Education

The Shame of America’s Public High Schools

Featured image I wrote here, here, here (a video of a speech by me), here and here about the sad decline of the Edina, Minnesota public schools into hard-core leftism. Edina’s school district was once among the nation’s most respected, but its administrators have been content to see the district slide down to second or third tier status, because their sole priority is “racial equity,” which is code for a long list »

Study claims high school students are stressed by Trump

Featured image Student anxiety and hostility at public high schools have worsened since Donald Trump became president, according to a study. More than half of the 1,535 teachers who responded to a survey claimed to see more students than ever with “high levels of stress and anxiety” between January and May of this year. The study was conducted by UCLA’s director of the Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access. The title of »

The war on standards: Illiterate teachers edition

Featured image I missed this story at the time, but earlier this year the New York Times reported that the New York Board of Regents eliminated a requirement that aspiring teachers in the state pass a literacy test to become certified. The Board eliminated the requirement because Black and Hispanic candidates for teaching jobs passed the literacy test at significantly lower rates than white candidates. In lieu of passing the literary test, »

Jerry Brown Sides with Betsy DeVos on Title IX

Featured image Today Governor Jerry Brown vetoed a bill from the California state legislature that would have codified the previous Title IX “guidance” about sexual assault and harassment on college campuses. Referencing a previously enacted California law imposing an “affirmative consent” standard for hookups (“Yes means yes,” along with a “preponderance of evidence” standard for making judgments), Brown today says this: Since this law was enacted, however, thoughtful legal minds have increasingly questioned »

Countering Kersten [updated]

Featured image In 1747 Samuel Johnson announced the plan to write what became his Dictionary of the English Language. Johnson had hoped to get the job done in three years. His friend Richard Adams questioned his ability to complete such a massive undertaking in such a short time. It had taken the 40 members of the French Academy 40 years to compile their Dictionary, Adams reminded him. Boswell reported Johnson’s famous response: »

How Leftist Indoctrination Ruins a School System

Featured image I wrote here about left-wing indoctrination in the Edina, Minnesota public schools. As a local story, it has been explosive. As a national story, it is a warning to normal parents and students everywhere. Leftism in the Edina schools is the subject of the cover story in the current issue of Thinking Minnesota. I highly recommend the article, written by veteran Twin Cities columnist Kathy Kersten. The Edina controversy actually »

How Leftism Can Ruin a Once-Proud School District

Featured image Edina is one of the Twin Cities’ wealthiest suburbs. For decades, its public schools have been viewed as among the nation’s finest. But no longer: a leftist political agenda now dominates the Edina school system, and quality of instruction has slipped badly. Edina is not alone. What has happened there is going on in public schools across the country. Edina’s experience should be a warning to all of us. Kathy »

What Do Fanny Hill and King Lear Have In Common? [with comment by Paul]

Featured image Fanny Hill was the first pornographic novel written in English. It was authored by John Cleland (who, as far as I know, never wrote anything else) and published in 1748. Among other things, Fanny Hill is famous for the fact that it doesn’t contain any bad words. Pornographers were a lot more inventive in those days. Nevertheless, it was, in former centuries, one of the most frequently banned books. I »

Thomas Jefferson: Useful again, for a few days

Featured image Charlottesville, scene of a hate rally and of awful violence this weekend, was the home town of Thomas Jefferson. Virginia’s liberal governor Terry McAuliffe was among those who invoked Jefferson when condemning the alt-right. McAuliffe said: Go home. You are not wanted in this great commonwealth. Shame on you. You pretend that you are patriots, but you are anything but a patriot. You want to talk about patriots, talk about »

Left-wing Indoctrination in the Schools: It’s Worse Than You Think

Featured image Edina High School in suburban Minneapolis was long regarded as one of the country’s top secondary schools. In recent years, its national ratings and its local reputation have slipped, perhaps in part because teachers are spending time promoting a left-wing agenda and bullying conservative students rather than teaching the subjects they are paid to teach. Following last November’s election, 80 Edina High School teachers–which must represent pretty much the entire »

Life lessons from the chief

Featured image Courtesy of an appreciative account by Washington Post Supreme Court reporter Robert Barnes, Hugh Hewitt tipped his listeners this morning to Chief Justice John Roberts’s ninth-grade commencement address early last month at the Cardigan Mountain School. Cardigan Mountain is an elite boarding school for boys in grades six through nine in Caanan, New Hampshire. Barnes observes: “Sitting up front under a large white tent as John Glover Roberts Jr. took »

A victory for charter schools in Los Angeles

Featured image Charter school backers have won a majority of seats on the board of the Los Angeles Unified School District for the first. The story is here, in a Los Angeles Times article. You have to dig it out, though. The Times leads off by talking about talking about “wealthy charter school advocates” and by giving voice to the unhappiness of a losing candidate. Deep into the story, the Times finally »

Trump moves to promote local control over education

Featured image Last week, President Trump issued an executive order directing Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to determine which regulations and guidance documents issued by the U.S. Department of Education have unlawfully overreached on education policy to the detriment of state and local control. A Department of Education official said the order “puts an end to this overreach, ensuring that states and localities are free to make educational decisions” as required by »

Student Loan Defaults Skyrocket

Featured image The Washington Post reports on what many have recognized for some time as a ticking time bomb: A new analysis of federal student loans reveals the number of people severely behind on repaying their debt has soared in the last year, painting a bleak picture of one of the largest government programs. The Consumer Federation of America released a study Tuesday that found that millions of people had not made »

Another Democratic Party Disgrace

Featured image Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made her first visit to a public school today, a middle school in Washington, D.C. A group of hateful protesters showed up and blocked her from entering the school: The Washington Teachers’ Union also sponsored a demonstration, but they claimed that the protesters who blocked the school house door–Democrats make a habit of that–were not with them. Watching the video reminds us that these are »

Mrs. Warren’s profession revisited

Featured image Perhaps the main count in Elizabeth Warren’s indictment of the then prospective confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education was DeVos’s support for school choice. Warren charged that it may well even have “disqualified” DeVos from the position: Warren pointed to what she called DeVos’ “deep record of activism, bankrolling and lobbying for policies that would privatize public education” without meaningful accountability. “Your history of support for policies that »

No thug left behind

Featured image Our friend Katherine Kersten is senior fellow at the Center of the American Experiment, Minnesota’s conservative think tank, at which John Hinderaker serves as president. Kathy is an indefatigable analyst and advocate who has effectively promoted good public policy and opposed bad public policy while breaking major stories illustrating the way we live now. Most recently, Kathy has turned her attention to the destruction of student discipline in the St. »