Sunday, March 31, 2019

Record Low 4.5% Admitted to Harvard; Cost for Some Is Highest Ever

Of the 43,330 candidates who applied to Harvard College's class of 2023, only 1,950 were admitted, the college announced. That's a record low 4.5 percent admission rate for the school.

According to the Harvard Crimson, the college notified 1,015 students of their acceptance Thursday evening. Another 935 were admitted early decision.

The Crimson also reported that it's more expensive than ever to attend the college:

The total cost of attending Harvard College — including tuition, fees, room, and board — will increase by 3 percent, to $69,607, for the 2019-2020 academic year, the College announced in a press release Thursday evening.

That increase marks a $2,027 rise from the 2018-2019 school year cost of attendance of $67,580.

This is the second year in a row that the cost of enrollment at the College has risen by 3 percent, outpacing the rate of inflation in both years.

Harvard's Financial Aid Office believes that more than half of the Class of 2023 will receive some form of need-based financial aid, and under a Harvard program geared to students from low-income families, 20 percent of the class will not be required to contribute to the cost of attendance, the Crimson reported.

Brown University also post a record low overall acceptance rate of 6.6 percent, or 1,782 students, to the class of 2023. The applicant pool of 38,674 was the highest ever, up nine percent from the year earlier.

According to The Brown Daily Herald, 65 percent of admitted students plan to apply for financial aid.

The total direct and indirect costs of attending Brown for the current academic year are estimated at $77,690.


Public Schools Are No Longer a Foundation of America's Republic

When Thomas Jefferson made the case for state-supported public schooling to Benjamin Franklin and other skeptics, he emphasized the necessity of turning young students into fully-fledged citizens. If our new form of government was to survive, Jefferson argued, it would need to be buttressed by an education system that taught the virtues of self-government. Public schooling was to become “the keystone in the arch” of our new constitutional republic.

Education was never meant to be values-neutral, and recent decades have shown that the public schools are indeed aggressively teaching a set of values to the almost 90 percent of American kids who travel through their halls. They’re just not the small-r republican values Jefferson had in mind.

Robert Pondiscio of the Fordham Institute, along with several colleagues, conducted an informal survey of the mission statements of the 100 largest school districts in the U.S. It’s clear that school districts are advertising the preparation they offer for material success after K-12: the word “college” appears in 37 of those 100 statements, and “career” appears in 46. By contrast, the words “patriotic” or “patriotism,” and “America” appear in none, and a large majority make no mention even of citizenship.

Little wonder, then, that the graduates of our public schools know little about the system of government Jefferson’s contemporaries designed. Only a quarter of Americans can name the three branches of the federal government. Only one in three can pass the U.S. citizenship test administered to immigrants who apply for citizenship, but for graduates of a more recent vintage, under the age of 45, just 19 percent passed.

To the extent that civics is taught, it emphasizes grievance and activism, rather than core knowledge about the Constitution and Declaration of Independence. These days, just noting that the original purpose of the common schools (forerunners to today’s vast public system) was to instill a knowledge and love of country is deeply controversial.

But shaping character — moral and public — is an inextricable educational goal. In pretending that education should be value-neutral to appease a pluralistic society, we’ve actually ceded the institution most important in shaping hearts and minds to one side of the political spectrum.

Instead, the answer in a large and diverse nation should be to empower families to choose an education for their children that supports, not fights, the values they teach around their dinner tables. And when we evaluate schools and educational programs, we should be looking at whether graduates demonstrate qualities that make them good citizens over improvements in standardized test scores.

Parents already know this. It’s why they consistently rank standardized test scores at the bottom of reasons to choose a school, well below factors such as religious instruction, moral and character development, and a safe environment.

Policymakers and researchers are starting to catch up to families. A recent study on a Milwaukee school choice program found, for the second time, large decreases in criminal conviction rates between graduates of the program and meticulously-matched public school students. Even more shockingly, researchers found a 38 percent decrease in a student’s likelihood of being involved in a paternity suit as a young adult, indicating that school choice recipients are either having fewer children out of wedlock, or at minimum, not shirking the duties of parenthood when they are.

Raising intact families and following the law are both vastly more important to being a good citizen than math scores.

If we are facing a crisis of citizenship and patriotism today, it is because conservatives chose short-term political victories over slow-burn cultural institutions. In some states, education is so undervalued on the right that Republican leadership has to beg state elected officials to take education committee chairmanships. School choice has had some “wins” — the majority of states now boast at least one private choice program — but those successes are still a drop in the bucket compared to the larger system.

Conservatives must realize that their future political victories are contingent on breaking the public school ideological monopoly and re-educating America’s students about the greatness of the country they live in. By empowering parents with choice, we’re not just improving test scores of those worst served by the public system. Instead, we’re ensuring that future voters are prepared to shoulder the heavy burden of citizenship in the freest, most prosperous republic in human history.


Australian schools to promote "Stolen generation" story

This is fiction, not history.  One or two dubious cases of "stolen" Aboriginal children have been put forward but nothing outside the usual incidence of social worker misjudgment. There have been far more incidences of regrettable social worker actions in England.

So the idea of a stolen "GENERATION" (i.e. 20,000 children or thereabouts) is the wildest fantasy. It is however a dangerous fantasy.  It has made modern-day social workers very reluctant to remove Aboriginal children from neglectful and abusive families, resulting in some avoidable deaths and much suffering

Australian history and the curriculum that teaches it will today receive a boost as new lesson plans detailing the lived experience of the Stolen Generations become available to school children.

Developed by The Healing Foundation in consultation with Stolen Generations members, teachers, parents and curriculum writers, the new resources promote greater understanding about an often overlooked part of Australia’s history in a safe and age appropriate way.

The Stolen Generations Resource Kit for Teachers and Students will be officially launched at Trangie Central School near Dubbo in regional NSW this morning, one of the schools involved in testing the resources.

Including compulsory modules on the Stolen Generations in school curricula was first recommended in the landmark 1997 Bringing them Home report. The report identified education as an important part of the reparation process, with awareness of the history of child removal seen as key to preventing a repetition of such human rights violations.

The Healing Foundation’s Chair Professor Steve Larkin said sharing the truth of Australian history is an important part of healing for the thousands of children who were forcibly removed from their families between 1910 and the 1970s.

“Despite the traumatic impact that the Stolen Generations policies continue to have on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities, very little about this chapter of our history has been taught in schools - particularly from an Indigenous perspective.

"We hope these resources will foster greater respect and understanding of the past and influence a different relationship with our communities,” Professor Larkin said.

Trangie Central School’s Deputy Principal Dimiti Trudgett said learning about the Stolen Generations encourages reconciliation for all Australians.

“As an important part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education, it supports the healing process for those impacted both directly and indirectly by acknowledging, comprehending and correcting the past,” Ms Trudgett said.

“We have trialled a number of activities from the resource kit with our secondary students and the response has been positive. The resources are not only educational, but are genuine and engaging. Our students particularly enjoyed the video case studies and computer components.”

The Healing Foundation’s Stolen Generations Reference Group Chair Ian Hamm said the activities draw heavily on the stories, music, dance, art and writing of Stolen Generations members and their descendants and showcase the strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and culture

“While the policies and suffering of the Stolen Generations is only one part of the ongoing story of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people it is an essential one to learn as part of developing a full understanding of the history of Australia,” Mr Hamm said.

The kit includes suggested lesson plans for Foundation Year through to Year 9, mapped to the Australian Curriculum, as well as professional learning tools for teachers.

Each year level includes four activities that can be taught over a day, week, month or term and align with National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week.

To mark the launch of these important new resources, The Healing Foundation is offering $700 micro grants for schools to hold events about the Stolen Generations between National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC Week 2019. To find out more or apply visit

The lesson plans, case studies and other resources are available on The Healing Foundation website. Hardcopy versions of the kit can be ordered by emailing

Media release from The Healing Foundation, a national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisation.  Media contact: Ben O'Halloran - 0474 499 911 or

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