Do Republicans Make Tougher Professors?

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Professor Talia Bar from Cornell University and Asaf Zussman from Hebrew University, looked at 3,300 college classes taught by Republican and Democratic professors and found that Democrats seem to be more egalitarian in grading. Republicans tended to give a lot of very high or very low grades, while Democrats have a more even spread. The study, to be published in Applied Economics, was previewed by Inside Higher Ed. From Higher Ed

Among grades given by Republicans, 6.2 percent were C- or lower, compared to only 4.0 percent of the Democratic grades. But Republicans were also more likely to give out A+ grades (8 percent of their grades, compared to only 3.5 percent from Democrats).

In addition to surveying professors about grade distribution, the study also looked at race. One of the more controversial findings in the study is that while black students overall did worse than their white peers, they were graded more harshly under Republican teachers than Democrats. It’s hard to see if that really implies that Republican professors have any more inherent bias than their liberal counterparts, especially since Republicans only made up 10% of the teachers studied. In addition, it looks like the study only surveyed one elite university from 2000 to 2004, so there’s no way to know if the results were specific to that school or region, or if they could be applied more widely. Another thing I wonder: would these partisan biases regarding race disappear at a school that had more black professors and/or students? The study only surveyed 11 black professors, and none of them were Republicans: so even though it looked like black professors graded similarly to whites, there weren’t enough of them to include it in the study’s results.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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