Colleges are all about teaching “critical thinking,” though in most places that is a mere euphemism for teaching “critical theory,” which is not the same thing. Quite the opposite: “critical theory” is the highly ideologized core of the academic left. And it shows.
By Douglas Belkin
Freshmen and seniors at about 200 colleges across the U.S. take a little-known test every year to measure how much better they get at learning to think. The results are discouraging.
At more than half of schools, at least a third of seniors were unable to make a cohesive argument, assess the quality of evidence in a document or interpret data in a table, The Wall Street Journal found after reviewing the latest results from dozens of public colleges and universities that gave the exam between 2013 and 2016. (See full results.)
At some of the most prestigious flagship universities, test results indicate the average graduate shows little or no improvement in critical thinking over four years. . .
For prospective students and their parents looking to pick a college, it is almost impossible to figure out which schools help students learn critical thinking, because full results of the standardized test, called the College Learning Assessment Plus, or CLA+, are seldom disclosed to the public. This is true, too, of similar tests.
In any other industry, this deliberate opacity and failure to deliver the promised service would attract the attention of the Federal Trade Commission and other government “consumer protection” agencies. But the higher education cartel is too well wired politically for this to happen.
Then there’s this little gem in the story:
Some of the biggest gains occur at smaller colleges where students are less accomplished at arrival but soak up a rigorous, interdisciplinary curriculum.
This would be places like Hillsdale, St. Johns, Ashland, Thomas Aquinas, etc. Let’s pile on:
Flagship institutions such as the University of Kentucky and the University of Texas at Austin attract some of the brightest students in the country. Their students showed little improvement in CLA+ performance. Their value-added score put their ranking in the bottom third of all schools that gave the test in the same year.
So how did these universities respond?
Kentucky and UT Austin officials criticized the test and said they no longer use it.
Accountability is for little people.
Now let’s shift focus to another aspect of this problem:
The Kids Aren’t Alright: More young voters are rejecting capitalism and democracy—from the United States to France. It doesn’t bode well for our own political future.
By Josh Kraushaar
Thursday’s shocking election result from across the pond could carry bigger long-term political implications in the U.S. than the impact of James Comey’s seismic testimony against President Trump on Capitol Hill. Against all expectations, Prime Minister Theresa May saw her governing majority dissipate, despite running against a far-left Labour nominee (Jeremy Corbyn) whose platform was more Marxist than social democratic. Corbyn’s surprisingly competitive showing was fueled by young voters, who rallied behind Labuor by a whopping 34-point margin (63-29 percent), according to British exit polling.
For all the fears of creeping nationalism, it’s the growing discontent of the millennial vote that’s been a consistent theme in recent Western elections. Young voters are more willing to cast ballots for candidates on the fringes, opposing the neoliberalism of the Clinton/Blair variety and the nationalist, anti-European Union/pro-Brexit sentiment increasingly dominant on the Right. Many young voters are rejecting capitalism entirely, attracted to rhetoric promising free tuition and a generous social safety net at a time when many are struggling to make ends meet. Numerous studies also show younger voters are much more skeptical towards the value of democracy than their elders. . .
Gee—I wonder if there’s any connection between this and the “critical thinking” students receive in college these days?