Saturday, April 30, 2005


Striving for balance is now a vice rather than a virtue in academe

Bean's History 110: 20th Century America class, an SIUC core curriculum course of roughly 270 students, studied the usual litany of readings by Rosa Parks, Malcom X and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. for its section on the Civil Rights era at the beginning of April. Bean also distributed what he said were additional, optional reading handouts through his three graduate assistants assigned to the course. Among those papers was an abridged article from James Lubinskas of titled, "Remembering the Zebra Killings," which recounted a series of 71 murders perpetrated by a group of black men against white civilians in San Francisco between 1972 and 1974. also hosts writer David Horowitz, who visited SIUC last year on the subject of academic freedom at universities. Bean had pulled the article from the Web site and thought it would be material students could possibly go over in the course discussion sections.

At that point, Bean said, the wheels began to turn. "It sparked what I called "handout hysteria," he said. "I handed it out on Tuesday. On Friday afternoon I'm called into the department chair's office, with a hysterical department chair waving the handout at me." Bean said at that point he wasn't sure what had caused the problem. "What I took away from it, the concern was about sensitivity," he said. History Department Chair Marjorie Morgan declined to make any on-record comments about the exchange and said she might issue a written statement later on the situation. Morgan is leaving SIUC at the end of the semester. College of Liberal Arts Dean Shirley Clay Scott, who oversees the History Department, said two of Bean's three History 110 graduate assistants, both of whom are black, complained the Lubinskas article alluded to racist material. Scott said she reassigned the two black graduate students to other courses, because they felt uncomfortable continuing with Bean......

Bean said he sent an e-mail apology, by request, to the department chair, the dean, history faculty and graduate students immediately after learning the article created a controversy. He also e-mailed his students, telling them to disregard the Lubinskas article. That weekend, April 9 and 10, Bean received the university's Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award for his department and was honored with a plaque.

When he returned to work the next Monday, however, Bean was notified the dean had dropped two of his teaching assistants and that eight fellow history professors had written a letter to be published in the campus newspaper trying to distance themselves from what they said was a practice of distributing racist propaganda to students. Bean said he began to suspect something bigger was afoot. Then, he began to examine where exactly he stood in the picture of the history department at SIUC. "I am a lone libertarian-conservative on a campus that lacks ideological diversity," Bean said he concluded. Bean contends 90 percent of all liberal arts faculty are Democrats by past primary election voting records. He is traditionally known to be more conservative, although he admits he did not vote Republican in the last two presidential elections.

Bean said he suspects he is an ideological underdog in a department rife with liberal viewpoints, and he now suspects the incident surrounding the Lubinskas article is a cover for a new practice of departmental McCarthyism by some history professors. "McCarthyism is keeping the victim in the dark, forcing apologies based on hysterics, and then not accepting the apology," Bean said. Bean said he was never given a clear explanation as to what needed an apology. Even though he agreed to cancel the Lubinskas handout, he said several faculty members still publicly chided his perceived practices. The letter the eight faculty members wrote didn't specifically name Bean as the subject.

Tenured history professor Robbie Lieberman was one of the faculty members to issue the letter. She said Bean has been combative with colleagues on the subject of the handout from the beginning and has made what she said are unfounded claims of a witch hunt and McCarthyism against those who criticized him. "I know what McCarthyism is," Lieberman said. "I teach McCarthyism. It's absurd; there are no elements of it in this." Lieberman said no one is attacking Bean's views or even his right to discuss controversial topics in class. The main problem, she said, with Bean's handout is it came from an Internet source that had questionable ties......

Jane Adams, an anthropology professor and personal witness to the effects of the Zebra killings mentioned in the Lubinskas article, said the matter goes beyond Bean's academic freedom as a professor to discuss controversial material. "He didn't get due process," Adams said. She said the university has channels through which these kinds of questions flow. They were not used in this case, she said, and it should disturb all campus professors who could find themselves in a similar case. "I don't think there is any one of us who haven't been accused of something at one time or another," Adams said. Adams said in her 18 years on campus, however, she has never seen almost a whole department turn on one of its own faculty members, as she said is being done in the case with Bean. "I think this is a really serious breach of collegiality," Adams said. "One of the things I am appalled by is his (Bean's) reputation has been publicly smeared. That is all we have as professors."

More here

Front Page has fuller background on the whole affair -- including details about Prof. Bean's chief accuser. A small excerpt:

"Bean's chief prosecutor, professor Robbie Lieberman has portrayed her own efforts to defame Bean's reputation as a struggle for campus decency-"Everybody should bring up controversial topics. But you have to do it in a responsible way," she said without getting too explicit about what would qualify as "responsible" in an article in the student newspaper.

Robbie Lieberman is a Marxist ideologue, who has taught courses in the "Cold War United States," and "American Radicalism," and has written a tract called My Song Is My Weapon: People's Songs, American Communism, and the Politics of Culture, 1930-1950, which liberal historian Theodore Draper described as part of the "curious academic campaign for the rehabilitation of American Communism."

The daughter of Communist folksingers, Lieberman has had a long affinity for Marxism, Communism and folk music; when singer, songwriter, and Communist Party hack Pete Seeger visited the SIUC campus four days before 9/11, Lieberman remarked, "Seeger should be regarded as an important figure in American history, not just as a prolific songwriter, but as a social critic." Lieberman has also written such books as The Strangest Dream: Communism, Anti-Communism and the American Peace Movement, 1945-1963, and Prairie Power: Voices of 1960s Midwestern Student Protest. So overt is her political preaching that conservative students at SIUC routinely refer to her as "Robbie the Red.""


From Nancy Salvato

I don't often find myself so angry about an opinion expressed in a piece of writing that I have to respond. It does happen every once in awhile, though, and so today I must write a rebuttal to Kathleen Loftus's piece, Leaving Kids Behind in Illinois ( Let me begin by saying that I vehemently disagree with the views expressed in her Op Ed, so much so that I might propose Illinois consider legislation that would actually make it a law NOT to implement Robin Hood dispersal of education funds.

Ms. Loftus actually had the audacity to call Illinois Representative Tom Cross a "whiner" because he criticized Randy Dunn's (acting State Superintendent of ISBE) decision to divert more federal funds to less affluent schools. How dare she impose a Socialist agenda in this Capitalist country of ours!

I live in a good school district and my tax dollars should go to keeping it that way. I work very hard, sometimes 16 hours a day to try to get ahead. I CHOSE to purchase a previously neglected smaller house, with a yard that hadn't been maintained in a decade, a carpet that needs replacing, a garage door that's warped, trees that need to be cut down, windows that leak, and an assorted list of things that need attention because this is a good neighborhood with good schools. I don't have the wealth of most of my neighbors. I do however live in a community which has a lot to offer. I've accepted that tradeoff. What, then, gives the Illinois Board of Education the right to disperse more federal funds to school districts with less local tax dollars? Why do I have any less right to that money than anyone else? Do I deserve less because I work hard and sacrifice in many areas of my life to have what I have? I think not.

As a matter of fact, I would like to earmark exactly where my tax dollars go. Many states have referendums allowing people to vote regarding tax increases for public education. I'd like the right to choose where I want a percentage of education funding to be spent. I am not suggesting that I can decide the uses for 100% of the money. But I want to decide where part of the money should be dispersed.....

Allowing tax payers to ear mark a percentage of their education dollars to go to private schools would significantly cut down the cost of accessing education alternatives. What was once out of the reach of many people would now be obtainable. Competition for tax dollars would reform public schools and force them to meet the needs of the students they serve.

It's been said time and time again that pumping more money into failing schools does not reform the problems. There is more at work in a school that functions well than the amount of money available to the district. It is an insult to good teachers and parents who are involved in their children's lives to credit student performance solely to education dollars.

Funds should be distributed based on the number of pupils and the number of "special services" needed by individual students. Just because one school has more local tax dollars doesn't mean that school isn't entitled to their fair share of the pie. If everyone adopted the Socialist Robin Hood philosophy then there would be no reason for those in our society to excel.the benefits would all be the same. Oh, that's right, utilizing the lowest common denominator is the cornerstone of the liberal agenda.

California: Governator proposes teacher "combat pay": "Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said Monday that he will propose paying bonuses to teachers who agree to work in the state's toughest schools, providing a potential compromise with Democrats on one aspect of his policy agenda. Schwarzenegger said he will spell out his proposal for what he describes as 'combat pay' in a budget revision he will release next month that he said will include money to enact the idea. The governor's new proposal comes as he, lawmakers and an army of political consultants and interest groups face a deadline next week to gather enough signatures to qualify ballot initiatives for a potential special election in November."


For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL schools should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the poor and minimal regulation.

The NEA and similar unions worldwide believe that children should be thoroughly indoctrinated with Green/Left, feminist/homosexual ideology but the "3 R's" are something that kids should just be allowed to "discover"

Comments? Email me here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


Friday, April 29, 2005


Dear Superintendent of Schools,

I've been meaning for some considerable time now, to write to various individuals in your line of work and thank them—sincerely and profusely—for taking yet another bold step in the direction of saving the children of this country from the vile scourge of public education. I refer, of course, to the sinister case of the little girl you punished—and rightly so—because she gave her best friend a gift, a little bag of dirt and leaves she collected surreptitiously from the school playground. This sort of dangerous behavior simply can't be tolerated. How many lives do you suppose you've saved through your actions?

It's been so long now, I can't recall how this noble crusade began. Was it, perhaps, with the little boy who kissed a female classmate on the cheek and got punished as if he'd committed rape? You certainly knocked him off the crooked path to anything resembling heterosexuality. I say, let that be a lesson to him.

Or maybe it was the little girl whom you treated like a drug pusher, because she offered an aspirin to a friend who needed it? Or the one who brought a deadly butter knife to school to eat her lunch with? I just don't remember, there have been so many monumental achievements over the past nine or ten years in the name of "Zero Tolerance".

I recall some young miscreant you dealt with as if he'd been one of the shooters at Columbine High School, because he had one of the minuscule plastic machineguns in his pocket that came with his G.I. Joe. Also, I seem to remember half a dozen kids—mostly boys, of course—who drew pictures of guns or knives and were severely punished for it. And another who chewed his sandwich into the shape of a gun and "shot" his playmate with it. You have even taken measures against kids who simply pointed their right index finger and said, "Bang!"

Naturally, it's important to take action against atrocities like these. Confiscate these deadly fingers and turn those nasty boys into little girls as quickly and thoroughly as possible. If administrative punishment won't do the job, and involuntarily drugging the children fails, as well, then perhaps it's time to look seriously at corrective surgery. Have there been any studies on the effects of castration, versus the simple, straightforward prefrontal lobotomies so popular a century ago? This is an era in which cost-effectiveness is all important, lest we run out of money to bomb all those widows and orphans in the Third World.

Not that you haven't built on a firm foundation provided by your predecessors. American parents, survivors of public school themselves, have been rendered so ignorant and stupid by the experience—twelve years of relentless brainwashing—that they willingly voted for two of the worst presidential candidates ever shamelessly foisted on the electorate, and still believe there's a meaningful difference between them. I'm sure that even greater things await this generation. While it's undeniably true that you can't teach children responsibility by denying them every opportunity to exercise it, who wants responsible individuals in the welfare-warfare nanny state being built around them?

But forgive me, I have digressed. What I really wanted to thank you for was bringing us that much closer—through your policy of Zero Tolerance for freedom, dignity, independence, and common sense—to the day when children everywhere will refuse to be dragged off to the day-prisons that you run, and parents refuse to make them. Shortly afterward, the public school system will be abolished, its buildings razed to the ground so that not one stone is left standing on another, and salt is sown on the ruins.

Meanwhile, you and your hundreds of thousands (or is it millions) of colleagues will be free at last to fulfill yourselves in the vocation that suits you best, in security, groping people at the airport. It is something to look forward to, and you are helping to make it happen. I can only stand in admiration and say, "More power to you and yours!"



Even though it is about the most spendthrift (and least effective) education system in the country

The D.C. public school system has left vacant many key positions in the 13-employee internal watchdog office that scrutinizes how it spends and manages an annual budget of more than $1 billion, financial records show. The school system's office of compliance last year received funding for 10 auditor jobs. But pay records show that at one point the system had left nine of the auditor positions unfilled, but employed two directors and a management analyst.

John M. Cashmon, director for the compliance office, said hiring has soared since last year. As of last week, he said, only two of the office's auditor positions remained unfilled. "It has not been a quick process," he said, citing a lag in budget approvals and personnel descriptions last year. Although several auditors have been hired since last fall, Mr. Cashmon said, the compliance office has had trouble finding candidates to scrutinize city school system financial records. "There is a definite shortage of auditors," he said. "We're also fairly picky when we're selecting our staff. We're looking for good, qualified staff."

School system pay records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act show the system's compliance office has been depleted over the past year. The school system's Schedule A pay records compiled in January show six auditor vacancies out of nine funded positions in the compliance office. In April 2004, the school system listed as vacant nine out of the 10 auditor positions. The Schedule A document, which is hundreds of pages long, includes a detailed list of all funded positions, compensation levels and vacancies. It is given to the Board of Education and to the D.C. Council.

Mr. Cashmon called the document "a snapshot in time." "That is put together at a point in time, and we've advanced long past that point in time," he said. "We're progressing."

The D.C. inspector general and the office of the D.C. auditor have made numerous inquiries into the school system's contracting practices and finances. D.C. Public Schools Superintendent Clifford B. Janey recently told the D.C. Council Committee on Education, Libraries and Recreation that the ongoing inquiries have put a strain on administrators trying to comply with auditor's demands for documents...

Mr. Cashmon said budget issues have kept his office from becoming fully staffed over the past year. He said full staffing had to wait while school system officials obtained budget authority and hiring approval. "We went through some growing pains a year ago ... but I'm happy we're just about completely there," he said. The compliance office is an internal audit division under the school system's office of the chief operating officer. The office of the D.C. auditor and the office of the inspector general are independent...

In recent years, the compliance office has investigated the misuse of credit cards by school employees and the misspending of school activity funds by administrators.

More here


For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL schools should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the poor and minimal regulation.

The NEA and similar unions worldwide believe that children should be thoroughly indoctrinated with Green/Left, feminist/homosexual ideology but the "3 R's" are something that kids should just be allowed to "discover"

Comments? Email me here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


Thursday, April 28, 2005


Homeschooling has been around for a generation now. As the positive reports continue to roll in it is good news for those who took the plunge ten or twenty years ago and decided to educate their children themselves. Numerous studies and reports have shown homeschooled children handily outperforming their publicly schooled peers at every level, and by most measures.

Still, the parents who first embarked on the untested waters of homeschooling had no information of that kind available to encourage them. And certainly the school boards did nothing to help. In fact, in many jurisdictions public school officials went out of their way to make homeschooling difficult for parents, invoking truancy laws against them or demanding to have the right to approve all curriculum or even to conduct intrusive inspections in the homes of those so presumptuous as to think they could educate their children. Friends, neighbours, even family of the first homeschoolers were not very encouraging either. Most were aghast because they thought that kitchen table education would surely be inferior to what was offered at the shiny local school. In the early days homeschoolers were regarded as nuts and cranks. That was then.

It is true that homeschooling is much more economical than public schooling. So if you don't know much about it you might believe financial saving to have been its attraction. It involves about one tenth the cost of its public counterpart. But that amazing saving was no help to the first homeschoolers. Nor does it help in most jurisdictions even today. Parents have to pay that 10% on top of their school taxes. In other words, homeschoolers look after their children's needs at their own expense only after they have already paid 100% of the costs of the wasteful public system.

In the early days there was no Home School Legal Defence Association to help protect the interests of home educators. That organization was founded in the U.S. by Michael Farris and Michael Smith in 1983, but did not come to Canada until 1991. And it took patient years of information sessions and lectures at homeschooling conferences across the continent before enough families joined to build up the focused and potent organization it represents today.

So why would anyone have begun way back then, when homeschooling was dangerous, expensive and socially unaccepted? Studies have consistently shown that there were and are two main motivations: religion and morality. Everyone who is part of the homeschooling movement will have known that already, though it may come as a surprise to those who send their children to public schools. Parents with decided views on religion or morality find it intolerable to see those views treated as they are in the public schools: namely as something between silly quirks that polite people don't discuss and nasty perversions that have to be rooted out.

It is true that negative attitudes toward traditional religion and morality are not peculiar to the school but reflect social realities. Those who homeschool are not alone in having witnessed the successive takeovers of the public sphere by secularism, multiculturalism, the cultural left, and the long, sorry chain-gang of victims still trudging through it. The transformation of their country has been a sickening one for all conservatives, but it has also been judicially imposed and therefore accepted, however reluctantly, by most.

But not by all. A large proportion of homeschoolers could be described as people who have given up paying attention to whatever is being shouted through the public bullhorn, and begun to cultivate their own practices and communities on a scale they can still understand and in a manner of which they approve. Their spontaneous reaction to their situation has a historical parallel memorably drawn by Alasdair MacIntyre at the end of After Virtue. Recalling the period in which the Roman Empire collapsed and the so-called "dark ages" began, he reminds us how: "a crucial turning point occurred when men and women of good will turned aside from the task of shoring up the Roman imperium and ceased to identify the continuation of civility and moral community with the maintenance of that imperium. What they set themselves to achieve instead - often not recognizing fully what they were doing - was the construction of new forms of community within which the moral life could be sustained so that morality and civility might survive the coming ages of barbarism and darkness."

So began the monastic tradition of the early middle ages - the institution that saved civilization. It may be the privilege of homeschoolers to bear that bright torch in their own time. Our children have become healthy, well-adjusted and successful, in spite of all the efforts of public institutions to thwart them.

The above article is reproduced from here but probably the most interesting part of the article is the many thoughtful comments that follow it


One of the symptoms of overbearing political correctness has been campus speech codes that ban offensive speech, especially that directed at women and minorities. The interpretation of what constitutes offensive speech was often left to the alleged victims. In the notorious water-buffalo remark at the University of Pennsylvania case, this led to misguided accusations of racism because the targets of the remark were unfamiliar with the speaker's culture. Invariable, it is the speaker who required to be "more sensitive" in these cases.

Several court cases have struck down overly broad speech codes. The U.S. Supreme Court (R.A.V. v. St. Paul, 1992) found speech codes that ban viewpoint discrimination to be unconstitutional, even when "hate speech" was the nominal target of the codes. Other cases have similarly supported free speech on campus, including Doe v. University of Michigan, 1989 (invalidated speech code for being facially vague and overbroad), the UWM Post, Inc. v. Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System 1991 (code struck down as unconstitutional), Silva v. University of New Hampshire 1994 (".the First Amendment, which does not tolerate laws that cast a pall of orthodoxy over the classroom."), Corry v. Stanford 1995 (found that the Stanford code applied to speech that could cause emotional distress but would not incite an immediate breach of peace nor other clear and present danger). Even if speech is insulting and hurtful, as many found the recent remarks of Ward Churchill on this campus, it is not necessarily unlawful.

Despite the court victories, speech codes are still prevalent on America's college campuses. This is partly because they have not been challenged in court and partly because they have been restructured so as to be constitutional. Some of the codes are ambiguous at best. For example, the U.H. Student Conduct Code states that "A student may not behave towards another member of the University community, even in the name of conviction or under a claim of academic freedom, in a manner that denies or interferes with that individual's expression of conviction, academic freedom or performance of legitimate duties and functions."

The resilience of speech codes is thought to be related to a broader politicization of the college experience that derives from a concentration of faculty members on the ideological left. Indeed political college faculties do not exhibit diversity in political affiliation. A 2003 survey of six major professional associations of in the Social Sciences and Humanities found that Democrats outnumber Republicans by at least 3 to 1 (Economics) and as much as 30 to 1 (Anthropology). Studies of voter registration roles uncovered the following ratios of Democrats to Republicans: Cornell, 24:1; Brown University, 18:1; University of Colorado, 23:1; UCLA, 16:1; University of Maryland, 6:1; Syracuse University, 25:1 (Zinsmeister, The American Enterprise, Jan/Feb, 2005). A more comprehensive study was done by matching the faculty lists of Stanford and UC-Berkeley with voter registration roles in surrounding counties ( Berkeley came in at 445 to 45 (10:1) Democrats to Republicans with Stanford at 276 to 36 (8:1). Among assistant and associate professors, Republicans are outnumbered 31:1.....

The curriculum of higher education is alleged to be politicized and guilty of substituting indoctrination for the disciplined pursuit of knowledge. General education requirements have exploded to the point where the core is unrecognizable. Following the lead of Stanford ("Ho Ho Ho, Western Civ has got to go") and other mainland institutions, UH replaced its requirement of Western and Eastern Civilization with "Global and Multicultural Perspectives," which aims to provide students with "a sense of human development . through the consideration of narratives and artifacts."

The cost of political correctness is not so much that students become ideologically warped or anti-American for life. Indeed college graduates are marginally more likely to be Republican than Democrat and significantly more likely to be independent. Rather it is the opportunity lost for learning through the disciplined application of reason and evidence. Instead students often focus on gaming the system. Douthat (2005) describes his own experience at Harvard. One of his illustrations concerned the requirement to write a 10-page paper on pair of artifacts from the early American West without doing any research on the cultures represented. Douthat had a dilemma. "How could I eke out ten pages when I knew nothing about the provenance of the weapons or the significance of their markings? The paper was pathetically easy to write - not despite the dearth of information but because of it. Knowing nothing meant I could write anything. I didn't need to do any reading, absorb any history, or learn anything at all. [He craftily sprinkled his essay with references to capitalism, violence and male domination.] .the paper got an A."

At the very least, the climate of political correctness has a chilling effect on academic inquiry. Without political diversity, how can there be diversity of thought? Can we really afford to designate some issues, such as differences by race and gender and Hawaiian sovereignty, as too inflammatory for investigation?

More here


For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL schools should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the poor and minimal regulation.

The NEA and similar unions worldwide believe that children should be thoroughley indoctrinated with Green/Left, feminist/homosexual ideology but the "3 R's" are something that kids should just be allowed to "discover"

Comments? Email me here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


Wednesday, April 27, 2005



Home schooling, best known in modern America as a movement of the left in the 1960s and a conservative Christian trend in the 1980s, is now becoming a mainstream education revolution, increasing from 7 to 10 percent annually across the nation. In 2003, an estimated 1.1 million students are home-schooled in the United States, an increase from 850,000 in 1999, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. In Minnesota, 17,533 students were home-schooled in 2003-04, an increase of 7.4 percent from the previous school year.

There is no one reason parents choose home schooling. Some want to nurture a gifted child or a child with learning disabilities or health problems. Some cite reasons of faith or remote physical locations. Others are concerned about the school environment, from negative peer pressure to school violence to large class sizes to budget cutbacks. Often, it's a combination of reasons. But at the heart of home schooling's renaissance is the growing acceptance that it is simply one more viable option — along with private, public, charter and online schools — from which parents can choose. "Home schooling is a real possibility now for many people who wouldn't have considered it 10 years ago," says Dr. Brian Ray of the National Home Education Research Institute. "And that's because resources are everywhere. Home-school organizations are everywhere, support groups are everywhere. It's in the news, it's on Web sites, it's everywhere."

Home-schooling parents used to be afraid to let their children play outside during the school day, worried that neighbors would report the kids as truants. In the early 1980s, home schooling was expressly legal in only four states, says JoAnn Vender, a Penn State graduate student in geography who is studying home schooling. That changed when fundamentalist Christians and other religious groups adopted the practice with vigor, pushing states to legalize the practice in the 1980s and 1990s, she says. For many conservative Christians in that era, home schooling was a way to protest the increasing separation of church and state.

Minnesota adopted a law in 1987 that clearly established the legality of home education. In 1985-86, an estimated 654 Minnesota children were home-schooled. This year, that number is 18,000. Today, Minnesota has some of the stricter laws overseeing home schooling.

Lorin Velikonja, who recently wrapped up her tenure as president of the Minnesota Homeschoolers' Alliance, has had a unique vantage point from which to gauge society's changing attitudes. "MHA has had a booth at the State Fair in the Education Building for about 10 years, and when I first worked shifts there, you'd get people who would walk by and give you the eyeball and say, 'You people are crazy,' " Velikonja says. "But over the past few years, it's changed dramatically. Now, people stop by just to say, 'Oh, my grandchildren are being home-schooled! They're wonderful!' Or, 'We're getting married in June, and we're already thinking about home schooling.' "You still get a few people who challenge you," she says. "The big question is, 'What makes you think that you're trained, that you have the credentials to teach your child?' "Overall, I think people are just more positive about it now.".....

Home-schoolers must excuse Tom Keating, Minnesota's 2004 Teacher of the Year, if he favors a public-school education. That's not to say he doesn't believe there isn't a place for home schooling. He just wants parents considering it to think it over carefully. "The question for parents is, 'Why do we want to do this?' It's a serious gut and heart check," says Keating, who teaches at Turning Point alternative school in Monticello. "Because, if we're running from something, that would be a little scary. If we're raising a generation of kids in cocoons, we're in trouble." Keating says some of the home-schooled students he has met make the transition into public school at the high-school level when the subject matters become more challenging. They adapt nicely, he says, after sometimes struggling to learn to work in a group dynamic.....

Home-schooled students learn to be passionate about what they're studying, too. Many show a thoughtful maturity. One recent morning, for instance, seven home-schooled teens and pre-teens settled into the sitting area of a Minneapolis bookstore for their weekly Philosophy Club discussion. One of their mothers served as moderator. Arlo Sherbitz, 12, curled up in a wicker chair, shoes off, and opened the session with the first question: "Is there such a thing as a just war?" "No," said his brother, Dylan, 14. "That's a good question," said Nora Cox, 16. "I think war is part of human nature." Across the metro, every day, home-schooled students gather together like this to learn. Some meet through formal home-school "co-ops," founded by parents who hire teachers to give instruction on biology, music or art. There are regular sessions, field trips and waiting lists — similar to school but more flexible and on the parents' terms. Others are more free form, offering classes taught by parents who have expertise in a subject like science or math.

For many years, Northwestern College, a Christian liberal arts school in St. Paul, has actively recruited home-schoolers, who make up 10 percent of its student body. It was a unique strategy — until now. "Until recently, a number of colleges and universities were very skeptical of home-schoolers; they just didn't know how to approach or deal with them," says Ken Faffler, Northwestern admissions director. "That was fine with me; we wanted all of them we could get," Faffler says. "We could see, on average, they're above average … on SAT and ACT exams. And they also seem to have a slightly higher level of maturity — all this worry about socialization is something we knew we didn't have to consider."

Now, Ivy League schools, businesses like Apple Computer, PBS and many others are reaching out to the home-schooler. In the case of PBS, the network has been focusing in the past five years on alerting home-schooling parents about "TeacherSource," which provides free lesson plans and activities tied to PBS programming and correlated with local and national curriculum standards.

Statistics show today's typical American home-schooling family is white, middle class and conservative Protestant with more than two children, and the mother is primarily responsible for the children's schooling, says home-schooling researcher Vender. But home-schooling demographics are changing. "The most rapidly growing segment is the non-Christian group," Vender says.....

Danielle Reedy, 17½, is a home-schooler who has dabbled in public education, and she sees the upside and downside of both options. She is the oldest of four children of Donna and Tim Reedy of Hudson, Wis., who began home-schooling Danielle in kindergarten, mostly for religious reasons. Since starting high school, Danielle has begun taking a few classes at the public school as allowed by the district. Last year, her sophomore year, she attended school full time because the family budget couldn't stretch to purchase curriculum after Tim lost his job, but now she's back to home schooling. "At home, I've liked reading all the books," Danielle says. "She soaks up literature," Donna says. "I like just learning and not being exposed to all the garbage at school, swearing and drinking and cliques and middle school," Danielle says. "At home, you don't have that pressure." Danielle will return to high school for her senior year. When asked why, she says, "For the fun. And there are so many classes I want to take, like more art classes and a law class, which is an area I'm interested in. "I like the structured classes at school, where there are teachers there every day when you need them and they are experts in that area," she says. "And I like having all my friends at the school and being able to talk to people and meet new people. Whereas if you're home-schooling, you're home all the time. I'm a people person, so I like lots of people around me, not just my family. "But there are things I definitely don't miss about school, like the bomb threats," she says."


Lawsuits with union backing and demanding more tax dollars to provide for an adequate public school education are becoming more common place. However, according to Doug French in his piece about Nevada's K-12 education, "High per-pupil spending in America often correlates with pathetic educational results-witness New York City, Washington, D.C., and many other union-dominated jurisdictions. On the other hand, low per-pupil spending is often linked with relatively high educational success-as with our neighbor Utah, and with private and parochial schools."5 He warns us that, "The best defense is often a good offense. And so, a constant drumbeat about supposedly inadequate per-pupil taxpayer subsidies has proven an effective way to shift the blame, maintain the political initiative and, perhaps most importantly, keep the money flowing."

People who are not educated on both sides of an issue and continually subjected to only one ideology or viewpoint make it easier for those with power and influence to have a greater effect on their opinion. For so many children an abridged education starts early in life because labels, like "politically incorrect" censor fairy tales like The Boy Who Cried Wolf; deemed no longer appropriate to teach morals such as to be wary of false accusations. Parents hand their children over to public education institutions earlier and earlier. The result, special interest groups like the NEA are able to maintain a lot of power and influence, even having long outlived their usefulness.

Going back to Doug French's piece, he writes, "The quality of the individual teacher is by far the most important factor in student success." He continues, "Vast millions of taxpayer dollars are wasted each year by school district administrators and union bosses through the [salary] grids. They could move to measuring teacher quality by tracking individual students' improvements year by year. But it's so much less threatening to the union to just look at longevity and trivial teacher college degrees-neither of which, research has shown, significantly helps student achievement."

Doug French gives the very reason why NCLB is so important to reforming the public school system. The law requires districts to implement what does work. As French puts it, "It is this-Nevada's chronic spending to purchase what is known to not work-instead of what does work-that is this state's fundamental education problem. And it has persisted for decades because it grows directly out of the debased role of the modern state as the servant of well-organized special interests."

State courts legislating from the bench order legislatures to provide, what the NEA considers "adequate funding" to the public schools. In New York, Robin Rapaport, the President of the NEA reminded the Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means Committees that, 'Our state's constitution mandates that "the Legislature shall provide for the maintenance and support of a system of free common schools, wherein all the children of this state may be educated."'

She was critical that the Governor slashed funding for BOCES (vocational) funding cuts and for creating charter schools. She asked that education retirees continue to receive the same health insurance benefits as active educators and to re-enact the section of the law which would phase out with a sunset provision. She suggested state leaders find new revenue from the wealthiest private and corporate citizens.

In response, the legislature restored the Governor's cuts, and passed a budget, "that will provide over $848 million more in funding to public schools than last year - approximately $354 million more than the governor proposed." It is because of testimony such as Rapaport's that Kansas, Montana, and New York are, "currently under orders from their highest courts to fix their school finance systems." In New York, the state is planning to appeal the trial judge's order to provide $5.6 billion in operating increases over four years to fix the New York City schools.

The idea that the court can tell politicians to appropriate more taxes to assuage special interest groups is quite frankly, frightening. This is judicial activism at its worst. It has not been proven that greater funding will solve the problems inherent in the public schools. Certainly the court can determine the legality of an action but to determine how our tax dollars are spent seems out of its jurisdiction. "Whether the court has the authority to require us to appropriate money is a major constitutional question. The answer will be keenly anticipated by many. The prevailing view is that the court lacks the ability to do that."

More here


For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL schools should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the poor and minimal regulation.

The NEA and similar unions worldwide believe that children should be thoroughley indoctrinated with Green/Left, feminist/homosexual ideology but the "3 R's" are something that kids should just be allowed to "discover"

Comments? Email me here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Demise of U.K. grammar schools leaves the poor facing an uphill struggle

And these researchers actually gave some consideration to race as a factor! Background: The "elitist" British Grammar School system of the past took in students essentially on the basis of high IQ -- regardless of family background -- and prepared them for university-level study. The British Left always hated the system because it violated their "all men are equal" creed.

Children from poorer families have far less chance of improving their lives in Britain than those in many other wealthy countries, according to research published yesterday. The study of eight countries, carried out by the London School of Economics, said that social mobility in Britain was lower than anywhere except the United States. The abolition of grammar schools was said to have reduced opportunity in a country where parental wealth and good education are strongly linked. Uniquely among the countries studied, the life chances of poorer children in Britain had become worse over time. In America the figure was lower, but stable.

The study found that an increasing link between family wealth and educational achievement was partly responsible for the marked decline in Britain. Poorer children born in 1970 had much less opportunity to improve their social and economic status as adults than those born in 1958. Educational opportunities improved for those born in the early 1980s, but social inequalities widened because children from wealthier families benefited overwhelmingly from the increase in places at university.

Sir Peter Lampl, chairman of the Sutton Trust, an educational charity that sponsored the study, said that the findings were "truly shocking": "The results show that those from less privileged backgrounds are more likely to continue facing disadvantage into adulthood, and the affluent continue to benefit disproportionately from educational opportunities."

The report examined social mobility in Britain, the US, Canada, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. It compared the extent to which a person's childhood circumstances influenced their later economic success as adults. The four Scandinavian countries performed best, with social mobility being greatest in Norway. Canada was also found to be a highly mobile society. Germany was placed close to the middle while Britain and America trailed well behind.

In Britain, 38 per cent of sons born in 1970 to the poorest quarter of families were themselves in the bottom quarter of earners at the age of 30. Only 11 per cent had reached the richest quarter. By contrast, 42 per cent of those born to the wealthiest quarter remained among the top earners at 30 and 16 per cent were in the bottom quarter. There was greater movement among those born in 1958. Of those from the poorest families, 31 per cent were still poor in their thirties, while 17 per cent had reached the top income group. Among those born to wealthy families, 35 per cent remained in the top quarter while 17 per cent had sunk to the bottom group.

The study said that race was an important factor in explaining America's low social mobility, but in Britain the key was the strong link between parental wealth and educational opportunity.

The study concluded: "The strength of the relationship between educational attainment and family income, especially for access to higher education, is at the heart of Britain's low mobility culture."

Stephen Machin, part of the research team, said: "The grammar school system was seen at the time as being very elitist. But it is ironic that probably that system got more people through from the bottom end than the system we have today." Professor Machin added: "We have 20 per cent of the population who are functionally illiterate. They have been let down by the school system. In Germany and Scandinavia they don't have anybody down there. They are at least getting everybody up to the same basic level."

Educational inequalities at 16 in Britain narrowed in the 1990s as staying-on rates among poorer youngsters rose. This was partly because of improved examination results after the introduction of the GCSE. But far more youngsters from wealthier homes went on to university, even with the huge expansion of higher education, leading to an increase in social immobility between children of different backgrounds.

From The Times

Amusing: EU rules will force British schools to protect teachers from noisy pupils

Discipline has been declared incorrect and that creates the noise so we have another regulatiion to stop the noise -- one regulation to fix the problem caused by another. And no doubt the new regulation will create new problems requiring yet more regulations

Every nursery school, primary school and day-care centre in Britain will have to conduct a "noise risk assessment" in case the din of children is damaging teachers' hearing, Europe's health and safety official said yesterday. If noise levels are found to be above 80 decibels - a level recorded in many classrooms during one recent Danish study - head teachers will be obliged to take action to reduce noise "to a minimum", said Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, director of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. If the noise levels rise above a new maximum of 87 dB, heads, or creche owners, who fail to take action could face criminal prosecution. Actions required could involve fitting acoustic tiles on classroom ceilings, giving staff longer breaks or reducing class sizes, said Mr Konkolewsky.

Traditional noise-prevention laws have focused on shipyards, steel mills and other obviously loud workplaces. But the education sector is a hidden source of risk, said Mr Konkolewsky, especially where today's more raucous pupils are housed in hard-floored, echoing Victorian classrooms, built for the days when children sat silently, copying from a blackboard.

A European Union Noise Directive will come into force next February, replacing and substantially toughening up existing EU noise rules. The directive, which was approved by the British and other EU governments in 2003, imposes a new obligation on all employers where noise is a potential hazard to conduct a scientific analysis of their workplace. The directive includes new, much lower levels of noise that trigger mandatory action.

Vladimir Spidla, the European Commissioner for employment, social affairs and equal opportunities, yesterday launched a Europe-wide "Stop That Noise" campaign. The initiative is aimed, he said, "at people in industry, but in primary schools as well". Mr Konkolewsky said: "A Danish study has shown that over half of schoolteachers and day-care workers have to raise their voices to communicate with colleagues, much more than in many industrial trades."

But he offered assurances that the EU would be "reasonable" in assessing what was possible in schools. Head teachers had to work with health and safety experts to find the right balance. The new directive allows the entertainment sector an extra three years, until 2009, to find ways to reduce noise levels in venues that are hard to keep quiet, such as discos, bars and concert halls.



For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL schools should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the poor and minimal regulation.

Comments? Email me here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


Monday, April 25, 2005


A recent analysis of national test score data suggests private schools do a better job than public schools of closing the achievement gap between black and white students as they progress from fourth to 12th grades.... Closing the achievement gap between black and white students has been one of our nation's overarching goals for half a century. However, there remains a gulf of more than 200 points between the SAT scores of white students and black students, and black children trail their white peers by significant margins on every subject tested by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

One aspect of the very familiar achievement gap, however, is almost universally unknown: how it differs between public and private schools. This disparity can be documented by using a U.S. Department of Education database to compute the average NAEP test score differences between black students and white students in both public and private schools.... there is a sizeable achievement gap between black and white fourth-graders in both public and private schools. It is also clear the private-sector achievement gap is narrower in the 12th grade than the fourth grade for all of the core NAEP subjects. Public schools, by contrast, see a larger gap in both writing and mathematics at the 12th-grade level than at the fourth. Averaged across subjects, the public school racial achievement gap is virtually unchanged between fourth and 12th grades. By contrast, the gap in private schools is an average of 27.5 percentage points smaller in the 12th grade than the fourth.

The achievement gap closes faster in private schools not because white private school students lose ground with respect to white public school students as they move to higher grades, but because black private school students learn at a substantially higher rate than black public school students.....

Economist Derek Neal has found that black students attending urban private schools are far more likely to complete high school, gain admission to college, and complete college than similar students in urban public schools.

Similarly, in a study comparing graduation rates of all Milwaukee public school students (of all income levels) with those of the low-income participants in the city's private school voucher program, Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Jay Greene found the voucher students were more than one-and-a-half-times as likely to graduate as public school students. More remarkable still, Greene found this to be true even when he compared the voucher students with those attending Milwaukee's elite group of academically selective public schools.

More here


(Post lifted from the Adam Smith blog)

New research by the London Institute of Education suggests that more than one pupil in four receives private tuition at some stage in his or her career, reports John Clare, Education Editor of the Telegraph.

When Tony and Cherie Blair sent their state-educated sons to be privately tutored, they were not so much setting a trend as climbing on a rapidly accelerating bandwagon.

Despite the availability of free state education, people are spending 50 million pounds a year on private tuition, and the market is growing. The reason is not only a natural desire of parents to give their children a good start. It is, according to some, a move born out of despair. Bill Fleming, founder of Top Tutors, puts it succinctly:

"Poor teaching, high staff turnover, too many temporary teachers, disruption in class - there are loads of reasons why state school parents come to us," he says. "Their children can't keep up, the curriculum has not been covered and so on."

Many parents must be grateful that there is a remedy to hand for the deficiencies of state education. But a possible reason for the success of private tuition is that it barely registers. When Labour politicians send their children to a private school there is the usual outcry; but private tutors don't count. They can be hired discreetly, without the P-word being mentioned.

Parents in general might wish that state schools did the job anyway, but they have seen years of campaigning and oceans of cash leave standards still far below acceptable levels. Private tuition gives them a solution. It cuts through the Gordian knot and gives them a way of raising the achievement level of their own children. It's a pity the state school system leads them no other recourse, but they prefer their children better educated than it seems able to manage.


Although most reformers and education experts agree there is reason to be concerned about the quality of U.S. secondary education, there are a variety of opinions about whether rigorous high school testing is the right solution. Some groups, such as the Gates Foundation, advocate making schools smaller. Others recommend making the high school experience more relevant and individualized. Efforts to make it easier for high school students to enroll in college courses while still in high school also have been suggested. Advocates of school choice, however, argue that unless a reform program creates real market competition among private and public schools, no amount of testing or remediation will do much to improve low-quality public schools.

Moreover, they say, choice allows competing solutions like those mentioned above to be tested in the education marketplace, with parents choosing the solution they think is best for their child. As John Merrifield, author of School Choice Wars, has pointed out, "school choice would raise productivity by exploiting educators' comparative advantages, by paving the way for smaller schools, and by creating better matches between students and educators."

During his first term, Bush sought to incorporate parental choice into the NCLB bill. Although most of the choice provisions were stripped out before the bill was passed, Bush was vocal about his support for school choice. The president also pushed hard for a pilot voucher program for children in the District of Columbia, which successfully passed Congress last year as part of the 2004 appropriations bill.....

Education researchers disagree about how effective NCLB has been in improving the nation's elementary and middle schools. Each state designs and administers its own achievement tests; hence, it is easy for states to report results showing a high number of students as proficient. Only 30 percent of America's fourth-graders scored at or above the "proficient" level on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, yet all but eight states claimed "proficiency" levels above 50 percent for fourth-graders on their own achievement tests. The width of that gap casts doubt on the validity of states' reports about proficiency.

More here


For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL schools should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the poor and minimal regulation.

Comments? Email me here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


Sunday, April 24, 2005


This article is another blast from the past that should not be forgotten

Pupils work harder and are less disruptive if they sit in rows rather than in groups around tables, according to researchers at the University of Birmingham. A team led by Dr Kevin Wheldall, of the university's department of educational psychology, found children spent up to twice as long concentrating on their work when seated in rows and teachers found it easier to praise them and to refrain from disapproval.

In fourth-year junior classes in two urban schools Dr Wheldall and his colleagues observed the extent to which children remained "on task" when seated normally around tables in groups and then when desks were rearranged in rows for a week or so. "On task" was defined as doing what the teacher instructed; looking at and (apparently) listening to her when she was talking to them, looking at their books or work cards when required to do work and only being out of their seats with the teacher's permission. Calling out, interrupting and talking to neighbours were regarded as "off task" though some teachers might regard talking as a legitimate classroom activity.

On task behaviour as defined rose by 15 per cent when pupils were seated in rows in both classes and dropped by the same amount when put back into groups. A few children also complained at the return to tables as they preferred rows. A similar study in a special school for children with behavioural difficulties found that on task time doubled in rows and disruptions were reduced to a third of their former frequency.

Dr Wheldall says: "I must emphasise that I am not advocating a return to rows for all work - only for academic work which requires the child to concentrate on the specific academic task in hand without disruption. Rows would be totally inappropriate for small group discussions." Dr Wheldall is now looking into the horseshoe arrangement of desks. He says that in some cases groups around tables might prove more effective, but he criticises the complete abandonment of rows. "Seating around tables has become the norm apparently because it was believed that this facilitated learning by discovery and project work. To my knowledge no empirical evidence was produced to justify this change, but then education is like this; strong on theory and speculation, weak on evidence and objective data."

Article originally from the "Times Educational Supplement", reprinted in the "Sydney Morning Herald", Feb. 16th., 1982 p. 12.


Even to the top one third of High School graduates! It's like something out of "Alice in Wonderland" but it is no wonderland

"The students are among the tens of thousands of California State University freshmen who required courses in remedial English, math or both when they arrived at one of the system's 23 campuses last fall. Placement exams showed they hadn't mastered a range of skills, from solving quadratic equations and using the Pythagorean theorem to having a command of vocabulary, grammar and techniques to write essays and papers. It's a troubling and expensive trend for the nation's largest public university system, which draws most of its freshmen from the top one-third of high school seniors in California.

Now, after years of focusing almost exclusively on helping students catch up once they get to college, CSU has pledged to drive down the demand for remediation before the freshmen ever get to their campuses. In partnership with California's public high schools, officials are testing juniors, creating courses for college-bound 12th-graders who need to improve their English and math and training teachers to better prepare students for the demands of CSU.

They are motivated in large part by expense: In the 2003-04 school year, remedial courses in math and English cost CSU nearly $30 million. Last year, 47 percent of the 39,000 freshmen at CSU campuses needed remedial English; 37 percent required basic math. At CSUS, more than 1,600 freshmen (out of 2,345) enrolled in remedial courses in English, math or both. "We are talking about students who come to us from high school with a 3.2 (grade point average)," said Betsy Kean, an education professor at CSUS who is working with high schools in the region to stem the need for remedial courses. "These are students who have reasonable grades, but for a variety of reasons did not master the mathematics and English they need once they get to college."

University officials and faculty have been working for nearly a decade to reduce the numbers of freshmen who aren't prepared for college-level work, a move that began in 1996 when the CSU Board of Trustees learned that the university was spending $10 million a year on remedial education. The trustees cracked down on lagging students, adopting a policy to dismiss those who hadn't reached proficiency in English and math within the first 15 months of entering CSU. But in the years since, the numbers improved little. CSU officials realized the problem was rooted more in a mismatch between what students were learning in high school and what they needed to function at college.

So this month and next, thousands of high school juniors will take a short exam designed by CSU faculty and high school faculty -- called the Early Assessment Program -- to gauge their college-level English and math skills. The test, introduced last spring, consists of 15 English questions and 15 math questions and is offered to juniors when they take the mandatory California Standards Test. The EAP exam is voluntary, but participation last year exceeded CSU's expectations: 150,000 juniors took the English portion and 115,000 opted to answer the math questions. Questions on the EAP are similar to those on the English and math placement exams that incoming CSU freshmen must take, said Roberta J. Ching, director of the Learning Skills Center, CSUS' remediation program.

For juniors who score poorly and demonstrate a need for more English and math skills, CSU officials and high school faculty members are designing courses to help them catch up in their senior year. CSU campuses also are beginning to offer courses to high school English teachers to train them to teach students how to write in an explanatory or expository style".

More here


Charges filed yesterday against a math teacher in Brooklyn were the latest in a string of five cases said to have involved criminal or inappropriate behavior by school employees that have stunned parents and school officials. The teacher, Joanna Hernandez, 27, surrendered to face misdemeanor charges of kissing one of her students, a 15-year-old boy, in an empty classroom at Intermediate School 55 in Brownsville during school hours, the police said.

Ms. Hernandez's arrest came a day after Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein issued an extraordinary warning to principals throughout the city. "I will use all means at my disposal to see that sex offenders are removed from our school system and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Mr. Klein said in an e-mail message. He warned faculty members to be on the lookout for school employees who make lewd or inappropriate remarks, and those who have sexual or romantic relations with students. Mr. Klein also called for a tightening of state laws that he said now make firing sexual offenders "far too cumbersome and protracted."

A spokesman for the Department of Education, Keith Kalb, said last night that Ms. Hernandez, a teacher in the city school system since 2001, had been reassigned to administrative duties away from students. He said each of the other school employees facing charges of sexual activities, including two other women in their 20's, had either resigned or been reassigned away from classroom duties. Pending formal disciplinary proceedings, he said, "We will move to fire every one of them."

The succession of charges, brought by the New York Police Department and Richard Condon, the special schools investigator, began last week. The police said another teacher came upon Ms. Hernandez and her student kissing on April 12. The identity of that boy, like those of the other students involved in the cases, have not been made public. Mr. Kalb said the principal of I.S. 55 was immediately informed, and Ms. Hernandez was reassigned last week to a regional operations center in Queens. The police said she surrendered yesterday to face charges of sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a minor, both misdemeanors.

Two female faculty members at the High School for Health Professions and Human Services in Manhattan were also removed from contact with students last week after investigations by Mr. Condon's office. Mr. Kalb said that one of the women, Rhianna Ellis, 25, had given birth to a son whose father was an 18-year-old in her social studies class. The other case at the same high school involved Samantha Solomon, a 29-year-old guidance counselor, who had sex with a 17-year-old student, school officials said. Mr. Kalb said last night that Ms. Ellis had indicated that she planned to resign, and that disciplinary proceedings against Ms. Solomon were pending. Neither of the women was charged with criminal activity. Both liaisons were with students over 16, which state law deems the age of consent, and both students had described their relations as consensual.

Two other cases last week involved male school employees. Mr. Condon charged that Jermaine Reid, 27, a high school English teacher, had engaged in sexual relations with two female students, 16 and 18, over a period of many months at two schools in Queens. He had become involved with the younger girl while teaching at August Martin High School, and the 18-year-old at Richmond Hill High School, where he had been transferred, Mr. Kalb said. Mr. Reid has not reported for work since he was confronted last week with the charges against him, and it was not clear yesterday whether he intended to resign before facing disciplinary proceedings. Mr. Kalb said his case has been referred to the Queens district attorney, Richard A. Brown, but it was not known whether criminal charges would be brought.

Last Friday, Joseph Morales, 28, a teacher at I.S. 24 on Staten Island, was charged with public lewdness and endangering the welfare of minors after witnesses told the police he exposed himself to many people, including teenage girls, at several places since February. In his remarks to principals on Tuesday, Chancellor Klein reiterated his call for lawmakers in Albany to make it a criminal offense for any school employee to have sex with a student, even if the student has reached the age of consent. State Senator Carl Kruger, a Brooklyn Democrat, introduced such a bill in January.



For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL schools should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the poor and minimal regulation.

Comments? Email me here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here