Walter Williams’ Last Column

Featured image Walter Williams, economist, teacher and columnist, died yesterday. His long-time friend Thomas Sowell writes movingly about Williams here. Williams’ last column appeared the day before his death. The information it contains is so remarkable and so timely that I want to highlight it. The subject is education, specifically the education of urban blacks: Several years ago, Project Baltimore began an investigation of Baltimore’s school system. What it found was an »

School superintendent votes on remote learning with his kid’s feet

Featured image Everyone with an ounce of common sense knows that remote learning is generally inferior to learning in school, and that it’s emotionally harmful to some children. Anyone who has studied the data is likely to conclude that keeping schools open doesn’t risk a harmful spread of the Wuhan coronavirus. Alexandria’s public schools are closed. But this doesn’t mean the system’s school superintendent, Gregory Hutchings, Jr, lacks common sense or is »

Is remote schooling “leaving children sad and angry”?

Featured image The Washington Post says it is: Some children are doing fine with remote school; some even prefer it. But many others are. . .suffering emotionally, mentally and even physically from so many hours, often alone, in front of a computer screen. To gauge the struggle, The Washington Post asked parents nationwide to share stories and artwork produced by youths participating in the mandatory home-school experiment, garnering more than 60 responses »

School closings are harming academic performance

Featured image Yesterday, I wrote a post criticizing the closing of public schools in response to the pandemic. Much of the post consisted of quotations from an email I received from a reader regarding the situation in Arlington, Virginia. Today, the Washington Post has an article about the situation in Fairfax County, another Northern Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. The article documents the “learning gap” produced by substituting online for in-person instruction »

School shutdowns border on the irrational

Featured image I’m not quick to label approaches to dealing with the Wuhan coronavirus irrational. For example, I don’t think it was irrational for Norway to institute a lockdown last Spring or for Sweden not to do so. Both were rational responses to a novel crisis. Similarly, I don’t think it’s irrational now, with the virus spreading again so rapidly, to impose heightened restrictions in some areas for a few months until »

The war on standards: Magnet school admissions edition

Featured image America’s top colleges and universities grant preferential treatment to Blacks applying for admissions. For example, Black applicants need not perform nearly as well as White and Asian applicants on standardized tests in order to gain admission. Admissions data from Yale exemplify the preferential treatment. Thus far, the Supreme Court has found that race-based preferences in college admissions are permissible if granted (or couched) in a certain way. But the Court »

Trump establishes 1776 Commission

Featured image This afternoon, President Trump signed an “Executive Order Establishing the President’s Advisory 1776 Commission.” The order marks an important step in Trump’s efforts to foster patriotic education. Stanley Kurtz says of the Order: The text is longer and more substantive than typical presidential EOs. It offers sharp criticisms of current educational trends, a definition and explanation of patriotic education, as well as a vision for how to realize it. Following »

Public Schools Poison Children’s Minds Against Police

Featured image This is shocking, and it is happening in my own school district, the one that all of my children attended. The district’s fourth grade curriculum includes this insane attack on law enforcement: Something bad happened in our town. The news was on the TV, the radio, and the internet. The grown-ups didn’t think the kids knew about it. But the kids in Ms. Garcia’s class heard some older kids talking »

Biden’s destructive education program

Featured image There are dozens of reasons why conservatives and moderates should vote for President Trump. One reason that has received virtually no attention is education, an issue as central as any to America’s future. President Trump has tried to combat the rot in higher education. As Stanley Kurtz points out, Trump’s popular Executive Order on Campus Free Speech was followed by an Executive Order banning the use of Critical Race Theory, »

The Shocking Bias and Incompetence of Our Public Schools

Featured image With an election impending, the public schools are teaching our children about the issues and the candidates. One of their primary tools is Scholastic Magazine, which I think is read by millions of school children and is the basis for instruction in countless classrooms. A friend alerted me to the fact that the current issue includes profiles of President Trump and Joe Biden and describes their positions on several issues. »

Classroom learning for Blacks, online learning for Whites?

Featured image In August, the Illinois school district that encompasses Evanston announced its plans for a limited opening in September. Expecting that, given the pandemic, not enough teachers would return to schools, the district superintendent said that priority for attending classes in person would go to “Black and Brown students,” and others he considered to “marginalized” or “oppressed.” In other words, key educational opportunities would be granted and denied on the basis »

Podcast: The Three Whisky Happy Hour: A Victory Lap, a Beatdown, and Still More Liberal Education!

Featured image This week’s recap starts off with a challenge to find the most unpronounceable scotch whisky you’ve never heard of (like Poit Dhubh, which is unavailable in the U.S.), plus a review of the 10 health benefits of drinking scotch whisky (some of which need a controlled experiment to validate properly, which we’re happy to conduct ourselves). Once suitably lubricated, we take a victory lap for our prescient discussion in last »

What Our Children Learn In School

Featured image Our public schools are run, for the most part, by liberal administrators, and teachers are drawn, usually, from the lowest quadrant of academic ability among college graduates. There are exceptions, of course, but the overall level of instruction in the public schools is abysmal. And that isn’t the worst of it: teachers who are marginally able, at best, to teach the subjects for which they are nominally responsible often devote »

Podcast: The Three Whisky Happy Hour: Liberal Education and Responsibility (With a Side of Biden)

Featured image Lots of things to pour whisky shots for this week. Before returning to our short course on Leo Strauss’s perspectives on liberal education, “Lucretia” and Steve reflect on Joe Biden’s long career as a chameleon (if you didn’t know better, you’d almost think Biden had read Richard Weaver’s famous Ideas Have Consequences, since he thinks Antifa is an “idea,” and one that certainly has consequences), and why the 25th Amendment, »

Islands of Repression

Featured image I am not sure who said it first, but it’s true: America’s colleges and universities are islands of repression in a sea of freedom. The invaluable FIRE–Foundation for Individual Rights in Education–has ranked 55 “top colleges” with respect to tolerance for freedom of speech. A summary of FIRE’s findings is here. The rankings seem to be pretty rigorous, based on input from 20,000 students, with five elements considered: This overall »

How to break the left’s chokehold on the teaching of American History

Featured image The left has hijacked American history. Due to its unrelenting attacks on America, our brilliant but flawed history is now presented to students at all levels with the brilliance excised and the flaws vastly overstated. We have discussed the hijacking in posts like this one and this follow up. The questions are: (1) will patriotic Americans muster the determination to reverse the hijacking and (2) what is the best way »

DOJ joins challenge to New Mexico’s restriction on private school openings

Featured image In response to the Wuhan coronavirus, New Mexico has limited the capacity at which schools are allowed to operate. Public schools are permitted to operate at 50 percent of capacity. Private schools are allowed to operate only at 25 percent. Given this severe limitation on its ability to operate, one academy decided not to open, but instead to rely on instruction online. The father of a student at that school »