Education

The San Francisco Earthquake

Featured image If you roll back the timeline to 1978, you’ll recall that the “tax revolt” began with the landslide passage of Proposition 13 in California, which cut property taxes by more than half, severely limited their future increase, and imposed a 2/3rds requirement on the state legislature for all future tax increases. The tax revolt spread quickly around the country, with Michigan and even Massachusetts (!) cutting property taxes significantly. It »

An Instance of Fraud In the Public Schools

Featured image Via PJ Media, a story from San Francisco that I suspect is all too common across the country: Great news. A sixth-grader received glowing grades in P.E. and Social Studies from her teachers at a middle school in year three of San Francisco Unified School District’s COVID-19 annus horribilis. School records show that the unidentified girl received two As as a student at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School. Bad »

Let’s end political litmus tests in education

Featured image “Diversity statements” are the latest device the left has come up with to impose and enforce woke conformity in education. Stanley Kurtz explains how they work: Let’s say you’re applying for a teaching job at a university. In addition to submitting a CV and a description of your academic research, many universities now require you to answer a series of questions designed to prove your commitment to the ideology and »

Cosmic Stupidity

Featured image We are surrounded by so much craziness on a daily basis that one could devote his life to deconstructing the follies of the Left and still not make a dent. I don’t choose to do that, but here are a few items in the news that represent peak stupidity, at least for today. First, Pramila Jayapal is a member of Congress, a Democrat from Washington. Here is her take on »

Meritocracy at Brooklyn Tech

Featured image The virtues of a meritocracy may be lost on Harvard students like that “queer Middle Easterner,” but they come through clearly in this excellent New York Times article by Michael Powell. His piece deals with the subject through the lens of Brooklyn Tech, an elite New York City high school from which one of my cousins graduated in the 1960s. Brooklyn Tech hasn’t yielded to demands that it stop admitting »

Why Do Democrats Hate Children?

Featured image When Democrats aren’t trying to keep children out of school and (not) learning online, or requiring them to wear masks when they’re (not) learning in crappy union-run public schools, they’re trying to warehouse them in government-run universal child care programs. Universal child care is one of the centerpieces of the Democrats’ BBB Bill (better known as “Biden’s Big Blunder”). Yet the people who scream “follow the science” never seem to »

Democrats to Parents: Drop Dead

Featured image Glenn Youngkin won election as Governor of Virginia in considerable part because he championed the right of parents to be involved in their children’s education. His opponent, Terry McAuliffe, struck the opposite note when he told an interviewer that “I’m not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decisions. I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” »

Parent involvement in education, the Democrats’ Achilles’ heel

Featured image Terry McAuliffe probably lost any hope of winning his race for Virginia governor when he said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.” McAuliffe might well have lost anyway, but some observers thought at the time, and most think now, that he was doomed once he made that remark. In future elections, Democratic candidates will, I assume, avoid making statements like McAuliffe’s. But Stanley Kurtz »

Teachers take a stand against the war on homework

Featured image I wrote here about the war on grades and homework in some of California’s largest school district. Inevitably, that war is spreading. It has come to Arlington County, Virginia, for example. Naturally, there is pushback in Arlington. Surprising, perhaps, some of the pushers are liberal. Let’s start by examining what the Arlington School Board is considering. Its preliminary proposal calls for the following: No late penalties for homework. No extra »

A Voice In the Wilderness

Featured image In the corrupt wasteland of higher education, Mitch Daniels, former Governor of Indiana and now President of Purdue University, has long stood out as a beacon of common sense. His leadership was tested when a Chinese student at Purdue spoke out in favor of freedom. In China, and sadly in today’s academic world, that is a dangerous thing to do. President Daniels tells the story in his letter to Purdue »

Conservatives flip two Houston school board seats

Featured image The Houston Independent School District board consists of nine members. None is a conservative. That will change soon, however, because conservative candidates won two seats in a runoff election on Saturday. One of them (a man who once lost his job with the city due to sexual harassment allegations) won by fewer than 100 votes in a district where turnout was less than seven percent. The other won more convincingly »

Against book banning

Featured image One of the happiest developments of 2021 has been the national movement of parents pushing back against woke education. As Stanley Kurtz says: Nothing can beat parents organized to halt the erosion of core American ideals like freedom of expression or equality before the law. Thankfully, a record of early successes is rapidly building a larger movement to take back our schools. But Stanley warns that the movement risks committing »

Ideologically-based teacher screening becomes widespread

Featured image Increasingly, school districts are asking candidates for teaching positions questions about “cultural competency,” race, and “equity” during the application and interview process. Education Week has the details. They aren’t pretty. Lauren Dachille, CEO of a company that peddles teacher screening software to around 500 districts across the country, says: Now that we’ve become a little more aware of the concept of anti-racism and maybe a little more woke as a »

War on standards, Virginia edition

Featured image A reader from Northern Virginia follows up on my post about the elimination of grades below “C” in many California school districts by informing me about a lowering of educational standards in his state. He reports: Here in Virginia students can still fail the statewide Standards of Learning (SOL) reading test, but the method used to determine failure was changed so that fewer children would be seen as failing. In »

War on standards, no “D” or “F” grades edition

Featured image Some of California’s largest school districts are dropping D and F grades. Students who don’t learn the material, pass the final exam, or finish homework by the end of the semester would earn an “incomplete” which, I assume, could be converted to at least a “C” later on. Los Angeles Unified, Oakland Unified, Sacramento City Unified, San Diego Unified are among the districts that will make this move. According this »

What Are They Teaching Our Children?

Featured image The issue of leftist indoctrination in the public schools has been with us for a while, but it has exploded into public consciousness during the past year. The main focus has been Critical Race Theory, a toxic compound of racism and anti-Americanism. Many people are reluctant to believe that the public schools could possibly be as bad as they are being portrayed. Such skepticism is abetted by school officials who »

A defeat for the Loudoun County school board [UPDATED]

Featured image This Fall, Northern Virginia, and above all Loudoun County, became a major battleground in the fight against wokeism in public schools. The issue played a role in Glenn Youngkin’s victory over Terry McAuliffe, though not a primary role in my opinion. In Loudoun County, the matter of public school wokeism has also been litigated in the case of Tanner Cross. He’s the teacher suspended for stating, at a school board »