Support teacher self-expression
I am in favor of tenure for university professors. Freedom of speech and well-informed debate about issues in college classrooms are essential to learning and to the future of our democratic form of government. The Republican distortion of critical race theory is a prime example of misinformation.
Ronald C. Hughes, Plano
Patrick’s backwards approach
Re: “Patrick Aims For Tenure – But Experts Say Plan Targeting University Teachers In Texas Would Be ‘Absolutely Devastating,'” February 19 article.
I don’t believe Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s efforts to end the tenure of new professors at Texas universities and colleges who resist limits on how they teach particular subjects, such as critical race theory, be the right approach to repel the advances of the “woke left”, as he puts it.
As its name suggests, “critical race theory” is just that, a theory. A theory is not a fact and as such is subject to challenge and refutation.
Instead, my suggestion would be to make an effort to ensure that academic debate surrounding critical race theory includes unbiased and well-researched challenges to didactic inferences, suppositions, and interpretations of the theory. having read Critical Race Theory: An Introduction by Richard Delgado, a thoughtful and unbiased challenge to many tenets of the theory is not so difficult to achieve. This is academia, after all.
John Riggs, Highland Park
Let the search continue
I don’t think Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick understands how college professors work. Teaching stems from research. Research on critical race theory is ongoing. The discipline is not monolithic and will evolve. The government cannot control the results of research. Researchers must be free to engage in dialogue and follow research where it leads.
If some parts of critical race theory do not accurately describe the history or sociology of race issues in the country and around the world, further research will uncover it.
Let the research go on and let the professors teach what the research reveals.
Charles Aaron, Jr., Dallas
Associate Professor, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University
The restriction of freedoms is dangerous
While legislative intrusion into public education represents government overreach, it can be argued that the state seeks to protect schoolchildren from specific subjects (phantoms) since the only educational alternative for most young people is schools. public.
In higher education, however, students can choose from several institutions where most majors allow many choices. Thus, no one would be required to take a course in critical race theory.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s plan to restrict academic freedom by denying tenure at public universities would denigrate the schools’ educational integrity and reputation. This could deter the best teachers and brightest students and exhaust out-of-state tuition.
A restricted program with less money to fund it could lead to disastrous drops in national rankings. The state’s flagship school, the University of Texas at Austin, could collapse in US News and World Report rankings.
And even The Dallas Morning News recommended Patrick in the Republican primary. Maybe then he will introduce a bill limiting what newspapers can print.
Mary Beth Miles, East Dallas
Teachers encourage free thinking
In college, I had a lot of professors who made controversial comments, some of which I disagreed with. But luckily I had a brain and I could decide for myself what I thought was the truth. I had an atheist philosophy teacher who clearly knew more about Christianity than I did.
Instead of becoming an atheist, as some might have feared, I tried to become better informed about my Christian faith. That’s what a good teacher does – challenge and make students think independently and get rid of preconceptions. And that’s what the likes of Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick seem to be afraid of – independent, informed thought.
Expect a mass exodus
In a sane world, we would never give credit to Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick’s plan to end the tenure of professors who discussed critical race theory in their classes. However, with the far right of the Republican Party, it is not unlikely that such a proposal will pass.
It is unimaginable how you would enforce the critical limits of race theory. What Patrick really wants is to end a discussion of race at all levels. If such a bill passes, it is clearly a violation of the First Amendment.
So expect a mass exodus of tenured teachers here who have contributed to the educational structure of our state for their entire careers. The mere fact of introducing such legislation is a very serious mistake.
This is not the end. It’s the beginning. When an extremist philosophy comes to power, it starts with education and then spreads to the rest of your civil rights. By the time these Republican voters realize what they have done, it will be far too late.
Jeff Cunningham, Kyle
Removal of bad performers
Subject: “Tenure vital to education”, by Sanford G. Thatcher, Tuesday Letters.
How does the argument for guaranteed permanent employment for civil servants square with the need to weed out bad performers? If the term is vital, why demand that incumbents like Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick be re-elected? Should he also keep his job no matter what he says?
The US Constitution guarantees freedom of speech for all, but where does it grant anti-racist college professors the right to collect taxpayer salaries without any accountability to them?
The mandate is also criticized for perpetuating white male privilege. Who better to champion this practice than a news company named until recently after a slave-owning Confederate military officer?
A slippery slope
Founding Father Patrick Henry said: “If I withheld my views at such a time, for fear of offending, I should consider myself guilty of treason to my country and an act of disloyalty to the Majesty of Heaven, which whom I revere above all earthly kings. Today, another Patrick – Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick – aims to instill that same fear.
Tell me if I understood correctly. Conservative Republicans define themselves as defending individual liberties, among which we should suppose freedom of expression. Yet, just like in Russia, Communist China, and other totalitarian states, Patrick wants the government to decide what can be said and what cannot be said, especially if it is embarrassing for our government. After that ? After removing tenure for speaking truths, can our college professors expect jail?
Steve McCluer, Far North Dallas
Beware the “Thought Police”
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and his merry band of book banners have struck again. Now he wants to end the tenure of new professors at Texas universities and colleges in response to professors who have opposed politicians who want to limit how they teach certain subjects.
Patrick seems so scared of our past that he doesn’t want to talk about it because it might make the students think. It acts as the “thought police”.
This action will prevent highly qualified teachers from teaching here. And it will also keep students away. Look what the Chinese are doing in Hong Kong. Fahrenheit 451, we arrive!
Patrick says he has the votes to bring this to the next legislature because he represents Texans. Well, he doesn’t represent that Texan. I’m a real Texan, born in Dallas, unlike Patrick who comes from Maryland.
French Gaylard, Waxahachie
Stop attacking teachers
Maybe before Lt. Governor Dan Patrick tries to shut down University of Texas professors who teach Critical Race Theory, he should first take an actual course in Critical Race Theory. to learn what it really is. I encourage him to invite his fellow Republican fearmongers to take it with him. Who knows, maybe they’ll stop attacking our public primary and secondary school teachers for teaching something they don’t.
Again, I doubt they can resist the temptation to continue plunging into the critical racial hysteria they have created and which has provided them with so much political food.
Jay Farm, Plano
Lower intellect sign
I was literally shocked by Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s wish to ban the teaching and discussion of critical race theory in Texas universities. I find his desire to deny tenure to junior faculty members repugnant. He basically admitted that critical race theory is accurate and explanatory of ongoing racism in American society.
Conservatives cannot adequately refute the theory and will lose in intellectual debates with its proponents, so its simple solution is to ban such teaching. I have always considered the prohibition of something as a sign of an inferior intellect or an inferior political system.
Jim Bridges, Destiny
Prevent past mistakes
What is Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick thinking? All the talk he makes about government interference in our lives and yet he offers to deny tenure to college professors who teach accurate American history.
Every time a court witness is sworn in, they are asked to tell the truth — the whole truth — and not just an interpretation of the facts. The only way to avoid repeating past mistakes is to be aware of how you came to make them in the first place.
This politician seems to have no idea of the limits of the power of his office or his mission. He should go back to trying to decide which students can use certain toilets in public schools, which didn’t make sense either.
Robert Jones, red oak
Destroyed the reputation of the school
Is there a provision in the Lieutenant Governor’s legislation for alumni and current students enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin? A way for their diplomas to retain their value? Perhaps an asterisk indicating that the degree was obtained before it destroyed the reputation of the school?
A way of indicating “degree obtained when the University of Texas at Austin was still considered public ivy, before Dan Patrick ruined its worldwide recognition”.
Karen Yeager Kimball, McKinney
Ending his mandate
I read that our lieutenant governor wanted to terminate the tenure of college professors because of their objections to his interfering in their teaching of certain subjects, including critical race theory. I have another idea. Let’s end his mandate at the very first opportunity we have.
Thomas Kelly, Lantana
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