October 28, 2005

THERE ARE TEN BIASES (via David Hill, The Bronx):

These Courses Are Condemned:
"Christian Morality in American Literature" is biased. "Feminine Perspectives in Literature" is not. (NAOMI SCHAEFER RILEY, October 28, 2005, Opinion Journal)

Most California high-school students who apply to the university submit their grades as a part of their application. But the university must deem their high-school classwork to be sufficiently demanding for the grades to mean anything. And lately the university's officials have looked upon the classes in California's Christian schools with suspicion--even as they wave through lighter-than-air classes from public schools. [...]

A year ago, Calvary Chapel sent a description of some of its new courses to UC for review and inquired about a couple of others. Sue Wilbur, the university's director of undergraduate admissions, rejected three of them as insufficiently rigorous.

Calvary officials sat down with Ms. Wilbur and her colleagues to contest the decision--joined by representatives of the Association for Christian Schools International--but the university wouldn't budge. So Calvary took a bold step. Together with the association, it filed a discrimination suit in district court. The university is filing a motion to dismiss the case today. Whatever the outcome, the complaint makes for fascinating reading.

A proposed English class, "Christian Morality in American Literature," included readings from Mark Twain, Stephen Crane and Nathaniel Hawthorne, but it was judged unworthy because, according to the university, it "does not offer a non-biased approach to the subject matter." So what does a nonbiased class look like? The university has deemed acceptable such public-school courses as "Feminine Perspectives in Literature" and "Ethnic Experiences in Literature."

A history course, "Christianity's Influence on America," was rejected by the university because its focus was "too narrow" and because it was "not consistent with the empirical historical knowledge generally accepted in the collegiate community." But even people who don't like Christianity's effect on U.S. history don't find that it has been "narrow." And the curriculum of the course seems broad enough--covering the role of Christianity in the Founding, abolition, the civil-rights movement and the fall of communism. The course seems downright all-encompassing when compared with approved classes at other schools, like "Modern Irish History" and "Armenian History."

It's in no small part because Academia disapproves of the moral bias that Americans distrust intellectuals.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 28, 2005 9:57 PM

We studied Soviet culture and history is an unbiased and all-encompassing manner! Workers and poor of the world unite!

Posted by: Dave W. at October 29, 2005 1:17 AM

"There Are Ten Biases"


Posted by: Bruce Cleaver at October 29, 2005 7:51 AM

Shoot, 25% of the reason to read the posts is to figure out OJ's titles...

Posted by: Bruce Cleaver at October 29, 2005 7:53 AM

The clearest way to solve this would be to read any five random pages in an open meeting - let the overall state community actually hear what tripe is in the leftist educational hive books, and perhaps sheer embarrassment will force a different decision.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 29, 2005 7:56 AM

Jim -

The plan fails at the point they are required to feel embarrassment.

Posted by: Bruce Cleaver at October 29, 2005 8:08 AM

High-profile coverage of a problem like this can stir public reaction, even in Califorina, towards the people making the decisions, and the politicians who are titularly in charge of those people. But it will take more than just a piece in Opinion Journal to do that, and it's hard to see the major media outlets in the Sunshine State thinking there's anything wrong with what the UC officials are doing.

Posted by: John at October 29, 2005 9:08 AM

"The clearest way to solve this would be to read any five random pages in an open meeting - "

Jim, you donít even need to go that far, just read the titles of the learned papers given at any MLA conference. You'll recognize the individual words as part of the English language, but it's unlikely you'll understand what they mean strung together in that context.

Posted by: tefta at October 29, 2005 10:54 AM