His reading list focuses on how liberty is won, lost, and neglected. By Jonathan Rauch.
A program at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya, will bring together 25 of the country’s best and brightest students in August in an effort to train the next generation of leaders in the principles of liberal democracy and the ideas that constitute the foundation of the state...
In the United States, affirmative action policies, first implemented to address the historical grievances of black Americans, have long been controversial. But the debate over affirmative action has generally ignored such action as practiced by other countries around the world. Has affirmative action proven to be more or less effective in other countries? What common patterns do these programs share? How can the study of these programs help our understanding of affirmative action in America?
More than fifty years after the landmark Supreme Court decision Brown v. the Board of Education, there is still an unacceptable gap between the academic achievements of white and black students in America. In fact, by some standards, black students today perform more poorly than they did fifteen years ago. Why? What role does culture play? Does culture explain the disparate performance of Hispanic and Asian students? And just how should we go about trying to close this gap? Peter Robinson speaks with Bernard Gifford, Abigail Thernststrom, and Stephan Thernstrom.
As administrators foist ‘social justice’ on 4,000 suburban students, parents plead for balance.
Few top colleges explain their purpose to students. They want to talk gender and inequality instead.
Peter Berkowitz on Education’s End: Why Our Colleges and Universities Have Given Up on the Meaning of Life by Anthony T. Kronman
The Supreme Court will soon announce its decisions on two cases that are being called the most important for affirmative action in a quarter century. These cases both challenge the use of racial preferences in the admissions policies at the University of Michigan. On one side of the legal dispute over the Michigan policies are those who argue that creating racial diversity on college campuses is a "compelling interest" that justifies the use of certain types of racial preferences in the admissions process. On the other side are those who argue that any system that rewards people solely on the basis of race is unconstitutional. Who's right? And how will the Supreme Court's decision affect the future of affirmation action?
Professors have a professional interest in—indeed a professional duty to uphold—liberty of thought and discussion...
Civics education must not be indoctrination, but it also must not be overlooked. By Peter Berkowitz.
Two years ago in my Standard column "Bucking the deans at Dartmouth," I placed the trustee election in which Peter Robinson and Todd Zywicki were running in the context of William F. Buckley's historic contribution to the conservative cause...
Why Abraham Lincoln matters—even now. By Shelby Steele.
This is a story about using American politics to promote the highest of ideals and to realize the worthiest of accomplishments...
English is the most widely spoken language in the world at large, but in many of America’s own classrooms it remains a foreign tongue. Peter Duignan argues that bilingual education has proven an abject failure—and must be abolished.
Matt Ridley, author of The Rational Optimist, insists that we humans must face the truth about ourselves—no matter how good it might be. An interview with Peter Robinson.
In June the Supreme Court issued a definitive—if narrow—ruling that permits the consideration of race in university admissions. This may have been bad law—but was it a bad decision? By Robert Zelnick.
Federal regulators lock arms with college athletic departments to gut men’s sports in the name of equality
The Scheinman collection brings to life the story of how two friends, a white American and a black Kenyan, helped African democracy bloom. By Tom Shachtman.
Bilingual education has been a subject of national debate since the 1960s. This essay traces the evolution of that debate from its origin in the Civil Rights Act (1964) and the Bilingual Education Act (1968), which decreed that a child should be instructed in his or her native tongue for a transitional year while she or he learned English but was to transfer to an all-English classroom as fast as possible. These prescriptions were ignored by bilingual enthusiasts; English was neglected, and Spanish language and cultural maintenance became the norm.
Bilingual education was said to be essential for the purposes of gaining a new sense of pride for the Hispanics and to resist Americanization. The Lau v. Nichols (1974) decision stands out as a landmark on the road to bilingual education for those unable to speak English: bilingual education moved away from a transitional year to a multiyear plan to teach children first in their home language, if it was not English, before teaching them in English. This facilitation theory imprisoned Spanish speakers in classrooms where essentially only Spanish was taught, and bilingual education became Spanish cultural maintenance with English limited to thirty minutes a day. The essay discusses the pros and cons of bilingual education.
Criticism of bilingual education has grown as parents and numerous objective analyses have shown it was ineffective, kept students too long in Spanish-only classes, and slowed the learning of English and assimilation into American society. High dropout rates for Latino students, low graduation rates from high schools and colleges have imprisoned Spanish speakers at the bottom of the economic and educational ladder in the United States.
This revolt, the defects of bilingual education, and the changes needed to restore English for the Children are covered in the essay. The implications of Proposition 227 abolishing bilingual education in California are also discussed.