Stanford University: Education Program Tries to Keep Outspoken Student from Enrolling, Demands Access to Private Blog

Category: Free Speech
Schools: Stanford University

Stanford University’s Teacher Education Program (STEP) has finally let dissenting student-blogger Michele Kerr graduate. When Stanford tried to revoke Kerr’s admission after she voiced disagreement with “progressive” views held by STEP administrators, Kerr turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. Kerr sought FIRE’s aid a second time after Stanford School of Education administrators demanded the password to her private blog and threatened to expel her for her opinions and teaching philosophy. The shameful story of Kerr’s travails was featured online in The Washington Post by education columnist Jay Mathews.

  • Washington Post: Stanford Ed School Hounds Blogger

    July 24, 2009

    Jay Mathews of The Washington Post has a great column on the Stanford University Teacher Education Program’s (STEP’s) shameful treatment of a dissenting student blogger, Michele Kerr. Michele’s Kerr’s strange odyssey began shortly after she was admitted to STEP in 2008, when Kerr attended an open house for admitted students. When asked, she said that she did not entirely agree with what she perceived to be STEP’s “progressive” approach to education, but that she intended to learn from STEP and keep an open mind. That apparently wasn’t close enough to the party line for STEP Director Rachel Lotan, who soon […]

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  • They Messed With the Wrong Blogger

    July 24, 2009

    Michele Kerr (she tells me it is pronounced “cur”) is a hard-working educator and Web surfer who is often mean to me. This is probably a good thing. When I post something stupid, Kerr—using her nom de Internet, “Cal Lanier”—is on me like my cat chasing a vole in the backyard. Her acidic humor is so entertaining, however, and her command of the facts so complete, that I have come to look forward to her critiques. She tends to eviscerate me whenever I embrace anti-tracking or other progressive gospel preached in education schools these days, but I learn something each […]

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  • Adam Takes on Stanford School of Education in ‘Examiner’ Newspapers as Notoriety Surrounding Case Spreads Through Media

    July 29, 2009

    Amidst the escalating chatter following Jay Mathews’ Washington Post article exposing Stanford University’s deplorable treatment of teacher education student Michele Kerr, Adam Kissel levels another blow to Stanford’s School of Education, in a column seen today in both the San Francisco Examiner and Washington Examiner newspapers. The School of Education, as has been well noted by now, made concerted efforts not only to prevent Kerr from entering STEP after being admitted, but also to build a case against her that would result in her removal from the program. Adam’s description of its attempts to police Kerr’s blog—and its blatant use […]

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  • Stanford University punishes dissent when training teachers

    July 29, 2009

    Michele Kerr has had a harder year than most aspiring math teachers. For her, the math was easy and the teaching was a snap. The problem was the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP). Once administrators found out she didn’t fully share what she calls the “progressive” teaching philosophy that is pervasive at STEP and education schools nationwide, they tried to thwart her career. In March 2008, Kerr attended an open house for admitted students and stated her concern about paying big bucks to learn a teaching philosophy that strongly differed from her own. Soon she found herself in the director’s […]

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  • Greg in ‘Huffington Post’ on Stanford Blogger Case

    July 27, 2009

    In his most recent article for The Huffington Post, FIRE President Greg Lukianoff discusses the shocking treatment of student blogger Michele Kerr by the Stanford University Teacher Education Program (STEP). The controversy, which was recently featured in The Washington Post, stemmed both from Kerr’s dissenting pedagogical views and from the fact that she operated a blog documenting her experiences as a future certified teacher in California. Despite Stanford’s repeated attempts to derail her career, she was able to graduate in June with help from FIRE. Greg writes: Despite the fact that my chosen career path is as a watchdog against […]

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  • Victory for Freedom of Speech at Stanford: Student Graduates Despite Ed School Efforts to Revoke Admission, Investigate Private Blog, and Declare Student Unfit for Teaching

    July 24, 2009

    As we noted in today’s press release, Stanford University’s Teacher Education Program (STEP) has finally let dissenting student-blogger Michele Kerr graduate. Stanford tried to revoke Kerr’s admission after she voiced disagreement with “progressive” views held by STEP administrators, but FIRE intervened and resolved the issue. Kerr also was blogging about her thoughts and experiences as a future certified teacher. Stanford School of Education administrators demanded the password to her private blog and threatened to expel her for her opinions and teaching philosophy. The shameful story of Kerr’s travails is featured online in The Washington Post today by education columnist Jay […]

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  • Victory for Freedom of Speech at Stanford: Student Graduates Despite Ed School Efforts to Revoke Admission, Investigate Private Blog, and Declare Student Unfit for Teaching

    July 24, 2009

    SAN FRANCISCO, July 24, 2009—Stanford University’s Teacher Education Program (STEP) has finally let dissenting student-blogger Michele Kerr graduate. When Stanford tried to revoke Kerr’s admission after she voiced disagreement with “progressive” views held by STEP administrators, Kerr turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. Kerr sought FIRE’s aid a second time after Stanford School of Education administrators demanded the password to her private blog and threatened to expel her for her opinions and teaching philosophy. The shameful story of Kerr’s travails is featured online in The Washington Post today by education columnist Jay Mathews. “From […]

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