March 12, 2013, 11:40 am
Kenneth Bernstein, a retired award-winning high-school teacher, recently issued a warning, first in Academe and then reprinted in The Washington Post: Professors beware—students educated under the No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top policies are heading your way.
Bernstein explained, “I want to warn you of what to expect from the students who will be arriving in your classroom, even if you teach in a highly selective institution.”
He was right to warn us, except for one error: Those students have already arrived. Very bright students now come to college and even law school ill-prepared for critical thinking, rigorous reading, high-level writing, and working independently.
Bernstein described what many college professors and even graduate-school professors have come to know firsthand. For more than a decade, a culture of test taking and teaching to the test has…
August 21, 2012, 12:15 pm
Over the weekend, the Missouri politician Todd Akin introduced a new concept to television viewers: “legitimate rape.” Representative Akin, a six-term member of Congress, professed that legitimate rapes rarely result in pregnancy. He told an interviewer:
Well, you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, “Well, how do you, how do you slice this particularly tough sort of ethical question?” It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.
Akin’s faux pas is troubling for what it suggests regarding women and sex. On the one hand, there are different species of rape. On the other hand, only one type of rape is real or legitimate; the others are phony. Implicitly, the comment conveys that only consensual sex results in…