The SanityPrompt

This blog represents some small and occasional efforts to add a note of sanity to discussions of politics and policy. This blog best viewed with Internet Explorer @ 1024x768

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Failing to See the Forest for the Trees

The conservative American Enterprise Institute released two studies through Harvard University which have drawn publicity for failing to find a left wing bias in principal education programs at schools of education.

The Chronicle of Higher Education: Daily news: 05/26/2005: "Frederick M. Hess, director of education-policy studies at the institute, and Andrew P. Kelly, a researcher there, conducted the studies on which the reports are based. The reports' chief finding is that such programs do a poor job of preparing principals to manage their teachers and to hold them accountable.

But given the polarized political climate on many college campuses, the finding on ideological bias, or lack thereof, was one of the reports' more interesting conclusions. It's particularly interesting because the institute is a bastion of conservative thinking on public-policy issues. "


I think this about sums up what's wrong with the obsession with whether or not universities and colleges are infected with a Left Wing bias. The question should be, are universities and colleges doing a good job educating students and producing the outputs society expect? The study says no, not in this case, but the attention of journalists is on the political bias question.

By the way, do you know what constitute's a Left Wing bias in the study?

In their other report, "Textbook Leadership," Mr. Hess and Mr. Kelly found that left-leaning bias in the textbooks assigned was largely absent. The word "diversity" appeared just 4.3 times per 100 pages of text, and "multicultural" appeared less than once per 100 pages.


So mentioning the word diversity in a country as diverse as our, mentioning multicultural when many school districts are exactly that constitutes a liberal bias? And to think the Right accuses the Left of acting like thought police and word monitors.

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