Education

DeVos nomination in trouble; should conservatives care?

Featured image Two Republican Senators, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, have announced that they will not vote to confirm Betsy DeVos, President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education. Collins cited DeVos’ lack of familiarity with the Disabilities Education Act. Murkowski expressed concern that DeVos “has been so immersed in the discussion of vouchers.” Without these two votes, DeVos is down to 50 Republican votes. She cannot expect to win the vote of »

Identity politics threatens education reform movement

Featured image The drive for education reform brought together an unusual coalition — conservatives who believe in free markets and left-wing community activists who knew little about Milton Friedman but who saw that the public school monopoly was failing children from poor families. For more than 20 years, this coalition has effectively advanced the cause of school choice, often with very beneficial results. But the coalition is fraying thanks, at least in »

DeVos hearing leaves Democrats frustrated

Featured image Betsy DeVos, the nominee for Secretary of Education, had her hearing last evening. I saw about half of it. Senators were limited to five minutes of questioning and one round. This was consistent with the procedure used for both of President Obama’s nominees for this position. Republicans asked few questions of note during the portions of the hearing I watched. The Democrats mainly wanted to know whether, in effect, DeVos »

Patriotism is plenty

Featured image Our colleague Steve Hayward is the author of a brand new book called Patriotism Is Not Enough. I finished a pre-publication copy this weekend and strongly recommend it. Patriotism may not be enough, but it is plenty — at least in Poland. The Washington Post has a story about the alleged evils inflicted by Poland’s populist government. The Post’s Anthony Faiola bills what’s happening in Poland as “a harbinger of »

Professor watching

Featured image Turning Point USA (TPUSA), a conservative organization made up of high school and college students, has compiled a website database of more than 200 professors at universities across the nation who, in the view of the organization, “discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.” The website is called Professor Watchlist. This has outraged the left which, inevitably, complains of “McCarthyism” by TPUSA. Annabel Scott at the »

A reservation about Betsy DeVos

Featured image Donald Trump’s selection of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education has met with considerable praise from conservatives, and for good reason. She has been excellent on school choice issues. However, the Secretary of Education is not in much of a position to affect school choice policy. Perhaps DeVos will help persuade some Republicans at the state and local level to be less resistant to school choice. Other than that, I’m »

College Board mandates left-wing narrative for AP European History

Featured image The College Board is at it again. Having mandated a left-wing narrative for the teaching of AP U.S. History, it is now out with the corresponding narrative for the teaching of AP European History. You can read it here. The invaluable National Association of Scholars is publishing a 12,000-word critique of the new AP European History (APEH) exam. The report, written by David Randall, is titled The Disappearing Continent. Here »

California poised to adopt ultra-leftist K-12 history curriculum

Featured image Stanley Kurtz reports that California is on the verge of approving a new and sharply leftist K-12 curriculum framework for history and social sciences. The move, he adds, “has national implications, since textbooks retooled to fit California’s changing history frameworks are often used much more widely.” Stanley describes the new California curriculum this way : On immigration, it is anti-assimilationist; on family and sexuality, it is radically anti-traditionalist; on terrorism, »

Anti-Semitism Comes to Harvard Law School

Featured image We have written extensively (e.g., here) about a supposed racial hate crime at Harvard Law School. Persons unknown placed small pieces of tape over some of the portraits of African-American professors in a law school building. From the school’s reaction–emails to alumni, public meetings, fervid denunciations of the perpetrators, a purported investigation–one might have thought there had been a lynching. In fact, it was pretty obvious from the beginning that »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll has A FEW REASONS WHY FREE COMMUNITY COLLEGE IS A TERRIBLE IDEA. She writes: ONE: People do not value things that are free. We have a strong cultural belief that “what you pay is what it’s worth.” I offer as just one case in point, how free entertainers are treated. I offer the example with sadness and vast experience. Trust me when I tell you that all entertainers »

Trutherism, Ten Years After

Featured image In 2006, Dr. Kevin Barrett was an instructor at the University of Wisconsin who was slated to teach a course titled: “Islam: Religion and Culture.” Barrett became controversial when critics learned that he was a leading exponent of 9/11 trutherism, the absurd theory that the United States government perpetrated the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The University of Wisconsin came down on Barrett’s side, as Inside Higher Education reported: The »

Civil Rights Commissioner warned Minneapolis against quota discipline [UPDATED WITH LINK]

Featured image Last week, Scott and I wrote about an article by Katherine Kersten regarding the ruinous impact on schools in the Twin Cities of racial “equity” in school discipline. As Kersten demonstrated, the attempt to reduce the number of disciplinary actions against minority school children, on the theory that they are disproportionately disciplined, has helped turn some schools in the Twin Cities into war zones. Peter Kirsanow, a member of the »

Refuting Kersten, Onion style

Featured image My friend Kathy Kersten wrote the devastating column featured in the Star Tribune this past Sunday on disorder in the St. Paul public schools following from the directives of the Obama administration. Kathy’s column was published as “The school safety debate: Mollycoddle no more.” I drew attention to Kathy’s column in “Kersten’s discipline.” Paul reviewed the column at length in “The war on standards in Twin Cities schools.” Yesterday the »

The war on standards: gifted student programs edition [UPDATED]

Featured image The Washington Post reports that the Montgomery County school district (which covers an affluent suburban county just outside of Washington, D.C.) is concerned about racial disparities in its “gifted student” programs. A report it commissioned found marked disparities by race and ethnicity in enrollment and acceptance rates, with white and Asian students faring much better than their black and Hispanic counterparts. The report notes, for example, that enrollment in the »

The war on standards in Twin Cities schools

Featured image I hope you read Katherine Kersten’s article, presented yesterday by Scott, about the impact of “equity” in disciplinary action on schools in the Twin Cities. As Kersten explains, “equity” in this context isn’t about fairness — that is, the same rules for everyone. Rather, it means that “if one group’s outcomes on social measures are not identical to all of the others’, the cause is presumed to be discrimination and »

Kersten’s discipline

Featured image In today’s Star Tribune, my friend Kathy Kersten provides a local St. Paul angle to the politically inspired war on standards that Paul Mirengoff has been writing about over the past several years on Power Line. Kathy’s lead op-ed column will make heads explode all over Minnesota: “The school safety debate: Mollycoddle no more.” There is a relentless quality to Kathy’s analysis that extends from St. Paul Central High School »

What Are College Students Reading?

Featured image Via our friends at Intellectual Takeout, we see a list of the 200 books most often assigned to American college students. Having perused the list, my judgment is: it could be a whole lot worse. It is striking how many are legitimate classics, everything from Strunk and White–number one on the list–to Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Sophocles, Shakespeare, Homer, Chaucer, Mill and Locke. If students are actually reading this stuff, »