Texas, Part II: are we really so bad at explaining education to the doubters?

Here is a statement attributed to Texas Governor Rick Perry regarding higher education research: he and others are said to be wondering ‘whether there’s a need for more critiques of Shakespeare and other esoteric research that doesn’t generate income for the state.’

This is said to have ‘stirred a tempest on Texas campuses’. It is easy to see that it would, but the problem may be that many people don’t understand why research is funded, and universities have not been particularly good at making the case in all circumstances other than where research specifically addresses a very practical need. This extends beyond research, because if Governor Perry believes that Shakespeare doesn’t merit further research, he may not think much of his plays being taught either.

The case for higher education, and the capacity for diversity within, need to be re-explained to the wider public, urgently.

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3 Comments on “Texas, Part II: are we really so bad at explaining education to the doubters?”

  1. jfryar Says:

    Well, this is a man who doubts anthropogenic global warming (or heating, as it should now be called) and wants intelligent design taught alongside evolution. I suspect neither he nor his voters, based on the above, are persuaded by such things as evidence-based arguments or ‘facts’.

    I say let Texas keep pumping oil like the proverbial (or is it literal?) man who built his house on sand, let them demolish their education system while they wait for the Rapture (third-time lucky …), and let the State serve as an example to the rest of the US of what happens when you listen to people like Rick Perry.

  2. Al Says:

    His argument is one that should be perpetually assessed. There are too many altars to bow to!
    Especially here where we teach the national language for over 10 years with little expectation of fluency afterwards.

  3. cormac Says:

    Perry doesn’t seem to be too keen on basic science either, whether it’s the the theory of evolution or climate science. I’m not sure where rational argument gets you when dealing with this sort of republican ideology

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