Saturday, June 10, 2006


Nobody who knows the first thing about IQ stats would be remotely surprised by the stats below but IQ is nowhere mentioned, of course

This fall 4,852 freshmen are expected to enroll at UCLA, but only 96, or 2%, are African American - the lowest figure in decades and a growing concern at the Westwood campus.

For several years, students, professors and administrators at UCLA have watched with discouragement as the numbers of black students declined. But the new figures, released this week, have shocked many on campus and prompted school leaders to declare the situation a crisis. UCLA - which boasts such storied black alumni as Jackie Robinson, Tom Bradley and Ralph Bunche, and is in a county that is 9.8% African American - now has a lower percentage of black freshmen than either crosstown rival USC or UC Berkeley, the school often considered its top competitor within the UC system.

The 96 figure - down by 20 students from last year - is the lowest for incoming African American freshmen since at least 1973. And of the black freshmen who have indicated they will enroll in the fall, 20 are recruited athletes, admissions officials said. "Clearly, we're going to have to meet this crisis by redoubling our efforts, which have not yielded the results we'd like to see," said Chancellor Albert Carnesale, who met Friday with a delegation of undergraduates upset about the situation.

In a telephone interview before the meeting, Carnesale described the preliminary numbers for black freshmen as "a great disappointment" and said that UCLA has been trying for years to boost those levels, within the limits allowed by law. He and other officials at UCLA and elsewhere said the problem of attracting, admitting and enrolling qualified black students is found at competitive universities across the country and that its causes are complex. In California, the problem is rooted partly in the restrictions placed on the state's public colleges and institutions by Proposition 209, the 1996 voter initiative that banned consideration of race and gender in admissions and hiring.

Other factors include the socioeconomic inequities that undermine elementary and high school education in California and elsewhere, with minority students disproportionately affected because they often attend schools with fewer resources, including less-qualified teachers and fewer counselors. [Because well-qualified teachers shy away from a blackboard jungle] ...

More here

America's 12th Graders Dumbing Down in Science

Dumb and Dumber was not only a 1994 comedy classic; it might also be the phrase the industrialized world uses to describe the science performance of American high school students for years to come. Last week, the Department of Education reported that science aptitude among 12th-graders has declined across the past decade. America continues to graduate students who know less and less about the world because Americans, dominated by lust for material consumption and personal comfort, raise kids who lack vision for learning directed at making the world a better place.

In our American meritocracy education is a means to a comfortable lifestyle, not a means of gaining knowledge to improve our world. Children are told to study so that they may personally escape poverty, not because they are expected to contribute to overall human flourishing. Grades–not preparation for a vocation directed at the good–are the bottom line for too many American parents.

The 12th grade results came from the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), a 2005 national comprehensive test administered by the Department of Education to more than 300,000 students in 50 states. The examination measured very basic knowledge of earth, physical, and life sciences and translated those scores into three achievement levels: advanced, proficient, and basic. For high school seniors, there has been sharp decline with only 54 percent performing at or above basic level, compared with 57 percent in 1996. Eighteen percent performed at the proficient level, down from 1996 levels of 21 percent.

As expected, educators are scrambling to find the culprit to blame for the lower scores. In a New York Times story about the NAEP report, Assistant Secretary of Education Tom Luce said the declining science scores reflect a national shortage of fully qualified science teachers, especially in lower income areas, where physics and chemistry classes are often taught by teachers untrained in those subjects. "We have too few teachers with majors or minors in math and science,” Mr. Luce said.

This confirms a now 4-year-old prophecy issued by the National Research Council, part of the National Academy of Sciences, a prestigious group of U.S. scientists and engineers that offers advice to Congress and the government. The Council reported in 2002 that U.S. students continued to perform among the worst of all industrialized countries because schools have a critical shortage of qualified teachers in science, math and technology.

Some educators, of course, also blame low teacher salaries. However, a 2005 American Federation of Teachers report revealed that the average public school teacher’s salary is $46,597, including average starting pay of $31,704. How is this low? Granted, these levels are not among the highest of all professions, but considering the summer vacation and the non-monetary reward of influencing the world’s future, it is not a bad deal.

The problems are much deeper than salary I’m afraid. First, teaching is no longer a respected profession and our best and brightest citizens develop a social aversion to pursuing it. Many Americans continue to embrace the stupid adage that “those who can, do and those who can’t, teach.” If teachers can’t “cut it” then why do people continue to send their kids to school? Why is there no honor given to those are charged with equipping, forming, and shaping the hearts and minds of our world’s future?

Second, students are not encouraged to value learning about the world. Often students will say silly things such as, “Why do I need to learn physics? I can get a good job without it.” Visionless parental pragmatists actually dissuade their children from taking courses that they don’t “need” if there’s not a direct future financial benefit. How can you not “need” more knowledge about the world furnished by any legitimate area of intellectual inquiry?

This attitude not only obscures the moral value of education. Ironically, a seemingly pragmatic obsession with financial reward also obscures its economic value. In an ever-changing world, what appears to be a viable career today may disappear ten years from now. Students educated in a broad range of fundamental disciplines–including physics–will be able to adapt more easily to the changing demands of a dynamic economy. Concepts such as acceleration, Newton’s three laws, coefficients of friction, centripetal force, and inductance benefit the life of the mind (as well as having practical applications for many careers).

Unless we refocus, as a culture, on the value of education beyond material pragmatism, we run the risk of sabotaging an entire generation’s ability to meet the future, unpredictable needs of our complex and broken world.



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

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

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


Friday, June 09, 2006


The Prince of Wales is to set up his own training programme to promote traditional methods of teaching English and history in state schools. Prince Charles renewed his attack on modern teaching methods yesterday, saying that they had robbed children of their cultural inheritance by promoting misguided notions of equality and “accessibility”. He announced that he was joining forces with Cambridge University to establish the Prince’s Cambridge Programme for Teaching to “re- inspire” teachers over the value of literature and history.

“For all sorts of well- meaning reasons, and for too many pupils, teaching has omitted to pass on to the next generation not only our deep knowledge of literature and history, but also the value of education,” he told teachers at the fifth annual Prince of Wales Education Summer School in Cambridge. “There is a need to revisit the fundamental principles that drive our educational beliefs; to reinspire teachers; to question the notion that equality and accessibility are best served by reducing the range and quality of work that pupils undertake; and to put a stop to the ‘cultural disinheritance’.”

The Prince said that the training programme would build on the success of his summer schools, which have attracted more than 500 teachers since 2002. It will offer a residential course each year as well as in-service training at schools. The Prince said that he was launching a teaching charity to promote the work. It will be backed by a 50,000 pound government grant and an anonymous private donation. Alan Johnson, the Education Secretary, supporting the move, said the summer schools had been “so beneficial”.


Leave politics out of poetry: Australian dean

He says "Theory" is old hat now anyway

High school English is being turned into a political science course with its emphasis on neo-Marxist and deconstructivist analysis of literature. Addressing the Lowy Institute for International Policy on links between Milton and the terrorist mind, the dean of humanities at Australian National University, Simon Haines, said English teachers felt the need to give poetry and literature "political roughage" to make it relevant to students. "Make it a literature course, not a disguised political science course," he urged.

Dr Haines holds a doctorate in philosophy from Oxford University and is a former diplomat, analyst with the Office of National Assessments and was chairman for three years of the OECD budget committee before pursuing a career in academia. He rejected the need to wrap literature in political relevancy, saying any high school student could relate to the emotional themes portrayed by writers such as Milton and Shakespeare.

Referring to reports in The Australian about a Year 11 English assignment asking students to examine Shakespeare's Othello from a feminist, Marxist or racial perspective, Dr Haines said teachers seemed to feel that poetry had to be wrapped in a political or theoretical package. "I'm never quite sure whether they think poetry is much too hard, obscure and unpalatable for the kiddies if it's not made relevant and tasty, or they're scared poetry is too soft and mushy and needs some hard political roughage to make it good for them -- to produce better outcomes, as they say in WA," he said. "There's nothing either soft or obscure about jealousy, or suspicion, or malignant scheming, which are the themes of Othello. "As we all know, these things are around us all the time; they're some of the most basic contours of life."

After his address, Dr Haines said the deconstructive theory taught in school English courses had been replaced in universities about 15 years ago. "In literature, there has been a very powerful historical reaction against those theories ... there's been a return to the historical contextualising of literature," Dr Haines said. He believed part of the problem was the lack of contact teachers had with universities after they had graduated.

The other problem lay in seeing education as distinct from the subjects taught at school. "The more you split education as a qualification on its own away from the actual disciplines that you are teaching in the classroom, the greater the risk you lose control," Dr Haines said. "This is what happened in Western Australia (where a gradeless curriculum built on the principles of outcomes-based education is being introduced). You lose a hold on the core of the discipline, whether it's literature, languages or music. "Instead you replace it with the ideology of education or an ideology of society, which is putting the cart before the horse."

While there was nothing wrong in looking at literature such as Othello from feminist and racist points of view, focusing on those political preconceptions in Years 11 and 12 was also "putting the cart before the horse". "It's premature," Dr Haines said. "It's better starting with what a Year 12 student would share with the play, those emotional aspects that are direct personal links between them and the play."



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

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

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


Thursday, June 08, 2006


I mentioned this briefy on 29 May on Tongue-Tied. First I reproduce below an influential critique by the Cato Institute and then the not-very-repentant backdown by Seattle school officials

Planning Ahead is Considered Racist?

Are you salting away a little money for your retirement? Trying to plan for your kids' education? If so, Seattle Public Schools seems to think you're a racist. According to the district's official Web site, "having a future time orientation" (academese for having long-term goals) is among the "aspects of society that overtly and covertly attribute value and normality to white people and Whiteness, and devalue, stereotype and label people of color." Huh?

Not all the district's definitions of racism (and there are lots of them) are so cryptic. The site goes on immediately to say, "Emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology" is another form of "cultural racism." Did I mention that the district thinks only whites can be racist in America? Regardless of your color, your affinity for planning or your penchant for reading "Das Kapital" under Fremont's Lenin statue, does this make any sense to you?

See if this sounds familiar: a government agency redefining a highly charged word to advance a particular ideology. ... Um, note to the Seattle School Board and administration: George Orwell's novel "1984" was a cautionary tale, not a how-to book. And the folks trying to control people's thoughts through state manipulation of the language -- they were the bad guys.

But this is still a free country. Thanks to our (ostensibly racist) regard for individual liberty, Seattle Public Schools board members and officials are free to adopt whatever definitions of racism they choose. It is inherently divisive, however, for an official government school system to promote one ideology over another. Unfortunately, it is also unavoidable. Whenever there is a single official school system for which everyone is compelled to pay, it results in endless battles over the content of that schooling. This pattern holds true across nations and across time. Think of our own recurrent battles over school prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, the teaching of human origins, the selection and banning of textbooks and library books, dress codes, history standards, sex education, etc. Similar battles are fought over wearing Islamic headscarves in French public schools and over the National Curriculum in England.

There is an alternative: cultural detente through school choice. Historically, societies have suffered far less conflict when families have been able to get the sort of education they deemed best for their own children without having to foist their preferences on their neighbors. Some people fear that unfettered school choice would Balkanize our nation. Their concern is commendable but precisely backward. The chief source of education-related tensions is not diversity; it is compulsion. Why is there no cultural warfare over the diverse teachings of non-government schools? Because no one is forced to attend or pay for an independent school that violates their convictions.

It would not be difficult to design a school choice program that would ensure universal access to the educational marketplace without forcing anyone to attend or pay for schools whose teachings they opposed. It could be done by combining and expanding some of the education tax credit programs already operating in such places as Pennsylvania, Arizona and Illinois. Such a system would not be a threat to the ideals of public education. On the contrary, it would be a far more effective means of advancing those ideals than the official state schools that have gnawed at our social fabric -- and failed our most disadvantaged children academically -- for generations. Under such a choice-based system, those wanting to promote their own cultural and political philosophies could hang out a shingle and offer their services to any and all interested families. But they would lack the power, used and abused in Seattle, to impose their ideologies.


School district pulls Web site after examples of racism spark controversy

An outpouring of criticism forced Seattle Public Schools on Thursday to pull a Web site that viewed planning for the future, emphasizing individualism and defining standard English as examples of cultural racism. The message had appeared under an "equity and race relations" section of the district's Web site and was mentioned Thursday in an opinion piece by a Libertarian writer in the Seattle P-I. Criticism of the site has been building in the world of blogs for weeks. In its place Thursday was a message that the site will be revised to "provide more context to reader around the work that Seattle Public Schools is doing to address institutional racism."

That message, written by Caprice Hollins, the district's director of equity and race relations, said the site wasn't intended to "develop an 'us against them' mind-set." But she may have stepped into a second controversy by saying the site also wasn't intended "to hold onto unsuccessful concepts such as melting pot or colorblind mentality."

Andrew Coulson, director of the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom, was the author of Thursday's opinion piece. Among other things, he drew from the site's definition of cultural racism. "Those aspects of society that overtly and covertly attribute value and normality to white people and whiteness, and devalue, stereotype, and label people of color as 'other,' different, less than, or render them invisible. Examples of these norms include defining white skin tones as nude or flesh colored, having a future time orientation, emphasizing individualism as opposed to a more collective ideology, defining one form of English as standard, and identifying only Whites as great writers or composers," the definition said.

"It was very ideologically charged," Coulson said Thursday. "It was left of center by definition, criticizing individualism as racism and advocating a collective ideology. You can't get much more red versus blue than that; it's incredibly polarizing. That everyone who thinks in terms of individualism is racist?"

Coulson's piece was only the latest criticism of the site, and he said he tracked many others in the blogosphere. So even before his opinion piece appeared, the district had been "dealing with calls and e-mails for the last three weeks," said Peter Daniels, school district spokesman. "It did not have enough context for people not working on this issue, and it was poorly written," Daniels said. "... It's about institutional racism, particularly in an educational setting. There are particular structures and practices in place that disadvantage other students who are not of the Caucasian or white majority. It's really examining our own practices and education, but that wasn't very clear."

So Hollins' memo appeared Thursday, saying that "the intended purpose of our work in the area of race and social justice is to bring communities together through open dialogue and honest reflection around what is meant by racism." "It's a non-apology apology," said Coulson, an education history scholar and author of "Market Education: The Unknown History."

"My sense was that the definition was extremely offensive, but there was not much sympathy for those who were offended ...," he said. "The harm that can come from the Web site is the tarring of the ideal of individualism as racist, while the ideal of individualism is a central principle on which our nation was founded. Liberty is individual, not collective. So for our school district -- our official school organ of the state -- to tell children it's racist to believe in a principle on which our nation was founded -- is troubling."


Justices to look at race-based school policy

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide whether public elementary and high schools can use race in determining where students go to school. The move means that the court will re-enter the debate over affirmative action during the 2006-07 term with two cases that could affect districts that seek diversity in schools.

The cases from Seattle and Louisville will be the first of their kind taken up by the court led by new Chief Justice John Roberts. They also will be the first disputes over race-based policies to be heard since the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor, a moderate justice whose support of some forms of affirmative action became the court's standard. In 2003, O'Connor cast the decisive vote in a 5-4 ruling that allowed minority preferences in higher education to increase diversity.

Justice Samuel Alito, whose record is generally more conservative than O'Connor's, succeeded her in January. Three months earlier, Roberts succeeded fellow conservative William Rehnquist as chief. Alito and Roberts opposed some types of affirmative action when they were lawyers in the Reagan administration.

The Seattle and Louisville cases test whether the Constitution's guarantee of equality allows schools to use race as a factor in admissions. In both disputes, lower courts backed the school plans, and parents of white students appealed. "The scope of a ruling would be widespread," says Francisco Negrn, general counsel of the National School Boards Association. He says many public school districts have policies to boost diversity. The Seattle and Louisville area districts say considering race in assignments can have social benefits and offset racially polarized housing patterns. The Pacific Legal Foundation counters that such affirmative action policies place "racial identification" above individual rights.

Seattle allows students to choose their high school. Officials aim for each school to have about 40% white students and 60% racial minorities. When there are more applicants than openings at a particular school, students with a sibling there get priority. Officials use race as a "tiebreaker" to decide who is admitted. In the Louisville area, most Jefferson County schools have tried to keep most schools' black enrollment at 15%-50%. A challenge was brought by a white student who could not go to the school across the street from his home.



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

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

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


Wednesday, June 07, 2006


The threat you face derives not from any external factors that may affect your company. Instead, it comes from your own employees. The deadliest business hazard of our time is the result of a sea change in the American approach to education that occurred early in the 1970s. Across the United States, conventional educational standards were tossed out the window, replaced with feel-good theories like "whole-language learning" that emphasized personal fulfillment over the accumulation of hard knowledge. As a result, we now have two generations of men and women who expect gold stars not for succeeding, but simply for trying. And, sometimes, merely for showing up.

In Great Britain, even primary school students can name all the monarchs of England. How many American children can name the capital of their own state? In India, the study of mathematics is practically a religion. In the United States, how many retail clerks can make change without relying on a calculator? In Germany, vocational education is a rigorous and honorable pursuit, producing highly qualified workers and tradesmen. In the U.S.A., people actually boast about their inability to deal with anything mechanical.

But sheer stupidity is not the greatest danger presented by the current crop of blank slates. It is the arrogance bred of ignorance that constitutes an unparalleled descent into goofiness. In the long-dead past, incompetents generally recognized their own incapacity and behaved accordingly. Today, every jackass sees himself as a genius, and every fool fancies herself a philosopher.

Once, a young colleague at a major firm accosted me in tones of confusion and desperation. "Mark! Mark!" she called as I walked past her office door. "When was World War II?" I thought at first that she was joking, but, alas, she was not. The deadliest global conflict in human history had somehow escaped her notice. Yet if I had asked if she honestly believed she deserved her B.A. and felt qualified to perform her job, she would have been gravely insulted and likely kicked me until I was dead.

Like the pod people of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the arrogantly ignorant appear at first glance as normal as you or me. But beware. The most profound risk they represent springs not from their cluelessness, but from their inability to recognize their own limitations. Such blind hubris can lead to monumental errors of judgment, grotesque mistakes, and the refusal to accept -- despite a mountain of evidence -- that the strategy they are pursuing may be leading your organization off a cliff. When people like that are in your employ, it is you, not they, who suffer the consequences.

These days, the arrogance of ignorance is so pervasive that I feel confident in making a small wager: Ten bucks says that the worst offenders will read these words and wonder, "Who is this joker talking about?" If characters like that work for your company -- brother, you're in for a world of hurt.



In what is an elite tweak on home schooling - and a throwback to the gilded days of education by governess or tutor - growing numbers of families are choosing the ultimate in private school: hiring teachers to educate their children in their own homes.

Unlike the more familiar home-schoolers of recent years, these families are not trying to get more religion into their children's lives, or escape what some consider the tyranny of the government's hand in schools. In fact, many say they have no argument with ordinary education - it just does not fit their lifestyles. Lisa Mazzoni's family splits its time between Marina del Rey, Calif., and Delray Beach, Fla. Lisa has her algebra and history lessons delivered poolside sometimes or on her condominium's rooftop, where she and her teacher enjoy the sun and have a view of the Pacific Ocean south of Santa Monica. "For someone who travels a lot or has a parent who travels and wants to keep the family together, it's an excellent choice," said Lisa's mother, Trish Mazzoni, who with her husband owns a speedboat company.

The cost for such teachers generally runs $70 to $110 an hour. And depending on how many hours a teacher works, and how many teachers are involved, the price can equal or surpass tuition in the upper echelon of private schools in New York City or Los Angeles, where $30,000 a year is not unheard of.

Other parents say the model works for children who are sick, for children who are in show business or for those with learning disabilities. "It's a hidden group of folks, but it's growing enormously," said Luis Huerta, a professor of public policy and education at Teachers College of Columbia University, whose national research includes a focus on home schooling.

The United States Department of Education last did a survey on home schooling in 2003. That survey did not ask about full-time in-home teachers. But it found that from 1999 to 2003, the number of children who were educated at home had soared, increasing by 29 percent, to 1.1 million students nationwide. It also found that, of those, 21 percent used a tutor.

Home schooling is legal in every state, though some regulate it more than others. Home-school teachers do not require certification, and the only common requirement from state to state is that students meet compulsory-attendance rules. Scholars who study home-schooling trends, business owners who serve home-schooling families and abundant anecdotal evidence also suggest that private teaching arrangements are on the rise. Some families do it for short stints, others for years at a time.

Bob Harraka, president of Professional Tutors of America, has about 6,000 teachers from 14 states on his payroll in Orange County, Calif., but cannot meet a third of the requests for in-home education that come in, he said, because they are so specialized or extravagant: a family wants a teacher to instruct in the art of Frisbee throwing, button sewing or Latin grammar. A family wants a teacher to accompany them for a yearlong voyage at sea. "Sailing comes up at least once or twice a year," Mr. Harraka said.

Parents say in-home teaching arrangements offer unparalleled levels of academic attention and flexibility in scheduling, in addition to a sense of family cohesion and autonomy over what children learn. To them, these advantages make up for the lack of a school social life, which they say can be replicated through group lessons in, say, ballet or sculpture.

Jon D. Snyder, dean of the Bank Street College of Education in New York, said his main concerns about this form of education were whether tutors and students were a good fit, and whether students got enough social interaction. "From a purely academic standpoint, it goes back to a much earlier era," Dr. Snyder said. "The notion of individual tutorials is a time-honored tradition, particularly among the elite." Think Plato, John Stuart Mill and George Washington. Philosopher kings and gentleman farmers. Because of the cost of in-home tutoring, the idea will probably not spread like wildfire, and just as well, Dr. Snyder said. "Public education has social goals; that's why we pay tax dollars for it," he said. "When Socrates was tutoring Plato, he wasn't concerned about educating the other people in Greece. They were just concerned about educating Plato."

On the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Krystal and Tiffany Wheeler earn high school credits in adjacent pastel bedrooms after breakfast. The teachers come to them. Their mother, Charlene Royce, said she wanted her girls to experience the benefits of a personalized education but did not feel comfortable teaching herself.

More here

Texas: Student suspended for folding a piece of paper

Post lifted from Zero Intelligence

Destiny Thomas, an 11 year-old student at Amber Terrace Intermediate School in the Desoto Independent School District, folded a piece of paper into the shape of a gun. She and two classmates were suspended and sentenced to 30 days of alternative school for their flagrant violation of district anti-gun policies.

Destiny said she made the paper gun after a fellow classmate at Amber Terrace Intermediate School in Desoto showed her how to fold a computer paper. She said she had no intention of doing anything that would get her kicked out of school. "I know not to bring a real gun, but I didn't think a paper gun would get you in trouble," Thomas said.

Desoto school officials said the student code of conduct clearly states no weapons or replica of weapons are allowed on campus.

District officials reviewed the case the next day and revoked the punishment. All three students will be allowed to return to class. While I am glad that this was caught at the district level I am appalled that it ever got there.

A replica is defined as an exact reproduction, a copy exact in all details. A folded piece of paper is not a replica weapon in any sense of the word. The administers at Amber Terrace weren't trying to make their school a safer place. They were engaged in thought control - punishing pre-teens for engaging a concept that the officials disapprove.


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

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

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


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

On campus, an absurd overregulation of sexual conduct

In the early 1990s, in the midst of a national debate about feminism, sexual relationships, and sexual violence, the media discovered an unusual sexual conduct policy at Antioch College, a small liberal arts school in Ohio. The policy, adopted in response to complaints from a group called Womyn of Antioch about not enough being done to stop date rape on campus, mandated explicit verbal consent every step of the way in a sexual encounter -- from undoing a button to sexual intercourse. At the time, it elicited a lot of mockery. But while the debate has gone away, the mindset that inspired the Antioch policy has not.

Over the years, a number of colleges and universities have adopted less extreme versions of this policy, requiring explicit verbal consent to sex though not quite in so much detail. But now, Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania seems to have outdone Antioch: Under that school's policy, a verbally unsanctioned hug could be treated as a sexual assault.

Gettysburg's policy, publicized by the Philadelphia-based Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, defines sexual misconduct as ''a threat of a sexual nature or deliberate physical contact of a sexual nature without the other person's consent," and goes on to state that the physical contact covered by the policy includes nonconsensual ''brushing, touching, grabbing, pinching, patting, hugging, and kissing," as well as ''coerced sexual activities, including rape."

''Each individual," the policy goes on to state, ''has a responsibility to obtain consent before engaging in sexual interaction. Consent is defined as the act of willingly and verbally agreeing (for example, by stating 'yes') to engage in specific sexual conduct. If either person at any point in a sexual encounter does not give continuing and active consent, all sexual contact must cease, even if consent was given earlier."

One hopes this does not mean that both people in a sexual encounter must constantly reaffirm their willingness to continue what they're doing. But who knows? The foundation points out that because it is impossible to enforce such a policy consistently, it will inevitably be enforced in arbitrary ways. If everyone violates the rules at one time or another, anyone is a potential target for punishment.

Policies such as Gettysburg's and Antioch's stem from a noble concern with sexual violence. There has been much debate about the statistics on campus sexual assault. Some researchers claim that as many as one in four college women will be a victim of attempted or completed rape by graduation; critics charge that these figures are vastly overstated and include many instances of miscommunication, not assault. Still, whatever the scope of the problem, it is real and troubling.

Feminists have argued that the traditional romantic script of male aggression and female coyness often contributes to date rape: A man may think that he is sweeping the woman off her feet when he is actually overpowering her with force. There is some substance to this critique: It is difficult not to cringe while reading or watching some aggressive seduction/borderline rape scenes in old books and movies. ''No means no" is generally a good principle, even if sometimes it may be taken too far. (Some antirape activists argue that once the woman has said no, any attempt by the man to change her mind should be regarded as coercion.)

But the requirement of ensuring an explicit ''yes" takes the campaign against sexual assault to a new and absurd level. For one thing, it infantilizes women (while the policies may be gender-neutral on their face, they generally presume men to be the initiators in heterosexual encounters). Are women so weak that they can't even say ''no," or otherwise indicate their lack of consent, unless the man takes the initiative of asking?

Such policies also absurdly overregulate sexual relations -- particularly since they often require verbal consent to each act even in an ongoing relationship. Forget spontaneity, passion, the thrill of discovery. Forget letting go. At the time of the Antioch policy debate, one sexual assault counselor primly condemned ''the blind give-and-take of sexual negotiations," arguing that it should be replaced by clear communication. The worthy goal of rape prevention has been twisted into a utopian attempt to remake human sexuality -- in an image that is not particularly attractive.

The little-known 1987 movie ''Cherry 2000" portrayed a futuristic society in which every date was preceded by a sit-down with lawyers and a written contract about the specific activities to which both parties agreed -- and in which a lot of men sought the company of female androids programmed not only for sex but for old-fashioned romance. Is that where the Gettysburg policy is taking us?



It was apparently seen as bad that there were no failing students. Having a good learning environment for more able students could not be tolerated

When the Sequoia Union High School District board approved Summit Preparatory High School's charter petition Wednesday night, rows of signs popped out of the cheering audience that simply read: "Thank you" and "Gracias." It was the Summit community's creative way of showing its appreciation to the trustees for unanimously agreeing to sponsor the Redwood City charter school for two years.

This vote came despite concerns among trustees and district staff that the school is lacking in the diversity it claims to strive for in its petition. Summit's mission is to prepare a diverse student population for college. And yet, Sequoia Superintendent Pat Gemma presented a response to the school's petition, stating the school is lacking in its number of low-performing students as well as students in special education and English-learner programs. For example, data from the 2005 state standards test show that no sophomore or junior is classified as "far below basic" in the English language arts category. Nonetheless, he recommended the board approve the school's charter, with the condition that the school strive toward enrolling more struggling students.

The trustees agreed with this recommendation. "Teaching kids that are high-performing is great," trustee Don Gibson said. "Teaching kids that are lower-performing so they can get into college is what charter schools are about."

Summit's charter through the Summerville Union High School District in Tuolumne County expires this year. The school, which opened in 2003, submitted a charter petition to Sequoia in April, because state law now requires charter high schools to be sponsored by their local high school districts. Next fall, Summit will outgrow its current campus in an office building as it adds a senior class, bringing its enrollment to 375. Since Sequoia is required by law to provide facilities for charter schools within its boundaries, Summit will move into portable classrooms on property next to the district office and Sequoia High School.

Though trustee Olivia Martinez said she was very supportive of what the school offers students, she too developed concerns after she spoke to five students learning English who left the school. "The consensus was they didn't feel comfortable there," she said. "The expectations were too high." In the future, she said, she would like Summit to work on helping students be more at ease with the school's curriculum. "The (charter school) bill was designed to provide alternatives that would help all students," she said.

Sergio Fernandez, in his third year at Summit, said the school's teachers helped him overcome his struggles in math with tutoring and encouragement. "When I first went to Summit, I didn't believe in myself," Fernandez, 17, said. "They (the teachers) believed in me, and they're 100 percent sure I can go to college."

Source. Joanne Jacobs has some comments on the above.

Gutless school needs police to discipline a 6-year old!

A 6-year-old special education student who kicked a Naples teacher's aide and spent several hous in juvenile jail is facing felony battery charges. Her mother, however, wants to know why the case has gone so far. Takovia Allen suffers from behavioral problems and attends a special class at Lely Elementary in Naples.

According to an arrest report, on May 2, a teacher was trying to line up students to go to music class. Takovia refused to go and kicked the teacher's aide in the ankle. After a discussion among school officials and two law enforcement officials called to the school, the girl was arrested. Takovia was taken to juvenile jail and held there for several hours before being released to her mother.

She is being charged with battery on a public education employee. It's possible she will enter a program that includes counseling. If she completes the program successfully the charges could be dropped.



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

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

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


Monday, June 05, 2006

How much can we boost IQ and scholastic attainment?

The article below initially reports some very impressive data on the fixed nature of intelligence but the attempt in the last paragraph to give it a politically correct "spin" is pathetic (though probably necessary to get it published). OF COURSE intelligence is not the only determinant of success in life or at school -- nobody has ever said it is -- and of course immigrant kids do better on tests given in English in an English-speaking school system as they learn more English.

But the third assertion is a straight LIE. As a former Army psychologist, I can assure everyone that the Army certainly does not believe that. They SELECT officer candidates most carefully (using psychological tests) precisely because they think that you CANNOT make a good officer out of just anyone.

The title I have put on this post is of course an allusion

In our mobile societies, few of this month's graduating high-school seniors have been with the same classmates for 12 years. But if you know such students, think back to the pupils who, at 5 years old, were pint-size math whizzes and spelling champs. Now match those memories with the seniors at the top of their class. You'll likely find a near-perfect match. That raises some disturbing questions. Why doesn't 12 years of schooling raise the performance of kids who start out behind? Can you really tell which toddler is destined for Caltech?

For as long as there has been a science of intelligence (roughly a century), prevailing opinion has held that children's mental abilities are highly malleable, or "unstable." Cognition might improve when the brain reaches a developmental milestone, or when a child is bitten by the reading bug or suddenly masters logical thinking and problem solving. Some kids do bloom late, intellectually. Others start out fine but then, inexplicably, fall behind. But according to new studies, for the most part people's mental abilities relative to others change very little from childhood through adulthood. Relative intelligence seems as resistant to change as relative nose sizes.

One of the more striking findings comes from the longest follow-up study ever conducted in this field. On June 1, 1932, Scotland had all children born in 1921 and attending school -- 87,498 11-year-olds -- take a 75-question test on analogies, reading, arithmetic and the like. The goal was to determine the distribution of intellectual ability. In 1998, scientists at the Universities of Edinburgh and Aberdeen tracked down 101 of those students, then 77 years old, and administered the same test. The correlation between scores 66 years apart was a striking .73. (A correlation of 1 would mean no change in rankings; a correlation of .73 is very high.) There is "remarkable stability in individual differences in human intelligence" from childhood to old age, the scientists concluded in a 2000 paper.

In the U.S., two long-running studies also show the durability of relative intelligence. The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, launched in 1998, tested 22,782 children entering kindergarten. As in the Scottish study, individual differences in mental ability were clear and persistent. In math and reading, when the children were sorted into three groups by ability, ranking stayed mostly the same from kindergarten to the end of the first and third grades. Some gaps actually widened.

The National Education Longitudinal Study tested 24,599 eighth-graders on several subjects, including math and reading comprehension, in 1988 and again two and four years later. "There was a very high correlation between the scores in eighth grade and in 12th grade," says Thomas Hoffer of the National Opinion Research Center, University of Chicago. Again, rankings hardly budged.

He suspects that the way schools are organized explains some of that. Eighth-graders who show aptitude in math or language are tracked into challenging courses. That increases the gap between them and their lower-performing peers. "It's not that [relative student performance] can't change, but that standard practices in schools work against it," says Mr. Hoffer.

Now there is evidence that cognitive ability, or intelligence, is set before kids sit up. Developmental psychologist Marc Bornstein of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and colleagues followed children for four years, starting in infancy with 564 four-month olds. Babies' ability to process information can be tested in a so-called habituation test. They look at a black-on-white pattern until their attention wanes and they look away, or habituate. Later, they're shown the pattern again. How quickly they sense they've seen the image long enough, or have seen it before, is a measure of how quickly, accurately and completely they pick up, assimilate and recall information.

The scientists evaluated the children again at six months, 18 months, 24 months and 49 months. In every case, performance mirrored the relative rankings on the infant test, Dr. Bornstein and colleagues reported this year in the journal Psychological Science. Such stability, he says, "can entice" scientists to conclude that inborn, inherent, even genetic factors determine adult intelligence. But he believes crediting nature alone would be wrong.

For one thing, these tests don't measure creativity, gumption, character or other ingredients of success. For another, there are many cases of kids catching up, as when Mexican immigrant children in the U.S. start out with math skills well below their U.S.-born white peers but then catch up, says education researcher Sean Reardon of Stanford University. And as those familiar with management training and military training show, it's possible to turn even the most unpromising candidates into leaders. [What!! Reference please!] That leaves the question of how current education practices (and, perhaps, parenting practices) tend to lock in early cognitive differences among children, and whether those practices can be changed in a way that unlocks every child's intellectual potential.


Australia (1): Homosexuality promoted in Victorian schools

Victorian schools are being advised to dump the words "mother" and "father" by a controversial new teachers manual that promotes the cause of same-sex parents. Out of sensitivity to same-sex parent families, teachers should use "parent" or "carer" instead, the manual states. Schools should also put up posters of gay celebrities in schools and not use gender-specific toys, the free Learn to Include teacher's manual urges. It also suggests pupils as young as five should act out scenarios in which they have two mums and have discussions about discrimination. The contentious manual, used in dozens of Victorian schools, is aimed at teachers of prep to year 3 pupils.

Victoria's Department of Education and Training has invited the editor of the manual, Vicki Harding, to promote it to principals and teachers at a taxpayer-funded conference in Melbourne next month. Ms Harding will advise teachers about using the manual and children's books she has written about children with two mums or two dads. Education Services Minister Jacinta Allan will address the conference.

The manual's classroom worksheets include a fill-in-the-word exercise about a child who climbs a tree while the youngster's "two mums" work in the garden. The manual suggests - to help children respect diversity - teachers "include pictures of notable lesbians and gay men among images around the school" and use "gender neutral play materials". Children should also be offered stories, games and television programs that show "people in various forms of relationships", it states.

The State Opposition claimed Ms Harding's invitation to the conference proved the State Government endorsed the guide. "Parents don't send their children to school expecting them to receive those sorts of lessons," Opposition education spokesman Martin Dixon said. "It is political correctness gone mad ... (and) the Government is endorsing it." Family Council of Victoria spokesman Bill Muehlenberg said parents would find the manual "reprehensible".

Department spokeswoman Melissa Arch said schools were free to decide whether to use the manual. "It is not something the department imposes over them," she said. Ms Allan's spokesman, Tim Mitchell, said the Government did not endorse the use of the guide.


Australia (2): Leftist NSW teachers at work

They want failing students to stay that way

School reports that will grade students on a scale of A to E for the first time this year are in doubt, with teachers threatening a widespread revolt. Nearly 11,000 teachers from 800 public schools have written to the Minister for Education, Carmel Tebbutt, saying they need more time to prepare the reports. They are strongly opposed to using the A-to-E grading scale, saying it will brand very young children a failure and alienate them from the education system.

The NSW Teachers Federation will present a report on teacher submissions to its 300 delegates in Sydney today, along with a survey that found fewer than half of schools had received sample copies of the proposed reports. The federation's president, Maree O'Halloran, said teachers had overwhelmingly rejected the reports mandated by state and federal governments. "Teachers across the state have told the minister the reporting requirements are not good enough, that they are educationally unsound," she said. "What this means is that the minister is facing a massive revolt and that those schools will not be implementing the reports." Ms O'Halloran said just under 200 teachers had indicated their support for the reports, but the remaining 10,800 teachers wanted the format to change before they would implement it.

A federation survey of 322 schools so far has found that only 47 per cent had copies of the proposed reports and 13 per cent said that no teacher had copies. Most of the schools said they were concerned about the use of the scale and its mandatory use this year. Teachers argue that they will need until next year to properly implement the new reports.

The NSW-ACT Independent Education Union general secretary, Dick Shearman, said teachers in private schools shared the concerns. Completion of the reports this year using the grading scale was a condition of schools receiving federal funding, he said. "Most of our schools have completed the reports, but it caused teachers a great deal of anguish," Mr Shearman said. "The validity and integrity of the reports is compromised when you force them in quickly, impose unreasonable guidelines and tie funding to it."

Ms Tebbutt said she had received positive feedback on the new system from schools. "I don't get the sense that there is a strong negativity behind the need for greater consistency in reporting," she said. "We announced the reports in August last year to allow sufficient time for their implementation to meet federal requirements. We are not going to jeopardise the federal funding we receive by delaying implementation." Ms Tebbutt said the Department of Education would continue to offer support to teachers in the form of information sessions, new software and advice from the NSW Board of Studies on how to achieve greater consistency in reporting. She said sample reports were available on the internet.

Kindergarten pupils, those with significant learning disabilities and children with English as a second language would have written reports instead of a grade. "We will continue to talk to the federation about the concerns they have," Ms Tebbutt said. "We are committed to our implementation plan. These reports are going to provide clear and concise information on a student's achievement. Parents need that information to know how their child is performing."



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

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

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


Sunday, June 04, 2006


Ari Kelman is a 37-year-old history professor at UC Davis, a hotshot new hire who had written a prescient book about building in flood-prone New Orleans. During his first semester on campus last year -- as Hurricane Katrina hit -- Kelman's expert opinion was sought by U.S. News and World Report, the "NewsHour With Jim Lehrer," the New York Times and reporters across the country. Buoyed by his heightened profile, Kelman said he believes moving to Davis with his wife and toddler son is the best career move he's made. But for his pocketbook, it's turned out to be his worst.

University of California administrators have been under fire for giving millions of dollars in unauthorized perks to fellow executives, justifying it as critical to retain and recruit top-tier staff. But Kelman didn't get any of it, although he did try. Instead he's fretting about replacing his busted washing machine. "The executive pay stuff was tough to swallow," said Kelman, who earns $77,600 a year.

When he was lured from the University of Denver last year, he asked for $25,000 to help buy a house in Davis. He was told no. He tried being creative, asking for no-strings-attached "research" money. He was told no. His wife even had to pay her own way on a house-hunting trip. "My perception was, 'This is the University of California . the big leagues -- surely they can be competitive,'" he said. But a job with the noted history department at UC Davis was too good to pass up, although he and his wife did give up a lot.

In Denver, they owned a 4,000-square-foot-house and land in the Rockies on which they planned to build a cabin one day. The Kelmans sold it all and stretched to buy a 1,800-square-foot house in Davis. The three-bedroom home cost $700,000 and is the same size as the first house the couple bought in 1998, when Kelman was just out of graduate school and took a job as an assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma. The Davis home cost 10 times more than the one in Norman, Okla. "The only thing that almost kept us from coming here was the cost of living," Kelman said. "We came out and looked for houses and our heads exploded." The university did provide Kelman a routine benefit for faculty that ultimately made the move possible. The UC helped him secure a below-market home loan that he will be repaying until mid-century. It's $575,000 over 40 years, at a 3.7 percent variable interest rate.

Kelman said he didn't get into the business to make a lot of money. But he didn't figure that as a midcareer history professor at a major institution he would be worried about paying basic bills. At the same time, he considers himself lucky. He was able to purchase property. Kelman is already a top earner in his field for his experience level -- he prodded UC Davis to give him a pay bump above scale, about $12,800 more. And he's better off than faculty in liberal arts who can start a first job at under $60,000. (Top scale for liberal arts faculty is $130,900.)

As Kelman was adjusting to the costly California housing market this past year, auditors were poring over the books at UC headquarters, prodded by legislators and critics demanding an accounting of the full salary packages for executives. One theme emerged from the pay flap -- padded housing allowances and beefed up relocation payments for top administrators and campus leaders, such as chancellors and deans, that violated UC compensation policies. UC offers a maximum $53,300 housing allowance to UC executives and top administrators -- generally not to faculty -- parceled out over several years to defray higher living costs when moving from outside California. UC's internal auditor suggested market pressures led to bending the rules to help executives buy houses, turning benefits -- several were more than $100,000 -- into signing bonuses. Auditors also found the housing bonuses were routinely given to administrators who moved from one UC campus to another.

But Kelman, like other professors, was not eligible. "Rank-and-file professors of Serbian poetry are not going to get a housing bonus to come to Santa Cruz," said John Oakley, chairman of the UC systemwide Academic Senate. "For rank-and-file members we have to live in a world that makes it difficult to recruit people when housing costs are so high." Oakley, a UC Davis law professor, said the UC's low-interest home loan program is the best recruitment incentive but he warns of a "simmering crisis" as faculty salaries fall behind comparable public and private universities.

The university's faculty salaries are now about 13 percent below the national average, according to a study commissioned last year by UC regents. Adding in UC's health and retirement benefits put UC faculty at about 3 percent above average, but the study did not factor in housing costs. The UC Board of Regents acknowledges the discrepancy. Regents have pledged to keep faculty salaries competitive and boost them over 10 years, but funding remains limited.

Kelman saw the recruitment challenges from the other side when he served on a search committee for another new history professor at Davis this past year. He said the academic prestige and collegiality at Davis are played up. Job candidates are told about the low-interest home loan program, and that getting into the local housing market is better in the long term. "They have to say to themselves, 'Will I ever be able to live what most people consider a middle-class existence?'" Kelman said. "I took the job because this was the job I want to have for the rest of my career. I could say, 'OK, we're going to really, really feel this squeeze for five or 10 years. . Eventually it's not going to hurt that much.'"


Gradeless curriculum 'the way of the future'

Or so says the crazy Yugoslav in charge of Western Australian education. All students must be made equal! Tito would approve. Press report below:

The Education Minister in charge of implementing a gradeless curriculum in West Australian schools has come out fighting in defence of the new courses. Ljiljanna Ravlich conceded that the courses, described by John Howard as gobbledegook, "could have been more clear". She admitted it was wrong to name the new literature course Texts, Traditions and Cultures. And she said she did not agree with the Curriculum Council that a turntable was a musical instrument of equal merit to a violin. Yet she argued that the curriculum, developed on the principles of outcomes-based education, was the way of the future. "I know it's the right thing to do and I know it's for the right reason, and I can tell you it's a view that is shared by 30 other OECD nations, all of whom are moving towards an outcomes-based education," she said.

Under the new curriculum, all subjects are equal, meaning a top performance in cooking and dance could help a student into a university law degree, ahead of those who studied physics and chemistry.

Ms Ravlich admitted to problems in how the curriculum had been presented. "I do agree that (the language) could have been more simple and to the point," she said. "It is probably partly responsible for, I guess, feeding some of the misconceptions." But she insisted the courses would be implemented. "This has been a debate where there's been more of a focus from a small number of teachers, a minority of teachers who, for a variety of reasons, may be resistant to change," she said. Teachers have raised concerns a draft exam for the new English course did not require students to have read a novel, though one question required them to have read a book of some kind.

Ms Ravlich said she was satisfied that students had to read a book to pass the English course and said that, because the first Year 12 exams were 18 months away, there was time for changes to exams where needed. While a marking key for the draft English sample exam stated "student responses should not be penalised for poor spelling, punctuation, grammar or handwriting, unless these are elements ... specifically being assessed", Ms Ravlich said students must learn grammar, punctuation and sentence construction in the new course.

Ms Ravlich was yesterday enjoying a victory over the State School Teachers Union over the plan to roll out 17 of the new courses into Year 11 next year. While the union last week ordered teachers to treat the courses as voluntary, it has since learned that those who do so will deprive students of the opportunity to attend university, as the old courses will not be recognised.

Rather than dictating what students should know and grading them, outcomes-based education focuses on what students are able to do. It aims to shift the emphasis from teaching to learning and provide tools to pinpoint students' strengths and weaknesses. Teacher lobby group People Lobbying Against Teaching Outcomes claims the courses, in which students will be assessed on eight outcomes, lack detail, are too open to interpretation and make assessment subjective. But Ms Ravlich, 48, a Croatian-born former social studies teacher who has been the partner of state Treasurer Eric Ripper, 54, for more than a decade, though they maintain separate homes, said she believed firmly in the principles.



Police were investigating a KABC-AM reporter's accusations that a man assaulted him and grabbed his tape recorder after he attempted to interview the principal of a charter school that a host at his radio station said was "openly segregationist." Reporter Sandy Wells was chased and tackled by the man Thursday after a school employee told him to leave Academia Semillas Del Pueblo campus east of downtown, said station spokesman Steve Sheldon.

Wells was not injured, but "very shaken," Sheldon said, adding that the station believes that Wells was targeted because he was investigating the school's academic program. "We are very concerned about the alleged incident that reportedly occurred at Academia Semillas del Pueblo charter school and police authorities are investigating," the Los Angeles Unified School District said in a statement.

The school district, which issued the charter license to Academia Semillas Del Pueblo, said it was reviewing the school's academic programs to determine whether to renew its charter operations. The school came under scrutiny by KABC host Doug McIntyre after he received a tip from a listener that the school didn't fly the American flag on May Day, Sheldon said. The Web site for the school described it as a kindergarten through eighth grade public school "dedicated to providing urban children of immigrant native families an excellent education founded upon their own language, cultural values and global realities." Students learn English, Spanish, Mandarin and Nahuatl, an indigenous language of Mexico. "It's exclusionary, it's separatist, it's openly segregationist," McIntyre told KABC-TV.

A call to the school's principal, Marcos Aguilar, was not immediately returned Thursday. Aguilar issued a statement contending that while most of the school's pupils are Hispanic, it does not discriminate against students on the basis of their ethnicity or national origin. He noted that the school's curriculum was approved by the district's and state's school boards. "The perception has been made that our school exercises racist policies and that our curriculum ... is contrary to a quality education," Aguilar said. "Academia is in fact committed to providing a high-quality, public school education to all students, but most notably the underserved kids in our local community."



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

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

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