social justice

How ‘Social Justice’ Warriors Kill Free Thought

Sixty years ago, higher education had an open culture where students and professors could explore many different social and political perspectives, views, values, and theories. Together, they would consider different approaches, argue about them, and draw what conclusions they could. But for the last half-century, universities have transitioned from an open to a closed culture, […]

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The Growing Threat of Repressive Social Justice

Most professors and students in the social sciences, humanities, education, social work, and law, and most university officials at Canadian and American universities today have adopted a political ideology labelled “social justice,” which requires redress for categories of people deemed “oppressed” for reasons of race, gender, sexual preference, ethnicity, and/or religion. For the many who […]

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Harvard’s Bootcamp for Social Justice Warriors

We notice that Harvard University is now offering a “social justice certificate,” based on 16-course credits over 18 to 36 months at a cost of $10,800. “Explore theoretical and practical questions of economic, political, and social rights through a variety of lenses,” says the pitch on the Harvard site. “Through this liberal arts graduate certificate, […]

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Disrupting Campus Speakers Is Not Just A Free-Speech Problem

From kneeling football players to campus shout-downs to professors and a president Tweeting out malignancies, America now has a new problem. Taken out of its Christian context, to witness is to make an emphatic assertion to someone else who doesn’t share your view that your view is right. That assertion, moreover, doesn’t aim to persuade […]

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Universities Torn Between Truth Seeking and Social Justice

A lengthy article by Jonathan Haidt dealing with the growing conflict over the proper goal or end of the academy ran here in full on October 23.  It was neither an original article of ours nor a reprint published with permission. It should have run–and appears now–as an excerpt referring readers back to its original site, […]

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Liberals Who Drifted Toward the New Illiberalism

Liberal. Progressive.  Liberal progressive.  Progressive liberal.  Radical.  Social democrat.  Democratic socialist.  Occupiers.  Social justice warriors. What do we call today’s leaders of the political left?  Where do they stand in the eye of history?  Answering these questions resembles sometimes trying to grab an eel with your bare hand.  Most likely it will slip away, but […]

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I Helped Shove My College Downhill

Not long ago, I wrote a piece for City Journal about my alma mater entitled, unsubtly: How My Friends and I Wrecked Pomona College. I saw it as a very belated mea culpa, for it detailed the malicious glee with which, back in the Sixties, we student radicals forced well-meaning, weak-willed administrators to abandon the […]

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State-Funded Law School Goes Partisan

By Luke Milligan Since 1846 the law school at the University of Louisville has provided nonpartisan space for individuals to teach, discuss, and research matters of law and public policy.  Despite the thousands of partisans who’ve walked its halls, the law school as an institution has remained nonpartisan, preserving its neutrality, and refusing to embrace […]

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National Dream University—a Scam that Fell Through

The University of California (UC) has put the kibosh on plans to set up National Dream University, a low-cost, low-admissions-standards college where illegal immigrants were to be trained in activism on behalf of…illegal immigrants. National Dream U. was supposed to be a collaboration between UCLA’s Center for Labor Research and Education and the union-subsidized National […]

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Quarantining the PC Pathology

Let’s face it, our noble efforts to detoxify today’s PC-infected university have largely failed and the future looks bleak. This is not to say that the problem is incurable–though it is–but it calls for a solution different from the current approach.  Here’s how. Begin by recognizing that all our proposed cures impose heavy burdens on […]

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More Ed-School “Social Justice” Studies

The Boston Globe brings news of “discord” at the Harvard Education School. The issue, incredibly, involves claims by graduate students and some faculty members that the institution is insufficiently committed to a left-wing educational agenda. Over the last few years, three “social justice” professors left the Graduate School of Education, including the husband-wife duo of Marcelo and Carola Suarez-Orozco. (She explores such only-in-academia […]

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Social Justice Art and Liberal Democracy

Michelle Kamhi is the co-editor of the online arts review Aristos, and a mild-mannered, well-spoken New Yorker with a love of art and intellectual integrity. She is also the cause of a heated controversy that has broken out in the world of art education. The source of this conflict is an op-ed Kamhi wrote in […]

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What Happened at Berkeley in November

We now have a long and fascinating report by the campus police review board on last fall’s disruptive protests at the University of California, Berkeley. The 128-page document, entitled “November 20, 2009: Review, Reflection, and Recommendations,” released in mid-June, is the product of months of yeoman work garnering volumes of evidence. It chronicles and evaluates […]

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Teach Social Justice–Or Else

A frequent allegation against efforts to inculcate “dispositions” in student-teachers is that they are fuzzy and un-quantifiable. Especially in a high-accountability climate, the rise of “disposition” outcomes is particularly hard to sustain. Here’s a study in The New Educator that answers the objection. Authored by educators at Boston College, it appears under the title “Learning […]

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Remarkable Fact Of The Day

At the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, students can minor in social and economic justice without taking a single economics course.—Reported by E. Frank Stephenson on the Division of Labor blog.

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Arne Duncan’s Balancing Act

Last year, I supported Barack Obama in part because of his seeming desire to move beyond the Mondale/Dukakis/Clinton era-identity politics—a philosophy that has had devastating effects on higher education. For those hoping that a President Obama would abandon the failed policies of the past, however, the administration’s early months offered little of the promise that […]

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The Slippery Use Of ”Social Justice”

For educational reformers, the struggle can sometimes be frustrating, in that even successes—such as getting policies that attack academic freedom repealed—generally leave in place the people who designed and implemented those policies in the first place. But, at the very least, such efforts can force ideologues to abandon easy tools for enforcing their orthodoxy. Take, […]

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Campus Madness, Part 346

– A leader of Michigan State’s student government could be suspended for emailing a critique of changes in campus policies to faculty members and asking for their views. Kara Spencer wrote an analysis of the university’s proposed changes in the academic calendar and freshman orientation and emailed it to 391 members of the faculty. As […]

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Your Next Job?

Bob Weissberg brought our attention to this job opening, at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Italics mine: The Department of Community Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, invites applications for a full-time tenured scholar focused on the theory and practice of social movements, civil society institutions and/or the third sector within neoliberalism. […]

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Should Universities Be In The Social Justice Business?

Brandeis University is now officially committed to social justice. The university’s “Diversity Statement” says that the university considers social justice central to its mission. Is this controversial? Absolutely, says George Mason law professor David Bernstein, blogging at the Volokh Conspiracy. Universities shouldn’t be in the social justice business, according to Bernstein, a Brandeis alum who […]

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What Does ‘Sustainability’ Have to Do With Student Loans?

The student loan crisis – or near crisis; narrowly-averted crisis ; or postponed crisis – no one is sure – comes co-incidentally at a moment when many colleges and universities are once again repackaging their basic programs. The new buzzword, as John Leo has pointed out is “sustainability.” I also recently tried my hand at […]

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The Worst Campus Codeword

The academic left is fond of buzzwords that sound harmless but function in a highly ideological way. Many schools of education and social work require students to have a good “disposition.” In practice this means that conservatives need not apply, as highly publicized attempts to penalize right-wing students at Brooklyn College and Washington State University […]

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Ed School Politics – Still A Problem

Beware the words “social justice” and “dispositions” when used by schools of education and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). These apparently harmless terms lay the groundwork for politicizing the training of teachers and giving the ed schools an excuse to eliminate conservatives from their programs. The news this week is that […]

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Creating Activists At Ed School

In 1997, the National Association of Social Work (NASW) altered its ethics code, ruling that all social workers must promote social justice “from local to global level.” This call for mandatory advocacy raised the question: what kind of political action did the highly liberal field of social work have in mind? The answer wasn’t long […]

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