Raznor's Rants

Costarring Raznor's reality-based friends!

Friday, February 10, 2006

As if high education in Arizona isn't bad enough
Posted by Raznor

Apparently the Arizona senate is arguing an interesting little law:

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:
Section 1. Title 15, chapter 14, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by
adding article 8, to read:
ARTICLE 8. ALTERNATIVE COURSEWORK AND MATERIALS
15-1881. Alternative coursework or materials
EACH UNIVERSITY UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF THE ARIZONA BOARD OF REGENTS AND
EACH COMMUNITY COLLEGE UNDER THE JURISDICTION OF A COMMUNITY COLLEGE
DISTRICT SHALL ADOPT PROCEDURES BY WHICH STUDENTS WHO OBJECT TO ANY COURSE,
COURSEWORK, LEARNING MATERIAL OR ACTIVITY ON THE BASIS THAT IT IS PERSONALLY
OFFENSIVE SHALL BE PROVIDED WITHOUT FINANCIAL OR ACADEMIC PENALTY AN
ALTERNATIVE COURSE, ALTERNATIVE COURSEWORK, ALTERNATIVE LEARNING MATERIALS
OR ALTERNATIVE ACTIVITY. OBJECTION TO A COURSE, COURSEWORK, LEARNING
MATERIAL OR ACTIVITY ON THE BASIS THAT IT IS PERSONALLY OFFENSIVE INCLUDES
OBJECTIONS THAT THE COURSE, COURSEWORK, LEARNING MATERIAL OR ACTIVITY
CONFLICTS WITH THE STUDENT'S BELIEFS OR PRACTICES IN SEX, MORALITY OR
RELIGION.


This is exactly what Michael Berube wrote about recently in an excellent blog post:

THE PRINCIPLE OF ACADEMIC FREEDOM stipulates that “teachers are entitled to full freedom in research and in the publication of the results, subject to the adequate performance of their other academic duties”; it expressly insists that professors should have autonomy from legislatures, trustees, alumni, parents, and ecclesiastical authorities with regard to their teaching and research. In this respect it is one of the legacies of the Enlightenment, which sought—successfully, in those nations most influenced by the Enlightenment—to free scientists and humanists from the dictates of church and state. And it is precisely that autonomy from legislative and religious oversight that helped to fuel the extraordinary scientific and intellectual efflorescence in the West over the past two centuries; it has also served as one of the cornerstones of the free and open society, in contrast to societies in which certain forms of research will not be pursued if they displease the General Secretary or the Council of Clerics. But today, the paradox of these legislative “academic bills of rights” is this: they claim to defend academic freedom precisely by promising to give the state direct oversight of course curricula, of departmental hiring practices, and of the intellectual direction of academic fields. In other words, by violating the very principle they claim to defend.


How the hell can you teach political science, if people who are offended by politics get to get around it. How can you teach religion, if someone's religious views mean they don't have to learn about other religions. How can you teach biology, when there's an organized movement against biology. How can you fucking teach anything at all when someone just has to give a reason for being offended and no coursework for them. And why should any other sane person, if this legislation gets past, consider a degree from an Arizona university to be worth a goddamn thing.

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home