Around the country, many parents and students are preparing for the first day of school. For high school seniors, this means time is running out to select the best college; for many college students, this means perusing the course catalog and wondering if “Introduction to Popular TV and Movies,” and “Science of Stuff” are still open.
The U.S. News and World Report, released yesterday, is often the first stop when students (and parents) consider which college to attend. Harvard, Princeton, and Yale routinely rank as the top three national schools. U.S. News and World Report’s rankings may be helpful in determining the average SAT score of the freshman class or highlighting the prestige of a school. But, these rankings do not address the question of what do students learn.
Enter American Council for Trustees and Alumni’s new website www.whatwilltheylearn.com
What Will They Learn fills the void left by U.S. News and World Report by examining schools based on their required core classes. Specifically ACTA asks whether students are required to take composition, literature, a foreign language, U.S. government or history, economics, mathematics, and natural or physical science course. Schools requiring six or more of these core subjects receive an A, while schools that require one or less receive an F.
The results may surprise you. Schools like Yale fail with an F, and Princeton receives a Gentleman’s C. Interestingly, out of the seven colleges that receive an A, three of them reside in Texas. Three cheers to Baylor, University of Texas, and A&M for keeping the core curriculum alive!
For the high school students and parents looking for colleges this year and for those college students wondering if “Underwater Basket Weaving” will fit in their schedule, check out www.whatwilltheylearn.com and think about what the rigor of core classes can do for you.