Phi Beta Cons

Cored

Lots of colleges and universities already have turned into remedial-education factories. The problem will worsen unless high-schools solve the problem highlighted in a new report from Common Core:

Unfortunately, too many young Americans do not possess the kind of basic knowledge they need. When asked fundamental questions about U.S. history and culture, they score a D and exhibit stunning knowledge gaps:
• Nearly a quarter of those surveyed could not identify Adolf Hitler; 10 percent think he was a munitions manufacturer
• Fewer than half can place the Civil War in the correct half-century
• Only 45 percent can identify Oedipus
• A third do not know that the Bill of Rights guarantees the freedom of speech and religion
• 44 percent think that The Scarlet Letter was either about a witch trial or a piece of correspondence

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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