Friday, April 26, 2019

The Triple College Crisis: Crisis #3. Too Few Good Jobs

College enrollments have fallen for seven years in a row and a growing number of schools are closing. While many blame demographics (a sharp decline in American fertility rates) or high college tuition fees, I think prospective students are reassessing the entire collegiate value proposition and, in growing numbers, concluding that going to college is a risky and sometimes losing investment, not at all the sure-fire ticket to financial success implied by some of the more exuberant propaganda from the College for All crowd.

For starters, about 40% of those entering four-year colleges do not receive a bachelor’s degree within six years (well under one-half receive degrees in the four years it allegedly is supposed to take). Some Federal Reserve data suggest that earnings of those who do graduate in the bottom quartile of their college class average not much more earnings than that of typical high school graduates. To be sure, the truth of that importantly depends on the quality of the school attended as well as the major subject studied, but it appears that fewer than half of entering college students end up having a good outcome from a financial perspective because they either fail to graduate or do not get good jobs.

Some other good data suggest the job picture is actually a bit worse than that. Federal Reserve Bank of New York data show that in December 2018, the underemployment rate for all college graduates was 34%. It was even higher, over 41%, for recent graduates. “Underemployed” workers are doing jobs traditionally mostly held by persons with lesser education: baristas, bartenders, home health care aides, cashiers in big box retail stores, custodians, Uber and taxi drivers, etc. That is in a tight labor market over nine years into an economic recovery. If 40% of those attending don’t graduate (at least within six years), and one-third of those who do graduate are “underemployed,” then only about 40% of those entering college full-time end up graduating and taking jobs requiring the skills normally expected of college graduates, generally well-paying jobs in the managerial, technical, or professional fields (sometimes after graduate school). That proportion varies enormously no doubt—most matriculating at, say, Harvard no doubt end up in well-paying jobs, while those attending open admissions state schools and majoring in subjects like gender studies are more likely to join the underemployed.

Why is this happening? I have talked to business leaders who claim, “American universities are not providing the skills we need.” It is probably true, as a recent post articulated, that the learning outcomes of college graduates are embarrassingly low, a continuation in part of an arguably even bigger scandal of non-learning at the K-12 level. But I think the underemployment problem mainly reflects something else: too many college graduates. We are over-invested in higher education. While the need for highly skilled persons with advanced collegiate training has grown considerably over time, the demand for such graduates has grown far more slowly than the supply, so graduates who in the past would have taken fairly high-paying beginning-level managerial-type jobs are often forced to take lower paid less-skilled jobs. Thus we have a large number of Americans with degrees today who mop floors and work as Uber drivers. In response to the flood of college graduates, there is credential inflation going on—employers asking applicants to have more education. Soon, you will need a master’s degree in janitorial science to become a janitor.

Moreover, governmental officials have encouraged this. They have urged students with indifferent academic records and limited intellectual curiosity to seek bachelor’s degrees, lured with government-subsidized student loans and Pell Grants. President Obama proclaimed at the beginning of his presidency that we would regain world leadership for having a high percentage of adults with four-year degrees. Politicians now are trying to outdo one another urging taxpayers to fund “free college.” Rather, we need to go in the opposite direction, recognizing that we are over-invested in higher education.


Warren's 'Universal Free College' Plan Is No Free Lunch

It's classic Marxism: Take from the rich to pay for government wealth redistribution.

The country’s favorite 1/1024th Native American and Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren recently released her plan for tackling the growing problem of student-loan debt. Currently running a disappointing third in her own state, Warren’s pitch is a desperate attempt to gain attention by running to the left of current Democrat frontrunner Bernie Sanders. Warren is seeking to take the lead on government-provided “free stuff” by offering some actual details as to how she would implement a “free college” program. Not surprisingly, the former college professor’s plan is chock-full of stuff that would make any Marxist revolutionary proud. No wonder she made her pitch on Vladimir Lenin’s birthday.

Warren’s first order of business would be to “solve” the problem of student-loan debt by simply canceling it. She explains, “The first step in addressing this crisis is to deal head-on with the outstanding debt that is weighing down millions of families and should never have been required in the first place. That’s why I’m calling for something truly transformational  —  the cancellation of up to $50,000 in student loan debt for 42 million Americans.” So, by a stroke of the pen, she would eliminate at least part of the obligations of “more than 95% of the nearly 45 million Americans with student loan debt,” as well as “wipe out student loan debt entirely for more than 75% of the Americans with that debt.”

But everyone knows that money doesn’t grow on trees; somebody has to pay for this. Warren has an answer for that: “the government,” which of course any thinking person knows means taxpayers. However, she contends that it would only be “a one-time cost … of $640 billion.” It’s the second part of her plan, the Universal Free College program, that would tip the scales at “roughly $1.25 trillion over ten years” and should really be getting everyone’s attention. (Americans owe a collective $1.5 trillion in student loans.) But, don’t worry — Warren has this cost figured out as well. You see, only “the 75,000 wealthiest families in the country” will be charged. She calls it her “Ultra-Millionaire Tax” on “those with fortunes of $50 million or more.” This is plainly wealth redistribution.

Warren is committed to the “universal” aspect of her plan — so much so that she would “prohibit public colleges from considering citizenship status” during admissions decisions. Her plan would also “ban for-profit colleges from receiving any federal dollars (including military benefits and federal student loans), so they can no longer use taxpayer dollars to enrich themselves while targeting lower-income students, service members, and students of color and leaving them saddled with debt.” Evidently, Warren would rather they become permanent wards of the state.

Some other thoughts from our friends on the Right:

“We are familiar with all the fine rhetoric about higher education being the key to preparing the 21st-century work force and maximizing its productivity, but we cannot help but notice that this is being championed by the same people who have helped to make our K–12 education system the grotesque laughing stock that it is. The public schools are in effect a dysfunctional and wildly corrupt full-employment program for Democratic constituencies, and that same dynamic has driven much of the growth in college administration, too: There are a lot of deputy deans of social justice out there. We don’t need one more, much less 10,000 more.” —National Review

“As long as the government makes it easy to get loans, colleges are going to continue increasing tuition and fees above the rate of inflation. If the federal government bails out students, colleges will increase costs even further as everyone realizes there will be no consequence.” —Erick Erickson

“This pander will not only be incredibly costly, but it will be a slap in the face to those who have already struggled to pay off their student loans without government assistance.” —Philip Klein


In Wisconsin, School Choice Has Unexpected Benefits

Elisha Doerr would not have had an opportunity to attend Wisconsin Lutheran High School, a Milwaukee-based private boarding school, if it weren’t for a school choice program.

The school’s excellent curricula and the religious community were valuable to Doerr, 18, who now attends Harvard University and is deciding between majoring in government or computer science.

Raised in rural Waupun, Wisconsin, with six younger siblings, Doerr’s choice for a superior education in his hometown appeared limited.

His parents, who had homeschooled Elisha, looked at Wisconsin Lutheran High School for its religious affiliation, but they needed financial assistance to send their son there.

“With there being seven kids in my family and just having gotten a mortgage on our house that we just moved into,” Doerr said in an interview with The Daily Signal, “it didn’t seem particularly feasible to try to go to a private school that we were hoping to go to without getting some sort of financial support.”

Wisconsin Lutheran is one of 129 schools that are part of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, launched in 1990 to provide alternatives to troubled public schools.

The program had 28,917 participating students in kindergarten through 12th grade during the 2018-19 school year. Under the program, a school receives a state aid payment on behalf of the eligible student and parent or guardian.

Before Doerr could get into the school voucher program, his parents first had to save money in an education savings account to cover his freshman year.

Doerr’s parents saw the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program as giving them control of their son’s education. The student’s father, a Lutheran pastor, had ties to Wisconsin Lutheran and wanted his son to grow not only academically but spiritually.

Commonly referred to as the nation’s first modern school choice initiative, the Milwaukee program provides vouchers to students from lower-income families for use in attending private schools.

Doerr’s parents gained the flexibility to decide what was best for him.

Before the Doerrs’ experience, though, Milwaukee lawmakers had some disagreements in the mid-2000s about the future of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, which had not been analyzed since 1995.

Two researchers evaluated the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program after pitching the idea in 2007 to then-Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat in office from 2003 until 2011, and legislative leaders who wanted to reduce funding for the program.

The researchers were Patrick Wolf, a professor in the University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform, and Corey DeAngelis, a former student of Wolf’s who now is an education policy analyst with Cato Institute, the libertarian think tank based in Washington, D.C. 

“There was a group of legislators who wanted to put additional restrictions on the program, and there [was] a group of legislators who wanted to raise the cap on enrollment and expand the program,” Wolf told The Daily Signal in a phone interview about the paper that resulted.

The Wisconsin lawmakers, he said, “came to a compromise” that included calling for an evaluation of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program.

Initially, the research by Wolf and DeAngelis focused on analyzing test scores from 2007 to 2012, but “test scores are not everything that we want from a child,” Wolf said in the interview. They found the program had positive effects on reading scores and a neutral effect on math scores.

Wolf and DeAngelis decided to look beyond test scores and also evaluate school vouchers for their impact on character. The result was what Wolf and DeAngelis say is the first research report on the effect of school choice on reducing crime.

The report, released Feb. 26 and titled “Private School Choice and Character: More Evidence from Milwaukee,” found an intersection between greater school choice and less crime committed by young adults.

“We took a representative sample of participants in the [Milwaukee Parental Choice Program] and carefully matched them to similar Milwaukee public school students, and then tracked their outcomes over time,” Wolf said.

The two researchers found that students who took advantage of the school choice program committed fewer crimes than their counterparts in public schools. Specifically, students committed 53% fewer drug crimes and 86% fewer property crimes.

The study also found that 38% fewer paternity suits were filed once students reached their mid-20s. When difficulty in identifying a biological father occurs, lawsuits can be used to force child support payments.

Asked what could have contributed to the results beyond curricula, Wolf said the religious component in many private schools may have had a deep influence. Most teachers in public schools are stifled by regulations, he suggested:

It could be because of the religious environment that many of these schools foster. The majority of the schools participating in the program have a religious affiliation. And so maybe just going to school with a religion, you make it a lot easier to instill these values in the students. Public schools are limited in the values they can communicate to students.

What does Doerr think was the advantage provided by Wisconsin Lutheran High that a traditional public school could not provide?

“The interactions with the teachers, like having chapel every day and knowing that they’re of the same faith as you,” Doerr said.

Doerr said his parents valued this specific experience through the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program the most.

Although academic success helped him become a Harvard freshman, he said, he and his parents gained the power to customize his education.


Thursday, April 25, 2019

Portland Schools Activist Quits Secretary of State Position over coverup of sexual abuses

On Friday, April 12, Kim Sordyl tendered her resignation from an appointment by the Oregon secretary of state. Sordyl had served as the designated representative from the Secretary of State's office to the state Board of Education. In an explosive interview, she revealed a culture of corruption at all levels of Oregon government. Sordyl accused the new secretary of State, Bev Clarno, of racist motivations in one of her firings. She also blasted Portland Public Schools and the teacher's unions for covering up allegations of sexual abuse and protecting serial abusers.

Last week, I wrote about Clarno's abrupt moves to fire executive team members. These holdovers from the former secretary, the late Dennis Richardson, had been hailed for excellent work, especially in the Audits division. These actions threw Clarno's motivations into doubt, causing many to question whether she intended to complete Richardson's vision of using state audits to uncover inefficiency and corruption.

Now, Kim Sordyl is ratcheting up the accusations.

In an interview for my podcast, Sordyl, an employment law attorney by trade, told me that she could no longer represent the office of someone she didn't respect. This came on the heels of the latest firing, Larry Morgan, a black man who served as Richardson's outreach director to work with minority communities. Morgan reportedly found out about the firing via email on the afternoon of Friday, April 12. Sordyl says that it stinks of racism, and that the previous firings clearly signal a shift away from Richardson's use of the Audits division. She goes on to echo what I've heard from many sources — that there exists a real concern that Richardson's replacement will squash pending audits that make Governor Kate Brown look bad.

What troubles Sordyl most about this is the known serial abusers who have been protected in Portland Public Schools and the deliberate coverup of their crimes. She claims, "Public employees get to rape children. Period."

This results from a pernicious system of laws in Oregon that shields public agencies from lawsuits. The first is the relatively short statute of limitations — only six years. Worse, she points out, if one intends to file a lawsuit against a public agency, they have only 180 days to file a tort claims notice of intent to sue. That means that a child who has been traumatized has only 180 days from the time the abuse occurred to file.

Back to the known serial abusers who get their jobs back. Sordyl gave me a scoop about a paraeducator who molested a 9-year-old girl with developmental disabilities. This man was acquitted in criminal court, largely because the girl had a severe speech impediment that made her testimony confusing. However, PPS paid out a six-figure settlement to the family and fired him, stating, "A highly publicized criminal assertion of inappropriate sexual conduct with a minor, and the real possibility that it occurred, lead to the determination that you are not qualified to be a paraeducator with PPS."

However, he had the union file a challenge to the revocation of his teaching certificate — and won. That means, according to Sordyl, that a known child molester will be allowed back in the classroom.

This is no isolated incident. An explosive story in The Oregonian last year led to the revocation of the teaching license of Mitch Whitehurst, a high school teacher with a decades-long history of accusations of sexual harassment and abuse. Sordyl told me that he too had his record expunged, and is now driving for Uber. She expresses horror that someone like that has a gig driving impaired and vulnerable people around. Of course, if a criminal record has been expunged, it would not show up in the background check every driver has to pass.

When she brought these concerns to the attention of the chair of the Oregon House Education Committee, Sordyl says that she denied that a problem exists at all. Sordyl, a life long Democrat, claims that politicians at all levels of government protect the abusers, which flies in the face of public statements by Kate Brown and others that they support victims in the #MeToo movement. The unions help these people file challenges while electing representatives to do their bidding at the legislature. Administrators turn a blind eye and sweep it under the rug.

These are the issues Kim Sordyl was hoping would be exposed in future audits by the secretary of state. Now, she says, the future is cloudy at best.


UK: 'Why is my teenage girl picked on for NOT being gay or trans?'

Every day after school, my 13-year-old daughter Bella tells me about her day. I did the same when I was her age. I recall chatting with my mum about the latest house netball scores, my test marks and who I ate my lunch with. When Bella relays the latest events, with dizzying stories of gender fluidity and sexual politics, it’s clear how much times have changed.

There’s the on-going saga of Bella’s friend Jessica, who came out last year after she started dating Alexandra in another Year 9 class.

Only Alexandra has since decided she’s now transgender and is living as a boy called Alex — who must only be referred to as ‘he’ — despite being a pupil at an all-girls school.

There were huge dramas when another classmate, Rebecca, confessed to Laura, who is in her maths set, that she was sexually attracted to her.

Laura, who used to present as a boy, angrily rejected her, saying she had jumped to the wrong conclusions, leaving Rebecca in tears. However, Laura has since decided she is gay after all, and the pair are now dating.

As someone who was still working out who I was at Bella’s age, it all sounds exhausting — and yet another pressure on girls’ already fraught friendships.

Over the past year, Bella has totted it up and she and her friends estimate that around 12 per cent — one in eight — of her year group have already come out as gay, bisexual or transgender. Other parents I talk to at similar girls selective schools near us in the Home Counties cite similar percentages.

And it’s not just single-sex schools. In council figures released last November, Dorothy Stringer, a High School in Brighton, was revealed to have 40 children who didn’t identify with the sex they were at birth, with another 36 out of 1,600 children saying they were gender fluid.

Let me say now that if Bella came to me, after gaining some experience of the wider world, and told me she is sexually attracted to women, I would accept her choice happily and without question. Even so, I am not the only parent concerned that so many youngsters are coming out at such an early age.

According to the Government’s latest Sexual Identity Census figures — which are gathered anonymously — 1.6 per cent of adult women in the UK identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual.

Although it is not tracked, it is estimated that the number of transgender people lies somewhere between 0.2 per cent and 1 per cent.

But there’s a big gap between these official figures and what we are seeing in our schools, particularly among girls who studies show are more malleable.

Bella has had precious little information in her PSHE lessons on how to have a heterosexual relationship, yet at the start of this term she was given a seminar on gender and sexual preference led by five of the school’s transsexual, non-binary (not identifying as male or female) and gay sixth-formers.

Bella described walking into the hall and being shown a powerpoint presentation on the meaning of a selection of words, ranging from ‘transgender’ to ‘asexual’.

One word whose meaning Bella did not yet know the meaning of was ‘cisgender.’ The word, which is being heard more and more, is defined as ‘people whose gender identity matches the sex that they were assigned at birth’.

In other words, Bella has been told she now has a label for being born a girl and wanting to stay one. Baffled, she told me after school: ‘I am a girl. I like being a girl. Until now, it didn’t occur to me that I needed to justify it.’

After this word definition game, the assembled year group of 250 pupils were shown a video called: ‘Who Am I?’ Finally, the class was asked for a show of hands as to whether they had found the talk useful and enjoyable.

Bella told me: ‘I wasn’t sure about it. But I didn’t dare not put my hand up in case some of the other girls called me transphobic.’

Since the seminar, she now assiduously does her best to avoid the subject of gender and sexuality altogether at school. She has learned her lesson from the experience of other classmates and has witnessed girls, who have dared to question this massive shift, being verbally confronted by others who have come out or who are in the social clique who have.

Bella has learned to choose her pronouns carefully after innocently forgetting to use ‘he’ or ‘they’ instead of ‘she’ when talking about other transgender or non-binary pupils.

Anyone who slips, she says, gets snapped at by the pupils who pride themselves on being more ‘woke’ and enlightened.

Of course, Bella’s experiences don’t compare at all to the trials of young people who have felt trapped in the wrong body from a young age.

Equality campaigning group Stonewall claims that 64 per cent of transgender pupils have been subject to bullying and that almost half of trans people in Britain have attempted suicide, while 55 per cent will also be diagnosed with depression at some point.

There is, however, other research has also called into question what is really going on when young children want to change gender in large numbers.

In the UK, figures for the number of children who feel they are living in the wrong body and need to transition to the opposite sex continues to soar year on year.

Official figures from the Gender Identity Development Service at the Tavistock Centre in London show that more than 2,500 children were referred to them in 2017 to 18, which was a 25 per cent increase from the previous year.

According to a study published in scientific journal PLOS One last August, based on interviews with more than 250 parents of transgender teens, girls are more likely to experience ‘rapid onset gender dysphoria’ in which they suddenly identify as another gender after or during puberty — even though they never showed any previous signs of wanting to have a different gender.

Public health researcher Lisa Littman, of Brown University in the U.S., found that ‘social contagion’ might be a factor, while it was also noted that girls were more likely to have rapid onset gender dysphoria if they knew someone else who did.

When they came out as transgender, parents also said they noticed their children became more popular, gained more social media followers and were praised more. One parent reported: ‘Being trans is a gold star in the eyes of other teens.’

The flipside however is that ‘cisgender’ has become a term of abuse against straight teens.

Parents told the study how their trans children derided straight children, whom they viewed as ‘dumb and boring’, and were ‘disparaging’ about ‘heterosexuality, marriage and nuclear families’. Bella says she knows the feeling: ‘When I talk about liking boys to some girls in my year I am treated as if I am stupid and I don’t get it.

‘It’s like if you are straight and like the opposite sex, you can’t be a deep or evolved person.’

Yet, all our girls are finding their way — and belong to a generation in the midst of a mental health crisis, not just those who have gender or sexual identity issues.

As a parent it’s horrifying to know that 22 per cent of all 14-year-old girls now self-harm either by deliberately hurting themselves physically or through drug or alcohol abuse, according to the latest research by The Children’s Society.

On top of concerns about body image, measuring up on social media and the drive for exam results, this push to encourage children to question who they are at such an early age feels like just one more layer of pressure.

Children’s education consultant Nicky Hutchinson, co-author of the book Body Image In The Primary School, applauds the bravery of those sixth-formers conducting the seminar at Bella’s school, but she suggests it would have been helpful for teachers to add more context. She says: ‘Of course we must totally respect children who really know they are gay or transgender at the age of 13.

‘But there are an awful lot of children who are also uncertain at the same age, feeling they have to identify themselves by saying which camp they belong to. There’s a possibility that because some girls of this age think: “Oh I quite like that older girl” — as has always happened — or they are not yet interested in boys, they are rushing to categorise themselves or put themselves in a box. It’s as if we’ve forgotten that children go through phases.’

There’s also the devastating effect this is having on girls’ friendships. In terms of child development, having a close best friend has been a way of practising one-on-one adult relationships.

A thoroughly confused Bella wonders whether some of her classmates don’t just like her. She has to consider whether they fancy her, too. As a mother, I chose to send her to a single-sex school so she didn’t have to be saddled with these sorts of concerns.

Indeed, Bella showed me a text exchange in which a female friend had asked her if she had ever kissed anyone.

When Bella said no, she replied: ‘Want to try it with me?’

Because Bella and her own best friend are inseparable, Bella said she has also had to counter rumours they are gay — not that she has anything against being gay, she just isn’t.

My daughter believes that there’s definitely an element of the gender and sexual fluidity movement at her school that is for show. ‘The gay couples in my year don’t even seem to talk much at school,’ she tells me.

‘They mainly have their relationships on social media. They seem to like very intense relationships — with a lot of drama and breaking up and getting back to together — and they sometimes post pictures of them kissing.’

Another mother told me of similar scenarios at her own 13-year-old daughter’s school: ‘My daughter Macie’s school pushes a very sexualised agenda, and this seems to result in very young girls — age 11 to 13 — seeing the world, including female friendships, in a sexual way.

‘One girl said she thought Macie and her friend were “dating” because they’d held hands while running for a bus. Although pressure groups which push this agenda say parents are part of the problem and denying their children a chance to be themselves, I say they are just children, and people change a great deal between childhood and adulthood.’

But perhaps we also need to dig a bit deeper to look for other reasons girls are turning to each other for romantic relationships?

Maybe in a world where there is so much talk of misogyny — and in which some boys, having been influenced by porn, see girls as sex objects to do with what they like — an understanding female friend does feel like the safest romantic option?

So where are the current gender fluid policies in schools taking us?

By doing the highly commendable thing of trying to stop the small number of transgender pupils being bullied, are the rest of the class suffering?

Certainly Bella appears to be constantly concerned that she’s regarded as boring, and is anxious not to be frozen out by the cooler clique.

Of course, it must be terrible to be trapped in a body which you genuinely feel has never belonged to you. But schools and parents also need to make sure that they don’t forget to tell our daughters there’s nothing wrong with sticking with the gender they were born with — and that they can decide on their sexuality when they feel ready. Not when others tell them they are.


Students trying to get a controversial professor fired because of her criticism of rape victims and transgender people are slammed by their own university professor for stifling free speech

Students in Philadelphia have had their calls to ban a controversial feminist rejected by their university.

Professor at the University of the Arts Camille Paglia had faced strong demands to be fired following her criticism of rape victims and her comments about transgender people.

However president of the university David Yager rebuked the calls, stating that the move would 'suppress' free speech and that 'limiting the range of voices in society' would erode democracy.

Ms Paglia, who is known for her critiques of modern feminism,  was met with a student-led petition signed by more than 1,000 people earlier this month for her critical comments on rape victims and transgender individuals.

The petition stated that the social critic had 'blatantly mocked survivors of sexual assault' and the #MeToo movement' during classes and interviews.

Organizers of the petition also drew to previous interviews Ms Paglia had given in which she stated that universities should not consider claims made by victims of sexual assault more than six months after the incident had taken place.

However in an open letter to students and faculty staff on April 10, University of the Arts President David Yager denied the petition and declared his commitment to free speech, arguing that for centuries artists had suffered censorship and that 'simply cannot be allowed to happen.'   

He wrote: 'Across our nation it is all too common that opinions expressed that differ from another's—especially those that are controversial—can spark passion and even outrage, often resulting in calls to suppress that speech. 'That simply cannot be allowed to happen. I firmly believe that limiting the range of voices in society erodes our democracy.

'Universities, moreover, are at the heart of the revolutionary notion of free expression: promoting the free exchange of ideas is part of the core reason for their existence.

'That open interchange of opinions and beliefs includes all members of the UArts community: faculty, students and staff, in and out of the classroom.

'We are dedicated to fostering a climate conducive to respectful intellectual debate that empowers and equips our students to meet the challenges they will face in their futures.

'I believe this resolve holds even greater importance at an art school. Artists over the centuries have suffered censorship, and even persecution, for the expression of their beliefs through their work. My answer is simple: not now, not at UArts.'

Ms Paglia had become a controversial figure on campus and a growing target among students due to her critical assessment of modern culture.

In a YouTube interview posted earlier this year the controversial academic claimed academic institutions should not listen to a complaint made by victims of sexual assault more than six months after the incident had happened.

During the interview she said:  'To me it's ridiculous that any university ever tolerated a complaint of a girl coming in six months or a year after an event. 'If a real rape was committed go freaking report it to the police.'

She added: 'To me this is not feminism to me this is a bourgeois culture of excuses and a projection of a prima donna thing. Like exposing the wound. The wounds make you special, the wounds give you privilege.'

The rebuke by Mr Yager comes after the president of George Mason University, Angel Cabrera, slammed calls to fire the Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Justice Kavanaugh had sparked controversy due to allegations about his sexual conduct in high school, however Mr Cabrera stated the judge was 'uniquely valuable for our students'.


Wednesday, April 24, 2019

BIAS ALERT: Elementary Students Told To Color A Picture Of Great American… ILHAN OMAR

All across the country we are hearing stories of children being discriminated against because of their support of President Trump and his battle cry, “Make America Great Again” (AKA “MAGA”).

He’s too controversial, they say. These students have been silenced and even suspended for daring to believe that he could be a great American, worthy of respect. As reported by Daily Wire:

For example, in 2018, a high school student from a public school in Oregon, Addison Barnes, was suspended for wearing a T-shirt supporting President Trump. “Donald J. Trump Border Wall Construction Co.,” the T-shirt read.

The student ended up suing the school and won on First Amendment grounds.

In March 2018, a student from a public school in Georgia caught her teacher on video lecturing about how terrible President Trump is, claiming he has “killed millions,” reported The Daily Wire:

“When my president says let’s Make America Great Again, when was he talking about?” sixth-grade teacher Johnetta Benton is heard asking, later suggesting that Trump means “[America] was great for Europeans,” but “when it comes to minorities, America has never been great for minorities.”

Last month, students were suspended for simply wearing gear with President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” logo.

Parents at a Southeast Valley high school are upset after they say school administrators demanded their children remove clothing and accessories that touted President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” logo.

Parents say at least one student was suspended in the Friday incident.

Conservatives would assert that there is political bias within the union-dominated public schools, while Liberals would assert that there is a need to stay out of politics for the sake of safety in the classroom. So what’s the truth?  Is there overwhelmingly slanted political bias, or are the public schools just getting a bad press?

A blogger at Powerline claims that he has uncovered a story about an assigned report/coloring project at at least two public schools in Minneapolis where the students needed to color a picture of Ilhan Omar, and then write a report about her on the other side of the page.

Note the following statement from the author of the article, John Hinderaker:

“This photo came from a public elementary school in Minneapolis. I’ve been told that the same coloring project has been reported in at least one suburban school district, but I don’t have definite confirmation of that yet.”

Do we need more evidence than what is presented in the photo? Indoctrination is scary, and unfortunately, widely accepted in the public schools.

Don’t believe me? How do you respond to the heretical songs taught to elementary students, like the following?

“Hmm, hmm, hmm, Barack Hussein Obama! He said, “Red and yellow, black and white, all are people in his sight!”  Hmm, hmm, hmm… Barack Hussein Obama!”

Still don’t believe me? Just watch at around 1:12 on the following video to watch it for yourself:

When I was a kid, the only person who got credit for loving all the children of the world (red and yellow, black and white) was Jesus.

So what do you suppose the public schools are trying to teach youngsters about Obama? That HE’S actually the savior? Disgraceful.

Whether or not you agree with me, you have to admit that there is clear bias when you can’t wear a T-shirt that says “Make America Great Again” but you can rewrite church songs about Jesus Christ to make it seems as though Obama is the one that deserves all the praise.


Harvard Professor's Conservative Views Get Him Disinvited From Canadian University

A conservative Harvard University professor has been disinvited from giving a talk at Canada’s Concordia University, because of his traditional views on gender.

Harvey Mansfield had been invited by Concordia to deliver the university’s spring commencement address to its Liberal Arts College. The address was to coincide with the university’s 40th anniversary celebration in May. Mansfield is a professor of great books and Western thought, and has been teaching at Harvard for 50 years.

But then the university abruptly rescinded its invitation. In a letter, Principal Mark Russell told Mansfield that Concordia faculty and staff regretted they "were unable to reach consensus as to what we wanted to achieve with this event." Russell claimed that the selection committee "acted in good faith but rather precipitously" when it invited Mansfield to deliver the address in the first place.

According to Mansfield, however, that was not the real reason for the disinvitation.  

“What had taken place,” Mansfield wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Sunday, “I learned but not from him, was a faculty meeting prompted by a letter from 12 alumni that demanded a reversal of the committee's invitation because my ‘scholarly and public corpus … heavily traffics in damaging and discredited philosophies of gender and culture.’”

“Promoting ‘the primacy of masculinity,’” Mansfield continued, “apparently a reference to my book ‘Manliness,’ attracted their ire. Though I was to speak on great books, not gender, this ‘trafficking’—as if in harmful drugs—disqualified me without any need to specify further. Such sloppy, inaccurate accusation was enough to move a covey of professors to flutter in alarm.”

Mansfield also admitted that the snub was not necessarily unexpected. "The invitation was a surprise, and the rejection less of one, because I am a white male conservative professor," wrote Mansfield.

In an email, Russell had written, "We heard from many that they would not attend the event because they objected to the views he has expressed publicly on women and homosexuals .... A majority of LAC faculty decided it was best NOT to have Professor Mansfield give the keynote address at the College's reunion since it is intended to be a time of celebration and unity."

Not all Concordia alumni agreed with the university’s decision, however. In a letter addressed to alumni, Julie Amblard, president of the college's alumni society, Frederick Krantz, the co-founder of the college, and current Concordia professor Eric Buzzetti criticized the decision to disinvite Mansfield.

"We are saddened that some alumni of the (Liberal Arts College) thought it appropriate to attempt to silence a scholar with whose views they happen to disagree," their letter read. "We are also saddened that their attempt was successful."

Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program at Princeton University, also spoke out against the university.

“Now this. This is insanity. Harvey Mansfield is one of the most accomplished scholars and eminent teachers of political philosophy in the world,” George wrote in a tweet.

Buzzetti said the scheduled events celebrating the school's 40th anniversary might be postponed to the fall semester, or they may not happen at all.

"I hope something will happen," Buzzetti said. "But it is a bit difficult to organize something and then turn your back on a speaker. It will certainly not happen in May."


'White males' should be BANNED from speaking during university classes so women and transgender students are more willing to contribute to discussions - seminar suggests

A workshop at one of Australia's top universities discussed banning white male students who look like Liberal Party voters from speaking in class.

The seminar titled How Privilege Manifests in Tutorials was held last week by the University of Melbourne Student Union.

Attendees discussed ways to make tutorials and lectures more inclusive by encouraging women, transgender, foreign and gay people to speak up more.

One proposal was to ban 'white, male students' and 'students resembling Liberal voters' from speaking.

This caused outrage among members of the student Liberal Club.  Thomas Carlyle-James, 21, said it was unfair to paint this stereotype of Liberal voters. 'There's generally this sort of idea that Liberals are all racist, rich, white kids,' he told The Australian.

'I know plenty of Liberals and none of them are racists and they aren't as wealthy as people think and are also from all different ­nationalities.'

The workshop was one of many held last week during the Student Union's annual event titled Radical Education Week.

Other workshops were titled Feminist History of Capitalism; Burn the Prisons Down & Tear Apart the Walls; and Climate vs Capitalism: Eco-socialism as an Alternative.

Student Union president Molly Willmott defended the workshop. 'This is not about stopping people from speaking,' she said. 'We're a university that encourages free speech.

'It's about giving space to people who don't feel included on university campuses because of things like gender, language (and) queerness.'

A University of Melbourne spokeswoman said: 'This is a workshop run by UMSU.' 'What is discussed is not university policy.'


Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Columbine’s chilling legacy: America’s plan to stop school shooters

When Blu Gilliand’s nine-year-old twin daughters came home from school three years ago and told him they had learned how to defend themselves against a school shooter that day, he was shocked.

“They learned to identify parts of the classroom that are not visible from windows or doors to hide in,” says the 48-year-old father from Wetumpka, Alabama.

“Then, if an intruder makes it inside, they learned how to throw books and chairs at the person to try to run them off.”

Gilliand’s daughters, who are now 12 years old, receive ALICE training — Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate — in their classroom each year.

And they’re not alone, with training drills on what to do in the event of an active shooter now conducted in some 95 per cent of public schools in the United States.

ALICE training began in response to the Columbine High School massacre on April 20, 1999, where 12 pupils and one teacher were killed by fellow students.

This week marks the 20th anniversary of the attack, as well as 13 years since the Virginia Tech shooting, where 33 college students were gunned down on April 16, 2007.

It is estimated that over 220,000 children have been exposed to gun violence at school since Columbine.

“Learning to deal with an active shooter should be taught on the first day of kindergarten,” says Greg Shaffer, a former FBI Hostage Rescue Team agent who is now head of risk management firm Shaffer Security Group, which trains schools and workplaces on what to do in an active shooter scenario.

Shaffer prefers the strategy of ‘avoid, deny, defend’ — and believes that people need to be trained in such a situation to replace fear with the confidence to act.

“We teach people to avoid a shooter if you can see him — if know where he is at, you run. If you can’t run, deny him access by locking the doors,” he says.

“Then, prepare to defend yourself using improvised weapons. There are five or six things I recommend every teacher have in their desk drawer: a hammer, a box cutter, a screwdriver, pepper spray, a CO2 fire extinguisher, and three cans of soup in a pillow case.”

Shaffer is adamant that teaching anyone, even small children, to take cover is dangerous.

Chris Dorn, an analyst with school safety group Safe Havens International, fears that the current climate has produced a psychological effect on teachers that makes them think they need to be heroes. “There’s a big push to take a more aggressive response when there’s not really a lot of evidence to show that it’s a better response,” he says.

He says that “rogue operators” have become common in the training world, emerging in force after the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012, where a gunman killed 20 children aged six and seven years old, and six members of staff. “A narrative emerged that the principal had sacrificed herself to defend her school, but in reality, she happened to be in wrong place at the wrong time.

“Now, I hear school teachers and administrators saying, ‘I have to die for my students, so what do I do?’”

Dorn also believes that there is too much emphasis on the risk of school shootings compared to other risks of injury.

“Between 1998 and 2012, we did some research on types of deaths that happened on K-12 school campuses, and found that there were 62 active shooter deaths compared to 525 transportation related deaths — but we don’t seem to think traffic accidents are worth addressing.”

Still, he believes that teachers need to be trained to trust their judgment in an emergency — but in a way that doesn’t traumatise them.

“One insurer in Iowa paid out $400,000 in the first year for workers compensation claims in districts where they started having ALICE training,” he says.

“Some are so hands on that they’re dangerous, others are psychologically damaging. They get people focused on something that is very, very unlikely, to the point that we are seeing teachers too scared to go to school and leaving the profession.”

Andrew Patrick from the Coalition for Gun Control thinks that training for students and teachers is necessary in lieu of meaningful gun reform in country.

“Unfortunately, as long as we have weak gun laws — meaning people have access to weapons that can kill dozens in minutes — we are going to have to have training to help keep kids safe.”

Despite the fact that there were armed guards at both Columbine and Virginia Tech, politicians in the United States including President Trump have endorsed appointing armed guards rather than increasing the numbers of school counsellors or restricting the sale of guns.

A survey conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics showed that armed officers were present at least once a week in 43 per cent of America’s public schools, up from 31 per cent of schools a decade earlier.

“The move towards so-called secure schools is really a push by the gun lobby to sell more guns,” Patrick says. “Instead of having a Wild West firefight in our nation’s schools, we need to pass laws to reduce guns to prevent these tragedies.”

University of Alabama Criminology Professor Adam Lankford says that paying attention to warning signs is the first step to reducing school shootings.

“More than 80 per cent of school shooters told at least one person what they were planning. When people hear those kind of threats, they need to report them, and law enforcement has to do a better job of taking these reports seriously and investigating them.”

The FBI received two tip offs that the perpetrator of the 2018 shooting at Parkland High School in Florida that killed 17 people was a “school shooter in the making” — but neither tip was sent to local agents to investigate.


Barcelona schools remove classic fairytales ‘Little Red Riding Hood,’ ‘Sleeping Beauty’ for being sexist

Schools in Barcelona have reportedly removed 200 children’s books from an infant school library including classic fairytales like “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Sleeping Beauty” after determining they perpetuated sexist stereotypes.

The Tàber school, which is under the responsibility of the Catalan government, found that 30 percent of the books in its library for children up to the age of six were “toxic” while only 10 percent were written from a “gender perspective.”

The school said 60 percent of their books had less-serious problems, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported.

Anna Tutzo, one of the mothers who reviewed the books, told reporters that they were not targeting specific books, but instead looking at a broader problem with sexism.”

“Society is changing and is more aware of the issue of gender but this is not being reflected in stories,” she added.

Tutzo said the most common problem they found in the books is the idea of masculinity being about competitiveness and courage.

“Also in violent situations, even though they are just small pranks, it is the boy who acts against the girl. This sends a message about who can be violent and against whom,” she said. “Kids are like sponges and absorb everything around them, which allows sexist stereotypes to be normalized.”

El Pais reported that other schools in the Catalan capital are also revising the books in their libraries.


An Idea for Student Loans: Get Rid of Them

It’s time to shut down the Bank of Uncle Stupid.
Here is a three-part plan for something practical the federal government could do to relieve college-loan debt. Step 1: The federal government should stop making college loans itself and cease guaranteeing any such loans. Step 2: It should prohibit educational lending by federally regulated financial institutions or, if that seems too heavy-handed, require the application of ordinary credit standards in any private educational lending, treating the student himself as the main credit risk in all cases, including those of secured or unsecured loans taken out by parents or other third parties for that student’s educational expenses. And 3: It should make student-loan debt dischargeable in ordinary bankruptcy procedures.

The most likely end result of this would be the effective abolition of government- and bank-based financing of college education in all but the most narrowly defined circumstances. Good riddance. That leaves about $1.5 trillion in existing debt on the table, a very large number from which the federal government derives very little income, about 0.1 percent a year, or $1.5 billion — a fact that should enter into our calculations about whether we attempt to collect every nickel of that money or, perhaps, slowly forgive some of that debt for students who keep up with their payments and are otherwise good citizens, maybe at a rate of 2 percent of the principal a year.

It is time to shut down the Bank of Uncle Stupid.

Colleges will have two choices: Bring their tuitions down to a more reasonable rate or, if they are so inclined, work out financing arrangements of their own. This would not present too much trouble to splendidly endowed schools such as Harvard and Princeton, or to public schools with substantial resources at their disposal. A senior official of my alma mater, the University of Texas, once caused a stir by confessing — in public — that UT Austin doesn’t need to charge tuition at all but does so mainly as a population-control mechanism. The problem, he said, wasn’t money as such but the fact that the state would not let him raise admissions standards. Admittedly, UT has become a little more selective in recent years.

I have a theory about why there has been so much tuition inflation: inflation.

When we talk about “inflation,” we generally mean to denote a general rise in consumer prices; but, properly understood, that is the result of inflation, not inflation itself. Inflation itself is an increase in the money supply, and its effects need not necessarily be general. You can inflate the money supply by printing money, but you can also do it by expanding credit. Our friends at the National Association of Realtors and other charter members of the Committee to Reinflate the Housing Bubble, for example, have a keen understanding of the relationship between loosey-goosey mortgage-lending standards and brisk sales in the face of rising housing prices (and rising commissions). Your local new- or used-car dealer knows that he can charge higher prices for vehicles that are to be financed by people who care more about their monthly payment than about the total cost. There are some critics of the federal response to the 2008–09 financial crisis who believe that the recent run-up in the stock markets and the prices of other assets is fundamentally the result of inflation through quantitative easing and other measures. (You don’t have to believe that that was a necessarily bad policy to believe that this is true, incidentally.) Easy credit contributes to higher prices.

If you make a few gazillion dollars available to finance tuition payments with underwriting standards a little bit lower than those of the average pawn shop, you create a lot of potential tuition inflation. Another way of saying this is that if Uncle Stupid puts a trillion bucks on the table, there are enough smart people at Harvard to figure out a way to pick it up.

We managed to provide college educations to those wanting them for many generations without creating a body of debt larger than all of the credit-card bills in the nation combined. Our colleges have become faintly ridiculous places, in terms of their modest academic ambitions (lookin’ at you, journalism majors, women’s-studies departments, undergraduate programs in business administration), their top-heavy administrative structures (the number of administrators per student has exploded along with college debt, suggesting that colleges are being treated as full-employment programs for the politically connected classes), their resort-style amenities, etc. We accept more students but educate far fewer of them — at much greater expense.

The best way to impose a little discipline on that mess is to make students, their families, and, most important, the institutions themselves carry their own water. The current system is exploitative: The students essentially function as a conveyor belt carrying government money into the universities, leaving borrowers instead of taxpayers on the hook because it looks better from an accounting point of view: If we just gave the universities money, that would show up on the books as an expenditure; lending it to students allows us to pretend that we have created an asset when all we have actually created is a great deal of debt and horses**t.

And, hard as it is to believe, it’s even worse in the so-called trade schools and “professional” programs advertised in subways and buses from coast to coast. If you want to know how much money has been transferred to the nation’s bartending academies, the Professional Golfers Career College, or the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building under the guise of student lending, look here.

So, let’s cut the Gordian knot here. Don’t reform student lending, don’t try to lower the interest rates or create special debt subsidies for college graduates who follow careers of which the people with political power approve. Just get rid of it. With a meat ax.

There are lots of smart people at the universities. Or so we’re told. If they can’t figure out how to teach the liberal arts or accounting without dipping into the Bank of Uncle Stupid with both hands and all available snouts, then maybe somebody else should give it a try.


Monday, April 22, 2019

Benham Brothers: There’s a Spiritual Battle Between Good and Evil Being Waged on College Campuses

Abraham Lincoln once said, “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.”

We’ve seen that to be true, which is why USA Today’s recent story grabbed our attention last week: “So Yale Law School endorses anti-religious bigotry now?”

Oh boy – what now?!

The story basically describes the digressive nature of the progressive movement’s goal to silence freedom of speech and slay freedom of religion. That’s why the ceiling consistently becomes the floor with these folks. First they want acceptance of their ideas, then appreciation, then celebration, then participation – and if you choose not to join the revolution, they’ll marginalize you, demonize you, and eventually criminalize you if they can (wow, that was a mouthful).

Because you can’t have free speech and free religion if you want to destroy American values, you need government coercion; and to get that, you need a crop of future leaders fully indoctrinated to hate freedom of speech and religion (well, at least freedom of speech and religion that’s different from theirs).

The article reported that the Yale Federalist Society scheduled an event in February with the Alliance Defending Freedom, a premier legal organization with nine Supreme Court wins in the last seven years. But before the event took place, over 20 campus organizations condemned the group as “homophobic and hateful” because it has defended religious freedom – and won – on multiple occasions. Their most recent victory included the Colorado cake baker.

And, like a set of perfectly aligned dominoes, the dean of the school fell directly into line with the protestors. By late March, the school had adopted new policies that went even further than the protestor’s demands. Samuel Adkisson, himself a Yale grad, summed it up like this:

“Under the guise of nondiscrimination, Yale Law School has announced it will blatantly discriminate. A student is barred from aid if she works at a synagogue that gives preference to Jewish applicants, but not if she works at an organization that peddles anti-Semitism yet hires all comers. A graduate is blocked from funding if she works for the Christian Legal Society, but not if she works for the Freedom from Religion Foundation. And a graduate is not eligible to receive loan assistance if she is a professor at Brigham Young University, but is eligible if she works for Berkeley.”


There are a couple key points I’d like to point out.

First, Lincoln’s quote was spot on – kids in college today do become leaders in government tomorrow. So it matters where we are sending our kids and what they are being taught.

Dr. Elton Trueblood, a former chaplain for Stanford and Harvard in the early 20th century, was asked what it would look like for Christians in America in the 21st century. His response was eerily prophetic: “By the year 2000, Christians in America will be a conscious minority surrounded by an arrogant, militant paganism.”

He saw the direction progressives were taking our colleges, and his discerning reply was our warning. Now it’s here.

Second, those saying all we need today is more “conversation and dialogue” should understand that it requires shared values and common goals with those to whom we converse to move forward as a society. But that’s not what the progressive left wants.

A traffic analogy works well here. Traffic flows in America, despite the cars we drive, what we listen to on the radio or think about other drivers, because we all have the shared value that red means stop and green means go – and we all have the common goal of making it to our destination safely.

But if people don’t share those values or goals, traffic would quickly become unsafe – it would turn into chaos. And that’s the ultimate goal of the left.

Which brings me to my last point. God is not the author of chaos and confusion, the devil is. At the bottom of this struggle on college campuses (not to mention mainstream media and Hollywood) is a spiritual battle between good and evil, right and wrong.

It’s not a Republican/Democrat thing, conservative/liberal thing, black/white thing, citizen/immigrant thing, or any other thing the left decides to foment. It’s a spiritual battle that truly rages behind the scenes.

Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, ‘Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.’ (Psalm 2:1-3)

Matthew Henry, the 18th-century Bible commentator, said of Psalm 2 that people throughout history constantly seek to cast off “the bands of conscience and the cords of God’s commandments.”

That’s why conscience and conviction are in the cross-airs of the radical Left. It’s spiritual, even if they don’t know it.

And Revelation 12:17 reveals that Satan is behind it all:

“Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.”

Those who choose to live by their conscience and conviction and honor God’s moral commands in today’s America find themselves directly in opposition to the dragon of Revelation – Satan himself.

Those on the radical left have no idea the spirit under which they are operating, so we are hitting our knees in pray more than ever for them to be set free.

Because the good news of the Gospel is still the good news – that Jesus defeated the devil at the Cross and is clothed with resurrection power.


Our Expensive, Manipulated Public High Schools

The idea of spending one's way out of educational problems did not begin with New York's recently appointed chancellor, Richard Carranza.  It can be traced to Jonathan Kozol, whose first bestseller on education came out in the 1960s.  Kozol was an educational reformer who emerged as a critic of education after he spent less than a painful year teaching 4th grade in the Boston public schools.  As Kozol matured as an educational reformer, he shifted away from harping on the racism of the white teachers, as he did in his first book, Death at an Early Age.

A later book, Savage Inequalities, advanced a different view.  Under this view, the new reformers propose to make teachers and principals accountable by ending tenure (tenure has been weakened but is still in place in New York City) and inspired reforms such as implementing new ways of rating teachers (Danielson rating system) and implementing the small high school movement.  The last initiative was undertaken by Deborah Meier and then driven by the Coalition for Essential Schools and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Teacher unions got on board with the idea that inner-city schools fail not because of the racism of the teachers, the premise of Kozol's first book, but because they have less money to spend than more successful suburban schools.  Give us as much money as the best suburban schools, the unions say, and we will produce successful urban schools.  Since the 1990s, it has become a mantra of the liberal mindset that if we throw enough money at a social problem, we will solve that problem.  In America, the Almighty Dollar (a regular liberal alternative to Almighty God) can buy us out of our dilemmas.  The faults Mr. Kozol saw in Boston could be solved if we "invested" more in our schools, in our youth, in the urban poor, and in "creative programs" to renew the practices of our failing schools.

New York State spent $22,366 per pupil in 2016, which was a 14% increase in expenses from 2012.  As recently as 1995, the expenditure was $9,500 per pupil.  These increases have mainly been in the areas of salary, benefits, and support services.

However, as per pupil expenditures have skyrocketed over the decades, so has the increase in school bureaucracies, and declines in SAT and ACT scores for college admissions.  In fact, the College Board in 1995 readjusted its SAT scoring so scores in both math and reading were skewed significantly upward.  Other scoring "adjustments" have been made over the years to improve score results.

In the 1990s, the Coalition for Essential Schools advanced the small school movement for high schools.  Under this educational model, the comprehensive high schools of our cities were to be dismantled.  These institutions with 2,000–4,000 students each were deemed too large to create the nurturing atmosphere needed and too big to allow for the personal attention that would come in a more personal environment.  So, in New York City, the comprehensive high schools were broken into three or four small high schools.  Sometimes these small high schools were not even called high schools, but were called "academy schools."  This was to create an elite aura around the school since some private schools are called academies.  The idea was that they were to be new, focused, and special because each would be thematic. 

In the new small high school landscape, the entering high school students and their parents would select a theme.  So, in New York City, there might be a performing arts academy high school, a business academy high school, a technology academy high school, a music and art academy high school, etc.  Since there were not enough talented and gifted students in these small schools, more advanced courses like Advance Placement courses at first were not offered.

However, after a little while, those classes were begun, comprising students who would not have been allowed in ten years before.  This was part of dispelling the inherent "racism" that it was claimed existed in the school system.  When this writer asked a principal if packing the Advanced Placement classes with students who could not expect to get a 3, 4, or 5 on a scale of 1 to 5 (3,4, and 5 being considered passing by various colleges), he replied, "It doesn't matter because it's giving them good experience no matter how well they do."  Everyone was brushed aside who asked if placing unqualified students in AP courses was not setting them up for failure.  This was going on at the same time as teachers were pressured into passing greater numbers of students.  For the first time, students taking those courses began to fail them, and in some cases, oddly, students who were getting good grades in those courses received mere 1s and 2s on the AP exams.

But the greatest achievement of the academy schools or small school movement was that instead of one principal, you had three or four principals.  This meant more good-paying jobs for those with connections.  We could see a rise in administrative cronyism.  Potential principals enrolled in intensive training programs offered by the New York Department of Education to be able to move ahead in this new small school world.  At a meeting held to introduce teachers to the training programs, one young woman — only in her late 20s — was introduced to speak to the potential candidates.  In the older comprehensive high schools, one became a principal only after 20 to 30 years teaching and administering in the system.  However, with less than five years' experience, she was a principal.  She related her experiences, and then, as if at a high school commencement, she thanked her mother for her advancement.  Her mother was a principal in Queens in New York City.  The young lady principal did not even realize that she was telling us that she had gotten the job through her mother's connections.

Another young man, no more than 30, was the principal of a middle school "for social justice."  Someone knowing the tone of the New York City schools wondered out loud if their idea of social justice included kids robbing other kids in the boys' bathrooms.  Another attendee of the colloquium asked if one's publications counted toward becoming a principal, and the woman in charge of the program said quite solemnly that they did not.  In short, it was all about connections, fast-tracking of individuals into good jobs, phony names for schools, and trying to cover up the abounding illiteracy and disruptions.

Are we beginning, then, to see, as this writer sees, a pattern of score-tampering, outrageous increases in spending, and school size manipulation?  All seem driven by the mantra of promoting student "success," yet we see more money being spent despite lower scores, which are adjusted to appear higher, and smaller schools in the name of caring that offer fewer elective options; increase the numbers of jobs for principals; and create a smaller environment in which it is actually easier to manipulate attendance numbers, test scores, course grades, and numbers of credits accumulated by students.  This is the cynicism of our social justice warriors as well as their corruption.


Colorado Sex Ed Bill Would Force Kids to Learn LGBT Ideology, Ban Talk of Abstinence

Colorado’s wildly controversial, comprehensive sex ed legislation has ignited national discussions about how far Americans want to expose their children to a radical social agenda.

More than a few eyebrows were raised when Colorado passed its mandatory comprehensive sex education law in 2013, which required students undergo “culturally sensitive” lessons.

“Culturally sensitive” meant that sex ed lessons would incorporate minority perspectives on sex that had not previously been represented in sex-ed—including LGBT individuals, but also other groups. (In practice, this meant teaching and affirming more diverse kinds of sex.)

Though many parents were concerned, those concerns were appeased by the fact that students could discuss their moral, ethical, and religious beliefs on sex and sexuality in the classroom. It also allowed some schools to be excused from provisions of the law, if requested.

Yet, just five years later, Colorado’s Democrat-controlled General Assembly thinks the 2013 law is no longer good enough to address the sexual education of teens.

Enter HB 1032.

HB 1032 would do away with all the “concessions” included in the 2013 law and would specifically prohibit religious, moral, and ethical perspectives on sex from being discussed in the classroom.

The bill demands that schools teach about the relational and sexual experiences of LGBT teens. It would forbid any emphasis on abstinence and sexual-risk avoidance as the only foolproof method against pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, and even declares that saying so in the classroom is against the law.

HB 1032 would strip teachers, administrators, and school boards of the ability to choose the content of their comprehensive sex ed curriculums and would no longer allow schools to be excused from the requirements of the bill.

The bill is almost militant in its stringent requirements and prohibitions, thoroughly censoring the speech of teachers and crushing parental rights and religious freedom in the classroom.

Currently, only two states in the country (California and Louisiana) prohibit schools from speaking about religious beliefs regarding sex. The majority of states—including Colorado currently—allow abstinence to be stressed or emphasized to teens as the only foolproof method against sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy.

Yet, HB 1032 would flat-out ban speech that suggests abstinence is the best and healthiest choice. That’s despite the fact that the majority of American teens are choosing abstinence, and Colorado teens have a lower rate of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted teen pregnancies than the national average.

HB 1032 would flat-out ban speech that suggests abstinence is the best and healthiest choice.
Prohibiting emphasis on abstinence isn’t the only instance of the Colorado Legislature attempting to place words into the mouths of teachers and ideology into the hearts of our children. HB 1032 would also require that teachers who discuss pregnancy outcomes, like adoption and parenting, also discuss abortion.

If passed, Colorado would become only the third state in the country to have that, after Vermont and California.

Clearly, the vast majority of American parents, teachers, and schools believe adoption and abortion are not morally or ethically equivalent options. The bill brazenly refers to teaching abortion as an example of “objective, unbiased” instruction, despite abortion being one of the most contentious issues of our time.

It probably comes as no surprise that Planned Parenthood lobbies across the nation for comprehensive sex education bills to be enacted, and Colorado was no exception.

It certainly isn’t coincidence that Planned Parenthood is one of the world’s largest providers of comprehensive sex education materials in the world, peddling radical content that even the most liberal among us might find too shocking for our taste.

Planned Parenthood’s ready-made sex education curriculum just happens to fit the exact requirements HB 1032 would impose on local school districts. Its materials often promote virtually any type of sexual exploration and experimentation as a “safe and healthy” part of any relationship, no matter the child’s age or biological sex, just as long as you “say yes.”

Planned Parenthood’s ready-made sex-education curriculum just happens to fit the exact requirements HB 1032 would impose on local school districts.

That last point is certainly the provision of Colorado’s sex education bill that garnered the most heartfelt protests from parents during the 20-odd hours of public testimony. Parents tend to take issue with the government mandating teaching elementary school students the definition of “consent.” They already know the answer.

In Colorado, as in most other states, the definition of consent for elementary students is: Illegal. Criminal. Unsafe.

Parents have been rightfully confused on how teaching young children about consent could possibly protect them from predators. How did decades of “No Means No!” education become upended to be “Yes Means Yes”?

Young children are certainly capable of voluntarily saying the word “yes” to acts that might feel good but are nonetheless deeply harmful and traumatic. It is a parent’s job to protect their children from an agenda that has shifted sex education dialogue from being one of protection to one of pleasure, from prevention to gratification.

Unfortunately, HB 1032’s sponsors and supporters have downplayed the tens of thousands of parents clamoring for the bill to die as well as the national dialogue the bill has ignited on how parents can guard their children’s hearts and minds in today’s schools.

HB 1032 has already been passed through a state House committee, the House floor, and its first state Senate committee, despite the overwhelming outcry. The bill is currently being considered in a Senate fiscal committee, which will soon vote on whether $1 million will be allocated from the general fund to schools to help them pay for implementing the burdensome legislative requirements.

If passed out of committee, the full Senate will vote on the bill, and then it will be off to the desk of Colorado’s openly gay governor, Jared Polis, for signature.

It is a parent’s job to protect their children from an agenda that has shifted sex-education dialogue from being one of protection to one of pleasure, from prevention to gratification.
Families in states such as Arizona, Massachusetts, and Texas are fighting controversial provisions similar to Colorado’s. Tennessee, Alaska, Idaho, and other states are taking proactive measures to ensure family values are respected in the classroom.

Washington state parents recently took a page from Colorado parents’ book and successfully stopped their own appalling comprehensive sex education bill, as did parents in New Mexico.

But the threat isn’t limited to state legislatures. The U.S. House of Representatives will be voting soon on the deceptively named “Equality Act,” which could lead to federal courts ordering schools to implement curriculums on sexual orientation and gender identity.

We hope the outcry in Colorado continues to encourage parents in other states around the country to stay informed about what’s being taught in their children’s classrooms—and to do everything they can to protect their children from harmful ideology.


Sunday, April 21, 2019

Parents sue son's 'intolerant' school for suspending him 'over his conservative views' after he called transgender people sociopaths and said legalizing gay marriage was a 'slippery slope'

The parents of a teenage boy have threatened to sue his Connecticut school for suspending him to leave after he called transgender people sociopaths and said legalizing gay marriage was  a 'slippery slope'.

Michael Mancini, a high school sophomore, was asked to leave the $62,000-a-year Cheshire Academy after sharing his views with classmates and staff earlier this year.

His class had been discussing the Shakespeare play The Twelfth Night at the fact that one of the female characters dresses as a male.

As the class spoke about it being an attempt by Shakespeare to put a 'positive light on transgenderism', Michael interjected 'that during the time the book was written (1601-1602) his society would never partake in that sociopathic act,' his father, Theodore Mancini, wrote on a website listing his complaints.

He went on to compare transgender people to serial killers, specifically Ted Bundy, his father wrote.

'For his example he used Ted Bundy and his normalization of his bloodlust... Ted Bundy attempted to normalize his lust for killing, just as members of society today are trying to normalize transgenderism,' he said.

The teenager added: 'If a man thinks he is a woman or a woman a man, it shows legitimate hormonal or mental disorder. Although those that identify as things such as Demi-Queer Fox-Kin are just looking for attention.'

Afterwards, he was talking to a teacher in the hallway who asked him for his opinion on gay marriage.

He replied by saying 'he is fine with homosexuals being legally married but is opposed to any church or religious organization performing the ceremonies since it goes against their teachings or dogma,' his father wrote.

He added that 'whenever you seek to change the norms of a society, you have to be very careful to guard against it becoming a "slippery slope"'.

To prove his point, he went on: 'Pedophiles now call themselves MAPS or minor attracted persons and they are using the same steps that gays used in the 70’s-90’s to become normalized.

'Another example… in Canada, their Supreme Court has already declared most forms of bestiality legal…'

In a third incident, the boy, who is white, joked during a thinking workshop when asked to say something about himself that was obvious that he was black.

The school held a disciplinary hearing where they accused him of harassment and harming an individual.

Afterwards, he was told he could voluntarily leave the school with a clean record or be suspended five days and have the incidents put in his file.

His parents say that the school breached its contract with him and that he is being unfairly punished for his views.

They have threatened to file a lawsuit against the school which they say will seek damages for the emotional distress they say he has endured.

James Sullivan, the family's attorney, provided the school with a notice of the lawsuit last week.

It has not yet been filed.

He told The New Haven Register: 'It belies the whole concept of liberalism, which is to embrace diverse ideas. In this politically correct environment, they are being very intolerant.'

The school has not commented publicly on the issue but said in an email to parents 'This student was given a number of chances to adhere to our expectations and the rules and code of conduct of Cheshire Academy.

'Contrary to what you may have read, our decision was not based on an opposition to political dialogue.

'We will take steps to defend the good name and reputation of CA, and will continue to work with legal counsel through this unfortunate episode.'


High school student expelled for kneeing boy who was protesting transgender student's bathroom use

A female student was reportedly expelled from her Alaska high school for kneeing a male classmate in the groin. The boy was allegedly among a group of male students who entered the women's restroom in protest over a transgender student using the men’s restroom.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports a group of seven boys went into the women’s restroom at North Pole High School and blocked the door to protest a student who is transitioning from female to male and used the men’s restroom.

Though initial reports said the student was suspended from school after kneeing the boy, her family said she was expelled, according to the Washington Post. Her family told The Post they would be appealing the expulsion.

A district spokesperson told the Daily News-Miner that the seven boys involved were also disciplined. None of the students have been named due to district policy.

“Disciplinary actions are based on the facts as determined by the investigation, including any aggravating or mitigating circumstances,” the district said in a statement Monday to the local news outlet.

The Hill has reached out to the Fairbanks School District for additional comment.

The school district issued a lengthy statement on the incident Monday, addressing transgender students' use of restrooms.

"In regards to transgender students, when a student identifies as transgender in our district, the student (and often the family) work with school counselors and administration to determine how to best meet that student’s educational needs,” the statement read. “The conversation includes use of restrooms.”

The incident also drew the attention of Alaska state Rep. Tammie Wilson (R), who described the incident to the local newspaper and said she told the female student “good for her.”

“I would have taught my daughter to do the same,” Wilson said, adding that she doesn’t agree with the school district's decision to discipline the student.


Australia still needs national education statistics

When Julia Gillard defied the odds in 2008 to introduce NAPLAN successfully, it may have been the most significant achievement by an Australian federal education minister in decades.

Australia finally had an objective, standardised measure of student achievement in the vital areas of literacy and numeracy, which could be used to track progress over time from the national level all the way down to individual children.

You wouldn’t know it from the chorus of NAPLAN naysayers, but the 2018 report released this week shows that results have improved significantly in some areas since the tests were introduced, such as in Years 3 and 5 reading. We want more consistent improvement in results across subjects, but there are a few good signs.

Nevertheless, some stakeholders and education unions want NAPLAN scrapped. But in response to student results that should be better, both sides of politics must resist the easy option of simply stopping the measurement of results.

More than $50 billion of taxpayer money is currently spent each year on schools. And in election news that won’t surprise anybody, the Coalition promises a substantial school spending increase, while Labor promises an even larger one.

But pork-barrelling aside, at the very least, both major parties should guarantee that basic accountability and transparency for school NAPLAN results will be kept, as an indicator of the return on additional taxpayer investments.

And recent opinion polls indicate the public is generally supportive of NAPLAN and the national focus on literacy and numeracy. The clear majority of parents support NAPLAN and the MySchool website, and 75% of Australians think schools should prioritise maths and english.

Furthermore, many principals and teachers find NAPLAN data useful. When I interviewed principals for research on high-achieving disadvantaged schools, they were generally positive about NAPLAN and find the data useful to track student progress.

If we want to help disadvantaged students thrive at school, then we need to have an objective benchmark against which their progress can be measured, so that we can identify the most effective and efficient ways of assisting them.

It’s not just taxpayers who will be let down if NAPLAN is abandoned; it’s students too.