Education

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 »

Asians as Beneficiaries of White Privilege

Featured image The success of Asian-Americans is a severe embarrassment to the race industry. Race hustlers focus on “gaps” between whites and blacks with regard to income and educational attainment, which they attribute to “systemic” racism. But what about the gaps between Asian-Americans and whites? Asians, on average, earn considerably more than whites and as a group they do better in school. Is their superior performance due to “systemic” racism directed against »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 125: The Antidote to Howard Zinn? “Land of Hope” with Wilfred McClay

Featured image Lo and behold, I opened up this morning’s Wall Street Journal to see a weekend interview with this week’s guest, historian Wilfred M. McClay of the University of Oklahoma, about his brand new book Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story. In the course of our conversation, we cover not only what’s wrong (but also partly right) about Howard Zinn, but how Bill got the audacious idea »

Kafka Goes to College

Featured image Admissions scandals, usually involving coaches of minor sports who were paid to help high school students gain admission to elite schools, have rocked several institutions. In my view, these scandals expose a deeper rot than the existence of some corrupt rowing or tennis coaches. The complaint embedded below was filed today against Georgetown University by a young man who is currently a student there, having just completed his junior year. »

How Montgomery County, Maryland discriminates against Asians

Featured image I wrote here about how the federal government is probing the Montgomery County School system to determine whether it is discriminating against Asian-American students by limiting their admission into two highly sought-after magnet school programs. Between 2016 and 2017, the number of Asian-American students admitted into the two programs dropped by 23 percent. The next year, it dropped again, this time by 20 percent. One reason for the sharp decline »

An Antidote to Leftist History Textbooks

Featured image Paul wrote earlier this week here and here about the case of an AP history textbook, By the People: A History of the United States, whose leftist bias is so egregious that you’d be better off having your kid not take AP history at all.  That textbook is not, sadly, a rare example of leftist bias in primary school textbooks. Is there any remedy available? We’re very happy to report »

The ideologue who wrote the textbook calling Trump and his supporters “racists”

Featured image Yesterday, I wrote about the AP U.S. History textbook By the People that calls President Trump and his core supporters “racists” and suggests that the president is “mentally unstable.” Today, I want to write about James W. Fraser, the author of this egregiously biased left-wing book. Stanley Kurtz blew the whistle on Fraser a year ago. Rereading Stanley’s piece made my blood boil, just as it was simmering down. Fraser »

AP U.S. History textbook calls Trump “racist,” questions his mental stability

Featured image I have written repeatedly about the hard-left bias in the teaching of AP American History. I finally got tired of writing such posts and abandoned the beat. But now, I learn that, beginning in 2020, many Advanced Placement students will be using an American History textbook that suggests President Trump is mentally ill and that depicts him and many of his supporters as racists. The book asserts that “[Trump’s] not »

Feds to probe discrimination against Asians in Montgomery County Schools

Featured image Like a great many school districts, Montgomery County, Maryland has magnet programs for its top students. Students from outside the normal neighborhood boundaries of a school can be admitted to the programs. Selection is supposed to be based on merit. Between 2016 and 2017, the number of Asian-American students admitted into two sought-after middle school magnet programs in Montgomery County dropped by 23 percent. The next year, it dropped again, »

Two ways of looking at the “achievement gap”

Featured image In this post from last October, I argued that blaming schools for the “achievement gap” between students of different races and ethnic groups is foolish and counterproductive. Unfortunately, it’s also a staple of left-wing discourse about education. The latest example comes from Montgomery County, Maryland where I live. The County has rolled out school-by-school “report cards” on student achievement. They show what activists call “appalling gaps” in how Black and »

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 »