What do they expect?
The Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education found that “during the fall semester of 2008, first-year college students who used alcohol drank an estimated 10.2 hours per week, compared to studying only 8.4 hours per week.” One wonders if they were registered to vote.
Hoping for spare change
It’s really tempting to compare the youth vote to statistics on economic literacy among the young. The Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Literacy (CEEL) found that among college students that the CEEL surveyed:
• “54% reported having overdrawn their bank account”;
• “63% wrongly believed that bouncing a check costs less than a two week payday loan or the fees for a wire transfer”;
• “64% of college students already have one or more credit cards”;
• “42% of freshmen are already credit card dependent”;
• “61% of total respondents reported credit card debt”; and
• “25% reported owing more than $1,000.”
More Bad News
Meanwhile, “With the number of job opportunities dwindling as the economy still struggles, one number that has gone up is the number of people who are applying to law school,” Erin McDonald-Birnbaum of Smith Publicity informs us. “The Fall 2009 school year saw an outstanding 562,104 applications and the number is expected to continue to climb.”
“With students often taking out $150,000 in loans for three years of attendance, the decision to attend law school is a competitive, expensive, and time-consuming endeavor, and it will take effort and initiative to gain admission,” Ann K. Levine, author of the book, The Law School Admission Game: Play Like An Expert writes. She babysteps budding barristers through the process, including those:
• “Still in college with limited work and life experience;
• “Considering how to build their experiences and resumes to strengthen their applications”; and
• “Concerned about writing a compelling personal statement because they haven’t experienced poverty or overcome paralysis.”
Among other things, she helps them answer such questions as:
• “How do I decide which law schools to apply to?;
• “Why is the personal statement so important and what should I write about?”; and
• “How do I explain a low LSAT score?”
F for Facebook
“College students who use Facebook spend less time studying and have lower grade point averages than students who have not signed up for the social networking website, according to a pilot study at one university,” researchers at that institution—Ohio State University—discovered. “However, more than three-quarters of Facebook users claimed that their use of the social networking site didn’t interfere with their studies.”
Imagine there’s no video
Researchers found a link between teen sexual activity and exposure to raw music lyrics. They surveyed “those who were exposed to the lowest amount (of music with degrading references), those who were exposed to sort of the medium amount, those who were exposed to the most,” one of the researchers, Dr. Brian Primack of the Center for Research on Health Care at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, told The Canadian Press. “And those who were exposed to the most were more than twice as likely to have had sexual intercourse, and that’s even controlling for all of the other factors that we looked at that we thought might be related to uptake of sexual intercourse.”
Test scores may not be going up but American students have been getting more elevated in at least one way. Unfortunately, it’s chemical. “The annual prevalence of any psychotropic medication in youth was significantly greater in the US (6.7%) than in the Netherlands (2.9%) and in Germany (2.0%),” a team of researchers revealed last year in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health Journal. “Antidepressant and stimulant prevalence were 3 or more times greater in the US than in the Netherlands and Germany, while antipsychotic prevalence was 1.5–2.2 times greater.” Correspondingly, the nine researchers concluded that “Concomitant drug use applied to 19.2% of US youth which was more than double the Dutch use and three times that of German youth.”
“46 states announced in June that they would work together to draft a set of national standards for K-12 education,” the Education Reporter reported in July. “The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers are the parties responsible for the effort, which they are calling the Common Core State Standards Initiative.”
“The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands also joined the initiative.” The Education Reporter is published by the Eagle Forum, the conservative women’s group founded by attorney and author Phyllis Schlafly.
“The four states that declined to join the standards initiative were Alaska, Missouri, South Carolina, and Texas,” the Education Reporter revealed. “No major national news story bothered to address these four states’ reasons for sitting the initiative out.”
Of course, we have found that South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford has problems with many standards. The others are more intriguing.
Governor Sarah Palin held out from the rush right up until her celebrated resignation from Alaska’s highest office. “The State of Alaska fully believes that schools must have high expectations of students,” she stated. “But high expectations are not always created by new, mandated federal standards written on paper.”
“They are created in the home, the community and the classroom.” As ever, it never occurred to the elites that she might be onto something.
Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.