Facts Still Count
Facts Still Count:
An Analysis of David Horowitz's One-Party Classroom
Nearly three years after our first report, Facts Count, debunked the accusations against faculty members and higher education in David Horowitz’s 2006 book, The Professors, we find ourselves confronted with yet another round of attacks against higher education in his latest book, One-Party Classroom, which he co-authored with Jacob Laskin.
Our conclusion, after reading this new book and examining its arguments and their factual bases, is the same as it was in 2006: Facts still count, and Horowitz’s arguments still sorely lack supporting evidence.
New policies that affect higher education should not be undertaken lightly, considering the millions of students and future leaders attending American colleges and universities, the communities relying on important research to solve our collective challenges, and the policymakers depending on institutions to add economic vitality and growth to their districts.
Unfortunately, instead of the rigorous examination upon which future policies and planning should be based, Horowitz’s analysis in One-Party Classroom closely resembles the shoddy research and baseless conclusions in The Professors. Like previous works from Horowitz, One-Party Classroom attempts to indict all of higher education based on examples the authors have cherry-picked and then distorted beyond any semblance of reality.
This report examines the inaccuracies in One-Party Classroom’s accusations, as well as the lack of evidence and faulty logic underlying its claims and conclusions. As in his previous works, Horowitz cites only a scant number of academics and courses, and then makes broad eneralizations and indictments of higher education based on that unrepresentative sampling. In this book, Horowitz adds to his research problems by reviewing only course syllabi available online, faculty member profiles and reading lists—often incompletely and/or inaccurately—and failing to include any real measure of what occurs in a course. In particular, this report will examine:
Conclusions and accusations based on incomplete and inaccurate course syllabi.
Horowitz repeatedly uses inaccurate copies of course descriptions, intentionally omits sections of course descriptions and simply misquotes course descriptions, when claiming that a course, department or faculty member’s work is inappropriate for higher education. With a lack of accurate evidence, Horowitz’s conclusions fail to hold water.
Misrepresentations of classroom reading lists.
Repeatedly, Horowitz cites the reading list of a course as evidence that it is used to indoctrinate rather than educate—typically because his representation of the reading list contains only perspectives of which he disapproves. However, in a number of examples, Horowitz’s account literally leaves out books and reading assignments that would disprove his claims.
Misrepresentations of faculty members’ credentials.
As in his previous attacks on higher education, one of Horowitz’s chief complaints is that faculty members lack the credentials to teach their courses. Similar to his treatment of reading lists, Horowitz relies on, at best, incomplete information to make his claims. He repeatedly leaves out significant research or writing in the relevant field when making his accusations.
Facts still count, and our assessment of Horowitz’s latest book finds it sorely lacking. Much like The Professors, the data in One-Party Classroom is cherry-picked, manipulated or grossly blown out of proportion to serve Horowitz’s agenda—to smear and discredit higher education. To the extent One-Party Classroom provides evidence of any trend, it demonstrates only the consistency of Horowitz’s biases against higher education.