"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Friday, October 13, 2006

Eugene Hickok is Out of Touch

These six letters published in today's New York Times in response to the Op-Ed by Eugene Hickok "No Undergrad Left Behind" are a telling commentary on how out of touch the right wing conservatives at the Heritage Foundation and other think tanks are with the values and ideals that most Americans still cherish. Hopefully, the American people will wake up and take back their country in a few weeks.

This one is my favorite:

To the Editor:

In arguing for reform in higher education, Eugene Hickok makes a telling comment. He writes that higher education “is a culture that cherishes independence and freedom” but one that is “seriously out of touch with much of America.”

Maybe what needs reforming are those institutions that no longer cherish independence and freedom, rather than those that do.

Why is the right wing so fearful of independence and freedom? Indeed, those who speak in the service of conservative interests want to “reform” cultures of freedom and independence into cultures of policing and surveillance. This turns the notion of reform on its head.
If it is true that the culture of higher education is out of touch with much of America, how and why did America lose touch with its culture of freedom and independence and what can we do to get it back?

Eric J. Weiner West Orange, N.J.,
The writer is an associate professor of education at Montclair State University.

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