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The agenda of A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy’s Future, “commissioned,” “funded,” and “nurtured” by the U.S. Department of Education, is nothing less than an attempt to implement a “transformation” of America by “transform[ing] current academic norms about what counts as scholarship.”1
Let this document be remembered, then, as the federal government’s official announcement of the death of true scholarship and independent thought.
The aims of what is presented as civic education are stated clearly by project directors Larry Braskamp, president of Global Perspective Institute, and Caryn Musil, senior vice president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities, as well as the many other individuals who contributed in different capacities to producing the report—roundtable members, administrators of current programs, college presidents, students, professors, foundation leaders, and heads of higher education and disciplinary societies. They are to “eliminate...