Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

I’m sure this would give Prof. Sadun heartburn, but he really needs to watch it.  Please comment.  I’m interested in hearing from the “experts” who read this blog about the descriptions of the various forms of government.


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Stranger in a Strange Land, former President Bush attorney John Yoo at home in Berkeley CA, despite calls for his ouster.

“I think of myself as being West Berlin during the Cold War, a shining beacon of capitalism and democracy surrounded by a sea of Marxism,” Yoo observes, sipping iced tea in the faculty club lounge, a wan smile registering the discomfort of colleagues walking by en route to the bar.

Having heard this guy on TV, he was super on John Stewart, and the radio, I like the cut of his jib. Well done, and carry on.

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Rush Limbaugh referred to this survey , “The Shaping of the American Mind: The Diverging Influences of the College Degree and Civic Learning on American Beliefs,” today during the second hour of his show today. Its hard to believe some of the findings:

Here are a few frightening figures certain to keep you up at night:

  • 71% of Americans failed the civics knowledge test;
  • 51% of Americans could not name the three branches of government;
  • The average score for college seniors on the civics knowledge test was 54.2% (an “F” by any standard);
  • The average student’s test score improved only 3.8 points from freshman to senior year;
  • Freshmen at Cornell, Yale, Princeton, and Duke scored better than seniors on the civics knowledge test.
  • 79% of elected officials that took the civics knowledge quiz did not know the Bill of Rights expressly prohibits the government from establishing a religion.
  • 30% of office holders did not know that “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” are the inalienable rights referred to in the Declaration of Independence.
  • 27% of politicians could not name even one right or freedom guaranteed by the First Amendment.
  • 43% did not know the purpose of the Electoral College.
  • 39% of lawmakers believe the power of declaring war belongs to the president.
  • The average score for college professors who took the civics knowledge quiz was 55%.

So, while our nation’s most elite colleges are not imbuing our children with a knowledge of our history and our government, the study makes it clear that those universities are becoming round the clock factories churning out poorly instructed liberals with little civic knowledge and even less faith and less devotion to principles of liberty than those Americans who didn’t go to college.

I took the test too. Follow the link at the end of the story.  Sheepishly I’ll admit to missing 4 answers and getting an 87.8 on my exam. (no’s 7, 14, 30, 31) Even more shocking is the factoid that 55% of college professors failed! Philo??

One of Limbaugh’s callers, self-described as a conservative, said that she didn’t see the use of this information, that she was more concerned with day to day education, the civics knowledge did not affect her daily life. Limbaugh properly teed this up and drove it down the fairway. These are the basic tenets and foundations of our country.

I will agree with Rush again as he closed on this topic. This is why the Left targets young voters – they’re easy and they don’t know any better – and this study supports that conclusion.

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History of the World

Sports Talk radio is an unlikely source for recommendations to enlightening and educational listening. Yet based on a hearty review by The Ticket’s Bob Sturm, co-host of Bad Radio in Dallas TX, I have decided to give the BBC’s podcasts of “History Of The World In 100 Objects” a tumble.

Of the few I have heard, these little programs are quite listenable, enjoyable, informative, and at about 14 minutes not a huge investment of time.

One episode’s subject is a 2500+ year old bronze Chinese bell, which leads to discussion of Confucius, and his philosophies on music, harmony, and civilized societies. Another is about a mask from the Olmec’s of central Mexico, and elements of their existence.

These podcasts are free downloads off iTunes. So far it appears only 30 have been published, easy to catch up on, and  there are 70 to go – something to look forward to. Get some and expand the little gray cells into a big brain.

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Or, in this case, $1.35 million is on the line. Big Government call this the “Pet Goat” moment. I call it “Teleprompter Story Time.”

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Civic Illiteracy

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute has devised a quiz testing civic literacy. The average score is only 49%– though it improved to 78% online in November, perhaps because the online group is self-selected, and perhaps because elections improve awareness of civic matters for a while.

The most remarkable finding is that elected officials do worse than average, scoring only 44%!

You can take the quiz here. (I got 100%. Nana-nana-boo-boo.)

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Stanley Kurtz has been digging through the files. Obama and Ayers worked closely together to radicalize Chicago schools, rejecting grant applications for programs to improve math and science education and pushing “small schools” dedicated to oppression studies and political activism.

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