Chicago Principles are ignored by most colleges

A college education is not worth the paper the degree is printed on unless graduates have learned the importance of open intellectual challenge (“Go Forth and Argue,” The New York Times, June 3).  That means not disrupting the speech of those expressing abhorrent views.

The trouble is that with few exceptions colleges and universities violate this fundamental Chicago Principle.  They claim they believe in free speech, but their policies reveal just the opposite.  Anyone who does not toe the party line is attacked or cancelled. It’s time to call them out for their hypocrisy.

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Military academies deserve far greater recognition

The value of the 3,500 Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps programs warrants attention these days in light of the failure of so many public schools to do their jobs (“An Officer and a Gentleman -and a High-School Student,” The Wall Street Journal, June 2). For Black students in particular, they are highly successful.

Students learn discipline, which can be applied to all jobs.  Therefore, even those students who decide not to pursue a career in the military have a big leg up over their peers when seeking employment elsewhere.

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Oral exams are the best way to prevent cheating

With nearly two-thirds of college students admitting to cheating, it’s time to bring back oral exams (“As AI-Enabled Cheating Roils Colleges, Professors Turn to an Ancient Testing Method,” The Wall Street Journal, June 2). Not only they prevent cheating, but they also force students to demonstrate understanding better than written exams.

Oral exams require students to explain why they approached the problem as they did. As a result, they can get credit even though they may arrive at an answer at odds with what is expected.

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Mississippi proves there are no excuses why children can’t read

All the so-called reasons why children can’t learn how to read have been proved wrong by the success of Mississippi schools (“Mississippi Is Offering Lessons for America on Education,” The New York Times, June 1). Racism, poverty, class size and per-pupil spending don’t matter because all of these have been overcome by its schools.

Critics will no doubt claim that Mississippi’s success is an aberration. But the evidence is clear.  Now all that matters is its scalability.

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Student debt relief sets dangerous precedent

The Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority has filed suit claiming if students are relieved of their responsibility to repay their loans it will be unable to meet its financial obligations to the state (“The Case Against Student Debt Relief Barely Even Pretends to Make Sense,” The New York Times, May 26). Even if that is true, which I doubt, the case is perplexing.

Why should students who take out loans for their education be treated differently from others who take out loans for their own reasons?  When you borrow money, you agree to pay it back. There was no question about that. That’s why the MOHELA lawsuit makes no sense at all.  It is a distraction from the basic principle involved.

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Ten Commandments have no place in public schools

Requiring the Ten Commandments to be displayed prominently in public schools was correctly defeated in Texas (“Bill to Put Ten Commandments in Texas Schools Fails,” The New York Times, May 25). It was part of the campaign to break down the wall between church and state.

Parents who want their children to be exposed to religion need to enroll them in religious schools that are designed for that purpose.  Otherwise, it’s important to keep religion out of public schools.

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Religious colleges deserve immunity from Title IX

You don’t have to be religious to see why it’s important to allow religious colleges and universities to be protected from charges of Title IX violations (“Biden vs. Religious Freedom on Campus” The James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, May 24). They make no attempt to downplay their mission.  As a result, those who apply for admission know full well going in what to expect.

Yeshiva University is an example. It was sued by LGBT students for its failure to allow their club to exist on campus.  But Yeshiva has always been a religious institution or it wouldn’t be using that name in the first place.

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DEI is a threat to the law profession

The new bar exam, which is known as NextGen exam, will lower standards in order to engineer greater diversity, fairness and inclusion (“The New Bar Exam Puts DEI Over Competence,” The Wall Street Journal, May 19). It’s a terrible mistake that will further undermine whatever public confidence still remains in the legal profession.

Yet the change, I’m sure, will be applauded by those intent on furthering their agenda. They fail to see the terrible harm done when ideology takes precedence over competence.

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Wokeness has no place in higher education

Tennessee can no longer force faculty, students or applicants to prove their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (“How my state’s getting DEI out of higher ed,” New York Post, May 19). That’s the best news I’ve heard in a long time.

All that should matter is merit.  Politics has no place there. Yet until Tennessee acted, excellence played too large a role. I hope that other states will follow in Tennessee’s footsteps.

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Banning books in school libraries is delicate balance

Finding books that are appropriate for children to read is a judgment call that is bound to be controversial (“Florida District Is Sued Over Banning Books From School Libraries,” The New York Times, May 18). That’s because parents differ dramatically in what they want their children to read.

Although the First Amendment protects freedom of speech, it’s unclear if it applies to children.  It will be interesting to see how the judiciary interprets the latest lawsuits.

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