Academic Dishonesty

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A survey conducted by the Center for Survey Research and Analysis at the University of Connecticut gave 81 percent of the seniors a D or an F in their knowledge of American history. Many students could not identify Valley Forge, words from the Gettysburg Address or even the basic principles of the U.S. Constitution. The National Center for Education Statistics reported that only 31 percent of college graduates can read and understand a complex book.

A 2007 national survey titled “Our Fading Heritage: Americans Fail a Basic Test on Their History and Institutions,” by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, found that earning a college degree does little to increase knowledge of America’s history. Among the questions asked were: “Who is the commander in chief of the U S. military?” “Name two countries that were our enemies during World War II.” The average score among college graduates was 57 percent, or an F. Only 24 percent of college graduates knew the First Amendment prohibits establishing an official religion for the United States.

A 2006 survey conducted by The Conference Board, Corporate Voices for Working Families, the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, and the Society for Human Resource Management found that only 24 percent of employers thought graduates of four-year colleges were “excellently prepared” for entry-level positions.

Our sad state of college education proves what my grandmother admonished: “If you’re doing something you’re not supposed to be doing, you can’t do what you’re supposed to do.”

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  • Mullah be Damned

    If you are a good academic at the end of the course your students will have no idea which way you vote. If they know how you vote, then you are a vile worm.

  • Chezwick

    Academic dishonesty….coupled with media dishonesty. I've yet to find a mainstream media outlet that carried this story….

  • oldtimer

    A tenured professor at a community college in Florida was just suspended for making students sign a pledge to vote for obama…..??? this is the state of "higher" education…the bullying never stops.

  • Omar

    So many university "academics" are wrong about America. First of all, the United States is the most generous country in the world. America has led the way for freedom and democracy (within 90 years of its establishment, America outlawed slavery nationwide). America has freed other countries from tyrannies. These professors need to read Larry Schweikart's books, including A Patriot's History of the United States, to know the truth about America's achievements throughout its history. These professors are obviously communist radicals who despised their own country so much that if those same radicals lived during the American Revolution, they would have sided with King George III and the Redcoats. If those professors really want to talk about oppression, greed and exploitation, they should talk about countries (all oppressive and founded on lies, greed and oppression, like the Soviet Union, which was founded on a group of Bolsheviks who killed the Czar's royal family in cold blood (including the czar's son, who had hemophilia) as well as killed millions of other people in famines and terror throughout its 74 year history; China, whose communist government has killed more than 70 million innocent people in peace time through famines(Great Leap Forward) and terror (like the Cultural Revolution and later, the tanks at Tiananmen Square); and even Cuba, whose family dictatorship has been oppressing its people for more than 50 years. The Castro dictatorship was founded on lies about what Cuba was previously (Cuba was well off economically before Castro took over). In 50 years, the Castro dictatorship has turned Cuba into a poor, totalitarian hellhole, where the food rations that ordinary citizens eat are smaller than the rations that the King of Spain mandated that Cuban slaves had in 1842 (when Cuba was a Spanish colony), where over 20 percent of its population fled the so-called "workers' paradise" with only the clothes on their backs, where citizens couldn't travel abroad without regime permission, and other totalitarian horrors of the Castro regime. Bottom line, The United States is much better than all the communist regimes described above. Sure, America isn't perfect, but it is a much better place to live in than its enemies. Those radical professors who despise this country and praise its enemies should see what life is really like in those enemy countries. Anyway, those professors need to teach what they should be teaching instead of indoctrinating their students with communist propaganda about America being "oppressive" . Those so-called "academics" are violating the principles of academic freedom.

    • Spider

      We should deport all these college professors to North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, etc. and give them a dose of reality. Too bad the prison state of East Germany is no longer with us – that would hve been my first choice for deportation!

      • Omar

        Those so-called academics also need to read books by real journalists who know what is going on in those countries (and not the totalitarian country's propaganda ministry). The so-called academics need to read Humberto Fontova's books to know the truth about Cuba.

    • Ghostwriter

      Thank you for saying that,Omar. That really needed to be said.

      • Omar

        You're welcome, Ghostwriter.

  • tagalog

    If academics have decided to focus on teaching their students to be social activists rather than teach them the best that people have thought over the millenia, that would explain why my students always display a satisfying level of enthusiasm when I teach them what the great thinkers of the West have said over the centuries, and the history of Western thought.

    Evidently they're not getting it in other liberal arts classes.

    My students seem to have a better take on what a university education ought to be about (outside the technical, bread-and-butter, courses of study) than the professors, if the article is true.

    I find it worthwhile when I reflect on this kind of thing, to remember that a liberal education was intended to instruct people on how to be free citizens (that's why it's called "liberal" education). Seems as if teaching the students how to be effective activists is teaching them how to be good little apparatchniks instead of free people who understand the liberal arts.

    • dmw

      I wonder if most students could (using your definition of a "liberal" education) define the difference between that and a "libertine" education (where Sandra Fluke could be a full professor).

  • BLJ

    Like many people, I worked my way through college. I was a business major. One day in my Marketing class, the professor made some statements about the business world that I knew (due to actually working in the business world) to be false.

    He had made similar gaffes all semester and I could tell the real disdain he had for free enterprise. I decided I had had enough and challenged his assertions in class. We "debated" for a few minutes and when it was clear I was winning he closed down the conversation.

    After class he asked if I could meet him in his office. He attempted to verbally dress me down and implied that if I ever challenged him again my grade may suffer. I basically told him to pound sand and that America was a free country and I will say what I want.

    I also found out that he had never worked a day in his life in the public sector. I stuck my to my guns and received the grade I deserved (a B). This happened back in 1987. I am sure things are 10,000 times worse for students today.

  • Ageofreason

    Most of us on this website know that Walter Williams is correct, but I am at a complete loss as to how anyone in a position to do anything about it can also be convinced. The professors and teachers who spew forth the nonsense are like religious zealots and simply cannot be convinced. Rational arguments do not work. The zealots hire other zealots, and manage to exclude most of the profs who understand the difference between teaching and propagandizing. All I can think of to change the situation is to withhold funding. There seems no other option. The task then is to convince the funders to withhold and redirect money to new schools that actually teach instead of propagandize. It might be a good idea to formulate an action plan, no?

  • Tychicus

    I was watching a David Horowitz presentation at a campus on academic indoctrination on campuses across the US. He put it this way: If the world of humanity is socially constructed (a given in academia) then it can be deconstructed and reconstructed into the social utopia that the academics believe can exist here on earth. That being true (as academics believe), any evil deed, or act no matter how self degrading, bloody, or destructive, justifies achieving that end. Hence the violent militant left. The academic militant acts rest on moral ground that is un-falsifiable. Their dream utopia is without definition being non-existent and therefore beyond critique. Who is the religious fanatic? What religion has murdered more people in the history of mankind? Yes, Socialist/Darwinian utopianism is the great bloody monster of Satan.
    Courage and Godspeed.

  • Ron

    As an adjunct university professor, I am glad to see that Walter Williams published this piece regarding the corruption on our U.S. campuses. He is absolutely correct in surmising that many of my so-called colleagues use their positions to espouse left-wing, anti-American ideologies. Conversely, I am a "new breed" of professor who has spent thirty-three years in the "real world" plying my craft in the military and law enforcement. I have discovered that my students thrive from the advantages of learning from academic principles coupled with real world experience.

    I teach American History and several Homeland Security classes, including a course on Global Terrorism (which I designed). In every class, I have to undue the academic damage done to my students from previous professors (usually from other universities) whose heads have been indoctrinated with lies and political bias. I teach my students the craft of analytical thinking and in-depth research in order to sift through propaganda and false information. I also inform them on the sneaky methods in which dishonest academics attempt to influence their personal philosophies and political ideologies.

    In my opinion, college campuses are war zones for the minds of our future leaders. I am doing what I can to properly prepare the youth of our country for the real world.

  • Mary

    Thank you Ron. We have the responsibility to search out the truth. I have a friend in Homeland Security . I questioned him today about 9/11. This past week on our Public Television station I viewed a documentary on the implosion of the towers. He told me that prior to 9/11 terror alerts had risen from about 50 per year to over 700 just before 9/11. It is no wonder we didn't know in advance where. It was going to happen, just a matter of when..

    • Ron

      Your welcome Mary. Yes . . . no one I knew could have possibly imagined a more sinister plot. It took all of us by surprise. Prior to 9/11, I was involved in the federal trial of the first WTC bombing and the terrorist plot to blow up other landmark buildings in NYC. I provided courtroom security and transported the prisoners (most of them were Egyptians) to trial each day. Sheik Omar Rahman (the Blind Sheik) was one of the prisoners assigned to me during this detail. After being exposed to these malevolent malefactors for a month, I learned that the only options they (Islamic fundamentalists) are giving us is to either join them or die. They seek world domination.

  • Mstr Rick

    Most troubling, and sadly epidemic across the nation. Many have said America could never be defeated militarily, but only from within, and so a depraved electorate comes of age.

    I returned to college last year and in my US government class we were TAUGHT, and I quote, “white males are an enduring contemporary evil ", “equal opportunity is a failed ideology” and that we as a nation must seek social justice through “equality of condition". I’m not kidding. The petulant arrogance of the school administration and instructors to promote such dysfunctional thinking is disturbing and prescient of the folly that is to come.

    I wrote a short blog about my experience after all avenues of redress fell on deaf ears:….

  • Martial Arts

    tsk tsk ts.. that's actually normal.. dishonestly is always around us either in front of us, behind us or at the other side.. Let's just be very careful about it.