Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Freedom outbreaks detected in Ca

Here we go again...

Senat Bill 5 in the California Senate picks up the "academic freedom" issue.
I am so sorry, dear colleagues at UC. Hope it sinks without a trace.

...develop guidelines and implement specified principles,
relating to academic freedom, of a Student Bill of Rights.

blah, blah

(D) The Legislature further declares that intellectual
independence means the protection of students from the imposition of
any orthodoxy of a political, religious, or ideological nature. To
achieve the intellectual independence of students, teachers should
not take unfair advantage of a student's immaturity by indoctrinating
him or her with the teacher's own opinions before a student has had
an opportunity fairly to examine other opinions upon the matters in
question, and before a student has sufficient knowledge and ripeness
of judgment to be entitled to form any definitive opinion of his or
her own, and students should be free to take reasoned exception to
the data or views offered in any course of study and to reserve
judgment about matters of opinion.

Er, these are University students, not kindergartners.

And I thought the whole student self-esteem movement was out, so 70s you know.
We want stringent 2+2=4 lessons, and no alternative norms will be tolerated.

(1) Students shall be graded solely on the basis of their reasoned
answers and appropriate knowledge of the subjects and disciplines
they study, not on the basis of their political or religious beliefs.


eg If someone takes an intro gen ed astro class from me, and I ask the perennial "soft question" of:
"what is the approximate age of the Earth" - the answer better be within about 3% of 4,500 million years.
Any other answer is incorrect. Independent of religious belief.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your colleagues at UC don't face the most immediate threat -- that is reserved for those at Cal State and the community colleges. You'll note that the Regents are "requested" to go along with the nutty bill, not "directed." Constitutional autonomy. Fortunately, I don't think the bill is very likely to pass. --resident dean

12:07 AM  
Blogger Steinn said...

Yeah, (well, no, I didn't notice to tell the truth...)
But! First I don't think these bills are proposed to be passed, yet. Right now they're setting the tone, pandering a base, forcing political opponents to take a stance ("she voted against freedom!"), and inuring the other reps to the concept as a norm.
Question is if these proposals will quietly fade away as an embarrassment, or start to pass.
Then we find out if they'll be passed.
Oh, and the way it works in snowy PA - "request", sure, your budget is also a "request". They like to cut budgets here in direct proportion to the insult.
cf l'affaire Lawless (PA rep tried to get a rep by taking on the PSU "sex fair"; he is now an ex-rep, but not before the PSU budget was cut by exactly as much as the "sex fair" budget - which came out of student actitivity fees, not Uni general budget. So they cut dairy farming outreach...
But PSU got the message, mostly.

Bureaucracies seem to think the Monty Python version of the Spanish Inquisition are a model to emulate.

3:41 PM  

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