By Thomas K. Lindsay
Does democratic liberty depend on civic education? America’s founders thought so. While we expect students to acquire job-relevant skills in college, we also hope for something more, something higher, than employment training alone, as expressed by Thomas Jefferson’s cautionary remark, “Any nation that expects to be both ignorant and free … expects what never was and never will be.” Our freedoms are not guaranteed. They must be re-earned, through being relearned, by every generation.
Forget all that now. Harris Pastides, president of the University of South Carolina, has sparked a conflagration by refusing to obey a state requirement that public universities instruct students in the “essentials of the United States Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Federalist Papers.” His justification for flouting the law? It’s “archaic.” This is but the latest example of American higher education’s abdication of its responsibility to do more than provide job training (which, by the way, it’s also doing poorly, say employers). READ MORE HERE