The radical conservatives love to find boogeymen on whom to blame their woes. Alas for them, another conservative boogeyman gets whacked by reality: Patricia Cohen goes on to report that three new studies have found that we godless Commie academics evidently can't indoctrinate our way out of a paper bag:
...Three sets of researchers recently concluded that professors have virtually no impact on the political views and ideology of their students.
If there has been a conspiracy among liberal faculty members to influence students, “they’ve done a pretty bad job,” said A. Lee Fritschler, a professor of public policy at George Mason University and an author of the new book Closed Minds? Politics and Ideology in American Universities.
The notion that students are induced to move leftward “is a fantasy,” said Jeremy D. Mayer, another of the book’s authors. (Bruce L. R. Smith is the third co-author of the book.) When it comes to shaping a young person’s political views, “it is really hard to change the mind of anyone over 15,” said Mr. Mayer, who did extensive research on faculty and students.
“Parents and family are the most important influence,” followed by the news media and peers, he said. “Professors are among the least influential.”
A study of nearly 7,000 students at 38 institutions published in the current PS: Political Science and Politics, the journal of the American Political Science Association, as well as a second study that has been accepted by the journal to run in April 2009, both reach similar conclusions.
“There is no evidence that an instructor’s views instigate political change among students,” Matthew Woessner and April Kelly-Woessner, a husband-and-wife team of political scientists who have frequently conducted research on politics in higher education, write in that second study.
Their work is often cited by people on both sides of the debate, not least because Mr. Woessner describes himself as politically conservative [Patricia Cohen, "Professors' Liberalism Contagious? Maybe Not," New York Times, 2008.11.02].
These studies only confirm what any professor could have told you: the kids aren't listening anyway! ;-)
Seriously, teachers and professors make easy punching bags for folks with a political agenda. But if you don't like the kids' politics, well, you can't blame us. As I've said before, if you think skinny secular humanists like me are the greatest danger America's youth face, you aren't paying attention.