Education

Fordham prof investigated for “religious discrimination” based on opposing boycott of Israel

Featured image Doran Ben-Atar, a professor of history at Fordham University, is an outspoken opponent of calls by the American Studies Association (ASA) for a boycott of Israel’s academic institutions. And wisely so. The boycott is an affront to the free exchange of ideas that should be at the heart of the academic mission. The affront is so obvious that the boycott has failed to gain much traction, for now at least, »

Who Reads Power Line?

Featured image Richard Morgan, that’s who.  Morgan is the William Nelson Cromwell professor of constitutional and international law at Bowdoin College in Maine, where he is that rarity in higher education today—he teaches undergraduates about the Constitution.  One of the untold scandals/travesties of higher education today is how fast constitutional law for undergraduates is disappearing from most political science curricula.  (There was even a panel on the problem at this year’s American »

Why Would Anyone Send His Daughter to College?

Featured image President Obama has announced another of his useless initiatives, the only purpose of which is to distract attention from the comprehensive failures of his administration. This one is intended to reduce sexual assault on college campuses. It is claimed that one in five women on college campuses is sexually assaulted–an absurd statistic if by “sexually assaulted” you mean sexually assaulted. Nevertheless, interested persons (politicians who want to talk about something »

The College Board: marching the U.S. to the left one history lesson at a time

Featured image In this post, I discussed the left-wing ideology behind the College Board’s development of new curriculum for the teaching of AP U.S. History. Here, I want to discuss how left-wing ideology is manifested in the College Board’s “Framework” for the AP U.S. History exam, which you can find here. One manifestation is, as you would expect from a leftist project, is the downplaying of our Founding. If you read the »

American exceptionalism: we’d be damned fools not to believe in it

Featured image I wrote here about the College Board’s effort to mandate that AP U.S. History be taught from a leftist perspective. That perspective is based, in part, on a critique of “American exceptionalism.” In my post, borrowing from Stanley Kurtz, I took “American exceptionalism” to mean the view that celebrates America as a model, vindicator, and at times the chief defender of ordered liberty and self-government in the world. There are, »

College board mandates left-wing narrative for AP U.S. History

Featured image The College Board, the private company that produces the SAT test and the various Advanced Placement exams, is effectively requiring that AP U.S. History be taught from a hard-left perspective. It is doing so through a newly-issued “Framework” for its AP U.S. History exam. I warned of this development here. Stanley Kurtz provides the back story. He points out that the co-chairs of the committee that redesigned the AP U.S. »

What Are Your Kids Learning In School? [Updated]

Featured image Probably we should all be past being shocked at what goes on in the public schools, but I confess that an email I got today from Devin Foley of Better Ed shocked me. It quoted descriptions, written by Twin Cities area high school teachers, of how their schools teach literature classes. This one comes from Edina High School, which was once known as an excellent institution: Acceptance and inter-cultural understanding »

The College Board, the Common Core, and “the world without America”

Featured image Years ago, Richard Rorty, the left-wing pragmatist philosopher, defended the leftist slant in university instruction by arguing that it was an antidote to the rah-rah, pro-American indoctrination students received in high school. In Hegelian-Marxist terms, high school instruction was the “thesis,” college instruction was the “antithesis,” and students could work out their own “synthesis.” Rorty’s argument was characteristically clever. But the content of high school education was always destined to »

Does leisure outstrip learning at Dartmouth?

Featured image Joe Asch reports that Mike Mastanduno, Dartmouth’s dean of the faculty, made this comment at a recent faculty meeting: More than I’d like to, I hear this: “It’s really hard to teach on Thursday morning because of what the students do on Wednesday night.” I hear that from faculty. What I never hear, and what I’d love to start hearing from students is, “It’s really hard to do what we »

Bolling v. Sharpe at 60

Featured image As Steve has noted, we are nearing the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education. This means we are also nearing the 60th anniversary of Bolling v. Shape, which was decided the same day (May 17, 1954). Bolling held that that racial discrimination in the public schools of Washington D.C. denied blacks due process of law in violation of the Fifth Amendment. This was »

Werner Dannhauser, RIP

Featured image One of the great teachers of politics from the perspective of the great tradition, Werner Dannhauser, has died.  A long time professor of political philosophy at Cornell University, Dannhauser was another of the long line of students of Leo Strauss, whom he called “the greatest teacher of politics I have ever known.”  Bill Kristol and John Podhoretz have offered their recollections, both mentioning a single Commentary magazine essay of Dannhauser’s »

What did Brandeis know and when did it know it?

Featured image When I visited Brandeis in 2005 with my daughter (then a high school junior), the admissions office bragged about the University’s activist tradition, including the fact that its alums include Angela Davis and Abbie Hoffman. None of the prospective students seemed to have heard of these left-wing criminals; apparently we parents we supposed to tell our children how cool they were. In recent years, Brandeis has conferred honorary degrees on »

Civil War on the Left, Part 2

Featured image The other day in “Civil War on the Left,” I noted how ethnic groups within the California Democratic Party are turning on one another.  Yesterday the Wall Street Journal reported on another internal fault line that is splitting Democrats in Illinois and New York, this time over charter schools, which teachers’ unions hates, but which are hugely popular with parents—especially minority parents.  What’s a politically correct Democrat to do? Hundreds »

Brandeis reverses itself on honorary degree to Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Featured image Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Power Line hero for reasons that will become clear below. Brandeis University was set to give her an honorary degree at this year’s commencement exercises. But bowing to pressure from Muslim students, outside advocacy groups, and a portion of its faculty, Brandeis has backed down. As much as I admire Ayaan Hirsi Ali, I don’t condemn Brandeis’ decision. My reasons will, I hope, also become »

Is this degree really necessary?

Featured image Scott Walker, who did not graduate from college, says he wants to obtain his degree. According to his spokesperson, Walker would like to do so through the University of Wisconsin’s FlexOption once it expands its degree offerings. Walker attended Marquette University but left in his senior year in 1990 for a job with the American Red Cross. He then launched his political career and never returned to school. Walker says »

Common Core and the new SAT

Featured image Lindsey Burke of the Heritage Foundation connects the revamp of the SAT with the controversy over the “Common Core” initiative. And with justification. As we have noted, one of the major changes to the SAT will be to align the test more closely with what high schools teach. According to Burke, the high school curriculum the folks at College Board are referring to is the Common Core. Indeed, the president »

Politically-based faculty discrimination, a test case

Featured image Today, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral argument in the case of Wagner v. Jones. Our friend Peter Berkowitz discussed the case in a Wall Street Journal op-ed (it’s behind a pay wall). Teresa Wagner accuses the University of Iowa College of Law of violating her First and Fourteenth Amendment rights by refusing to hire her for its legal analysis, writing, and research program due to her strong »