BONUS: How Anti-CRT Bills Could Affect Higher Education
Amna Khalid interviews FIRE President Greg Lukianoff and Former ACLU President Nadine Strossen
AMNA KHALID: Welcome to our bonus segment for Banished which, dear subscribers, is for your ears only.
Last week we looked at the rise of legislation that bans the teaching of Critical Race Theory, or CRT, in K-12 schools. Our experts agreed that while these prohibitions are technically legal, they would likely have dire consequences for learning and open inquiry. But what are the implications of anti-CRT bills for higher education? Is there a difference? And does it matter?
I spoke with Greg Lukianoff, the President and CEO of FIRE, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, and the co-author of the best selling book: Coddling of the American Mind. I asked him to explain: What’s the role of higher education in a democracy, and how do anti-CRT bills affect student learning?
LUKIANOFF: In theory, it's supposed to be this utterly historically unique space where you are there to try to recognize that essentially we're not that good at seeing the world as it really is, and it takes discipline and testing and experimentation and discussion to get anywhere near to the truth. So this is a very special role that higher education is trying to play. And it doesn't celebrate or explain that enough to students or to faculty — and it’s supposed to be as left alone as possible, to sort of figure out its way through the world.
So when you have legislatures getting involved and saying we don't want you to discuss or teach these things, that's a complete violation of what the relationship between the legislatures and higher education is supposed to be.