Since Shannon is blasting Ed Schools and their graduates, I figured I’d put in my 2 cents. I’m not in the Academy anymore, so I don’t have to play the nicey-nice games of pretending that every department’s research is equally valuable to society, and that all Ph.D.s represent the same intellectual effort on the part of the Ph.D. holder. I once I read a comment about how Education Ph.D.s resent that graduate students and professors in other disciplines, especially science, intimate or outright state that Education Ph.D.s are stupid. I’m certainly guilty of that. Where’s my data?
Well, let us get some figures, shall we? Like my advisor used to say, an argument without numbers is a religious discussion. Whom are you trying to convert? Take a look at this, and scroll down to the section titled “How Difficult Is Admission To A Good Program” (the title is on the left-hand sidebar). There is a chart of majors and their average GRE scores. Out of 28 programs reported by ETS in 2002, which one scored #28 in the mean total GRE score? Public Administration. Wow, we give political and bureaucratic power to these bozos? But on topic, which one scored #27? Yep, you guessed it, Education. Education schools were spared the ignominy of last place only by the sheer ineptitude of those wishing to enter government service. And it’s not even as if they had bombed the Qual section, the average Verbal score was lower than any Engineering discipline except for Industrial Engineering. (Engineers, for those who are uninitiated, are reputed to not be able to write worth beans. Unfortunately, this stereotype is often deserved.)