Students & Parents | General Education

81 percent college seniors flunking

THE SUN-TIMES   |  December 10, 2008 by Jerry Jackson

In these days of wild gyrations of investment valuations and economic news that can be depressing, it is good to know there are some positive developments in the education field.

In Little Rock, Roy Brooks, the deposed superintendent of that corrupt district has implemented a model charter school and this year alone the Little Rock School District is expected to lose more than 1,000 kids to charters.

For those of you whose memories are short, Dr. Brooks was fired because he had the audacity to emphasize education and do it by insisting on quality and cutting unnecessary costs.  When he laid off some 300 over-staffed workers and some of these were the friends and relatives of the school board members, that was too much.  He had ceased all programs of reforming and began political meddling.  

Now the Little Rock School Board is shocked that parents and guardians would want to send their offspring to schools that are actually challenging their students and not blessed by the partisan teacher’s unions

In addition to opposing the creation of four more schools, the Little Rock School Board and their attorney (who has already confiscated millions from Arkansas taxpayers) is planning litigation to stop charter schools.

According to the Arkansas Dem-Gaz this action would probably be twofold.  First sue the state for ever having approved charter schools and second change the state law to make charter schools practically impossible.

Here we are trying to compete with other states and others countries in education and we are being torpedoed internally to prevent progress.  Why should taxpayer dollars be used to continue a cesspool of education that uses any means possible to prevent improvement and keep union thuggery prominent?

On a national basis there are some shining lights in a vastly dimmed area of education activity.  One of those is Hillsdale College.

In addition to providing excellence in education, Hillsdale publishes a monthly magazine called “Imprimis” which is sent to over 1.7 million Americans.  Hillsdale believes many college and universities require too little of their students.  They believe there is a wide-spread lack of knowledge of American history, government and economics.

Recently a test was commissioned by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA).  It was administered to 556 randomly selected students from U.S. News and World Report’s top 25 liberal arts colleges.  The discussion of the test deserves more ink but the test results are astounding:

Percent of
Students    Score
2                  A
4                  B
13                C
16                D
65                F

The ACTA called these results deeply disturbing so they surveyed the 50 most prominent higher education institutions including the Big Ten, The Ivy League, SEC and others.  This survey alarmingly found only seven of the 50 required even one history or government course, furthermore NOT ONE of these colleges required an economic course.

I have received a copy of the 34 questions on American history. This is the test that 81 percent of the elite college seniors received a “D or an “F”.  Here are three of the first questions on the exam:

1)  When was the Civil War?
a)  1750 – 1800
b)  1800 – 1850
c)  1850 – 1900
d)  1900 – 1950
e)   After 1950

2)  Who said “Give me liberty or give me death”?
a)  John Hancock
b)  James Madison
c)  Patrick Henry
d)  Samuel Adams

3)  Sputnik was the name given to the first?
a)  Telecommunications System
b)  Animal to travel into space
c)  Hydrogen bomb
d)  Man-made satellite

Come on folks, these are not the kind of questions that would stump a genius.  This does raise the issue as to where the emphasis is in higher education.

Are our colleges concentrating on social engineering, multiculturalism, and corporate hating?  The answer is obvious.  When 93 percent of professors not only lean to the left but preach that mantra in lieu of the basics, we will continue to graduate college seniors that are deficient in necessary knowledge.

On a local basis I intend to write another column on developments here, but I have these current observations.

A review of the American history book used by 11th graders in Heber Springs is greatly improved over the one used three or four years ago.  The prior one was centered on civil rights, gay rights, women rights and Latino rights (somehow American Indians were left out).  The current book actually covers other areas such as wars, industrialization, and economics.

On the negative side I understand the school board and/or the teachers of this district rejected a proposal to consider merit pay for teachers.  This was in spite of the fact that state or private foundation funds may be available to increase the pay for good teachers.  More about this later.


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