Has Education Changed Society?

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

A recent survey indicates that the educational establishment may finally be making some headway in its oft-stated goal of changing society. “Nearly half of American adults, the independents, do not fully accept either Orthodox or Progressive values,” the Culture and Media Institute found. “Ninety-one percent of Independents believe in God, and they tend to side with the Orthodox on questions of politics and sexual morality.”

“At the same time, they are ‘situational’ in the way they view moral issues and their opinions frequently lean toward Progressive opinions regarding honesty and character.” The Orthodox, the CMI discovered, make up “just less than a third of American adults” while Progressives account for one-sixth of that same population.

Of the total that CMI surveyed, three-quarters believe that America’s morals are weaker than they were 20 years ago. The CMI is a program of the Media Research Institute.

Correlation is not causation, or course, but the CMI’s other findings show a startling relationship of public attitudes and professorial ones, particularly among the very young. For that matter, the results match up nicely with the resolutions adopted at various conventions of educators, most notably the National Education Association.

“A large chunk of the Orthodox are over 45,” survey director Tony Fabrizio pointed out when the study was released in a conference at the National Press Club last Wednesday. Conversely, “a large chunk of progressives are under 45,” according to Fabrizio.

In fact, Orthodox people spend the least time in higher education, the CMI study shows, although they are as likely as progressives to hold graduate degrees. Thus, while an equal percentage of Orthodox and Progressives—13—have post graduate degrees, 19 percent of the Orthodox graduate college compared to 27 percent of progressives.

The CMI survey shows that, of the total population:

• “Only 49 percent think homosexuality is wrong. A mere 14 percent say homosexuality is right, but 26 percent say it depends on the situation.”

• “Fifty-one percent describe themselves as ‘pro-choice,’ though only 8 percent believe abortion is ‘morally right.’”

• “Fifty-three percent are willing to tolerate physician-assisted suicide.”

Interestingly, given the “help the poor” rhetoric of the secular left that dominates academia, the CMI found that “religious people are far more committed to giving[to charity] than secular people.” How much more?

“In 2000, religious people gave an average of $2,210 to charity and secular people just $642,” according to the CMI report. “Even excluding donations to religious organizations, religious people still gave $88 more per year than secular people to nonreligious charities.”

Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.