Resolution Supporting Quality Higher Education Exposed

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The Resolution Supporting Quality Higher Education was passed by ALEC's Education Task Force on December 4, 2009, approved by the ALEC Board of Directors on January 8, 2010. ALEC has attempted to distance itself from this piece of legislation after the launch of in 2011, but it has done nothing to get it repealed in the states where it previously pushed for it to be made into law.

CMD's Bill Summary

This Resolution embraces the idea that public universities and other colleges have failed "to provide the college graduates with necessary skills" and knowledge and that this "threatens U.S. competitiveness and innovation." Many universities would likely and strongly dispute that characterization of the education provided at their institution, while embracing a desire to improve.

ALEC Bill Text

Expressing the sense of the Legislature regarding the importance and value of academic excellence in public higher education

WHEREAS, institutions of higher education, particularly public universities supported by the State [Commonwealth] of [insert state name], have a duty to prepare their graduates to compete in the global marketplace, lead our nation thoughtfully, and be lifelong learners; and

WHEREAS, every college and university should ensure its students receive a firm grounding in the areas of knowledge they will use throughout their lives, including composition, literature, foreign language, United States government and history, economics, mathematics, and the natural and physical sciences; and

WHEREAS, a common foundation of knowledge serves as a civic glue, binding together a diverse people; and

WHEREAS, the Citizens of this State [Commonwealth] deserve to see their tax dollars spent wisely so that their children and all children who attend the colleges and universities supported by this State [Commonwealth] are prepared to be successful as workers and citizens; and

WHEREAS, research has found that 63 percent of employers find that four-year college graduates do not have the skills to succeed in a global economy, and only 24 percent believe graduates are excellently prepared for employment in entrylevel positions; and

WHEREAS, in recent national studies, only 31 percent of college graduates showed the ability to read and understand a complex book and a mere 57 percent passed a basic test on civics; and

WHEREAS, a report by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni states that nearly half of the 100 universities studied therein do not require a genuine collegelevel math course before graduation, a mere 17 require a course in literature, two require courses in economics, and almost 90 percent do not require a survey course in United States history or government; and

WHEREAS, the colleges and universities of this State [Commonwealth] should be a model for the whole of the United States’ education system, by ensuring their students have a firm grounding in the knowledge and skills needed to compete in the marketplace and participate fully in the civic life of this nation.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by this Legislature [House, Assembly, etc.], that it is the sense of the Legislature [House, Assembly, etc.] of the State [Commonwealth] of [state name here] that:

First, the failure of so many institutions of higher education to provide college graduates with necessary skills and knowledge threatens U.S. competitiveness and innovation; and

Second, boards of trustees of institutions of higher education in the State [Commonwealth] of [state name here] should work with administrators and faculty to ensure that this State’s [Commonwealth’s] colleges and universities provide the broad grounding in knowledge and skills that they promise, particularly in the subject areas outlined above; and

Third, State officials responsible for higher education should review public college and university core curricula in the State [Commonwealth] of [state name here] and promote and reward broad-based, coherent curricular requirements covering the areas of knowledge essential to productive lives and good citizenship; and

Fourth, parents and students should select institutions of higher education that provide a coherent educational foundation in order to reinforce the importance and value of academic excellence in public higher education.

Passed by the Education Task Force on December 4, 2009.

Approved by the ALEC Board of Directors on January 8, 2010.