Friday, October 29, 2021

Ground Zero of Woke

Universities are making themselves not just disliked and disreputable but ultimately irrelevant and replaceable

Many of our once revered and most hallowed institutions are failing us. To mention only the most significant ones: our top-ranking military echelon, the leadership of our federal investigatory and intelligence agencies, the government medical establishment—and of course the universities.

For too long American higher education’s reputation of global academic superiority has rested mostly on the sciences, mathematics, physics, technology, medicine, and engineering—in other words, not because of the humanities and social sciences, but despite them. The humanities have become too often anti-humanistic. And the social sciences are deductively anti-scientific. Both quasi-religious woke disciplines have eroded confidence in colleges and universities, infected even the STEM disciplines and professional schools, and torn apart the civic unity of the United States. Indeed, much of the current Jacobin revolution was birthed and fueled by American universities, despite their manifest hypocrisies and derelictions.

Never in U.S. history have elite universities piled up such huge endowments, which soared during the lockdown. Harvard has $40 billion, Yale $30 billion, Stanford $28 billion, Princeton $25 billion and so on. The tax-free income from these huge sums ensures equally extravagant budgets that are somewhat insulated from market realities—at least in the sense that the larger endowments grew, the more likely university costs rose beyond the annual rate of inflation, and the greater aggregate student debt rose.

Just as importantly, spending per pupil is rarely calibrated to whether graduating students leave better educated than when they arrived—the ostensible purpose of universities.

There are certainly no “exit tests” for certification of the BA degree, in the manner of, say, a bar exam, that might set a minimum national standard for any acquisition of knowledge. Such standardized reassurance would rescue the BA degree from the growing general public perception that the campus has become politically warped, therapeutic, a poor measure of real knowledge, and is now largely a cattle brand of a sort that qualifies its holder for some sort of non-physical labor.

The result over the last few years of this relatively new higher-education marriage of big money and radical ideas is a strange disconnect. On the one hand, never have elite (though often indebted) college students been so demanding of apartment-style dorm living, latte bars, and rock-climbing walls, while virtue signaling their compensatory proletariat bona fides.

Never have universities been more able financially to subsidize and guarantee their own student loans. And yet they have outsourced that responsibility to federal guaranteed student loan programs. The result of that moral hazard of never being held accountable for rampant inflationary spikes in tuition, room, and board costs, is that universities over the last 30 years spent like drunken sailors on non-essentials: from diversity czars to in loco parentis therapeutic “centers” to Club Med accommodations—even as at the core test scores dived, grade inflation soared, and graduates increasingly did not impress employers.

So, universities themselves are largely responsible for the current $1.7 trillion in aggregate student college debt. Such a staggering encumbrance is not just the concern of higher education, but affects the entire country in manifest ways, well aside from emboldening our global rivals and enemies. Even communist China is spending far more of their higher education budgets on the sciences, math, and liberal arts than therapeutics, social justice crusades, and diversity, equity, and inclusion audits.

Students with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan obligations are likely to marry later, delay child rearing, cannot purchase a home in their 20s or even 30s, and more easily slide into prolonged adolescence. The country itself is experiencing a glut of the over- but not necessarily well-educated: history’s menu for radicalized and angry youth who feel they are properly credentialed with various letters after their names but suspect they lack the training and skills to enter the workforce, be productive, and earn commensurate good pay.

There is also something terribly wrong about well-compensated, tenured professors of the social sciences and humanities—whose own lives are conventionally materialist and bourgeoise—spooning out the usual radical race/class boilerplate to indebted students who in a sense have borrowed heavily to pay a large percentage of faculty salaries.

Few of today’s woke 20-somethings will graduate with rigorous instruction in language, logic, and the inductive methods with a shared knowledge of literature, history, science, and math. At far less cost, they would likely find better online classes in those now ossified subjects than in the courses that they went into hock in order to finance.

Never in U.S. history has the university been so at odds with not just the general pulse of America, but with its major traditions, institutions, and very Constitution. Most recently, Americans have been urged by university law schools and political science departments to eliminate the 233-year-old Electoral College, to pack the Supreme Court after 150 years of a nine-justice bench, to end the 180-year filibuster, to admit two new states to gain four progressive senators, and to question the constitutional cornerstone of two senators per state.

It is chiefly the university that scolds Americans that their customs, traditions, and laws have little moral weight, that they are merely constructs reflecting “white supremacy,” detached from either a natural law common to all humans or customs carefully cross-examined and honed after decades and even centuries of use in the public square.

Once abstract campus theorizing about open borders, hiring and admissions based on race, zero bail even for repeat felons, critical-legal-theory district attorneys, and Green New Deal energy policies have now all seeped out to warp the daily lives of Americans.

Yet unlike free speech movements of the 1960s, in 2021 it is the university that now wars on the First Amendment, castigating unwelcome expression as “hate speech” if found inconvenient for its agendas.

It is the university where the relevant amendments to the Constitution governing due process and confronting one’s accusers is jettisoned when the accused is of the wrong gender or race or both. It is the university that has renounced the legacy of the civil rights movement of the 1960s that once championed open housing, desegregation, and racially blind criteria.

Instead, many colleges now allow students (at least those self-identified as “marginalized”) to pick their dormitory roommates on the basis of race, to declared certain areas of campus racially segregated “safe spaces,” and to discriminate in student admissions and faculty hiring. If Martin Luther King, Jr. were to return to Harvard, Yale, or Stanford and to repeat verbatim the speech I heard (at age 11) that he gave in 1965 at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral, about equality, shared humanity, and the need to excel at whatever task one takes on, regardless of his station (“Be the best of whatever you are”), he would likely be jeered and derided as an integrationist and assimilationist.

One final irony? From the university we hear calls to either end or reform radically our major institutions and cultural referents: recalibrate the First and Second Amendments, scrap the border, tear down that statue, rename this plaza, do away with existing classes of gender pronouns, heckle speakers, and destroy the lives of unwoke faculty. And yet from such critical faculty scolds, there is oddly zero self-criticism or indeed any self-reflection of their own shortcomings.

Do academics ponder over why the reputations of their universities are eroding in the public mind? What exactly is the campus responsibility for graduating students with bleak job possibilities and unsustainable debt? Why is the clueless 21-year-old graduate now the stock joke of popular culture and comedy? How did the enlightened institutionalize a two-tier system of privileged tenured grandees resting on the backs of exploited contingent and part-time faculty? Why are critics of a supposedly non-transparent American society so secretive about their own admissions, hiring, and budgetary policies? And how did the locus of cheap anti-corporate boilerplate become so deeply reliant on siphoning corporate cash?

The racialized civil strife of 2020-21, and indeed the entire woke and cancel-culture revolutions originated ultimately from campus fixtures who never suffer the real-life consequences of their abstractions. And meanwhile, China, the greatest threat that the United States has faced in 30 years, smiles at our universities’ importation of most of the bankrupt and suicidal ideas abroad, from Frankfurt School nihilism and Foucauldian postmodern relativism to Soviet sclerosis and Maoist cultural revolutionary suicide.

Unless the university itself is rebooted, its rejection of meritocracy, its partisan venom, its tribalism, its war with free speech and due process, and its inability to provide indebted students with competitive educations will all ensure that it is not just disliked and disreputable but ultimately irrelevant and replaceable.


Diversity, Equity, Inclusion: New Criticisms and Challenges

Richard Vedder

No area of higher education has changed more fundamentally in my lifetime of teaching than what once was called affirmative action and now is called diversity, equity, and inclusion. Starting from virtually nothing in the early 1960s, colleges have formed massive and typically powerful bureaucracies to assure that schools have learning and discovery communities are “diverse.” It is the academic obsession du jour.

In the course of a week of traveling last week to academic events in three states (Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Texas) I became more conversant with two dissenting voices on current policy initiatives in this area. In North Carolina, I encountered John Chisholm, Silicon Valley entrepreneur with close ties to his alma mater M.I.T. I also started reading A Dubious Expediency, a new highly critical assessment of racial preferences co-edited by a friend of mine, Gail Heriot, law professor at the University of San Diego and also a longtime member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. Gail and I serve together on the board of the National Association of Scholars.

Growing up gay in southern Florida several decades ago, John Chisholm understands first hand how some people feel excluded from university communities, therefore believing that the move towards greater diversity, equity and inclusion is a highly commendable one. But he also feels colleges have adopted an extremely narrow approach, concentrating on biological physical characteristics like skin color and gender identity, while ignoring many other characteristics important in instilling true “diversity” into the academy. Serving for years as a member of M.I.T.’s governing board and even once as president of its alumni association, Chisholm has recently authored a study (”Achieving Holistic Diversity and Inclusion at a Major Research University”) in which he provides empirical evidence that on several measures, M.I.T. seems to seriously avoid certain types of students.

Chisholm asks: do universities look at other forms of diversity that could make their communities more representative of the population? Do they look at, for example, political diversity, geographic differences (rural vs. urban living backgrounds), or even religious differences? Do they look for variations in thinking processes—those with long vs. short term time horizons, or those who are risk-adverse as opposed to risking-taking adventurers? Using population-adjusted enrollment data by state, Chisholm finds M.I.T. takes large numbers from wealthy politically progressive coastal states (Connecticut, New York, California), but dramatically fewer from states like Arkansas, Wyoming, or Ohio. Is it by accident or design that M.I.T. favors those from blue states as opposed to red states?

Is M.I.T. by accident or design bringing more uniformity instead of diversity into the campus community by its emphasis on biological factors? And if there is a problem at M.I.T., what about at schools that are much more consciously fashionably woke? Chisholm is raising important questions and revealing inconvenient truths.

So is Gail Heriot, co-editor Maimon Schwarzschild, and other scholars (e.g, John Ellis, Heather MacDonald). Here the emphasis is much more on the pernicious unintended consequences of diversity, equity and inclusion policies. For example, in a long essay Professor Heriot reinforces the findings of other scholars that affirmative action has often hurt African-Americans and promoted academic failure by contributing to an untenable mismatch regarding the qualifications of students to succeed. This often does lead to dropping out, to a watering down of standards, grade inflation and other pathologies of the modern era. In recognition of the problems race-based admissions poses, Professor Heriot led the Proposition 16 efforts last year in which California voters resoundingly made it clear it is opposed to race-based admissions, much to the chagrin of university administrators.

The eminent political scientist Samuel Huntington made a splash a generation ago by talking about a “clash of civilizations.” Today, there is a a wide and growing gap between the academic world and the real world—the broader society—in the United States. I have said ad nauseam that higher education is ultimately dependent on the broader society for financial sustenance, and as the culture of the academy clashes increasingly with that of the broader public, universities will ultimately face severe financial consequences—at a time when a birth dearth, growing international threats, and other financial responsibilities associated with financing a welfare state among an aging population already create challenges for higher learning


Woke School District Accused of Mishandling Vicious Bullying, Beating of 15-Year-Old

Fifteen-year-old Sean Ade was lured into an ambush by six of his peers in a brutal beating outside a Massachusetts school that landed him in the emergency room.

The boy told police that on July 19 he was punched, kicked, elbowed, spit on, chased, and urinated on by five fellow students while a sixth student filmed the attack, according to a police report obtained by The Daily Signal.

On another occasion, the high school sophomore told police, the boys had “tackled him to the ground” and “shoved their bare asses in [his] face.”

Sean’s mother told The Daily Signal that her son’s attackers also cyberbullied him, urging him to kill himself over the internet.

All of the students involved in the attack attend Wellesley High School, but the beating occurred in the woods adjoining nearby Katharine Lee Bates Elementary School. Both schools are within the Wellesley Public Schools district, sued only last week over censorship of student speech and racially segregated groups.

Allyson Ade said she is unsure why the students decided to mistreat her son, a young man she described as a “kind, empathetic, awesome kid.”

Maybe two of the boys were angry because they each had dated a girl who was friends with Sean, she suggested to The Daily Signal. Perhaps, she speculated, the attack was just “misguided, unchecked anger and frustration.”

One boy told police that the group targeted Sean over unexplained rumors regarding Sean, girls, and alcohol. These rumors are false, his mother told The Daily Signal.

Whatever the reason for the attack, Dylan and Allyson Ade want justice for their son and a reformed bullying policy from Wellesley Public Schools, a school district they accuse of egregiously mishandling the vicious beating.

“The hope is that something good can come out of something horrible,” Allyson Ade told The Daily Signal.

“If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger,” she recalled telling her son. “And it’s up to us how strong it makes you and how you’re going to look forward.”

But both of Sean’s parents said that the school district, which spends significant time and efforts on its diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, was not prepared to follow its own bullying guidelines and thus unprepared to help their child deal with the traumatic event.

Aftermath of Assault

Four of the other teenagers were charged with assault, Dylan Ade said during an Oct. 12 meeting of the Wellesley school committee. Two of those students will not return to Wellesley High School, he said, although two others involved will return.

Ade demanded that the school district “expand the suspension that these kids were given,” pointing out that one of the students who beat his son had been suspended for only 10.5 days.

The father specifically blamed Wellesley High School Principal Jamie Chisum and Wellesley Public Schools Superintendent David Lussier for mishandling the attack on his son, calling Chisum’s and Lussier’s actions “outrageous.”

The district did not issue a statement on the beating until Oct. 19—the same day that Parents Defending Education filed its lawsuit and the day before parents and students organized a protest against bullying.




Thursday, October 28, 2021

Pushing Parents Out, Biden Administration Further Weaponizes ‘Education’

When it comes to education policy, the Biden administration is making the radicalism of the Obama years look mild by comparison.

The goal is to ultimately replace parents with bureaucrats and “experts” to facilitate the indoctrination of America’s youth. That transformation is accelerating.

Not only are the education system and America’s children being weaponized against America, federal law enforcement is now being weaponized against parents who speak out about it.

If left unchecked, catastrophe awaits. However, the more monstrous the federally directed abuses in schools become, the more outraged Americans join the fight.

The future of the nation is literally on the line in this issue. The outcome of the battle between who will raise children—government or parents—will determine the fate of America.

Parents, Get Out of the Way

The attitude toward parents in Washington has long been hostile. Hillary Clinton famously claimed in 1996 that it “takes a village” to raise children. What she really meant, of course, was a government village.

In fact, during the Obama years, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan publicly called for some children to be in government “boarding schools” 24 hours per day, seven days a week. Others should remain in school, including “after school programming,” for 12 to 14 hours each day, he declared.

A policy document (pdf) drafted by the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services called for home visits by government officials and argued that parents could be “equal partners” with government in the rearing of their children.

But as fringe as those totalitarian views may sound to normal people, the extremism has now been taken to a whole new level under the current administration.

When Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Braun of Indiana asked Education Secretary Miguel Cardona if parents should be the “primary stakeholder” in the education of their children, it would have been easy to spit one’s coffee on the floor.

“Stakeholder”?! What?

Of course, parents should never be viewed as mere “stakeholders” in the education of their children, “primary” or otherwise. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, “stakeholder” is defined as “one that has a stake in an enterprise” or “one who is involved in or affected by a course of action.”

To call a mother or father a “stakeholder” in one of the most important facets of their child’s life is like calling a pilot of a private plane a “stakeholder” in whether his plane will land successfully or not. Technically it’s true. But it’s an outrage nonetheless.

Mothers and fathers should be in charge of their children’s education—not bystanders or “stakeholders.” This has been the case in virtually every human society for millennia. It’s also what the Bible clearly prescribes.

But the Biden administration, by contrast, does not believe parents should have any say in the “education” of children.

Cardona could not even bring himself to concede that parents should be the “primary stakeholders” in their children’s education.

“I believe parents are important stakeholders,” Cardona responded to Braun’s question, adding that “educators” also “have a role in determining educational programming.”

Indeed. That’s a nice way of saying: Parents, get out of the way, the Biden administration and its “experts” know better what and how your child should learn.


Minnesota surgeon says he was FIRED after telling school officials at public meeting that parents should have the right to decide if their children wear masks to school

Dr. Jeffrey Horak spoke before the school board at a public meeting in the town of Fergus Falls on October 11. He gave a speech against the school's temporary mask mandate, which had gone into effect the day prior.

'You mandate this across the road - that's a tough place to go,' Horak told the board. He then suggested there was a higher power in charge of the students' behavior over the school board.

'Who does God put in charge of these kids? Their parents. God gave each one of these kids... to their parents and they speak for them. They may be wrong, they may be dumb, they may be perfect in their decisions. But it's still their responsibility. It's not yours. God gave it to them. Honor their wishes, either side of the fence.'

Just nine days later, on October 20, Horak claims he was fired by Lake Region Healthcare (LRH), being told his 'views were no longer congruent' with the provider.

Dr. Jeffrey Horak, a surgeon in Minnesota, told the Fergus Falls school board on Oct. 11 that parents should make the decision about whether or not their children wear masks.

He says he was dismissed from his job nine days later. Horak was asked to either resign or be terminated.

'We live in America where freedoms are held close. I am a man who believes individuals have the right to do their research and decide what is best for them and their children when it comes to their health. I don't believe governments or institutions should dictate that,' Horak said in a statement during the rally on October 25.

A Lake Region Healthcare spokesperson said they were a subsidiary of Lake Region Medical Group and claims that their board of directors 'made the decision about discontinuing Dr. Horak's practice, not LRH.'

Dr. Greg Smith, president of the board, said they made the 'decision to discontinue Dr. Jeff Horak's employment contract after a thorough review process.'

He claims that this was merely a peer review decision.

'The reasons for Dr. Horak's separation are a confidential matter,' Dr. Smith said in a statement. 'To be clear, this was a decision that was made by Dr. Horak's peers who serve on the Medical Group Board, not by Lake Region Healthcare, the community-based hospital where Dr. Horak practiced General Surgery.'

Horak believes there could be several reasons for his firing, including not always wearing his mask after the state mandate was lifted, or a comment he made during a school board meeting about monkeys being able to tie knots being 'misconstrued' as racist.

'Or perhaps my termination is because I was empowering the parents,' Horak said. 'I may never know.'

On October 25, his local community in Fergus Falls showed up in the hundreds to hear him speak in support of the doctor.

'This isn't a conservative vs. liberal, or vaxxed vs. unvaxxed, or mask vs. no mask issue,' Angie Brown, a local resident who organized the rally, said. 'This is an issue of right vs. wrong and I am so happy that so many in our community recognized this wrong and were willing to show up, both to support Dr. Horak, but to also, in a peaceful way, voice their disagreement with Lake Region Medical Group.'

Horak spoke to the crowd and identified the reasons that they came together.

'One, you're becoming aware that your freedoms are being taken away. Two, professionals such as myself are being silenced, and then so are you. If it happens to me, it can happen to all of us,' Horak told the crowd. 'And third, you're afraid. We're all afraid. Today I want to empower you to say, 'I stand up with Dr. Horak. Truly, I stand with you.'

The mask mandate in Fergus Falls was in place for two weeks, ending on October 24.

'The Fergus Falls School District welcomes public comment and has a process in place for community members who wish to address the board,' Jeff Drake, the superintendent of Fergus Falls Public Schools, said Tuesday.


British High School textbook withdrawn over ‘inappropriate’ Native American question

An A-level textbook has been withdrawn after a youth worker raised the alarm about an “inappropriate” question asking whether the treatment of Native Americans had been exaggerated.

Hannah Wilkinson tweeted her horror about the extract of the AQA/Hodder textbook, USA 1865-1975: the Making of a Superpower, saying: “In what world is this an acceptable question/exercise to ask students to complete on the history of Native Americans in late 1800s US?”

The extracts asked students: “To what extent do you believe the treatment of Native Americans has been exaggerated?”

The exercise also asked students to complete scales with “criticisms of treatment of Native Americans” and “defence of the treatment of Native Americans”.

The publisher Hodder Education has withdrawn the book.

It follows the removal of a passage in a GCSE textbook, also by Hodder, about Caribbean families in 2018 after criticism from MPs and campaign groups. A passage in AQA GCSE (9-1) Sociology said Caribbean men were “largely absent” from family situations. After an online backlash, Hodder said it would stop supplying the book for sale.

Wilkinson told the BBC: “It was deeply shocking to see how ingrained racial injustice is … The period we’re looking at is a period of American policy where Native Americans were treated terribly. The way the textbook framed it suggests that maybe the treatment of Native Americans has been exaggerated.”

Wilkinson offers history mentoring lessons to students who require extra support at Durham sixth-form centre.

In response, Hodder Education tweeted: “Thank you for bringing this to our attention. We agree that this content is inappropriate and are going to remove this book from sale. We will conduct a thorough review of the content with subject experts.”

AQA said: “We’ve spoken with the publisher [Hodder Education] and they’ll remove this book from sale and review its content.

“We’re also working together with publishers to ensure that new and updated editions of AQA-approved textbooks meet our commitment to EDI equity, diversity and inclusion.”

Earlier this month, the US vice-president, Kamala Harris, told the National Congress of American Indians the Biden administration would not shy away from the “shameful” history of the first arrival of European explorers.

She said: “Since 1934, every October, the United States has recognised the voyage of the European explorers who first landed on the shores of the Americas. But that is not the whole story. That has never been the whole story.

“Those explorers ushered in a wave of devastation for tribal nations, perpetrating violence, stealing land and spreading disease. We must not shy away from this shameful past. We must shed light on it and do everything we can to address the impact of the past on Native communities today.”

The teaching of American history that explores racism and oppression has become a political flashpoint, with fierce attacks from conservatives at school boards, universities, the media and beyond.




Companies Should Abandon College Degree Requirements if They Really Want to Increase Diversity

While most parents were practically filling out their children’s college applications, my mom was trying to convince me that I didn’t need a fancy degree to start earning money.

“You want to be a writer — just start writing!” she would tell me. As a teenager, her advice only made my desire to attend college grow stronger. Much to my great disappointment, I can now say she was absolutely right.

There are things I love about college: The people I’ve met and the places it’s taken me around the world. But in terms of educational outcomes, I gained more knowledge in the first week of my internship than from the last four years of classes.

In my experience, college is no longer about passing tests, engaging in discourse, or even learning about a subject area. College is about regurgitating what professors want to hear and rubbing elbows with an elitist society of well-connected people who can offer you a job that you aren’t qualified for.

If I did it all over again, I probably would have skipped the whole thing and saved $200,000.

Trending: One Crucial Official Was Nowhere to Be Seen as Biden Attends Tribute for 491 Fallen Officers
Of course, there are some technical careers that do require higher education. I probably wouldn’t allow a self-taught doctor to operate on me, and I wouldn’t drive over a bridge built by a self-taught engineer. But I can confidently say I would hire a self-taught, independent journalist over one who has been corrupted by a homogenous batch of like-minded academics.

Businesses removing the requirement of a college degree would not only increase the diversity of the workforce but also attract free-thinking individuals who have talent and character, all while undercutting the overvalued and overpriced nature of those degrees.

It’s not the color of a person’s skin but the school on their degree that remains the most artificial barrier keeping them from entering the workforce.

Prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, many companies had a history of discriminating against women and people of color. After Title VII was enacted, society demanded that those companies reverse their discriminatory practices. The way many organizations decided to treat discrimination was by implementing diversity initiatives and imposing racial quotas in hiring practices.

According to a report by Bloomberg last year, an increasing number of companies have adopted workforce quotas. Wells Fargo announced it would “increase black leadership” to 12 percent, Ralph Lauren pledged that 20 percent of its “global leaders” would be people of color, and Delta Airlines said it will double its percentage of black “officers and directors” by 2025.

Implementing racial quotas, however, fails to account for individuals who have faced adversity due to their financial circumstances. A Harvard graduate certainly has not faced the same challenges as a kid who grew up on the South Side of Chicago.

In a system that screens only for race, wealthy people of color will inevitably fill the spots, while individuals with fewer resources remain on the outside. Eliminating the necessity of college degrees would allow people who did not have the financial ability to afford school to enter the workforce.

According to a 2018 article in the Harvard Business Review, “Black men and women still represent a very low percentage of the professional white-collar workforce (less than 8%), given their overall representation in the population.”

The driving factor behind the underrepresentation of black Americans is seen in college graduation statistics. Among workers over age 25, Census Bureau data from 2019 show that while 40 percent of white adults hold at least a bachelor’s degree, only 26 percent of black adults have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Related: Yale Law Students Tried to Throw Pro-America Party, Here's What Happened 12 Hours Later
If corporations hope to promote diversity and equal opportunity, they should work less on creating artificial racial compositions and turn focus to eliminating the barriers that keep people from employment.

Additionally, those without college degrees often have the skills and work ethic needed for higher-paying jobs, yet the positions are typically filled with those carrying collegiate pedigrees.

According to a report by the nonprofit Opportunity@Work, as many as 30 million U.S. workers without college diplomas have the skills necessary to earn 70 percent more. The report argues that employer education requirements are keeping these workers from attaining jobs they are qualified for.

Those who do not attend college have many other ways to gain skills through alternative routes. Some might enroll in tech bootcamps or community college programs. Others complete free workforce training, on-the-job skills building and military service. In this digital age, people can even use YouTube as a resource for education.

In the business world, nothing matters more than work ethic. According to Forbes, a growth mindset, continuous learning, survival skills and resilience are among the top skills recruiters are looking for in 2021.

The assumption that college graduates are more equipped in these areas simply does not hold up. My own observation is that college radicalizes students, leads them to shut down ideas that challenge their thinking and breeds mechanical memorizers. Those who carve their own path in life tend to take more responsibility for themselves and respect learning from others.

Finally, requiring a college education drives up the value of undergraduate degrees, which most students already agree are not worth the money or time.

Inside Higher Ed examined surveys that evaluated students’ college experiences post-pandemic. Roughly two-thirds agreed with the statement that “higher education is not worth the cost to students anymore.”

The burnout I’ve seen is astonishing. Students turn their cameras off and sleep through Zoom class. Those who go in person watch Netflix on their computers. Some professors are so desperate to engage students that they ask them to write daily reports on anything they learned. I don’t blame them.

With the average price of college sitting at $35,720 per year, students practically sell their souls for a degree. On average, it takes a student close to 20 years to pay off their loan debt. For some graduates, it can take more than 45 years. Those numbers don’t even take into consideration the other costs associated with college — everything from textbooks to housing.

The need for college is changing, and it’s time for companies to catch up with the times.

Corporations like Costco, Home Depot and Google have already rejected considering college degrees while screening candidates for employment opportunities. If more companies want to increase diversity, attract better talent and reject a system that drains millions of bank accounts, then it’s time for them to follow in their footsteps.


Amherst Eliminates Legacy Preferences

Amherst College announced Wednesday that it is eliminating the preference it has granted in admissions to legacy applicants since the 1920s. Currently, 11 percent of Amherst students are legacies.

“Now is the time to end this historic program that inadvertently limits educational opportunity by granting a preference to those whose parents are graduates of the college,” said Biddy Martin, president of Amherst. “We want to create as much opportunity for as many academically talented young people as possible, regardless of financial background or legacy status. There should be no doubt that a world-class education is within reach for students from all income groups.”

An FAQ posted to the website by the college said, “The use of legacy admission preference has never compromised very high standards -- admitted children of alumni are highly qualified, academically and otherwise. With this change, there will be neither an advantage nor a disadvantage to children of alumni; academically well-qualified children will be considered using the same criteria as the rest of the applicant pool.”

The FAQ also said, “After more than a year of study, the leadership and board determined that ending legacy preferences … would further expand our ongoing efforts to increase the diversity and variety of lived experience of the students attending Amherst. We are proud to be among the first of our peers to take this important step towards a more equitable system of higher education.”

One question in the FAQ was, how will the change affect alumni giving?

The answer, “We studied and debated this decision carefully before moving forward; ultimately, we believe that ending the legacy preference will have a significant positive impact on the college’s ability to deliver on its mission of opportunity and accessibility. We anticipate that this commitment to our mission will resonate with many alumni.”

Amherst also announced that it would add to its financial aid program. Under the new policy, Amherst will spend $71 million on aid next year, an increase of $4 million.

“With this enhancement, most students with total family incomes below $141,000 will receive a scholarship of at least $60,700 per year, an amount equal to Amherst’s tuition this year. And most students with total family incomes below $67,500 will receive a scholarship of at least $76,800, which is Amherst’s comprehensive fee for tuition, housing, and meals this year.”

These demographics represents substantial change for the college, which has long had a reputation for mostly educating white students from wealthy New England families. It is among the most expensive colleges in the country (tuition, room and board of $76,800 last year). It is a true liberal arts college at a time when many people are questioning the mission of liberal arts institutions. It’s a small college, with a little more than 1,800 students, in a small city in Massachusetts. Minority students can be reluctant to seek out a college in such a location.

Viet Nguyen, a Brown University graduate who recently founded a group of young alumni who vowed not to donate money to their alma maters if they continue legacy admissions, praised Amherst’s move. He said that just as colleges must improve their financial aid policies to attract students, so too colleges eliminating the legacy preference without also providing more aid won’t bring about real change. (Nguyen said his group has some Amherst alumni, who will be notified of the college’s change.)

He said his organization would soon send notes about Amherst’s decision to the boards of private colleges with legacy admissions. The message will be “This can be done,” he said.

But will other colleges follow Amherst’s lead?

Johns Hopkins University ended legacy admissions in 2019, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and California Institute of Technology do not use legacy admissions. However, most competitive private colleges do. Governor Jared Polis of Colorado, a Democrat, signed legislation in May to bar legacy preferences in admissions by public colleges and universities in the state.

At Hopkins, university administrators shifted the legacy policy gradually, starting in 2014 before ending it officially in 2020. In 2013, 8.5 percent of admitted students at Hopkins were legacies, 8.1 percent of the class was first generation and 12.8 percent of the class was eligible for a Pell Grant. This year, with the policy fully in place, only 3.7 percent of the class is a legacy admit, 17.8 percent are first generation and 20.1 percent were eligible for a Pell Grant.

Williams College, another elite private liberal arts institution in Massachusetts, offered qualified support for Amherst’s decision, although no indication that it would follow Amherst.

“The Amherst announcement is a fresh entry in the ongoing reconsideration of college admission practices, and we support them in making the choice that was right for them,” Williams said. “At Williams we’re expanding our own efforts to build diversity and provide what we call ‘true affordability’ by expanding our financial aid to include students’ health insurance and all required books and course materials, as well as reducing the cost to middle-income families by revising our financial aid methodology … It’s through such efforts that Williams, Amherst and our peers are trying to make an outstanding education more affordable and accessible to the students and families we serve.”

One group that has defended legacy admissions is the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Robert Moore​, vice president for marketing and communications of CASE, said the Amherst decision did not change CASE’s policy.

“CASE strongly asserts that legacy status should never be the sole criterion for acceptance to a college or university,” he said. “Institutions develop admissions criteria to ensure that each entering class is comprised of students who show the potential to succeed and who will take advantage of the specific opportunities that the institution can offer. At some institutions, an applicant’s legacy status is given consideration; in those instances, the advancement professionals that CASE serves are asked to work with their colleagues in admissions when institutional structures and guidelines warrant such interaction. In other institutions, no interaction between advancement professionals and their admissions counterparts takes place.”


34% of white college students lied about their race to improve chances of admission, financial aid benefits

Every year, aspiring college students complete admissions applications, with the hopes that their grades, extracurriculars, and recommendations will lift them above the pack, and earn them acceptance at the school of their choice.

However, some college applicants are misrepresenting their race in an effort to use their desired school’s diversity efforts to gain admission, or obtain more financial aid. asked 1,250 white college applicants ages 16 and older if they lied on their application by indicating they were a racial minority.

The survey found that 34% of white Americans who’ve applied to college falsely claimed on their applications they’re a racial minority.

The number one reason why applicants faked minority status is to improve their chances of getting accepted (81%). Fifty percent also lied to benefit from minority-focused financial aid.

Men are three times as likely than women to lie about their race on a college application. Forty-eight percent of male respondents claimed to be a minority on their college application, compared to just 16% of female applicants.

Lying also varies by age groups, with 43% of people 35-44 years old, and 41% of 16-24 year-olds admitting to faking a racial minority status when applying to college.

Those rates are lower for 25-34 year-olds (31%); 45-54 year-olds (28%), and people 54 and older (13%).

Nearly half of all respondents who lied about their minority status (48%) identified themselves as Native American on their applications.

Thirteen percent claimed to be Latino, 10% claimed to be Black, and 9% claimed to be Asian or Pacific Islander.

According to Managing Editor Kristen Scatton, the prevalence of applicants who claim Native American ancestry is possibly due to the popular narrative that for many Americans, a small percentage of their DNA comes from a Native American tribe.

“For college applicants who are trying to give their application a boost by pretending to be a racial minority, they may seize on this notion that many Americans of European descent have some Native American DNA in their bloodline,” Scatton says. “However, research has shown that’s not all that common, particularly among white Americans. But applicants are banking on the fact that no college is going to ask them to provide a DNA sample to verify.”

Seventy-seven percent of people who claimed to be a racial minority on their applications were accepted by the colleges to which they lied.

While other factors may have played a role in their acceptance, the majority of applicants who lied and were accepted (85%) believe that falsifying their racial minority status helped them secure admission to college.

Despite the ethical and moral drawbacks, Scatton warns future applicants that trying similar ploys to increase admissions chances isn’t worth the risk.

“Lying on a college application about anything, including your race, is never a good idea,” she says. “Colleges can and will rescind admissions offers if they discover students lied during the application process.”




Tuesday, October 26, 2021

A Liberal School Is Cancelling ALL HOLIDAYS For An Absolutely Insane Reason!

East Lansing Public Schools will prohibit future Halloween and Valentine’s Day celebrations. Meanwhile, the district has already canceled Christmas and winter celebrations.

The district says the cancellations are the product of equity and inclusion issues. It is just odd because the holidays have nothing to do with any religious or ethnic background but the social and economic disparities of class welfare.

East Lansing Public Schools elementary principals sent a joint letter to parents and students notifying them that parties and observances of the holidays will no longer be allowed.

The letter states:

“The celebration of Halloween and Valentine’s Day are two traditions that have given us pause for some time, especially as we grow in our understanding of equity and inclusion and look closely at the unintended consequences of celebrating these days in schools.”

While academics fall by the wayside, educators are now turning their attention toward the school calendar in an effort to snuff out inequity, the public schools continue to set their sights on issues that unite children and, at the same time, celebrate their diversity as the progressive train careens down the track.

According to the Lansing State Journal, East Lansing Public Schools elementary principals banded together to send a joint letter to parents announcing that students will no longer be celebrating Halloween and Valentine’s Day in the classrooms. The decision to cancel the festivities stems from the fact that some children’s costumes and gifts aren’t as expensive or elaborate as those worn by their classmates.

Assistant Superintendent Glenn Mitcham said, “It’s not uncommon to see students crying on Halloween “because they don’t have the same kind of costumes that other kids have or they didn’t bring the same amazing valentines that other kids do, We’re striving hard at East Lansing Public Schools to be a district that is equitable and inclusive for all families.”

The move to nix Halloween parties was made in response to parents’ concerns over their children’s feelings of fear or inadequacy over costumes, the letter suggests.

The elementary principals wrote, “Each year, along with the fun of Halloween parties and parades, we also have students whose families do not celebrate or feel comfortable with their children participating in Halloween festivities, We have young children who become overwhelmed and sometimes frightened of the costumes and others who come to school with no costume at all.”

East Lansing Public Schools

From calling the decision a cancelation of certain holidays, Mitcham refrained, saying that some elements may be included in the curriculum. As an example, he advised that a math class utilize a pumpkin to learn about the circumference. Costumes, parades, and parties, on the other hand, will not be on the agenda.

The elementary principals wrote, “While this may be a disappointment and/or an adjustment for some of our students/families at first, we promise to continue to offer alternative days throughout the school year that are full of fun and learning, for everyone.”

As for Valentine’s Day, the principals agreed that exchanging gifts often leads to “drama and teasing” among the older children. The schools announced they will hold “alternative” holidays during the year which will celebrate students’ academic achievements and behavioral goals. The letter did not explain how or when these festivities would take place.

The principals added, “Meanwhile, some families and students “do not feel comfortable with the idea of boys and girls exchanging valentines or participating in a celebration that focuses on ‘love.’ ”

East Lansing Public Schools

Schools are against students “focusing on love” but are introducing young children to graphic sex acts and birth control. They don’t want children to feel different based on their Halloween costumes but have no problem painting their white pupils as inherently racist and privileged.

Parents are more concerned about students getting their feelings hurt over a costume or card than the political propaganda being used to mold their children into social justice warriors. If families don’t start objecting to the radical curriculum their children are being taught, scary costumes are going to be the least of their worries.


UK: Ministers could limit student numbers on lower-earning arts degrees

The government is considering new plans to limit the number of students studying creative arts and other degrees with lower salary returns as part of its spending review negotiations, the Guardian has learned.

With outstanding student loans reaching £140bn last year, the Treasury is understood to be keen to reduce the number of students in England studying courses producing lower salaries and therefore less likely to pay back their loans.

Sources say the Department for Education’s (DfE) review of post-18 education, promised alongside the spending review, is considering ways to limit numbers. There is speculation that they could use new minimum A-level grade requirements to raise the entry bar for some courses and therefore reduce numbers, especially in newer universities.

One source close to the government said: “They would like to control numbers in specific subjects. The Treasury is particularly obsessed with negative return in creative arts subjects.”

The universities regulator has already confirmed it will be cutting its funding for arts subjects by 50% – a move slammed as “catastrophic” by artists and musicians.

The fresh speculation has drawn an angry response from national university bosses. Prof Steve West, the president of the vice-chancellors’ group Universities UK and vice-chancellor of the University of the West of England, said: “Trying to pick off any subject areas would be arbitrary and inevitably fuelled by prejudice.”

He warned: “It would be a brave and foolish government to tell today’s GCSE students that there will be fewer opportunities at university for them than their older brothers and sisters had.”

Anne Carlisle, the vice-chancellor of Falmouth University, which specialises in creative courses, said restricting numbers of students would lead to fewer people working in the creative industries: “How amazing that this government should think they could do workforce planning like this.”

She said: “I think part of the problem is that this particular government appears to have fewer members who really engage in cultural and creative events. It feels like creative disciplines have been collectively forgotten by a group of people who are now coming up with simplistic assumptions about their worth.”

The government should give up its “crude segmentation” of science and technology and arts and design, when in reality the disciplines work together to solve complex problems, she said.


Loudoun County Student Found Guilty of Bathroom Sexual Assault

The Loudoun County student accused of sexually assaulting a ninth-grade girl in a bathroom on May 28 was found guilty on all charges Monday.

The student, described as a biological male who was wearing a skirt at the time of the incident, sexually assaulted the victim in a girl's restroom at Stone Bridge High School. A judge concluded that the evidence presented was enough to convict the accused but will wait on the sentencing until the student is tried for a separate alleged assault at a different high school earlier this month.

"We are relieved that justice was served today for the Smith’s daughter," the victim's attorney, Bill Stanley of the Stanley Law Group, said in a statement. "This horrible incident has deeply affected the Smith family, and they are grateful for today’s outcome."

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Department said in an Oct. 13 statement that the boy in question had been charged with two counts of forcible sodomy back in July.

The victim’s father, Scott Smith, accused the school district of trying to cover up his daughter's assault to continue pushing transgender policies during a June 22 school board meeting. He was arrested and ultimately charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest following an altercation with a woman who said she doubted the validity of his daughter's rape.

At this board meeting, the superintendent said that "the predator transgender student or person simply does not exist," and, to his knowledge, "we don’t have any record of assaults occurring in our restrooms," according to The Daily Wire, which first reported the assault.

However, in an email dated May 28, the same day as the assault, the superintendent alerted school board members that an assault had been reported.

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin has called for the resignations of the county's school board members after the email showed the school board had knowledge of the sexual assault, saying: "people who have not resigned, I don't understand how they can possibly go into their next school board meeting. How can they go into their next school board meeting and be expected to sit there and represent our kids' future when they covered this up?"

Stanley said in his statement that "The Smith family stands stronger than ever in moving forward to ensure that those responsible in the Loudoun County School system are held accountable, so that this may never happen again to anyone else’s child."

The family filed a lawsuit against the Loudoun County School District earlier this month.




Monday, October 25, 2021

Fired Louisiana teacher Jonathan Koeppel is suing his former school board and superintendent on grounds of unlawful termination

Koeppel was fired in August, he says, for his conservative political activism and for refusing to wear a mask, even though he had received a medical exemption.

“I was told [by school leadership] that my political commentary and free speech on social media was unprofessional,” Koeppel said in a Sunday email to The Daily Signal. “Considering everything that I post online or say in real life, in regard to political commentary, is rooted in conservative values, one could argue that one reason I was fired was for being openly conservative.”

The teacher and his attorney, Kevin Vogeltanz, filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against the St. Tammany Parish School Board and Superintendent Frank Jabbia on Oct. 4.

“I lost my job and career in education because the [St. Tammany Parish School Board], my former principal, the assistant superintendent, and superintendent do not believe that I have a right to the First Amendment,” Koeppel said.

Koeppel has been a vocal advocate against mask mandates and against the teaching of critical race theory and gender identity ideology in the classroom.

“We’re very pleased with the federal lawsuit filed on behalf of Mr. Koeppel, and we look forward to proving the St. Tammany Parish School Board and its management unlawfully terminated Jonathan, not for any legitimate reason, but because of his protected speech, politics, and his medical disability,” Vogeltanz told The Daily Signal in an email Friday.

Koeppel, 26, began teaching high school Spanish in 2020 at Fontainebleau High School in Mandeville, Louisiana, about 40 miles north of New Orleans.

The now-former Spanish teacher gained national attention in April when a video of him speaking at a school board meeting went viral.

In his remarks to the school board, Koeppel played two audio clips from an education application the St. Tammany Parish school district has utilized, called “BrainPOP.” The first clip discussed “structural racism,” which Koeppel said is telling “our black children that they are oppressed by white people.”

Koeppel played a second audio clip for school board members in which students are instructed in the app’s lesson to use “gender-neutral” pronouns, such as “they,” if an individual’s “preferred” pronouns are unknown.

“We’ve got kids that can’t read and write, and then we are going to teach them incorrect grammar?” Koeppel asked the school board at the meeting.

Koeppel is active on social media and has used Twitter to voice his opposition to critical race theory and gender identity ideology. “CRITICAL RACE THEORY and the promotion of GENDER DYSPHORIA have NO place in Louisiana PUBLIC SCHOOLS,” he wrote on Twitter on April 10.

The high school teacher spoke again at a school board meeting in May raising concerns over teachers “indoctrinating kids in [the] classroom and discriminating based on political affiliation,” he said in a call with The Daily Signal in August.

Koeppel’s activism on education issues continued throughout the summer with speaking engagements at conservative gatherings.

When Koeppel returned to work at Fontainebleau High School on Aug. 3, the school’s principal, Johnny Vitrano, immediately asked him to leave because he was not wearing a mask.

Koeppel is a vocal opponent of mask mandates, but received a medical exemption from the school not to wear one prior to Aug. 3.

On Aug. 5, Koeppel was called to a hearing with the principal and was told he had to wear a mask or he could lose his job. Koeppel reminded the principal of his exemption he had previously received due to a boxing injury, and the hearing ended shortly thereafter.

Koeppel was called to a second hearing Aug. 10 with the principal and the assistant superintendent, Michael Coss√©. He said he was told the school leadership was concerned over his “social media, the things I do in public, shooting guns and having videos of that—all kinds of free speech issues,” Koeppel said in the August interview with The Daily Signal.

Three days later, Koeppel received a termination letter signed by Jabbia, the St. Tammany Parish Public Schools superintendent. Koeppel says the letter did not specify a reason for his dismissal.

Neither the St. Tammany Parish School Board nor Jabbia responded to The Daily Signal’s requests for comment, but Meredith Mendez, St. Tammany Parish Public Schools director of communications, told The Daily Signal in an email Monday, “We cannot comment because of the ongoing litigation.”

Koeppel is asking the court for relief, including “lost back wages, lost future wages, compensatory damages, statutory damages, punitive damages … litigation costs, reasonable attorney’s fees, and legal interest from the date of demand, and for all other general and equitable relief to which plaintiff is entitled,” according to the complaint.

Koeppel says his termination has cost him his “reputation as a successful teacher in the local education community,” and added that some people in his community are “starting to slander me as if I am making all of this up and nothing ever happened to me.”

But he said he made the decision to file the suit because “I want to expose the corruption in my local school system so that they are held accountable.” The legal action may serve to “give hope to other employees that are scared to voice their concerns at school board meetings or with their supervisors,” Koeppel said.


Reining in rogue educators

To ensure transparency, all classroom lessons should be recorded.

Over the past year, there have been many suggestions as to how concerned parents could deal with the “woke” agenda that has become all too prevalent in our nation’s classrooms. Most recently, a new group, Parents Unite, held a conference in which several fight-back strategies for parents were put forth – common sense stuff, like becoming more active in their kids’ school lives and getting involved with the myriad groups that have arisen to fight Critical Race Theory.

The one recommendation that really jumps out is “demand transparency.” The organization justly insists that parents have a right to know what schools are teaching, and that if a school is withholding, parents should file a public records request.

In the same vein, the American Enterprise Institute’s Max Eden writes that parents need a clear and direct window into school curriculum. He cites the Goldwater Institute’s Matt Beienburg who proposes that schools should “publicly post all materials used in the classroom so parents can see – at a glance online – what is being taught.”

While this strategy certainly should be employed, it does not go far enough. Schools can post all sorts of materials, rules, etc., but when the kids are in a classroom with a teacher, and the lesson is conducted behind closed doors, school rules don’t mean much if a teacher decides not to follow them.

A good case in point is Gabriel Gipe, a teacher at Inderkum High School in Natomas, CA. In a video that he did not know was being recorded by Project Veritas, he explains that he wants to turn his students into “revolutionaries,” and gives extra credit to those who attend left-wing protests. An admitted member of the Sacramento branch of Antifa, Gipe told Project Veritas he wants to “scare the f—” out of students in an effort to sway them toward his far-left political philosophy.

The way to eradicate this type of indoctrination is to record all lessons and make them available to parents in real time. Just a year ago, I wrote that capturing live police activity had become very popular. In fact, a July 2020 poll from the University of Maryland shows that nearly 90 percent of respondents support body cameras, including 85 percent of Republicans, 86 percent of independents and 94 percent of Democrats. This is consistent with a 2016 Cato Institute poll which revealed that 89 percent of Americans support “requiring police officers to wear body cameras to record their on-duty interactions.”

The benefits of cop-cams are many – for all concerned. They provide transparency for interactions with the public, faster resolution of citizen complaints, corroborating evidence in arrests, and training opportunities for rookies. It is even popular with cop unions. Sean Smoot, a police union attorney, writes, “Though unions have concerns regarding BWCs (body worn cameras), most unions also recognize that BWCs provide added layers of protection and accountability for officers. They protect officers from false claims when the alleged behavior is captured (or, more frequently, its absence is captured) by BWC video.” A study conducted on the Rialto, CA police department in 2013 bolsters Smoot’s statement, showing an 87.5 percent decline in citizen complaints against officers who wore the cameras.

But there are parents who object to having their kids appear in a live video stream. For example, Joel Withers, a father of two young children in Virginia, told the Washington Examiner he’s “not comfortable with complete strangers watching [my children’s] every move.” So instead of employing video, I propose having all lessons recorded and streamed using just a microphone – no visuals whatsoever. That way, teachers’ lessons will come through loud and clear for parents and concerned taxpayers to hear, while children are mostly left out of the process.

Needless to say, there will be pushback from all the usual suspects. Indeed, recording teachers’ lessons became an issue for the California Teachers Association when, due to the Covid-related shutdowns, online learning became the norm in the spring of 2020. At the time, the union argued that “school districts lack the authority to force teachers to do live online instruction or to record lessons for later use.” CTA pointed to Education Code 51512, a 1976 law that provides privacy protections for teachers. “It prevents unauthorized recording in a classroom and requires a teacher’s and a principal’s consent for the use of any ‘listening or recording device.’” Hence, in California, each teacher has to okay any recordings. (If they have nothing to hide, why would any teacher be uncomfortable being recorded?)

Teachers are entrusted with our children, and at the same time are paid by taxpayers to do their important work. Requiring these public servants to be transparent is not asking very much. California and anywhere else that has faux “privacy protections for teachers,” must eliminate them. We have no interest in recording teachers’ “private” lives, only when they interact with our children, and are using our taxpayer dollars to do so. As public servants, they owe us nothing less.


University of North Carolina defeats challenge to race-based admissions policies

A federal judge on Monday ruled the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill did not discriminate against white and Asian American applicants in a closely watched case challenging the consideration of race in undergraduate student admissions.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Loretta Biggs in Winston-Salem came in a lawsuit by Students for Fair Admissions, a group founded by conservative anti-affirmative action activist Edward Blum that is pursuing a similar case against Harvard University.

SFFA is appealing its loss in the Harvard case to the U.S. Supreme Court, potentially giving its conservative majority a chance to end affirmative action policies used to increase the number of Black and Hispanic students on American campuses.

In the UNC case, SFFA accused the school of violating the U.S. Constitution and the Civil Rights Act by making race the predominant factor in its admissions process to favor Black and Hispanic applicants to the detriment of white and Asian American candidates.

But Biggs said UNC's consideration of race was narrowly tailored, constitutionally permissible and furthered a "compelling and substantial interest in pursuing and attaining the educational benefits of diversity."

In a 161-page ruling, she said that while no student should be admitted solely based on race, ignoring it "misses important context to include obscuring racial barriers and obstacles that have been faced, overcome and are yet to be overcome."

Beth Keith, a UNC spokesperson, said the ruling "makes clear the university's holistic admissions approach is lawful."

Blum in a statement vowed to appeal the ruling to a federal appeals court and potentially to the Supreme Court, saying documents and data presented at trial "revealed UNC's systematic discrimination against non-minority applicants."

His group similarly accused Harvard of discriminating against Asian Americans and engaging in impermissible "racial balancing." But a federal appeals court last year upheld the school's policies.




McAuliffe Backtracks on Parents' Involvement in Education: 'I’ve Always Valued the Concerns of Parents'

Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe released a new campaign advertisement where he appeared to take back comments he made in September about whether parents should have a say in their children's school curricula.

"As parents, Dorothy and I have always been involved in our kids’ education," McAuliffe said in the ad. "We know good schools depend on involved parents. That’s why I want you to hear this from me. Glenn Youngkin is taking my words out of context. I’ve always valued the concerns of parents."

"It’s why as governor we scaled back standardized testing, expanded pre-K, and invested a billion dollars in public schools," he continued.

This comes after the one-time governor said during a Sept. 28 debate that "I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach." He later doubled down on his initial remarks.

McAuliffe's debate comments were in reference to the controversy surrounding critical race theory, which has prompted parents to show up to school board meetings to voice their outrage over the teaching of the doctrine.

Critical race theory asserts that the United States is inherently racist and alleges that a person is either privileged or oppressed based on their skin color.

McAuliffe also said in a recent CNN appearance that he would oppose "moving money" from public education to private schools. This, despite sending his own children to private Washington, D.C. schools with annual tuition of $30,000.

The Republican candidate for Virginia governor, Glenn Younkin, launched an ad last week in support of parents speaking out against school policies that they find problematic.

"Virginia parents have a right to make decisions on their children’s education. That’s the Virginia I grew up in. Terry McAuliffe wants to change that," Youngkin said in the ad.

In the ad, he also slammed a recent memorandum from the Department of Justice that announced a "partnership among federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement to address threats against school administrators, board members, teachers and staff."

A Friday poll from the Trafalgar Group shows Youngkin with a one-point lead over McAuliffe in Virginia’s gubernatorial race as the candidates prepare for election day on Nov. 2. A recent Fox News poll also has the race extremely close, but with McAuliffe leading by five percent. Both polls are within the margin of error.


Math teacher is placed on leave for wearing feather headdress and performing Native American dance to teach kids 'easy way to memorize trigonometry terms'

A California math teacher was placed on leave after she was filmed donning a feather headdress and doing a bizarre 'Native American' dance for her students.

Footage of John W North High School math teacher Candice Reed wearing feathered headgear while chanting 'SOH CAH TOA' -a mnemonic for remembering the definitions of the trigonometric functions sine, cosine, and tangent- went viral this week.

The Riverside Unified School District said it does not condone the teacher's behavior and have placed Reed on leave while the district conducts an investigation into the incident.

'These behaviors are completely unacceptable and an offensive depiction of the vast and expansive Native American cultures and practices,' the district said in a statement to the community.

'We are deeply committed to implementing inclusive practices and policies that honor the rich diversity of our district and the greater region. We will be working with our students, families, staff and community to regain your trust.'

The video was posted to Facebook on Wednesday by Shadae Johnson, a member of the Urban Indigenous Peoples Advisory Council Member in Vancouver. Johnson said the footage was filmed on Tuesday by a Native American student in Reed's math class.

According to Johnson, the student started recording after several minute's of Reed 'war hooping and tomahawk chopping' because he 'felt that violence was being committed against him and he had the right to record.'

It appears that Reed was using the dance to teach the students the trigonometric functions, which help solve almost any problem related to finding either a side length or angle measure of a right triangle.

Johnson attached footage of Reed doing the 'tomahawk chop' while chanting the math mnemonic in the front of the classroom.

At one point Reed just screeches it while jumping up and down while waving her arms and then dramatically runs out of breath and rests her head on a wall.

A projection of a stick figure with a feather headdress surrounded by two teepees can be seen on the white board behind her.

In another recording of the lesson plan, Reed was captured jumping on a desk in the back of the classroom while a student hangs his head in embarrassment and other students look at each other awkwardly, clearly uncomfortable and confused at her behavior.

After jumping off the desk she continues to shriek 'SOH CAH TOA' while hopping and running in an exaggerated manner to a silent classroom.

Another clip shows her on top of her desk, legs crossed and arms outstretched praying 'please tell me the secret Indian (illegible) but they don't hear' she then snickers, adding 'because obviously this is ridiculous.'

She is then recorded going to the corner of the classroom and saying she 'ran into the rock god' while students can be heard groaning 'oh my god'

Reed, clearly amused with her performance, laughs to herself as she lays the rocks out on her desk.

Johnson said she hopes Reed is held accountable for her actions and included contact information for school officials in her post.

'I am sharing this video because these behaviours can no longer be swept under the rug!' she wrote.

'We need to end discrimination and violence against indigenous youth in schools! We're not in the 1960s any more, she should know better!' Johnson added.

According to a Twitter user who widely shared the video, Reed has been doing this lesson plan since at least 2012.

The clip has caused outrage online, with many wondering what possible educational purpose Reed's routine could have served for the students.

One person tweeted: 'The worst thing is the teacher probably didn't even think this was disrespectful or offensive. Completely oblivious as the kids watch, aghast and alarmed. Oblivious, as she grew up in a cultural bubble.'

'This is from Riverside, CA? I'm from there and Native from the Cahuilla Band of Indians,' another person tweeted. 'How is this happening when there are literally at least 10 Native tribes in the surrounding area. UCR (University of Ca Riverside) works with Natives in the are and she didn't know??? Expressionless face.'

Someone else tweeted: 'As an educator, there is NO WAY that there is a justifiable reason for that.


China, Islam threats to democracy force changes to Australian history classes

School kids will be taught that Australia is the “greatest country on earth‘’, in a new cutback curriculum with a focus on phonics and times tables.

Year 2 students will no longer be asked to identify “racist statues’’, federal Education Minister Alan Tudge will declare on Friday when he reveals that the draft national curriculum has been more than halved from 3281 to 1443 pages.

Warning against the rise of Communist China and fundamentalist Islam, Mr Tudge said Australian children should be taught more about the importance of democracy, freedom and patriotism.

“We should expect our young people leaving school to have an understanding of our liberal democracy and how it is that we are one of the wealthiest, most free, most tolerant and most egalitarian countries in all of human history, which millions have immigrated to,” he will tell the Centre for Independent Studies.

“If they don’t learn this, they won’t defend it as previous generations did. “We must do more to impress upon young Australians how extraordinarily lucky we are.’’

Mr Tudge said a “negative view of our country, our history and our future” was harming children’s mental health.

“Ultimately, students should leave school with a love of country and a sense of optimism and hope that we live in the greatest country on earth and that the future is bright,’’ he said.

“If they are constantly fed a negative view of our country, our history and our people, then we will exacerbate existing problems. “Let us be positive about our country.’’

Mr Tudge will reveal that the draft curriculum has been changed so that seven-year-old students will no longer be expected to “assess the morality of historical statues”. “How that ever got into the draft (in April), I do not know,’’ he says in his speech.

The revised curriculum will teach students that “our democracy is based on our Christian and Western origins, with a reference to the importance of the values of patriotism and freedom’’.

“The influence of authoritarianism and communism is growing in the world, particularly with the rise of an assertive China,” Mr Tudge said.

“Fundamentalist Islam remains a dominant force in any countries, as we are seeing in Afghanistan.

“There has not been a more important time to teach children the origins, values and singular greatness of liberal democracy since the 1940s.”

Mr Tudge said the curriculum was still too “long and deeply bureaucratic’’ compared to New Zealand’s school curriculum which has just 120 pages, and the UK’s 306-page document.

The original draft, released in April, would have forced teachers to wait until Year 4 to teach the times tables, but the new document reinstates the maths rote learning to Year 3.

It will also put more focus on teaching children to read and write using phonics – learning the sounds of letter combinations.

Mr Tudge said the revisions meant the curriculum had “gone from an F to perhaps a C, but Australian students deserve an A+.’’ “With education standards in decline in Australia over the last twenty years … it must aim higher,’’ he said.