CounterCurrent: Week of 11/20
Happy Thanksgiving week, CounterCurrent readers! The turkeys are defrosting, the pies are baking, and the grocery stores are abuzz with last-minute shoppers (ask me how I know). Amid the pre-feast flurry, it is worth taking a moment to pause and reflect on the many blessings this year has brought us. The past several years have had their fair share of ups and downs, and 2022 was no different—but as the end of the year approaches, more than anything else, we are grateful for the opportunity to fight for the future of American higher education.
So before you indulge in your Thanksgiving feast, indulge us for a moment as we reflect on three things we’re grateful for this year:
Since the beginning of 2022, NAS researchers have authored nine new reports and case studies on topics ranging from the closure of Confucius Institutesto the rise of diversity, equity, and inclusion bureaucracies to the capture of Middle East Studies Centers. Every one of these reports is the fruit of months and even years of careful, painstaking research, and we are extremely grateful to our researchers for their hard work and dedication. If you haven’t checked out our 2022 reports and case studies yet, I highly recommend you do so. They offer a treasure trove of information on a slew of crucial, under-reported topics. Click here to see for yourself.
In addition to our many publications, NAS has hosted over sixty webinars this past year. Many of these webinars have addressed important topics in higher education reform, such as the student debt crisis, the abuse of Title IX, and the future of vocational and technical education. But some of my personal favorites have been the discussions about American history, literature, philosophy, and culture that are no longer happening in many colleges and universities. We are grateful both to our guest speakers and to our faithful attendees, many of whom show up week after week to listen and ask questions.
This summer, we wrapped up the American history segment of the Celebrating America webinar series, and the American literature segment will be concluding at the end of December. But our slate of upcoming webinars is as full as ever thanks to the three new webinar series that launched this year: American Innovation, Restoring the Sciences, and Right Ideas. In just a few weeks, we will also launch a fourth series, which will dive into the role of race in American higher education in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s upcoming decision on racial preferences (sign up for the first webinar in the series here).
For nearly two years, NAS has worked to preserve and improve American civics education through the Civics Alliance, a coalition of education reformers, policymakers, and citizens that we convened to promote civics education in public K–12 schools. This summer, the Civics Alliance reached its biggest milestone thus far: American Birthright. This is a set of carefully crafted model K–12 social studies standards that states can use to ensure that students learn about their birthright of liberty. American Birthright has quickly gained traction among education reformers across the country, and 20 states have already made reference to American Birthright in some way. We are grateful to NAS Research Director and Civics Alliance Executive Director David Randall for shepherding this project and for his tireless work to promote civics education—and we are especially grateful to the many members of the Civics Alliance who have partnered with him in this effort.
Of course, I would be remiss if I concluded this message without expressing our heartfelt gratitude to you, loyal CounterCurrent readers. Whether you are a longtime NAS member or a new friend to the cause, we are grateful for your time and attention week after week. Thank you for standing with us as we fight to preserve American higher education for future generations.
From all of us at the National Association of Scholars, have a very happy Thanksgiving!
Until next week.
CounterCurrent is the National Association of Scholars’ weekly newsletter, written by Communications Associate Marina Ziemnick. To subscribe, update your email preferences here.