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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Who do you trust? Not higher ed or public schools -- or Congress

Americans' confidence in higher education has fallen sharply, according to a new Gallup poll, reports Hechinger's Jill Barshay. Yet most still feel a college degree has value.

Only 36 percent said they had a “great deal” (17 percent) or “quite a lot” (19 percent) of confidence in higher education. That's down from 57 percent in 2015. The number with "very little" confidence more than doubled, going from 9 percent to 22 percent.

Confidence was lowest among Republicans, but also dropped among independents and Democrats, said Stephanie Marken, who oversees education research at Gallup. People “feel like the system is unaffordable and rigged against most Americans,” she said.

President Biden's attempt to cancel student loan debt reminded people that a degree doesn't always pay off.

Other Gallup polls show that 71 percent of current college students believe the degree they are pursuing is worth the cost, writes Barshay. In 2019, the last time Gallup asked all Americans about the importance of a college education, 88 percent said it was very (53 percent) or fairly (35 percent) important.

Overall, Americans' confidence in major institutions is low, reports Gallup. Confidence in public schools fell to 26 percent, down from 32 percent in 2021. That includes 9 percent of Republicans, 25 percent of Independents and 43 percent of Democrats.

Small business and the military rate the highest. The media -- newspapers and television news -- are below 20 percent. Only 8 percent have confidence in Congress.

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1 Comment

Jul 19, 2023

And it's all downhill from here. AI will replace most of what the professors provide, i.e., copies of themselves. And the "social justice mission" is an actual impediment to students developing human capital. In addition, inhibiting speech censorship/cancelling means the students are learning the one thing college added of value, learning how to learn, how to think with discipline of intellect, regulation of emotions and established principles.

Take heart, it usually only takes colleges and universities 40 years or so to adapt. But that presumes the current crop of professors don't prevent those with differing opinions from getting positions.

But, I want to go to the other end of the spectrum, which is intellectual services. It used to be, if…
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