(From Real Clear Policy)

University-Asssisted Suicide

By Thomas K. Lindsay

A crusade by humanities professors against Florida governor Rick Scott may be, contrary to their intentions, another sign of the suicide of American education. Scott has proposed lowering tuition rates for students majoring in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) subjects in order to bolster Florida’s economy. A petition begun by University of Florida professors labels this effort a “threat to the humanities” that would sacrifice education’s nobler purposes for mere job training.

This objection comes too late. For decades, a number of academics, Allan Bloom notably among them, have decried the 50-year dismantling of a required, common-core curriculum in the humanities, arguing that what makes higher education genuinely higher is its pursuit of two objectives that transcend job training. The first is civic education, which is indispensable because no nation can expect to be, in Jefferson’s words, “both ignorant and free.” The citizenry’s capacity for self-government is not a gift; it must relearned to be re-earned by every generation, which requires serious study of the moral, political, and philosophic foundations of our democratic republic.

Universities abdicated this crucial role 50 years ago. Few colleges require even one course in American government. READ MORE HERE