Free community college?

President Obama wants to provide two free years of community college to all Americans, at the government’s expense.  Do you think this would be a good idea or a bad idea?  (My view after the jump.) [Read more…]

The University of North Carolina’s “shadow curriculum”

For eighteen years, the University of North Carolina has had a “shadow curriculum” in which students didn’t have to attend classes or do any work, and yet received A’s.  Over three thousand students took advantage of this program, only half of them athletes. [Read more…]

A free-market solution to religious bigotry

After telling about some universities that are “derecognizing” Christian organizations, Joe Carter proposes a “free market solution”:  He suggests that Christian students, alumni, and donors  should not “hand over our cash to schools that consider our beliefs so repugnant as to not even be worthy of recognition.” [Read more…]

What the crises in health care and higher education have in common

Patrick J. Deneen writes about the similarities between the current crises in health care and education.  He argues that the solutions put forward by both the left and the right will not work.   Since both spheres had their origin in the work of the Church, he calls for a rediscovery of the Christian concept of charity that is grounded in  (wait for it) the doctrine of vocation–that is, offices of  love and service to one’s neighbor.

The essay after the jump. [Read more…]

Storming Wikipedia

Wikipedia depends on readers and volunteer editors to write, edit, and correct its entries.  Theoretically, the vast network of contributors will make for an online encyclopedia that is accurate, objective, and self-correcting.  But this also leaves Wikipedia open to contributors with an ideological agenda.  Which is the plan for an organized effort–for college credit, no less–“to advance feminist principles of social justice” by “writ[ing] feminist thinking” into Wikipedia.  The project is called “Storming Wikipedia,” an image from the French Revolution, with the revolutionary masses storming the Bastille.  But the feminists doing this could inspire other sans-culottes. [Read more…]

From the Humanities to the Subhumanities

Part of the problem with the way the humanities are often taught today and part of the problem of postmodernist academia in general is that human beings and works of art are reduced from their complexity into ciphers of gender, sex, class, and race.  Instead of reading an author for what can be learned or appreciating the artistry of the work, he or she is “interrogated”–some scholars actually use that term, a metaphor from the totalitarian police state–for his or her ideological transgressions.

The estimable Anthony Esolen has a piece in the Intercollegiate Review that challenges this reductionism.  He does so with the help of Marilynne Robinson’s Christian novel Gilead. [Read more…]