Category Archives: Education

Why Force Parents To Keep Their Children In Failing Public Schools? by Duane Norman

The education system should be completely privatized and the Department of Education abolished. Our children’s minds are far too important to give the government any role in education. It is most important to let a thousand private flowers bloom for those goods and services that are most essential, like education and medicine. However, absent full privatization, children in hellish public schools should be able to get out of them. From Duane Norman at fmshooter.com:

The nomination of Betsy DeVos was fraught with criticism from the left. She was derided for having “no experience with public education, no political experience, no government administrative experience,” and her support for school vouchers/charter schools, among many other things. Notably, most of the criticism came from educators, many of them members of the teachers’ unions, who have had many years and more than enough funding to fix failing public schools, with little (if any) success.

Which all begs the question – if your student is enrolled at a failing public institution, why should he/she be forced to remain enrolled there?

Recently, someone shared the experience of “Madeline” (the mother of a Philadelphia school student) and “Steve” (the student himself). Their names have been changed for the purpose of this article, which as Madeline explains, is more than likely necessary, so they do not face reprisal from public school educators and administrators. For her and her son, having a choice has meant the difference between years wasted in a failing school, and a real chance at a real education.

Madeline and Steve, both African Americans, live with Madeline’s husband in West Philadelphia, where most families are hard working but underpaid by any standard. Steve attended John Barry Elementary School (Grades K-8) from Kindergarten through 3rd grade. They both described the school as “terrible,” among several other less than savory terms. Every day there were fights, with girls pulling hair out, and kids would turn over desks/chairs before running through the halls while class was in session. Teachers would try to break up fights, but would more often call security, who would remove the offending student. If the issue couldn’t be resolved, parents would be called, who wouldn’t always show up to take the child away. If teachers took away phones from students who used them during class, they would curse at teachers and administrators with little fear of reprisal, sometime assaulting teachers.

To continue reading: Why Force Parents To Keep Their Children In Failing Public Schools?

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Undermining Academic Achievement, by Walter Williams

The public education establishment keeps lowering the bar for itself. From Walter Williams at lewrockwell.com:

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement, “The president’s decision to ask Betsy DeVos to run the Department of Education should offend every single American man, woman, and child who has benefitted from the public education system in this country.” Expressing similar sentiments, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond said, “I expect that Mrs. DeVos will have an incredibly harmful impact on public education and on black communities nationwide.” Those and many other criticisms of Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos could be dismissed as simply political posturing if we did not have an educational system that is mostly mediocre and is in advanced decay for most black students.

According to The Nation’s Report Card, only 37 percent of 12th-graders were proficient in reading in 2015, and just 25 percent were proficient in math (https://www.nationsreportcard.gov). For black students, achievement levels were a disgrace. Nationally, 17 percent of black students scored proficient in reading, and 7 percent scored proficient in math. In some cities, such as Detroit, black academic proficiency is worse; among eighth-graders, only 4 percent were proficient in math, and only 7 percent were proficient in reading.

The nation’s high-school graduation rate rose again in the 2014-15 school year, reaching a record high as more than 83 percent of students earned a diploma on time. Educators see this as some kind of achievement and congratulate themselves. The tragedy is that high-school graduation has little relevance to achievement.

To continue reading: Undermining Academic Achievement

He Said That? 2/27/17

From George Carlin (1937-2008), American stand-up comedian, social critic, actor and author:

[On school uniforms] Don’t these schools do enough damage making all these kids think alike, now they have to make them look alike too? It’s not a new idea, either. I first saw it in old newsreels from the 1930s, but it was hard to understand because the narration was in German.

Intellectual Intolerance – Stunning Speech From Stanford University Provost Exposes “The Threat From Within”, by Tyler Durden

Let’s hope Stanford Provost John Etchemendy is on the leading edge of a backlash against intellectual intolerance masquerading as “tolerance” on college campuses. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

In a remarkable – for its honesty and frankness – statement on the intellectual rot within America’s Ivory Towers, Stanford University Provost John Etchemendy lay bare the challenges that higher education face in the coming, increasingly divisive, years.

The Threat From Within

Universities are a fundamental force of good in the world. At their best, they mine knowledge and understanding, wisdom and insight, and then freely distribute these treasures to society at large. Theirs is not a monopoly on this undertaking, but in the concentration of effort and single-mindedness of purpose, they are truly unique institutions. If Aristotle is right that what defines a human is rationality, then they are the most distinctive, perhaps the pinnacle, of human endeavors.

I share this thought to remind us all why we do what we do – why we care so much about Stanford and what it represents. But I also say it to voice a concern. Universities are under attack, both from outside and from within.

The threat from outside is apparent. Potential cuts in federal funding would diminish our research enterprise and our ability to fund graduate education. Taxing endowments would limit the support we can give to faculty and the services we can provide our students. Indiscriminate travel restrictions would impede the free exchange of ideas and scholars. All of these threats have intensified in recent years – and recent months have given them a reality that is hard to ignore.

But I’m actually more worried about the threat from within. Over the years, I have watched a growing intolerance at universities in this country – not intolerance along racial or ethnic or gender lines – there, we have made laudable progress. Rather, a kind of intellectual intolerance, a political one-sidedness, that is the antithesis of what universities should stand for. It manifests itself in many ways: in the intellectual monocultures that have taken over certain disciplines; in the demands to disinvite speakers and outlaw groups whose views we find offensive; in constant calls for the university itself to take political stands. We decry certain news outlets as echo chambers, while we fail to notice the echo chamber we’ve built around ourselves.

To continue reading: Intellectual Intolerance – Stunning Speech From Stanford University Provost Exposes “The Threat From Within”

Chatham NJ public school teaches Islam — but no other religions, by EAG News

In Chatham, New Jersey, 7th graders are taught extensively about Islam and learn next to nothing about any of the world’s other major religions. Why? From EAG News via theburningplatform.com:

CHATHAM, N.J. – Parents of students at Chatham Middle School are calling on the board of education to eliminate lessons on Islam from the 7th grade social studies curriculum they believe proselytizes the religion.

Several parents attended a board meeting Monday to take aim at materials distributed to students through a “World Cultures and Geography” class they believe cross the line, Tap into Chatham reports.

The parents emailed board members copies of the lessons they believe violate the district’s policy that “no religious beliefs be promoted or disparaged” and handed copies to others in attendance at the meeting, as well.

“In the Middle East and North Africa unit of the class students are taught about the five pillars of Islam in great detail, there are two videos on it, a 20-page PowerPoint presentation, class work, homework, and testing,” parent Libby Hilsenrath told the board. “In this unit, there is no mention of any other religion or teaching of it.

“… When it comes to teaching other religions at this level, it’s not done,” she said.

Hilsenrath went over many of the objectionable homework assignments with board members in detail, including lessons that require students to memorize and write the Islamic conversion prayer.

Another parent, Nancy Gayer, also addressed the board about the in-depth study of Islam. Videos of both women’s comments were posted to YouTube, and they appeared together on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to air their grievances.

“I think it crosses the line because it teaches one religion and not all others,” Hilsenrath told Carlson. “It’s in a world culture and geography course and no other religion is taught. And to me, that’s not education, because in order to educate you need to teach all.”

To continue reading: Chatham NJ public school teaches Islam — but no other religions

 

Feeding Your Inner Caligula, by Theodore Dalrymple

One of the travesties of modern psychology is the attempt to separate one’s conception of one’s self from any objective facts or reality. In other, you can be an utter monster of a person, but still supposedly have high self-esteem. From Theodore Dalrymple at takimag.com:

Self-love used to be a vice, but nowadays it is the nearest thing to a virtue, as a supposed precondition of our own mental health (whatever that might be).

An Irish friend kindly forwarded me an article from The Irish Times reporting on a school in County Dublin that, on St. Valentine’s Day, encouraged children to write Valentine cards to themselves. They were supposed to inscribe in them what they loved about themselves, on the theory that self-love is a precondition to success, happiness, and resilience, and should therefore be taught early and probably incessantly.

My view is that the head teacher of the school ought to be given hemlock to drink for corrupting youth, but I accept that some people might think this punishment a little severe. Indeed, there are some people—the author of the article among them, a psychotherapist—who think the promotion of youthful self-satisfaction and conceit an excellent idea, the key to the little ones’ future happiness.

I looked up the school’s mission statement on the internet. Suffice it to say that it contained few surprises, other than the fact that it existed at all. It was the expected dreary catalog of modern pieties, among them the celebration of the uniqueness of the child and respect for diversity of traditions, values, and beliefs, irrespective of the particular nature or content of those traditions, values. and beliefs. As for “celebrating” uniqueness: How is it to be done? By getting the little geniuses to chant “I am unique, you are unique, we are all unique, everyone is unique!” while holding hands and dancing round a tree as the teacher beats the rhythm on a tambourine?

To continue reading: Feeding Your Inner Caligula

 

The Road to Hell Was Paved with College Safe Spaces, by Michael Krieger

If snowflakes don’t want to hear people they don’t agree with, they should buy some earplugs. Instead, they DEMAND that such people be banned from their campus. From Michael Krieger at libertyblitzkrieg.com:

That isn’t what this resistance is now doing. What they’re doing instead is trying to take maybe the only faction worse than Donald Trump, which is the deep state, like the CIA with its history of atrocities, and say they ought to almost engage in like a soft coup where they take the elected President and prevent him from enacting his policy. And I think it is extremely dangerous to do that.

– From Glenn Greenwald’s recent interview with Democracy Now

Earlier today, I posted the following tweet:

Still waiting for “the resistance” to arrive.
So far it looks like an alliance between Romper Room and Allen Dulles.

— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) February 16, 2017

This observation was merely my latest twist on a theme I’ve been hammering home ever since Trump won the election. Namely, given there are so many obvious things to be concerned about when it comes to Trump (his love affair with Goldman Sachs, support of civil asset forfeiture and a statist mentality overall), why are we being manipulated into focusing all our outrage on a largely invented conspiracy theory that he is some sort of Putin stooge?

The reason is both extremely simple and extraordinarily clever. The main reason Russia is such an obsession within the fake “resistance,” is because it’s a way to demonize Trump while defending the police state apparatus. In other words, it prevents well-meaning people from taking Trump to task on issues that really matter. This way, they can simply distract with Russia noise and continue to loot and pillage society at large. It’s genius really. You create a fake yet salacious narrative and rally the gullible public around it in order to distract from real domestic problems. This way you can be “anti-Trump,” while at the same time being pro-Wall Street fraud, corporatism, war, unconstitutional spying, and the national security state. This is your “resistance” as it stands today.

To continue reading: The Road to Hell Was Paved with College Safe Spaces