Education

Literary Outrages, With Pushback From the Sane

Featured image Here in Minnesota, we are witnessing two instances of the collapse of our educational institutions, both having to do with “controversial” literature. One year ago in Duluth, the public school administration banned both Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mockingbird–two indisputably great American novels–from the classroom. Now, sixteen brave Duluth teachers have protested the administration’s decision. My colleague Tom Steward has the story. The teachers’ letter is here. The letter »

The War On Christians (Cont.)

Featured image The Left’s insane attack on high school kids from Covington Catholic School was not an isolated incident. It followed hard on the heels of, among other things, widespread attacks on Karen Pence for teaching art at a Christian school. These were skirmishes in a long war. Rod Dreher points out this tweet by a New York Times reporter who is doing “research” on Christian schools: “Expose Christian schools.” Right. While »

Rob Woutat, RIP

Featured image I am shocked and saddened to learn this morning of the accidental death of Rob Woutat on January 11. I was a student of Rob’s over a period of five years at St Paul Academy in St Paul, from the first year he taught English. In addition to English classes with him I was in six plays he directed over my last three years in high school. He wrote me »

“Restorative justice” in action

Featured image “Restorative justice” is a euphemism for trying to impose less punishment on disruptive students because these students are, as a group, disproportionately African-American. The motive for “restorative justice” is racial. The sociology/pedagogy brought to bear on its behalf is superstructure, to put it as kindly as I can. The Obama administration tried to impose “restorative justice” on schools by threatening to cut off federal funding. It did so through its »

Administration Rescinds Obama School Discipline Letter

Featured image Here’s some good news. The Department of Education and the Department of Justice have jointly rescinded an Obama-era “Dear Colleague” letter that threatened federal action against schools whose discipline policies result in a “disparate impact” on racial minorities. We have repeatedly denounced this assault by the Obama administration on the ability of schools to maintain classroom discipline. Indeed, of all the wars the left is waging on standards, its attack, »

Facilitating the children’s crusade

Featured image The Montgomery County Maryland school board is expected to approve a proposal that would allow high school students to take three days off from school to engage in political protests and other forms of “civic engagement.” These days off from school would be “excused absences.” From this report in the Washington Post, I gather there are two main rationales for the new policy. First, students and parents have expressed concern »

Missouri parents call BS on “racial equity” training

Featured image Yesterday, I noted that five of seven candidates for the Montgomery County, Maryland school board say the biggest problem facing the school district is lower achievement by “students of color.” I disputed the notion that this gap is the school board’s responsibility or problem, but that view seems to be an article of faith in education circles nowadays. It’s also generating a new industry — cultural and racial equity training. »

Blaming schools for the “achievement gap” is foolish and counterproductive

Featured image On Election Day, voters in Montgomery County, Maryland, where I live, will choose among six candidates for the school board running in three contested two-person elections. A seventh candidate is running unopposed after her challenger dropped out of the race. Montgomery County is Maryland’s largest school district. Its operating budget exceeds $2.5 billion a year. The Washington Post has presented profiles of the seven candidates based on their written answers »

Andrew Cuomo: America was never that great

Featured image When candidate Donald Trump rolled out his “Make America Great Again” slogan, Hillary Clinton chided him for taking the position that America isn’t great now. But today, New York governor Andrew Cuomo attacked the slogan from the opposite perspective. He said: “We’re not going to make America great again; it was never that great.” He added that America “will reach greatness when discrimination and stereotyping against women, 51 percent of »

How We Welcomed the National Education Association to Minneapolis

Featured image The National Educational Association is the largest of America’s teachers’ unions. It is perhaps the #1 force for evil in our contemporary politics. Naive observers assume that the teachers’ unions represent children and their parents or, at a minimum, the average teacher. Sadly, this is not true. The NEA is a far-left organization that relies on state power to forcibly extract dues and “fair share” payments from innocent teachers, which »

A great high school and the mayor who would diminish it

Featured image Let’s imagine an academically elite public high school in a big, diverse city. Admission is based solely on how well one does on an entrance examination. No racial or ethnic preferences, no preference for children of alums, no preference for athletes, no guidance counselor recommendations. Just the test score. We have imagined Stuyvesant High School, the crown jewel of the New York City school system. In a better world, we »

A Shocking Call For Diversity at Harvard

Featured image Shocking because it comes from the editors of the Harvard Crimson, and because the diversity they call for is ideological. The context is the release of a report by Harvard’s Presidential Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging. The report, predictably, was all about race and gender. The Crimson’s editors write: [M]uch more work is needed in expanding the conversation and prioritizing ideological diversity on campus. Startlingly, just around 1.5 percent »

Another deadly school shooting spree [With Comment By John]

Featured image A student at Santa Fe High School in Texas killed ten people today and wounded ten more, according to reports. The attacker used two guns — a shotgun and a .38 revolver. Both were owned legally by his father, according to the same reports. One of the wounded was a retired police officer hired by the school as a “resources officer.” He confronted the killer, who shot him. Another resources »

Millenials Haven’t Heard of the Holocaust: True Or False?

Featured image Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day, and The Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany commissioned a polling firm to conduct a “comprehensive national study of Holocaust knowledge and awareness in the United States.” The results are getting quite a bit of media attention. The survey finds a relatively widespread lack of knowledge about the Holocaust, especially among young people. 22% of millennials say they have never heard of the Holocaust, »

GAO study on racial disparities in school discipline ignores central question

Featured image The Government Accounting Office (GAO) has produced a study that’s being touted as vindication of Obama administration policies on school discipline. The study finds that black students get suspended from school at nearly three times the rate of white students nationally. The GAO acknowledges that “disparities in student discipline. . .may support a finding of discrimination, but taken alone, do not establish whether unlawful discrimination has occurred.” However, it’s difficult »

Education Department will rescind its Guidance on school discipline. . .later

Featured image Four years ago, the Obama administration promulgated a Dear Colleague letter on school discipline. It was a joint Department of Justice/Department of Education production. The Dear Colleague Letter applies a disparate impact analysis to school discipline. Its premise is that discipline should be meted out in the same proportion to students of all races. Non-discriminatory treatment isn’t enough. DOJ/DoEd wanted to see equal results. The Obama DOJ/DoEd policy is perverse. »

At the Strib, the hatefest continues

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: »