by James C. Sherlock
I have spent the last 15 years or so studying and reporting on the decline of scholarship and the rise of censorship at the University of Virginia and other state institutions of “higher learning.”
The enforced closing of minds has been targeted to resurrect an economic system that failed everywhere in the 20th century and cannot work in the 21st.
The decline has been led by UVa’s School of Education and Human Development not only at the University but also, more harmfully, in the policies and pedagogy developed for teaching in the public schools. That school, blind to redundancy, recently appointed an Associate Dean for DEI.
UVa’s School of Education, unfortunately close to Richmond, has dominated the councils of the Virginia Department of Education even under Republican administrations. But it most tragically ran free under Ralph Northam and his two worst appointees, Secretary of Education Atif Qarni and Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane.
Tragically, their tenures overlapped with complete domination by Democrats of the General Assembly and the COVID shutdowns.
The public schools, many operated under school boards in political agreement with the progressive left, will be trying to recover from those multiple simultaneous catastrophes for decades. Many will not recover if they remain as currently configured.
Some schools won’t last long as parents seek choices elsewhere. If true choices are offered that the poor can afford, entire divisions will collapse. Which is why, because too many school divisions are run for the benefit of the adults in the system, they will oppose choices.
Regardless, the steep decline in production of new teachers and the fleeing from chaos of experienced teachers, including those who have not yet been attacked in their classrooms, continues.
That is a classic death spiral. Continue reading