Friday, April 25, 2008

Marxism a Failure in Ohio

As it is every where else. Antioch College – A Goner. A classic case of addition by subtraction. (but that’s one of those gender insensitive “math” things that an Antioch student would have been carefully protected against – see the stats issue below).

This lede from the NYT (!) tells you all you need to know:

“AS any student at Antioch College can tell you, our view of reality is socially constructed. What we consider to be truth is often just a reflection of the power structure, a single narrative propounded by a privileged class that must be countered by alternative narratives.”

Righty-ho, then.

It’s refreshing to know that, even in America, asininity can drive even a college out of business. Do you have any idea how inept, totally clueless, and black hole dense you have to be to run a college out of business in America today? Well, Antioch has done it.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch, though you would never know it from this Beacon Journal story. Still even the Beacon can’t completely miss the clues:

“Professors don't give grades, and the school encourages students to develop their own study plans combining academic classes with outside experience through a co-op program in which students leave campus to work in various fields.”

No grades. Translation: nobody cares if you learn anything.

Even the NY Times (same link as above) – though trying to make this sound like a sad tale of capitalist running yellow dog oppression – can’t bring itself to completely hide the truth:

“Antioch is the type of place where during the run-up to the Iraq war, a journalism teacher decided to tear up the syllabus and take his students to Washington for a peace march…”

Translation: ‘Our students are so progressive they’ll support any genocidal dictator, no matter how vile. He may be gassing the Kurds, invading his neighbors, rewarding suicide bombers and waiting out the UN sanctions, but hey, it’s not like he’s George McChimpyBushitler! ’.

“… Downstairs are the wellness center, a reflection room and a story room where, once a week, students read children’s books to one another.”

Sounds like the level of reading comprehension you’d expect.

Even the supportive alumni admit that the place is a disaster:

“Eric Bates, a 1983 graduate and a leader in the alumni’s efforts to keep Antioch open, said blaming students was misguided. Even so, he conceded that community government was set up as a ‘laboratory where you learn governance” but that over the years “the faculty became more and more withdrawn from the government process, and people weren’t learning.’”

For this you need to shell out $40,000 g’s a year? Oh, pardon me, only $39,477. This will probably get you a degree in Transgender Class Consciousness Studies. Seriously, a group of parents should sue for educational malpractice. In terms of education, there may be grounds to file criminal fraud charges as well.

Further Clues to the disaster: 7 Presidents in 12 years. That’s the definition of ‘toxic campus culture’.

Yet Further Clues: Lysenkoism strikes statistics:

“Ms. Nettles has been at Antioch eight years, and now is interviewing for jobs. She said she was grateful to have taught at Antioch and was a better teacher for it. But before she got tenure in 2005, she said: ‘I lived in terror that I was going to say something I didn’t even know was offensive. I began to feel uncomfortable with my knowledge of the English language.’

The teaching of statistics suddenly became fraught with political overtones, because research was generally not broken into categories that included ‘transgendered’ or ‘people of color.’ A student was offended by Ms. Nettles’s reference in class to a statistical study on abortion, because ‘I didn’t discuss how pro-abortion isn’t the same as pro-life,’ she said. It’s not that the question isn’t valid, Ms. Nettles emphasized, but that a math lecture was not the appropriate place to discuss it.”

And “progressives” hold this up to be a model of education? By contrast to these mindless dweebs, it the Bob Jones University graduates who actually engage in critical thinking.

Here’s a clue for the clueless (to make that clear to the meanest intelligence, that being Antioch College students and alumni): Your “progressive” aims would have a better chance of realization if you actually got a real degree from a college that required you to learn something. Pick a “progressive” icon of the week – Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, etc., etc.. etc. They worked and got real degrees in real courses of study.

Antioch: You’ll not be missed. Maybe, somehow, someday, these poor kids will actually come across an education.