ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

A Crisis in Civic Education

January 2016 by ACTA

The Founders admonished that informed, engaged citizens would be the indispensable guardian of our liberty. ACTA’s surveys, however, administered over the past two decades, reveal that our schools—and especially our colleges and universities—have done a poor job of ensuring the civic literacy on which our nation depends. Too many institutions fail to require courses that ensure civic knowledge and often allow community service projects, well-intentioned as they are, to substitute for deep learning about our nation’s institutions of government and their history. At present, a majority of the four-year college graduates answering a multiple-choice survey were unable to identify the method for amending the Constitution or the process for presidential impeachment. Nearly half failed to identify the correct term lengths for the houses of Congress. Ten percent thought that Judith Sheindlin—"Judge Judy"—is on the Supreme Court. A Crisis in Civic Education offers recommendations to colleges, alumni, foundations, and lawmakers to turn from civic illiteracy to vibrant, empowered participation in the nation’s civic process.


SELECTED FINDINGS

There is a crisis in American civic education. Survey after survey shows that recent college graduates are alarmingly ignorant of America's history and heritage. They cannot identify the term lengths of members of Congress, the substance of the First Amendment, the origin of the separation of powers. They do now know the Father of the Constitution, and nearly 10% say that Judith Sheindlin—"Judge Judy"—is on the Supreme Court.  Continue Reading >>

Press

How Gorsuch’s SCOTUS tap is a painful reminder of civic ignorance

The Hill
March 29, 2017 by Michael Poliakoff |

While the nine members of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) hold enormous sway over the direction of American jurisprudence and over everyday life, striking new evidence suggests that… Continue Reading >>

A Week in the Life of Justice Don Willett

Wall Street Journal
January 5, 2017 by Don Willett |

Justice never sleeps if you’re on the Texas Supreme Court. It’s 2:30 a.m. Lightning strikes; thunder booms. It’s pouring, and I’m poring…over legal briefs, prepping… Continue Reading >>

Few Top Schools Require History Majors to Broadly Study U.S.’s Past

Wall Street Journal
June 29, 2016 by Melissa Korn |

History majors at top colleges don’t know much about U.S. history—or at least they don’t have to.

A new report by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a nonprofit group… Continue Reading >>