSU) in Detroit, Michigan, has elected to drop its university-wide requirement in mathematics and is strongly considering adding a three-credit-hour requirement in "diversity" to the school’s general education curriculum, in the latest example of liberal indoctrination in higher education institutions. This example is particularly glaring, however, because critics contend it does a significant disservice to students and puts them at a competitive disadvantage, all in an effort to advance an agenda.

Until the elimination of the mathematics requirement from the general education curriculum, students at WSU were required to take one of three basic math classes in order to earn a degree, or show mathematic competency on a relevant state test such as the SAT or AP test that eliminated the need for the course. Now, however, students no longer have to prove mathematical competency in order to graduate.

The General Education Reform Committee at Wayne State University claims that it has dropped the mathematics requirement because “the current requirement is at a level already required by most high school mathematics curriculum.”

The mathematics requirement will be dropped until 2018, university officials have announced.

Instead, the school will leave to the discretion of the individual programs at the school whether mathematics will be a requirement for program completion.

Committee co-chair Monica Brockmeyer told the Detroit Free Press, “We felt the math requirement was better left to the various programs and majors to decide and to decide what levels of mathematics would be needed.” She added, “We still continue to support mathematics at Wayne State.”

Strangely, however, the school does not see the same value in leaving to the discretion of the individual programs whether “diversity” should be a required course. Instead, The College Fix reports that a May 2016 memo calls for mandating a three-credit “diversity course.”

According to the memo, “a clear message our committee received from the university community (faculty, students, staff, alumni, and employers) was that diversity is central to the nature of WSU, i.e., ‘Distinctively Wayne State.’ Thus we have placed the values and goals of diversity as a central component of the University Core program.”

To that end, “We are proposing the creation of specific ‘Diversity’ courses, with students required to take one course in this designation,” reads a document from the General Education Reform Committee.

The committee report said, “These courses will provide opportunities for students to explore diversity at the domestic level and consider the ways in which it intersects with real world challenges at the local, national and/or global level.”

Ashley Thorne, executive director of the National Association of Scholars — an organization that supports academic freedom — has criticized the changes. “Colleges and universities use general education requirements to ensure that students learn the subjects it deems most important,” Thorne said. “Wayne State University’s decision to drop math and add diversity to its requirements reveals that its leaders do not have their priorities straight.”

“Mathematical ability is an objective and practical skill that will serve students the rest of their lives, which is why it has traditionally been a core part of college curricula. ‘Diversity’ is not an academic subject. It is a concept invented to classify people by their social identities,” she stated. “Focusing on individuals’ race, ethnicity, sex, and sexuality in this way has been demonstrated to lead to racial animus, segregation, stigmas, discrimination, and poor academic performance. It also politicizes education.”

Based on observations made by Business Insider earlier this year, the school is truly doing a disservice to its students by eliminating the mathematics requirement, as liberal arts students are already at a competitive disadvantage in the job market. Business Insider wrote:

A new study by my company and Beyond.com called “The Multi-Generational Job Search,” found that only 2% of employers are actively recruiting liberal arts degree holders. Compare that to the 27% that are recruiting engineering and computer information systems majors and 18% that are recruiting business majors. 

Without the requirement to display mathematical competency, liberal arts majors at WSU are even less likely to be considered by employers than students from other schools. It’s worth noting that the same study revealed that 73 percent of hiring managers felt that colleges are only “somewhat preparing” students for the working world. The curriculum changes at Wayne State University are not likely to change this perspective, serving only to prove it.

Meanwhile, as observed by Zero Hedge, over one-quarter of Wayne State University’s budget comes from Michigan taxpayers in the form of state aid, which means taxpayers are funding the school’s political agenda.

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