Aggregator • Dr. Sanity • ID=77793
Two stories in the news recently illustrate precisely why American students are continually losing ground in knowledge, science, and logic; and why America is losing competitiveness in the global economy, as well as leadership in science.
The first is a study reported on by the WSJ on how California universities indoctrinate students:
The politicization of higher education by activist professors and compliant university administrators deprives students of the opportunity to acquire knowledge and refine their minds. It also erodes the nation's civic cohesion and its ability to preserve the institutions that undergird democracy in America..
So argues "A Crisis of Competence: The Corrupting Effect of Political Activism in the University of California," a new report by the California Association of Scholars, a division of the National Association of Scholars (NAS). The report is addressed to the Regents of the University of California, which has ultimate responsibility for governing the UC system, but the pathologies it diagnoses prevail throughout the country.
The analysis begins from a nonpolitical fact: Numerous studies of both the UC system and of higher education nationwide demonstrate that students who graduate from college are increasingly ignorant of history and literature. They are unfamiliar with the principles of American constitutional government. And they are bereft of the skills necessary to comprehend serious books and effectively marshal evidence and argument in written work
Next we have a piece, written by Michael Barone and titled: "Colleges skimp on science, spend on diversity":
How many times have you heard Barack Obama talk about "investing" in education?
Quite a few, if you've been listening to the president at all.
In fact Americans have been investing more and more in education over the years, led by presidents Democratic and Republican. But it's become glaringly clear that we're getting pretty lousy return on these investments.
On higher education Democrats and many Republicans as well have followed the same course as on public schools: Shovel in more money, in this case in the form of Pell Grants and subsidized student loans.
College and university administrators have been happy to scoop up all the money by rapidly raising tuitions and fees. Higher-ed expenses have been rising much more rapidly than inflation for three decades.
And what has the money been spent on? Some of it presumably goes to professors in the hard sciences and the great scholars who have made American universities the best in the world. Well and good.
But many university administrators have other priorities. The University of California system has been raising tuitions and cutting departments. But, reports John Leo in the invaluable Minding the Campus blog, its San Diego campus found the money to create a new post of "vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion."
That's in addition to what the Manhattan Institute's Heather Mac Donald calls its "already massive diversity apparatus." It takes Mac Donald 103 words just to list the titles of UCSD's diversitycrats.
The money for the new vice chancellorship could have supported two of the three cancer researchers that the campus lost to Rice University in Houston, a private school that apparently takes the strange view that hard science is more important than diversity facilitators.
American students are busily being marinated in postmodern progressive multicultural and diversity dogma even before they reach college. The indoctrination into the gospel of moral relativism and postmodernism begins in kindergarten and continues unabated until graduation from high school. By the time these students go to college, their minds are supple and pliant enough to be fully cooked by the tenured leftist activists on the university faculties around the country.
Do you think it is just a coincidence that the Obama's connection with unrepentant terrorist and avowed leftist William Ayers had to do with an educational project in Chicago's schools? What do you imagine that project's real goals were, when the author of the grant that underwrote it was William Ayers, bomber, terrorist, and now university professor?
Ayers was the one who wrote the grant in 1993, and hired Obama to administer it. This was Obama's only serious executive experience in his entire life, and it was a total disaster.
Today, the unrestrained incorporation of postmodern, leftist/socialist, politically correct multiculturalism, diversity and radical environmental ideas into the curriculum continues unabated.
These ideas are the foundation of the socialist and communist revival in America after the cold war (and we thought we won that one--hah!)
Regarding that Chicago Annenberg Challenge-Ayers-Obama connection, Sol Stern wrote in 2008 an article titled "The Bomber as School Reformer":
Ayers wrote the grant proposal[to the CAC] that secured seed money for the schools and ran the implementation arm of the project; Obama became chairman of the board that distributed the grants. Not only did the Times exonerate the Democratic presidential candidate of having anything like a 'close' relationship with Ayers—their paths merely 'crossed' while working on the Challenge, the paper said—but it also bestowed the honorific of 'school reformer' on the ex-bomber. 'Mr. Ayers has been a professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the author or editor of 15 books, and an advocate of school reform,' the article maintained. On Meet the Press Sunday morning, Tom Brokaw—who will be moderating tomorrow's debate between the presidential candidates—picked up this now conventional wisdom and described Ayers as 'a school reformer.'
Calling Bill Ayers a school reformer is a bit like calling Joseph Stalin an agricultural reformer. (If you find the metaphor strained, consider that Walter Duranty, the infamous New York Times reporter covering the Soviet Union in the 1930s, did, in fact, depict Stalin as a great land reformer who created happy, productive collective farms.) For instance, at a November 2006 education forum in Caracas, Venezuela, with President Hugo Chávez at his side, Ayers proclaimed his support for 'the profound educational reforms under way here in Venezuela under the leadership of President Chávez. We share the belief that education is the motor-force of revolution. . . . I look forward to seeing how you continue to overcome the failings of capitalist education as you seek to create something truly new and deeply humane.' Ayers concluded his speech by declaring that 'Venezuela is poised to offer the world a new model of education—a humanizing and revolutionary model whose twin missions are enlightenment and liberation,' and then, as in days of old, raised his fist and chanted: 'Viva Presidente Chávez! Viva la Revolucion Bolivariana! Hasta la Victoria Siempre!'
Joseph Stalin once observed that, 'Education is a weapon whose effects depend on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.'
Right now, it is a weapon of indoctrination that is being aimed at the next generation of Americans who are growing up steeped in the garbage of leftist thought.
The health of our educational system--from K-12 through college-- is absolutely essential to the long-term welfare and competitiveness of the United States. American education used to be the strongest on the globe, and to the extent that remains true, it is because the hard sciences in this country (e.g., math, engineering, computers etc.) have been largely resistant to the political taint that runs rampant in the humanities. The latter subject areas, which include literature, philosophy, and history, have become unabashedly ideological over the last two decades; and the "social justice" advocates of today's collectivists have taken over our K-12 education system and are determinedly undermining American values with their politically correct, multicultural and anti-capitalist curriculum.
But even the hard sciences are beginning to be infected.
Make no mistake about it, what many teachers today are doing is indoctrinating their students minds into an unquestioning obedience to the collective. This they cannot do unless they also can manage to corrupt even the hard sciences with their dogma.
There can be no area where a child is allowed to think freely and without the proper political perspective. That is far too dangerous for the underly ideology they are promulgating.
And, as an example of the critical non-thinking exhibited by today's college students indoctrinated into the dogma of the left, we have this egregiously mindless mantra: "No cuts, no fees, education should be free."
Like obedient dogs, they have been trained to believe that "education" is some kind of dogfood that appears magically in their dish when the "master" deems it time to eat. Beyond that, they have no idea where it comes from.
America is fast evolving from a free nation to an indoctri-nation. ... more