Renewal in the UniversityRenewal in the UniversityPosted January 16, 2015, by Mary Grabar: Dispatching from the Alexander Hamilton Institute, the charming building featured on the front cover of the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy report, "Renewal in the University:How Academic Centers Restore the Spirit of Inquiry."  The Alexander Hamilton Institute is one of these centers that offers a place for intellectual inquiry for Hamilton College students, scholars, and graduate students.  Each summer several Hamilton College students live at the Institute as interns; scholars and graduate students enjoy a month of research in the summer as Bakwin Fellows (as yours truly did in 2011); community members and high school teachers enjoy free evening classes, such as the one coming up, "Media and Politics," to be taught by resident fellow David Frisk; and scholars from various fields and political persuasions come together for conferences and colloquiums.  Jay Schalin reviews several of these centers, out of a total of about 150, that are located both on and off campuses.  Of AHI, he writes, "The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization has shown that in today's world, no amount of opposition can keep valuable ideas off campus if a single faculty member is determined to have them heard."   You can read the report here.

Read more: Contraries: Renewal in the University, Angela Davis, APUSH

Boxing DayBoxing DayPosted December 26, 2014, by Mary Grabar: Happy Boxing Day, the day when servants in Merry Olde England received their gifts.  I hope that all the Dissident Profs out there, many of whom labor as adjuncts for very little pay, have a more prosperous year next year.  To read some of their stories, please purchase Exiled, the collection of stories from supporters of this site.

Some professors who are not exiled, who are enjoying the largesse of taxpayers through their institutions, are professors who were attacking police on Brooklyn Bridge. like Eric Linsker, an alleged poet who teaches at CUNY College.  The graduate of the University of Iowa writing program and attendee of Harvard, writes such profundity as "F--- the police."  In a Norman Mailer-like move, he demonstrated his street smarts; fortunately, he and his peers were prevented from throwing garbage pails off the bridge at police officers.  Had they succeeded they could have killed innocent officers. Linsker is still scheduled to teach in the spring at full pay.  Seems if you quote Plato or the Founding Fathers, you will be lucky to teach freshman classes, but if you write puerile anti-cop poetry and attempt murder on them, you will have steady employment.  And maybe a publishing contract for your new book of "poetry."

Read more: Contraries, Boxing Day, Poets on Police

frightfulfrightfulOctober 31, 2014, posted by Mary Grabar: Irony Alert, Grit, True Grit, Academic Politboro Punishing Bill Maher.  The release of the Department of Education report "Promoting Grit, Tenacity, and Perseverance: Critical Factors for Success in the 21st Century" in 2013 seems to have had a residual effect.  The report claimed that strictly academic factors were not as important as certain personality traits, like "grit," for success in school--and life.  At the risk of suffering the same opprobrium as British English professor Thomas Docherty for being too "ironic," and "sighing and using negative body language," Dissident Prof (former English professor, who like other English professors specializes in "irony") will be ironic about "grit."

Read more: Contraries: Scary News about Education, Halloween 2014

College Board-approved TruancyCollege Board-approved TruancyPosted October 3, 2014, by Mary Grabar: What happens when a school board decides not to implement the new AP U.S. History standards wholesale and insist that such courses not present a distorted anti-American version of history?  Common Core is creeping into college, taking over the rightful role of professors, as I report at the Selous Foundation, in my article, "Common Core: K-16 Education."  It's also creeping in via the AP exams that give students college credit.  The College Board, which directs the AP coursework and exams, under the direction of its president David Coleman, "architect" of Common Core, is now using its muscle to usurp local boards of education.  The most recent example comes from the Denver area, in Jefferson County. 

Several days ago, the teachers union, objecting to the school board’s decision to review the standards, manipulated high school students into staging a multi-day walkout.  While most newspapers simply reported that students objected to "censorship" or a biased "conservative" version of American history, Michelle Malkin reported the real story of teachers using the controversy to recruit students to protest for their own aims, keeping the leftist history standards and doing away with teacher evaluations.

Read more: Common Core Architect David Coleman's Imperial College Board

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