About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Monday, August 26, 2013

College Bound Students Need ACTA's Free Resource Website To Get Started

In response to the last two postings re the science & technology quiz & the eighth grade exam from 1912 my friend Anne Neal, President of the American Council of Trustees & Alumni (ACTA), made this comment:
"Doug -- Most interesting and I will share it with folks here.


You are right that people love quizzes.


You can find our Losing America's Memory historical literacy quiz at the back of the report (on our website)  and you can also see the answers Roper got from college graduates on basic questions of Civics and American history at www.whatwilltheylearn.com.


(It flashes midway on the screen).  The results are not heartening!  


Best, Anne"


Click here to see ACTA's historical literacy quiz with the answers & results immediately displayed


The results are based on interviews conducted from August 10 - 12, 2012.  A total of 300 interviews were completed, with 150 female & 150 male college graduates or post graduates who were between the ages of 21 to 34.


If you are like Anne (& me) & find the above results disheartening I repeat my often made suggestion to thoroughly review ACTA's free resource website What Will They Learn if you know someone who is considering going to college in the near future.  I don't know of a better investment of their time in getting started with the research concerning the most important decision a young person has to make that will affect the rest of their lives in so many ways.



  1. Hi Doug - We have followed your, very interesting, series on general knowledge i.e., Science & Technology & the eighth grade test.

    Perhaps the question of education, jobs & “What Will They Learn” can be slightly refocused to a more practical application ”Who is Working.”

    Obviously, there are some brilliant engineers. One needs to look no further than our smart phones, computers and software applications to realize this country is producing excellence in engineering.

    However, Florida has a severe shortage of skilled labors. Talking with a young carpet installer here five months from New Jersey the shortage is not limited to Florida. In Naples, Florida, there is a four week waiting list for a tile man, two weeks for carpeting and three weeks for a granite counter top. Forget about painting. . . The word recession is not part of the skilled labor’s vocabulary.

    Another question, “Who are the Millionaires?” My guess would be the countless contractors, who fix our roofs, plumbing, kitchens etc.
    I would say you would be hard pressed to find an auto mechanic on the unemployment line.

    There seems to be an underlining mentality in America that everyone must go to college and work in an office. Making a living with your hands comes with a negative connotation of uneducated, unsophisticated, and undesirable.

    Just wanted to add my two cents…

    1. The entire country has a shortage of skilled tradesmen. I recently wrote that Caterpillar & Microsoft – just to name two – can’t get enough people with the skills they need all over the country. This does not mean just engineers or college graduates. When I attended an ACTA conference in 2007 the Chamber of Commerce said there was a shortage of air conditioner mechanics.

      Rather than refocus on what you call a practical application with an emphasis on tradesmen I think we should focus on what America needs to compete in the global economy. Our failure in this regard worries me greatly.

      I restate your point to say the country has produced great engineers. The point of the recent postings is that we probably aren’t now.

      Further if the tradesmen cannot pass the eighth grade test I presented they are not properly educated – it is just a matter of time before someone takes them for a ride politically or otherwise.

      Also, college graduates (age 21 to 35) did poorly on the ACTA history test meaning not only is American history not being taught in college it is not being taught in K through 12. You can conclude that the tradesmen with a high school education will not know the basics of American history either – this is an extremely dangerous position for a country wanting to survive to be in. A country whose people are unfamiliar with its heritage is not going to be around long.

      To prove the point just ask your tradesmen a few questions from either the 1912 KY exam or the ACTA history test. It will give you a very good idea of where we are headed.

      You are right that there is a mindset that everyone should go to college & be set for life. The problem is that people are graduating from college who don’t know anything thanks to grade inflation. There are three times more “A”s given today than in 1940. There are tests now being given to show what you know after you graduate – the tests are required because the employers do not trust just the sheepskin.

      America needs the entire picture right – & right now the picture is all wrong.

  2. I use to study articles in newspapers but now I am a user of web. From now on I am using the net for articles - thanks to web.

  3. Inspiring quest there. What occurred after? Good luck!