Opinion
College & Workforce Readiness Letter to the Editor

Academe Is Politically ‘Out of Step’ With the Nation as a Whole

April 18, 2017 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

"[Frederick M.] Hess is overreaching when he argues that academe is ‘unrepresentative of the nation as a whole,’ ” says Ron Wolk, the founding editor of Education Week, in a March 8 letter to the editor (“K-12 Scholarship’s Leftward Tilt Is No Surprise and Not a Concern”). Wolk cites liberal Hillary Clinton’s popular-vote victory. “It’s more accurate to say that academe is out of step with the ultra-conservative minority that has moved further right as the world has changed,” he says.

All of Secretary Clinton’s 2.9 million-vote margin in the 2016 presidential election could be chalked up to California. Clinton won that state by 4.3 million votes.

What does liberalism’s massive victory in California reveal? Here’s how urban-affairs commentator Joel Kotkin described California on RealClearPolitics.com in January: The state"suffers the greatest levels of income inequality in the nation. ... If California remains the technological leader, it is also becoming the harbinger of something else—a kind of feudal society divided by a rich elite and a larger poverty class, while the middle class either struggles or leaves town.”

California is a state exemplar of liberalism translated into policy. Yet even California is not so liberal as academe. Hess mentioned several surveys. Here’s another, this one from Perspectives on Psychological Science in 2012, which surveyed social and personality psychologists: “Only 6 percent described themselves as conservative. ... Conservatives fear negative consequences of revealing their political beliefs to their colleagues. ... They are right to do so: In decisions ranging from paper reviews to hiring, many social and personality psychologists said that they would discriminate against openly conservative colleagues. The more liberal respondents were, the more they said they would discriminate.”

Hess has the stronger case.

Tom Shuford

Retired Teacher

Lenoir, N.C.

A version of this article appeared in the April 19, 2017 edition of Education Week as Academe Is Politically ‘Out of Step’ With the Nation as a Whole

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Professional Development Webinar
Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes with Teacher-Student Relationships
Explore strategies for strengthening teacher-student relationships and hear how districts are putting these methods into practice to support positive student outcomes.
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Transform Teaching and Learning with AI
Increase productivity and support innovative teaching with AI in the classroom.
Content provided by Promethean
Curriculum Webinar Computer Science Education Movement Gathers Momentum. How Should Schools React?
Discover how schools can expand opportunities for students to study computer science education.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

College & Workforce Readiness Teenager Balances Family Care, Work, and Credit Recovery on a Path to Graduation
Remote learning didn't start Gerilyn Rodriguez's academic problems, but it accelerated them.
3 min read
Gerilyn Rodriguez, 18, poses at Miami Carol City Park in Miami Gardens, Fla., on Aug. 19, 2022. After struggling with remote learning during the pandemic and dropping out of school, Rodriguez is now a student at Miami-Dade Acceleration Academies.
Gerilyn Rodriguez, 18, struggled with remote learning during the pandemic and dropped out of high school. A "graduation advocate" persuaded her to enroll in Miami-Dade Acceleration Academies in Miami, Fla.
Josh Ritchie for Education Week
College & Workforce Readiness What It Took to Get This Teenager Back on Track to Graduate
Nakaya Domina had been disengaging from school for years before she left Cimarron-Memorial High School in Las Vegas in 2019.
3 min read
Nakaya Domina pictured at her home in Las Vegas, Nev., on Aug. 12, 2022. After dropping out of school during the pandemic, she returned to a credit recovery program, where her "graduation candidate advocate" has helped her stay engaged. She expects to graduate this summer, and will then enter a postsecondary program in digital marketing.
Nakaya Domina dropped out of her public high school in Las Vegas in 2019 but managed to graduate this year with the help of a "graduation advocate" and a dropout recovery program.
Bridget Bennett for Education Week
College & Workforce Readiness Anxiety and Isolation Kept Him Out of School. How an Alternative Program Helped
After years of worsening anxiety that kept him from school, Blaine Franzel’s prospects for high school graduation are looking up.
3 min read
Blaine Franzel, 17, and his mother, Angel Franzel, pictured at their home in Stuart, Fla., on Aug. 15, 2022. After struggling during remote learning and dropping out of public school, Franzel is now thriving at an alternative school where he is learning about aviation.
Blaine Franzel, 17, and his mother, Angel Franzel, live in Stuart, Fla. After struggling during remote learning and dropping out of public school, Franzel is now thriving at an alternative school where he is learning about aviation.
Josh Ritchie for Education Week
College & Workforce Readiness 'Graduation Counselors' Go Door-to Door to Find Missing Students
On tree-lined streets and trailer parks, workers knock on doors to offer students a second chance at graduation.
6 min read
LaTosha Walker knocks on the door of a home where a student lives that has dropped out of school due to attendance records to talk to them about enrollment in Lowcountry Acceleration Academy in North Charleston on Tuesday, August 9, 2022.
LaTosha Walker, an enrollment coach for Lowcountry Acceleration Academy, knocks on the door of the home of a student who dropped out of school in Charleston, S.C.
Henry Taylor for Education Week