2017-03-01 / Letters

Local schools, colleges run by liberal teachers

I want to add my agreement with the recent letter in the Chesterfield Observer by Clayton Rhoades, [“‘Liberal’ teachers part of educational decline,” Feb. 1.] The central point of the letter was that a liberal bias has not only politicized many of our institutions, but has also seeped into our schools and classrooms at nearly every level of public education.

Mr. Rhoades supports his views by citing the recent election cycle, in which the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers contributed over $30 million to Democratic candidates and only $296,000 to Republicans.

This heavy bias toward liberal causes extends to many of our colleges and universities as well. According to a 2005 study by professors at Smith College, George Mason University and University of Toronto, 72 percent of professors at American colleges labeled themselves liberal, while just 15 percent said they were conservative. The same study also found that among these liberal college professors, 84 percent favor abortion rights, 67 percent think homosexuality is acceptable, 88 percent want more environmental protection and 66 percent want the government to ensure full employment. Such views put the majority of college professors to the left of even the Democratic Party, and it would be the height of naiveté to believe that such beliefs do not bleed into our college classrooms just as they do in local education as Mr. Rhoades stated in his letter.

Thomas Reeves of the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute has said conservatives are discriminated against routinely and deliberately in college faculty hiring because of their political and social views. He goes on to add this guarantees a perpetuation of a politically slanted, one-dimensional approach to most subjects at the college level.

A modern day example of such bias in the classroom would be the case of Ward Churchill, a tenured professor at the University of Colorado who made national headlines for his grotesque characterization of the 9/11 victims as “little Eichmanns,” who should be seen not as victims of terrorism, but as legitimate military targets. Sadly, it is not uncommon for such views to find their way into the classroom disguised as a more enlightened or progressive view of world events. In matters of race and gender, colleges practice affirmative action to employ more minority and female professors and to attract more students with these characteristics. Why won’t they do the same for conservative professors and students in the name of diversity, pluralism and academic freedom?

The unfortunate irony of this pseudo “takeover” of our secondary and higher education by liberals is that many conservative parents end up subsidizing (via tuition) colleges/universities that are actually undermining their personal beliefs and values. Fortunately, there are alternatives to some of the more highly politicized institutions of higher learning and parents must do their due diligence in searching out the best fit for their child – or deal with the consequences.

David Edmunds

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