A Moment of Opportunity For Education

Featured image America’s educational system is terrible–so bad, I think, that it poses a serious threat to the thriving, and even the survival, of the republic. That is the context in which all, or nearly all, public schools shut down last spring as a result of coronavirus hysteria. The results were disastrous. Once learning went “virtual,” something like 20% to 30% of students never even logged in once. They never completed an »

Montgomery County defies Hogan on opening of private schools

Featured image On August 3, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued an emergency order overriding the decision by Montgomery County to keep private schools closed until at least October 1. Yesterday, Montgomery County responded with a new order requiring private schools to remain closed until at least that date. The County issued its new order pursuant to regulations that authorize local health officers to “take any action or measure necessary to prevent the »

Gov. Hogan overrides county executive, enables private schools to reopen

Featured image Last week, Montgomery County, Maryland, where I live, issued an order prohibiting all non-public schools from opening for in-person classes before October 1. Larry Hogan, Maryland’s Republican governor, promptly went on Twitter to express his disagreement with this decision. He tweeted: I strongly disagree with Montgomery County’s decision to mandate the closure of private and parochial schools. As long as these school develop safe plans that follow CDC and state »

The case for charter schools

Featured image Kevin Williams reviews Thomas Sowell’s new book on charter schools in the July 27 issue of National Review. The review is published under the headline “The Collapsing Case against Charter Schools.” The review opens: Thomas Sowell — who will have just turned 90 when this review is published — could have retired by now. He could be publishing the memoirs of a celebrated intellectual or the late-career tracts of an »

Time to Reopen the Schools

Featured image It seems almost incredible that in a number of states, serious consideration is being given to keeping the public schools closed in the Fall. Given that the coronavirus is rarely dangerous to children–less so, in fact, than the average seasonal flu–it is hard to understand the rationale for continued school closures. The most commonly offered excuse is that the children may infect teachers. Presumably that is possible, but a U.K. »

Thomas Sowell on the madness

Featured image Thomas Sowell just turned 90, but he is still on the case. Indeed, his new book — Charter Schools and Their Enemies — was published on his 90th birthday. Among the many tributes to Sowell at 90 are this one by Steve Hanke and Richard Ebeling at NR (Ebeling has more here), this one by Mark Perry at AEI, and this one by his friend Walter Williams at Jewish World »

The Sane vs. the Insane

Featured image Via Ann Althouse, check out this confrontation between a young woman who is a BLM activist and an older African-American man. They are standing in front of, and arguing about, the Emancipation Statue that freedmen paid for and where Frederick Douglass spoke. You don’t have to understand the words the young woman is screaming to know that you are witnessing a dialogue between a normal person and one with serious »

Does a high percentage of black arrests in schools justify kicking the police out?

Featured image Few who are paying attention will be surprised that, in Maryland public schools, black students make up a disproportionate number of those arrested by police officers working in the schools. According to the Washington Post, black students make up 56 percent of those arrested (but only 34 percent of the student population), while white students make up only 28 percent (compared to 37 percent of the student population). Eight percent »

Cancellation in the first person

Featured image In its forthcoming July/August issue, Commentary features the first-person account of our own Steve Hayward telling the story of his cancellation by the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. Steve’s memoir/essay is “How I Ran Afoul of Campus Cancel Culture.” As always, Steve wears his learning lightly, but his characteristic humor is absent from this somber and infuriating account. Come for the farcically disgraceful story, stay for Steve’s »

Three approaches to reopening schools

Featured image Germany and France are set to reopen schools. However, the two nations are taking very different approaches. Germany is starting with two sets of students. Those about to move from primary school to secondary school and those about to take graduation/college entrance examinations will be the first back. Germany is still considering when other sets of students will be allowed to return. France will start with a much younger group »

Appeals court invents fundamental right to a basic minimum education

Featured image The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in an opinion signed by a pair of judges appointed by Democratic presidents, has found that the U.S. Constitution somehow confers on citizens a fundamental right to an education that “plausibly provides access to literacy.” Judge Eric Murphy, an excellent Trump appointee, dissented. The lawsuit arises out of Detroit, Michigan. The plaintiffs are students in Detroit’s worst performing schools. They claim »

A Master Class In Education

Featured image Which state has a better public school system, Minnesota or Mississippi? If you said Minnesota, you agree with 100% of Minnesotans and probably some Mississippians, too. But it isn’t true: especially when it comes to minority students, Mississippi does a better job at a fraction of the cost. Does more money produce better schools? Learn the answer by tuning in to American Experiment Policy Fellow Catrin Wigfall’s Master Class in »

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 »