Teacher tenure law was brought from Europe to America with the founding of the American Association of University Professors in 1915.  Their first president, Professor John Dewey (1859-1952) was a published atheist.  Dewey reminded conferees, “To have failed to undertake these initial demands would have been cowardly.”*

The abuse of academic freedom and teacher tenure guarantees is rooted in the old European secular philosophy.  John S. Brubacher and Willis Rudy point out that, when Darwinian advocates coupled their “origin and destiny of man” theory with the authoritarianism of “German graduate methods [faculty independence]… academic freedom became a cause celebrate [highly controversial].”**  According to Darwinian militants, “There is no fixed limit or perfect form of knowledge and, that on the contrary, truth is always tentative.”***

The harmful impact of teacher tenure guarantees arises from the use of law (government power) to shelter teachers from accountability to the public for what they teach.  “The obligations of the teacher are direct to truth, and the teacher who, in order to please anybody, suppresses important information, or says things he knows are not true, or refrains from saying things that need to be said in the interest of truth, betrays his calling and renders himself unworthy to belong to the company of teachers.”****

John Dewey is recognized as a key leader of the Teachers Union, Local 5, organized in 1916 as an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) in New York City.  The union’s principal target was the repeal of the Lusk Laws, statutes that allowed for the revocation of a teacher’s license “if he is not of good moral character–or if by act or utterance he shows that he will not support the Constitution of the State or of the United States of America.

This belligerent breed of social engineers gradually pushed its way into the leadership of government-administered education.  The group also included Professor John Dewey.  He was the first president of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) and was one of the signers of the first Humanist Manifesto.  He also served as honorary president of the National Education Association (NEA) after it came under leftist control.

These authoritarians demand taxpayer-funded tenure guarantees, the means to finance and empower their war against citizen self-rule and liberty.  To achieve their goal, they must have the freedom to turn the minds of students away from the beliefs of their parents and traditional American values.

*John S. Brubacher and Willis Rudy, Higher Education Transition (New York: Harper and Row, 1958), 310.

**Ibid., 296.

***Ibid., 306.

****W. T. Couch, Academic Freedom (Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, 1995), 1; quoted at a conference titled “Fifty Years After Russell Kirk’s Academic Freedom:  The Future of the Liberal Arts in America,” Hillsdale College, Hillsdale, Michigan, February 2-6, 2005.

~ David Norris

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