Sunday, April 17, 2005

Don't Fuck With Our Teachers Or Their Books!

a touch late but still timely, from Feb. '05

We understand that the Education Committee is presently considering a bill, SB 24, to adopt an "academic bill of rights" in higher education. Contrary to what the name suggests, the proposal would restrict, not enhance, academic freedom and intellectual activity.

Some useful background
The meaning and intent of the Academic Bill of Rights can only be understood properly through knowledge of its history and origins. The proposal is the brainchild of David Horowitz, a writer and activist who openly claims authorship, who argues that colleges and universities discriminate against "conservative" views and those who hold them. Thus, he and other proponents, such as the Students for Academic Freedom, present the ABoR as a way to promote "balance" in the teaching of controversial issues and counter any discrimination on the basis of viewpoint.

Horowitz and others contend that Democrats outnumber Republicans on some college faculties and that political affiliation of faculty members alone provides evidence for the alleged imbalance and discrimination. Even if they are correct, this suggests that the "solution" would be to replace Democrats with more Republicans, which means basing academic employment decisions on political affiliation. Turning academic appointments into political patronage jobs is not only anathema to educational goals, it is unconstitutional.

more at National Coalition Against Censorship

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