A New York Times article on the vagaries of competing college rankings notes that the University of Arkansas was one of only five colleges among 100 studied to get an A for giving sufficient emphasis to core courses.
Nor do the top U.S. News universities fare well on a new report card by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, an academic group whose causes include stronger general education requirements in traditional subjects like history, literature and the hard sciences.
In a report card released Wednesday looking at 100 leading colleges, ACTA gave an ''F'' to nine of the U.S. News top 20 national universities, while awarding ''A''s to five schools: West Point, Texas A&M, University of Texas, University of Arkansas and City University of New York-Brooklyn College.
ACTA said it found almost 90 percent of the leading schools fail to require a survey course in American government or history. Just two -- the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and West Point -- require economics. Meanwhile, the report card not-so-gently mocks courses that are allowed to count for core requirements -- offerings like Wesleyan University's ''Physics for Future Presidents'' and Stanford's ''Ki ho'alu: The New Renaissance of a Hawaiian Musical Tradition.''