Walter E. Williams

I've taught economics for 37 years. I encourage students to record my lectures. Moreover, I tell them that the class deals with positive economics and if they hear me make a statement appearing to be an opinion, without saying so, they are to raise their hands and say, "Professor Williams, we didn't take this class to be indoctrinated with your personal opinions passed off as economic theory; that's academic dishonesty." I also tell them that if I ever preface a comment with, "In my opinion," they can stop taking notes because my opinion is irrelevant to economic theory.

I've received numerous letters from all over our country saying that indoctrination at Overland High School is by no means unique. It's widespread, and much of it is anti-American. Where the indoctrination is not anti-American, it's an attack on family values and traditional standards of decency. The unique aspect of the Overland High School affair is the hard, undeniable recorded evidence. Without it, teachers and administrators might have lied, denied or misrepresented what was said. After all, it would be the word of a teenager against an adult professional. Today's microtechnology, might be just what the doctor ordered to put a stop to teachers using their position to indoctrinate our youth.

Preaching instead of teaching might go a long way toward explaining why in civics, math, reading, writing and geography, nearly a quarter of all students leave high school with academic skills that are "Below Basic," the category the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) uses for students unable to display even partial mastery of knowledge and skills fundamental for proficient work at their grade level. In science, 47 percent leave high school with skills Below Basic, and in American history, it's 57 percent. I'd like for Jay Bennish's supporters to explain how his indoctrination will help that.

Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
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