Originally published 08/22/2013
When former Gov. Mitch Daniels was pushing to keep liberal historian Howard Zinn’s readings out of Indiana classrooms three years ago, he had a definite idea of what should be there instead: conservative education leader Bill Bennett’s review of American history.News that the new Purdue University president tried to have Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” kept from classrooms has sparked a surge in demand for the 1980 book at Indiana libraries. It also put Daniels on the defensive over the past month, drawing condemnations from academics nationwide and having him reiterate his support for academic freedom in higher education even as he is steadfast in his belief that Zinn is wrong for lower grades.Emails obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request show Bill Bennett had much more favor among Daniels and his advisers. In January 2010, when Daniels discovered the board of education had changed the state’s textbook rules to allow Bennett’s book, he quickly asked how soon his advisers could get copies of “The Last Best Hope” in classrooms....
Originally published 07/21/2013
What would the late historian Howard Zinn have been doing in the classroom last week after being called out as a fraud, his name dragged around three years ago by a man who was then Indiana’s governor and now president of one of the state’s major research universities?“He would teach the controversy,” said Nadine Dolby, a Purdue University professor watching as a beloved teacher from her days at Boston University was publicly upbraided by the president of her present university. “That’s just what he’d do.”...To Dolby, a curriculum studies professor in the College of Education, her professor’s story is one of dissent. She calls Zinn a role model when it comes to professors. And she recounts several stories about her time in class and beyond with Zinn in her 2011 book, “Rethinking Multicultural Education for the Next Generation.” Here’s her take.
Originally published 07/18/2013
Mitch Daniels, as an unconventional choice to become Purdue University's president, has repeatedly pledged his strong commitment to academic freedom. And many professors -- including some who had questioned the wisdom of appointing a governor as university president -- have given him high marks for the start of his work at Purdue.But on Monday, the Associated Press published an article based on e-mail records it obtained under Indiana's open records laws. Those e-mail records showed Daniels, while governor of Indiana, asking that no public universities teach the work of Howard Zinn, seeking a statewide investigation into "what is credit-worthy" to see that similar works were not being taught for credit, and considering ways to cut state funds to a program led by a professor who had criticized him.
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