War on standards

The war on standards and the assault on American excellence

Featured image I have written many times about the war on standards — the effort to discard or lower standards because members of certain groups fail, to a disproportionate degree, to meet them. Battlegrounds in the war on standards include, but are not limited to, college admissions, employment selection, school discipline, and the criminal justice system. A new book by Anthony Kronman bears the title The Assault on American Excellence. Predictably, American »

The war on standards: NIH edition

Featured image Heather Mac Donald has warned that identity politics, having engulfed the humanities and social sciences on American campuses, is now taking over the hard sciences. Here is an example: A friend sent me this application form for the Graduate Data Science Summer Program at the National Institutes of Health. Those accepted to the summer program “will spend the summer at the NIH learning how to use their computational skills to »

“Restorative justice” in action

Featured image “Restorative justice” is a euphemism for trying to impose less punishment on disruptive students because these students are, as a group, disproportionately African-American. The motive for “restorative justice” is racial. The sociology/pedagogy brought to bear on its behalf is superstructure, to put it as kindly as I can. The Obama administration tried to impose “restorative justice” on schools by threatening to cut off federal funding. It did so through its »

Administration Rescinds Obama School Discipline Letter

Featured image Here’s some good news. The Department of Education and the Department of Justice have jointly rescinded an Obama-era “Dear Colleague” letter that threatened federal action against schools whose discipline policies result in a “disparate impact” on racial minorities. We have repeatedly denounced this assault by the Obama administration on the ability of schools to maintain classroom discipline. Indeed, of all the wars the left is waging on standards, its attack, »

The war on standards: fare-jumping edition

Featured image The City Council of Washington, D.C. has approved a measure decriminalizing fare evasion in its public transportation system. In D.C., “fare-jumping” will become a civil offense punishable only by a $50 fine. The legislation was originally introduced by dumb-as-a-rock anti-Semite Trayon White. It passed by a vote of 10-2. Fare-jumping is, of course, a form of theft. And not an innocuous form. The local transit authority loses more than $25 »

The war on standards reaches coffee stores

Featured image Let’s start with the disclosure thing. As an attorney, I had the good fortune to represent Starbucks in various matters, including a case, a matter of public record, where race discrimination was alleged (but not found). Nothing in this post is based on any information obtained as an attorney representing the company more than six years ago. What to make of the arrest of two black men at a Starbucks »

DeVos DOE clings to perverse Obama-era policy on school discipline

Featured image Four years ago, the Obama administration promulgated a Dear Colleague letter on school discipline. It was a joint Department of Justice/Department of Education production. More than a year into the Trump administration, the letter still stands. The fault lies with Betsy DeVos’ Department of Education. The Justice Department under Jeff Sessions strongly supports recalling the Dear Colleague letter. I’m told, however, that the DOE is pushing back. The DOE’s pushback »

Parkland and the culture of leniency

Featured image Daniel Horowitz convincingly ties the Parkland shooting to the culture of leniency towards criminals, also known as the jailbreak agenda. He writes: The jailbreak agenda is definitely on display in the Broward County law enforcement agencies. It turns out that Broward County has been promoting a program, funded in part by the federal government, to incentivize local officials to do everything they can to keep juveniles out of jail. . »

Pretending our way to decline

Featured image I had hoped that the idiotic left-wing outrage at Attorney General Sessions’ use of the term “Anglo-American law enforcement” would dissipate without making it into mainstream discussion. The fact that former President Obama has referred to the Anglo-American nature of our justice system seemed to support my hope. No such luck. This morning, I heard NPR pretend there is a legitimate racism story here. So did ABC News and the »

The war on standards: Illiterate teachers edition

Featured image I missed this story at the time, but earlier this year the New York Times reported that the New York Board of Regents eliminated a requirement that aspiring teachers in the state pass a literacy test to become certified. The Board eliminated the requirement because Black and Hispanic candidates for teaching jobs passed the literacy test at significantly lower rates than white candidates. In lieu of passing the literary test, »

Bourgeois norms in black history, Robert Woodson’s take

Featured image I wrote here about an op-ed by professors Amy Wax and Larry Alexander in which the authors praised America’s 1950s “bourgeois culture.” Though acknowledging the existence of “racial discrimination, limited sex roles, and pockets of anti-Semitism” in that culture, they insisted that the modern “loss of bourgeois habits has seriously impeded the progress of disadvantaged groups.” Wax and Alexander described the habits they extolled this way: Get married before you »

The war on standards, mock trial edition

Featured image Mark Graber is a distinguished law professor at the University of Maryland. Until very recently, he coached the school’s mock trial team, leading it to the national championship in (or around) 2008. Until very recently, his daughter Abigail Graber assisted him. She’s an attorney in Washington, D.C. who clerked for a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and served on the Yale Law Journal. On »

The war on standards — shoot the messenger edition

Featured image We have written about the war on standards. Most of the time, this war takes the form of attempts to bulldoze standards of conduct and achievement that stand in the way of equal distribution of society’s benefits and prizes to Blacks. Usually the standards are specific, as are the potential consequences of falling short. A certain test score must be attained to qualify for a job. A criminal law, if »

After big losses, Marilyn Mosby looks at trying to change the rules

Featured image Have you noticed that when sensible, neutral, and longstanding rules and policies don’t produce the racial outcomes desired by the left, it calls for changing those rules and policies? Plagued by a lack of solid family structure and constructive role models, young Black students as a class behave more poorly than White students and thus are disciplined more often. The solution? Change the disciplinary rules and tolerate disciplinary breakdowns — »

Sen. Cotton responds to latest HUD overreach

Featured image We’ve discussed how the Obama administration, through disparate impact theory, seeks to coerce employers into the assuming the risk of hiring criminals. It does so by arguing that African-Americans are overrepresented among ex-cons, and thus that excluding applicants based on criminal records has a disparate impact on this group. So far, to my knowledge, this approach has yielded little if any success in court. However, it may well be that »

Civil Rights Commissioner warned Minneapolis against quota discipline [UPDATED WITH LINK]

Featured image Last week, Scott and I wrote about an article by Katherine Kersten regarding the ruinous impact on schools in the Twin Cities of racial “equity” in school discipline. As Kersten demonstrated, the attempt to reduce the number of disciplinary actions against minority school children, on the theory that they are disproportionately disciplined, has helped turn some schools in the Twin Cities into war zones. Peter Kirsanow, a member of the »

Refuting Kersten, Onion style

Featured image My friend Kathy Kersten wrote the devastating column featured in the Star Tribune this past Sunday on disorder in the St. Paul public schools following from the directives of the Obama administration. Kathy’s column was published as “The school safety debate: Mollycoddle no more.” I drew attention to Kathy’s column in “Kersten’s discipline.” Paul reviewed the column at length in “The war on standards in Twin Cities schools.” Yesterday the »