Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Proof grammar schools boost poorer pupils: Youngsters are twice as likely to go to top universities as rich children at comprehensives

Poor pupils from grammar schools are almost twice as likely to get a place at an elite university as richer children at comprehensives, figures show.

When compared with other disadvantaged children in comprehensives, the difference is even more stark – with those at grammars more than three times more likely to attend a top university.

The Government statistics come amid a drive to increase the number of children from deprived backgrounds at the elite Russell Group universities.

In her maiden speech, Prime Minister Theresa May spoke of the injustice of white working class boys being the least likely group to attend university.

And yesterday’s data suggests selective schools multiply poor children’s chances of being able to parachute themselves into a better life.

Education Secretary Justine Greening said: ‘We want to build a country that works for everybody and that means an excellent education for every child. These figures show grammar schools open up fantastic opportunities for their pupils, no matter what their background. Too many children are currently held back from fulfilling their potential purely because of where they live or how much their parents earn.

‘We need to level the playing field and our proposals to create more great school places are a step towards this.’

The statistics show 71 per cent of poor sixth formers at grammar schools go on to university.

This is much higher than the 56 per cent of similarly poor children at comprehensives.

And 29 per cent of disadvantaged grammar school students go to Russell Group universities. This compares with just 9 per cent of poorer sixth formers and 15 per cent of better off ones at comprehensives.

The figures published by the Department for Education show the positive outcomes from grammar schools for children from all backgrounds. However, there are only 163 left in the country following a ban on new selective schools imposed by Tony Blair in 1998.

The Government is currently consulting on scrapping the ban on new grammar schools, and allowing them to open where parents want them.

In return, grammars will be expected to improve the education of pupils in other local schools, ensuring there is no return to the binary education system of the past.

The news came as the House of Lords debated the plans yesterday – with several peers voicing their support for the scheme.

Tory peer Lord Framlingham said teaching pupils of similar ability was the only way to deliver effective education. He said: ‘Children are stronger than we sometimes think and often understand better than we appreciate what the world is like.

‘Can our national educational policy really be that because some will not succeed none must try? How depressing.’

But Lord Blunkett, who was Labour education secretary when the ban was introduced, slammed the idea of new grammars. He said: ‘It’s morally wrong, it’s philosophically wrong, it’s practically impossible to implement.’


Millennials Are the School Choice Generation, New Survey Says

Millennials support equal opportunity and a society without borders. School choice delivers on both fronts.

Good news for supporters of school choice: millennials are just as likely as older generations to say that kids and parents should have more options when it comes to education.

For some aspects of school choice, such as voucher programs and education savings accounts, favorability rates are arguably strongest among millennials (albeit with some caveats that I'll get to in a minute).

That's according to a survey released by EdChoice (formerly the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice), a public policy organization that supports school choice.

Overall, 63 percent of millennial respondents were in favor of charter schools, and just 19 percent were opposed. The national average was 59 percent and 23 percent. This means that millennials were actually slightly more pro-charter than the average, though the difference is within the survey's margin of error.

That should be reason enough for school choice reformers to cheer, though some caution is still warranted: millennials held initially hostile views toward vouchers—just 33 percent supported them. But the survey asked the question twice: after it explained what vouchers were, support for them rose to 61 percent.

Indeed, lack of information about education policies might be the biggest obstacle to making millennials even more supportive of reform. Two out three millennial respondents said the country wasn't spending enough money on education. But according to the poll results, they badly underestimated how much money schools receive from the government. After being given the correct per-pupil funding numbers, some millennial respondents changed their minds. The percentage of respondents who thought per-pupil spending was too low dropped from 55 percent to 37 percent, and increasing percentages of respondents answered that current funding was "too high," "about right," or "didn't know."

Obvious disclaimer: This poll was produced by a pro-school choice organization. That said, I'm not at all surprised to learn that millennials are just as excited about school choice as older generations—if not more excited. They're against arbitrary borders (zip codes, in this case), deeply concerned about structural racism in public institutions (like police departments and traditional public schools), and motivated by principles of fairness and equal opportunity. School choice delivers on all these fronts.


Surrender? US schools to REQUIRE Muslim indoctrination

I'm not an alarmist but I will present hypocrisy when I see it. There are many who've labeled a recent action in Kansas City as some sort of submission to Islamic supremacy. I don't see it in such an alarmist fashion, but I am rather perplexed by the liberal progressive socialist hypocrisy.

As reported by, "One of the nation's largest school districts has adopted a resolution banning "hateful speech" against Muslim students while accusing America of having "a long history of racism and xenophobia."

The controversial resolution, unanimously approved by the Kansas City Board of Education on Sept. 28, states that there are 30,000 Muslims living in the greater Kansas City area, "making invaluable contributions to our economy, our social and political life, and our culture."

It goes on to state that discrimination on the basis of religion, "and against Muslims in particular, is deeply embedded within our country's long history of racism and xenophobia."

The Sept. 28 meeting was reportedly packed with local Muslims seeking to show their support for the resolution. Shaheen Ahmed of the Crescent Peace Society, a Kansas City interfaith organization, requested the board adopt the resolution and the Muslims were hoping that other school districts would follow the lead of Kansas City and adopt similar resolutions, according to a post on social media by Mahnaz Shabbir, an adviser to the Crescent Peace Society who also attended the meeting. More from the "anti-hate" resolution is quoted below:

WHEREAS there has been an unprecedented backlash since the September 11th attacks in the form of hate crimes and employment discrimination toward Arab and Muslim Americans and those perceived as Muslims; and WHEREAS Muslims, Muslim Americans, and those perceived as Muslims, are frequently the targets of abusive and discriminatory police practices sanctioned by the state including surveillance in their neighborhoods and places of worship."

The document further resolves that Kansas City school "condemns all hateful speech and violent action directed at Muslims, those perceived as Muslims, immigrants and people of color." The board promises to provide special training for teachers and staff to make sure they have right attitudes toward Muslims, and it also commits to "instituting school policies and setting an educational curriculum that reflects the values expressed in this resolution via training of staff and teachers, the inclusion of diverse resources to supplement in-class curricula, and the creation of safe spaces for students to address in-school bullying."

The resolution was passed with an 8-0 vote and one board member absent. It is signed at the bottom by Superintendent Mark Bedell and Board Chair Melissa Robinson."

Now, if this is something the Kansas City School Board wants to do, fine. However, what's rather hypocritical to me is that we have this concerted effort by secular humanist groups to eradicate Christianity from our schools and our public spaces.

As well, Christians are persecuted for their safe spaces for them. Why is it that Christians are deemed hateful when they wish not to participate in same-sex marriage ceremonies? Yes, consider the Christian bakers in Oregon who have lost their business. They were savagely assailed and fined by the state - as was the Christian photographer who declined to do portraits of a same-sex marriage because of her Christian faith.

I just have to ask, will there be any special training for anyone in these cases? Oh yeah, it'll be for the Christians who NEVER denied anyone service because of sexual orientation, they just wished to not be a part of a certain ceremony.

Christians cannot pray openly in our schools, we have a football coach in Seattle attacked and condemned by the school board there because he prayed with his players. At West Point, the superintendent expressed a "valid concern" about the coach asking for a team prayer.

Now, does anyone consider this to be a violation of separation of church (mosque) and state? Seems to me there's a blatant violation of the First Amendment right to freedom of religion and free exercise thereof - yet we have a state - governmental - agency establishing specific policies and protections for certain citizens based on religion.

Can you just imagine what would happen if a school board voted 8-0 for a resolution that promoted "instituting school policies and setting an educational curriculum that reflects JUDEO-CHRISTIAN values?"

No, I cannot. Doggone, the Freedom from Religion Foundation in Madison Wisconsin sent a letter to my alma mater, the University of Tennessee, to cease and desist giving a prayer before our home football games. In our military, our men and women in uniform are not allowed to openly display a Bible on their desks.

So when are we having special training to make sure there are the "right attitudes towards Muslims?" First of all, who defines what are "right attitudes?"

What type of educational curricula meets the values expressed in this resolution, and who develops this curriculum? Furthermore, what type of external resources are needed to compliment this curriculum? Seems to me the Kansas City School Board is advocating for specific and favorable religious indoctrination for Muslims. Does that mean revisionist history and erasing any references to Islamic terrorism?

This is right along the lines of UN Resolution 16/18 sponsored by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) criminalizing any language deemed "offensive" to Muslims. Again, I'm not alarmist but I have to ask, are we moving towards a declaration of Muslims as a protected class? Could it be that one day, if I say "radical Islam," I can be carted off to "reeducation training" to make sure I have the "right attitude" towards Muslims?

Why is it that some folks are just so anxious to declare all things are bad about America - a "history of racism and xenophobia?" And can someone please quantify this "unprecedented backlash" since 9-11? Just off the top of my head: Ft. Hood, Texas,; Boston marathon; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Moore, Oklahoma; St. Cloud, Minnesota; San Bernardino; Orlando and James Foley...not to mention the foiled Islamic terrorist plots on our tell me about the "unprecedented backlash" against Muslims in America since 9-11.

Maybe it's just me, but I'm growing really tired of the American people, the victims of Islamic terrorism, being portrayed as the attackers. Here we cannot utter the words "radical Islamic terrorism" because that will upset the Ummah, and spread the recruitment of Islamists worldwide. So what we must do is take a position of submission, subservience, and acquiescence and accept the blame upon ourselves...instead of looking at the Muslim community and demanding accountability and responsibility for these actions.

You see in the land of progressive socialists, we are to blame, America is bad, and the real threat are Christians, the true hate mongers. You know, not baking a cake or taking pictures of a same-sex wedding are so threatening to our domestic and global security. The regular response from the left when it comes to Islamic terrorism is the moral equivalency argument that Christians are just as bad - yep, right, and that's exactly what I heard at St. Louis University from students there.

This resolution says Muslims are "frequently the targets of abusive and discriminatory police practices sanctioned by the state including surveillance in their neighborhoods and places of worship." Folks, it's called "trend analysis" and if there were Islamic terrorists living in Jewish retirement homes, guess what, the police would conduct surveillance there. However, let's not talk about the problem in Minnesota in the Somali refugee, community which has seen some nine Islamic terrorist convictions in the past two years...and a series of military-aged males leaving the area to fight for Islamic jihadists overseas.

I know there'll be the normal accusations of "Islamophobia" but I will not cower to any psychological intimidation by a Muslim Brotherhood associated organization such as CAIR. If there's one thing I will say about the Kansas City School Board, it's that they're Islamapologists who fail to see the insidious nature of this resolution. I'm waiting for the day when America has a leader who will declare our American citizens a protected class and finally eradicate the scourge that is Islamic terrorism from our shores, and destroy their global sanctuaries.

Oops, there's a knock on the door. Looks like it's time for my reeducation and sensitivity training...


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