Education

How Dumb Are America’s College Students?

Featured image Heather Mac Donald is one of America’s great heroines. For no reason other than love of her country, Western civilization and common sense, she ventures repeatedly into the bizarre and hostile world of America’s colleges and universities. If students listened to her, they would learn a lot. Alas, most of them are not up to that task. Heather has often been subjected not just to rudeness, but to threats of »

Segregation Forever!

Featured image Glenn Reynolds has an excellent column in USA Today on the re-segregation of American universities that is being forced by the Democratic Party and the Left: “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever!” Those words were thundered by Alabama Gov. George Wallace in his 1963 inauguration speech. But, in fact, the very next year, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, which brought an end to segregation. Or did it? Wallace »

Liberalism Causes Achievement Gaps

Featured image This report by Chris Stewart of Brightbeam is a blockbuster. It is titled: “The Secret Shame: How America’s Most Progressive Cities Betray Their Commitment to Educational Opportunity For All.” Stewart is a liberal activist from Minnesota who undertook to find out why the Twin Cities’ left-wing public schools have some of the country’s worst achievement gaps between white and minority (black and Indian) students. Stewart compared achievement by race in »

Beat the Drum, Liberals

Featured image Kevin Drum is a left-of-center writer who is worth reading at Mother Jones. He often departs from liberal orthodoxy, as we’ve noted here in the past. To end this year, Drum offers “A Few Things Liberals Believe That They Shouldn’t.” Six, to be precise. They are: Head Start (and similar pre-K programs) raise student achievement. American health care is expensive because of private insurance. We have a retirement crisis. The »

Media/Academic Ignorance Turned up to 11

Featured image Yesterday I asked the question, derived in part from a Poynter Institute article, “Do Journalists Know Less Than They Used To?” Yes, questions with such obvious answers hardly need asking, but who knew the Washington Post would step up with an astonishing confirmation of media ignorance, with a special bonus of academic ignorance thrown in just for fun. Last week the Post ran an article by Robert C. Pianta, who »

Abolish the Ivy League?

Featured image Today’s sign of the apocalypse: Tampons Are Coming to the Men’s Room at Brown University. The student body president at Brown University, Viet Nguyen, will personally be handing out free tampons and pads in men’s, women’s, and gender neutral restrooms on campus, Newsweek reported Tuesday. “We wanted to set a tone of trans-inclusivity, and not forget that they’re an important part of the population,” Nguyen explained in an email announcing »

The war on standards, advanced courses edition

Featured image The Virginia attorney general’s office is undertaking an investigation of the Loudoun County Public Schools to determine whether the school system denies African-American students equal access to advanced programs. The investigation is a response to claims by the NAACP that Loudoun County does so. What is meant here by equal access? No particular racial group is entitled to equal participation in advanced programs. But everyone, regardless of race, has the »

Graduation rate for D.C. public schools drops 3.5 percent

Featured image In the post just below this one, John contends, all too plausibly, that the biggest threat to America’s future is our unbelievably bad public school system. Low graduation rates are not the biggest problem with our public schools, nor are they the most telling symptom of decline. They are, however, one symptom and a legitimate concern. In Washington, D.C., the graduation rate for the traditional public high schools dropped 3.5 »

The Biggest Threat to Our Future

Featured image We face a lot of threats, of course–asteroids, rogue nuclear nations, stateless terrorism, pandemics–but in my opinion, the biggest threat to America’s future is our unbelievably bad public school system. It is hard for those (like me) who went through the public schools decades ago to understand how much things have changed. Academic standards have collapsed; objective testing is out of fashion; corrupt left-wing unions have taken nearly complete control; »

Math–It’s Oppressive!

Featured image The Seattle public schools have developed a new “ethnic studies” curriculum that tells students that mathematics is a tool of oppression. Sure, some of us thought that back in junior high school, especially when we didn’t get around to doing our homework. But to have this view endorsed by the schools is remarkable. Robby Soave reports at Reason: The [Seattle public school] district has proposed a new social justice-infused curriculum »

Race and the blame game

Featured image This story from the Washington Post appears regularly these days in something like this form: The [name of county in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area] school system is well regarded. However, minority students continue to lag behind, and some parents complain that the school system isn’t doing right by their children. The latest version pertains to the Arlington, Virginia public schools. The Post reports: There is no shortage of praise »

Mugged by unreality

Featured image Steve has written about an important essay in the Atlantic by George Packer called “When the Culture War Comes for the Kids.” Packer is a liberal who first came to my attention as a fierce critic of President George W. Bush. His latest essay is, in part, an expression of dismay at the identity politics/standards-shredding orthodoxy that has overtaken New York’s public schools under Bill de Blasio. Some conservatives are »

Does the Left Suffer from ODS (Obama Disappointment Syndrome)?

Featured image Last week I gave a talk at the California Club in Los Angeles that I’ll post as a podcast this week if the recording turned out decently (I haven’t had a chance to listen yet), but I opened with the old line attributed to Edna St. Vincent-Millay that “history isn’t one damn thing after another—it’s the same damn thing over and over again.” It is not a new theme here »

Mandatory Ethnic Studies Too Much Even for the LA Times

Featured image No one objects in principle to a serious ethnic studies program, just as sensible people support “multicultural” perspectives rightly understood. The trouble with a lot of multiculturalist projects and various identity-studies programs in schools today is that they are highly politicized and ideological. This attracts some students, but it understandably turns off many students—perhaps a large majority. Hence the demand of zealous advocates for ethnic studies to make their subject »

The Declining Prestige of Higher Education

Featured image In the New York Times, Bret Stephens decries the decline of higher education. He cites a familiar litany of leftist presumption and abuse: Anyone who has followed the news from college campuses over the past few years knows they are experiencing forms of unrest unseen since the late 1960s. Now, as then, campuses have become an arena for political combat. Now, as then, race is a central issue. Now, as »

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Strikes Again

Featured image The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has issued a report on school discipline. The report claims that students of all races misbehave in school at the same rate. Black students are disciplined in school far more frequently than other students. Thus, the Civil Rights Commission wants us to believe not only that schools (mainly teachers) frequently discriminate against Black students, but that absent discrimination the rates of discipline would be »

Kamala Harris’s Berkeley school days

Featured image The East Bay Times reports on the busing of Kamala Harris in Berkeley, California circa 1970, about which I have been speculating. If the report is accurate, Harris’s claim that she was “part of the second class to integrate her public schools” is not quite true. Berkeley’s public schools were integrated long before Harris was bused. However, the busing program that more fully integrated her elementary school was instituted the »