The Corner

Politics & Policy

Fighting Back against the Tide of Social-Justice Education

Students of New York University protest then president-elect Donald Trump in Manhattan, N.Y., November 16, 2016. (Bria Webb/Reuters)

The Left has so captured our education system that it’s now very risky for students or faculty members to dissent from any of its beliefs. Prospective grad students, for example, are now evaluated on how deeply committed they are to “social justice.” To say, “I don’t think that the concept of social justice has any true meaning and the policies that supposedly promote it are harmful,” is to terminate your career.

Is there any chance of defeating this terrible trend?

A recent event hosted by the Martin Center addressed that question and in today’s article, Shannon Watkins writes about it.

The first speaker was David Randall of the National Association of Scholars. Randall admits that he is quite pessimistic about the chances of cleansing higher education of the social-justice ideology, but offers a number of ideas that would help. His suggestions include:

  • Removing social-justice requirements from undergraduate general education and introductory college courses,
  • Removing social-justice positions from higher education administration,
  • Eliminating the “co-curriculum,”
  • Eliminating experiential learning courses, and
  • Removing social-justice criteria from accreditation.

The second speaker was Heather Mac Donald, who is among the most effective critics of the Left’s diversity mania. She wants to see parents and alumni become more active. Watkins writes, “As a way to fight the ‘diversity cult’s’ perverse hold on higher education, Mac Donald urges alumni not to give money to their alma maters unless the schools are still ‘committed unapologetically and joyfully to passing on our inheritance.’ In an interview with the Carolina Journal, Mac Donald said she sees a need for alternative institutions to be created. She even mentioned the possibility of a ‘homeschool movement for college.’ ‘Parents need to be more hands-on,’ she said.”

Among the three commenters was UNC-Wilmington professor Mike Adams. He raised the problem of mandatory student evaluations that include a social-justice component. “We are in a position where the social justice movement is now demanding that we grade our students based upon their politics,” Adams said.

American education has been warped by ideology that prefers to indoctrinate students rather than educate them. Our future depends on turning the tide.

George Leef is the the director of editorial content at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal.

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