Thursday, June 28, 2018

Now 21 Hillsdale schools

Hillsdale College is a selective, top-ranked college in Michigan, known for the classical liberal arts and for its independence from government funding

Here at Hillsdale, we think it’s time to stop complaining about the decline of American K-12 education. Instead, it is time to fix it.

If you know a child in elementary or high school, chances are high that he or she is not getting the kind of education that prepares them for good and useful citizenship. And nothing is more critical to the future of liberty than how we educate our children.

For decades, so-called “progressives” have systematically undermined American K-12 education—which was once world-class. Tried and true methods are rejected. Truth is denied. History is badly taught. And here are the sad results:

Plummeting knowledge in everything from math to history
Record rates of depression, violence, drug use, and teen pregnancy Ignorance of, and even disdain for, the values critical to informed patriotism and free government

Since 1844, the mission of Hillsdale College has been to offer the kind of collegiate education needed to preserve “the blessings of civil and religious liberty.” And now it is working to return excellence to American K-12 education through its Barney Charter School Initiative.

The schools founded under Hillsdale’s guidance emphasize three things that have gone missing: Rigorous classical education. Moral character formation. And deep civic knowledge.

Despite fierce opposition in many locations, Hillsdale-affiliated K-12 charter schools are succeeding and growing. There are currently 21 of these schools operating in nine different states, with more schools opening each year.

The battle over American K-12 education is the battle over America’s future. It is a battle we can win and it is a battle we must win

Via email from

Growing Public Employee Benefits to Force School Cuts

 By and large, Americans support spending more money on public education and schools.

That general rule of thumb comes, however, with a caveat. Americans expect that when they give public schools more money, this will help to fund the education of their children and to support programs that promote their children’s development, such as athletics or the arts.

What they don’t expect is for the money they give to be siphoned off in ways that will either never show up in a classroom or that will never benefit their children.

But sadly, that’s exactly what is happening at school districts around the country, because of the increasing cost of public employee benefits. The editorial board of the Los Angeles Times recently weighed in on the worsening fiscal state of the L.A. Unified School District, where health care and pension benefits provided to the school district’s teachers, administrators, and employees are projected to drive the district into insolvency:

If it needed any more prodding about the looming budget pitfalls, the Los Angeles Unified School District certainly got it this week. An analysis by the nonprofit journalism organization CALmatters showed that the cost of L.A. Unified’s employee benefits has been growing faster than its base funding for five years. And a report by an outside task force put the district’s dilemma in blunt terms:

“L.A. Unified is facing a structural budget deficit which threatens its long-term viability and its ability to deliver basic education programs. The District’s own forecasts show it will have exhausted its reserve fund balance by 2020-21, will have a budget deficit of $400 million in 2020-21, and therefore be insolvent.”

The report noted that the district’s pension contributions will rise dramatically in coming years. And for the report’s ultimate shocker, there’s this: Within 13 years, the district’s healthcare and pension costs will eat up more than half its annual budget.

That grim fiscal scenario is already diminishing the quality of education in L.A.’s public schools when compared to school districts around the country that have similar student demographics according to CALMatters’ report:

According to these data, L.A. Unified’s salaries and health costs per teacher are higher, even when they are adjusted for cost of living, and it provides less instructional time.

L.A.’s Unified School District is providing a raw deal to Los Angeles’s taxpaying families, who are paying more for public school employees but getting less public education for their children in return.

The saddest part of the editorial is the revelation that the public school employees are fighting any fiscally responsible reform of their benefits and appear to be counting on getting bailed out by California’s cash-strapped state government, which has public employee pension funding problems that are already causing cutbacks in public services.

Without serious reform to put public school districts like L.A. Unified on a fiscally sustainable path, expect taxpayers around the country to confront similar situations, over and over again.


British Teachers 'upskirted' and 'downbloused' by pupils in class, union warns

Female teachers are being "upskirted" and "downbloused" by pupils in class and schools are failing to properly protect staff, a union has warned.

Teaching unions are reporting an increase in teenagers taking photographs under teachers' skirts or down their tops.

Images taken covertly are later emerging on social media platforms such as Snapchat, they have reported, with some victims later suffering depression.

Sion Amlyn, of the NASUWT union, said women teachers were not being protected properly.

He said: "Quite disturbingly there's an increase in the practice of upskirting or downblousing by pupils on teachers and that has a detrimental affect on the wellbeing of our members. "They suffer from depression, they don't want to go back to work again and in our mind, more needs to be done to tackle this kind of practice.

"Schools are trying. There are mechanisms in schools to tackle this, but I don't think they are being used properly or adequately."

The union said that almost one in five teachers (19 per cent) claimed to have had "adverse" comments made about them by pupils and parents on social media.

There is currently no law against upskirting in England and Wales - with victims only able to seek justice under other laws.

Prime Minister Theresa May is intending to bring in a new law later this year that would see anyone guilty of upskirting facing a potential two-year jail term.


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