• Deconstructing the 1619 Project
    Views
    February 30, 2020

    Deconstructing the 1619 Project

    Several years ago, I purchased a used copy of Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman’s Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery (1974), one of the five most important books on American slavery that have appeared in the last 50 years....
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  • Jackson and the American Indians
    Column
    February 30, 2020

    Jackson and the American Indians

    Everyone knows that Andrew Jackson wanted American Indians annihilated, defied the Supreme Court in a famous challenge to Chief Justice John Marshall, and forcibly removed the Five Civilized Tribes of the Southeast to lands west of the...
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  • Remembering Richard Weaver
    Remembering the Right
    February 30, 2020

    Remembering Richard Weaver

    Native Southerner and traditionalist conservative, Richard Weaver (1910-1963) was a unique figure in the rise of the modern American right. Weaver, a longtime professor at the University of Chicago, was an historian, literary critic, and...
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  • Hope in Little Platoons
    Society & Culture
    October 1, 2019

    Hope in Little Platoons

    For 26 years, I taught hundreds of home-educated students, including my own children. My checkered teaching career also includes a semester in a university, two years at a prison, and two years in a public high school. During my last 15 years of...
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  • Silicon Valley Is Dumbing Down Kids
    Correspondence
    August 1, 2019

    Silicon Valley Is Dumbing Down Kids

    When I caught a seventh student in the classroom trying to bury his Chromebook in his crotch, clumsily angling the screen below the desk to hide the networked game he was playing, I wondered whether there’s any evidence that Chromebooks actually...
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  • Campus Utopias
    Column
    February 11, 2018

    Campus Utopias

    As we gathered in the gazebo, sitting on the hard white benches with the paint peeling off in strips, nursing Marlboros—the girls wielding cigarette-holders, like scepters—we decided then and there who and what was the main obstacle to our goal.
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  • Feds: Stop “Helping”
    Editorials
    February 11, 2018

    Feds: Stop “Helping”

    Student-loan debt in the United States is now $1.48 trillion. That incredible sum is a heavy drag on the economy and a burden on young people. And federal intervention in education is the cause.
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  • The Brave Professor
    Correspondence
    October 7, 2017

    The Brave Professor

    At the University of Toronto, one man has shown us just how uphill the climb is against political correctness, and what sort of reaction we may expect if we fight it. He may also have shown us how to win.
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  • If It Can Happen Here . . .
    Polemics & Exchanges
    July 1, 2017

    If It Can Happen Here . . .

    As a Texas resident and an alumnus of the University of Texas, I can attest that Jon Cassidy’s dreary assessment of the situation there is totally accurate.
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  • The Wrong War
    Column
    July 1, 2017

    The Wrong War

    The assault on American history continues apace, with the further removal of Confederate monuments and symbols, and the expunging of anything relating to slavery or slaveholders.
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  • The Discarded Image
    Column
    July 1, 2017

    The Discarded Image

    Mitch Landrieu and his growing coalition of disgruntled minorities and public-school-educated leftists give us an idea of where a divided, majority-ruled America is heading.
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  • Farewell to P.C.
    Society & Culture
    July 1, 2017

    Farewell to P.C.

    Here is the foul truth of American higher education: Most professors outside of the straight and narrow sciences do not pursue the truth. They do not pursue it because they do not believe in it.
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  • Devil Take the Hindmost
    Views
    July 1, 2017

    Devil Take the Hindmost

    Hell is a meritocracy. Yet in America the meritocratic ideal is universally applauded. Everyone agrees—or pretends to agree—that the angel of justice smiles upon the triumph of merit.
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  • Scandalous Education: UT’s War on Standards
    Correspondence
    June 5, 2017

    Scandalous Education: UT’s War on Standards

    In 2003, the Supreme Court expected “that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary” in university admissions. That was the conventional wisdom of the time.
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  • Ut Plures Sint
    Views
    April 2, 2017

    Ut Plures Sint

    For the last three months I have been asking people at my college what the phrase cultural diversity means, if it does not mean “a diversity of cultures thriving all over the world” or “the study of a broad diversity of cultures spanning four...
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  • Don’t Just Wound It: Kill It
    Column
    March 2, 2017

    Don’t Just Wound It: Kill It

    The Department of Education must be destroyed. This holdover from the Carter administration costs us $80 billion per year, for which we have received in return a centralized educational bureaucracy beholden to wildly leftist teachers’ unions and...
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  • <em>Delenda Est Academia</em>
    Society & Culture
    February 5, 2017

    Delenda Est Academia

    [U]niversities are not akin to ships, moving through uncharted waters toward horizons of higher truth. No, American institutes of higher learning are plagues of locusts. Firing a single shot at them is as effective as squishing one insect in...
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  • Success and Failure in Higher Education
    Correspondence
    November 10, 2016

    Success and Failure in Higher Education

    Nelson County, Marion County, and Washington County are collectively referred to by their inhabitants as the Kentucky Holy Land, and I don’t think the expression is meant to be entirely whimsical.
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  • Adventures in Education
    Correspondence
    September 4, 2016

    Adventures in Education

    Last spring, students at Chelsea Academy performed A Man for All Seasons. Among the play’s many memorable scenes, the exchange in which Sir Thomas More advises Richard Rich to choose teaching over the pursuit of power, wealth, and fame...
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  • A Big Beautiful Horse
    Editorials
    July 2, 2016

    A Big Beautiful Horse

    Decades of “funding reforms” have replaced local funding with state funding, and greater and greater federal regulation of local public schools has led to school consolidation and the loss of local control in anything but name.
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  • Sometimes a Flower
    Editorials
    June 5, 2016

    Sometimes a Flower

    A substitute teacher in a public school in what is, by today’s standards, still a relatively socially conservative part of the country uses “an anatomical word during a teaching lesson.” She is fired, and the story goes viral.
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  • A Monumental Proposal
    Society & Culture
    June 5, 2016

    A Monumental Proposal

    I was recently perplexed to see in the news that Harvard, the oldest institution of higher learning in the nation, had declared that, though master has no etymological relation to slavery (but rather to magister), the word would nevertheless be...
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  • Student and Teacher Benefits
    Correspondence
    June 5, 2016

    Student and Teacher Benefits

    It’s nine o’clock on Tuesday. First into the classroom today are my Advanced Placement European History students. I begin the class, as I always do, with a prayer, and then deliver a lecture on such Enlightenment luminaries as Montesquieu,...
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  • <em>Sharia</em>, Not Shakespeare
    Correspondence
    May 8, 2016

    Sharia, Not Shakespeare

    When Allardyce Nicholl, then professor of English at Birmingham University, founded the Shakespeare Institute at Stratford-upon-Avon in 1951, he intended from the beginning that it should have an international flavor.
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  • Rhodes to Hell
    Column
    February 8, 2016

    Rhodes to Hell

    Here’s some more good stuff from the “academy” to get 2016 rolling. It concerns Cecil Rhodes, the empire builder who left an Oxford college more than 50 million big ones in today’s money.
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  • Protest Too Much
    Column
    January 11, 2016

    Protest Too Much

    On the campuses of America, fascism lives, although these modern fascists lack the sartorial brilliance of Benito’s mobs.
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  • College, Diversity, and the Middle Class
    Views
    September 7, 2015

    College, Diversity, and the Middle Class

    When my father died, I was eight years old, the third of four children. Mother repeatedly made it clear that if we wanted to go to college like our parents—and we must—we would have to study hard to obtain scholarships.
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  • Is the Game Worth the Candle?
    Views
    September 7, 2015

    Is the Game Worth the Candle?

    Our Lord taught us all about bad bargains. To lose your own soul and to receive in exchange that mere pittance called “the whole world” should be counted as one of those bad bargains.
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  • It’s a Drag
    Cultural Revolutions
    December 6, 2014

    It’s a Drag

    That characteristic feature of our age, the impressively feckless adolescent indulged by a craven and cynical media, reared its head this past October 15 in the rural community of Randle, Washington.
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  • 4.0 and You’re Out!
    Reviews
    December 6, 2014

    4.0 and You’re Out!

    When I was a junior at the Trinity School in New York, Mr. Clarence Bruner-Smith, head of the Upper School, assured me that I had an excellent chance of being accepted at Yale if I accepted the editorship of the school literary magazine.
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  • The Golden State’s Lavender Jacobins
    Column
    December 6, 2014

    The Golden State’s Lavender Jacobins

    You knew it would come to this. So did I. And yet one is still surprised by the sheer boldness of it all.
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  • Why Christians Need the Classical Tradition
    Views
    December 6, 2014

    Why Christians Need the Classical Tradition

    One of the most intriguing paradoxes of Dante’s Divine Comedy is the pervasive presence of pagan classical antiquity in what was meant to be (and is) Europe’s greatest Christian poem.
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  • Hush! It Is General Lee
    Cultural Revolutions
    October 12, 2014

    Hush! It Is General Lee

    The Lee Chapel at Washington and Lee University is the final resting place of Gen. Robert E. Lee, one of the most beloved of all Americans, and his family. It has been a place of pilgrimage and a quiet and dignified memorial to the lost Second...
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  • Homeschooling: Fortifying the Family Castle
    Views
    October 12, 2014

    Homeschooling: Fortifying the Family Castle

    Amid the disasters happening in America today, there’s some excellent news. Homeschooling has won a solid place among roughly 1.5 million children and is mostly protected by law.
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  • Subgroup Strife in  the Golden State
    News
    September 1, 2014

    Subgroup Strife in the Golden State

    It wasn’t supposed to end like this. We were all going to “get along” in a diverse, multicultural paradise, led by our brilliant universities. But in a pattern sure to spread across America, the ethnic strife in California is increasing, not...
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  • Thinking Outside the Boxes
    Perspective
    September 1, 2014

    Thinking Outside the Boxes

    In all these little boxes of the mind, the poor kids are immunized against nonconformity and carefully shielded from all those dangerous thoughts of Aristotle and Shakespeare and Vergil that might lead them to question the assumptions with which...
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  • Last of the Romans
    Views
    September 1, 2014

    Last of the Romans

    Andrew Crocker did not attend his commencement exercises at Michigan State University in East Lansing on May 2. He was home dealing with family matters. So he missed the awarding of two honorary doctorates.
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  • Conservative Education: <i>Caveat Emptor!</i>
    Views
    September 1, 2014

    Conservative Education: Caveat Emptor!

    Much of the blame for the deplorable state of higher education in America today must be traced back to the baneful influence of America’s most revolutionary educationist, John Dewey.
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  • The Left’s Long March
    Views
    September 1, 2014

    The Left’s Long March

    On June 2, FOX News’s The Five were discussing the Harvard commencement speech of ex-mayor Michael Bloomberg, in which he pointed out that something like 95 percent of the faculty had supported Obama.
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  • Diversity Where It Counts
    Reviews
    August 7, 2014

    Diversity Where It Counts

    A work of genuine scholarship tells us what we did not know before and does so felicitously—it is a contribution to the world’s body of knowledge.
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  • The Way to Translate
    Column
    June 5, 2014

    The Way to Translate

    There are people who think the classics are a dated luxury. Anyone who believes that should stay far away from the Christian Bible.
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  • Digital Enthusiasm
    June 5, 2014

    Digital Enthusiasm

    At a recent dinner party someone remarked that the two secure careers remaining in America are business and science.
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  • Bathroom Break
    Cultural Revolutions
    April 3, 2014

    Bathroom Break

    On January 1, the state imposed on children Assembly Bill 1266, mandating that all bathrooms, gym showers, and sports teams in public schools be open to everyone, regardless of sex. The bill’s official title is the School Success and Opportunity...
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  • Memories: Glimpses of Notables
    Column
    April 3, 2014

    Memories: Glimpses of Notables

    In my senior year I was editor of the high-school newspaper. (We even won a prize from the Columbia University School of Journalism.) What I remember most is the literary progeny on my staff.
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  • The Academic Industrial Complex
    Column
    November 1, 2013

    The Academic Industrial Complex

    In his farewell address, Dwight Eisenhower warned against a military-industrial complex that would seek to enrich itself through false appeals to the common good. Today, it is higher education that is growing rich by convincing the public that...
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  • Moderate Islam?
    Views
    November 1, 2013

    Moderate Islam?

    “Teachers who teach Western education? We will kill them! We will kill them in front of their students and tell the students to henceforth [sic] study the Koran,” declared Abubakar Shekau, leader of the Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram,...
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  • The Best Schooling Money Can Buy
    Perspective
    September 1, 2013

    The Best Schooling Money Can Buy

    Poor Rachel Jeantel has been ridiculed for her diction, elocution, and irrationality, but in her interview with Piers Morgan she makes a valid point in contrasting “old-school people” who “see their facts” with her own “new-school generation” for...
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  • Strong State, Strong Schools? The German System
    Views
    September 1, 2013

    Strong State, Strong Schools? The German System

    Anglo-Americans habitually disparage the “socialist” Europeans, as if it were just or fair to lump all Continental economies under one pejorative label. Rather than relying on epithets, however, would-be economic and educational reformers should...
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  • Professions and Professors
    European Diary
    April 1, 2013

    Professions and Professors

    You know what you hardly see around anymore? Professions. Professors—hell, yes, one sees professors around, even in backward Italy, pinched, untidy, jealous of beauty, suspicious as cuckolds in Molière, speaking with the forked tongues of p.c....
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  • To Reach the Limits of Virtue
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 2012

    To Reach the Limits of Virtue

    Commencement speech to the Class of 2012, Veritas Preparatory Academy, Phoenix, Arizona
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  • The End of Innocence
    Correspondence
    September 1, 2012

    The End of Innocence

    Alas for the generation born to these infantilized adults! Alas for their children’s children, too! The sins of their absent fathers’ absent fathers have been visited on generation after generation now.
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  • Boyhood and Single-Sex Education
    Views
    September 1, 2012

    Boyhood and Single-Sex Education

    In Britain, the late 1940’s and early 50’s were probably the hardest years of the 20th century. For millions of people, the postwar decade was one of icy nights in gaslit rooms, interminable queues, and meals composed of whale fat and tinned...
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  • Looks Can Be Deceiving
    Column
    June 1, 2012

    Looks Can Be Deceiving

    Whoever came up with the liberal platitude that “Children have to be taught to hate” was either a liar or a fool, or both. He certainly never had children of his own, and, if it weren’t impossible, I’d say he must never have been a child himself.
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  • The End of Education
    Reviews
    February 2, 2012

    The End of Education

    “Crazy U?” Or “Crazy Me?” A self-deprecating Andrew Ferguson must at least have been tempted by such a title. His self-absorbed son (and what 17-year-old isn’t?) would surely have agreed, had he been remotely aware of the grief that the whole...
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  • The Christian in the Cave
    Column
    January 5, 2012

    The Christian in the Cave

    Given contemporary cultural debates, it is scarcely surprising that such myths commonly focus on religious themes, usually to the massive disadvantage of religion, in general, and Christianity, in particular.
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  • Duty
    Vital Signs
    December 1, 2011

    Duty

    “For Lee,” I said, summing up, “duty was a sort of eighth virtue. This concept was a driving force in his life—perhaps the driving force. He once called duty ‘the most sublime word in our language.’”
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  • Immodest Proposals
    Reviews
    November 3, 2011

    Immodest Proposals

    Why does the institution of the university exist? The university, uniquely among social institutions, exists for the scholar.
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  • Wisdom and Science
    Column
    October 1, 2011

    Wisdom and Science

    Societies live by their mythologies, which become so passionately held that it’s usually risky to challenge them. Having said that, one major component of contemporary secularist mythology really has to be confronted, because it is so...
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  • A Sentimental Education
    Reviews
    October 1, 2011

    A Sentimental Education

    Many Americans probably think that the Pledge of Allegiance dates to the time of the American Revolution, but it was written more than a century later, in 1892.
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  • The Betsy Ross of California
    Column
    October 1, 2011

    The Betsy Ross of California

    Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed legislation requiring public schools to teach students about the contributions of “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.”
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  • Deforming Education
    Beyond the Revolution
    September 1, 2011

    Deforming Education

    Inspired by a PBS special, Miss Rhee enlisted in Teach for America, a tax-consuming conspiracy of do-gooders that sends graduates of elite colleges out to enlighten the squalid masses of the ghetto.
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  • Tarzan's Way
    Views
    September 1, 2011

    Tarzan's Way

    Last night we watched from the hotel terrace as a giant cargo ship cast anchor in the Tyrrhenian indigo and proceeded to unload fresh water for the whole of our sunburnt island, an enterprise which from that vantage point seemed a triumph of...
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  • U No What I Meen: Technology and Illiteracy
    Views
    September 1, 2011

    U No What I Meen: Technology and Illiteracy

    Most college and university professors know that even though students may successfully complete remedial courses and even a full slate of freshman and sophomore classes, many will still be unable to use proper language mechanics or to work with...
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  • The Education of W
    Column
    May 1, 2011

    The Education of W

    The great secret they kept from the boss was not a very complex one. The Middle East is a place dominated by the bitter, bloody feud between two branches of Islam, the Sunnis and the Shiites, and this feud has gone on for centuries, long before...
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  • A Holy Craft
    Reviews
    January 1, 2011

    A Holy Craft

    The opportunity for a reconsideration, indeed a reconstruction, of literary history is, in the case of William Gilmore Simms’ poetry, both enticing and rewarding. In Matthew Brennan’s analytical volume, we find the basis, fully elaborated, for...
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  • A Linguistic Dilemma
    News
    January 1, 2011

    A Linguistic Dilemma

    I taught college English for 24 years, and I still search newspapers and blogs for signs of the Beast, which, these days, attacks us mostly through language—errors of agreement, misplaced modifiers, and non sequiturs. That’s how you tear down a...
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  • Top&mdash;Heavy Schools
    Vital Signs
    December 1, 2010

    Top—Heavy Schools

    It was another day, you know—back when President James A. Garfield could define a university as “Mark Hopkins on one end of a log and a student on the other.”
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  • Collegiate Bread and Circuses
    Vital Signs
    October 1, 2010

    Collegiate Bread and Circuses

    Ah, the good ol’ days! If only they were as frolicsome and fulfilling as they commonly seem in the rearview mirror! All that notwithstanding, the shaky balance that, in university settings, once seemed to prevail between academics and athletics...
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  • Who'll Stop the Rain?
    Column
    September 2, 2010

    Who'll Stop the Rain?

    Rebekah wants to be an algebra teacher. She announced this a few months ago, about the time she turned 15. “You do know,” I said, “to be an algebra teacher, you can’t just study algebra. You’ll have to be proficient in math at all levels,...
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  • Break out the Booze?
    Perspective
    September 2, 2010

    Break out the Booze?

    No healthy boy has ever wanted to go to school. I know I did not. Parents who are confronted with a son who has played hooky or feigned a stomachache will sometimes try to reason with him, explaining why it is important to get a good education....
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  • The Uses of a Liberal Education
    Views
    September 2, 2010

    The Uses of a Liberal Education

    On September 1, 1939, an Englishman named Harry Hinsley, walking between two lines of Nazi soldiers, crossed slowly and nervously the bridge connecting Kehl in Germany with Strasbourg in France. He made it to the French side before the border...
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  • Academic Sins
    Views
    September 2, 2010

    Academic Sins

    A graduate student asked if he could take a reading course; sitting at my feet, I thought, talking with the rabbi. He was in his early 30’s, a little older than I was, and he had taught in a private school for boys for ten years.
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  • Sex and Post&mdash;Christian Arithmetic
    Column
    August 1, 2010

    Sex and Post—Christian Arithmetic

    What is a school? Today, we think of school as an institution or even as a building. But school comes from the Greek skho­le, “leisure”—i.e., clear your schedule of mundane tasks and make time to contemplate what matters.
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  • You Say Ásátru, I Say Shoresh
    Column
    June 3, 2010

    You Say Ásátru, I Say Shoresh

    In these days of political correctness and multiculturalism, the surprising thing is that there was so little controversy when the board of School District 205 awarded a $40,000 contract to revisionist historian Michael Hoffman.
    Read More
  • Ave Maria
    Correspondence
    March 1, 2010

    Ave Maria

    Tammy Ormson gave much of herself to Catholic education, both as a student and as a teacher. And yet so much was taken from her.
    Read More
  • Too Good To Be Untrue
    Column
    March 1, 2010

    Too Good To Be Untrue

    The amoeba. You remember it from biology class; it’s your long-lost relative. Don’t believe it? Well, you’re probably one of those pro-life Christian homeschooling losers. You don’t play nice with others. You are socially maladjusted.
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  • Mommy's Eco-Scold
    Cultural Revolutions
    February 1, 2010

    Mommy's Eco-Scold

    The scene opens with children at a playground, laughing and yelling as they swing and jump rope. The camera zooms in on a dark-haired little girl, seven or eight years old, running her finger through a dirty puddle. Suddenly, thunder tears...
    Read More
  • Bad Whitey 101, Second Semester
    American Proscenium
    February 1, 2010

    Bad Whitey 101, Second Semester

    The University of Minnesota’s College of Education and Human Development has declared that all prospective teachers must be taught that some teachers are too white, too rich, too privileged, and too oppressive.
    Read More
  • Don't Worry, Be Happy
    Reviews
    February 1, 2010

    Don't Worry, Be Happy

    Empire is a scattershot look at a variety of topics ranging from the porn industry to elite education. Chris Hedges believes that Americans have forsaken reality for a world of lies and empty entertainment.
    Read More
  • Letter From the Classroom: Mashie Niblicks of the World, Unite!
    Correspondence
    January 1, 2010

    Letter From the Classroom: Mashie Niblicks of the World, Unite!

    My charming, patient Post-War British Fiction-studying undergraduates are currently becalmed in the brackish waters of Lawrence Durrell’s Justine, the first novel of his Alexandria Quartet.
    Read More
  • Alex Dragnich, R.I.P.
    Cultural Revolutions
    October 1, 2009

    Alex Dragnich, R.I.P.

    The death at age 97 of Prof. Alex N. Dragnich, a leading American expert on Serbian and Yugoslav history, marks the departure of one of the last witnesses to an era in which this country’s involvement in Southeastern Europe was neither contrary...
    Read More
  • Campus Rebellion
    Vital Signs
    October 1, 2009

    Campus Rebellion

    It’s a story told regularly in the conservative media. A student pleads for advice: The professors at his college or university are left-wing, and he must choose between regurgitating the leftist propaganda in class discussions, term papers,...
    Read More
  • History and Nature
    Correspondence
    September 1, 2009

    History and Nature

    Thanks for your response. I enjoyed it immensely, and I believe you will understand that this is debate as it should be, not the invective that often substitutes for intellectual vibrancy these sad days.
    Read More
  • The Walk Up Cemetery Ridge
    Correspondence
    September 1, 2009

    The Walk Up Cemetery Ridge

    The private-school league’s middle-school basketball playoffs were home games for Prep. Prep is the town’s most expensive private school, and their gym is beautiful: spacious, air conditioned, the wall by the entrance made of plastic so the new,...
    Read More
  • Educating for Faith and Community
    Views
    September 1, 2009

    Educating for Faith and Community

    Few realize that the largest Protestant school system in the United States is operated by the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. With 1,018 elementary schools and 102 high schools sharing a combined enrollment of 149,201 students, it is an...
    Read More
  • The School of History
    Views
    September 1, 2009

    The School of History

    The seven founders of the abbey had fled their native kingdom of Hungary in 1950 when the anti-Christian reprisals and “land-reform” initiatives of the new communist regime finally moved to close down their 660-year-old mother abbey of Csorna...
    Read More
  • Stepping Backward
    Perspective
    September 1, 2009

    Stepping Backward

    When Jefferson Davis was a boy, he told his father that he did not wish to go to school. The Yankee schoolmaster, although a kindly man, demanded a great deal of memory work and threatened to punish young Jeff for his failure.
    Read More
  • Deconstructing Miss Dixie
    Views
    September 1, 2009

    Deconstructing Miss Dixie

    College-football season has begun again in the South. Here in Alabama, football is more like a religion than a sport. Having both attended and taught at The University of Alabama from the 1970’s through the 1990’s, I was at ground zero of...
    Read More
  • Mandating Failure: Federal Insistence on Multilingualism
    Views
    June 1, 2009

    Mandating Failure: Federal Insistence on Multilingualism

    English-language proficiency is one of the best indicators of a person’s likelihood to succeed in the United States. Poor language skills are often associated with poverty, inadequate healthcare, depression, and—most obviously—alienation from...
    Read More
  • A Teacher Complains
    Vital Signs
    May 1, 2009

    A Teacher Complains

    November, and my undergraduates’ glazed expressions are as good as a calendar. They’re limping through to Thanksgiving. So am I, and perhaps my eyes, too, are glazed. I find myself uneasy about teaching, for the first time in a while.
    Read More
  • School of Rape: From Health Class to Hotties
    News
    March 2, 2009

    School of Rape: From Health Class to Hotties

    America’s educational landscape is being transformed under the cover of “health.” This transformation began with sex education, which once was relegated to a subunit of physiology that addressed the science of human reproduction.
    Read More
  • Homeschooling as Mental Illness
    Vital Signs
    December 3, 2008

    Homeschooling as Mental Illness

    On March 10, California’s 2nd Appellate Court virtually banned homeschooling. Then on March 11, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene of the Centers for Disease Control announced epidemic levels of sexually transmitted diseases among...
    Read More
  • Britain's Fiery Furnace
    Cultural Revolutions
    September 1, 2008

    Britain's Fiery Furnace

    Last month, two brave British schoolboys were given detention because they refused to kneel down and pray to Allah during a religious-education lesson. The boys attend classes at Alsager High School near Stoke-on-Trent, situated approximately...
    Read More
  • Bad Whitey 101
    Cultural Revolutions
    August 1, 2008

    Bad Whitey 101

    In this space in the June issue, readers learned about a flock of students from the American Studies program at Randolph College who flapped off to the Chicken Ranch Brothel in Nevada to study the profundities of the cathouse.
    Read More
  • A.B.S. In Brothelology
    Cultural Revolutions
    June 1, 2008

    A.B.S. In Brothelology

    When I read about the carnal and scatological monkeyshines at American universities, I wonder where the American professoriate gets the nerve to call what they impart “higher education.”
    Read More
  • Beastie Boys
    Perspective
    May 1, 2008

    Beastie Boys

    After the recent shootings on the campus of Northern Illinois University, network-news programs were filled with helpful proposals for dealing with the growing problem of school violence.
    Read More
  • Cross Kerfuffle
    Cultural Revolutions
    April 3, 2008

    Cross Kerfuffle

    If you want know what’s wrong with higher education, look no further than Gene Nichol, the recently ousted president of Virginia’s College of William and Mary.
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  • Robert Frost: The Definitive Work
    Reviews
    April 3, 2008

    Robert Frost: The Definitive Work

    During much of the 20th century, Robert Frost was widely regarded as our greatest living poet. Yet the Frost poems that students used to read in college English classes were those more easily accessible: “Mending Wall,” “Birches,” “Stopping by...
    Read More
  • Facts? Who Needs ’Em!
    News
    March 1, 2008

    Facts? Who Needs ’Em!

    In 2006, lawmakers in the Lone Star State were horrified that a large percentage of Texas high-school graduates required remedial courses to gain the skills needed to succeed in college.
    Read More
  • Thoughts on Brown People
    Cultural Revolutions
    February 1, 2008

    Thoughts on Brown People

    A nine-year-old boy in Phoenix earned a three-day suspension from the Abraham Lincoln Traditional School for committing a “hate crime,” reports the Arizona Republic.
    Read More
  • Clueless in the Congress: The Reauthorization of a Reckless Bill
    News
    December 1, 2007

    Clueless in the Congress: The Reauthorization of a Reckless Bill

    The Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the No Child Left Behind Act are up for reauthorization again. This process typically entails legislators tweaking the bill—a caveat here, a zinger there. Almost always, it translates into more money.
    Read More
  • Freedom of Conscience
    Perspective
    December 1, 2007

    Freedom of Conscience

    The Illinois legislature recently overrode Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s veto of what the newspapers are describing as mandatory-school-prayer legislation.
    Read More
  • Left Implosion
    Correspondence
    September 1, 2007

    Left Implosion

    A debate I attended at the Oxford Literary Festival highlighted growing tensions between classical Enlightenment thought and postmodernism—tensions that threaten to cause a fissure on the British left.
    Read More
  • Trusting Whitey
    Column
    September 1, 2007

    Trusting Whitey

    And on June 28, 2007, by a five-to-four vote, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that most of what Rockford had endured had been unnecessary. In fact, it had violated the Constitution of the United States.
    Read More
  • Virtual Education Reality
    Views
    September 1, 2007

    Virtual Education Reality

    In his book Decadence and Renewal in the Higher Learning (1978), Russell Kirk wrote of the “personal and social danger” caused by sham schooling in American colleges.
    Read More
  • Counting People and People Who Count
    Perspective
    September 1, 2007

    Counting People and People Who Count

    My curriculum vitae still includes a paragraph describing my activities as an “educational consultant,” though it has been some years since I went to Washington to read grants or evaluate schools for the Department of Education.
    Read More
  • The Year of Teaching Dangerously
    Correspondence
    September 1, 2007

    The Year of Teaching Dangerously

    Somewhere in the Arabian Desert, a Rolls Royce Silver Spirit rockets along the highway under a smuggler’s moon. The driver is a Saville Row bespoke-suited expatriate.
    Read More
  • The Faces of Men: Education and Masculinity
    Views
    September 1, 2007

    The Faces of Men: Education and Masculinity

    This year marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of Calder Willingham’s End as a Man. Chances are, most readers today have never heard of the book, as I had not until quite recently.
    Read More
  • Sex, Propaganda, and Higher Education
    Views
    September 1, 2007

    Sex, Propaganda, and Higher Education

    Over the past few years, college administrators and faculty committees have been tackling a relatively new ethical question raised on campuses across the nation: What about sex between faculty members and students?
    Read More
  • Liberality, the Basis of Culture
    Views
    August 2, 2007

    Liberality, the Basis of Culture

    “Go day, come day. Lord, send Sunday.” My paternal grandmother could be counted on to say these words at least once per week.
    Read More
  • Shooting Elephants With Our Man in Baghdad
    American Proscenium
    March 1, 2007

    Shooting Elephants With Our Man in Baghdad

    A college professor who is planning to teach a course on imperialism contacted me recently, asking for my recommendations for the course’s reading list.
    Read More
  • Are the Good Times Really Over?
    Column
    January 1, 2007

    Are the Good Times Really Over?

    In mid-September, the original campus of Rockford’s Barber-Colman Company was named an historic district and placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s a fitting end to one of Rockford’s best-known manufacturing sites.
    Read More
  • Harry Jaffa and the Historical Imagination
    Views
    January 1, 2007

    Harry Jaffa and the Historical Imagination

    In the 1970’s, Mel Bradford and I were teaching at the University of Dallas, which offered a doctoral program in politics and literature. Students took courses in both disciplines. It was a well-designed curriculum and produced some first-rate...
    Read More
  • Tax Credits and Education Reform: No Simple Task
    Correspondence
    September 1, 2006

    Tax Credits and Education Reform: No Simple Task

    Over the last decade, the state of Arizona has made ground-breaking attempts at K-12 education reform.
    Read More
  • Shades of Blue
    Column
    September 1, 2006

    Shades of Blue

    The Rockford Public Schools, as longtime readers of Chronicles know, have seen more than their fair share of troubles.
    Read More
  • Educated at Home
    Views
    September 1, 2006

    Educated at Home

    This has been a happy time: I’ve spent all day with my family, eaten a fine meal, played with my grandchildren, been to a baptism, and I went to communion.” These were the words of my uncle—with their telling rhetorical climax—on leaving his...
    Read More
  • Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off
    Perspective
    September 1, 2006

    Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

    It has been many decades since American professors were scholars or scientists who could take an intelligent interest in a wide range of subjects, but they doggedly persist in repeating the opinions they have picked up like so much lint.
    Read More
  • Too Much Monkey Business
    Views
    September 1, 2006

    Too Much Monkey Business

    Watching a disaster or beholding a disintegration is inherently destructive, but there is also an element of morbid fascination. Might there be, as well, a redemptive element in tracking the entropic parabola of the great fall of yet another...
    Read More
  • Education to the Rescue
    Views
    September 1, 2006

    Education to the Rescue

    In the early 1900’s, Reconstruction studies (excluding the work of W.E.B. DuBois) approved quick restoration of states, Andrew Johnson’s strict constitutionalism, and white Southerners’ revolt against military and Republican rule (which consisted...
    Read More
  • The <i>I</i>-Word
    Letters to the Bishop
    August 3, 2006

    The I-Word

    This past May, I attended commencement ceremonies at Christendom College, where James, the oldest son of my oldest friend, was graduating with a degree in philosophy. Some of our fellow countrymen would declare such a degree about as useful as...
    Read More
  • The Saint of the Sourdoughs
    Column
    July 1, 2006

    The Saint of the Sourdoughs

    More than 20 years ago, I presented a paper on the Old West at an historical conference and was surprised to find that I upset several female professors in the audience.
    Read More
  • Profiling and Spying: A Necessary Evil
    Column
    March 1, 2006

    Profiling and Spying: A Necessary Evil

    Gary S. Becker, a professor of economics and sociology at the University of Chicago and a 1992 Nobel Prize winner, cannot be accused of “racism.”
    Read More
  • The Real Crisis of Higher Education
    Vital Signs
    February 2, 2006

    The Real Crisis of Higher Education

    The current debate about the state and future of higher education seems to center on the question of whether a college degree is a “privilege” or a “right.”
    Read More
  • Agrarianism From Hesiod to Bradford
    Perspective
    November 3, 2005

    Agrarianism From Hesiod to Bradford

    What does it mean to be an “agrarian”? In reading Southern literary journals, I get the impression that the “agrarians” were an isolated group of writers who, nostalgic for the preindustrial South, celebrated in prose and verse the bygone...
    Read More
  • You Can’t Always Get What You Want
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 2005

    You Can’t Always Get What You Want

    My meeting with the college dean was a disillusioning experience. I had figured that it would take about ten minutes to fill out the required paperwork to transfer from this private college to a state university, but, when I emerged a half-hour...
    Read More
  • Confessions of an Autodidact
    Views
    September 1, 2005

    Confessions of an Autodidact

    In what follows, I shall recommend a few books that I have found valuable and then offer some suggestions on how to analyze critically what you are reading.
    Read More
  • I’m Just a Travelin’ Man
    Views
    September 1, 2005

    I’m Just a Travelin’ Man

    “Education begins with life,” said Benjamin Franklin somewhere. That was how it always seemed to me when I was growing up in Southern Ireland in the 1970’s and 80’s.
    Read More
  • The Wrong War
    Column
    August 1, 2005

    The Wrong War

    I am nervous about the course I am teaching, this coming fall, about World War II. As I will explain to the class from the outset, there are a few things I do not know about the topic—namely, when the war began, when it ended, where it happened,...
    Read More
  • Final Solution
    News
    April 1, 2005

    Final Solution

    Public education exacerbates today’s toxic youth subculture. The combined forces of advertisers, television, teen magazines, and internet spammers have lured our nation’s youth into lives of promiscuity.
    Read More
  • Everybody Hans Küng Tonight!
    Correspondence
    March 1, 2005

    Everybody Hans Küng Tonight!

    “If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?” This old bit of black humor popped into my mind as I drove home from a local college after attending a lecture, entitled “My Long Road to a Global Ethic,” delivered by dissident...
    Read More
  • The Abolition of Learning
    Views
    March 1, 2005

    The Abolition of Learning

    In 1997, the headmaster of the English secondary school in which I was teaching ordered a bibliocaust. The inspectors were coming, and he wanted our library to look up-to-date.
    Read More
  • Education and Authority
    Views
    January 1, 2005

    Education and Authority

    I had taught in private schools for years, but I hesitated before entering the classroom to teach my first lesson in the state sector. I stopped a colleague in the corridor and asked him for advice.
    Read More
  • One Moment in Time
    Column
    September 2, 2004

    One Moment in Time

    For in Turner School, as in Balgrummo Lodging, unspeakable horrors—indeed, ritual murders—have taken place, and the closer we come, the more strongly I feel the possibility of unavenged souls trapped in the place of their bodies’ destruction—and...
    Read More
  • Fighting Among the Hedgerows
    Perspective
    September 2, 2004

    Fighting Among the Hedgerows

    As a young college student, I accepted implicitly all the goals of the Civil Rights revolution.
    Read More
  • There’s No Place Like Home
    Views
    September 2, 2004

    There’s No Place Like Home

    Every school has a playground for its pupils; English schools provide a playground for politicians, too. Children seek security, regularity, and continuity: The games they play in the schoolyard observe rules that do not change.
    Read More
  • Why Johnny Shouldn’t Vouch
    Reviews
    July 1, 2004

    Why Johnny Shouldn’t Vouch

    For some time now, the panacea offered by conservatives and libertarians for improving the education of American youth has been vouchers. There is no question that government schools are failing miserably.
    Read More
  • Trust(s) in the Media
    Vital Signs
    June 3, 2004

    Trust(s) in the Media

    Back when I was in college, a sociology professor assigned our class Michael Parenti’s Inventing Reality for reading and review.
    Read More
  • Terms of Empowerment
    Vital Signs
    January 1, 2004

    Terms of Empowerment

    Imagine, if you can, thousands of parents last January insisting that the Fairfax County, Virginia, school board distribute a 169-question sex survey to their 13-, 15-, and 17-year-olds.
    Read More
  • Naked in the Public Square
    Reviews
    December 3, 2003

    Naked in the Public Square

    The recent battle over the removal of a 5,280-pound monument to the Ten Commandments placed in the lobby of the Alabama Supreme Court by Chief Justice Roy Moore has deep religious and civil roots stemming from the Protestant Reformation and...
    Read More
  • Michigan’s Race Factor
    Vital Signs
    October 1, 2003

    Michigan’s Race Factor

    The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 23 decision striking down the University of Michigan’s race-based undergraduate admissions policy ended a decade-long struggle started by university administrators and finished by conservative legislators and their...
    Read More
  • The Heart's Own Instinct
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 2003

    The Heart's Own Instinct

    Presbyterians have a particular reputation. We are a rather staid bunch, more comfortable in the environs of the country club than those of the chicken farm, more atuned to the hoity-toity, less to hoi polloi.
    Read More
  • Real Education Reform
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 2003

    Real Education Reform

    Over the years, the NEA has amassed some 300 policy positions, itemized as annual resolutions and set out in a published legislative agenda. The publication purportedly reflects all educators’ beliefs on assorted issues, from homosexual advocacy...
    Read More
  • Trick or Treat?
    Correspondence
    September 1, 2003

    Trick or Treat?

    During my first semester as a graduate teaching assistant, I was fired from my job at a coffee shop for mv inability to act phony. Anyway, this is what I suspected my particularly phony employer meant by a "bad attitude."
    Read More
  • Children in the Hellmouth
    Correspondence
    September 1, 2003

    Children in the Hellmouth

    In the week before English schools closed for the summer, three educational news items grabbed the national headlines. This is not especially remarkable in itself: English education has been in a state of revolution for years, and unsettling...
    Read More
  • Classical Education <em>Redivivus</em>
    Views
    September 1, 2003

    Classical Education Redivivus

    No one really owns the copyright to the word classical. Even in the realm of education, many are pursuing distinct objectives, and all with a legitimate claim to that word. From neoclassicists to Thomists to classical Protestants, the word...
    Read More
  • Notes on American Education
    Views
    September 1, 2003

    Notes on American Education

    The great American universities are, on the whole, the best in the world, and any European who comes to teach in them is sure to be impressed by the liveliness and enthusiasm of many American students.
    Read More
  • Long Day’s Journey Into Ignorance
    Reviews
    June 1, 2003

    Long Day’s Journey Into Ignorance

    In Céline’s nightmarish masterpiece, Journey to the End of the Night, the hero reaches America in a slave ship. He escapes, but the rest of the crew refuses to go with him. They have their reasons.
    Read More
  • Bushwhacking Johnny
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 2002

    Bushwhacking Johnny

    At dinner, ten-year-old Johnny is sullen and uncommunicative. It has been a bad day. His parents pass off his ill humor as “going through a phase.” Actually, it was an easy day—taken up with “another stupid school assembly.”
    Read More
  • A “Communist” Education Remembered
    Views
    September 1, 2002

    A “Communist” Education Remembered

    Belgrade’s Tenth Gymnasium was a well-proportioned neoclassical building in a leafy park three miles from the city center. Built by King Alexander shortly before his ill-fated trip to Marseilles, it bore his name until the Partisans’ victory in...
    Read More
  • Education, Schooling, Learning
    Views
    September 1, 2002

    Education, Schooling, Learning

    I do not like the word education—especially when it is not only confused with but mistaken for learning.
    Read More
  • The Pledge of Allegiance
    Cultural Revolutions
    August 1, 2002

    The Pledge of Allegiance

    The Pledge of Allegiance’s ban by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will probably have been reversed and the public furor will have faded away by the time this issue of your favorite journal reaches you.
    Read More
  • Taking God Out of School
    Cultural Revolutions
    August 1, 2002

    Taking God Out of School

    The Pledge of Allegiance, as this issue goes to press, is illegal for children in the public schools of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington state to recite, because it contains the words “under God.”
    Read More
  • A Topic of Concern
    Cultural Revolutions
    July 3, 2002

    A Topic of Concern

    Public-school finance, as a topic of concern, reminds us that the egalitarian impulse lives on imperishably. Mankind must be hard-wired to scratch the ears of the perceived—generally self-defined—underdog, before siccing him on the perceived top...
    Read More
  • Educating for <em>Jeopardy</em>
    Correspondence
    July 3, 2002

    Educating for Jeopardy

    In 1986, I enrolled my oldest daughter in the same public school that my husband and I had attended. I knew from my experience in public education that there were problems, but I was hopeful that, with our participation in her schooling, she...
    Read More
  • A Politically Incorrect University
    Cultural Revolutions
    May 1, 2002

    A Politically Incorrect University

    Texas A & M, founded in 1876, is one of those educational entities a certain kind of Texan recoils from praising too lavishly—the kind of Texan who went to the rival University of Texas and grew up deriding the Aggies as abrasive bumpkins.
    Read More
  • Cowboys and Indians
    Views
    May 1, 2002

    Cowboys and Indians

    This little piece requires a head note. Oddly, it is the only thing I have ever written that was honest-to-God censored. I was asked by the Chronicle of Higher Education to write a short opinion piece on the subject of contemporary creative...
    Read More
  • “Think of the Children!”
    Views
    May 1, 2002

    “Think of the Children!”

    “School cuts would hurt neediest kids,” the headline in the local Gannett paper proclaimed. With the spring primary just days away, the administration of Rockford School District 205 was urging the public to pass the third education referendum...
    Read More
  • Through A Glass, Darkly
    Column
    April 1, 2002

    Through A Glass, Darkly

    Rockford, as the local Gannett paper never ceases to remind us, is stubbornly average—in population, ethnic composition, income level—with a few notable exceptions, particularly astronomic property taxes and abysmal public-school test scores.
    Read More
  • Robbing Paul to Pay Paul
    Column
    March 1, 2002

    Robbing Paul to Pay Paul

    After 12 years under federal rule, Rockfordians are looking forward to the end of the People Who Care school-desegregation lawsuit on June 30, 2002. If the district administration and the school board have their way, however, the fat...
    Read More
  • Happy Holidays? Bah! Humbug!
    Vital Signs
    December 1, 2001

    Happy Holidays? Bah! Humbug!

    In 1938, Whittaker Chambers broke with the Communist Party. In Witness, Chambers describes his Christmas that year as one of great joy, in which he first told his children the Christmas story.
    Read More
  • Who's Slave and Who's Massa?
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 2001

    Who's Slave and Who's Massa?

    Of all the strange bedfellows that politics attracts, one of the oddest is the enduring liaison between the black civil-rights establishment and white liberal academics.
    Read More
  • Credit Where Credit's Due
    Correspondence
    September 1, 2001

    Credit Where Credit's Due

    Tony Blair's promised target before being elected to his first term in office was "Education, education, education"; some months into his second term, it is clear that his promise has been honored, and that his target has been hit—clean between...
    Read More
  • Waking Up to Dumbing Down
    Reviews
    September 1, 2001

    Waking Up to Dumbing Down

    Chronicles readers may be rather tired of hearing about "dumbing down," but the ugly term is just now starting to attain cliché status in Britain.
    Read More
  • Breakin' Up Is Hard To Do
    Column
    September 1, 2001

    Breakin' Up Is Hard To Do

    After the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals officially declared that the Rockford school-desegregation lawsuit would come to an end on June 30, 2002, many Rockfordians simply assumed that a return to local control would solve all of our problems.
    Read More
  • <em>Sic et Non?</em>
    Views
    September 1, 2001

    Sic et Non?

    A number of years ago, when I was teaching a ninth-grade religion class (in Switzerland, where religion is taught in public schools), one of the boys said to me, "All religions teach the same thing."
    Read More
  • Calculated Acts of Goodness
    Vital Signs
    August 1, 2001

    Calculated Acts of Goodness

    How could this be? In a Catholic school? Here? This is what they're teaching our kids? I stopped, transfixed.
    Read More
  • Free at Last
    Column
    June 1, 2001

    Free at Last

    The Rockford school-desegregation lawsuit is finally over—or at least it will be, on Sunday, June 30, 2002.
    Read More
  • A Confederacy of Dunces
    Vital Signs
    May 1, 2001

    A Confederacy of Dunces

    The death of a social movement is an instructive and sobering phenomenon. After years of greatness and influence, an idea eventually sickens and dies, until its adherents are reduced to a pathetic handful.
    Read More
  • Can American Legal Education Be Fixed?
    Vital Signs
    January 1, 2001

    Can American Legal Education Be Fixed?

    For about a decade now, the loudest wailing over the state of affairs has come from Chief Judge Harry Edwards of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, who wrote a landmark article in the Michigan Law Review in 1992.
    Read More
  • School Days
    Vital Signs
    January 1, 2001

    School Days

    No one could see where the floor began and the rubbish ended. A window down the hall shattered. and I could hear the tinkle and clatter as the last broken pieces hit the ones that had preceded them.
    Read More
  • Rockford School Case
    Cultural Revolutions
    October 1, 2000

    Rockford School Case

    The Rockford school case continues, and, as the most recent ruling by Magistrate P. Michael Mahoney makes clear, there is no end in sight.
    Read More
  • The Life of the Mind in Glitter Gulch
    Vital Signs
    October 1, 2000

    The Life of the Mind in Glitter Gulch

    For seven years (1989-96), I was a full time faculty member at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). I grew up in Las Vegas, earning a B.A. in philosophy from UNLV in 1983 before going to graduate school.
    Read More
  • Uncle Sam's Classroom
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 2000

    Uncle Sam's Classroom

    Yolanda and Raul Salazar of Miami, Florida, naturalized citizens who escaped Castro's Cuba, are finding out the hard way that Uncle Sam's classrooms are not about proficiency at anything, or literacy, or basics.
    Read More
  • Barbecue Shacks, Palmetto Groves, and Other Schools
    Views
    September 1, 2000

    Barbecue Shacks, Palmetto Groves, and Other Schools

    The smog of political correctness hangs heavily over most American colleges and universities.
    Read More
  • Going the Distance
    Views
    September 1, 2000

    Going the Distance

    Homeschooling parents are all too aware of the hazards they face in signing up a beloved child for four years at Ivy U, Good Old State U, or even Used-to-be Christian College.
    Read More
  • After the Avalanche
    Views
    September 1, 2000

    After the Avalanche

    When C.S. Lewis wrote that there was more distance between us and Jane Austen than between Jane Austen and Plato, he was remarking on a cataclysm that colleges and universities had not escaped.
    Read More
  • Adam Smith University: A Modest Proposal
    Vital Signs
    June 1, 2000

    Adam Smith University: A Modest Proposal

    Fellow investors: Here is our business plan. The route to big profits is to find an industry that is oversized, inefficient, smug, and self-satisfied and then give it an injection of good old-fashioned business competition.
    Read More
  • BJU, R.I.P.
    Cultural Revolutions
    May 1, 2000

    BJU, R.I.P.

    Although the Greenville, South Carolina, haven of fundamentalism is still holding classes, the New World Order's steamroller has flattened the life out of Bob Jones University.
    Read More
  • Out of the Closet and Into the Schools
    Vital Signs
    May 1, 2000

    Out of the Closet and Into the Schools

    Relying upon federal legislation intended to allow Bible clubs equal access in high schools, a student homosexual group is demanding not only meeting space but official approval at a Salt Lake City high school.
    Read More
  • Public Schools: The Medium Is the Message
    Vital Signs
    April 1, 2000

    Public Schools: The Medium Is the Message

    The shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, are still reverberating—accentuating some of the enormous problems with public education.
    Read More
  • Virtual Education
    Round Table Discussion
    January 1, 2000

    Virtual Education

    Having observed and worked for over 30 years in what is euphemistically called American higher education, it seems to me that what is worst about it is not what it teaches but how it misrepresents itself.
    Read More
  • Schools Under Siege
    Vital Signs
    December 1, 1999

    Schools Under Siege

    American public education is under siege, but not by kids with guns, as the somber reporters of the six o'clock news would have us believe.
    Read More
  • The Teaching Evolution
    Cultural Revolutions
    November 1, 1999

    The Teaching Evolution

    The teaching evolution is back in the news, in a case that the media—with their usual sensationalism—are comparing to the Scopes trial of 75 years ago.
    Read More
  • Computer Cult
    Vital Signs
    November 1, 1999

    Computer Cult

    Forget Back to Basics, language immersion. New (and newer and newer Math, the seven types of intelligence. Learn by Doing, the Great Books, discovery learning, arts-based education.
    Read More
  • On Mental Illness and the Frankfurt School
    Cultural Revolutions
    October 1, 1999

    On Mental Illness and the Frankfurt School

    Teachers in kindergarten and the early elementary grades are now at work applying drugs like Ritalin and Prozac to children and young people. Almost nothing has been said about the fact that most of those involved in violent school crime were...
    Read More
  • Getting With the Program
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1999

    Getting With the Program

    Suppose that you are one of five owners of a professional football team, which has just come off a losing season. You and the other disgruntled owners have gathered at a conference table to discuss plans for the next year.
    Read More
  • Teaching the "Unteachable"
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1999

    Teaching the "Unteachable"

    On the last day of the school year, I sat at my desk. My students had not yet arrived, and I was considering making a decision that would affect the rest of my life.
    Read More
  • State Education in England, or English Education in a State
    Correspondence
    September 1, 1999

    State Education in England, or English Education in a State

    Those who read my "Letter From Banausia" in the June Chronicles will perhaps recall that it described the studied destruction of the tradition of learning in English schools and its replacement by politicized, centrist, authoritarian,...
    Read More
  • What Are We Willing to Settle For?
    C.I.A. Confidential
    September 1, 1999

    What Are We Willing to Settle For?

    For nearly half a century, hundreds of school districts across the nation have battled exorbitantly expensive social engineering schemes forced upon them by federal courts under the guise of "desegregation remedial orders."
    Read More
  • I Was a Teenage Werewolf
    Principalities & Powers
    August 1, 1999

    I Was a Teenage Werewolf

    "When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school . . . ," Paul Simon mused in a popular song some years ago. Simon, of course, was in high school long before multiculturalism, Afrocentrism, Outcome-Based Education, bilingual education.
    Read More
  • Yes, California, There Is a Right Answer
    Vital Signs
    June 1, 1999

    Yes, California, There Is a Right Answer

    They say you can't fight city hall—but a group of California parents calling itself Mathematically Correct (MC) has taken on the statehouse and won the right to restore a rigorous math curriculum to public education.
    Read More
  • The 21st-century Doctorate
    Correspondence
    June 1, 1999

    The 21st-century Doctorate

    On April 1, the Litcritological Subcommittee of the multiracial, multicultural, multidisciplinary Re/Visioning Committee for a 21st-century Doctorate presented the English Department with a plan that will make Lagado University the first in the...
    Read More
  • The Education Cartel
    Cultural Revolutions
    February 1, 1999

    The Education Cartel

    The education cartel in Texas, and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in particular, have raised the bureaucratic art to new heights by congratulating themselves for failing to attain their mediocre objectives.
    Read More
  • Bondage Boy Goes to School
    Vital Signs
    February 1, 1999

    Bondage Boy Goes to School

    In a state where the rock 'n' roll hit "Louie, Louie" was banned from the airwaves after the governor deemed it subversive, Indiana University (IU) is no stranger to controversy.
    Read More
  • The Success of Direct Instruction
    Vital Signs
    February 1, 1999

    The Success of Direct Instruction

    What if the federal government spent a billion tax dollars over nearly three decades to study thoroughly the question of which teaching method best instills knowledge, sharpens cognitive skills, and enhances self-esteem in young children?
    Read More
  • Why Evangelical Colleges Aren't
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1998

    Why Evangelical Colleges Aren't

    Two separate educational movements exist within the evangelical world, one old and one new, and they are clearly on a collision course. One thing does lead to another, and he who says A must say B.
    Read More
  • More Power to the Faculty?
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1998

    More Power to the Faculty?

    "More power to the faculty" is the current rallying cry of academic reformers. This idea pops up with a persistence that goes beyond ideological divides, appealing even to self-described academic traditionalists, who view professional...
    Read More
  • Globaloney in the Classroom
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1998

    Globaloney in the Classroom

    The longer one observes American public schools today, the more comprehensive and deep-rooted the globalist infection appears. The erstwhile revolutionary-leftist underground has become the establishment, in public education and every other...
    Read More
  • Old Testament, Yes; New Testament, No
    Correspondence
    September 1, 1998

    Old Testament, Yes; New Testament, No

    U.S. District Court Judge Elizabeth Kovachevich here in Tampa ruled in January that it is all right to teach the Old Testament but not the New Testament in public high schools.
    Read More
  • Low-End Education
    Reviews
    September 1, 1998

    Low-End Education

    Not too far from my house in Phoenix, Arizona, stands a Christian school that may just say everything about the educational reform debate in this country—and why it is so often impossible to make any sense of it, in particular.
    Read More
  • The Asphalt League
    Correspondence
    September 1, 1998

    The Asphalt League

    In his 1942 swan song, The New Leviathan, dying British philosopher-historian R.G. Collingwood called the life of the mind "a magic journey." Remarkably free of illusions regarding the life of the university, however, Collingwood argued for...
    Read More
  • It Takes a Village
    Perspective
    September 1, 1998

    It Takes a Village

    One of the most popular fads in public education is the reintroduction of school uniforms. In some American burgs, the proposal is greeted with general approval.
    Read More
  • Flies in the Ointment
    Views
    September 1, 1998

    Flies in the Ointment

    Supporters of school vouchers are jumping for joy over a Wisconsin Supreme Court verdict, handed down this summer, that permits tax dollars to be used at religious schools.
    Read More
  • Market-Driven Solutions to Public Education
    Views
    September 1, 1998

    Market-Driven Solutions to Public Education

    "If we elect new school board members or run for the board A ourselves, we can expect improved schools." This is our national misunderstanding.
    Read More
  • Funding Public Schools
    Views
    September 1, 1998

    Funding Public Schools

    The most telling moment in The Agenda, Bob Woodward's book on the Clinton presidency, occurs when the President-elect first realizes that Wall Street's bond markets wield more power than he does as Commander in Chief of the lone remaining...
    Read More
  • The Takeover of Our Schools
    Views
    September 1, 1998

    The Takeover of Our Schools

    The survival of representative government depends on the courage and determination of elected officials to defend our freedoms and of citizens to hold these officials accountable.
    Read More
  • Rockford Schools Controversy
    Cultural Revolutions
    July 1, 1998

    Rockford Schools Controversy

    The Rockford schools controversy, approaching its tenth anniversary, is taking on the mythic stature of the Little Rock, Cleveland, and Kansas City cases.
    Read More
  • Back in the News
    Cultural Revolutions
    July 1, 1998

    Back in the News

    School uniforms are back in the news. The school board of the nation's largest school system, that of New York City, voted unanimously this March to recommend uniforms for elementary school students.
    Read More
  • Harkness Road High School
    Vital Signs
    December 1, 1997

    Harkness Road High School

    Hillary Clinton would love Amherst, Massachusetts, a town aptly nicknamed "The People's Republic of Amherst." A stroll down Main Street quickly reveals that Birkenstocks and Volvos dominate the landscape.
    Read More
  • The Liechtenstein Academy
    Vital Signs
    October 1, 1997

    The Liechtenstein Academy

    "Courage," said the Philosopher, "is the prime philosophical virtue" (by which he meant the moral kind) "lacking which all the others become irrelevancies one has no nerve to bring oneself to put into practice."
    Read More
  • Dumb and Number
    Vital Signs
    October 1, 1997

    Dumb and Number

    Girls mature physically and socially earlier than boys, God's way of bettering the survival odds for female children.
    Read More
  • One Nation Indivisible
    Vital Signs
    October 1, 1997

    One Nation Indivisible

    There is irony in the fact that although prayer has been banned in our public schools, millions of American schoolkids are required to recite the pledge to the flag each day whether they believe it or understand its implications.
    Read More
  • Homegrown
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1997

    Homegrown

    I try not to put on airs about what I do for a living. I would never tell you that writing is dignified enough to be called a profession, like being a doctor or an architect. Writing is a trade, or to use a better word, a craft.
    Read More
  • The Forced Funding of Student Radicalism
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1997

    The Forced Funding of Student Radicalism

    I happen to be a conservative, a Christian, and white. I am also in the military, and I disapprove of homosexuality. At the University of Wisconsin, there is little tolerance for this combination of characteristics.
    Read More
  • Good Manners, Good Literature
    Views
    September 1, 1997

    Good Manners, Good Literature

    For this very welcome and unexpected award, I thank The Ingersoll Foundation and all concerned. When I was in high school, there were certain books that I carried around in order to impress people with my literariness.
    Read More
  • Parietals Then and Now
    Views
    September 1, 1997

    Parietals Then and Now

    As a Columbia University undergraduate in 1956, I resided in Hartley Hall, a stately building on the Morningside campus. During my orientation week I was introduced to my floor counselor who said in an unambiguous way that hijinks would not be...
    Read More
  • Popular Front U.
    Views
    September 1, 1997

    Popular Front U.

    How well I remember, 40 years ago, prowling in the stacks of a college library and reading the books, observing museum pieces in the halls of that library, and attending concerts in the auditorium next door.
    Read More
  • Johnny Bull Can't Read
    Correspondence
    September 1, 1997

    Johnny Bull Can't Read

    Education has long been a political hot potato in Britain. For decades it has been the central issue that links national politics to the politics of the localities, the politics of class, and the politics of party.
    Read More
  • In Praise of Elites
    Views
    September 1, 1997

    In Praise of Elites

    Being a lifelong elitist myself, I have long had a sneaking sympathy for a Trollope character, Sir Timothy Beeswax. In The Dune's Children (1880), Beeswax is a dignified old politician who lives not for power but, quite unashamedly, for the...
    Read More
  • To Hell With College
    Views
    September 1, 1997

    To Hell With College

    I ask my readers not to be shocked by the title of this essay. "To Hell With Culture" was the title of my last essay published in Chronicles, in September 1994. Readers of it saw that I was not an enemy of culture; and now I am not an enemy of...
    Read More
  • "Racial Balance"
    Cultural Revolutions
    July 1, 1997

    "Racial Balance"

    The Rockford schools case continues, but for the first time since the "People Who Care" lawsuit was filed in 1989, there are signs of hope.
    Read More
  • Today's Political Buzzword
    Cultural Revolutions
    June 1, 1997

    Today's Political Buzzword

    Education is today's political buzzword, and, like any issue involving children, it is quickly becoming a trump card. Following President Clinton's cue, Jesse Jackson is traveling the country, raising support for an "education summit."
    Read More
  • Rose Hill College
    Vital Signs
    May 1, 1997

    Rose Hill College

    Historians of the future who look back at us, assuming the survival of critical intelligence in the future, will characterize our times as the Age of Bureaucracy.
    Read More
  • University The New Overseas Campus
    Correspondence
    April 1, 1997

    University The New Overseas Campus

    The inauguration of Lagado University's new campus in Plagho-Plaguo, the capital of Dismailia, is generating great excitement throughout the Diversity Community. As President Bleatley has said, LU's "Semester in Dismailia" is guaranteed to...
    Read More
  • Afrocentric "Education"
    Cultural Revolutions
    March 1, 1997

    Afrocentric "Education"

    Leon Todd is the bravest man in Milwaukee. While Afrocentric "education" has always had its white conservative critics, Todd is perhaps the first black school official to seek to cut the explicitly Afrocentric content from his district's curriculum.
    Read More
  • The War on White Teachers
    Correspondence
    March 1, 1997

    The War on White Teachers

    There have been problems all along with people who have deeply resented that white teachers teach black children. That there are people like myself who had black teachers seems to be of little consequence to them."
    Read More
  • The Dirty Fact About College Admissions
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1996

    The Dirty Fact About College Admissions

    Pitting the state of Texas against four students who had been denied admission to the University of Texas School of Law because of their skin color, the recent Hopwood v. Texas case could spell doom for racial preferences in public education if...
    Read More
  • Busing and Its Consequences
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1996

    Busing and Its Consequences

    Ten years ago, federal district judge Leonard B. Sand ordered the city of Yonkers, New York, to integrate its public schools. Sand accused the city of 40 years of discrimination by concentrating public housing projects in southwest Yonkers.
    Read More
  • Abolishing Compulsory School Attendance Laws
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1996

    Abolishing Compulsory School Attendance Laws

    Last November, Republican State Representative Russ George introduced an amendment to Colorado's "Children Code" that would have abolished that state's compulsory school attendance laws.
    Read More
  • Affirmative Action and the Academy
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1996

    Affirmative Action and the Academy

    While most of us would deny that the United States has an official ideology, much of our daily life is profoundly shaped by a body of principles that are manifested in policies known as affirmative action, multiculturalism, and "diversity."
    Read More
  • Resourcemammal Eroticism
    Correspondence
    September 1, 1996

    Resourcemammal Eroticism

    Readers who have been attentive to the slashing edge of the Postmodernist Project will be aware of Lagado University's vanguard role at the Modern Language Association's 1995 meeting.
    Read More
  • Battles of the Books
    Perspective
    September 1, 1996

    Battles of the Books

    Ours is not the first age to have experienced a struggle for curriculum. On the contrary. There has never been a time in the past 150 years when the progressives have not been chipping away and undermining what had been a coherent classical...
    Read More
  • Refuge
    Vital Signs
    June 1, 1996

    Refuge

    When still relatively small, I sang in a church choir whose quality was the envy of our whole capital city diocese, so that its members, who included a chorus of boy sopranos like myself, were recruited, auditioned, trained, and paid.
    Read More
  • Colleges Against Christ
    Vital Signs
    April 1, 1996

    Colleges Against Christ

    Do Christian sensitivities on college campuses count? Apparently they do not—at least at Franklin and Marshall, where I teach.
    Read More
  • State-Sponsored Prayer
    Correspondence
    April 1, 1996

    State-Sponsored Prayer

    For practicing Christians, Judaists, and Muslims, what is at stake in state-sponsored prayer in public schools is whether the particularities that make us what we are make a difference.
    Read More
  • Whatever Happened to the New Math?
    Vital Signs
    January 1, 1996

    Whatever Happened to the New Math?

    School math textbooks 50 years ago were not written by mathematicians. The typical author was the chairman of a school science department somewhere, in a district large enough to make writing a textbook remunerative even if nobody else in the...
    Read More
  • The War on Homeschoolers
    Vital Signs
    December 1, 1995

    The War on Homeschoolers

    Homeschooling is one of the many fronts in the state's war against the citizen. Despite the efforts of organizations such as the Home School Legal Defense Association, the Rutherford Institute, and Eagle Forum, as well as longstanding laws that...
    Read More
  • Child Abuse at Waco
    Views
    December 1, 1995

    Child Abuse at Waco

    "For the sake of the children" has emerged as one of the most dangerous phrases in American politics.
    Read More
  • Under Fire
    Cultural Revolutions
    September 1, 1995

    Under Fire

    If one reads through the pompous prof-speak in this committee report, it is clear what the Connecticut Advisory Committee is proposing: faculty members should not be permitted to resist the multicultural agenda.
    Read More
  • In Praise of Inexcellence
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1995

    In Praise of Inexcellence

    All that talk about being the best is Olympic fever, ad hype. If everyone were the best, where would the rest of us be? In sports this is obvious. Perhaps not so much so in advanced nuclear physics.
    Read More
  • Eccentricity as Education
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1995

    Eccentricity as Education

    Universities are, or should be, the last refuge of great eccentrics who emphasize our humdrum norms. Such I discovered when I went up to Henry VIII's 1545 refounding of Wolsey's Cardinal College.
    Read More
  • Remembering Christopher Lasch
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1995

    Remembering Christopher Lasch

    Christopher Lasch died in March 1994 at the age of 61. Those who knew him only through his printed works knew one sort of person, and those who had personal dealings with him knew another.
    Read More
  • The Music of Chance—An APA Diary
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1995

    The Music of Chance—An APA Diary

    Any young philosopher who aspires to an academic career must, especially in these days of fiscal restraint and feminized privilege, include in his plans a trip to the annual American Philosophical Association (APA) Convention, a curious hybrid of...
    Read More
  • Humanities and the Cutting Edge
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1995

    Humanities and the Cutting Edge

    There are whole afternoons when a part of me wishes I had paid more attention in Bio 100 because then I might have ended up in cancer research, where being on the cutting edge makes sense.
    Read More
  • Caliban in the Classroom
    Perspective
    September 1, 1995

    Caliban in the Classroom

    What do black Americans think of whites? What do they want from them? The questions are almost as baffling as "What do women want?"—the question we raised a few months ago.
    Read More
  • Our Mr. Brooks
    Correspondence
    September 1, 1995

    Our Mr. Brooks

    Hometown of John F. Kennedy, Brookline, Massachusetts, blends small-scale charm with a shabby urbanity. Plugged like a weak rib into Boston's west edge, Brookline is laced with picturesque trolleys and dotted with quaint buildings.
    Read More
  • Multiculturalism in Theory and Practice
    Views
    September 1, 1995

    Multiculturalism in Theory and Practice

    I came by my lifelong interest in foreign languages and cultures honestly. Mv grandfather, Andrew Jackson King, Jr., migrated to a Hispanic-populated area of the Territory of New Mexico in 1906.
    Read More
  • Not Out of Africa
    Views
    September 1, 1995

    Not Out of Africa

    If radical Afrocentrists have their way, soon all schoolchildren will learn—as some are now learning—a version of ancient Mediterranean history that gives credit for the Greek achievement to the ancient Egyptians.
    Read More
  • When West Meets East
    Views
    September 1, 1995

    When West Meets East

    When Virginia Governor George Allen recently attempted to return the curriculum of his state's public school system to a solid grounding in Western and American history, his plan, greeted with howls of indignation from the National Educational...
    Read More
  • Our Classical Roots
    Views
    July 1, 1995

    Our Classical Roots

    On January 6, 1816, Thomas Jefferson wrote a letter to his state legislator, Colonel Charles Yancey. As we might expect, Jefferson's letter contains reflections of general interest on many topics, ranging in this case from the dangers of a large...
    Read More
  • Elizabethtown College
    Vital Signs
    June 1, 1995

    Elizabethtown College

    Elizabethtown College, the liberal arts school which I attend, now has both a radical feminist group called Womenspeak and a homosexual advocacy group called Allies, the latter, of course, filled with sympathetic heterosexuals, primarily women.
    Read More
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
    Vital Signs
    June 1, 1995

    University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

    At the heart of the most recent political correctness controversy at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, where I am a graduate student, is the proposed "Great Books Certificate Program."
    Read More
  • Columbia University
    Vital Signs
    June 1, 1995

    Columbia University

    Most of us recognize that cries for "tolerance" have become the left's weapon of choice in its erosion of those few civilized norms that remain in American life.
    Read More
  • University of Michigan
    Vital Signs
    June 1, 1995

    University of Michigan

    Nowhere is the right of free expression more hotly debated than on our nation's campuses. The recent controversy at my school, the University of Michigan, is a prime example.
    Read More
  • Socialization as Schooling
    Vital Signs
    May 1, 1995

    Socialization as Schooling

    For 30 years, elementary and secondary education has been taking on a new orientation, away from substantive subject matter toward a mental health agenda. Personality development—i.e., the "whole child" concept of education—has become the primary...
    Read More
  • Sexual Harassment and the Academy
    Views
    May 1, 1995

    Sexual Harassment and the Academy

    The current situation involving sexual harassment cases seems to underscore the correctness of this bleak vision. But regardless of what status universities may enjoy in the future, the most tragic result of this drama may be its negative impact...
    Read More
  • The Creativity Profession
    Vital Signs
    March 1, 1995

    The Creativity Profession

    It has always been my impression that people who talk and write most about the creative process are not usually very creative. It's sort of like a corollary to that old maxim, "Those who can't do, teach"; those who can't create, analyze creativity.
    Read More
  • Virulent Propaganda
    Cultural Revolutions
    December 1, 1994

    Virulent Propaganda

    "There is no God, and if there was. She made a mistake." That statement came from a colleague of mine during a class in philosophy. That is also the extent to which most public college students will hear the "G" word mentioned during their years...
    Read More
  • Becoming Clients
    Cultural Revolutions
    September 1, 1994

    Becoming Clients

    Students are becoming clients at an increasing number of public colleges. Indeed, staff members consider them "caseloads." Programs such as "Economic Opportunity Funds" (EOFs) exist as pork barrels, doling out patronage to middle- and...
    Read More
  • Student Radical Activity
    Cultural Revolutions
    September 1, 1994

    Student Radical Activity

    What a college needs is an administration capable of asserting and defending the principles on which the academy rests. Anything less weakens the foundation of a structure already eroded and sets the stage for the thoroughgoing radicalization of...
    Read More
  • Site of Cultural Conflict
    Cultural Revolutions
    September 1, 1994

    Site of Cultural Conflict

    Stanford is adding to its fame as a site of cultural conflict. When a disturbance broke out during the showing on campus last May of a short film about grape pickers and the perils of insecticide, local print media played up the claim that...
    Read More
  • Thicker-Skinned
    Cultural Revolutions
    September 1, 1994

    Thicker-Skinned

    Four years at Harvard have made me much thicker-skinned than I used to be. To be sure, it was more than a little unsettling when my freshman dormitory held a mandatory sensitivity session at which each student was forced to say: "Hello, my name...
    Read More
  • Hire Education
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1994

    Hire Education

    Technology as Reform Higher education has become hire education. That is the message of a series of recent books by Richard Mitchell, Charles Sykes, Thomas Sowell, Roger Kimball, Dinesh D'Souza, and Richard Huber.
    Read More
  • On Liberal Education
    Perspective
    September 1, 1994

    On Liberal Education

    My definition of liberal education as the education of liberals no longer sounds provocative. Liberalism, having failed and failed disastrously in all its political experiments from church disestablishment to women's suffrage to food stamps,...
    Read More
  • Back to Basics
    Correspondence
    September 1, 1994

    Back to Basics

    The day after last year's election that torpedoed our nation's most advanced experiment in "Outcome Based Education" (OBE), a pleasant-faced teacher appeared on the evening news. "Shocked and depressed," she said she was.
    Read More
  • On Campus With the National AIDS Quilt
    Correspondence
    September 1, 1994

    On Campus With the National AIDS Quilt

    It was a sleepy Sunday afternoon when a section of the national AIDS quilt visited Winthrop University. The sun, slipping low into the tops of the pines, shown red across the sparsely populated campus.
    Read More
  • The Politics of Education and the Metaphysics of Emptiness
    Views
    September 1, 1994

    The Politics of Education and the Metaphysics of Emptiness

    The president of a prominent liberal arts college recently conveyed to its philosophy department (and to other constituencies) that regulations may soon be in place which would influence, if not altogether control, the conferring of bachelor's...
    Read More
  • Academic Charlatanism
    Cultural Revolutions
    July 1, 1994

    Academic Charlatanism

    Academic charlatanism these days includes not only defenses of plagiarism and violent campaigns of intimidation against proscribed opinion. These symptoms of the bankruptcy of humanistic learning worry some and find celebration among others.
    Read More
  • Follow the Money
    Cultural Revolutions
    March 1, 1994

    Follow the Money

    The California Teachers Association (CTA) and its allies raised $17 million to defeat Proposition 174, California's school voucher initiative, which proposed granting parents a voucher worth as much as $2,600 that could be applied to tuition at...
    Read More
  • Governor William Weld's Manly Agenda
    Vital Signs
    February 1, 1994

    Governor William Weld's Manly Agenda

    Does Massachusetts Governor William Weld want to "Empower America" or "Empower Queer Nation"? Social conservatives who hold out an inkling of hope that "Empower America" might actually pay attention to their issues should take a closer look at...
    Read More
  • Academia Abroad
    Correspondence
    November 1, 1993

    Academia Abroad

    Many alumni of a junior year abroad summarize their experience as "enjoyable," "enlightening," or even "empowering." Others rely on their senses in recalling the niceties of life in another country.
    Read More
  • Academic Snobbery
    Vital Signs
    October 1, 1993

    Academic Snobbery

    "Different strokes for different folks" means, in academic language, "We have our own culture, so bug off." Europeans tell this to Americans who are curious about native habits.
    Read More
  • Trends to Come
    Cultural Revolutions
    September 1, 1993

    Trends to Come

    The American Academy of Religion should change its name to the American Unacademy of Ethno-Religio-Secular Fashions, if its call for papers for its annual meeting in Washington this autumn is any indication of trends to come.
    Read More
  • The Real Target of Public Schools
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1993

    The Real Target of Public Schools

    Last school year, my son—who was a fourth grader at a public school— came home with a red piece of paper entitled "Family Call to Action."
    Read More
  • Outcome-Based Education
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1993

    Outcome-Based Education

    Outcome-Based Education, which has been around awhile under other names, has gradually become Big Education's main answer to the chorus of cries for "reform" that followed the Department of Education's publication of the A Nation at Risk report...
    Read More
  • Taboos and Blasphemies
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1993

    Taboos and Blasphemies

    When I first read that the now late Ayatollah Khomeini had sentenced Salman Rushdie to death, I, like most of you, reacted with both horror and disgust. The leader of Iran sent out an order to kill a citizen of the United Kingdom for something he...
    Read More
  • On Buffalo and Bias
    Correspondence
    September 1, 1993

    On Buffalo and Bias

    Sheldon Hackney, president of the University of Pennsylvania, was recently chosen to head the National Endowment for the Humanities. Dr. Hackney has been described by the Chronicle of Higher Education as something of a moderate with a passion for...
    Read More
  • Mimesis and Perjury
    Views
    September 1, 1993

    Mimesis and Perjury

    A tidal wave of intellectual, and sometimes financial, fraud is hanging above the happy tropical village of American academia, threatening to crash down on it and sweep it away into the off-shore reefs.
    Read More
  • The Myths of the Social Sciences
    Views
    September 1, 1993

    The Myths of the Social Sciences

    Several years ago one of my former roommates at Harvard, now an economist with the United Nations, dropped by for a visit. We drifted into an informal review of the social science courses we had taken at Harvard in the late 1950's.
    Read More
  • Jesting With Pilate
    Perspective
    September 1, 1993

    Jesting With Pilate

    Americans pretend to be shocked whenever one of their national celebrities gets caught out in a lie. Is it really so surprising that Michael Jordan should attempt to conceal his gambling or that Bill Clinton should hide his cochonnerie?
    Read More
  • A Dangerous Mindset
    Cultural Revolutions
    June 1, 1993

    A Dangerous Mindset

    Offering Norplant in on-site clinics at public schools in Baltimore might seem like one of those evils that is necessary or even inevitable: this is, after all, a city where one in ten girls between the ages of 15 and 17 gave birth in 1990.
    Read More
  • Passing the Bottle
    Correspondence
    June 1, 1993

    Passing the Bottle

    In the aftermath of a conference not long ago, a dozen of us spent a night in downtown Little Rock. (No, this wasn't the Economic Summit. It was a gathering of poets, novelists, and essayists to discuss Southern autobiography, and the talk was a...
    Read More
  • The Last Battleground
    Cultural Revolutions
    January 1, 1993

    The Last Battleground

    The breakfast table is the latest battleground in the war against the family. School-based breakfast programs have been tried at the local level for years, and the idea goes back at least as far as the Black Panthers in the 1960's. The big push...
    Read More
  • Who Will Make a Difference?
    Cultural Revolutions
    September 1, 1992

    Who Will Make a Difference?

    As the academic year commences, students wonder which professors will make a difference, and which won't. Here is the story of a professor who made a difference-someone who believed that education is for the courageous, that striving to surpass...
    Read More
  • Petty Squabbles
    Cultural Revolutions
    September 1, 1992

    Petty Squabbles

    Political Correctness continues on many of the nation's campuses. Many Americans still regard the whole affair as a petty squabble among eggheads, unrelated to their daily lives. However, a recent skirmish in the PC wars illustrates only too well...
    Read More
  • The Greatest Error of the Homeschool
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1992

    The Greatest Error of the Homeschool

    There is little question or doubt in the public mind about the value of the homeschool. Homeschooled kids better behaved than children from public schools. homeschooled youngsters seldom become involved in gangs, seldom use drugs to excess, and...
    Read More
  • In Loco Parentis, Part II
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1992

    In Loco Parentis, Part II

    My ten years of research have finally paid off. My article in the February 1991 Chronicles, "In Loco Parentis: The Brave New Family in Missouri," has led to nationwide opposition to the Parents as Teachers (PAT) program that began here in Missouri.
    Read More
  • Rubber Hands and Iron Triangles
    Reviews
    September 1, 1992

    Rubber Hands and Iron Triangles

    After a decade of "reform," the public schools are at best stagnant. The College Board reports that SAT scores for college-hound 12th-graders have dropped for the fourth consecutive year, with the average score on the verbal section reaching an...
    Read More
  • The Yard as Barnyard
    Correspondence
    September 1, 1992

    The Yard as Barnyard

    Harvard University publishes a glossy magazine called, of course, Harvard Magazine. It is sent free once in a while to all graduates, and bimonthly to those who send in some annual amount.
    Read More
  • Sensitivity-The Only Requirement
    Views
    September 1, 1992

    Sensitivity-The Only Requirement

    Edward Gibson tells us that, about 250 A.D., the Goths came down from the Ukraine and took the city of Marcianopolis. To save their lives and property, the people of the city gave the Gothic warriors "a large sum of money."
    Read More
  • Ignorance and Freedom
    Views
    September 1, 1992

    Ignorance and Freedom

    Important educators, including Benjamin Rush, attacked the traditional classical education, but the example and precept of Jefferson and other Founders kept America's leaders educated for freedom and creativity by maintaining their direct contact...
    Read More
  • Notes From the Abyss
    Views
    September 1, 1992

    Notes From the Abyss

    How are we-the campus conservatives-to think of ourselves in the sea of political correctness? Perhaps we adopt the attitude of the left, and view ourselves as the real but unacknowledged victims of oppression, casualties in the war for diversity...
    Read More
  • Literature and the Curriculum
    Perspective
    September 1, 1992

    Literature and the Curriculum

    The controversy over the humanities curricula is a struggle over definition, and what is at issue is not so much the nature or purposes of the American university as the identity of the American people.
    Read More
  • Signed Into Law
    Cultural Revolutions
    April 1, 1992

    Signed Into Law

    National Education Day was signed into law by President Bush and Congress last March 20. At first sight this new holiday looks like the President's bid to be taken seriously as the "education President." In fact, educators nationwide celebrated...
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  • Cultural Commodities
    Reviews
    April 1, 1992

    Cultural Commodities

    The "free and open exchange of ideas" lies at the very heart of what was once called, in more innocent times, liberal education. These days, the American university is the last place to look for that unhindered flow of thought.
    Read More
  • A World Safe for Democratists
    Reviews
    March 1, 1992

    A World Safe for Democratists

    From one point of view, Who Owns the Children? is a manifesto of educational freedom, an exhaustively researched broadside aimed at the pseudo-academic pretensions of our federal and state governments.
    Read More
  • Seeing the Wizard Off
    Correspondence
    March 1, 1992

    Seeing the Wizard Off

    A historical sense can be a wonderful thing to have. Not long ago, for instance, someone reminded me that when Christianity was as old as Islam is now, the Inquisition was going full tilt.
    Read More
  • Academic Apathy Beyond the Rhine
    Correspondence
    December 1, 1991

    Academic Apathy Beyond the Rhine

    We're not supposed to like Germans or Germany, but I do—a lot. I found out just how much when, coming back to Frankfurt after a week of lecturing in Madrid, I found myself glad to be "home," and happy to babble away in my pitiful German, after a,...
    Read More
  • Intermediate Frisbee
    Reviews
    October 1, 1991

    Intermediate Frisbee

    Jacques Barzun, for nearly half a century, has been telling us what is wrong with our schools and what we might do to improve them. This he continues to do in his most recent book, Begin Here.
    Read More
  • The Weight of Bricks
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1991

    The Weight of Bricks

    Are we all going crazy? A few months ago, I read a newspaper column containing information so shocking yet unsurprising, so awful yet predictable, that I was overcome by emotional vertigo.
    Read More
  • Mason v. Mason
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1991

    Mason v. Mason

    The members of George Mason University's Sigma Chi fraternity had little reason to believe their annual "Dress a Sig" fundraising event was politically incorrect. To those present last April 4, the proceedings seemed innocuous if a bit raucous.
    Read More
  • Business as Usual
    Reviews
    September 1, 1991

    Business as Usual

    Shortly before Christmas last, I heard a college president say, gesturing toward a copy of Roger Kimball's Tenured Radicals, "That book is making my job very difficult."
    Read More
  • Life Lessons
    Correspondence
    September 1, 1991

    Life Lessons

    Academics have no more human frailties, I suppose, than are rampant in any other occupation. But those frailties are far more repellent, and far funnier, in a profession ostensibly dedicated to the disinterested search for truth.
    Read More
  • Circumlocutions & Obfuscations
    Cultural Revolutions
    August 1, 1991

    Circumlocutions & Obfuscations

    Georgetown University, the foremost Jesuit institution in the United States, one that was called the "alma mater of Catholic colleges in America" by Pope Pius IX, and a university that boasts of a renowned Bioethics Institute, has recently...
    Read More
  • Southern Spies in the Ivy League
    Correspondence
    August 1, 1991

    Southern Spies in the Ivy League

    Several recent letters from readers outside the South have contained clippings and firsthand reports about the progress of Our Nation's cause. I hope my correspondents don't mind, but I've come to think of them as a sort of intelligence service,...
    Read More
  • Making Its Way Into Our Education
    Cultural Revolutions
    July 1, 1991

    Making Its Way Into Our Education

    Political correctness has finally made its way from our universities to our junior high schools.
    Read More
  • A One-Sided Debate
    Cultural Revolutions
    March 1, 1991

    A One-Sided Debate

    At the Univ. of Texas, in answer to criticism that he has turned a freshman English composition class into a one-sided debate on political correctness, English department chairman Joseph Kruppa has made several strongly worded replies.
    Read More
  • Gerrymandering
    Cultural Revolutions
    March 1, 1991

    Gerrymandering

    Washington's gerrymandering of job seekers' test scores to comport with egalitarian fantasy has given us a glimpse of the testing center of the future. On university campuses, the proctors will be apostles of Political Correctness.
    Read More
  • Buzzards and Dodos
    Vital Signs
    March 1, 1991

    Buzzards and Dodos

    George Core (Editor of the Sewanee Review) Talks With George Garrett About the Quarterlies
    Read More
  • Sociology and Common Sense
    Vital Signs
    March 1, 1991

    Sociology and Common Sense

    The "Common-Sense Sociology Test" made its first appearance in the mid-1960's. The test is now a familiar fixture in introductory sociology courses and textbooks, but in the beginning its exciting novelty instantly captured the hearts and minds...
    Read More
  • Bureaucratized Education
    Cultural Revolutions
    February 1, 1991

    Bureaucratized Education

    American education is today so bureaucratized that every increase in tax monies poured into the system produces less real learning.
    Read More
  • Education in an Age of Haste
    Vital Signs
    February 1, 1991

    Education in an Age of Haste

    Not much more than 24 hours ago, one of many of you who could get away with it asked me to speak to you on Class Day. It hit me that for a tutor who insists on students meeting deadlines, the situation has the best of comic myth: you got yours...
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  • In Loco Parentis: The Brave New Family in Missouri
    Vital Signs
    February 1, 1991

    In Loco Parentis: The Brave New Family in Missouri

    Many people are concerned about the problems that face our nation today, and the good folks at the Missouri Department of Education are no exception. In an attempt to reverse the decline in enrollment and the high dropout rate, and to win back...
    Read More
  • On the Study of History
    Views
    February 1, 1991

    On the Study of History

    American society is in trouble, and not only because our traditional values and institutions are under siege. The nuclear family is crumbling as a result of government policies that are ruthless when they are not mindless.
    Read More
  • A Pest-House
    Cultural Revolutions
    January 1, 1991

    A Pest-House

    No major city in this country concedes that its major hospital is a pest-house, or that its museums display junk, or that its symphony orchestra squeaks. Nor are cities satisfied with inadequate schools.
    Read More
  • Phonic Booms
    Reviews
    January 1, 1991

    Phonic Booms

    In Forked Tongue, her important new public policy study-cum-expose whose proposals seem as likely to create new problems as to solve some old ones, Rosalie Pedalino Porter doesn't get down to root causes.
    Read More
  • Raptures of High-Mindedness
    Cultural Revolutions
    December 1, 1990

    Raptures of High-Mindedness

    Barnard College's "First Year Seminar Committee" has decided to use a grant from the Ford Foundation to encourage the faculty to use the works of "minority women" in their courses.
    Read More
  • The Wonder of Academe
    Reviews
    December 1, 1990

    The Wonder of Academe

    While being interviewed on William Buckley's Firing Line, Harry Ashmore remarked that he had allowed the subject of his Unseasonable Truths: The Life of Robert Maynard Hutchins to tell the story of his life and work through the numerous...
    Read More
  • Changing Mottos
    Cultural Revolutions
    November 1, 1990

    Changing Mottos

    Harvard University, in 1959, refused more than $350,000 in money offered for student loans by the National Defense Education Act in the wake of the Soviets' Sputnik shock because of the requirement that students submit to an oath and an affidavit...
    Read More
  • Tragedy, Comedy, and Modern Times
    Views
    November 1, 1990

    Tragedy, Comedy, and Modern Times

    This essay grew out of a request that I conduct a reprise of "The Bull's Eye of Disaster," my wrap-up conclusions on the Vietnam War that appeared in the August 1989 Chronicles, in light of what's happened in the post-Cold War world since that...
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  • Unconstitutionally Vague
    Cultural Revolutions
    October 1, 1990

    Unconstitutionally Vague

    The Univ. of Michigan has not given up. Federal District Court Judge Avern Cohn's August 1989 ruling that Michigan's anti-discrimination and discriminatory harassment policy was unconstitutionally vague and overbroad merely sent administrators...
    Read More
  • A Considerable Presence
    Cultural Revolutions
    September 1, 1990

    A Considerable Presence

    Geoffrey Hartman, Paul de Man's former colleague, a Jew and, while not a scholar in Judaic studies, nonetheless a considerable presence in Jewish scholarship at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America,...
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  • Exclusive Institutions
    Cultural Revolutions
    September 1, 1990

    Exclusive Institutions

    Mills College recently repulsed the male invasion invited by the college's board of trustees, and it will remain all female, for the immediate future at any rate.
    Read More
  • Whose Women's Studies?
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1990

    Whose Women's Studies?

    Women's studies has emerged and, in large measure, won its place in the academy as an unabashedly political undertaking. "Teaching," according to Florence Howe, a path breaker in women's studies, "is a political act."
    Read More
  • An Academic Remnant
    Correspondence
    September 1, 1990

    An Academic Remnant

    As a rule I don't use this letter for academic shoptalk. Most of you aren't college professors, and few things are more tedious than another profession's gossip.
    Read More
  • Education and Community
    Reviews
    September 1, 1990

    Education and Community

    Poet, critic, and teacher Marion Montgomery is known to have taken a fortnight's break from a book project in order to write another book!
    Read More
  • The Teaching of Humanities and Other Trivia
    Views
    September 1, 1990

    The Teaching of Humanities and Other Trivia

    "Humanities" is Western society's name for the academic expression of its fundamental values. There are other branches of learning—medicine, law, engineering, and business, all of which benefit from the humanities—but only the "liberal arts"...
    Read More
  • Academics, Therapists, and the German Connection
    Views
    September 1, 1990

    Academics, Therapists, and the German Connection

    For several years now a heated debate has been going on over Western civilization and humanities requirements at some distinguished universities, most notably Stanford. The debate has brought up the question of a justification—or lack thereof—for...
    Read More
  • Revolution and Tradition in the Humanities Curriculum
    Perspective
    September 1, 1990

    Revolution and Tradition in the Humanities Curriculum

    A few years ago I found myself in the belly of the beast. To be more accurate, I was actually in the appendix of the beast, the Department of Education, giving a paper on curriculum reform.
    Read More
  • Early Form
    Cultural Revolutions
    July 1, 1990

    Early Form

    For most of its 150-year history The Yale Literary Magazine was an independent, privately funded magazine edited by and for Yale undergrads.
    Read More
  • Religion and Critical Theory
    Vital Signs
    July 1, 1990

    Religion and Critical Theory

    In his 1935 essay "Religion and Literature," T.S. Eliot argued that modern literature had become progressively secularized. In response he proposed that "literary criticism should be complemented by criticism from a definite ethical and...
    Read More
  • Academic Freedom
    Cultural Revolutions
    June 1, 1990

    Academic Freedom

    When IAS (the institute for Advanced Study), the research center that takes pride in having housed Einstein, told the National Endowment for the Humanities last December to take its money and shove it, the New York Times responded with a...
    Read More
  • Want To Reform Public Education?
    Views
    June 1, 1990

    Want To Reform Public Education?

    By now it should be obvious that "education reform" is a fraud. Its primary goal has not been to rescue children from public school malpractice, but to rescue the schools from angry parents and taxpayers.
    Read More
  • An Endless Quest
    Cultural Revolutions
    April 1, 1990

    An Endless Quest

    The Dept. of Education, in its seemingly endless quest to discover new ways for students and teachers to waste their time, has approved a high-school course on the holocaust.
    Read More
  • The Ignorance of the Doctors
    Vital Signs
    April 1, 1990

    The Ignorance of the Doctors

    Montaigne in his Essays called it ignorance doctorale (1.54). Four hundred years later an American journalist called it "educated incompetence." It means the sort of nonknowledge, or anti-knowledge, that can follow upon higher learning,...
    Read More
  • Not Free to Choose
    Vital Signs
    March 1, 1990

    Not Free to Choose

    The Bush administration has doomed true educational reform for the foreseeable future. It has done so in a deceptively simple way: it changed the subject.
    Read More
  • An Education in Imagination
    Reviews
    March 1, 1990

    An Education in Imagination

    For a conservative, no engagement can be more important than edu cation. A conservative is one who distinguishes his outlook from others—socialist and liberal, for example—by his concern, not with the standpoint of here and now, but with the...
    Read More
  • A Disaster
    Cultural Revolutions
    February 1, 1990

    A Disaster

    K-12 education in America is, nationally, a disaster—that is something everyone seems to agree on. But on the local level, the parents of schoolchildren are hearing a different story.
    Read More
  • Can't Institutionalize Genius
    Cultural Revolutions
    February 1, 1990

    Can't Institutionalize Genius

    The Institute for Advanced Study, the research center in Princeton, New Jersey, was founded 60 years ago around the figure of Albert Einstein. When I was named member (1989-1990) the inestimable William Safire said to me, "Oh, Jack! That's where...
    Read More
  • On Inequality: A Platonic Dialogue
    Vital Signs
    January 1, 1990

    On Inequality: A Platonic Dialogue

    Why is it, Socrates, that so many of our young, and even we ourselves, know so little, when we are being taught so much?
    Read More
  • Racism at Stanford?
    Vital Signs
    January 1, 1990

    Racism at Stanford?

    The resurgence of campus racism has been a big topic in the news for nearly a year now. According to the often-cited National Institute Against Prejudice and Violence in Baltimore, the number grows all the time.
    Read More
  • Not a Smashing Success
    Correspondence
    November 1, 1989

    Not a Smashing Success

    It's the little things—not the front-page disclosures—that suggest to us that we've been had. Take, for instance, a 1987-88 study by the Oregon Department of Transportation.
    Read More
  • Bias in the Questions
    Cultural Revolutions
    October 1, 1989

    Bias in the Questions

    Girl's SAT scores are lower than boys because of bias in the questions, charges a Center for Women Policy Studies report. Nationally, boys score higher on 4 of the verbal questions and 17 of the math, and the fact that they do better is alone...
    Read More
  • Flag Amendment
    Cultural Revolutions
    October 1, 1989

    Flag Amendment

    A Flag Amendment—what would be the effect? In one school of thought that goes back through Acton to Jefferson to Plato, the health of a society is inversely proportional to the amount of written law (and the number of lawyers) it has.
    Read More
  • Wimin's Work
    Vital Signs
    October 1, 1989

    Wimin's Work

    The women's movement is in considerable disarray. While most self-described feminists are concerned mainly with job prospects, equal pay, and abortion rights, the radical wing of the movement is busy advocating everything from witchcraft to...
    Read More
  • When the Schoolhouse Is Our House
    Views
    October 1, 1989

    When the Schoolhouse Is Our House

    Somebody recently did a "study" purporting to discover that at-home mothers spend hardly any more time daily with their children than mothers who work full-time outside the home.
    Read More
  • Raising a Ruckus
    Cultural Revolutions
    September 1, 1989

    Raising a Ruckus

    I remember sitting in an airport bar with a few bemused travelers listening to the ads on TV. "America's ignored crisis," Tom Brokaw blared at us. "Children in poverty. Most people below the poverty line are children."
    Read More
  • Why Are Universities Different From All Other Centers of Learning?
    Vital Signs
    September 1, 1989

    Why Are Universities Different From All Other Centers of Learning?

    The oldest university in the West, the University of Bologna, has celebrated its nine hundredth anniversary; but much that is studied there sustains an intellectual tradition of scholarship that is thousands of years old.
    Read More
  • Taking the King's Shilling
    Views
    September 1, 1989

    Taking the King's Shilling

    Historically, the primary function of schooling has been to teach the young how to live responsibly and productively in their own society. In our day, the notions of civic, familial, and vocational obligations have been virtually banished from...
    Read More
  • "Affirmative Action Curriculum" Returns
    Cultural Revolutions
    August 1, 1989

    "Affirmative Action Curriculum" Returns

    The "Affirmative Action curriculum" returns east: T. Edward Hollander, New Jersey's higher education chancellor, has argued that college teachers should "rethink what they teach and . . . seek ways of bridging the gaps between their areas of...
    Read More
  • Doctoring Honor
    Correspondence
    June 1, 1989

    Doctoring Honor

    Commencement has come and gone, and with it another crop of eager graduates. Yet given far more of the spotlight at any of these commencements than bachelors', masters', and doctoral candidates were those being awarded honorific degrees and...
    Read More
  • Those Who Can't Do . . .
    Reviews
    June 1, 1989

    Those Who Can't Do . . .

    I wanted to hate this sustained attack on the academy, which condemns everything to which I have dedicated my life, but I loved every word. This man is a truth-teller, therefore he is shrill, obnoxious, abusive, aggressive, offensive, and...
    Read More
  • A Free-For-All
    Cultural Revolutions
    May 1, 1989

    A Free-For-All

    A lot of Americans are worried about the way universities are teaching our children. During the second weekend of November 1988, equally concerned members of the National Association of Scholars gathered at the old Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.
    Read More
  • Talkin' Freedom Blues
    Correspondence
    May 1, 1989

    Talkin' Freedom Blues

    I was sitting here listening to the University of North Carolina's student radio station play "Hotrod to Hell," a cut from Elvis Hitler's new album Disgraceland, and somehow the time seemed right for another round-up of Southern news that they've...
    Read More
  • The Way We Do It
    Reviews
    May 1, 1989

    The Way We Do It

    This book gathers important information on the politicization of the schools, even the elementary schools, at the cost of facts—and flight from the world.
    Read More
  • Continuing Legal Education
    Cultural Revolutions
    April 1, 1989

    Continuing Legal Education

    Continuing legal education is imposed on lawyers by the Missouri Bar Association and the Missouri Supreme Court, and right before the November election I took a day to fulfill the requirements.
    Read More
  • Postwar Oxford
    Vital Signs
    April 1, 1989

    Postwar Oxford

    It was an interesting time. The Second World War had gone on two years longer than the First, with resultant fatigue in England's industrial north, which gave the Labour government its 1945 landslide.
    Read More
  • Dead Souls in the Classroom
    Views
    April 1, 1989

    Dead Souls in the Classroom

    "Thanatology" or "death education" now competes with driver's ed and "social problems" for the attention of the nation's high schoolers.
    Read More
  • Practical Items
    Cultural Revolutions
    March 1, 1989

    Practical Items

    School decentralization was one of the few practical items on the New Left's agenda of the 1960's. It was a genuinely radical idea, since the entire history of public education in the US has been the steady progress of consolidation and...
    Read More
  • Reading, Writing, 'Rithmetic and War
    Reviews
    March 1, 1989

    Reading, Writing, 'Rithmetic and War

    Twenty-five years ago when I was a schoolteacher in an Afghan mountain valley I came across a book by an English pedagogue called Teaching English Under Difficult Circumstances.
    Read More
  • Education for a Conquered Nation
    Views
    March 1, 1989

    Education for a Conquered Nation

    Declining test scores. Illiterate, spiritless, and passive graduates who have little motivation to find a job or succeed. Youngsters with no skills to compete in the marketplace. This is the tragic record of American public education, after...
    Read More
  • Come to a Close
    Cultural Revolutions
    January 1, 1989

    Come to a Close

    The Bennett interregnum has come to a close at the Department of Education. The former secretary of education had his shortcomings, but the vice with which he was most frequently charged—being "confrontational," failing to "build coalitions with...
    Read More
  • Our Conception of the World
    Cultural Revolutions
    January 1, 1989

    Our Conception of the World

    When we argue about what should be taught in schools and colleges, at stake is our conception of the world. Our theory of the world tells us what we should teach, and whom we may ignore.
    Read More
  • Who Is Pete Schaub?
    Vital Signs
    January 1, 1989

    Who Is Pete Schaub?

    When Pete Schaub, a business major in his senior year at the University of Washington at Seattle, couldn't get into an overenrolled business course for the first quarter of 1988, he signed up for "Women 200: Introduction to Women Studies" instead.
    Read More
  • Surviving College 101
    Reviews
    December 1, 1988

    Surviving College 101

    Hugh Hewitt's First Principles is a 125-page manual on how to handle the cacophony of illiberal thought that flourishes in our universities.
    Read More
  • What Ails the Historical Profession?
    Views
    December 1, 1988

    What Ails the Historical Profession?

    Academic historians are too uncritically receptive to Utopian thinking. Too many believe in what Kari Mannheim described as the striving for a new world order, an order which "would shatter all existing reality."
    Read More
  • The New Racism on Campus
    Correspondence
    November 1, 1988

    The New Racism on Campus

    Having done four years of graduate work at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, I was distressed to learn that there, as elsewhere, a few radical activists can rout a weak administration and faculty by crying "racism."
    Read More
  • Phi Beta Kappa Fake
    Reviews
    November 1, 1988

    Phi Beta Kappa Fake

    When I was 11, I saw a photo of the Radcliffe campus in fall, with a beautiful long-haired blonde in a plaid wool skirt sitting on a flight of leaf-covered steps in front of a red brick building.
    Read More
  • The Academic Blues
    Correspondence
    September 1, 1988

    The Academic Blues

    When I left the University of Chicago a few years ago, I felt the whole world lay ahead and that every opportunity was open to me. I decided to go on with graduate school but took some time off to work as a research associate for a think tank in...
    Read More
  • A Bizarre Psychotic
    Cultural Revolutions
    August 1, 1988

    A Bizarre Psychotic

    Laurie Dann, a bizarre psychotic who sent poisoned food to acquaintances and former employers and once stabbed her husband with an ice pick, shot up a second-grade classroom in Winnetka, Illinois, murdering one child and wounding several others...
    Read More
  • Staging A Takeover
    Cultural Revolutions
    August 1, 1988

    Staging A Takeover

    Four black students, representing the Union of African Student Organizations, staged a "takeover" at a recent Rutgers University conference on race relations. They grabbed the microphone and proceeded to criticize the audience for its...
    Read More
  • Schools Then and Now
    Vital Signs
    August 1, 1988

    Schools Then and Now

    The present agitation around Allan Bloom's book, The Closing of the American Mind, reminds me of the many similar debates I have witnessed in this country during the last four decades.
    Read More
  • Learning Goodness
    Views
    July 1, 1988

    Learning Goodness

    The best education, the best preparation for a full and successful life surely entails a proper blend of classical and contemporary studies.
    Read More
  • And the Skies Are Not Cloudy All Day
    Correspondence
    June 1, 1988

    And the Skies Are Not Cloudy All Day

    Deborah Epstein Popper is a graduate student in geography at Rutgers University, and Frank J. Popper chairs the university's urban studies department there: in New Brunswick, New Jersey, about as far away from the Great Plains, in every way, as...
    Read More
  • The Color of Culture
    Views
    May 1, 1988

    The Color of Culture

    As an observer of the educational scene at Stanford University during the last 14 years, I am taking the liberty of offering some comments on the proposed reforms in the course on Western culture.
    Read More
  • Dulce et Decorum
    Correspondence
    February 1, 1988

    Dulce et Decorum

    One of the most moving war memorials I know is on a wall outside the reading room of the British Museum. It is a simple plaque with the names of a hundred or so librarians killed in the Great War. Librarians. Think about it.
    Read More
  • Swan Song
    Correspondence
    February 1, 1988

    Swan Song

    Tucked away in the residential area along suburban Philadelphia's main line lies the idyllic campus of Eastern College. For the last four years this Christian academic institution has sponsored the Evangelical Roundtable: an attempt to find...
    Read More
  • Glasnost American Style
    Cultural Revolutions
    January 1, 1988

    Glasnost American Style

    Glasnost American style is all the rage among the nation's literati. At over a dozen universities, American academics are now waking up to the Soviet equivalents of Good Morning America and Richard Simmons.
    Read More
  • Academic Afterword: On the Occasion of My Retirement From the Academy
    Views
    January 1, 1988

    Academic Afterword: On the Occasion of My Retirement From the Academy

    In my institution I have been sharply critical of the public relations attempts at self-justification and self-elevation in the interest of the community's largess, the larger grants of public money to support a larger and larger institution.
    Read More
  • Stopping the Long March Through the University
    Views
    January 1, 1988

    Stopping the Long March Through the University

    Substitute "professor" for "Leninist" and the quotation would appear almost a cliche to many American academicians. Yet such corollary Leninist themes and variations have become a commonplace in the American university.
    Read More
  • It's 10 A.M. on a School Day—Do You Know Who Has Your Child?
    Correspondence
    December 1, 1987

    It's 10 A.M. on a School Day—Do You Know Who Has Your Child?

    Americans generally agree that our public schools are not what they should be, but the strongest resistance to improvement comes from the jokes some people refer to as "teachers' unions."
    Read More
  • Gimme That Ol'Time Education
    Reviews
    October 1, 1987

    Gimme That Ol'Time Education

    Liberals in the United States have lately gathered around the standard of pluralism in the hope of stalling the movement toward private Christian education. Yet Americans, historically indifferent to such objections, have been the last to censure...
    Read More
  • Advice to a Postulant-Professor
    Views
    September 1, 1987

    Advice to a Postulant-Professor

    If I could tell every first-year graduate student in America one thing, it is this: The campus is not a calling, it is just another career.
    Read More
  • A (Pardon the Expression) Baccalaureate Address
    Views
    September 1, 1987

    A (Pardon the Expression) Baccalaureate Address

    The irrepressible John Towne tells us what he really thinks of higher education. Something to offend nearly everyone. I want you to know I share your disappointment that nobody you really care about and wanted could be here to make this speech....
    Read More
  • Universities and Students of South America
    Correspondence
    August 1, 1987

    Universities and Students of South America

    By 1921, a few years after the Bolshevik revolution, students at Argentine universities had begun to agitate for equal rights with professors and were demanding the same rights for the cleaning staff.
    Read More
  • Between Two Worlds
    Views
    August 1, 1987

    Between Two Worlds

    Reflecting on his upbringing in Trinidad, V.S. Naipaul denies cultural identity to his part of the Caribbean: "Nothing bound us together except this common residence." Indeed, the area called Caribbean is constantly redefining itself.
    Read More
  • The Oxford Experience
    Correspondence
    July 1, 1987

    The Oxford Experience

    The recent election of the new Chancellor of Oxford University—or was it the prospect of another July undisturbed by fireworks?—reminded me of the letter I received from a Cambridge friend last summer, when I was living in Oxford. I quote it with...
    Read More
  • Letter From the Southwest
    Correspondence
    June 1, 1987

    Letter From the Southwest

    In the spring a young man's fancy turns lightly to thoughts of love. What happens in the rest of the year is uncertain, but in the southwestern part of the United States that young man's fancy, in the first chill of autumn, turns to thoughts of...
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  • Just One More Drink of Water
    Correspondence
    May 1, 1987

    Just One More Drink of Water

    A recent Time article reported an astonishing new find. Researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered that men are good for women.
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  • Is Old Bob McNamara Still Teaching at Harvard?
    Correspondence
    April 1, 1987

    Is Old Bob McNamara Still Teaching at Harvard?

    I had the distinct feeling I had seen the book somewhere before. It was almost like the old cinematographic cliche: close-up of the Treblinka torturer's face in a dream sequence, a faded photograph shot in sepia tones, men running through the...
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  • Ask Dr. Grants
    Correspondence
    April 1, 1987

    Ask Dr. Grants

    How do I get a grant? You first must get an application. Forget about those grants for which you cannot apply, such as MacArthur Fellowships, which are essentially designed for people already known, which is to say celebrities, or incipient...
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  • Reenchanting the World
    Reviews
    April 1, 1987

    Reenchanting the World

    Kant has few readers outside of university philosophy departments, but his influence obviously extends to Los Angeles. Part of Kant's legacy to the modern world is the iron curtain that seals off all reality into two compartments: that which can...
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  • Harvard Goes South
    Reviews
    April 1, 1987

    Harvard Goes South

    This curious big book is an amalgam of left-wing scholarship and commercial panache. On the one hand, the author, a Harvard Ph.D. in American Civilization and a missionary to South Carolina, seems to have enjoyed extended foundation support...
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  • About the University and Its Curriculum
    Views
    April 1, 1987

    About the University and Its Curriculum

    The sociological thesis that education is "for society" is acceptable today because in this statement, "society" is a sufficiently vague term to prescribe fewer and fewer binding guidelines as we ascend from lower to higher education.
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  • Rice Paddies and Tea Houses
    Correspondence
    March 1, 1987

    Rice Paddies and Tea Houses

    The schedule is rather monotonous for a lecturer invited to the big cities where universities are usually located.
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  • Doctors of Education?
    Reviews
    March 1, 1987

    Doctors of Education?

    A recent issue of Forbes contained the truly wonderful news that a corporation is now selling a video encyclopedia of the 20th century. This is sure to be a hot item in the "education technology" business.
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  • The Return of Professor X
    Correspondence
    February 1, 1987

    The Return of Professor X

    In 1973, at the tag end of the riots and disruptions of the late 1960's and early 1970's, he ventured into print with a small volume entitled This Beats Working for a Living: The Dark Secrets of a College Professor.
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  • Brown Shirts in the Ivory Tower
    Correspondence
    February 1, 1987

    Brown Shirts in the Ivory Tower

    The orthodoxy of Reason is proclaimed, archconservative turned archliberal Garry Wills once wrote, and it will have its inquisitors.
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  • School Daze
    Reviews
    February 1, 1987

    School Daze

    American education has never been in very good shape, so criticizing it now would be a redundancy, except for the fact that we are facing an increasing teacher shortage across the curricula and across all grade levels which shows no signs of...
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  • Clipping the Angel's Wings
    Reviews
    December 1, 1986

    Clipping the Angel's Wings

    The ancients, wiser than modem theorists, recognized language as a gift and (at Babel) a curse from the heavens. Even pagans recognized a Word behind words and a Muse beyond music. The Creator of the world was everywhere acknowledged as the...
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  • Young Yuppies In Love
    Correspondence
    November 1, 1986

    Young Yuppies In Love

    North Dakota—the last place most people ever think of-makes the national news from time to time, usually as part of a survey or study. Sometimes the results surprise those of us who live here, but mostly they don't.
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  • The Maze of Metaphor
    Reviews
    July 1, 1986

    The Maze of Metaphor

    Jacques Derrida has in recent years made himself one of the most influential figures in literary criticism on American college campuses. The movement he has inspired, alternately known as "deconstruction" or "poststructuralism," asserts that all...
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  • Dr. Bob's Unusual University
    Correspondence
    May 1, 1986

    Dr. Bob's Unusual University

    Bob Jones University. Isn't that the segregationist place down in South Carolina someplace?
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  • Letter From College
    Correspondence
    October 1, 1985

    Letter From College

    The much-ballyhooed young conservative movement of the early 1980's may soon come to an inglorious and grinding halt. While the early 80's were marked by a certain gusto on the part of conservatives fighting to overthrow entrenched liberals, the...
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  • Passé Passions
    Reviews
    September 1, 1985

    Passé Passions

    Irving Bernstein graduated from the University of Rochester in 1937, the same year as the spectacular series of sit-down strikes in the Midwest industrial heartland, the Memorial Day "massacre" at the Republic Steel plant in South Chicago, and...
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  • Academic Anomie & Root-Canal Remedies
    Reviews
    September 1, 1985

    Academic Anomie & Root-Canal Remedies

    During the 1920's and 30's, it was possible for a talented young American author to earn a living publishing virtually nothing but short fiction. Scribner's, Collier's, The Saturday Evening Post, and numerous other widely circulated magazines all...
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  • Renaissance in Education
    Views
    September 1, 1985

    Renaissance in Education

    When I accepted President Reagan's appointment to be chairman of the National Council on Educational Research, I did so because I welcomed the opportunity to learn firsthand how professional bureaucrats approached America's many and increasingly...
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  • Scrambling the Schools
    Editorials
    June 1, 1985

    Scrambling the Schools

    Any university worthy of the name must be both universal in scope, attending to all important fields of knowledge, and unified in thought, bound together into a single coherent philosophical framework. Most contemporary "universities" are...
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  • Thunder on the Right
    Typefaces
    June 1, 1985

    Thunder on the Right

    Intellectuals as a class support their own interests, whether they are kissing the ground a prince walks on or fawning on a Marxist dean or editor.
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  • Commendables – Schools for Scandal
  • Private Faith & Public Schools
  • Waste of Money
    Reviews
    December 1, 1984

    Waste of Money

    Media MIA's, Power to the Professors
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  • Commendables
    Reviews
    December 1, 1984

    Commendables

    A Dangerous Classic, Ideological Body Count, Fighting the Media Moguls, Of Puerile Pedagogy
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  • Commendables – Of Bullets & Ballots
  • The Joy of Cents
    Views
    September 1, 1984

    The Joy of Cents

    If government can manage the economy successfully, as Godley and Cripps suggest, think of the joyful politics which could emanate from this intellectual base. But such an outcome is doubtful.
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  • Comment
    Comment
    August 1, 1984

    Comment

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