What is the mission of a school?

Freedman noticed an NRO column by Goldblatt that highlighted the basic reason why the Churchill fracas is such big news and, in passing, also noted a few other patterns.

When put that way, it is pretty shocking isn’t it? That I, and I assume a fair portion of you, don’t really think it’s a big deal that a fair percentage of our society’s “teachers” believe things that are demonstrably false?[Moe Freedman, A Symptom, Not The Disease, Dean’s World, 10fb05]

And the point is that there are many well paid professors and teachers whose conclusions need a lot of help in order to avoid concluding they are delusional.

To make sense of Churchill’s clarification, a reader has to accept the following premises: … Each of these premises is false based on a preponderance of evidence. But that understates the point; all three are so utterly false that failure to recognize their falsehood, in effect, betrays a cognitive disability. … These are credentialed adults who are initially hired to instruct, and who are eventually tenured to profess…yet they’re professionally, stupendously, tenaciously, defiantly, demonstrably wrong. [Mark Goldblatt, W. Churchill, A sad look at a sick academic bubble. NRO 9Fb05]

Goldblatt also uses the referential standards in mathematics, chemistry, physics as a contrast to those in social studies to suggest a reason why the professors he describes tend to be from the ‘softer’ academic areas. There are those who would put sociology and then education on the far fringes of that continuum.

He also discusses the implications of various consequences and concludes that “his notoriety should stand as an ongoing monument to the decay of intellectual standards in higher education, and his professorship as an ongoing monument to the intellectual cowardice of the school which hired and tenured him.” In other words, if there is no clear damage caused then the solution is the matter of developing public opinion to impugn and repudiate such intellectual fraud.

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