Saturday, March 19, 2005


The huge success of Wal-Mart is its real offence. Tearing down the successful is infinitely more important and satisfying to Leftists than helping the unsuccessful. If you doubt it, judge them by what they are good at. With their socialist ideas, they create poverty: they don't alleviate it. When did you see a welfare client get rich?

When it's time to pick up supplies for her third-grade classroom, Jennifer Strand would prefer to steer clear of Wal-Mart. The teacher is convinced the retail giant isn't paying workers a fair wage, but in the northeastern Washington town of Colville -- population 5,000 -- the only other option is a small stationery section in the local grocery store. So Strand became a reluctant Wal-Mart shopper -- venturing in from time to time to pick up supplies and emergency items for disadvantaged students, such as coats and shoes. She'd get reimbursed through the Washington Education Association's Children's Fund, a decade-old charity that provides up to $100 per student each year.

Not anymore. Taking a bold political stand, the state teachers' union last week declared the fund off-limits to Wal-Mart purchases. In a newsletter distributed to teachers, association President Charles Hasse cited Wal-Mart's "exploitative labor practices (that) have added to public assistance burdens in our state and across the nation." Hasse said yesterday that the action followed repeated suggestions from teachers to either change the policy or distribute information about the company's labor practices. Hasse said he's received more than 200 responses from teachers around the state, who were 20-1 in favor of eliminating Wal-Mart reimbursements. "It was interesting to see the intensity of feeling around this," he said.

Objections to the change stemmed primarily from concerns that teachers in rural areas would have no alternative to Wal-Mart. In the absence of other shopping options, Hasse said, exemptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. "We're not going to have some student go without a coat if that's the only place it could be purchased." The Children's Fund provides about $50,000 a year to teachers around the state, according to Hasse.

Wal-Mart spokesman Dan Fogleman yesterday refuted the unfair labor practice accusations. He said 86 percent of Wal-Mart hourly employees have medical insurance, and more than half of them are covered by the company. The company's average wage for hourly "sales associates" is $10.14 in Washington state, Fogleman said, compared with the national average of $9.68......

Roger Kinney, a marketing and business teacher at Burlington-Edison High School in Skagit County, said he's angry with the association for "dishing around in areas that they don't belong." Kinney believes the association's opposition is a show of solidarity for other unions that have so far eluded certification at any Wal-Mart store. "I think the unions know that Wal-Mart is a huge market for them, and there's a lot of money to be tapped from that market," he said.

More here


"One complete waste of taxpayer money is the Department of Education: "Unlike the educational system of many other countries, education in the United States is highly decentralized, and the Federal government and Department of Education are not heavily involved in determining curriculum or educational standards. Rather, the primary function of the United States Department of Education is to administer federal funding programs involving education and to enforce federal educational laws involved with privacy and civil rights. The quality of educational institutions and their degrees is maintained through an informal process known as accreditation which the Department of Education has no direct control over."

So essentially we've created a bureaucracy that funds institutions across the states but does not have the ability to hold said institutions accountable. This is the same sort of thing that defined welfare for far too many years. The Democratic Party preyed upon people's impressions of poverty and demanded obscene amounts of money to fund programs that didn't work and would never work from what must have seemed like an infinite well of taxpayer dough. That same mentality is what has defined funding of our public schools.

The fact of the matter is that every year that passes the Department of Education along with the school boards and the Teachers Union continue to invalidate the role of the parent and the parent in turn gladly removes themselves from their role in guiding their children's education. In short, the federal government is attempting to become more of a parent to the nations children while the parent takes a siesta. In the end this arrangement is sending the performance and intelligence of our children down the toilet.

I see it everyday when I go to work. I see parents, single mothers mostly, attempting to raise their children and reconcile their mistakes as best they can. They rely heavily on the schools to co-parent with them and the schools are only too happy to oblige. However, that's not the role of school. Parents have to do the work themselves and stop relying on the federal government via teachers, social workers, police officers, etc., to be the parent they can't bring themselves to be. The kind that takes an interest in their child 24 hours a day instead of whenever the mood suits them.

Meanwhile, as stated above, the Department of Education and public schools in general need to be mothballed. They have outlived their usefulness. There are several alternative solutions that every member of society can utilize if we'd only stop reinforcing this co-dependant behavior. I think the rules of the marketplace should absolutely be applied to the education system. First, get the federal government out of it entirely. Life works much better when local governments work directly with their constituents rather than invoking this big hulking mammoth of a disconnected bureaucracy to settle issues it cannot possibly comprehend or do anything constructive about.

With the DOE unable to muck things up, you have the option of employing several ideas. Obviously the most talked about strategy for improving education is the school voucher program. Parents have to take a direct interest in where their children go to school and they should be given the opportunity to shop around for competent districts rather than be herded into failing ones. Again, we should let the marketplace decide which schools stay and which ones go instead of subjecting ourselves to the tyranny of the Teachers Union. Funding for the school vouchers should come in the form of tax-credits or negative income for parents who don't make enough money to send their children to private schools on their own. We don't need a new bureaucracy for that and not having to pay for the old one would free up plenty of money.

Part of "No Child Left Behind" allows for the conversion of charter schools from public schools that have failed their students. While I think said Act is ridiculous and misses the larger point of what is going wrong in public schools, this idea of school conversions needs to be implemented across the board. Every school (except elementary schools) should be a charter or private school, which would command the rules of the business world thus ultimately being better, as capitalism usually is, for our children. This would also effectively kill the Teachers Union, which in my opinion has done more damage to the profession than it has benefited it. Having been a teacher myself in the Los Angeles Unified School District for a period of time, believe me, I saw this nonsense first hand.

For those of you that cannot imagine a world where the federal government doesn't insert itself where it truly doesn't belong, there is another suggestion. I am aware that even with tax-incentive vouchers, scholarships, etc., many students will not make it to a private institution for a variety of reasons. Programs such as the ones I'm describing would have a difficult time penetrating the lowest-income sections of our cities and rural areas. Here I would suggest letting the federal government do what it does best and allow the armed forces to set up training academies in place of public schools. Essentially it would be sleep-away private school with all the benefits getting kids out of the environments that aren't conducive to learning in the first place. If certain parents are going to drop their kids on the steps of City Hall and say that the "government" should parent for them then let the best institution have a crack at it. Military institutions are the only federal programs that can parent effectively when the parents themselves simply cannot function in that capacity.

In my opinion, these are the choices in front of today's American parents; step up and become invested in your child's education or stand back and let the military have them. Either way, the system we have now isn't helping anyone. We continue to burn money on a failed system while our children become less educated and more obstinate".

More here


"We all laugh when we hear people talk about "psycho-babble." The "edu-babble" that is spouted by education professors is less funny and a lot more dangerous. It's dangerous because students leave these colleges and become school administrators and officers of the NEA (the national teachers union). In these positions they are able to influence what and how our children are taught. As a result, schools are de-emphasizing traditional learning, and placing emphasis on feel-good liberal favorites such as "discovering one's self" and "constructing one's own knowledge." Perhaps I'm old-fashioned, but it seems to me that the world would be a better place if we all worked off the same knowledge. It's a lot less confusing that way. Even when real subjects are discussed, they are couched in Ed-speak: one doesn't just write, one is "given permission to think on the paper"; one doesn't converse, one "negotiates meaning."

What have all these "improvements" to the educational process brought us besides our student's miserable performance in math and science? According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (see LINK below), reading is also a serious problem area. Less than half of children in grades four, eight and twelve read at a proficient level. Only 31% of all fourth-graders, and 12% of black fourth-graders read at their grade level.

By the end of fifth grade, poor children are two and a half years behind wealthy kids in all subject areas. Behind by fifty percent! A big part of this problem is our antiquated nine month school schedule. When public schools got their start, children were needed three months of the year to harvest crops. Today less than two percent of school-age children live on farms. Yet this ridiculous system is as revered as if it were one of the Ten Commandments. There have been attempts at reform, but the teacher's union, supported by the Democrats, has beaten them all down. Children of wealthy families continue their education during mentally stimulating summer vacations. Poor kids are left to fend for themselves. If Democrats cared for "the children" as much as their political ads claim, they would support these reforms to give poor kids more and better education, instead of fighting them.

Dr. Jay Wile, PhD., a Professor of Nuclear Chemistry at the University of Rochester, in a lecture in Orlando about the crisis in our schools, noted that his students who came from home-school backgrounds consistently out-performed both public and private school students in every type of standardized testing. For instance, home-schooled students average 67 points higher on the SAT's than the national average; about 10% better than traditionally-schooled students. He wanted to find out why parents, most of whom have no training in education, could teach their children so much better than certified teachers. So he started studying teacher's colleges.

Dr. Wile found that students in the Schools of Education on university campuses have SAT scores which are on average 100 points lower than those of the general student population. In other words, the brighter students are going into other fields. This is a reflection of the small value our society places on education. If teachers were paid as much as the garbage collectors in most cities, we could attract better qualified applicants. He also found that grading standards for education students were much more lax than in other disciplines. For example, at his own University in Indiana, the College of Arts and Sciences gave "A's" to only about 18% of students. The College of Education's percentage of "A's" was 62%.

But the problem is not only the low standards in teacher's colleges, and the pap that they teach in place of real educational principles. Teachers have also been very resistant to any form of accountability. They fight teacher testing, perhaps with good reason. A recent study showed that many New York City teachers could not pass the exams they were giving to their students. In Massachusetts 59 teachers failed an 8th grade test in writing and math.

Teachers also oppose merit-based pay increases and promotions. These policies, successful in the few school systems that have used them, reward teachers who teach well. Like all unions, the teacher's union wants everyone to be treated the same in pay and promotions regardless of whether or not they do their jobs.

Many teachers love their work, and spend their own time increasing their knowledge and abilities by taking continuing education courses and obtaining advanced degrees. But the average school teacher in the United States get only eight hours of training each year. Barbers and hairdressers are required to get more continuing education than that, and they only take care of the few hairs we have left. These people are influencing our children's minds and morals!

One last thought. Public school students attend four years of school, nine months each year, to obtain their high school diplomas. They could take a twelve week prep course and receive a GED (high school equivalency diploma) which certifies that they have learned the same material. What takes place in the 36 months of high school that is left out of the three month GED training? Well, they miss out on a lot of "fluff": socialization, pop psychology, and indoctrination in areas that most parents prefer their children not receive (such as anti-American propaganda and "sensitivity" training by homosexual activists).

They might miss valuable training on how to cook or hammer nails, things which their parents have normally taught them at home. And they don't experience the joys of running around and around the track during PE. Then there's the prom, football games, and pep rallies. Have I mentioned anything that is worthwhile? What they DO learn is math, writing and other skills that will make them employable, subjects that SHOULD be the emphasis in four-year high schools. Oh, I almost forgot. Students must be able to READ to take the GED. That is not required to graduate from most high schools.

Parents and grandparents, you had better get involved before it's too late. Don't just sit back and wait for someone else to do something about this sorry state of affairs. YOU are the "someone else." The Bible says that if a father doesn't take care of his family, he is worse than an infidel. Taking care of your family involves a lot more than just providing for them financially. If you don't get involved, your child may be one of the millions of functionally illiterate students who graduate from our high schools every year."

More here

Home schoolers save the government big money: "What's the effect of home-schooling and private-schooling on the cost to taxpayers of financing government schools? A new study by John Wenders and Andrea Clements, who looked at data from Nevada, finds that home-schooling and private schooling save that state's taxpayers big money. Here's a quotation from the executive summary of their study: "Based on 2003 data, the analysis shows an annual potential cost savings to Nevada taxpayers ranging from $24.3 million to $34.6 million attributable to homeschool students, and another $101.9 million to $147 million attributable to private school students, for a combined total of $126.2 million to $181.7 million".


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


Friday, March 18, 2005


Parents and boards of education probably feel comforted when they see the title "Dr." preceding the name of the superintendent of schools. Knowing your district is in the hands of a highly trained professional adds peace of mind.

Unfortunately, though, "doctorates of education" are relatively lightweight degrees. The dissertation and research expectations are far lower than those required for a Ph.D. in other fields. And that master's degree on the wall of the principal's office? The lectures the principal sat through were probably taught by someone who knows little about running a school in today's world, where principals are responsible for far more than making buses run on schedule. Credentialing programs for school leaders range from "inadequate to appalling," and the coursework required is only marginally related to on-the-job skills, according to a report released Monday by the president of the Teachers College at Columbia University.

So why are education colleges filling classrooms with candidates seeking these marginal degrees? Because of a cozy system that rewards everyone except students, who don't get the school leaders they need. The degrees are cash cows for the colleges that offer them. While a university might take in $8,000 a year in tuition for one of these degrees, the program costs only about $6,000, according to the report. That spillover money gets sent to other departments, such as chemistry or physics, which have expensive labs to maintain.

As for the principals and superintendents, they win the credential they need to help land their next job or pay increase. Knowing that the degrees are useful only as a symbol, they seek out the least demanding programs offered in the most convenient locations. Too many weak principals and superintendents emerge from this pipeline. That creates problems in the classrooms. Studies of why some schools are more successful than others have arrived at the same conclusion: Successful schools require strong leaders.

Frustrated with the status quo, some school districts are hiring outsiders, especially former generals, who lack a background in education. The KIPP Academy Charter Schools, which are succeeding with inner-city children, train their own principals. One solution, the report concludes, is eliminating the doctorates and master's degrees and replacing them with a new master's degree that focuses on needed skills. That's worth considering. Unless changes are made, those impressive looking diplomas should be eyed with skepticism.



I sent my son to a Catholic High School for similar reasons. And he did very well

Long Island's Catholic high schools are booming as fall enrollments continue to climb, a striking contrast to the diocese's elementary schools, which are struggling in many places to fill seats. In September, there will be about 13,400 students in the 11 high schools within the Diocese of Rockville Centre, an increase of more than 9 percent over last year. "The demand is there. Many more students would go to Catholic high school if they could afford to go," said Joanne O'Brien, the diocese's associate schools superintendent.

The increased high school enrollments come as the student population is on the decline at the diocese's 57 parish and regional elementary schools. For the past eight years, the lower-grade population has slipped almost 10 percent, while high school enrollment has risen more than 12 percent. A recent diocese survey of families with children in religious education programs found that cost was the primary reason for the empty seats. Priests, principals and parents say that, while Catholic families may want to do both, they often choose to bypass lower-grade parochial education to save money for high school.

At the same time, the competition for space in most Catholic high schools has frustrated some parents who have paid tuition bills since kindergarten only to find that 40 percent of high school students cross over from public schools. The average annual high school tuition is about $6,000, although it varies by school and does not include as much as $3,000 in private busing for some students. About 9 percent of Long Island high school students attend Catholic institutions, and slightly more than 3 percent attend other private schools.

While strong academics and an emphasis on religion have always been the draw of parochial schools, the increased demand seems to extend from the perception that Catholic high schools, with their dress codes, behavior codes and emphasis on traditional values, offer a more structured environment. "For many it is a faith-based decision; others are looking for a better environment or a different environment for their child. The atmosphere is what makes the education," said Brother Ken Hoagland, principal of Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, which had a record 2,200 applications this fall and admitted 586 more students for its incoming freshman class than it planned.

Parents said they see Catholic schools as a place where their teenagers won't be exposed to drug sales and sexually suggestive clothing. "I thought Catholic school would be raising the bar for my child and what I expected of them ... There are rules and expected codes of behavior," said Rick Sacco of Farmingdale. Sacco, an administrator for New York State, said he gladly pays the $1,000-a-month tuition for both his son Richard, a sophomore at Holy Trinity Diocesan High School in Hicksville, and daughter Annemarie, a senior at Our Lady of Mercy Academy in Syosset.

The fall's islandwide ninth-grade class of 3,562 students is likely to grow because some schools still have empty seats, including St. Dominic's in Oyster Bay, where the parish is struggling to overcome deep divisions from the clerical sexual abuse crisis. There is also room at Academy of St. Joseph in Brentwood and McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School in Riverhead, which the diocese is rebuilding after it took over the school in 2002 from the Sisters of Mercy.

The other schools have waiting lists. "I get phone calls every day from principals and then parents get every priest they know to call," said the Rev. James Vlaun, the chaplain at St. John the Baptist High School in West Islip, describing the ongoing lobbying to secure seats in the freshman class that already is at a high of 520.

Forty percent of incoming ninth-graders in Catholic schools will come from public schools. Parents who made the switch said their teenagers are getting more individual attention than in public schools. Just as important in their decision making is how the other students dressed and acted. Joanne Lauro of Yaphank said her son John is "blossoming" since he left public school for McGann-Mercy. "The attention and praise they get makes them succeed at a higher level," Lauro said.

More here


Post lifted from Taranto

"I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part."--Eric "Otter" Stratton (Tim Matheson), "Animal House," 1978

"In a sharp and unexpected rebuke of University President Lawrence H. Summers, members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) voted yesterday that they lack confidence in his leadership."--Harvard Crimson, March 16, 2005

The 218-185 vote "was tantamount to a vote of no confidence," explains the Crimson; by a wider margin, the faculty also approved "a second motion, expressing regret for Summers' Jan. 14 remarks on women in science and certain 'aspects of the President's managerial approach.' "

As the Crimson notes, "The two non-binding motions, unique in Harvard's history, are largely symbolic gestures--only the Harvard Corporation, the University's top governing body, can force Summers to step down." In short, it was a show trial, both in procedure and in effect (that is, in the lack thereof). Fittingly, the venue for this vain display was the Loeb Drama Center.

What's the point? Blogger David Bernstein, a law professor at Virginia's George Mason University, explains:

It's pretty simple, isn't it? The far left at Harvard is extremely frustrated with political trends in the U.S. Their votes and activism against Bush were not only completely ineffectual, but they don't even have a Democratic governor in one of the most liberal states in the country. So they pick on the closest thing Harvard has to a powerful right-winger: moderate Democrat and university president Larry Summers, who becomes a stand-in for all evil conservative white men, from Bush on down. The far-left faculty finally participates in a vote that it can win, and experiences cartharsis [sic]; that'll teach the world to ignore them!

The Harvard faculty majority are acting like a china service in a bullring. Their attitude, with its toxic mix of self-pity and thuggery, is common on campus and is often characteristic of an alienated political minority. You can imagine some hysterical Harvard prof shouting, "Larry Summers is not my neighbor! Now you sit down!" But just as Howard Dean's Iowa tantrum and scream were bad for the Democrats and worse for Dean's candidacy, National Review's Stanley Kurtz argues that the latest Angry Left eruption in Cambridge is likely to prove self-destructive:

I think the vote of no confidence in Lawrence Summers is a wonderful thing. Harvard continues to discredit itself with the American public. The faculty is trapped. If Summers resigns, this extraordinary example of political correctness will come back to haunt Harvard, and the entire academy, for years. But if Summers hangs on, the faculty itself will have been humiliated--checked by the very fact of public scrutiny. Either way, Harvard is tearing itself apart. So long as the public simply writes off the academy, the mice can play. But the intense public scrutiny in this case puts the captains of political correctness into a no-win situation. Like the closely watched Susan Estrich fiasco, this battle is doing lasting damage to the cultural left. As they say, sunlight is the best disinfectant.

The Crimson reports that after enduring the faculty fit, "Summers received a round of applause from undergraduates" after delivering "a wide-ranging talk outlining his overarching vision for the future of the University":

While the crowd quizzed Summers on an array of issues, the president conducted an informal poll at last night's forum to identify students' primary concerns.

A chorus of [students] complained about the poor quality of academic advising and a lack of interaction between students and tenured professors.

When Summers asked the crowd whether "two senior faculty know you well," barely a quarter of students raised their hands.

Those who can't do, teach. Those who can't teach, pass symbolic resolutions.

States' math standards don't measure up: "In a Thomas B. Fordham Foundation study published in January, states earned an average grade of a 'high D' for their mathematics content standards. 'We were able to confer A grades on just three states: California, Indiana, and Massachusetts,' writes David Klein, who along with a panel of five mathematicians conducted the study. 'Alabama, New Mexico, and Georgia -- all receiving Bs -- round out the slim list of 'honors' states. The national average grade is D, with 29 states receiving Ds or Fs and 15 getting Cs.' Chester Finn Jr, president of the Fordham Foundation, writes in the foreword to the report, 'the essential finding of this study is that the overwhelming majority of states today have sorely inadequate math standards.'"


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


Thursday, March 17, 2005


Middle East studies has become blatantly politicized, with many professors abrogating their responsibility to even try for balance in the classroom. Schools that allow for genuine diversity in this area are, according to analysts, few and far between. And at one such school, Princeton — some would say the only such school — proponents of ideological conformity are itching to prevent a rising-star scholar with dissenting views from receiving a tenured post in his department.

Princeton's Middle East battle is quieter than Columbia's, but in a way it's no less important. At its center is Michael Doran, an assistant professor and protégé of Bernard Lewis who teaches the modern politics of the region in the university's Near Eastern Studies department. Last spring, Doran was up for tenure, but the university chose to defer his consideration because he was invited to serve as the chairman of a new program at Brandeis. (He declined the offer.)

Doran is well-credentialed. His students rave about his classes, and Middle East experts outside of the American academy — such as Kramer and the Shalem Center's Michael Oren, author of Six Days of War — speak highly of him. (Kramer and Oren, like Doran, studied at Princeton. Oren calls Doran "a gift to the field.") He's written widely noted articles in Foreign Affairs and other popular publications, and has served as a consultant to the U.S. government on matters Middle Eastern. He also happens to be politically to the right — and unapologetic about it. In a field dominated by anti-Western dogmatism, Doran stands out for his political inclinations, his unusual analyses (particularly for a Middle East scholar these days), and his popularity. It's hardly shocking that some professors, likely guided by both politics and jealousy, would hope to prevent his further rise.......

Doran also has plenty of support from students. Two recent graduates (one, Carlos Ramos-Mrosovsky, a former intern at National Review) wrote letters to the editor defending Doran. They and several others praised him highly to NRO, calling him an excellent teacher and adviser, and adding that they found it difficult to discern his political leanings from his classes. "He's very good at presenting both sides," says recent graduate Shoshana Haberman. "And I don't always agree with him, but I've always had a huge amount of respect for the way he presents the history. He does a very good job of trying to get behind the point of view of whoever we're studying or writing about."......

Sam Spector, who wrote his senior thesis under Doran and also worked as a research assistant to him while an undergraduate at Princeton, explains that "the controversy really blew up because Doran's publications were seen as to some degree supportive of the Bush administration's policies, which are needless to say not popular with the majority of academics, particularly academics who specialize in the Middle East and who believe that the U.S is the single greatest force for bad and instability in the region."

Yet, while Doran's publications do challenge academic orthodoxies, they hardly reflect the work of a far-right ideologue, and he is generally well regarded among centrists. If anything, the overriding themes of his articles are a qualified defense of American power and a view that Arab politics, and Arab problems, are more about Arabs themselves than about Israel: As he argued in one essay, "Palestine" has become a generic symbol of resistance to the West. These may sound like fairly uncontroversial propositions to you, but in academic Middle East studies they're far from it. If, as Michael Young has suggested, the major dividing line in the field is where one stands on the "substance of Western power and its historical impact," Doran clearly takes a minority — and often-derided — position.

But there's another, and maybe deeper, reason for the hostility toward him, and that is that his presence serves as a symbol of Princeton's resistance to the post-modernization — and with it, the politicization — of its Middle East studies. The fact that he is not only a serious and right-leaning scholar but also a popular and influential one means that, if he sticks around, Princeton will be even less likely to succumb to trendy approaches in lieu of rigorous scholarship. As Martin Kramer puts it, "The attack on [Doran] comes from the very far-left 'popular front' that has squelched diversity in Middle Eastern studies for the last 20 years. They'd like every place to be a Columbia or NYU or Berkeley — they regard the existence of even one pocket of diversity as a mortal threat."

More here

Johns Hopkins Lacking in Political Diversity

A student writes

On campuses around the country there is a deep commitment to diversity of race, ethnicity, nationality, sex or religion. Yet, while we all share the goal of being educated in a diverse environment, we may have different ideas about what constitutes diversity. This is not to say that certain aspects of diversity are more important than others -- in no way should any facet be ignored, but invariably due to a lack of resources certain groups are skipped over or not given their fair share.

As a senior on my way out of Hopkins and off into the real world, and as someone who has consistently advocated for the cause of College Republicans on campus, I'd like to posit my theory about an area of diversity in which our community is lacking -- ideological diversity. My liberal friends often argue that Hopkins is a conservative campus. Certainly when compared to Berkley or Wesleyan, JHU may appear friendly to Republicans, but is it really? According to the last survey taken by the News-Letter only 16.5 percent of Hopkins identified themselves as right of center and 70 percent of the student body claimed they would be voting for a candidate other than George W. Bush. Of the faculty, the News-Letter reported that during the last election cycle not a single professor donated $200 or more to any conservative candidate or cause. Given the statistics, I'd argue that the claim that Hopkins is a conservative biased institution is a myth.

But how are Republicans treated? Is there anger or a manifestation of bias directed against conservatives at Hopkins? The evidence points to a problem. As an example, Justin Klatsky, President of the College Republicans, told me that fall semester over 80 percent of the College Republican posters promoting club meetings were torn down within 48 hours of being posted. When I led the club, I remember that posters promoting conservative guest lecturers on campus were torn and the words "Fascist' and "Nazi' were written on the ones that remained. The College Republicans must poster campus in waves, replacing the posters which are torn down and defaced on an almost daily basis. Worse yet, the administration response to such activity is to do nothing.

If other campus minorities were treated in such a way, would the administration sit in silence? As a parallel example, my freshman year when the Diverse Sexuality and Gender Alliance's (DSAGA) posters were defaced and torn down by faceless cowards, the administration response was swift. Almost immediately, a notice was sent out stating that those who perpetrated such acts would be caught and punished. News-Letter columns were written about the events on campus and tolerance days were funded. Yet, when the same thing happens to conservative groups on a regular basis, the response is to do nothing.

Why is freedom of academic opinion only protected for 50 percent of Americans? Furthermore, why is it that conservative professors feel the need to hide their ideology, often by registering to vote as independents or unenrolled? Why do only 16.5 percent of students feel comfortable labeling themselves as right of center? Is it because the word conservative is often synonymous with 'idiot' on college campuses?

Often I hear the argument that 90 percent of professors are liberal because conservatives are just hicks, or uninterested in the academic profession. If a college gave the excuse that they don't hire female professors because women are naturally deficient in academics or disinterested in life outside of the home, would that be considered a valid argument?

Hopkins has fallen victim to the same problem faced by many of our nation's colleges. We must foster a renewed effort on our campus to engage the subject of ideological diversity. Conservative faculty should be hired and academic tolerance should be promoted. As David Horowitz notes, "You can't get a good education, if they're only telling you half the story -- even if you're paying $30,000 a year."



And the compulsion-loving Leftists are squealing

Universities could face multi-million-dollar fines if they attempt to circumvent a government ban on charging compulsory student union fees, under tough legislation to be unveiled by Education Minister Brendan Nelson. The Howard Government's plan to end compulsory student unionism in Australia will also force universities to cover any shortfall in the cost of student services, presently funded by the $160 million-a-year collected in union fees. The legislation contains heavy financial penalties for universities that try to bypass the ban by charging their own levy to subsidise campus services such as cafeterias, bars and sporting clubs.

Vice-chancellors last night condemned the Nelson plan as the "death of services" on campus, which could damage Australia's reputation overseas. However, Dr Nelson told parliament that struggling students should not be forced to pay union fees, quipping that the introduction of market forces into campus catering could reduce the price of a sausage roll.

Despite secret discussions among vice-chancellors last year to consider a peace plan that banned student unions from using fees to fund political campaigns but retained a compulsory fee for campus services, the new legislation has rejected any compromise. At present, students are charged upfront fees of up to $590 when they enrol at university, with the proceeds used to fund services including cafeterias, sporting clubs, student welfare services and political campaigns. Students cannot enrol to study unless they pay the compulsory union fee, despite complaints among part-time and external students that they rarely use campus services.

The Australian understands the new laws will allow universities just 28 days to offer refunds to students if they charge compulsory fees. Universities that fail to refund compulsory charges will face fines of $100 for every full-time student. For example, Monash University, which has 30,000 full-time undergraduates, could face fines of up to $3 million. Sydney University would face fines of up to $2.6 million, Melbourne University $2.5 million, Adelaide University $1 million and the Curtin University of Technology in Western Australia $2 million.

Dr Nelson refused to comment on the penalties plan last night but confirmed student fees were costing students $160 million a year. Earlier, Dr Nelson told parliament the Howard Government would push ahead with plans to introduce voluntary student unionism as soon as possible. "Every Australian, whether they be in a workplace or a university campus, should be free to not join a union," he said. "Why should a single parent, a mother of two who goes back to university to study nursing, subsidise the abseiling club? Why should she subsidise buses to Woomera or the purchase of axes to break down the vice-chancellors' offices? "Why is it that a student in the 21st century goes to Sydney University to pay $2 for a sausage roll when they can buy one for $1.70 off campus and be served by a person who actually smiles at them? "This Government will not be deterred from its course of action. This will be implemented in 2005."

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.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005


"One of the more illuminating reality TV shows screening is "That'll Teach `Em", a British series appearing on Foxtel. The 2004 series took 30 16-year-olds, who had just sat their GCSE exams, to a fictional `King's School', where they received 1950s-style tuition and then sat O-levels in English, maths and history. For one month, the world of a 1950s state boarding school was re-created in almost every detail. The pupils were placed under the supervision of a headmaster, matron, housemaster, housemistress and a number of subject tutors, all former or working teachers. They confronted strict discipline, challenging lessons, cross-country runs and cold showers, while the school dinners reflected the austerity of the time.

The most revealing aspect of the series was just how woefully educated were these modern kids; none could locate the west coast of India or the Suez Canal on a map of the world, they were completely mystified by calculus and parsing and most had the reading skills of a 1950s 10-year-old. After several weeks one 16-y-o showed off her new skill of reciting the four-times table. As she haltingly chanted something that a student half her age 30 years ago would have breezed through, one could only condemn the lazy, ideologically driven policies that have denied a generation a proper education.

Initially, most of the kids resented their journey into the past. But when quizzed about the experiment three months later, their response was telling. Ryan Smithson: "At times, the term at King's was hard to cope with, but, on the other hand, there are moments I wish I could relive! I also feel real pride in knowing I had the opportunity to be taught by some of the greatest characters ever".

Alistair Unwin: "Overall I enjoyed the experience and felt I learned a great deal about myself and how half-hearted and, in some ways, disappointing the current education system is".

Kathryn McGeough: "It was one of the most rewarding learning experiences I will ever have the pleasure to be involved in, a deep insight into the changes in education."

Simon Waller: "I learnt more about all the subjects (especially English and grammar!) and about myself than I have done in 16 years. It was a window into another world, and although it was hellish at times, I'm glad I did it - I look at everything differently now!"

Tarot Wells: "I have also learned to appreciate the kind of education system that was followed in the 50s. In my opinion, if the 50s education was placed in today's society, I for one would learn a lot more!""

(Post lifted from Bernard Slattery)

This is the 8th Grade Final Exam of 1895

This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 from Salina, Kansas. USA. It was taken from the original document on file at the Smoky Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, Kansas and reprinted by the Salina Journal. I won't make the obvious comments.

Grammar (Time, one hour)

1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.

2. Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no modifications.

3. Define Verse, Stanza and Paragraph.

4. What are the Principal Parts of a verb? Give Principal parts of do, lie, lay and run.

5. Define Case. Illustrate each Case.

6. What is Punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of Punctuation.

7. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

Arithmetic (Time, 1.25 hours)

1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.

2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?

3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50 cts. per bushel, deducting 1050 lbs. for tare?

4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?

5. Find cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.

6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.

7. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.

8. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance around which is 640 rods?

9. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)

1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.

2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.

3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.

4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.

5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.

6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of theRebellion.

7. Who were the following:

Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?

8. Name events connected with the following dates:






Orthography (Time, one hour)

1. What is meant by the following:

alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?

2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?

3. What are the following, and give examples of each:

trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?

4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u'.

5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e'. Name two exceptions under each rule.

6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.

7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word:

bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, super.

8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound:

card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.

9. Use the following correctly in sentence:

cite, site, sight,

fane, fain, feign,

vane, vain, vein,

raze, raise, rays.

10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use diacritical marks and by syllabication.

Geography (Time, one hour)

1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?

2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?

3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?

4. Describe the mountains of North America.

5. Name and describe the following:

Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fermandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco.

6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.

7. Name all the republics of Europe and give capital of each.

8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?

9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.

10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give inclination of the earth.


The Leftist debunking site "Snopes" does not seem to question the accuracy of the above record but says that kids today could not pass it because they have not been prepared for it. You bet they haven't!


No thought that encouraging early sexual activity might lead to bad decisions by those too young to make well-informed decisions

"Being a home educator and mother of two, I have often been asked the question: "Why do you homeschool?" But I've come to the conclusion that the question most begging to be asked is: "Why do you public school?" It's a legitimate question, especially in light of the recent news out of Maryland. According to news reports, the Board of Education in Montgomery County wants to show all 10th-grade students a video ironically dubbed "Protect Yourself" in which a young woman shows students how to put a condom on a cucumber while giving helpful tips.

Not only is the video an outrage, but it has been both produced and paid for by the taxpayers through the Montgomery County Public School system. A grass-roots action group called Citizens for Responsible Curriculum is to be commended for efforts to counter this insanity, which bears a frightening resemblance to the downward slide of our movie ratings systems. Today's PG ratings resemble what R used to be. Evidently, parents are growing more complacent and comfortable with what sex-ed purveyors peddle before innocent eyes. While the very idea of public sex-ed itself once offended, now it takes more raw sexual content to get the same result.

Consider this quote from CRC's website:

The CRC was surprised at the graphic content of this video that the school system itself created. We question the judgment of the MCPS Board of Education's decision to include oral and anal sex in the video when the Surgeon General of the United States has said: "Condoms provide some protection, but anal intercourse is simply too dangerous to practice." Parents need to consider the language and concepts included in this video in order to make an informed decision about allowing their child to view it.

While I applaud Citizens for a Responsible Curriculum in fighting this outrageous move, I don't know why they're surprised. What shocks me the most is the fact that parents continue placing their kids in public schools.

It hits like a brick between the eyes when you understand CRC's questioning of the school board's decision to include oral and anal sex in the video and then their request for parents to make an informed decision about whether their child should view the video or not.

Although I'm sure the CRC agrees that any type of sex is inappropriate for teenagers, there is a perceptible implication in their statement expecting that many parents will not object to their children viewing a sex-ed video as long as it leaves out anal and oral sex.

Think about that. The very fact that public schools continue to be big business says that most parents either see no problem with their children viewing such trash, or that they cling to the false notion that schools are wonderful institutions of learning. The question must be asked of every parent continuing to place a child in the government school system: Why do you continue trying to work within a broken, failed, corrupt system aiming to undermine your every parenting effort? Isn't it time we stopped working to mend a hopelessly broken system and simply look to alternative education methods?

Studies now indicate that your child's school is failing academically and morally. It does not matter if your child's fourth grade teacher is a kindhearted Christian or not. She cannot speak the truth about these issues without getting disciplined, fired or being dealt a lawsuit. It doesn't matter if your child is an honor student. He or she is still being fed immoral and historically incorrect garbage.

Like the frog slowly being heated to death in the pan, have we American parents grown so accustomed to the concepts of sex education that we now barely blink knowing our children are being instructed in intercourse?

The CRC is warning parents about graphic content, including anal and oral sex. How much worse is it going to get before you make the decision to pull you child out of the system? Do you think the time will never come when drama presentations will be utilized? Don't kid yourself. The public school system is being used to feed the financial coffers of pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood through these sex-ed courses.

Could it be that we as parents have grown so lazy in teaching our own children moral standards that we actually desire that the public schools do our job for us? And are we so na‹ve as to think that if abstinence education is included as part of the sordid "do-it" sex ed, that our children will do the right thing?

It's way past time to wake up and take action. I'm not necessarily talking about joining groups fighting the system, although they have their place. I'm talking about pulling your child out. Don't fool yourself into thinking your child won't be negatively affected by the system. Studies are showing that most Christian public schooled children are losing their faith, not gaining converts, within the system.

Twenty years ago it may have been a challenge to home educate, but today there is huge support - academically, through curricula choices, and emotionally, through support groups for any parent considering homeschooling. Grandparents now home educate their grandchildren. Single mothers are accomplishing it. Take the blinders off. Stop making excuses. Teaching and evangelizing your own children is a prime responsibility, and there will never be a better time to do it than now."



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


Tuesday, March 15, 2005


Being such elitists themselves, Leftists oppose anything that is selective or merit-based. The only merit in their eyes is Leftist orthodoxy

The establishment of gifted and talented classes in all NSW comprehensive high schools could be public education's greatest weapon against the drain of bright students to selective and private schools, educationalists say. It's hoped the new program of streamed classes, being launched across NSW this year, will strengthen comprehensive schools by enticing gifted students to stay rather than defect to selective or private institutions. Tony Vinson, who in 2002 chaired a landmark independent inquiry into public education which recommended such a program, said selective high schools only catered for a very small percentage of gifted children.

Almost 14,000 year 6 students in NSW are expected to sit for the selective high schools test on Wednesday, vying for one of just 3570 places on offer for next year. Professor Vinson said the new program, a 2003 election promise by Premier Bob Carr, would open up opportunities for thousands more bright students. "It won't be necessary to go to a selective school to have those opportunities now, and that will result in the retention of inspiring students in the comprehensive high schools," he said. "That's the due of every bright young person and also an extremely valuable social resource that we can't afford to squander," said Professor Vinson.

Anecdotal evidence already suggests that such programs help keep bright students in comprehensive schools. At Davidson High School, on the North Shore, enrolments dropped to about 480 in the late 1990s before the school introduced a gifted and talented program. Enrolment figures have now inflated to about 720 students. "By itself, having a gifted and talented program is not the magic formula," said Davidson High's principal Chris Bonnor, president of the NSW Secondary Principals Council. But Mr Bonnor said it had helped change parents' perceptions of the school. "I think many parents are convinced that going to a selective school would only make a marginal difference, if any difference at all," he said. "In the last couple of years our highest [Universities Admissions Index] has been 99.8 and it's hard to believe they would have done better anywhere else."



When will people realize that governments shouldn't be running schools?

When Houston school district leaders proposed bringing in new management teams for three of the city's lowest-performing high schools last month, some parents blamed the schools' plight on inferior resources and neglect. A review of Houston Independent School District financial records, however, shows the three schools spend more money per student than the city's top-performing campuses.

This revelation caught at least one school board member off guard, leaving HISD decision makers to look at other factors, such as low community involvement and weak leadership, to explain why Yates, Kashmere and Sam Houston high schools have not reversed years of poor academic performance. "It's unfortunate that it takes a controversial issue to come up before our communities rally around the schools," said trustee Kevin Hoffman, whose northside district includes Kashmere. "Everybody will show up for a football or basketball game, but you can't find anyone to show up for a PTA meeting or a community meeting regarding academics."

Superintendent Abe Saavedra cited the need to "fundamentally change the management" of the three schools in his call for leadership overhauls at the three campuses. He said the reform groups that take over must redesign management practices and engage parents in the improvement effort. Kashmere and Yates rank first and fourth, respectively, in terms of per-pupil funding among HISD's 23 traditional high schools. Sam Houston ranks 13th. "I was surprised that Kashmere is at the top of the list because I've always gotten a different story from school leadership," Hoffman said. In contrast, HISD will spend from $500 to nearly $2,000 less per student this year at three of the school district's highest-performing schools: Lamar, Bellaire and Westside. Those schools, where more than three quarters of all seniors score above 1,000 on the SAT, occupy the three lowest spots on HISD's per-pupil funding list. And the three low-performing schools measure up well against the others in additional ways.....

The HISD budget formula gives more money - some from the state and federal government - to schools with higher populations of low-income students, those enrolled in special education classes and those who don't speak English as their first language.

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


Monday, March 14, 2005


Inspired by the need to pay for the school’s beloved drama program, the Parent Teacher Student Association at Malcolm X Arts and Academics Magnet School has come a long way from bake sales. In 1998, Malcolm X, at 1731 Prince St., was selected to become a magnet school, and receive a $650,000 federal grant in three annual installments. The one requirement was to establish a program that would prosper when the money ran out. Principal Cheryl Chinn says the money was used for teacher training workshops and construction, but the majority was spent on the visual and performing arts program. “We had to go with our strengths,” Chinn says. “We had to give parents a reason why they would choose Malcolm X over the other schools.” When the magnet money ran out, the Malcolm X PTSA took over the responsibility of paying for the drama program.....

As early as kindergarten, arts are incorporated into the student’s curriculums through classes such as drama, singing, art and cooking. Every year, Malcolm X students present many different productions, including an All-School Singing Chorale and operas, like last year’s An Adventure like No Other, that are written, directed and produced by the students. “When you see a kid on-stage singing and dancing you can see it empowers them. It’s incredible,” Wild says. “You see confidence in a child to do that.” .....

Last year, the school’s sports, drama and after-school programs like karate and ceramics, as well as salaries of the school librarian and drama teacher were completely paid for by the PTSA’s fund raising.... “This school is in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the city and there’s kids being bussed in from the other side of town because they want to be a part of the programs we fund,” she says.

More here


"For all the ink devoted to the Ward Churchill case, the Denver dailies have done virtually nothing to investigate the dysfunctional campus academic culture which led to the Churchill fiasco.

Here are some of the questions the Denver media have not even attempted to probe: Why did the University of Colorado Arts and Sciences administration continue to promote and laud Churchill after the late- 1990s publication of professor Thomas LaVelle's articles alleging extensive academic fraud and plagiarism on Churchill's part? Are there other academic frauds and plagiarists at CU whom the administration has protected? How did CU become such a racist institution that a patently unqualified man was pushed for tenure in three departments because he claimed to be an Indian? How many other poorly-qualified teachers have gotten jobs at CU, based on their ethnicity or their pretended ethnicity? To what extent does the extreme left dominate hiring at CU, so that highly qualified applicants for teaching positions are rejected, whereas politically correct hacks get the job? How often do other CU teachers act like Churchill allegedly did by punishing students for expressing opinions contrary to the teacher? Has CU protected other teachers who have been credibly accused of making violent threats and/or perpetrating on- and off-campus violent crimes against people who disagree with them?

Denver Post columnist David Harsanyi is virtually alone in the Denver media in attempting to examine the reality of academic freedom at CU. His column last Monday detailed the plight of CU instructor Phil Mitchell, who is apparently being pushed out of CU because of political pressure from the far left. Harsanyi and Mitchell also made an important distinction between CU's "liberals" (who support true academic freedom and diverse viewpoints) and its hard left (which attempts to suppress the speech of everyone but itself).

A few years ago I interviewed CU Honors Program Assistant Dean Christian Kopff on KBDI- Channel 12, and he described a campus atmosphere where most conservative professors, except him, hide in the closet. Other professors, speaking to me off the record, have confirmed the diminished academic freedom at CU, where even very liberal professors have to tread carefully to make sure they don't offend the far left. If I've heard such stories without even going looking for them, imagine what the media might find if it bothered to examine the hard left's suppression of academic freedom at CU.

As reported in Wednesday's Rocky Mountain News and Boulder Daily Camera (but not in the Post), CSU-Pueblo anthropology professor Dan Forsyth has been placed under administration investigation because a freshman was offended about some remarks Forsyth allegedly made criticizing illegal aliens. Watch to see whether the newspaper columnists who have argued that a tenured CU professor has an absolute right to say anything he wants will agree that a tenured CSU professor has the same rights. Or whether the only free speech that they actually defend is left-wing speech."


Why academic malpractice matters: "At one time, the function of a liberal education was thought to be the cultivation of rigorous reasoning processes and refined tastes by which educated people could arrive at the most informed judgments possible on political, social and cultural questions. Liberal education was itself a product of the Western cultural tradition, which had brought unprecedented freedom and prosperity to unprecedented numbers of people. Therefore, it seemed reasonable to give all college students a fair exposure to the very best minds that had contributed to that tradition (and ideally, at least one other tradition as well). This would enable our planet's painfully acquired cultural capital to be maintained and even increased by each succeeding generation. The majority of people now teaching the humanities and social sciences in North American colleges and universities no longer take that as their purpose."


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, March 13, 2005


There were wealth differences in the old USSR and they had to be concealed too. But after the Lysenkoism of Harvard's attack on President Summers, I suppose this latest obeisance to socialism is to be expected

A Harvard University student's fledgling dorm-cleaning business faced the threat of a campus boycott on Thursday after the school's daily newspaper slammed it for dividing students along economic lines. The Harvard Crimson newspaper urged students to shun Dormaid, a business launched by Harvard sophomore Michael Kopko that cleans up for messy students. "By creating yet another differential between the haves and have-nots on campus, Dormaid threatens our student unity," the Crimson said in an editorial. "We urge the student body to boycott Dormaid." Like many elite American universities, Harvard comprises a mix of affluent students as well as those who are less well-off.

But Kopko, 20, said he could not understand the Crimson's reaction to his business, which he said was all about creating jobs and wealth at the Ivy League school. "In a free economy it's all about choice, and the Crimson is trying to take choice away from people," the student entrepreneur told Reuters. "I think it's a very uneconomic and narrow view. It's essentially against creating wealth for society." Kopko said since launching his dormitory-cleaning service last month in the Boston area, he has signed up 50 clients. He plans to expand the service to other parts of the country and is aiming for US$200,000 in annual sales in a year's time.



If it's good for the goose it's good for the gander

Two community colleges have ended their study-abroad program in Spain, citing the country's troop withdrawal from Iraq. Trustees of the South Orange County Community College District, comprising Irvine Valley College and Saddleback College, voted 5-2 last week to cancel the 14-year-old summer program. "Spain has abandoned our fighting men and women, withdrawing their support," said trustee Tom Fuentes, a former head of the Republican Party in Orange County. "I see no reason to send students of our colleges to Spain at this moment in history."

Spain pulled its 1,300 troops after the Madrid train bombings that killed 191 people in March last year. Fuentes said the bombing also raised concerns about student safety, although students were allowed to visit Spain three months after the bombings.

"Bringing this up now is strange," said trustee Marcia Milchiker, who voted to keep the program. "I'm still in shock," said Professor Carmenmara Hernandez-Bravo, who runs the study abroad program. "I cannot believe a community college can put this much politics into academics."



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