Friday, July 20, 2018

Apparently Going Through Life Drunk And Stupid Makes A Suitable Educator In This Seattle School District

It’s just not fair. School should be out for the heat, beaches and barbecues of Summer, but unfortunately the damaging insanity of failed policy in the Seattle school district, has put the kibosh on seasonal travel plans.

Dean Wormer of the prestigious Faber College has graciously agreed to eloquently describe the pathway that a decrepit individual chose to carve for himself in navigating through the public school infrastructure in a drunken stupor of volatile rants, unjustified absences, despicable behavior, and sexually violating a minor.

While this real life horrific nightmare for students and parents, bears no resemblance to the hijinks of the National Lampoon’s franchise of cinematic and merits a serious discussion, the blatantly egregious and disgusting actions of an ex-teaching assistant surrounded by equally reckless circumstances, calls at least for the balancing presence of content from the lighter side to buoy the outrage and disbelief.

While Albert C. Virachismith is certainly drunk and stupid, the bureaucratic incompetence of the school district and the teacher’s union ultimately failed the students, as the Seattle Times reports that Virachismith was given multiple chances to rectify his horrendously checkered employment record, which included appearing on school property drunk and belligerent, and several instances of documented misconduct with students, which was culminated by the alleged rape of a student.

In fact, Virachismith, was actually backed by the Seattle Education Association in keeping his job even after failing to satisfy the stipulations of “A Last Chance Settlement Agreement”, an inexplicable offer forwarded by the Seattle School District and an obvious consequence of pressure facilitated by the powerful and lucrative union and an ace legal team.

The unbelievable caveat to this entire sordid narrative is that Virachismith was technically not fired for his apparent indiscretions with the student, and the incident is still under investigation, but for his pitiful attempt to fulfill his alcohol treatment protocol.

To the horror of students and parents, his employment record riddled with unsatisfactory ratings goes all the way back to 2014, and displays the ineptitude of system completely lacking protocols for accountability and a dreadfully low priority towards the safety of pupils. The asinine policy of rendering a public employee virtually exempt from termination, is the gift that keeps on giving in extorting the tax payer, and punishes the good men and women of the education world, as crucial funding is diverted towards defending the scumbags of the world, rather than rewarding and supporting the efforts of exceptional teachers.

Even after Virachismith was first cited for violations with alcohol at the end of the 2017 school year, he was allowed to interact with students from seven different campuses as a teaching assistant until his termination in February of this year.

Of course Seattle is widely known for extremist liberal politics emanating from governing bodies, in creating a socialist dystopia of a billion dollar homeless cottage industry and publicly funded heroin injection sites. With the inability of the school district to properly identify a pedophile and take appropriate action, the city is on full scale alert in the search for competent leaders, who get things done the right way and embrace decency and morality.

Currently, the Seattle City Council is drafting a letter to the school district that includes the tired phrase, “Can’t we give him just one more chance?”


Educators reject censorship, encourage student exploration of 'problematic' literature of the past

From Confederate memorials to “problematic” literature in schools, communities across the country are wrestling with how to acknowledge the past and its imperfections without offending the sensibilities of modern schoolchildren and their teachers, with most solutions employing one of the three R’s: remove, rename, revise.

But some educators are encouraging another way. They are engaging with children in an exploration of values and culture to better understand the mores of the past and the present.

“Why is Ma so scared of Native Americans? Where does prejudice come from in pioneers? What prejudices do we still have today?” Melissa Scholes Young, a professorial lecturer at American University, offers as questions to explore the cultural landscape and significance of the “Little House on the Prairie” series of children’s books by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

The Association for Library Service to Children last month voted unanimously to remove Wilder’s name from its children’s book award because the “Little House” series “includes expressions of stereotypical attitudes inconsistent with ALSC’s core values.”

The association said specifically that her writing displays “anti-Native and anti-Black sentiments,” and it renamed the award as the Children’s Literature Legacy Award.

Wilder, who won the group’s first award in 1954, is still read widely, but her complex legacy is “not universally embraced,” the association said. Wilder was born in 1867 and died in 1957 at age 90.

Ms. Scholes Young said she often pairs classic literature with work from more modern authors as a way to compare and contrast how cultural issues are reflected in the stories. Not every parent has the wisdom and training professors possess, she said, but that shouldn’t stop parents from pursuing this angle.

“It’s perfectly fine as a parent to say, ‘Sometimes I don’t know. … Let’s look for it together,’” she said. “It’s not hard to pair a historical text with almost anything happening in our world today.”

The tack is supported by Deborah Gilboa, a Pittsburgh-based family physician who, using the pseudonym “Dr. G,” has written a number of books about teaching children social and cultural standards such as respect and responsibility.

Dr. Gilboa said it’s wrong to censor authors for “accurately reflecting their time and history” even when their prose clashes with the ideals of the modern enlightened age. A far better response, she said, is to talk directly to children about the issues in question with the proper values and context.

“Our own pivot is to say, ‘Oh, that author held a really warm place in my heart. … I associate them with positive memories.’ Now, I have to go back and make sure they don’t shape my ideas toward something I don’t think is ethical,” said Dr. Gilboa, a blogger and author of “Get the Behavior You Want … Without Being the Parent You Hate.”

Of course, Laura Ingalls Wilder is only the latest target for cultural or historical scrubbing for modern audiences. Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” sporadically comes under fire and scrutiny for its liberal use of a racial slur, even though Twain portrays the escaped adult slave Jim as the story’s most noble and sensible figure.

Meanwhile, Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, now is considered a peddler of racist imagery in some circles. Early in his career, Geisel worked as an illustrator of corporate ad campaigns, drawing caricatures of blacks and Asians that have been deemed offensive and stereotypical by those who uphold today’s standards.

Across the country, officials are moving with deliberate speed to remove Confederate memorials from public places and rename schools bearing the monikers of famed Confederates, in the wake of a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August.

Dr. Gilboa, noting the debate over Dr. Seuss’ body of work, pointed out that schools routinely honor the author’s birthday with readings, illustrations and homework assignments. That shouldn’t end based on select elements of his artistic career, she said, because younger minds can handle the complexity of the issue in play.

“First-graders can hear that things aren’t entirely ‘good’ or ‘bad,’” said Dr. Gilboa, likening the situation to complicated feelings about their own siblings. “I want you to love your brother, appreciate and value him, and I recognize sometimes he’s not your favorite person to play with.”

Rachel Keane, a blogger and political consultant, said that challenging art opens the door for critical conversations about the past and present.

Take the debate tied to “Huckleberry Finn.” A child may be confused about the racial slur or wonder why the author used it. A wise response would be to share the cultural significance of the word, connecting it to slavery and the nation’s unsteady growth beyond its hateful roots, she said.

Removing “Huckleberry Finn” from classrooms does a disservice to students and the culture at large, Ms. Keane said.

“We’re erasing our history. If you erase history, you’re bound to repeat it,” she said. “We’ve come from somewhere, and the past is gritty and it’s hard to look at, but you have to look at it.”

Ms. Scholes Young said her experience as a professor has taught her how students are “more open, more curious and more informed than their parents think they are.” It’s why adults should engage children with literature with open minds and a hunger for discussion.

“The biggest question I get [from students] is, ‘How could people have ever thought this way?’ Many people still do. They seem like outdated concepts, but are they?” she said.

The discussions can allow parents to bond with their children and pass along their values. It’s what art is supposed to do, Ms. Scholes Young said.

“Mark Twain would be pleased as punch that we’re still talking about [his work],” she said.


Australia: Queensland conservatives slams school union education program

A new program to educate high school students about their rights as workers is union indoctrination, the Queensland Opposition says.

The Queensland Council of Unions has put together a program called the Young Workers Hub, which will educate Year 11 and 12 students who have part-time jobs about their rights at work.

It will also offer contact channels for young people to seek support if they have questions or issues at work, as well as a "campaigning arm" to allow young workers to "make their workplaces better".

The Opposition says the program is an attempt to get young people to sign up as union members.

"This is nothing more than a political union membership drive and they're starting young because they're not getting the members that they want," the Liberal National Party's education spokesman Jarrod Bleijie told reporters on Thursday.

He drew a distinction between the QCU's program and similar classes run by the Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry, saying the business advocacy group was not an "external body of a political party".

He also accused Education Minister Grace Grace of being "too close" to the issue because she was a QCU official before entering politics.

But Ms Grace defended the program, which requires schools to opt in.

She said teenagers who were already working deserved to know about their rights at work to avoid exploitation.

"I'm sure no parent wants to see their child exploited or working in an unsafe environment," the minister said in a statement.

Children in Queensland can legally work once they turn 13, with exemptions down to the age of 11 for some jobs such as delivering pamphlets door-to-door.


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Trump vs. De Blasio on Race and School Admissions

Among the two dozen letters of guidance that the Trump administration announced two weeks ago it is rescinding were multiple joint Department of Justice and Department of Education guidance letters from previous administrations that urged schools in the country to ensure by varied means racial diversity in classrooms. The Trump administration’s rescindment of the letters of guidance illuminates for others where the executive office stands on the issue of race and admission to educational institutions.

As the federal executive branch makes it clear that it stands for “race-neutral” school admissions, however, the proudly-progressive mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, wages assault on non-race- based school admissions in the city.

The Trump administration’s moves are just. The de Blasio administration’s plans are wrong.

Indeed, in New York, interest groups and school alumni are continuing their forceful protests against Mayor de Blasio’s dual approach to diversify the racial compositions of eight of nine specialized public high schools in the city. The continuing protests against the plans announced in June are pushback against actions emblematic of a harmful identity politics ideology in practice.

As so many non-charter public schools in the city continue to fail academically, de Blasio’s ideology pushes him to endanger the best among the city’s very few academically-rich schools.

De Blasio’s ideological delusion is that only some people, based on their racial or ethnic backgrounds, as well as their prior religious education background, deserve assistance in moving up the socio-economic ladder.

Race should not determine who receives help, as poverty, non-ideal family lives, and distressed communities are not exclusive to any race or ethnicity. Neither should race determine who receives rewards, which the Trump administration showed it recognizes. As one sees generally with identity politics ideology, de Blasio’s plans pit people against each other; here specifically by making school admission about race rather than other factors.

The first part of de Blasio’s specialized high school racial diversification plan, to begin in the fall of 2019, entails an expansion of the Discovery program, which will set aside 20 percent of seats in eight of the city’s specialized high schools for students coming from high poverty junior high schools. This plan is a backdoor to an automatic 20 percent black and Latino student selection. Five percent of students admitted to the specialized high schools already come from the Discovery program, which gives students who missed the admission exam cutoff, and who are from low-income households, a chance at admission after they attend free summer preparation and meet some other guidelines.

For the second part of the plan, de Blasio is seeking approval from Albany to scrap the admissions test for the specialized schools and rather base admission on junior high school rank and state test scores. His plan calls for phasing out the test over three years and instead taking the top 7 percent of students from each junior high school, reserving 90 to 95 percent of seats for these students. The remaining five to ten percent, to be chosen by lottery, would be reserved for students from religious junior high schools, students new to New York City, and students from the high-poverty junior high schools who did not make the first top-7 percent cut.

Both parts of de Blasio’s specialized schools plan are unjust because they discriminate against certain students, namely those not considered to be black or Latino. The plans also discriminate against students coming from religious junior high schools by setting aside as little as five percent – and most likely far less than that percentage – of seats for these students.

De Blasio is not trying to scrap the admissions test because of a principled opposition to standardized testing, but rather his sole aim is to increase black and Latino enrollment above the potential 20 percent enrollment he can reach with part one of his plan. Finding different student selection models – any model that brings in more black and Latino students and not just one that eliminates the standardized test – brings de Blasio to the end that he seeks. His actions – such as pushing to scrap the admissions test – are simply a means to his end.

De Blasio has made nothing but clear his intention with the changes. Unlike the vast majority of New York City schools, the specialized high schools are not majority black and Latino, and, simply put, de Blasio wants to make them – forcibly – majority black and Latino. These seats are to be taken from Asian and white students who would have earned them. If the second part of his targeted plan were approved, it would satisfy his discriminatory efforts at the high schools, cutting enrollment of white students from 24 percent to 15 percent, Asian students from 62 percent to 20 percent, thereby bringing the schools to a majority black and Latino population, with those groups comprising 46 percent of students.

Black and Latino students comprise 67 percent of New York City public school students but yet only 10 percent of accepted students at the specialized high schools this year came from these groups (and, recall, five percent of students were selected from the Discovery program and the city offers free test preparation).

Asian students are the overwhelming majority at these schools. Asian interest groups and Asian politicians have denounced the plan and have held opposition rallies. All students who gain admission have undeniably worked hard and none of them should be penalized or discriminated against simply because of their racial or ethnic backgrounds.

De Blasio rather should work toward improving communities and schools that make it difficult for black and Latino students to compete justly with others seeking admission to the city’s specialized high schools (the Latino street gang that murdered an innocent 15-year-old boy this month in the Bronx reportedly recruits members in city schools). The mayor should also consider the academic successes of the city’s Catholic schools and charter schools in an attempt to understand what is wrong with his failing public education system. (Applications to charter schools, the number of which are capped, were at a record high last year, but there are not enough seats to accommodate all students.)

De Blasio’s two racial diversification plans spotlight contemporary social experimenters’ propensity to pull others down unjustly and harmfully. In a failing education system, and in a state that spends the most money per student in the country, the city’s most academically advanced students have neither earned nor deserved to be pulled down by ideological social experiments.

Lifting up those only of certain racial or ethnic backgrounds while intentionally ignoring and disenfranchising others is outright discrimination.

Following the Trump Administration’s recent move to rescind prior letters of guidance on race and school admissions, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos should take a close look at de Blasio’s plans, for they are an unfortunate case study of active discrimination based on race, ethnicity, and religion. Taxpayer-funded schools should not disenfranchise individuals based on the experimental social initiatives of the moment.


Religious education is more vital than ever in an increasingly diverse society and needs a higher status, says former home secretary Charles Clarke

Mr Clarke is co-author of a report calling for better religious education in school and a widening of the subject to include "beliefs and values".

The report argues that assemblies should no longer be expected to have a "broadly Christian" character.

Mr Clarke says understanding other faiths builds more "tolerant" views.

The report, co-authored by Prof Linda Woodhead of Lancaster University, says the place of religion in schools in England and Wales is still shaped by legislation from the 1940s, despite "enormous change in the religious and cultural landscape".

'Learning to talk'

"Our society has become massively more diverse," says Mr Clarke, a former Labour education secretary, in a report supported by the Economic and Social Research Council.

As well as those not identifying with any religious group, there are many more "different religions and ranges of belief within religion", he says.

"We are becoming more diverse, more individual. That's a good thing, but children growing up need to understand that society and be able to interpret it," says Mr Clarke.

The idea that religion would eventually be "discarded as irrelevant" has proved to be mistaken, he says.

Prof Woodhead says understanding about religions such as Islam, Hinduism or Judaism should be part of everyday life.

"These are children in your classroom or your neighbours, we're all part of the same society and we have to learn to talk to each other more intelligently," she says.

But the report argues the place of religious education in school needs to be updated and strengthened to stop a decline which has seen it treated as a "second-class subject".

It calls for a national syllabus that would be taught in all state schools and that it should be known as "religion, belief and values".

Act of worship

The report argues in favour of keeping a daily "act of collective worship" but that it should no longer be expected to be of a Christian character, but could reflect the "values and ethos" of the school.

The study says faith schools should continue and that parents should be able to choose to send their children to schools of their own religion.

Mr Clarke argues that, rather than driving segregation, good quality religious education can protect against extreme interpretations of beliefs that can be "divisive and dangerous".

"The best defence against that is to have children who are well-educated, well-informed and understanding about religions in our society," he says.

"Teaching about religious education generally builds a more tolerant society, a stronger society, a more resilient society to deal with the pressures that can otherwise lead to segregation in communities up and down the country."


But the proposed way of reforming the subject has been opposed by the Catholic Education Service.

The Bishop of Leeds, Marcus Stock, said it would not be acceptable for the state to "dictate what the church is required to teach in Catholic schools".

He said there needed to be a choice for schools in whether religion should be taught as a theological rather than "sociological" subject.

The National Secular Society rejected the proposals as "a real disappointment".

"The proposals represent baby steps in the right direction, but the report generally appears to be an admission that necessary reforms are not possible without the approval of religious bodies.

"That is a worrying state of affairs for a modern education system," said the group which campaigns for a separation of religion and state.


'Absolute prize': Why Australian selective schools are eclipsing private schools

Because they are more selective.  Private schools cater for a wider ability range

Selective schools have overtaken private schools as the state's most advantaged, with schools such as Normanhurst Boys and Hornsby Girls now eclipsing elite colleges such as St Ignatius, Barker and Ascham.

More than half of the state's top 20 most socio-educationally advantaged schools are now state selective because they are the "absolute education prize" for parents, a report from the Centre for Policy Development has found.

Securing a selective school spot requires such investment of time and money that almost three quarters of their students come from the highest quarter of socio-educational advantage, and only two per cent from the lowest.

But their popularity has come at a cost; researchers also measured the wider ''brain drain'' when new selective schools were established, and found that results and enrolments at neighbouring suburban schools fell.

The report, part of a series on equity in schools, argues that selective schools were designed to cater for all high achievers but are now dominated by the children of parents with the resources to pay for things like coaching.

"It reflects the ferocious competition to get into these schools," said co-author Christina Ho. "They are public schools, you wouldn't expect to see them at the top of these advantage lists. It doesn't seem possible for them to be eclipsing private schools.

"But among middle class families they have become the absolute education prize. Families begin planning years in advance. Tutoring begins in early primary school, costing thousands. If you don't start planning early, you jeopardise your chances.

"Those resources are not available to most families. That's how you end up with this concentration of [advantaged] families."

The socio-educational score of a school looks at the education and occupation of its students' parents.

The report also looked at selective schools' impact on suburban high schools by studying the opening of four partially selective schools in Sydney's south-west in 2010, namely Bonnyrigg, Prairiewood, Moorebank and Elizabeth Macarthur.

Between 2005 and 2017, the number of HSC ''distinguished achievers'' rose at those selective schools. At Moorebank, the proportion rose from 13 per cent to 28 per cent. But neighbouring high schools experienced no increase or a decrease.

In some cases, their number of high achievers halved. Enrolment dropped, too.

Co-author Chris Bonnor said the loss of high achievers to selective schools made neighbourhood schools less desirable. "They lose enrolments, they lose those aspirant students that make up [more challenging] classes," he said.

A teacher from one of the south-west Sydney schools affected, who wanted to remain anonymous, said the impact on her school had been stark. "We used to be able to say to parents, 'we can help your children get really good results'," she said. "We can't say that any longer."

The NSW government is reviewing the selective school and primary school opportunity class tests amid concerns that wealthy families are gaming the system by engaging tutors for their children.

A department spokesman said the final report would be released later this year.

But Dr Ho said the review was "tinkering around the edges of the admissions system," and called for bigger changes. "We have the means, the technology, and the model that could inform a much more far-reaching review of selective schools so we don't have this segregation of students," she said.

Mark Jordan's two children, Sophia, 15, and Bill, 12, both attend the partially selective Sydney Secondary College Balmain Campus. Bill might have attended a private school if he didn't get into Balmain, and did some coaching ahead of the entrance test.

With the money he has saved on private school fees, Mr Jordan invests in extra coaching. "We spend about $1800 [a year]. It's not a small amount of money but it's a lot cheaper than private school fees."

''We've noticed less diversity than we expected,'' Mr Jordan said. ''So we think the entry process could be unfair."


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

On Education, Trump Needs More Aristotle and Less Betsy DeVos

I am not sure I wholly agree with this.  A lot depends on the particular curriculum.  I would like to see a heap more history taught and a whole lot less sex education and environmentalism

The United States government has a frustrating habit of enlarging its bureaucratic apparatuses rather than consolidating them. So when the Trump administration recently proposed merging the Departments of Labor and Education because, in the words of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, “artificial barriers between education and workforce programs have existed for far too long,” it seemed like cause for celebration. However, there’s a vital reason that the Department of Education is distinct from the Department of Labor: its chief purpose—as opposed to facilitating a robust workforce—is nothing less than the conservation of democracy.

In book six of Plato’s The Republic, Socrates argues convincingly against the viability of democracy. Just as it would be imprudent to entrust the decision of who should be the captain of a ship to a crew that doesn’t necessarily know which qualities are needed, Socrates contends that it would be foolish to entrust choosing a society’s leader to its citizenry. He also argues that the inherently polarizing nature of democratic discourse makes electing people based on careful consideration difficult, if not impossible.

In a passage evocative of recent political rallies and campus debates, Socrates describes how, when his countrymen discuss politics, they “praise some things…and blame other things, equally exaggerating both, shouting and clapping their hands, and the echo of the rocks and the place in which they are assembled redoubles the sound of the praise or blame.”

Socrates then challenges his companions to imagine a man trying to evaluate the merits of a particular policy or candidate in such an echo chamber. He asks, “Will any private training enable him to stand firm against the overwhelming flood of popular opinion?” His companions readily agree that such resolve would be unlikely and it’s easy to see why. Nowadays, just as hyperbole and uproar once filled the Athenian forum, so, too, are American voters polarized, with aid from social media. In this light, it hardly seems wise to allow the public to elect their leaders.

Betsy DeVos is Not a Racist
The Liberal Arts Won't Save Our Souls
However, with a bit of good policymaking, our electorate can, at the very least, become competent. Plato’s most famous pupil, Aristotle, advises policymakers in book eight of his Politics that “the citizen should be molded to suit the form of government under which he lives.” He means that, in order for a system of government to function, it needs people who can function within it. In practice, this requires that culture and policy ideally be oriented towards the functioning of society. With regard to policy, especially in a democracy, Aristotle writes, “the legislator should direct his attention above all to the education of youth; for the neglect of education does harm to the constitution,” because a constitution, even an excellent one, that can be altered by a citizenry that neither understands it nor the consequences of changing it is quickly ruined.

For a capitalist country where a basic education in the liberal arts isn’t necessarily going to be provided by market forces, heeding Aristotle means making sure the state steps in. And that’s exactly what the Founding Fathers, encouraged by Thomas Jefferson, did.

In his Sixth Annual Presidential Message to Congress, Jefferson writes:

Education is here placed among the articles of public care, not that it would be proposed to take its ordinary branches out of the hands of private enterprise, which manages so much better all the concerns to which it is equal; but a public institution can alone supply those sciences which, though rarely called for, are yet necessary to…the improvement of the country, and some of them to its preservation.

Essentially, Jefferson argues that, despite its inefficiency relative to private enterprise, the government has a responsibility, justified in part by the precarious nature of American democracy, to erect and invest in institutions tasked with the education of the public.

The Department of Education is the most substantial government institution charged with the stewardship of this obligation. Certainly, its noble purpose doesn’t make it untouchable. Student loan forgiveness programs that effectively subsidize graduates working for the government, record levels of spending, and stagnating educational outcomes are just a few of the things that need to be addressed. And to its credit, the Trump administration is working vigorously with Congress on those and other matters within the department.

However, to merge the Department of Education with the Department of Labor and redirect its purpose toward DeVos’s beloved “workforce programs,” which explicitly aim at making students good workers rather than good citizens, would be to steer it away from its imperative mission. That would threaten the very foundations of our democracy.


Public School Teacher Tweets The Unacceptable- Will He Get Fired?

The viral video chronicling the reprehensible and unacceptable actions of an adult assaulting a teenager in a Houston area Whataburger, was simply disturbing and indicative of the insane reality that a certain percentage of the left has traded decency and tolerance for blatant criminality. The shoddy and pervading mentality that all forms of harassment and attacks on Trump supporters are justified, regardless of the age of the individual, is certainly not protected by the First Amendment and deserves a swift and decisive retaliation.

Not only did 30-year-old Kino Jimenez forcefully toss a drink into the face of Hunter Richard, and proceeded to steal the MAGA hat once donned by the 16-year-old, but to add insult to injury, a public school teacher weighed in on the controversy with a disgusting tweet, writhing in the bullying undertones of a sociopathic cretin. In a story that makes one cringe, Fox News reports that educator Jogi Pattisapu not only crossed the line, but set back teacher-student relations five decades, with this absolutely brilliant articulation of everything that is wrong with certain people on one side of the political spectrum, in defending the actions of Jimenez.

In his concise statement plagued by oversimplifications, cognitive dissonance and inappropriate language, Pattisapu, who teachers social studies (Indoctrinating lectures?), proves that he has no business interacting with young people, let alone influencing the raw minds of pupils with a noxious bias aligned with the Cultural Revolution. Unfortunately, thanks to the multi-billion dollar industry of public education unions, he will most likely not be fired and earn some form on condemnation for his tireless work in fighting for human rights.

Double newsflash- Pick on somebody your own size, and as a public school teacher it is an unwritten rule that you sacrifice your right to act as an extremist, when your paycheck is made possible by the taxpayer. And then you drop an expletive specifically targeting Trump supporting minors?

My ex is a private school teacher, who puts in her 12 hours a day, because she genuinely cares for each and every student, regardless of race, religion or political viewpoint. She would never, and I repeat never even consider a reprehensible verbal or social network attack on a student, even in the most challenging and intense moments of dealing with a room full of high school freshmen for nine months out of the year (She is an English teacher and it is utterly stunning the frequency of students who use texting language in their first essays. Yikes!). She also subscribes to the wisdom of separating work from her personal politics. Wow, what a concept!

It is unfathomable how Pattisapu faked his way into a classroom, and placing him under the same umbrella as dedicated teachers is completely unfair to the women and men, who make a valiant and concerted effort to shape the young minds of tomorrow in a positive way.

Pattisapu will probably get a pass, because he is protected by union goons and is a first generation [Indian] US citizen, and as a minority, it is completely acceptable to make demeaning remarks and insinuating threats towards Caucasians regardless of the context, as it is all for the sake of blind activism.


Liberals and conservatives divide over value of investing in higher ed

With the Leftist bias in education, is it any wonder that conservatives are less impressed by it?

Are liberals in America more willing to invest in higher education than conservatives?

A political divide shows up in a survey released today by Teachers College, Columbia University. In the survey, “Americans’ Views of Higher Education as a Public and Private Good,” 56 percent of self-identified liberals say public spending on higher education has been an excellent investment, compared with 32 percent of conservatives.

Nearly half of liberals also maintain higher education has contributed a lot to scientific advances that benefit society, a viewed shared by only 31 percent of conservatives. Thirty-four percent of liberals say higher education contributes a great deal to personal enrichment and growth, compared to 23 percent of conservatives.

While 26 percent of liberals agree that higher education contributes a lot to the wealth and success of graduates, only 20 percent of conservatives think so. A third of liberals say higher education contributes a lot to America’s national prosperity and development, compared to a fifth of conservatives.

The liberal/conservative gap is echoed by an urban/rural split. Urbanites are more likely to value investment in higher education than rural residents. A greater percentage of urban residents hold college degrees and are in the workforce, so it is likely they see the benefits of higher education. Another factor: There are more young people in urban areas.

(As an aside, I have found rural Georgians express less concerns when a candidate, even for governor, lacks a college degree. In a recent conversation, a Republican attorney in north Georgia told me, while still undecided between Casey Cagle and Brian Kemp, she was not overly bothered with Cagle’s lack of a degree. Experience, she said, matters as much as education.  Kemp is a University of Georgia graduate.)


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The endless but doomed Leftist attempt to "edit" reality

Study finds discrimination in favour of men in female-dominated subjects, but in favour of women in male-dominated subjects: Facts in complete opposition to the prevailing victimization narrative


In many professions, getting ahead requires evidence of both effort and ability. This is especially true if one is not a member of the dominant group and thus surmounting social norms. Breda and Hillion show that oral examiners of candidates for teaching positions in the French education system reward such applicants. Specifically, women applying for high-level teaching positions in male-dominated fields, such as physics and philosophy, are favored, as are men who apply in female-dominated fields, such as literature and foreign languages.


Discrimination against women is seen as one of the possible causes behind their underrepresentation in certain STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects. We show that this is not the case for the competitive exams used to recruit almost all French secondary and postsecondary teachers and professors. Comparisons of oral non–gender-blind tests with written gender-blind tests for about 100,000 individuals observed in 11 different fields over the period 2006–2013 reveal a bias in favor of women that is strongly increasing with the extent of a field’s male-domination. This bias turns from 3 to 5 percentile ranks for men in literature and foreign languages to about 10 percentile ranks for women in math, physics, or philosophy. These findings have implications for the debate over what interventions are appropriate to increase the representation of women in fields in which they are currently underrepresented.


American education put to the test: Near zero knowledge of geography found

After years of dumbing down at the behest of Leftist "educators"

A RECENTLY aired segment on Jimmy Kimmel Live reveals just how clueless many Americans are when it comes to the rest of the world.

Kimmel sent one of the show’s producers out onto the streets of Los Angeles armed with a world map, a pointer and a simple question for passers-by: Name and identify any country on the map.

Not a specific country, mind you. Literally any country whatsoever.

The results are truly shocking: Time and again, everyday Americans faltered at this basic test.

Some at least displayed some degree of geographical knowledge, identifying continents like Africa or Asia before being reminded that those are not, in fact, countries.

“God, who knows stuff like that?” one woman complained when asked to name and identify a single country in Africa.

One guy took a punt at identifying “Greenland or Iceland or something” — only to be told it was the US state of Alaska.

Then there was the cheerful young woman who couldn’t even identify America on a map, pointing instead to Russia.

“Can you name any country in Europe?” the producer asked her.

“Is this one Europe?” she asked, pointing to Australia and then Africa.

“Did you go to high school? Did you go to college?” the producer asked.

“Yeah … that’s the sad part,” she replied with a shrug.

Leave it to one younger participant with an obvious interest in geography to show everyone up, rapidly identifying most countries in South America and a few more across the Asia-Pacific to cheers from the studio audience.

“Well, if you didn’t believe that children are our future before, now you do,” Kimmel said.


The Courage to Think

Caroline C. Lewis

More than ever before, young conservatives face persecution on their high school and college campuses for their beliefs. Risking grades, academic advancement and putting career options in jeopardy, a generation of courageous young conservatives display moral courage to think for themselves, despite the consequences.

In early June, young conservative women gathered at Turning Point USA's Young Women's Leadership Summit to hear from women like Judge Jeanine Pirro, Dana Loesch and Kellyanne Conway along with thought leaders like Professor Jordan Peterson and Ben Shapiro. Turning Point USA stands as the largest and fastest growing student organization dedicated to fighting socialism and defending free-market principles. Founded in 2012 by Charlie Kirk (at 18 years old), the organization has grown to over 1,300 chapters across the country with student training of over 5,000. TPUSA's communication director, Candice Owens, boldly defends conservative principles and articulately rejects the promotion of "victim mentality" for women and minorities.

The conference room swelled with several hundred young women excited about the future of conservatism and their place in it. Their questions revealed not only the high stakes for being a conservative but their courage to stand for principles despite the consequences.

One young women asked about how to start a club, knowing that doing so could adversely affect her chances for admission at an elite university. Another girl said that she wore a conservative T-shirt to school and her entire town has boycotted her parents' business. Some have endured physical violence. Another mentioned that a person at her school posted a suggestion that she commit suicide. It received 500 likes.

The political climate has become increasingly intolerant, vengeful and hateful. No longer being bullied solely by their peers, young conservatives face persecution by teachers, administrators and a culture that seems stacked against them.

However, these young women display a different type of resiliency. While no research can define every individual in a generation, some trends are worth noting. Generation Z, the post-Millennial generation born between 1995-2010, comprises those between the ages of eight and 23. According to Forbes, this generation tends to be more fiscally conservative and entrepreneurial, with 72% of high school students desiring to own a business. They value both independence and independent thinking.

This perhaps accounts for the many young women at the TPUSA conference who described their conservative "conversion" that occurred after reading and listening to reasoned arguments. They are not afraid to "come out" publicly as conservatives.

Though the media long to portray Gen Z as gun control advocates in the mold of David Hogg, they conveniently ignore the conservative voice, Kyle Kashuv, another Parkland shooting survivor, who counters the gun control lobby with reasoned arguments for the 2nd Amendment.

In addition, Kendall Jones, a former college cheerleader and avid hunter, spoke about how, at the age of 19, she became one of the most cyber-bullied teens in the world for posting pictures of her hunts on social media. Kendall has endured death threats and "Kill Kendall Jones" hate pages, emerging as a model of how to be unmoved by the opinions of others.

Thinking independently has less to do with age or generation and more to do with raw courage, bravery and conviction. Yet in any generation, a remnant remains to speak up, stand up and shape up society. The young women at Turning Point USA's Young Women's Leadership Summit pay a high price for their beliefs despite physical, social and cultural abuse. The courage of these young conservative women who think for themselves and stand up for their beliefs should be admired, applauded and emulated. Their courage should inspire all conservatives to turn our faces to the wind and stand boldly for the enduring principles of liberty and freedom.


Monday, July 16, 2018

End of the red pen: Leading girls’ school bans teachers from writing negative comments on exam papers

So how do they learn?

One of the country’s leading girls’ schools has banned teachers from writing negative comments on pupils’ end-of-year exams, it has emerged.

Putney High School in south-west London had already stopped grading pieces of work for pupils aged 11 to 14 in order to stop girls getting overly “fixated” on their mark.

Now the £19,000-a-year school has taken things one step further by axing comments in favour of symbols, allowing girls to work out themselves where they have gone wrong.

When marking the Year Nine girls’ end-of-year exams, teachers were banned from making any comments “other than a brief line of genuine praise”.

Antony Barton, head of English at the school, explained that following the school’s successful policy to stop grading homework they began to think: “How about encouraging the students to recognise their own mistakes, without comments?”

Writing an article in the Times Education Supplement magazine, he said that evidence suggests that the best feedback for students encourages them to take ownership of their learning.

“The [Year Nine] summer papers had to receive a summative grade, so we instead put an end to all teacher comments other than a brief line of genuine praise,” he said.

“We had given the marking criteria to the students before the exam but, on this occasion, they also received a sheet of symbols with their returned papers.

“The definitions alongside the symbols explained the seemingly mystical annotations that adorned the margins – symbols identifying that a particular line contained a structural problem, unclear expression or flawed logic, for example. The precise nature of the error, however, was something the students had to determine.” [How unhelpful!]

He went on to describe how students were initially surprised by the move, but quickly got used to it.

He wrote: “Where were the comments they had come to expect? Still, the tendency they had developed towards reading comments carefully and reflecting on their errors was a transferable skill. With a subtle nudge in the right direction, the students began identifying error after error.”

Last year, the headmaster of a secondary school banned teachers from marking because it risks damaging children’s confidence.

Gary Schlick, the head of Bedminster Down School in Bristol, said that issuing pupils with grades, scores and comments on their work may come across as negative, and does little to encourage children to improve.

Under the new regime, teachers are encouraged to replace traditional marking with a series of techniques which Mr Schlick believes will boost attainment.

Five years ago, the Tory MP Bob Blackman took his concerns to parliament after a teacher in his Harrow East constituency informed him that a secondary school had banned staff from using red ink for fear of upsetting pupils.

The move was condemned as "political correctness gone wild" and ministers at the time denied that the Government issues guidelines on the colour of teachers' pens.


Socialist student group petitions to cancel Jordan Peterson's upcoming Texas lecture

Fear of intellectual diversity

A socialist student organization at the University of Texas, San Antonio is doing all it can to prevent a lecture by clinical psychologist and professor Jordan Peterson.

Members of the Young Democratic Socialists of America chapter at UTSA recently tweeted out a link to a petition started by a local transgender activist, calling on the Tobin Center for the Preforming Arts to prevent Peterson from delivering a planned lecture in October.

“No platform for transphobes,” the tweet reads, while linking to a petition to protest Peterson’s lecture.

According to the petition, Peterson is one of the most “vocal and divisive anti LGBTQ individuals in North America,” who “makes a living promoting conversion therapy and spreading lies about transgender people.”

“Considering the damage that San Antonio and our trans community would suffer if state lawmakers pass a bathroom bill next Spring, why in the world would we give this man a stage in our most celebrated performance hall,” the petition reads.

Peterson rose to fame in 2016 after speaking out against a proposed law in Canada which he felt would legally compel individuals to use certain types of speech when referring to individuals based on gender self-identification. Since then, he has become a popular defender of free speech on college campuses, often appearing alongside other speech advocates such as Ben Shapiro, Dave Rubin, and Sam Harris.

Despite efforts by the YDSA to promote the petition to have Jordan Peterson barred from speaking, less than a thousand people appear to have signed the petition. Meanwhile, Peterson has become so popular that he has embarked on an extensive speaking tour across the U.S. and Europe, where he regularly appears before sold-out audiences eager to hear him speak.


Mass.: Governor Baker proposes using state cash bonanza for school safety measures

Governor Charlie Baker proposed Friday plowing $72 million into school safety, harnessing a surge in tax revenue to hand local districts an election-year cash infusion for hiring more mental health specialists and upgrading security at educational facilities.

The plan comes in the wake of several high-profile mass shootings at schools across the United States, and is part of a national trend of government leaders trying to reduce the risk of such tragedies.

“This is something that we have been discussing with colleagues at the local level for the past several months, especially after Parkland,” Baker said at a news conference, referring to the February shooting at a Florida high school that killed 17 people and wounded 17 others. “Their number one request was funding to enhance the state support for social workers, mental health workers, and counselors in schools.”

The proposal would make $40 million in grants for such positions available through the middle of 2020.

It would also appropriate $32 million for school security and communications upgrades such as cameras and alarms; training for school resource officers, educators, and others; creating a tip line to provide public safety and school personnel with timely information on potential risks; a public awareness “Say Something” campaign; and other similar efforts through the middle of 2021.

Baker also noted to reporters that he recently signed into law a bill, championed by the Legislature, that gives courts the authority to strip weapons from people who have been identified by their families as a danger to themselves or others. And he underscored that, according to recent federal data, Massachusetts had a lower per capita rate of firearm deaths than any other state.

The safety package is part of Baker’s budgetary framework to spend the $1 billion in unexpected tax revenue the state saw in the fiscal year that ended June 30. After accounting for certain mandatory spending — including about a half-billion-dollar deposit into the state’s rainy day fund — Baker, a Republican who is up for reelection in November, is proposing $575 million in outlays with the surplus cash.

The proposed money for cities and towns left some municipal officials smiling ear to ear.

“There’s a lot to like here,” Geoff Beckwith, executive director of the Massachusetts Municipal Association, said in an e-mail. “We hope this proposal is on a fast track, because municipal leaders can put these resources to work immediately to help every community.”

But Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston expressed frustration that the governor didn’t propose using more of the revenue windfall to help cities pay for education.

“I am disappointed by the continued underfunding of existing education obligations for cities and towns, despite having adequate resources to do so while still making new investments,” Walsh said in a statement. With state tax revenue way above expectations, “I encourage the governor and the Legislature to return to the practice of fully funding the charter reimbursement and support students at Boston Public Schools and across the Commonwealth.”

The governor files a final spending plan after the end of every fiscal year — to pay, for example, bills that exceeded expectations on, say, health care for the poor. What’s unusual this year is policy makers have the flexibility to spend so much unanticipated cash.

Experts and politicos on and off Beacon Hill attribute at least part of the windfall, and maybe most of it, to the federal tax overhaul that President Trump pushed through at the end of last year.

“We believe tax reform had a big impact on a whole series of decisions that people made with respect to estate tax revenue, with respect to corporate tax revenue, the repatriation of funds from overseas, and the capital gains numbers,” the governor said, referring to levies paid on investment profits. “We believe all of those things were related to tax reform and turned into very big [tax revenue] numbers” for the state.

Like any other bill, the Democratic-controlled Legislature will have a chance to rewrite it, adjusting spending priorities. Spokespeople for the House speaker and Senate president did not respond to requests for comment.


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Students applying for internships asked whether their parents went to university, report finds

Where is the evidence that this will do any good?  If the kid has got brains he will do well anyway.  My father was a lumberjack who never completed grade school and my grandfather was a bullock-driver who didn't go to school at all -- but I cruised to success in both business and academe

Students applying for summer internships are being asked whether their parents went to university, a report has found, amid fears that middle-class applicants will be “penalised” by leading graduate employers.

Almost half (45 per cent) of the country’s largest graduate recruiters, including top banking, accountancy, law, retail and engineering firms, now ask university students about their socio-economic status.

This is a three-fold increase from 2012, when just 13 per cent of graduate recruiters asked such questions, according to a report published today by the Institute of Student Employers (ISE).

The most popular metric used by employers to track socio-economic status was whether the student was the first in their family to go to university, closely followed by whether they went to a state school.

Applicants were also asked whether they had qualified for free school meals, and what their parents’ jobs are. It comes amid increasing pressure on the UK’s biggest employers to boost diversity in their workforce.

Critics have warned that well-educated students applying for internships and jobs could end up being “penalised” because of their background.

Chris McGovern, a former Government adviser and chair of the Campaign for Real Education, said: “We cannot appoint second rate candidates on the basis that they have come from a deprived background. 

“What we actually need to do is raise standards rather than foisting politically correct ideas on to employers.”

He said that while some employers might pay "lip service" the notion of increasing diversity by asking applicants to fill out forms about their backgrounds and then “throwing it in the bin”, others may use it to “penalise” and “discriminate” against middle class students.

Stephen Isherwood, the CEO of the ISE, said that increasing the diversity of the employees is one of the biggest concerns among his members when they are recruiting.

“You do have employers now using contextualised data. They don’t do positive dissociation, but what they do is use that data to make a level playing field,” he said.

“It is not about rejecting an Eton-educated candidate to let someone else through. It is about letting both through [and recognising that] someone from a lower socio-economic background may not have had the same advantages.”

He said that the reason employers are focused on diversity is so that they can find the best talent, and overcome a “pale, male and stale” image by “getting it right at graduate entry level”.

Mr Isherwood said that the desire by major firms to increase the diversity of their workforce is “partly politically driven”, adding that widening participation in higher education has also been a “driving force”. 

“If you look at the political discourse of course it has absolutely had an impact,” he said. “In the 1970s there was no conversation at all about diversity. But there have been changes in society and policy."

Employers now have a more sophisticated understanding about barriers people face to success.”   Formerly known as the Association of Graduate Recruiters, the ISE represents more than 500 of the country’s leading graduate employers.

Last month The Daily Telegraph revealed that ministers have published a series of socio-economic questions for staff about their backgrounds intended for use by major companies and the Civil Service.

Tens of thousands of civil servants will be asked the questions in the Civil Service’s annual “people survey” in October this year.

The Government insisted there were no plans to make the socio-economic checks a legal duty on firms, but similar initiatives on gender pay have become law at a later date.


Affirmative action removes the incentive blacks have to achieve -- thus holding them back

Being a Leftist idea it is of course destructive

From 2011 to 2016, the Obama administration’s Justice and Education Departments issued six guidances to colleges on how to use racial preferences in admissions. Such preferences, the guidances explained, may provide the best way to achieve racial diversity within a student body, especially if a college does not want to lower academic standards across the board. The 2011 guidance claimed that racial diversity raises the “level of academic and social discourse both inside and outside the classroom” and helps students “sharpen their critical thinking and analytical skills.” Attaining racial diversity lies at the very heart of a university’s proper educational mission, the 2011 guidance announced.

On July 3, the Trump administration withdrew those six college guidances, plus a seventh promoting racial quotas in secondary education. The documents went beyond the confines of existing law, according to the Trump Education and Justice Departments, and were part of the Obama administration’s abuse of executive power. Universities would remain free to use racial preferences, but the federal government would no longer encourage them to do so.

Press outlets extensively covered the rescission of the guidances. None of the stories, however, even hinted at why racial preferences are needed to engineer racial diversity in the first place. The abyss between the academic qualifications of black and Hispanic students, on the one hand, and whites and Asians, on the other, was kept assiduously offstage, pursuant to longstanding journalistic taboos. Instead, it was as if a mysterious force was preventing blacks and Hispanics from entering college. The lead story in the New York Times noted that the rescission came during President Trump’s deliberations over a new Supreme Court justice, who might be opposed to “policies that for decades have tried to integrate elite educational institutions.” It was as if no progress had been made since the early 1960s, when federal troops protected black students trying to enroll at Ole Miss and the University of Alabama. The Wall Street Journal put the rescission in the context of the “broader push by the administration to scale back Mr. Obama’s more activist approach on protecting racial minorities,” as if racial preferences were necessary to protect minorities from discrimination. The Washington Post said that the announcement is the “latest step in a decades-long debate over the use of race in admissions, a tactic for many schools seeking to diversify and overcome the legacy of segregation.”

Race advocates presented a hysterical front against this alleged rollback of equal educational rights. Racial preferences were cast as essential to racial diversity, again without any clue as to why that is the case. “Affirmative action has proven to be one of the most effective ways to create diverse and inclusive classrooms,” said National Education Association president Lily Eskelsen García, in a widely quoted statement. Eskelsen García added that the “Education Department has again failed our students,” by telling universities that they “should not use affirmative action to achieve inclusive classrooms.” The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law condemned the Department of Education’s “deliberate attempt to discourage colleges and universities from pursuing racial diversity.” Catherine Lhamon, the assistant education secretary for civil rights under Obama, told the Washington Post that the Trump administration was undermining “steps toward equity” in education. Absent preferences, blacks and Hispanics would apparently still be the victims of inequity.

For over a decade, “equity” has been paired to “access” in a talismanic formula suggesting lingering injustice in college admissions. An education professor at the University of Pittsburgh broke out the other half of the formula on NPR’s Morning Edition. Asked if affirmative action may have gone too far in light of reports that it penalizes Asians, Dana Thompson Dorsey responded that as long as “race remains a factor in this country, especially regarding access to universities,” affirmative action would be necessary.

But blacks and Hispanics have unrestricted access to every university in the country. Every remotely selective college is desperate to admit as many underrepresented minorities as possible, and brags openly about its diverse student body in marketing literature. Application forms solicit students’ racial identity not to exclude underrepresented minorities, but to favor them. Colleges have created black and Hispanic dorms, freshmen orientations, graduation ceremonies, cultural centers, and entire academic fields in order to signal their enthusiasm for diversity. Schools provide scholarships, tutoring, and outreach based on race. Far from being a handicap, being black or Hispanic is usually worth at least a standard deviation in test scores and GPA in admission to selective colleges.

Lack of qualifications is not the same thing as lack of access.  The most salient barrier to proportional representation of underrepresented minorities is the academic skills gap. In 2017, 40 percent of black eighth-graders scored “below basic” in reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress test; 16 percent of white eighth-graders and 13 percent of Asian eighth-graders were below basic. Eighteen percent of black eighth-graders scored “proficient” or better in reading, compared with 45 percent of white eighth-graders and 57 percent of Asian eighth-graders. Hispanic eighth-graders were 33 percent below basic in reading and 23 percent proficient or better. The disparities in math were even greater. Controlling for parental education does not change these disparities, which do not close over the next four years of high school. The College Board estimates a benchmark score in the math and reading SATs that gives students a 75 percent chance of earning a C or better in their college courses—only 20 percent of black test-takers and 31 percent of Hispanics earned that score, compared with 59 percent of white students. Asians trounced everyone else, with 70 percent attainment of the benchmark SAT score.

These facts are what depress college attendance among underrepresented minorities, not lack of access or equity. They reflect different cultural attitudes toward academic achievement. Asians’ academic success stems from intense parental involvement—reading to toddlers, then making sure that school-age children actually show up to class, pay attention to their teacher, take their textbooks home, do their homework, and stay off the streets and away from drugs. Black elementary school students in California are chronically truant at nearly four times the state average; this truancy rate is typical. A child can’t learn if he is not in class, no matter how many taxpayer dollars are funneled into his school. The stigma among many black and Hispanic students against “acting white” produces an oppositional culture whereby students disengage from academic competition. Racial preferences further depress academic effort, since their alleged beneficiaries know that they can coast in high school and still be admitted to college. At Harvard, test scores and a GPA that would give an Asian-American applicant only a 25 percent chance of admission provide a 95 percent admission guarantee to a black high school senior, according to data in an ongoing discrimination lawsuit against the university. At the University of Texas at Austin, the average black SAT composite score on the 2,400-point scale was 467 points below the average Asian SAT score in 2009.

Given the reality of minority underachievement, black and Hispanic leaders had a choice: they could have focused relentlessly on self-help, in the tradition of Booker T. Washington, so that minority students became academically competitive, or they could play the race card and demand lowered standards. Almost all have chosen the second course. Minority advocates focus exclusively on the defense and extension of racial preferences; calls to crack the books are virtually nonexistent. The press is complicit in this swerve from personal responsibility by keeping the skills gap as far as possible off stage. And universities themselves would rather let stand the implication that they are somehow denying “access” to underrepresented minorities than reveal the extent of preferences, as demonstrated by Harvard’s fierce opposition to releasing anonymized admissions data in the ongoing discrimination lawsuit against it.

Ironically, that skills gap ensures that the stated rationale for racial preferences—that they improve the “level of academic discourse” and “create diverse and inclusive classrooms,” in the words of the 2011 Obama guidance and the NEA—will fail to materialize. Students admitted with lower academic skills than their peers end up avoiding the most challenging majors and classes, leaving science fields in particular overwhelmingly dominated by whites and Asians. Preferences beneficiaries tend to self-segregate academically and socially.

Preferences are not the most effective way to create diverse classrooms; raising the academic competitiveness of minority students is. That will happen only when the education establishment and the media stop concealing the problem.


Australia: School funding review makes the grade

After the platitude-heavy and detail-light Gonski 2 report, it was refreshing to read the concisely-written methodical analysis of government school funding policy released last Friday by the National Schooling Resource Board, chaired by businessman (and CIS board member) Michael Chaney.

Federal government funding for non-government schools is dependent on an estimate of the school’s socioeconomic status ­­(SES) — non-government schools receive less money if they have a higher deemed SES score, calculated by an area-based aggregate measure.

The Chaney review recommends moving to a direct measure of parental income to determine school SES scores, to replace the current area-based measure. Until recently, a direct measure of income would have required schools to collect tax file numbers, with attendant privacy issues.

The Chaney review vindicates the Catholic school sector’s claim that the area-based model tends to disadvantage Catholic system schools compared to independent schools.

However, modelling suggests the overall effect of moving to a direct measure method will not be particularly dramatic. The majority of non-government schools would have little or no change in SES score. Catholic schools would see a relatively small increase in funding, while independent schools would see a relatively small decrease in funding, on average — but there would still be many schools in both sectors with the opposite impact. The difference is the Catholic sector could smooth out these impacts within their own systems.

It is important to remember this simple fact: federal funding is going up significantly for all school sectors, at rates well above inflation and enrolments. And the Catholic system retains the right to distribute the money to its schools however it wishes.

Enough is enough. The Turnbull government should finally realise that spending more taxpayer money on schools will never silence demands for even larger funding increases. And there is no evidence more money will inevitably improve school results.