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Worries Mount on SAT/ACT Essay Questions

December 1, 2004

In a recent column, "Lack of conservatives on campuses is no surprise," New York Times, November 18th, George Will states:

-- A filtering process, from graduate school admissions through tenure decisions, tends to exclude conservatives from what Mark Bauerlein calls academia's "sheltered habitat." ... It is a reasonable assumption, given thatin order to enter the profession, your work must be deemed, by the criteria of the prevailing culture, "relevant." Bauerlein says various academic fields now have regnant premises that embed political orientations in their very definitions of scholarship."--

Will goes on to quote Mark Bauerlein, professor of English at Emory University and director of research at the National Endowment for the Arts, in his article in The Chronicle of Higher Education:

--Schools of education, for instance, take constructivist theories oflearning as definitive, excluding realists (in matters of knowledge) on principle, while the quasi-Marxist outlook of cultural studies rules out those who espouse capitalism. If you disapprove of affirmative action, forget pursuing a degree in African-American studies. If you think that the nuclear family proves the best unit of social well-being, stay away from women's studies.--

It's no secret that the radicals dominate academia.

Yet college professors are considered authoritative experts when states write K-12 standards. In Minnesota, for example, University professors of the extreme left were authors of the Senate version of Minnesota's new social studies standards, and their shrill attacks against the House-passed knowledge-based citizen standards were treated as objective scholarship.

It should concern us, then, when new college entrance exams (SAT and ACT) will now require essay questions that probe the student's worldview. The answers to those essay questions will be part of a student's permanent record. Consider this week's article in the New York Times,  "Federal Plan to Keep Data on Students Worries Some," which begins:

 "A proposal by the federal government to create a vast new database of enrollment records on all college and university students is raising concerns that the move will erode the privacy rights of students."

Click here to read an article by Charles R. Lewis which adds more to this concern.