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Dumb and Dumber? What Are College Kids Learning About Our Country?
Fox News ^ | February 10, 2010 | Dr. Richard Brake

Posted on 02/14/2010 6:58:25 AM PST by Pinkbell

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) released its fourth annual national Civic Literacy report today called "The Shaping of the American Mind: The Diverging Influences of the College Degree & Civic Learning on American Beliefs." In past studies, ISI has broken new ground by demonstrating empirically the failures of colleges and universities to effectively teach their graduates the fundamentals of American history, government, foreign affairs, and economics.

On an individual level, less than 60% (sometimes far less) of college graduates can identify on a multiple-choice test the three branches of government; seminal passages from the Declaration of Independence and Gettysburg Address; basic events from the Revolutionary, Civil, and Vietnam Wars; and the primary features of our free enterprise system. Several of these questions are actually required knowledge for new American citizens, signifying their relevance to what we as a nation demand for informed citizenship.

On an institutional level, ISI discovered that at many of our most elite schools, like Yale, Princeton, Duke, and my alma mater Georgetown, not only did those surveyed fail to get above a “D,” seniors at these top schools did worse than freshmen on the same test, a phenomenon dubbed “negative learning”!

Conventional wisdom, along with the hard-earned savings of American families, has long supported the notion that “with more college comes more knowledge.” ISI’s research has punctured the validity of such simple claims, drawing back the curtain of academia’s Land of Oz to reveal the smoke and mirrors of a veritable vacuum of civic ignorance.

(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: college; conservativism; liberalism

1 posted on 02/14/2010 6:58:25 AM PST by Pinkbell
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To: Pinkbell
Conventional wisdom, along with the hard-earned savings of American families, has long supported the notion that “with more college comes more knowledge.”

Knowledge is a great thing, but prudence and wisdom are superior.

2 posted on 02/14/2010 7:04:13 AM PST by Mr Ramsbotham ("Did I give you carbolic acid? I'd love to.")
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To: Pinkbell
On an institutional level, ISI discovered that at many of our most elite schools, like Yale, Princeton, Duke, and my alma mater Georgetown, not only did those surveyed fail to get above a “D,” seniors at these top schools did worse than freshmen on the same test, a phenomenon dubbed “negative learning”!

They had to develop a term to describe the results of liberal teachers..."negative learning".

3 posted on 02/14/2010 7:05:22 AM PST by highlander_UW (Obama has lost or not saved over 4 million jobs!)
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To: highlander_UW
Since few college professors use my book "A Patriot's History of the United States," I'm not surprised.

Seriously, we have some good teachers at UD, and I know they are doing their job.

4 posted on 02/14/2010 7:06:42 AM PST by LS ("Castles made of sand, fall in the sea . . . eventually." (Hendrix))
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To: Pinkbell

At work I question college new hires and interns about history (informally not work related) and they barely learn about WWII in high school. Myself I took history courses for college electives that were helpful.


5 posted on 02/14/2010 7:09:52 AM PST by sickoflibs (( "It's not the taxes, the redistribution is spending you demand stupid"))
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To: Pinkbell
Apparently, greater familiarity with America, instead of breeding contempt, actually fostered more respect for key elements of America’s free society.

The money quote.

Leftists understand this, and it's the reason why they want American history and civics classes to be replaced by gender studies, black studies, etc.

6 posted on 02/14/2010 7:12:00 AM PST by Flycatcher (God speaks to us, through the supernal lightness of birds, in a special type of poetry.)
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To: Pinkbell

blatant & subliminal propaganda by leftist professors is hard to override.


7 posted on 02/14/2010 7:12:12 AM PST by sodpoodle (Despair - Man's surrender. Laughter - God's redemption.)
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To: Pinkbell
College is all about the sheepskin...the diploma.

In the past 40 years college degrees have become the norm, rather than the exception, and it's caused the business world to cohese into a sort of "fraternity"...owners and managers with college degrees tend to try to hire only those with college degrees. It doesn't seem to matter whether they have an appitude or the intelligence for the job...it's just the diploma.

Years ago I was forced to hire a lady with a degree in journalism by the owners of the radio station I was managing...she could not read, she could not write, and had a voice like fingernails on a chalkboard. I put her in the office, filing, but when the alphabet proved to be a challenge for her, I conferred with my managers and got permission to send her out the door. I hired another lady with a GED, no college, who ran rings around the college kid in reading, writing, and speaking.

I encouraged my kids to get degrees, which they did, but instilled into them that a degree is not the end-all, be-all in the world. They are both quite successful, but the diploma only got them in the door, their work-ethic and intelligence got them to the top.


8 posted on 02/14/2010 7:13:09 AM PST by FrankR (Those of us who love AMERICA far outnumber those who love obama - your choice.)
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To: LS

Patriot Ping


9 posted on 02/14/2010 7:17:20 AM PST by Travis McGee (----www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com----)
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To: Pinkbell
Several of these questions are actually required knowledge for new American citizens

Perhaps part of the Finals process should be the taking - and passing - of the American Citizenship exam. (slow load)

Might not hurt for all of us - I missed a couple.

10 posted on 02/14/2010 7:23:18 AM PST by Oatka ("A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." –Bertrand de Jouvenel)
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To: LS
Since few college professors use my book "A Patriot's History of the United States," I'm not surprised.

I saw you on Glenn Beck's show...keep up the good work.

11 posted on 02/14/2010 7:27:11 AM PST by highlander_UW (Obama has lost or not saved over 4 million jobs!)
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To: Pinkbell
"This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who's a professor of English..."
--B.H. Obama
__________________________________________

YouTube Video:
The O'Reilly Factor confronts Bill Ayers:
October 24, 2008:
(note the red communist star on his shirt)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dP3uvK9gTIY
__________________________________________

From Investor's Business Daily (IBD), August 27, 2008:

"Ayers, now a tenured distinguished professor of education at UIC, works to educate teachers in socialist revolutionary ideology, urging that it be passed on to impressionable students.

One of Ayer's descriptions for a course called 'Improving Learning Environments' says prospective K-12 teachers need to 'be aware of the social and moral universe we inhabit and ... be a teacher capable of hope and struggle, outrage and action, teaching for social justice and liberation.

The Annenberg papers are quite extensive — 132 boxes containing 947 file folders with 70 linear feet of material. They undoubtedly contain more surprises regarding Obama's relationship with Ayers, one of many relationships Obama has sought to hide.'..."

Article: Annenberg Papers: Putting On Ayers?
http://www.ibdeditorial.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=304729375940845
__________________________________________

Photobucket

REVOLUTION: Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA [Maoist]
[Revolution] Interview with Bill Ayers, Revolution #63, October 1, 2006:
"On Progressive Education, Critical Thinking and the Cowardice of Some in Dangerous Times"
http://rwor.org/a/063/ayers-en.html

12 posted on 02/14/2010 7:28:24 AM PST by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: Pinkbell
the failures of colleges and universities to effectively teach their graduates the fundamentals of American history, government, foreign affairs, and economics.

This is by design...not by accident.

13 posted on 02/14/2010 7:28:58 AM PST by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannolis. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: Calm_Cool_and_Elected; visually_augmented

education ping


14 posted on 02/14/2010 7:32:41 AM PST by Calm_Cool_and_Elected
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To: Pinkbell
I learned zip about history in college. I was in an engineering program.

American and world history was taught in High School and daily news kept it updated.

15 posted on 02/14/2010 7:33:03 AM PST by Sacajaweau (What)
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To: Sacajaweau

I took history up here, and was very pleased to have an american prof who taught American history. Did very well too, an A.

If I, as a member of the commie, and American hating Canadian, can obtain a decent education on the history of America from a commie and american hating Canadian university campus, there’s no excuse for the same courses not being available down south.


16 posted on 02/14/2010 7:39:59 AM PST by BenKenobi (;)
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To: Pinkbell

and in related news:
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2451089/posts


17 posted on 02/14/2010 8:03:55 AM PST by PIF
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To: FrankR

We’ve gone thru ‘payback’ rebounds like this at least 3 times in the last 50 years....the first was New Math. When you and I were in school (assuming prior to new math), went on to college, then asked by our neighbors to help tutor their kids in math, we realized at the time that the Tower of Babel was under construction. There was nothing you nor I nor their parents could do to help these mushkins out of their jam! ....skipping forward to today, my favorite description of today’s universities: Institutions of Higher Looning.


18 posted on 02/14/2010 8:15:33 AM PST by CRBDeuce (here, while the internet is still free of the Fairness Doctrine)
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To: Oatka

Interesting quiz. I missed the one on who selects the supreme court justices. I was going to say president but decided on senate because in the end the choice is theirs. But it’s all in how I read that particular question.


19 posted on 02/14/2010 8:40:56 AM PST by tickles
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To: Pinkbell
In a 1987 Bicentennial of the Constitution book entitled, "Our Ageless Constitution," Dr. Russell Kirk ("The Conservative Mind"), contributed to an essay entitled "The Responsibility of Citizens."

In it, he reminded readers that preserving liberty under the Founders' Constitution required a knowledgeable and responsible citizenry.

Without an understanding of the principles underlying their liberty, Kirk concluded, citizens might come to rely more and more on government and lose their liberty under the burden of its weight.

Here is an excerpt from Dr. Kirk's piece:

"A republic whose citizens - whose leaders, indeed - are concerned chiefly with "looking out for Number One," and ig­noring their responsibilities of citizenship, soon cannot "insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare" - or carry on the other major duties of the state. When the crisis comes, the people may turn in desperation to the hero-administrator, the misty figure somewhere at the summit. But in the end, that hero­administrator will not save the republic, although he may govern for a time by force. A democratic republic cannot long endure unless a great many of its citizens stand ready and will­ing to brighten the corner where they are, and to sacrifice much for the nation, if need be.

Has The Consciousness of Responsibility Withered in America?

"For the past five or six decades, several perceptive observers have remarked, an increasing proportion of the American population has ceased to feel responsible for the common defense, for productive work, for choosing able men and women to represent them in politics, for accepting personal responsibility for the needs of the community, or even for their own livelihood. Unless this deterioration is arrested, the responsible citizens will be too few to support and protect the irresponsible. By 1978 there were more people receiving regular government checks than there were workers in the private sector.

"What follows, if we are to judge by the history of fallen civilizations, is described by Albert Jay Nock in his book Memoirs of a Superfluous Man (1943):

"... closer centralization; a steadily growing bureaucracy; State power and faith in State power increasing; social power and faith in social power diminishing; the State absorbing a continually larger proportion of the national income; production languishing; the State in consequence taking over one 'essential industry' after another, managing them with ever-increasing corruption, inefficiency, and prodigality, and finally resorting to a system of forced labor. Then at some point in this process a collision of State interests, at least as general and as violent as that which occurred in 1914, will result in an industrial and financial dislocation too severe for the asthenic [weak] social structure to bear; and from this the State will be left to 'the rusty death of machinery' and the casual anonymous forces of dissolution."

"Modem civilization offers a great variety of diversions, amusements, and enticements - some of them baneful. But modem civilization does not offer many inducements to the performance of duties, except perhaps monetary payment, and certainly it does not teach people that the real reward for responsible citizenship is the preservation of a free society.

"It is not money that can induce citizens to labor and sacrifice for the common good. They must be moved by patriotism and their attachment to the Constitution. And patriotism alone, ignorant boasting about ones native land, would not suffice to preserve the Republic.

"Thus it is that on the occasion of the Bicentennial celebrating of the Constitution, a mighty effort ought to be made to restore the American public's awareness of the principles of their government, of their responsibilities toward their country, their neighbors, their children, their parents, and themselves to be sure that their patrotism is based on this solid foundation. No one knows how late the hour is; but it is later than most people think. Love of the Republic shelters all our other loves; and that love is worth some sacrifice.

Responsibilities Are Readily Forgotten

"Nearly all of us are quick to claim benefits, but not everybody is eager to fulfill obligations. We have become a nation obsessed with rights, forgetful of responsibilities. In an age of seeming affluence, a great many people find it easy to forget that all good things must be paid for by somebody or other - paid for through hard work, through painful abstinence, sometimes through bitter sacrifice. Below we set down some of the causes for the decline of a sense of responsibility among some American citizens.

"In other words, the temptation of public men in Washington is always to offer to have the federal government assume fresh responsibilities - with consequent decay of local and private vigor (it might be argued that, at least in part, a failure in the proper exercise of citizens' responsibility permitted the development of the welfare state syndrome - that the government owes them a living. In any event, once it got under way and the welfare state grew, the sense of citizens' responsibility and rugged individualism deteriorated).

"These are only some of the reasons why a 'permissive" society speaks often of rights and seldom of responsibilities. A time comes, in the course of events, when abruptly there is a most urgent need for men and women ready to fulfill high and exacting and dangerous responsibilities. And if there are no such citizens, then liberty can be lost. It must be remembered that the great strength of the Signers of the Declaration and the Framers of the Constitution was that they knew their classical history, and how the ancient Greek cities had lost their liberties, and how the Roman system had sunk to its ruin under the weight of proletariat and military state.

Prospects For The Renewal Of Responsibility

"What may be done by way of remedy? Although America's social difficulties are formidable, probably they are less daunting than those of any other great nation today. The economic resources of the United States remain impressive; and the country's intellectual resources are large.

"This essay cannot offer, in its small compass, a detailed program for the popular recovery of devotion to duty. Here we can only suggest healing approaches:


20 posted on 02/14/2010 8:58:27 AM PST by loveliberty2
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To: Pinkbell

Great article. Many links

Loved it, thanks for posting


21 posted on 02/14/2010 8:58:37 AM PST by Munz (All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.)
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To: tickles
Interesting quiz. I missed the one on who selects the supreme court justices. . . . But it’s all in how I read that particular question.

Yeah, I did the same thing. Also missed the number of later amendments added to the Constitution.

22 posted on 02/14/2010 9:10:25 AM PST by Oatka ("A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves." –Bertrand de Jouvenel)
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To: Pinkbell; LS; All
For any who wish to read Dr. Kirk's entire essay, as well as contributions on America's Founding principles from many constitutional scholars, "Our Ageless Constitution," the beautiful 300+-page volume from which it is excerpted, recently has been reprinted and is available here.

Also, have just learned that the original co-editor and publisher of that volume, W. David Stedman, has written a new 75-page book entitled, "The Destruction of the Great American Dream," which can be obtained at.

Only by citizen action, outside the traditional education system, may we spread a revival of the Founders' ideas, and, as Dr. Russell Kirk warned in 1987, the time may be short.

23 posted on 02/14/2010 9:13:48 AM PST by loveliberty2
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To: Pinkbell
Prager Universty; A semester in 5 minutes.
24 posted on 02/14/2010 9:14:55 AM PST by onedoug
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To: Pinkbell

Having never attended a school of “higher learning”, I consider myself fortunate to have escaped being dumbed down by liberalism.


25 posted on 02/14/2010 9:18:53 AM PST by upsdriver
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To: Pinkbell

Some of us are NOT surprised to learn that more college means more liberals. As part of a big family, I’ve seen that college education closely correlates to far left liberal opinions. Therefore, the longer these kids spend at university, the longer it takes to deprogram them into decent citizens ( and useable employees).

We finally have scientific studies to back up these casual observations.

The university system is outmoding itself with an army of aging leftist professors armed with 30 year old “knowledge”. They ruin our kids, they couldn’t survive a week at a real job and they sneer at anyone without a post grad degree.


26 posted on 02/14/2010 9:20:13 AM PST by moodyskeptic (the counterculture votes R)
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To: Pinkbell
ISI.org bump
27 posted on 02/14/2010 9:20:21 AM PST by cornelis
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To: Pinkbell

They’re not learning much I can tell you that. Most college kids have absolutely no idea when any of Americas wars were fought, began or ended and the reasons for them. I donate to an organization of WW2 veterans who are trying to have textbooks include the history of WW2 in the Pacific. It’s a daunting challenge and it’s heart-breaking to have to read the frustration of these veterans when they describe the blank stares of American school kids when they’re told of Pearl Harbor, the fall of Corregidor , the Bataan Death March and any of the battlefronts of the war in the Pacific, in fact anything to do with the Second World War.


28 posted on 02/14/2010 9:27:54 AM PST by John-Irish ("Shame of him who thinks of it''.)
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To: Pinkbell

They are learning if that’s what you call it how to be slaves and to be sacrifices of the dictator because that is surely what they will be.


29 posted on 02/14/2010 9:32:22 AM PST by freekitty (Give me back my conservative vote; then find me a real conservative to vote for)
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To: LS
You might enjoy this:

(Vanity) Getting the Point on Ayers, or, An Act of War

Cheers!

30 posted on 02/14/2010 9:49:40 AM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: Pinkbell

I went and checked what the general requirements were at my alma mater, and they have changed in the years since I went:

English: Passing the English composition sequence and passing the proficiency exam (usually 2 semesters of English composition)

Literature (2 classes)

Math 2 classes

Science 2 classes plus their labs, then one other science (this is more than when I was an undergrad) One of the subjects has to be biology, then one in the physical sciences

2 humanities and arts, split between the arts and humanities

2 classes in social studies (history is just one of several choices)

at least 1 class in computer literacy (exact competency may vary according to major)

proof of oral competency in some course

Classes are 3 credit hour classes.

Not much room for learning anything much outside of your speciality area....College is becoming more and more a glorified trade school instead of a place where everybody got a basic data set plus their speciality classes....


31 posted on 02/14/2010 10:07:30 AM PST by Knitting A Conundrum (Without the Constitution, there is no America!)
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To: Munz

You’re welcome. I saw the study being discussed on Fox this morning. I searched their website, and I came across this article. I think it’s a good study and good article.


32 posted on 02/14/2010 10:09:28 AM PST by Pinkbell
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To: metmom; Tired of Taxes; wintertime

I can’t blame them when they’ve been exposed to badly-written, politically correct textbooks and indoctrinated teachers. I blame the school system.


33 posted on 02/14/2010 10:25:19 AM PST by Clintonfatigued (Liberal sacred cows make great hamburger)
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To: loveliberty2

Interesting essay.


34 posted on 02/14/2010 10:31:54 AM PST by Pinkbell
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To: Oatka

I aced it but I doubt that one out of one hundred recent college graduates can make seventy percent on it.


35 posted on 02/14/2010 11:34:02 AM PST by RipSawyer (Trying to reason with a leftist is like trying to catch sunshine in a fish net at midnight.)
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To: Knitting A Conundrum

“.College is becoming more and more a glorified trade school instead of a place where everybody got a basic data set plus their speciality classes....”
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

That it is for sure. I once made the charge on FR that college is no longer concerned with education but is a place for training and indoctrination and I was flamed to a crisp. I still stand by it though. I went to the Navy class “A” electronics school which at the time was said to cover everything which was required for a bachelor’s degree in electronics minus the electives. The entire course was covered in 38 weeks of full time work. That was training for my job, it had nothing to do with education.

Learning to make a living is training. Learning to make a good life and teach others to make a good life is education.
There is precious little education offered in our public schools and nearly none in colleges and universities.

Most recent college graduates that I have met would probably not even qualify to enter a public high school of the nineteen fifties, let alone graduate. It is frightening to realize that they all are allowed to vote if they wish to, most have only a very foggy notion of what they are voting for.

“Education” has been devalued along with the currency, it is now common for employers to set a firm requirement for a minimum of a four year undergraduate degree on a job of the sort that used to be filled by a high school graduate at best and in many cases would have been filled by a high school dropout fifty or sixty years ago.


36 posted on 02/14/2010 12:13:40 PM PST by RipSawyer (Trying to reason with a leftist is like trying to catch sunshine in a fish net at midnight.)
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To: Pinkbell
What Are College Kids Learning About Our Country?

Trust me, you don't want to know.

37 posted on 02/14/2010 12:16:33 PM PST by mtg
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To: Pinkbell

later


38 posted on 02/14/2010 12:27:59 PM PST by goodnesswins (DEMOCRATS equal WEAPONIZED Ignorance)
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To: Pinkbell

It was, not to mention all the back data. Course liberals will immediately attack it because it has them funny things they don’t like .. we call them facts.


39 posted on 02/14/2010 1:05:37 PM PST by Munz (All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.)
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