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.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

ACTA Website Helps Make College Selection

"Colleges are increasing their attention to the social aspects on campus to keep students happy; there is not enough rigorous academic instruction." - Richard Arum, NYU Professor of Sociology & co-author of "Academically Adrift" & "Aspiring Adults Adrift".
click on graph to enlarge
Last Fall the American Council of Trustees & Alumni (ACTA) released their annual What Will They Learn report for 2014 – 15.  The report evaluates nearly 1,100 colleges & universities grading each school using graduation requirements centered around seven core subjects – composition, mathematics, literature, natural or physical science, intermediate-level foreign language, U.S. government or history, & economics.
Seems only common sense to think that someone graduating from college would be proficient in these subjects no matter what their major was.  But long time readers of RTE know this is not the case based on previous posts regarding ACTA's work.
For instance less than two thirds of the schools require college level math, less than 20% require a foundational course in U.S. history or government, & just over 3% require even a single course in basic economics.  At Harvard students can fulfill their literature requirement with "American Dreams from Scarface to Easy Rider" & @ the University of Colorado-Boulder students can take "Horror Films & American Culture" or "America Through Baseball" in lieu of an American history course.
Is there any wonder employers are screaming for properly trained help in far too many fields & can't find it?  I believe that the dumbing down of a college education was preceded by a
similar deterioration @ the high school level – having poorly educated high school graduates show up in college contributed to the dumbed down college curriculum. The result is a workforce that is unprepared to compete in the global economy for jobs that require either a high school or a college education – specifically, the above graph shows that four in ten college graduates do not possess the reasoning skills to handle work that requires a college degree.
High tuition & student debt loads only add to the vicious circle of equally undesirable alternatives – get a college degree @ high current costs with no employment prospects or move in with your parents (with or without a college degree).  See graphs below.  
click on graphs to enlarge
The ever higher tuition costs are a direct function of the government providing student loans (i.e., subsidies) – tuition goes right up in lockstep as government money for student loans increases.  Getting government out of the student loan business will break the upward tuition cost spiral & getting government out of the economy in general will allow the free enterprise system to flourish so there will be jobs waiting for America's youth upon graduating high school, vocational school, or college.
But ACTA's contribution is helpful in any environment.  If you are a high school junior or senior or know of one (like your children or grandchildren) the What Will They Learn? website is the place to start if you want to go to college, think you can't afford it, or otherwise are just concerned about the cost & quality of the schooling.  The website will show you that an Ivy League school like Brown University with an annual tuition of $45,612 is graded F, not requiring even one of the above seven core subjects in order to graduate;  Harvard & Yale with annual tuitions of over $42,000 are both graded D; while the University of Georgia with an annual tuition of $10,262 in-state & $28,472 out of state is graded A
Starting your search with the ACTA website can save tens of thousands of dollars in tuition & fees while helping you find a college that, upon graduation, furnishes an education where you don't have to run – you can walk past the competition for jobs.
Related Posts:

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


Education Improvement Needed To Avoid The Middle-Income Trap


The Third Leg Of BO's Trifecta - Crippling America's Youth



  1. Doug- Thank you so much for drawing attention to this; we will hope for a big audience! Please join us on October 16 when we celebrate 20 years! Best, Anne

  2. Doug
    Thanks so much for researching current state of colleges and the web site. This is very timely and I just forwarded the link to my 16 year old sophomore.

    My sincere hope is that colleges with low grades in the rating take note of the valid criticism - that too many college graduates are weak candidates for private sector employers.