Friday, March 01, 2019

Why schoolkids need skills as well as knowledge

Robert Halfon MP responds to a spiked writer’s criticisms.

Christopher Beckett’s article on spiked suggests that ‘schools should open children’s minds, not provide them with job skills’.

It is ludicrous to suggest that these two aims are mutually exclusive. As a champion of social justice, I am totally unapologetic for my desire to ensure that every young person has the skills they need to secure work or start their own enterprise. That is the best protection we can provide against poverty and all of the associated challenges it brings.

Christopher is absolutely right that we cannot predict exactly what the jobs of tomorrow will be, so the best way to do this is to provide children and young people with a broad range of timeless skills that support success in any industry – team-working, problem-solving, communication and resilience.

As I said in my original speech, this is not a replacement for knowledge. I fully support the need for every young person to be able to access through their schooling a working knowledge of our cultural capital, our history and our literature.

However, we can do so much more by teaching that knowledge in a way that engages young people, provides real-world context and links to employers and community organisations, that sees them working in teams to solve real problems.

Christopher’s article finishes with a call to look back – ‘it is to the past that we should be looking, not an unknown future’. I couldn’t agree less – in this ever-changing world, we must equip children with the knowledge and skills to shape and make the most of their futures.


11-Year-Old Docked Points for Not Bashing Trump

To say that some people dislike Donald Trump may well be the understatement of the year. It's hard to imagine any duly elected president seeing so many protests, yet here we are.

It's so bad that now an 11-year-old in Annadale, New York, was docked 15 points on a homework assignment because she failed to answer a question demanding students bash Trump:

Vincent Ungro, a dad from Annadale, New York, has an 11-year-old daughter who attends I.S. (Intermediate School) 75. She asked him for help with her vocabulary homework last Friday night because she was trying to fill in the blanks from a word bank to complete her assignment -- and was really puzzled.
“President Trump speaks in a very superior and _________ manner insulting many people. He needs to be more __________ so that the American people respect and admire him,” read one homework sentence.

The next question was: “Barack Obama set a _________ when he became the first African-American president.”

And what were the choices for the two questions, you ask? These three words: “haughty,” “humble,” and “precedent.” You can guess which ones were meant to be the “correct” answers in this teacher’s mind.

Ungro, 46, told his daughter not to fill in those blanks -- and wrote a note to the teacher, Adria Zawatsky, on the homework sheet, as The Post noted. “Please keep your political views to yourself and do not try to influence my children on them. Thank you,” he wrote.

The teacher docked the points -- which Ungro called "vindictive."

The teacher emailed Ungro and defended her question, stating that she was addressing his personality rather than his ability to serve in the office of president. She went on to add that the media makes similar references to Trump, and that she believes she has the same right.

Talking to Your Liberal Adult Children About Trump
Unfortunately, people can either stop reading or change the channel when the media pontificates in an unwelcome way.  An 11-year-old can't.

Students are stuck in that classroom and they're required to do what the teacher says in these cases -- and it can affect their future if they do not comply. This is a prime example of forced political indoctrination in public education.

Not all the news is bad, however. It seems the principal agreed with Ungro to some extent. While she wasn't fired, she was reprimanded and a disciplinary letter was placed in her file. That may not be much, but it's better than nothing, and if she keeps it up she may lose her $102,000 teaching job.


Australia: Leftist politician dismisses 'confected' claims of university free speech crisis

Leftist denial at work.  Freud identified denial of reality as a maladaptive response associated with neuroticism.  Leftists make great use of such defence mechanisms

Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek has rejected concerns about a free speech crisis at Australian universities, arguing the claims are a deliberate attempt to bring on a culture war.

In an address to a key higher education conference in Canberra this week, Ms Plibersek is expected to play down the threats to academic freedoms on campuses and question the necessity of the Morrison government's inquiry into the issue.

Education Minister Dan Tehan, free speech advocates and right-wing think tank the Institute of Public Affairs have expressed fears that left-wing protesters, censorship and political correctness are increasingly stifling robust debate in academia.

At the Universities Australia conference this week, Ms Plibersek, Labor's education spokeswoman, will celebrate the role of universities in a liberal democracy and their tradition of academic freedom.

"And I don’t accept this confected argument that there’s some crisis of freedom at our universities. It’s nothing more than a sad attempt at culture war," she will tell the conference on Thursday.

"The Liberals and their allies in the hard right think tanks want it both ways. They’ll allege there’s some vast cultural Marxist conspiracy when some minor right wing academic claims their freedom of speech has been impinged and then personally veto Australian Research Council grants that don’t reflect the worldview of whoever happens to be education minister at the time."

It was revealed in December that former education minister Simon Birmingham vetoed funding grants for 11 research projects, a move that has fuelled frustration with the Coalition government among the university sector.

Ms Plibersek will contrast the penchant for "culture wars" with Labor's taskforce on "the very real problem" of sexual assault on university campuses.

People concerned about threats to free speech have focused on examples of protestors confronting controversial speakers, especially the treatment of author Bettina Arndt at the University of Sydney in late 2018.

Ms Arndt told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age that the presence of student groups across the country trying to stop her speaking on campus was evidence of the problem.

"The people who are supposed to be the smartest people in the land — our vice-chancellors — are cowering in the face of these lunatics," she said. "It's a broader problem in that small, noisy minority groups can control our campuses."

She said it was an example of people believing they were entitled to shut down views they don't like. Ms Arndt has been targeted because she opposes the view that there is a "rape crisis" on campuses.

The government's inquiry — led by former High Court chief justice Robert French — is exploring a new framework to protect free expression, akin to a code of conduct that has been adopted at many US universities.

Ms Plibersek's intervention on campus free speech comes as Universities Australia hits out at the government's higher education policy, releasing polling that finds strong opposition to funding cuts.

In a speech to the National Press Club on Wednesday, Universities Australia chair Margaret Gardner will criticise research cuts of $328 million revealed in December and a freeze on student places announced in 2017.

"Australians correctly fear that cuts to university research funding will mean fewer university researchers able to pursue life-saving and environment-saving breakthroughs," Professor Gardner is expected to say.

"And they are right. This is a direct assault on our country’s clever capabilities."

The poll of 1500 people, conducted by JWS Research, found 66 per cent of people oppose cuts to university research and 62 per cent oppose cuts to university places.


Thursday, February 28, 2019

New Study: How does Screen Time Affect Grades?

These results are not terribly surprising but the analysis needs to go deeper.  WHY do some kids have more or less screen time than others?  If those who have a lot of screen time tend to be of lower IQ, the results could simply show that lower IQ students are less educable, which we already knew

I have written previously about the apparent effects of smartphones on mental health.  More smartphone usage is associated with worse mental health and less life satisfaction.  The association may not however be causal

What effects can phone screen time have on students? At first glance, it may seem harmless but when we decided to take a closer look, we found a strong correlation between too much phone time and lower grades.

With 95% of Americans owning a cell phone of some kind and actually 77% of them owning a smartphone (according to pewinternet), the topic of phone time and its potential effects comes into question.

So, we asked 875 undergraduate university/college students (1st year students aged 17-19) what their daily phone screen time was the last 7 days and their current grade to see if there could be any correlation between them.

First, we asked how many hours per day they spent on their phones in the last 7 days. This can easily be found by going into the settings in your phone and finding screen time which shows you a bunch of stats on your phone usage. Some cool things you can see are what categories you used your phone for (entertainment, productivity, etc.), what apps you used the most, how many times you picked up your phone, etc.

We found that 83% of respondents used their phone for at least 3 hours, while only 17% used it for less than 3 hours. This shows that the strong majority use their phones quite a lot throughout the week.

Furthermore, the most uncommon screen time was 0-1 hours which only 1% of respondents selected.

When looking at how screen time could affect students’ grades, we looked at the results in a number of different ways. Here are our findings:

The lowest overall grade for those who have 0-1 hours of screen time is a B- compared to a D- for those who have 8+ hours of screen time.

Although it doesn’t necessarily mean that more phone time will give you a lower grade, it means that more phone time results in a higher likelihood to get a lower grade than a B-.

The variance for those with 0-1 hours of phone time is approx. 3 compared to 9 for those with 8+ hours of phone time. Showing that with more hours of screen time, your grade will vary more from the average grade in each screen time category.

To explain this in a bit more detail, for example, if you have 0-1 hours of screen time and the average grade for this amount of screen time is an A-, your grade can be 3 grade levels lower or higher than A- meaning your grade will range from a B- to an A+.

But if you have 8+ hours of screen time and the average grade for this amount of screen time is a B+, your grade can be 9 grade levels lower or higher than a B+ meaning your grade can range all the way from a D- to an A+.

This shows that with less phone time, your grade is more stable around the average grade but with more phone time, your grade can fluctuate, a lot.

The percentage of students with 0-1 hours of phone time that have an overall grade of a C or D was 0% (0 people) but that number skyrockets to 17% (19 people) for those with 8+ hours of phone time.

The longer you spend on your phone, the higher the likelihood that you’ll get a lower grade (in the C’s or D’s).

According to Away for The Day, a study by Delaney Ruston on the effects of screen time, college students participated in various cognitive tests with phones present and not present and it was found that “the presence of phones negatively impacted attention and task performance.”

SOURCE  (See the original for links, graphics etc.)

Higher Education? More Like Leftist Indoctrination

America's colleges and universities are producing indoctrinated lemmings, not educated reasoning adults

What passes for higher education these days should leave one questioning if one has entered an episode of “The Twilight Zone.” It’s no secret that American academic institutions have been increasingly overrun with leftist professors in recent decades. However, what this glut of one-sided perspectives has been promoting as education is anything but. It would be more accurate to describe America’s institutions of high “learning” as leftist indoctrination centers, where only progressive group-think is espoused or often even allowed.

Young America’s Foundation recently released its annual list of available college courses it calls “Comedy & Tragedy,” which provide “an overview of the most egregious” examples of leftist bias on American campuses.

For example, students can enroll in the following:

ENGL 277: Gender in Gaming (University of Illinois)

WOMENSTD 434: Eco/Queer/Feminist Art Practices (University of Michigan)

AFAMST 339: Unsettling Whiteness (Northwestern University)

RELG 032: Queering God: Feminist and Queer Theology (Swarthmore College)

AMST 0325: American Misogyny (Middlebury College)

FRS 139: Marx in the 21st Century (Princeton University)

GWS 142: Queering Childhood (Pomona College)

SOCI 460: Global Capitalism and Racism (University of Tennessee)

GNSS 1961: Humanity or Nah? Blackness, Gender, Resistance, and Memory in Monuments, Maps, and Archives (Brown University)

As The Federalist’s Spencer Brown observes, “It’s no wonder figures like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rocketed straight out of liberal institutions and onto the national stage with proposals like the Green New Deal — they’re doing exactly as they were taught.”


Australia: Dad threatens to kill kid’s school principal — just one case in a scary trend of educator violence

Horrific and terrifying threats from parents have been revealed by principals across the country who are too scared to speak out.

From being threatened with a gun or knife to being beaten with a stick, receiving death threats and being stalked, or spat at by abusive parents — some affected by drugs or alcohol — a number of principals say they fear walking to their car at night.

Others have had parents tailgate them or do burnouts in the school car park after a heated conversation at their car door.

“A parent said he would go home get his gun, come back and blow my f***ing head away,” said one principal who asked not to be named. can’t reveal who the principals are or which schools they’re at because none of them wanted to go on the record. They say they have been advised not to, fearing if they complain publicly they will risk their career or lose their jobs.

But their responses have poured in anonymously, from thousands surveyed across the country about workplace wellbeing.

Now in its eighth year, The Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey has collected data from about 50 per cent of Australia’s 10,000 principals from 2011 to 2018.

Chief investigator Associate Professor Philip Riley last year revealed to preliminary results from his survey indicated a record number of “red flags”. Participants get red flagged if they answer questions indicating they are at risk.

Some of the worst responses include:

* “Kicked and punched by students, verbally abused by parents, physically intimidated. I’ve

spent months at a time dreading the walk out to my car at night.”

* “One student ripped all the cupboard doors off my office cabinets and threw a chair at me.”

* “Numerous threats from parents and students — from students: (on) School Facebook — threats to kill with description how. Furniture thrown at me, bitten, scratched, car keys stolen and car started, garden stakes thrown at me, rocks thrown at office.

By parents: stalked by car, tailgated, phone calls with threats to harm, tyre burnouts in school car park after conversation at car door. Parents under the influence of drugs or alcohol swearing, threatening, name calling.”

* “It happens weekly I have been kicked, punched, spat on, hit by a bat, hit by a stick and threatened to be killed by gun and knife.”

The survey found one in three school principals had been physically attacked in 2018.

Close to half were being threatened with violence and the majority worked hours far beyond those recommended for mental and physical health. In a “worrying trend” violent threats were up from 38 per cent in 2011.

The survey also found that increasing levels of threats and violence, aggravated by excessive working hours, was leading to serious levels of distress, burnout and depression among school leaders.

Associate Professor Philip Riley, from the Australian Catholic University, said “our nation builders are under attack”.

“Consequently, fewer people are willing to step into the role,” he said. “At a time when 70 per cent of school leaders will reach retirement age within two to three years, we are ignoring a looming national crisis.

“Australia’s school leaders experience a far higher rate of offensive behaviour at work than the general population.

“The way it is going, it is going to be the number one problem in schools everywhere if we don’t do something about it pretty quickly,” he added on the Today show this morning.

Female school leaders are most at risk of physical violence with 40 per cent experiencing violence compared to 32 per cent of male school leaders.

The highest number of threats of violence was found in government primary schools at 49 per cent.

“The steadily increasing levels of offensive behaviour in schools of all types is a disgrace and it needs to stop,” Associate Professor Philip Riley said.

When compared to the general population, principals report 1.5 times higher job demands, 1.6 times higher levels of burnout, 1.7 times higher stress symptoms, 2.2 times more difficulty sleeping, 1.3 times negative physical symptoms and 1.3 times more depressive symptoms.

“Australia should adopt a whole-of-government approach to education,” Prof Riley said.

“This would mean the Federal Government, states and territories combine to oversee a single education budget. The funding agreement should be bipartisan and a transparent mechanism which is simple to understand.”

Other recommendations include:

* Employers should reduce job demands or increase resources or do both.

* The community needs to immediately stop offensive and violent behaviour towards educators.

* Australia also needs to have adult conversations about the root causes of this violent

behaviour, which is occurring in all frontline professions and in the high rates of domestic violence.

* School leaders should not allow their passion for their school to dominate their life.


Dear Parents,

Since I was very young I wanted to be a teacher, I knew that teachers made a difference in the world and I wanted to give others what my teachers had given to me.

After 35 years in education this hasn’t changed, and I love coming to school so that I can help your children, all children.

However, lately it seems as though you fail to see this. I’m yelled at before you seek to find the truth, I’m threatened at many different levels when things don’t go your way, I’m lambasted on Facebook with no right of reply.

Even though I have a busy schedule you demand that I see you straight away, or answer your accusatory emails late at night because that is when you are most in need.

I have had to hire security agents to sit in on some parent meetings as I’m scared for my own personal safety. I have received death threats.

I have been bitten by children, scratched, hit with objects such as cricket bats, scooters, and rocks. I have saved a child from committing suicide. These are just a few examples of the stress I have had to face as a Principal, but my stories are many.

You may not know this about your Principal, because we do not make these events public even though many of us experience them every day. Each and every Principal out there is a person, a person with feelings, families and our own trials and tribulations.

I have never met a Principal that didn’t care deeply about their school or their community, but I have met a number who are simply worn out like I am.

I do not have long to go in my career, and at this time I certainly am not promoting the job of Principal to younger teachers.

I love my students and my staff, but I hope the wider community wake up and begin to see the role as it truly is and to offer support before those of us that truly care are gone.

From an Australian School Principal


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

UK: University of Lincoln lecturer leaves job after controversial tweets

A lecturer whose tweets on the subject of terror attacks and feminism drew complaints from students has left his job at the University of Lincoln.

Michael Blackburn who worked in the English department at the university tweeted: "I know the media haven't told us but I suspect these terror attacks were carried out by Muslims because of Islam."

Another post added: "Thank God all those papers going on about patriarchy and the oppression of women are out of the way for another year."

The tweets sparked a number of complaints from students at the university. Now it has been confirmed that Mr Blackburn has left the university.

According to The Tab an Undergraduate Committee meeting it was suggested that he was taking 'early retirement'. Students also reported that they were given no information when he left and just told that their seminars were changing.

A University of Lincoln spokesperson refused to confirm or deny the tweets had led to his departure.

In a statment, the spokesman said: "We cannot comment on complaints made against individual members of staff. As a University we have a commitment to equality and diversity, and we treat each other with dignity and respect.

"Equally, we recognise individuals’ rights to hold different beliefs and views. We uphold the principle of free speech exercised responsibly within the law in all our activities; the right to think and speak freely and to explore ideas is fundamental to the idea of a university."

"Upholding academic freedom and respecting the views of others are joint commitments shared by all members of the university and we have a clear Code of Practice on the Freedom of Speech, which is designed to ensure that freedom of speech within the law is secured for all staff, students and visiting speakers."

After leaving Mr Blackburn then posted a blog on the Fortnightly Review website on his feelings on the situation.

It said: "It's unlikely that most of the students at our universities who are so keen to snitch on their classmates and lecturers for wrongthink, wrongspeak or wrongtweet have heard of the Stasi or the Securitate.

"That's a pity, because a brief acquaintance with those two institutions of modern totalitarianism may, just a smidgin, introduce a spark of self-awareness into their smug little minds."

It goes on later to say: "They'll batter away on their keyboards, hyperventilate on social media, send off emails to whoever is mummy and daddy in authority, demanding they stop the naughty man or woman from saying upsetting things.

"Then they'll go back to gossiping about who's having sex with whom and who threw up in the club at the weekend after too many Jagermeister bombs."


Conservative activist attacked at UC Berkeley

A conservative activist reported he was attacked while recruiting students for Turning Point USA at UC Berkeley, according to campus police.

The University of California Police Department said in a statement that officers responded Tuesday afternoon to a "report of a disturbance" on upper Sproul Plaza, a center of student activity on campus, where they found the injured victim. An investigation is continuing, the university said Friday.

According to the police statement, the victim said that two men approached him, a verbal altercation ensued and he began recording the interaction on his phone.

One of the men "slapped the phone out of the victim's hand," police said. "The suspect then knocked over the table the victim was at and the two men struggled over the phone. During the incident, the suspect punched the victim several times causing injury to the victim's eye and nose."

Turning Point USA later identified the alleged victim to CNN as Hayden Williams, who had been invited to UC Berkeley to help recruit students for a yet-to-be-formed chapter on campus. A media representative for Williams said he is a field representative for the Leadership Institute, an organization that helps train conservative leaders. Williams is not a UC Berkeley student, the representative said.

"The fact that the victim was not a campus affiliate has no bearing on this case. He had every right to be on campus, and every right to express his point of view," said campus spokesman Dan Mogulof.

Friday, the campus police department said in a statement it had identified a suspect and the department's information indicated "the suspect is not a student at, or affiliate of the University." The department did not release his name.

Violence was 'disheartening,' student says

Williams told Fox News' Sean Hannity on Thursday that some students were upset by a sign he had displayed at his recruitment table that said, "Hate Crime Hoaxes Hurt Real Victims" -- apparently a reference to "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett, who has been accused of staging what he maintains was a hate crime against him.

"This person claimed we were promoting violence on campus and proceeded to take his aggression out on us," Williams told Hannity.

A short video recorded by a witness shows Williams and a man struggling before the man punches Williams in the face, knocking his hat off. The alleged suspect then gets close to Williams' face, calls him "racist," and shouts profanities before punching Williams again and walking away.

Williams told CNN he is fine but declined to answer other questions. He was treated at the scene, his media representative said.

Arda Erbil, the student who shot the footage provided to CNN, said he saw two men harassing Williams. As one of the men became physical, Erbil began to record video.

"Seeing something like that happen in such an open place was disheartening," he said.

UC Berkeley's chancellor and vice chancellor condemned the assault in a statement Thursday, calling it "reprehensible."
"That sort of behavior is intolerable and has no place here," the statement said. "Our commitment to freedom of expression and belief is unwavering."

The statement added that university officials have "no information indicating" the perpetrators are affiliated with UC Berkeley.

School has history of protests against conservatives

The incident illustrates the "hate and anger so many on the left harbor and that our student activists encounter on a daily basis," Charlie Kirk, Turning Point USA's founder and president, said in a statement Thursday.

"Our amazing grassroots organizers courageously face threats of violence and discrimination as they fight for the right for conservative voices to be heard on college campuses," Kirk said, adding he was proud of how the group's student activists handled the situation.


Australia: Publisher rejects Craig Kelly complaint school textbook 'inaccurate' on climate change

Only by uncritically accepting the usual Green/Left boilerplate

The publisher of a NSW year-10 history book has rejected complaints from the federal Liberal backbencher Craig Kelly that it misrepresents facts about climate change.

Kelly took issue with the characterisation of climate change in the textbook Pearson History New South Wales.

Kelly has written to the NSW education minister, Rob Stokes, saying the book’s description of Tony Abbott as a climate change denier was “an offensive slur equating it with Holocaust deniers”, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The book says: “Climate change is noticeable in Australia, with more extreme frequent weather events such as the 2002-06 drought or the 2010-11 Queensland floods.”

“That is simply an inaccurate statement that is in a school history book,” Kelly told parliament’s federation chamber last week.

“What chance do we have of forming the best policies in this nation to deal with fire, floods and drought if we have children being misled by incorrect information in our history books?”

January was Australia's hottest month since records began
 Read more
He quoted Dorothea Mackellar’s poem My Country to argue contemporary natural disasters are nothing out of the ordinary: “I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains, of ragged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains,” the poem says.

“We need to understand that we live in that same country that Dorothea Mackellar wrote about over a hundred years ago,” Kelly said.

“That is why we need to prepare and help people recover from their resources instead of wasting money pretending that we can change the weather.”

The Australian Bureau of Meterology says “one of the greatest impacts of climate variability and climate change occurs through changes in the frequency and severity of extreme events.”

It describes the 2011 Brisbane floods as the second-highest flood level of the last 100 years, after January 1974.

The bureau and CSIRO’s latest State of the Climate report said Australia was experiencing more extreme heat, longer fire seasons, rising oceans and more marine heatwaves, consistent with a changing climate.

A spokeswoman for the publisher Pearson backed the book.

“Pearson builds textbooks to support the Australian curriculum and we stand by this text book and its author,” she said.

Nonetheless, Stokes said he was writing to Pearson about Kelly’s concerns.

“It is very important that texts present information in a balanced way so that students can make up their own minds on important issues,” he said in a statement.

Stokes has previously criticised Abbott’s climate change stance, warning against “populist anti-intellectualism” from public figures.

The NSW school history curriculum does not specifically mention climate change and there is no mandatory textbook set.

While the state government sets the syllabus, it does not write or set the textbooks.


Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The Department of Mis-Education

The Government Accountability Office identified some serious problems within the department

At the end of each school year, children often recite the traditional American proverb, “no more pencils, no more books, no more teachers’ dirty looks.” But how about no more Department of Education? Could there be a more deceptive euphemism than the name given to this gargantuan federal bureaucracy, which has done so little to help our kids and their teachers succeed?

At one time, there was hope. In 1980, Ronald Reagan campaigned on abolishing the Department of Education, though he didn’t succeed in doing so. Even in the 1990s, the Republican Party platform included strong and clear language stating that education decisions belong to schools, teachers, parents, and communities instead of Washington bureaucrats. But less than a decade later, George W. Bush embraced a federal government role in education when he pushed for, and successfully implemented, Ted Kennedy’s No Child Left Behind Act.

For conservatives, all hope seemed to be lost. But then Donald Trump became the first president since Reagan to assertively take on the behemoth DOE by promising to return more power to states and local jurisdictions. In 2017, President Trump signed the Education Federalism Executive Order designed to begin removing the federal government from K-12 education. Unfortunately, little has changed.

Notwithstanding the fact that there are some good people with good intentions at the DOE, even the Government Accountability Office recently identified some serious problems within the department. These include oversight and monitoring, data quality, capacity, and methodological limitations.

That’s an official way of saying that the very people charged with determining how and what your children learn in the classroom are making these decisions in a completely dysfunctional environment. How do they know what’s best for our kids if they can’t even manage their own affairs in Washington?

But don’t think the debate over federal funding of education is a Left-Right issue. Democrat and Republican administrations alike share blame for entangling schools across the country in a web of government mandates and policies. Sure, school districts can opt out of some of these schemes, but they’ll lose federal funding. And despite President Trump’s promises, the situation looks bleak.

Vicki E. Alger writes at The Federalist, “The Trump administration proposed merging the education and labor departments last June to streamline education programs and minimize bureaucracy. The plan was met with bipartisan criticism including by members of several conservative education organizations.”

The criticism from conservatives is well-founded. Merging the departments of Labor and Education may feel and sound efficient, but we’d still end up with a large, complex bureaucracy unable to function in a manner consistent with the vision and values of parents and educators at the state and local levels. And who wants Labor Department officials making decisions about education?

One of the organizations upset over the president’s failure to curtail federal involvement in education is U.S. Parents Involved in Education (USPIE), which blamed President Trump for using “the hammer of the federal government to broaden its authority and disregard the rights of states and parents.”

Additionally, USPIE remains concerned that Trump has not worked more to tackle Common Core. In fact, since appointing Betsy DeVos, considered by many to be a top-down educator, Trump has abandoned his pledge to taken on Common Core. Additionally, USPIE is troubled over DeVos’s support of the United Nations education agenda and the fact that she threatened to withhold money from states if they didn’t comply with federal mandates.

Of the total education budget, the federal government only provides about 8% of the funding for K-12 schools and programs. But there’s a major string attached once that first federal dollar is accepted. In return for federal funding, schools have had to agree to a laundry list of policies made by Washington bureaucrats instead of local school boards, parents, and taxpayers.

It’s no wonder that school-choice programs and homeschooling options are becoming more popular all across the country. After all, the key decisions about how our children are educated should remain in the hands of those who know our kids best.


Scotland: Parents slam ‘cruel’ disaster drill in Inverness after children are left traumatised

Furious parents claim their children were left traumatised following a disaster exercise at an Inverness primary school.

The backlash has forced international charity Unicef – which organised the simulation project and chose Lochardil Primary as one of only two UK schools to take part – to review how it runs the scheme.

During the event, primarily for primary six and seven pupils, organisers told children a month’s worth of rainfall had struck the Highland capital overnight – but the emergency services couldn’t come straight away, so they had to look after themselves and each other.

Classroom furniture was overturned and cordons put in place around the school, with a police officer in attendance and a teacher role playing they had sustained a broken arm.

Parents have hit out after they say they were handed no prior warning in relation to last Friday’s event and questioned the motive, claiming it went to unnecessary lengths for little or no gain.

Annorah Macknocher, who has a child in primary six at the school, said: “There was no need for them not to tell the children that this was a drill.

“My daughter said to me that she knew the policeman was lying. That’s a bit of a shame. The police are there to help and you want your child to go to a person in a position of certainty in need. Having the police there made it feel more real.

“What did they really learn? Not a lot. “Drills are not just for staff to learn, they are for children to learn what to do.”

One parent, who has two children at the school but wished not to be named, said: “I am really annoyed about the whole thing. I was very confused as to how it could go ahead without parents being told something.

“I thought it was quite cruel and all it did was create a quite traumatic and negative experience. “It was totally out of order.”

Head teacher Audrey Kellacher said: “The focus was not on what to do in the event of a flood, but to experience the sense of not having our rights fully met and what this would mean for us during the role play and also for other children around the world for whom this is a reality.

“We continue to work closely with any parents and carers that expressed initial concerns to share this understanding of the entire learning experience and content, including our reasons for choosing not to share information on the work prior to the morning of the simulation.”

Anna Kettley, director of programmes for Unicef, said: “There is an option throughout the event for children to opt out if at any point they are not enjoying it. “Following feedback from the pilot schools, Unicef will review our guidance on delivering this emergency simulation and revise any areas required.”

SOURCE  H/T Climate lessons

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Child Care Proposal Unlikely to Boost Education Outcomes

According to The Huffington Post, “no family would have to spend more than 7 percent of its household income on child care, no matter the number of kids.” Providers would have to meet safety and curriculum standards, and the proposal would be financed through a “tax on wealth.”

But the fact is that a new large-scale federal subsidy day care is unlikely to improve educational outcomes for children. It will cost billions—according to one estimate, $700 billion over 10 years for the Warren plan—and furthermore, it may not reflect the preferences of families when it comes to their children’s care in their formative years.

Although the Warren plan talks about day care subsidies rather than “preschool” subsidies, the reference to “curriculum standards” suggests the effort will be about more than child care for parents.

Warren’s plan reportedly calls for “requiring child care providers that receive federal funds [to] meet standards similar to those that now apply to Head Start.”

Well, Head Start is far from a success story when it comes to participant outcomes.

The Department of Health and Human Services released the scientifically rigorous Head Start Impact Study in 2012, which tracked 5,000 3- and 4-year-old children through the end of third grade. The results? Head Start had little to no impact on the parenting practices or the cognitive, social-emotional, and health outcomes of participants. Notably, on a few measures, access to Head Start had harmful effects on participating children.

Taxpayers have spent nearly $200 billion on Head Start since its inception in 1965. Yet, as the federal evaluation found, by the time the children finished third grade, there was no difference between those who attended Head Start and the control group of their peers who did not.

At the state level, proponents of government-funded early education and care programs have long held up Tennessee’s Voluntary Pre-K program as a model state-based preschool program. They note the fact that the child-adult ratio is limited to 10-to-1, teachers must be licensed, and a structured “age appropriate” curriculum must be used in classrooms.

But a randomized control trial evaluation conducted by researchers at Vanderbilt University reported no significant differences between the control group and the preschool group on any achievement measures by the end of kindergarten.

Government-funded preschool advocates also tend to draw on one of two studies that found benefits of preschool attendance. One is the Perry Preschool Project (conducted in 1962) and the other is the Abecedarian Preschool Study (conducted in 1972).

But there are significant issues with these two examples.

First, no study has replicated the findings of these two.

Second, these programs had small sample sizes (just 58 children were in the experiment group in the Perry project), and the programs were comprehensive, boutique programs that included social and nutritional programs and parent counseling.

These two half-century-old programs look quite different from current programs and proposals. Russ Whitehurst of the Brookings Institution sums up looking to the Perry Preschool Project as instructive today this way, noting that the findings:

“demonstrate the likely return on investment of widely deployed state pre-K programs for 4-year-olds in the 21st century to about the same degree that the svelte TV spokesperson providing a testimonial for Weight Watchers demonstrates the expected impact of joining a diet plan.”

In addition to the lack of educational impacts and the cost to taxpayers, it’s also unclear whether parents want this federal “solution.”

For instance, a 2012 Pew Research Center study found that two-thirds of moms want to work part time or stay at home, not work full time. Among moms who currently work full time, over half would rather work part time or not at all.

Already, low-income families have access to the federal Head Start program for childcare—a program that should be reformed, at the very least, to allow participants to attend a private provider of choice.

Creating another benefit for universal child care merely establishes a new federal subsidy for middle-class and upper-income families.

At the same time, an expansion of federal early education and care is more likely to create new problems of its own, rather than address these deeper social issues, such as the crisis of unwed parenting.

Finally, as my former Heritage Foundation colleague Salim Furth and I explained in a 2016 paper, additional federal subsidies for early childhood education introduce a large distortion into the market and must be funded by higher tax rates.

Ultimately, a universal early education and care program is unlikely to boost educational outcomes, may not reflect the preferences of families, and will cost taxpayers billions over time. This is the wrong way to help America’s kids.


Monday, February 25, 2019

Hundreds of British university students attempt to block Jewish Society

Hitler is still with us -- represented these days by Amnesty International.  Amnesty used to be reasonably impartial.  They are hard Left these days.  Israel has long been their big stumbling block.  They seem to have an instinctive hatred of it.  They certainly show no balance in their words about it.  When they look at Israel they see only "human rights abuses" and "war crimes", not the measures needed to ensure survival amid huge Arab hostility

Hundreds of students voted against the creation of a Jewish Society, after a member of the university's Amnesty International group urged students to oppose it on the basis that it is too “political”.

More than 200 Essex University students answered 'no' to the question "Should there be a Jewish society?"

Every new student group at Essex must win a majority in vote of existing society members in order for its creation to be ratified by the Student Union.  Recently ratified societies include the “K-Pop society”, the “Ted-X Society” and the “Pokemon Go Society”.

However, a representative of the university’s Amnesty International group urged students to vote against the Jewish Society, saying: “The society has mentioned it will celebrate Israeli national day which has nothing to do with Judaism.

“Until the society is politically neutral like every other religious society we will take a stance on this. So we urge you to please vote no until they are politically neutral”.

The Union of Jewish Students said it is “shameful” that a group “ostensibly concerned with human rights” has shown “such disregard for human decency and the rights of all peoples to freely explore and full express their distinct identity”.

Will Quince, the Conservative MP for Colchester, described the vote as "shocking" and "terrible". Stella Creasy, the Labour MP for Walthamstow, added that the vote was "awful".

Meanwhile, the university has launched an “urgent” investigation into one of its academics who opposed the creation of the Jewish Society, reportedly exclaiming on Facebook that “the Zionists next want to create a society here at our university!”

Dr Maaruf Ali, a lecturer in computers and electronics at Essex, also shared a photo from a far-right website which claimed that one of the French policemen killed in the January 2015 attack by Islamist terrorists in Paris was actually “a Mossad agent live and well in Buenos Aires… a crypto-Jew in the service of Israeli intelligence”.

Amanda Bowman, vice president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said the hundreds of that Dr Ali’s social media posts were “abhorrent”, adding that students who voted against the creation of a Jewish Society were guilty of "pure and simple” racism.

A University of Essex spokeswoman said: "As a university, we promote debate and deliberation of controversial issues and, within the limits of the law, encourage students and staff to express views with rigour and conviction.”

An Essex student union spokesman said: "We believe strongly in the power of democracy and as a Union led by students we give our members the opportunity to decide on everything we do, from who leads the organisation through to whether a society should be ratified. 

"It is important to us that this is process is followed properly and we therefore look forward to a free and fair vote concluding next week."

Kerry Moscogiuri, a director at Amnesty and International, said: “The comments made by a member of the University of Essex Amnesty group on the proposed manifesto for the new Jewish Society at Essex University do not reflect the view of the Essex University Amnesty Society and Amnesty International UK.

"Whilst they were well intentioned, their view to conflate Israel Independence Day with the human rights abuses committed by the Israeli authorities is wrong."

“Essex University has not had a Jewish Society for a number of years and there is definitely a need for one to be set up – a view that is championed by the Amnesty group there.”


Behind the Left's 'Free College' Mantra

It's more than buying votes; it's sustaining fiscally unsound colleges and universities   

Sen. Bernie Sanders (Socialist-VT) was the first to call for what has fast become an obligatory policy position for all current Democrat presidential contenders — “free” college. As with health care, Democrats’ call for free college is a play for the votes of recent college graduates who find themselves saddled with thousands in college debt. Much of that debt is due to the steep increase in tuition costs seen over the past three decades — an increase that has outpaced the rate of inflation. CNBC reports that the average annual tuition cost at a public four-year institution for the 1987-1988 school year was $3,190 (adjusted to reflect 2017 dollars) while the average for the 2017-2018 was $9,970, an increase of 129%. For private nonprofit four-year institutions, the numbers are even worse with an increase over the same time period of 213%. In other words, the increasing cost of college is not a myth, so it’s understandable that Democrats would add this to their litany of “free stuff.”

But there’s a bigger picture here than simply seeing this as Democrats blatantly seeking the college vote. Back in 2011, Harvard business professor Clayton Christensen made the somewhat startling prediction that “50% of the 4,000 colleges and universities in the U.S. will be bankrupt in 10 to 15 years.” And Christensen was not the only one to sound the alarm, as the U.S. Department of Education and Moody’s Investors Service also projected that over the coming years the “closure rates of small colleges and universities will triple, and mergers will double.”

Thus far, the closure rates among four-year colleges and universities have ticked up slightly, but as Michael Horn writes in Forbes, “The total number of mergers and acquisitions from just 2010-2017 has doubled the activity that occurred in the prior decade, which further suggests that the Moody’s projections may be conservative.” Horn further points out that a combination of decreasing student enrollment, increasing online-program enrollment, and the fact that “at least 25% of private colleges now running deficits … and public colleges … expenses have outpaced revenue the past three years” is “a recipe for disaster.”

So, back to Democrats and their free college mantra. What Democrats are really after is the socializing of higher education. By doing so, they would prevent those fiscally untenable institutions from going under — via the taxpayer — while at the same time insuring that these enclaves of leftist ideology are enabled, without market constraints, to continue indoctrinating America’s youth.


Free college for all is silly because not everyone should go to college

Progressives have long been advocates for free college. This is partly due to their belief that higher education is a "right" and should be given to all. Though it's true that education is of great importance, it does not mean taxpayers should be saddled with such massive debt in order to placate feelings.

Standing out from the pack of current Democratic presidential candidates on this issue is Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who does not support the idea of free four-year college. She said as much during a town hall Monday evening:

"No, I am not for free four-year college for all. If I was a magic genie and could give that to everyone and we could afford it, I would. ... I've gotta tell the truth. We have a mountain of debt that the Trump administration keeps making worse and worse, and I don't want to leave that on the shoulders of these kids too."

Klobuchar's mention of the Trump administration as the reason to reject this idea is only partially correct. Yes, the national debt has increased in recent years under his command, but it was already high when President Barack Obama and his predecessors left office. If we're being honest, there has been little to no concern about government spending on both sides of the aisle. To add to that by way of free college tuition for all would be incredibly unwise.

One aspect of the college question that is rarely considered is the societal peer pressure to attend a four-year school upon high school graduation. In the United States, pursuing higher education is considered a rite of passage and the next logical step into responsible adulthood. How much has this desire to belong or please others contributed to mounting personal debt that does not lead to meaningful job pursuits? Is the tendency to ask high school seniors, "So, where are you going to school in the fall?" doing more harm than good?

Of course, there are plenty of fields that require at least a four-year college degree including healthcare, teaching, accountancy, engineering, and computer science, to name a few. In addition, other majors, including English or history, are helpful if a student plans to attend law school after undergraduate education is complete. But how practical are degrees in gender studies, art history, philosophy, and theater? Personal interest may drive students to choose these paths, but at the end of their education, what can they show for it other than student loan payments?

This is why I've always appreciated Mike Rowe's stance on the "college for all" mentality, which is directly related to the free college mindset driven by progressives and their ilk.
What I’ve opposed — consistently — is not the importance of higher education, but rather, the relentless drumbeat of 'college for everyone.' That’s the real problem, and it’s worth repeating. Because this cookie-cutter approach to education presupposes that all worthwhile knowledge can only be attained from a college or a university. That’s the most dangerous myth of all, and the unintended consequences are now self-evident — the vanishing of shop class in high schools, $1.3 trillion dollars of student loans, and 6 million vacant jobs that no one is trained to do. That’s the skills gap. It’s real, and it’s a massive problem for anyone who shares my addiction to smooth roads, cool air, and indoor plumbing."

In July 2018, MarketWatch reported that the construction industry was having trouble finding young laborers for their high-paying jobs that don't require a four-year degree. The shortage in this and other fields, such as HVAC, plumbing, and electrical work, will continue to have a ripple effect on the economy. Meanwhile, modern society is still convinced that everyone is both made for and must go to college in order to find personal worth and achieve future financial stability. Neither is true.

Along with rejecting the idea that taxpayers should pay for everyone to attend college, we should also be quick to remind others that college isn't the only path to success. There are other career pursuits that have just as much potential and best of all, won't leave a young person with student loan payments that already set them back at the starting line of adulthood.


Sunday, February 24, 2019

Syracuse University has refused to grant a Young Americans for Freedom group status as a Registered Student Organization (RSO)

Syracuse University denied an application for Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) to become a Registered Student Organization (RSO), stating, as one of its reasons for doing so, that requiring students to believe in the U.S. Constitution is “exclusionary to international students.”

The Syracuse Office of Student Activities denied YAF’s application, in part because members must support the “Sharon Statement,” which is a statement of support for the U.S. Constitution. Syracuse took issue with the Sharon Statement, alleging that adhering to it violates the college’s policy of non-discrimination.

“The Board considers the ‘Sharon Statement’ to be contradictory to Article XI Statement of Non-Discrimination,” Syracuse's RSO Review Board stated in its rejection email to the group, according to documents obtained by Campus Reform. “Additionally, requiring students to agree in the superiority of the U.S. Constitution is exclusionary to international students and other individuals.”

Additionally, Syracuse's RSO Review Board took issue with the fact that Young Americans for Freedom is associated with its parent organization, Young America’s Foundation, which the board claims has “extensive control” over the former organization.

Young America’s Foundation has a “pattern” of promoting discourse through “inflammatory" means, according to the Board.

“The Board recognizes that the parent organization, Young America’s Foundation, has demonstrated a pattern of past practice of supporting discourse via printed materials and/or other means that are deemed inflammatory,” the Board stated in an email to the group’s president. “Specifically, products that are supplied free of charge, including the ‘Patriot Pack’ that illustrates an aircraft entering into the World Trade Center and inflammatory statements. The Board considers these materials to be contradictory to the educational mission of Syracuse University and in turn the purpose of a Recognized Student Organization.”

The college listed a variety of other reasons for denying the group registered status, including an “incomplete" constitution, the group's “undemocratic" nature, “continuity” issues as they relate to the group's activity during the summer months, "ambiguous" meeting times," and how money is deposited and reimbursed.

Justine Murray, the YAF group's president and a Campus Reform correspondent, asserted that even if those issues were resolved, Syracuse would still deny their application.

“I want to stay hopeful that maybe they will approve YAF if I made the proposed changes but based off their first two points and the offense they took to our recognition of the U.S. Constitution, it doesn’t look very probable they will accept us,” Murray told Campus Reform.

Koen Weaver, who is the group's vice chairman, told Campus Reform, "while I understand the important job of the Office of Student Activities in confirming RSOs on campus, I am concerned by the bias and almost anti-Americanism displayed by our rejection."

"I cannot fathom how an American University could find fault with students upholding and promoting the ideals of the U.S. Constitution," Weaver added. "Calling the constitution non-inclusive, while completely ignoring the inflammatory rhetoric of the anti-Capitalist and anti-Israeli [rhetoric] of the university's International Socialist Organization, shows the obvious political bias, if not the liberal indoctrination agenda of the Office of Student Activities."

Weaver was referencing the fact that the board previously approved an application by the International Socialist Organization to be an RSO. As an RSO, the group promotes open borders on its Facebook page, which is linked from the official university website. The group's cover photo states, "let them all in," a reference to the caravans at the border. The group has also posted graphics that read,  “Capitalism Sucks” and, according to Murray and Weaver, put up flyers on campus that read, “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” an iteration of a statement by Temple University professor Marc Lamont Hill at the United Nations last year, which eventually led to Hill's ousting as a CNN commentator.

Murray further commented on the outcome, telling Campus Reform that she was “seriously disappointed" by the decision.

“It was a blatant rejection of free speech and free assembly as if they either don’t understand the U.S. Constitution or actually understand it and hate its provisions,” Murray said. “Every club has its core belief and the RSO Review Board seems to be selective in how they enforce this aspect of its bylaws as if they’re saying conservative beliefs are exclusionary, but liberal beliefs are not and therefore, any conservative beliefs must be silenced.”

Murray calls it “absolutely ludicrous” for the board to suggest the U.S. Constitution is “exclusionary” for some students.

“It’s absolutely ludicrous for the RSO Review Board to suggest that any recognition of the Bill of Rights by a university club violates some rights of foreign students,” Murray said. “Interestingly, the reason many students from abroad come to study in the United States is because of our freedoms and the constitution that protects these freedoms. The Review Board is basically saying you cannot celebrate America.”

Murray provided Campus Reform with further documentation showing that the group appealed the Office of Student Activities' decision. However, the appeal was denied because it was submitted an hour and a half after the deadline.

"Unfortunately, the appeal for the Young Americans for Freedom Chapter at SU was submitted after the deadline had passed, therefore, it will not be considered," the email that denied the appeal reads. "Additionally, the application submitted on behalf of YAF was incomplete because there was no completed advisor contract. It is clear that YAF's application is still incomplete because it is still missing a completed advisor contract, a required component of the New RSO Application. Therefore, this appeal is moot."

Murray told Campus Reform that the group asked five faculty members at the college to be their faculty advisor. Only one faculty member, whose name appeared on the group's RSO application as a "prospective advisor," indicated that they would be willing.

Of the Syracuse University registered student organizations that appear political in nature, Campus Reform identified six of them as left-leaning while just one is conservative. According to the Syracuse University Registered Student Organization Handbook, RSOs are eligible for, among other benefits, university funding and use of resources.

Weaver told Campus Reform that he would like to see more conservatives get the chance to have their voices heard.

"I hope that conservatives and those who reject certain far-left ideals of the OSA have the opportunity to represent themselves and have their voices heard in the near future," Weaver said.

Campus Reform attempted multiple times to reach various people at Syracuse University who could comment on this matter, including the individual who sent the rejection email as well as the Director of Student Activities. At the time of publication of this article, none of those calls or emails were returned.


2020 Dem. Amy Klobuchar to indebted students: I’m not a magic genie, so no. You’re not getting free college

As the 2020 Democrat primary race heats up, there’s been a mad dash to the left. That means that no social position is too radical, as candidates try to one-up the competition as they out-progressive each other.  It also means that no federal program is too expensive, and no tax hike is too high, if it means offering something for “free.”

Already announced freebies include health care, child care, education, abortion, contraception, food, and housing.  The Democrats have basically become the party of “free stuff” as they promise to cover the cost of your life from the cradle to the grave. It’s ridiculous, untenable, and no tax hike could ever cover it all but, if you’re a Democrat, it’s what you’re supposed to be offering.

Apparently, no one got the memo to Senator Amy Klobuchar (D, MN).  She’s been bucking the current left-wing trend in an attempt to portray herself as the most-sane person in a field of what appears to be asylum escapees.

Last night, during a CNN town hall, she made it clear that she has no intention of giving young liberals four free years of higher education. She’s not “a magic genie,” so they’re out of luck.

Demanding a yes or no answer, a recent college student asked Klobuchar if she would be “willing to stand with my generation and end the student debt crisis by supporting free college for all? And would you include undocumented and formerly incarcerated people in that program?”

It took a while, but eventually Klobuchar got around to a clear yes or no. “No, I am not for free, four-year college for all,” she said.  “If I was a magic genie and could give that to everyone and we could afford it, I would.”

Host Don Lemon pressed the point that, on a college campus, she would probably be facing a lot of similar inquiries from kids who would like the free stuff her opponents are offering.

“I know that, but I’ve got to tell the truth,” Klobuchar responded. “We have a mounting debt that the Trump administration keeps getting worse and worse. I also don’t want to leave that on the shoulders of all these kids, right? So, we’ve got to do a balance. Some of it’s major tax reform in terms of reversing some of the things that this administration has done, and then some of it is making sure that students are getting degrees and being led to jobs where we actually have jobs.”

I’m going to skip the usual point about Dems who ignore Obama’s massive debt hike. I’m also not going to get into the fact that she’s complaining about jobs, when Trump’s policies have – unarguably – been responsible for extraordinary job growth. Instead, I’m just going to say, “kudos to Amy Klobuchar.”

She’s probably alienated much of the left-wing base, she’s angered young socialists and, by refusing to promise all the free goodies, she’s probably doomed her already slim chance of success. But at least she answered honestly…


Teachers Union in Struggling District Threatens Strike over 12 Percent Pay Raise

An Oakland, California, teachers union announced Saturday that a strike will begin on Feb. 21 after failing to reach an agreement with the school district over increased pay and smaller class sizes.

Oakland Educators Association said teachers were seeking a 12 percent raise over three years to help keep educators in the Oakland Unified School District, according to a Saturday press statement.

“We agree that our teachers deserve to be paid more,” OUSD spokesman John Sasaki said, according to a report by the San Francisco Chronicle on Saturday. “It’s just a matter of how much can we pay, given our financial reality.”

The district has suffered from financial woes for a while, however.

California loaned OUSD $100 million in emergency funds — the largest at the time — after gathering a $37 million deficit in 2003. The district managed to get into a $30 million deficit in 2017, according to the Chronicle.

Generous teacher pay raises, decreasing enrollment and hefty special education costs contributed to the financial crisis in the district.

The district has been caught for misusing funds like paying for parking and legal fees, the Chronicle reported.

The union said they have been negotiating for two years, according to OEA’s news release.

“The only option that Oakland teachers, parents and students have left to win the schools Oakland students truly deserve, and to take control of our school district back from the control of billionaire campaign donors, is for the 3,000 members of the Oakland Education Association to go on strike,” OEA President Keith Brown said in a statement.

An entry-level teacher with only a bachelor’s degree can earn around $47,000 a year. A teacher with a bachelor’s degree and 90 graduate level credits can start earning $55,000 and bring in as much as $84,000 annually after working for 31 years as a certified teacher, according to OUSD data.

Brown added that 18 percent of teachers left each year due to increasing housing costs, the Chronicle reported.

The median home value in Oakland is $735,000 and is expected to increase by nearly 8 percent over the next year, according to Zillow. The median monthly rent price was a little over $3,000.

OUSD does spend, however, $13,500 for full health care benefits for educators and their families, according to the Chronicle.

The district contacted OEA for renegotiation Saturday, but did not hear back, according to the district’s press release.

Up to 150 administrative and support employees could be laid off in order for the district to save $21.7 million, the newspaper reported.

OUSD is planning to hire substitute teachers in the event of a strike, which could affect 36,000 students.

The northern California city’s teacher strike follows after Los Angeles teachers walked out of classes in January. Their strike resulted in the Los Angeles Unified School District agreeing to a 6 percent raise for teachers and “meaningful” class size reductions.

The Los Angeles deal, however, could bankrupt the system already running on a $500 million deficit, according to The Associated Press.