More from the idiocy that is Texas.
The state is disappointed that physics is a difficult course, and that a lot of people in this country want to take the easy route of education by majoring in things like business, English, art, and history. The reason so few people (relatively speaking) graduate in physics is that it is extremely tough. This isn’t simply read this, write an analysis being careful to give it the proper slant your professor wants …
Texas has therefore decided to threaten physics departments at the public universities in Texas to close if the professor don’t make sure at least 25 undergraduates graduate every 5 years.
The good news: at the university level, since professors can set their grading systems to be whatever they want, they will make sure that the system graduates plenty. The quality of said graduates will now be highly suspect (even if they are good) … so the politicians have single handedly thrown the public perception of the departments into a high degree of doubt.
I would say I’m amazed, but this is the state that gave us NCLB … a state with a horrible public education system that feels it has the testicular fortitude to dictate things to the rest of the country. Amazingly … shuttering a department is a great way to get around (wait for it), tenure … get rid of professors who can’t be touched by politicians by eliminating their jobs entirely … and if you have to start somewhere, definitely start in the sciences because they contribute so little to society.