Calling Attention to Higher Education Problems

Floor Speech

Date: March 27, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GROTHMAN. Madam Speaker, we have many problems today in higher education, one of which is the excessive kind of anti-God, liberal approach, leftwing approach, I will say, of the faculty in general, which, of course, flops over to the students. Some of it should be addressed, and we should try to get back to some sort of balance in higher education.

America is very divided today: about 50 percent more conservative and about 50 percent more leftwing, more progressive. Hypothetically, the faculty at America's colleges and universities ought to reflect that.

Instead, a recent trend is going to push things in the exact opposite direction, and that is the movement of colleges and universities, including the colleges and universities with the highest reputations in the country, to get rid of standardized tests.

What result will getting rid of standardized tests have on the type of people who are admitted to all of our colleges and universities, but particularly our elite colleges and universities? Right now, a standardized test is something you either do well on or don't. A lot of people are nervous about standardized tests, but in any event, some determination has to be made on how some people get into college and some people don't.

As we get rid of standardized tests, we are going to put more weight on things like an essay students submit to try to get into college. We are going to put more weight on extracurriculars or nonprofits that students work for. What effect is that going to have on the type of students who are admitted?

Given that these are subjective determinations, we know very well the professors or other people on the admissions committees will look at where you are doing your extracurriculars. Are you active in an evangelical church? Are you active in a conservative political party? Or are you active in more left-leaning nonprofit organizations?

They will look at your essay, which is purely a subjective determination. The danger is that these leftwing faculty members will say: Oh, this person doesn't look like he will fit in here. This person is a conservative. This person is a Christian.

As a result, this ought to be of great alarm to everyone. Not to mention, the scores you get on these tests do a good job of predicting how well you will do in school. As a result, it is going to lower the quality of students.

Already you hear from employers that college graduates are not as qualified, that their work ethic isn't as good as new employees they had 20 years ago. What will be the effect of removing these standards?

Furthermore, it is going to have a negative impact, I think, on people who come from backgrounds without as much money. You only have so much time before you go to college to put together your resume. If you need more money, if you have to work, say, 30 hours a week at the local McDonald's, you don't have time to put together the long resume that looks so good at college admissions.

Today or in the past, with standardized tests, the kid who has to work 30 hours a week at McDonald's and doesn't have time for a lot of do-gooder causes can do a great job on his standardized test and still get in. This penalizes the person who has to do a lot of work on the outside and rewards the student who doesn't have to make any money on the side in high school.

This is certainly not something that we want, but it will unquestionably be the result of getting rid of standardized tests.

It will also increase the importance of, perhaps, high school grade points. One more time, a grade point is, to a certain extent, subjective, as well. We hear already in high school, but all the time in college--we will come back to that in a second. Already in high school, students have to lie a little bit on the essay because the teachers are very liberal.

I had a teacher who taught at a high school in Wisconsin, a very sizable high school, and she said she was the only Republican in the whole faculty of that high school. What does that say about your grade point coming out of high school? I don't know if I believe her--it was a very large high school--but she felt she was the only one.

In other words, what you are going to wind up with, once these subjective determinations are made, is you are going to have the same liberal bias that happens once you get into college.

I talked to an English professor at the University of Wisconsin.


Mr. GROTHMAN. In any event, I strongly encourage this institution--