Commentary: By Abandoning Civics, Colleges Helped Create the Culture Wars

September 04, 2023 1 min read

Debra Satz and Dan Edelstein
New York Times

Excerpt: Free speech is once again a flashpoint on college campuses. This year has seen at least 20 instances in which students or faculty members attempted to rescind invitations or to silence speakers. In March, law school students at our own institution made national news when they shouted down a conservative federal judge, Kyle Duncan. And by signing legislation that undermines academic freedom in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis is carrying out what is effectively a broad assault against higher education.

We believe that this intolerance of ideas is not just a consequence of an increasingly polarized society. We think it also results from the failure of higher education to provide students with the kind of shared intellectual framework that we call “civic education.”

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