First there was the news that students in American universities study a lot less than they used to. Now we hear, in a recent book titled "Academically Adrift," that 45 percent of the nation's undergraduates learn very little in their first two years of college.
The study, by two sociologists, Richard Arum of New York University and Josipa Roksa of the University of Virginia, also found that half of the students surveyed did not take any classes requiring 20 pages of writing in their prior semester, and one-third did not take any courses requiring 40 pages of reading a week.
The research has come in for some criticism. But a larger question is: Have colleges, in their efforts to keep graduation rates high and students happy, dumbed down their curriculums? If they have, who is to blame? What should parents and federal taxpayers do?