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Foreign Language Studies Anti-American?

In the DesMoines Register, columnist Rekha Basu takes aim at a bill called the International Studies in Higher Education Act, which already has cleared the U.S. House. If it becomes law, it could have intelligence officials advising Congress on whether enough pro-American views are included in federally supported international-studies programs. A stated purpose of H.R. 3077 is to train citizens to “participate in homeland-security efforts.”

Apart from the more general threat to academic freedom, specifically federal funding for global studies could be in jeopardy if the theories taught don’t fit a given administration’s position. The bill applies to programs financed under Title VI for foreign languages and “area studies” covering the developing world. Its premise is that too much instruction has an anti-American bias. It proposes to establish an advisory board with seven members appointed by Congress or the administration, including two from intelligence or national-security agencies, to monitor how these programs could better meet homeland-security needs. They would advise Congress on whether supporters of American foreign policy are adequately represented in course curricula. The bill also requires that foreign-service and intelligence agencies be able to recruit at these centers.

Eventually, critics warn, the panel could end up dictating course curricula, materials and even who teaches them in institutions that accept Title VI money. had an article on H.R. 3077 on November 6 under the titel Osama University?


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