Sadly, this years report on civic literacy among college students isn’t much better than the last.
I wrote about last year’s here. Here’s a slice, which I think still applies:
It’s no secret universities have long been dominated by competing agendas. But none of these include basic civic literacy. “Diversity” curricula like global awareness, minority studies and various non-traditional disciplines have come into vogue. It’s not so much a conspiracy as a herd mentality among academic elites. Study of basic institutions gets passed over in favor of “alternative” subjects.
But apparently, there are opportunity costs. If the ISI survey tells us anything, it’s that students are implicitly asking “alternative to what?” Socialist economics and obscure cultural theories are evidently the new baseline of comparison.
None of this is to suggest students should be inculcated with a particular worldview. But they should be offered greater options — particularly if their school receives government funding. And under no circumstances should state universities be allowed to leave civic literacy out of the core curriculum.
Private universities are just that — private. So if they want to offer “History 101: From Mother Goddess to Marx,” then fine. But when a loud, activist professoriat at UNC-Chapel Hill rejects millions of dollars in private funding for a Western Civ program, while cutting the ribbon on a Black History and Culture center built with public money, something’s gone wrong.
Do your college kids know more about Rigoberta Menchu than Patrick Henry? Have they read more Marx and Engels than Locke and Hume? Are they asked to share stories of phallo-logo-centric abuse in required courses, but can’t explain the Bill of Rights? Is their idea of “democracy” populist rebellions and land reforms, or based on the Constitution and private property?
Some of North Carolina’s colleges appear in the rankings — but no school scored higher than D+. Sad.