A student assigned to study an issue must be equipped with the appropriate analytical skills. Acquiring and applying those skills in no way depend on political or ideological affiliations. If the assignment is to give an account of the dispute about gay adoption rather than to come down on one side or the other, two students with opposing views of the matter might very well produce the very same account. Academic performance and individual beliefs are independent variables. They have nothing to do with each other....So, left-wing professors had their great success bringing politics to the classroom, and that gave rise to Horowitz's conservative "intellectual diversity" campaign, and now that the conservatives are getting successful, the vision of the neutral professor -- once scorned by lefties -- is portrayed as attractive. Hmmmm..... It is all politics, isn't it?
“Intellectual diversity” — a term of art introduced by the conservative activist David Horowitz — mandates the proportional representation, on the faculty and in the curriculum, of conservatives and liberals. Its watchword is “balance,” but balance is a political measure, not an educational measure, for it could be achieved only by monitoring the political affiliations of professors and the political content of the materials they assign.
March 24, 2007
Lawprof Stanley Fish is doing guest columns this month in the NYT, and today -- TimesSelect link -- he's denouncing teachers who appropriate the classroom for political advocacy: