Saturday, April 08, 2006

"Democrats are smarter, so they get all the advanced degrees"

From Thomas Sowell's recent column, "Classroom brainwashing":
Unfortunately, there is much confusion about both free speech and academic freedom. At too many schools and colleges across the country, teachers feel free to use a captive audience to vent their politics when they are supposed to be teaching geography or math or other subjects.

... The lopsided imbalance among college professors in their political parties is a symptom of the problem, rather than the fundamental problem itself.

If physicists taught physics and economists taught economics, what they did on their own time politically would be no more relevant than whether they go swimming or sky diving on their days off. But politics is intruded, not only into the classroom, but into hiring decisions as well.

From a response from Sarah Stravinska, a professor of dance at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette:
A possible answer to what Sowell sees as imbalance in faculty politics is:

a. Republicans are teaching in private, Christian colleges.

b. More Democrats choose the teaching profession.

c. Democrats are smarter, so they get all the advanced degrees.

d. All of the above.
I hope Prof. Stravinska's teaching of ballet is better than her understanding of politics. But then she presumably sees no problem injecting politics into unrelated areas in the classroom, as she implies when writes in response to Sowell, "To strictly limit a professor to 'the subject at hand' is to limit the students’ education and the opportunity to learn the relevance of the subject to real life."

(Hat tip: Phi Beta Cons.)