“The president of a California college is sending a letter to President Bush apologizing for an instructor who gave students extra credit for writing anti-war missives to the White House. | ‘Students were clear in their understanding that they would only receive credit if they wrote ‘protest’ letters…’ ” Lou Marano
I’m sure Bush has more on his mind right now than feeling miffed that a college professor abused her authority in this manner. There’s nothing wrong with giving students an extra credit assignment to send a letter to an elected official, and when the course subject matter touches on a political issue I think it’s perfectly appropriate for a faculty member to take a stand and defend it. But students should not be coerced into producing texts that advocate a particular ideology, no matter how passionately the instructor feels about an issue. What’s the point of trying to hold class discussions if only the people who hold a certain point of view will be rewarded? The faculty member in question should quit her job and run for political office if she can’t separate her activism from her instruction.