Friday, November 05, 2021

Will the Decade-Long Decline in College Enrollments Continue?

After 2020, truly an annus horribilis for American higher education, most veteran observers thought college enrollment would start growing again this fall. Preliminary data from the National Student Clearinghouse show it did not, with undergraduate numbers down over three percent from last fall’s already depressed count. But this is not just pandemic-related: American collegiate enrollments today are down meaningfully from a decade ago, 2011. The proportion of the total American population attending college today has fallen over 15%, I believe something that is historically unprecedented in periods without major wartime activity.

To be sure, as I have stated before, not all colleges or academic programs are created equal. The highly selective schools had enrollment gains this fall—the flight to quality is continuing more than ever in this era of the Varsity Blue admissions scandals. Similarly, graduate enrollments were up, albeit modestly, and international students are again increasing in number. However, the weaker, less well known schools had on average pretty steep enrollment declines. Community college enrollments continue to fall. The massive flight towards quality continues.

Why is this happening? At least four major explanations are probably at least partially responsible. First, college has become too expensive and its value is increasingly questioned. For most of the past decade, college tuition fees and other expenses were rising faster than the inflation rate and the Law of Demand was at work—when something becomes costlier, people buy less of it. That is not true in the past year or two, however. The College Board reports that inflation-adjusted tuition fees actually have fallen in the past year, albeit very little. Prediction: fees next fall will rise significantly less than surging rates of inflation, causing all sorts of angst on college campuses.

The decreasing value proposition of higher education, however, applies much less obviously to the elite schools. Earnings of graduates of top colleges (and majors) are vastly higher than at the College of Last Resort, and since the elite schools also have more money for scholarship assistance, their discounted costs often are not much more than at the lower reputation institutions. Indeed, earnings of graduates of schools of lesser distinction are often not dramatically greater than for high school graduates taking jobs in high demand, perhaps after completing a relatively short course in learning to drive big trucks, how to weld or do computer coding.

Second, the fall in births in the 21st century has reduced the primary pool of potential future students. There were fewer babies born in 2003, the birth year of many of this fall’s freshmen, than 43 years earlier, in 1960. In my state of Ohio, more people died in 2020 than were born, and that is not unique. Large portions of the eastern U.S. and Midwest are particularly feeling the birth dearth, and large scale-immigration is not filling the gap. Looking at births, a significant reversal of the enrollment decline based on population growth is not likely in the next decade or two.

Third, the rapid rise in incomes characterizing 20th century America has slowed down considerably. In the 1990s, for example, American output rose 3.2 percent per year on average. By contrast, in the 2010-2019 period, that growth slowed to 2.3 percent. Our ability to fund colleges is being crimped, especially since the nation on the macro level has gone on a spending and debt binge that history tells us will have profoundly negative effects on future generations.

Fourth, increasingly colleges look like scary, hostile places for many Americans. In 1980, there were roughly one male student for each female; today, women far outnumber men, who often don’t like the campus rhetoric about “white male privilege” and other utterances coming from an army of diversity coordinators and activist students. Parents seem increasingly skeptical about the wisdom of sending their kids into what seems like a hostile environment. Colleges are increasingly out of tune with the culture of the broader American population.

I repeat for the umpteenth time what I think is undisputable: American institutions of higher education are utterly dependent on the general public—taxpayers, philanthropists, and others, for their daily bread. Colleges cannot live by tuition fees alone, and ignore that reality at their peril.


Woke Tales: Anti-Semitism at Yale, Mask Madness at Cornell

Guy Benson

Administrators at Yale Law School spent weeks pressuring a student to apologize for a "triggering" email in which he referred to his apartment as a "trap house," a slang term for a place where people buy drugs. Part of what made the email "triggering," the administrators told the student, was his membership in a conservative organization. The second-year law student, a member of both the Native American Law Students Association and the conservative Federalist Society, had invited classmates to an event cohosted by the two groups. "We will be christening our very own (soon to be) world-renowned NALSA Trap House … by throwing a Constitution Day Bash in collaboration with FedSoc," he wrote in a Sept. 15 email to the Native American listserv.

In keeping with the theme, he said, the mixer would serve "American-themed snacks" like "Popeye’s chicken" and "apple pie." ... Within minutes, the lighthearted invite had been screenshotted and shared to an online forum for all second-year law students, several of whom alleged that the term "trap house" indicated a blackface party..."I guess celebrating whiteness wasn’t enough," the president of the Black Law Students Association wrote in the forum. "Y’all had to upgrade to cosplay/black face." She also objected to the mixer’s affiliation with the Federalist Society, which she said "has historically supported anti-Black rhetoric."...

Just 12 hours after the email went out, the student was summoned to the law school’s Office of Student Affairs, which administrators said had received nine discrimination and harassment complaints about his message. At a Sept. 16 meeting, which the student recorded and shared with the Washington Free Beacon, associate dean Ellen Cosgrove and diversity director Yaseen Eldik told the student that the word "trap" connotes crack use, hip hop, and blackface. Those "triggering associations," Eldik said, were "compounded by the fried chicken reference," which "is often used to undermine arguments that structural and systemic racism has contributed to racial health disparities in the U.S." Eldik, a former Obama White House official, went on to say that the student’s membership in the Federalist Society had "triggered" his peers. "The email’s association with FedSoc was very triggering for students who already feel like FedSoc belongs to political affiliations that are oppressive to certain communities," Eldik said. "That of course obviously includes the LGBTQIA community and black communities and immigrant communities."

This is all bonkers, and it's a frightening, ludicrous pageant of grievance and victimhood to watch unfold at one of the most prestigious institutions in the country, featuring tomorrow's elite attorneys, no less. As indicated above, thankfully, there was a fierce backlash, and the student (a person of color, in fact!) was spared. To his credit, he also refused to apologize or bend the knee to the jackals. The Washington Free Beacon played a major role in the coverage of this whole episode. As a follow-up, they've now uncovered another incident at Yale Law, again involving the "diversity director:"

The Yale Law School administrator caught on tape pressuring a student to apologize for an allegedly racist party invitation pushed the Yale Law Journal to host a diversity trainer who told students that anti-Semitism is merely a form of anti-blackness and suggested that the FBI artificially inflates the number of anti-Semitic hate crimes. The comments from diversity trainer Ericka Hart—a self-described "kinky" sex-ed teacher who works with children as young as nine—shocked members of the predominantly liberal law review, many of whom characterized the presentation as anti-Semitic, according to a memo from Yale Law Journal editors obtained by the Washington Free Beacon..."I consider myself very liberal," a student quoted in the memo said. But Hart's presentation, delivered Sept. 17 to members of the prestigious law review, was "almost like a conservative parody of what antiracism trainings are like."

The controversy began when a law journal editor asked Hart why her presentation had addressed inequities like "pretty privilege" and "fatphobia" but not anti-Semitism. According to the memo, which collected feedback on the training from 33 law journal editors, Hart responded that she'd already covered anti-Semitism by discussing anti-blackness, because some Jews are black. She also raised questions about FBI data showing that Jews are the most frequent targets of hate crimes—implying, in the words of one journal editor, that the people compiling those statistics had an "agenda." "She basically said anti-Semitism is a subset of anti-blackness," the editor told the Free Beacon. "She didn't recognize there could be anti-Semitism against white people."

That characterization is corroborated by two students quoted in the memo, and by a third who spoke on the condition of anonymity...Reactions to the training were almost uniformly negative, with 82 percent of editors saying they would not invite Hart back even if she incorporated their feedback. Over a third expressed distress at her treatment of anti-Semitism—"shocking," "offensive," and "upsetting" is how three separate editors described it—while several more mocked her account of "white supremacy culture," which one editor called "goalpost-moving, unfalsifiable nonsense."

It's a commentary on Yale and elite academia more broadly that bigoted grifters like this are invited to conduct "trainings" on "diversity," "inclusion," "equity," and "anti-racism," along with any other buzzwords I've excluded. It's at least somewhat encouraging that some of the students, including liberal ones, were contemptuous of the incoherent claptrap they were being served. At least high-level law students can think for themselves, it seems; it's harder for younger students to stand up to nonsense being railroaded into their heads by ideologues, which is why so many parents are up in arms over racialized curricula in K-12 education. At Yale, will the "diversity" apparatchik suffer any consequences for bringing an anti-Semite to campus on the same day he pressured and threatened a student to apologize over a preposterous micro-aggression? This blunt observation is more accurate than many people would like to admit:

Meanwhile, at Cornell:

image from

Just read that whole email and try to tell me that it's the mask-noncompliant students who the problem here. Come for the actual use of the term "prominent hooked nose," and stay for the vow to fail the students for the semester due to their masking practices. Yikes. COVID neuroses and power trips are alive and well in many parts of the country, and especially on college campuses. On a quasi-related note, I'll leave you with this:

Los Angeles Requires More ID To Enter A Building Than Georgia Does To Absentee Vote


Australian Labor Party states push back on positive history curriculum bid

Federal Education Minister Alan Tudge’s hopes for a national curriculum that presents a positive view of Australian history is facing a challenge from Labor states, with ministers in Victoria and Western Australia accusing him of trying to reignite culture wars over the nation’s past.

Mr Tudge will head into the final education ministers’ meeting of the year next Friday having graded the draft curriculum a “C” last month, saying it would teach students a “negative, miserable view of Australia” and future generations would be unwilling to defend the nation against threats to its liberal democracy.

The meeting is the last formal opportunity this year for education ministers to discuss the final draft curriculum, which requires a consensus to be implemented, unless an additional out-of-session gathering is scheduled. But the path to agreement, particularly over the history content, is unclear, with Labor ministers in Victoria, Queensland, WA, the ACT and the Northern Territory critical of Mr Tudge’s comments.

Victorian Education Minister James Merlino said Mr Tudge’s remarks were aimed at “inciting culture wars”, adding Victoria would advocate for a curriculum “that will produce the thoughtful and proud Australians of the future”.

“We have long called for Australia’s Indigenous heritage to be firmly embedded in our curriculum – not at the expense of other important aspects of the Australian story, but as part of a balanced, diverse history offering that covers both the inspiring and challenging parts of our nation’s history,” Mr Merlino said.

WA Education Minister Sue Ellery said it was important students learned different perspectives on the past as well as the skills to form their own judgments.

“I don’t think going again to the fake so-called history wars has added anything to the review as history is always judged by the perspective of who is looking at it,” she said.

Queensland Education Minister Grace Grace said it had been unhelpful for Mr Tudge to comment on the review before it had been completed.

“I don’t think it helps to provide a running commentary on the teaching of Australian history and other subject matters,” she said.

A spokeswoman for ACT Education Minister Yvette Berry said she did “not share Minister Tudge’s concern regarding the history learning areas of the draft curriculum”.

NT Education Minister Lauren Moss said the independent review process “should be respected” and she supported attempts in the draft to strengthen Indigenous history content.

“Critical to two-way teaching and learning is being honest about the many facets of our history, and the Australian curriculum review seeks to improve this, including the ongoing impact of colonisation on First Nations Australians,” she said.

Mr Tudge’s criticisms of the draft curriculum included that Anzac Day should not be taught as a “contested idea” but as the most sacred day of the year. He has also argued the curriculum struck the wrong balance when it came to teaching Indigenous perspectives, saying they should be included but not “at the expense of dishonouring our Western heritage”. It is unclear whether these concerns have been addressed in the final document.

Mr Tudge did not respond directly to questions about whether consensus could be reached at next week’s meeting. In a statement, he said his concerns went well beyond the history content.

“I’ll be reviewing the final draft curriculum closely. Parents, guardians and school communities would expect nothing less,” he said.

Liberal education ministers in NSW, South Australia and Tasmania declined to say whether they agreed with Mr Tudge’s criticisms of the draft when approach for comment.

Speaking at NSW budget estimates this week, Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said students should have a “proud understanding of Australian history”.

The review was undertaken by the independent Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, which has held briefings with ministers on the final revised curriculum this week.

According to the timeline agreed by education ministers in June last year, the review process should be completed by the end of 2021, with the new curriculum documents made publicly available from the start of the new year.

“Once endorsed by Education Council, the revised F-10 Australian curriculum will be published on an improved website platform and be available for implementation from the start of 2022,” the terms of reference for the review state.

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority chief executive David de Carvalho told Senate estimates last week the board had signed off on the final draft of the curriculum on October 14 and it had been sent to senior state and territory education officials for review before the ministers’ meeting.




Thursday, November 04, 2021

What MSU Has Been Caught Doing To White Students Is reprehensible

What MSU has been caught doing to white students is something that is very disturbing indeed, and it shows our terrible political climate. Michigan State is usually known for being the less liberal option for those that are also considering their top rival, the University of Michigan. Well, MSU has been making the news yet again, but lately it has been for all of the wrong reasons.

Yesterday, there was an email from MSU’s Dean of Students and Parents that called for them to choose their Halloween costumes wisely, and warning these individuals that “costumes can elicit trauma if they poke fun at the experiences of historical harm, bigotry or displacement.”

In their letter to adult students that is providing guidelines on how they should dress for Halloween, one of the things that they point out is a list of what they deem as inappropriate costumes. This would include pandemic victims, costumes that “body shame”, costumes that depict national tragedies, and a whole list of other things. Oh brother. And seriously, national tragedies??? Give me a break.

So, that means that according to the brass at Michigan State, there should be no COVID costumes, no Joe Biden costumes, or nothing of that sort. This is especially true with Joe Biden, simply due to the fact that most Americans would agree that he falls under the category of “national tragedy.” Moreover, you had better not even dream of padding your costume to make yourself appear larger, because this could appear to be “body shaming” and that could lead to hurt feelings, according to the MSU “experts.” Oh brother. Have we all lost our minds here. This seriously sounds like a South Park episode in the making here.

But wait… We’re not done yet. It keeps getting better from here on out.

Yesterday, Daily Mail education reporter Chrissy Clark shared a flabbergasting photo where there is a masked black student that was sitting outside of a cafeteria at MSU next to a sign that reads: “Free Masks and Glove for MINORITIES ONLY!! $10 per mask for White People!!”

Let’s put the shoe on the other foot here. Do you suppose that it would be okay if a white student sat outside of a cafeteria in plain sight of students and administration at any major university anywhere in the United State in America with a sign reading:

“Free Masks and Gloves for WHITES ONLY!! $10 per mask for Black People!!” Of course, this is a rhetorical question, but it is one that has to be asked both of the parents of kids who are being bullied and shamed by their classmates and to the members of the faculty at the colleges. The crime of these students? They are being tried and convicted simply for being White in Woke America. It’s the reason why we now have that toxic critical race theory and it’s the reason why the team in the District of Columbia is now called the Washington Football Team instead of the Redskins.

There are plenty of students and faculty alike that are now doing damage control on behalf of MSU. They are now saying that this was nothing more than a “social experiment” that was designed to “demonstrate how minorities and disabled persons have been negatively impacted by the pandemic versus other groups. I wanted to reverse the privilege.” Incidentally, the student who tweeted this has now hidden her tweet from the public.

This is race-baiting at its finest, folks.


Oxford college to change its name after £155m donation

A University of Oxford college is to change its name to honour Vietnam’s richest woman after she offered it a £155m donation.

Linacre College says it will ask the privy council for permission to change its name to Thao College after signing a memorandum of understanding over the money with Sovico Group – represented by its chair, Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao.

The graduate college, founded in 1962, is named after the Renaissance humanist, medical scientist and classicist Thomas Linacre. The donation will help to pay for a new graduate centre and graduate access scholarships, the college has said.

“We have long been one of the least well-endowed colleges at the university, so we are delighted that a significant part of the donation will be for our general endowment fund, to help support the daily running of college,” it said.

“Sovico Group has also committed to all their subsidiaries reaching net zero carbon by the end of 2050 with the input from leading Oxford academics.

“After receiving the first donation of £50m, we will approach the privy council to ask for permission to change our name from Linacre College to Thao College in recognition of this landmark gift.”

At Oxford there has been disquiet over Thao’s donation to the institution, which has styled itself as “one of the greenest colleges in Oxford”. Sovico’s business interests include offshore oil and gas exploration, fossil fuel financing, and Vietnam’s first private airline.

According to the Tab, Thao made much of her fortune from the budget airline VietJet Air, which is controlled by Sovico. The conglomerate is also the largest shareholder in HDBank, on the board of which she also serves as vice-chair. HDBank is the main financer of the state-owned Vietnam National Petroleum Group.

Dr Maria Kawthar Daouda, a lecturer in French literature at Oxford, told the Telegraph college names should not be altered simply because “a major gift has been made”.

“Thankfulness for Madam Thao’s money could be expressed in ways that do not erase what the donation is meant to protect,” Daouda said.

Another don, who was not identified, was more relaxed about the change. “If this were one of the great historic colleges one would have deep reservations,” he said. “But as it’s a modern college and has not got a big endowment, one can understand the decision. If someone is going to put in a colossal amount of money, it’s not unreasonable to have something to show for it.”


A scholar at a Virginia university is not backing down as students and faculty seek to get her fired for a tweet she posted criticizing DC Comics’ new bisexual Superman character

“Regrettably, this has all gone too far,” Sophia Nelson, scholar in residence at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia, says in an open letter to the university community dated Friday.

“I read the student petition against me in a Fox News article posted on Wednesday, October 27th,” Nelson writes, “and was devastated to read these words: ‘Our community is hurt and disappointed in the way this university has dealt with the homophobic and racist statements of Professor Nelson.’”

Nelson adds in her open letter:

This is where I must draw the line. Neither me nor my words are racist or homophobic. And to characterize them as such in a petition to remove me is very shocking and damaging to me as a professional and as a human being.

Her remarks on Twitter made no references to Superman’s race (the iconic character was born on the fictional planet of Krypton), so it’s not clear what Nelson’s critics were talking about.

On Oct. 1, Nelson began work as a visiting fellow at the university’s College of Arts and Humanities, after serving at the school as an adjunct professor.

The incident began when, in a since-deleted Twitter post Oct. 11 about the bisexual Superman, Jon Kent, Nelson wrote:

I just don’t get why this is necessary. I don’t! What if Christian parents of children reading comic books don’t want their kids exposed to bisexual characters? This is being pushed on kids. Then parents have to explain it. And most cannot!

Nelson describes herself as a conservative Christian. In a written statement to The Daily Signal, she explained that she wrote the tweet to push back against the oversexualization of children, not out of “homophobia.”




Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Glenn Youngkin Wins Virginia, Blazing 2022 Trail for GOP Through American Schools

Republican Glenn Youngkin sailed to victory in Virginia's gubernatorial race against Terry McAuliffe on Tuesday, giving the GOP a successful template for 2022.

Youngkin won with 51 percent of the vote, when the race was called early Wednesday morning by multiple networks. The race was widely viewed as a test of whether the Republican party's campaign against issues like critical race theory in schools would prove a sound strategy heading into the 2022 midterm elections.

Critical race theory stood at the forefront of Virginia's election as the race narrowed between the two candidates. Youngkin told voters he would ban CRT from Virginia schools, while McAuliffe called discussion of CRT a "dog whistle" and said parents shouldn't be telling schools what they teach. Strategists suggested the issue would play a critical role with suburban voters in 2022, which Youngkin's victory may all but confirm.

Democrats painted Youngkin as an extension of Trump, criticizing him for accepting Trump's endorsement, while McAuliffe hit his opponent for Trump closing out the campaign with a tele-rally. Youngkin, however, marketed himself to voters as a moderate Republican who, although aligned with Trump, wasn't a blind supporter of the former president. He's spoken about election integrity and endorsed audits of voting systems, but stopped short of endorsing Trump's claim that Biden didn't properly win the election.

Virginia has trended blue in recent years, and President Joe Biden won the state in 2020 by more than 10 points. However, polls leading into election day showed Youngkin and McAuliffe neck and neck, causing both parties to deploy massive resources to the state.

What, exactly, Youngkin's win means for Trumpism, and Donald Trump himself, in the coming elections remains unclear, given Youngkin's relative distance from the former president.


How coronavirus mask mandates are dividing America's school system

When American schools reopened in August after a year of on-and-off home-schooling, it reignited the debate around whether students should be made to wear masks.

What started as a response to the pandemic public health crisis morphed into a heated argument about personal liberty and parental rights.

Health experts continued to advocate for every line of defence to suppress the highly contagious Delta variant of Covid-19, including all the familiar proven strategies - mask wearing, vaccination, social distancing and regular hand washing.

But as the stoush over masking became hyper-politicised, important health messaging was drowned out.

The southern state of Florida, led by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, has led the push-back against mandates and lockdowns. And his supporters have been emboldened.

“I haven't worn a mask through this whole thing. I haven't worn it,” says Florida father-of-three Tayari Appiah, as he sits with his children in a park in the north central town of Gainesville.

It’s a weekday and while the rest of Florida’s students have returned to classroom learning, Mr Appiah's kids have not. “I started home-schooling my children, I think about it's been a month or two months,” says Mr Appiah.

“When I tried to take my daughter to school, they wanted to force her to wear a mask, but I told them not to do that. And they still wanted to pressure her and put a mask on her,” he says. “I was livid and I think it was a violation of the law.”

Gainesville is somewhat of an outlier in Florida. When most of the state said no to mask and vaccine mandates, this small town, which hosts several major hospitals and a strong medical community, went the other way.

The board that oversees schools in Gainesville followed the advice of local health experts and made masks mandatory on school grounds for the first eight weeks of the new school year.

Anger amongst Republicans mounted and the governor intervened. Mr DeSantis tried to ban mask mandates and stripped funding from any school boards defying his edict, starting in Gainesville.

The controversy went all the way to the White House. President Joe Biden pledged support and replacement funding for school boards adamant on masking students.

Mr DeSantis also introduced a controversial legal safeguard called the Parents Bill of Rights in June, which sought to take the decision over masks away from schools and give it back to parents.

“I used that law the next day, the very next day in my child's school system and my child's school said that they did not care about the law and that their policy supersedes the law,” Mr Appiah says.

“So at that point I realised that I'm probably going to have to pull my kids out of school.”

As the Delta variant of Covid-19 spreads, anti-mask parents recite what’s become a common catch cry: “We do not co-parent with the government”.

Mother-of-three Michelle Childers has led the pushback against masking in Gainesville and launched the local chapter of a pro-choice - not to be confused with pro-abortion - group called Moms for Liberty.


Australia: Parents who home schooled deserve payment

Parents who looked after children during lockdowns should get payment for doing so, according to one of the country's top demographers.

"We had JobKeeper, JobSeeker - but we also should have had HomeTeacher," Professor Lyndall Strazdins of the ANU said.

She says that parents who oversaw education - often while doing their own job from home - have been "overlooked". They should have been given a wage subsidy for their "invisible" work.

"Parents couldn't stick their kids on a computer and leave them for eight hours while they were working. They had to motivate, support them and be there to help them learn."

"Where was HomeTeacher?" Professor Strazdins asked.

"There could have been an opportunity for parents to take parental leave, similar to what they can access after having a baby, so they could take an absence from their work and actually do the other job of home schooling.

"Parents have faced the impossible conflict between trying to manage their job and trying to manage their children's future."

New South Wales has announced a one-off payment of $250 to people who home-schooled students. The professor said that was a "promising start".

But more was needed to help parents, she felt "particularly women and single parent families".

"When we entered lockdowns across much of the country, parents were suddenly forced to take on an entirely new job in an entirely new environment, without training, while managing their day job."

Another ANU specialist echoed Professor Strazdins.

Professor Peter Whiteford, an expert on social policy, said: "The pandemic exposed many of the weaknesses in our system of social protection. We need to think about what the future holds and if our social policy settings are able to cover the new risks we will face."

About a fifth of Australian households have children of school age - almost two million households, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics,

Professor Strazdins also argues that the lockdowns and the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic had entrenched long-standing inequality, with women still having to do the majority of "invisible" work.

"The new normal looks a lot like the old normal. This invisible work often falls to women," she said.




Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Civil rights leader blasts McAuliffe's race-based teacher plan, calls it 'racist,' 'insulting'

A civil rights leader and Virginia parent activists condemned Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe for emphasizing the race of teachers in Virginia's public school system and lamenting that more teachers are white while roughly half of Virginia public school students are not.

"It is explicitly and implicitly a racist approach to education," Bob Woodson, a civil rights veteran and president of The Woodson Center, told Fox News on Monday.

"We got to work hard to diversify our teacher base," McAuliffe had said at a campaign event in Manassas Sunday. "Fifty percent of our students are students of color; 80% of the teachers are white, so what I’m going to do for you — we’ll be the first state in America. If you go teach in Virginia for five years in a high-demand area — that could be geographic, it could be course work — we will pay room, board, tuition, any college, any university or any HBCU [historically Black colleges and universities] here in Virginia."

Woodson condemned this idea as insulting and racist.

"The assumption is that in order to recruit more Black teachers that you’ve got to subsidize candidates in order for them to teach, they’re not offering this to white candidates," the civil rights veteran said, adding that this assumes that Black students "need subsidies to teach."

"It’s really insulting, too," he said. "Why is he talking about providing special assistance to teachers, candidates, and then talking about HBCUs? That's more than a [racist] dog whistle — that's a dog megaphone.


Child, 6, allegedly asks mum if she was ‘born evil’ because she’s white

A US woman told a school board she pulled her daughter from the public school system after the young girl asked if she was “born evil” because she’s white.

The unidentified woman, from Virginia, claimed her six-year-old daughter asked her the question after she returned home from school one day, Fox News reports.

The mum blamed former Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Eric Williams; his successor, Dr. Scott Ziegler, and the school board for the alleged slur which she said took place during a history lesson.

“We had specifically moved them out of LCPS due to the swift and uncompromising political agenda of Superintendents Williams, Ziegler, and the school board had forced upon us,” she said at the board meeting on October 26.

“First, it was in the early spring of 2020 when my six-year-old somberly came to me and asked me if she was born evil because she was a white person. “Something she learned in a history lesson at school.”

The woman’s comments has since sparked a massive debate online with some questioning the validity of her claim.

“If that happened to your child, why do you need to read from a script? That story would be etched in stone on my heart,” one person Tweeted.

“100 per cent chance that a six-year-old didn’t learn that in history class,” wrote another.

While addressing the board, the mum continued: “Then, you kept the schools closed for a year-and-a-half, despite the science indicating it was safe for kids to return.”

“Now, you’ve covered up a rape, and arrested, humiliated, and falsely accused parents of being domestic terrorists.”

Loudoun County has faced national attention and condemnation in recent weeks over accusations it covered up a sexual assault report, as well as continued battles over critical race theory curriculum in classes.

Parents are calling for resignations from Superintendent Scott Ziegler and the entire school board over the alleged cover-up.


Australia: Experts give controversial ‘hippie school’ top marks

I don't generally put much faith in "experts but I see that John Hattie approves of this unusual school. Hattie is a formidable data analyst so I think the story below is interesting. Whether such a school would work in a less affluent area is a question

Jason Wong gets two types of reactions when he tells people his three daughters attend Lindfield Learning Village, an unorthodox public school on Sydney’s north shore. “That hippie school?” some say, sceptically. “That school that’s doing amazing, progressive stuff?” say others.

LLV, as it’s known, is in high demand; when it opened in a fortress-like former UTS campus 2019, it had a 3000-strong waiting list. Some parents tried to enrol their unborn children, attracted by its abandonment of old-school traditions, such as uniforms, detentions and timetables.

P&C president at Lindfield Learning Village Jason Wong with his wife Teresa and daughters Ella (black t-shirt) Bree (white dress) and Lucy (pink dress).
P&C president at Lindfield Learning Village Jason Wong with his wife Teresa and daughters Ella (black t-shirt) Bree (white dress) and Lucy (pink dress).CREDIT:RHETT WYMAN

But others, including some educators, are dubious. They worry Lindfield - a government-run school - is relying on what they call faddish, untested ideas such as basing learning on a child’s stage rather than their age, replacing normal subjects with student-driven projects, and putting pupils in charge of their own learning.

“[We have been] unlearning what school is, shedding those assumptions that we bring as educators to what school has to have,” principal Stephanie McConnell said last year.

In February, One Nation MP Mark Latham called for the Lindfield experiment to end and its teaching to be “normalised” after photos showed ‘Black Lives Matter’ and ‘Stop Killer Cops’ had been written on butchers paper during a brainstorming session about what the students already knew about key moments in recent Indigenous history.

But a new report by two eminent education academics, commissioned by the NSW Department of Education in the wake of the February furore, praises Lindfield as “an impressive school” and a “high achievement place of learning” that carefully tracks its students’ progress, acknowledges when it needs to change tack and could teach other schools a thing or two.

COVID-19 stopped Professor John Hattie and Tim O’Leary, both from the University of Melbourne, from travelling to Lindfield to see its brutalist architecture, the grand piano in the indoor play area, or the students, aged from kindergarten to year 12, mingle in the downstairs café.

Nor were they asked to investigate the February incident. Their brief was teaching and learning, and they were given access to all the school’s information, ranging from NAPLAN data and meeting agendas to the system that tracks each child’s progress.

“It was very impressive,” said Professor Hattie. “What impressed us was the evidence they had on what was working and what was not, and what was going to work and what wasn’t.”

Many in the education sector are still working out how to use data effectively in the classroom, but Professor Hattie said Lindfield’s system of collecting examples of student work, tracking progress against the NSW standards and curriculum, and taking feedback from students “actually stunned us,” he said. “I’ve never seen a better system.”

One of the school’s strengths was its ability to assess itself, and jettison anything that was not working. “Not every kid achieves brilliantly every day, but [teachers at Lindfield] were able to pick out those kids and subjects, and focus on them,” said Professor Hattie.

“I’ve done enough of these [reviews to know] they don’t always work out as well as this one. To say they’re perfect is not true, but they told us before we found out where they needed to grow.”

The report also found Lindfield’s NAPLAN results were comparable with similar schools, and its attendance and student satisfaction were higher than average. However, it could improve in numeracy.

Mr Latham said the report looked encouraging. “But generally we would expect Lindfield students, in the highest socio-economic area in the state, to get good school results and strong opportunities in life,” he said. “My main concern is not to have racist comments and police vilification hanging from the ceiling of a 5-6 classroom.”

Mr Wong said the February furore felt like “an attack on our ability to make decisions about what school to send our kids to,” he said. The parents threw their support behind the teachers and principal, filling the corridors with messages of support.

Parents have read the report and are “pretty chuffed,” Mr Wong said. “It wasn’t surprising for me. It was pretty spot on. We took a bit of a risk as parents sending our kids to this school, and although we don’t really need a report to tell us how the school is going, it’s always nice to have that validated by an external authority.

“The way most of us gauge the success of the school is feedback from our kids. I’ve got a year 9, a year 2 and a kindy; they all love going to school. They have an environment in which they want to learn.”




Monday, November 01, 2021

Democrats May Regret Messing With America’s Moms

We’ve all heard the story about the panicked mom summoning superhuman strength to lift a car off her trapped child. I’m not sure if it’s ever really happened, but I am sure that any politician who interferes with a mother’s ability to raise her children with the values she sees fit is playing with fire. The Democrats are holding the matches. Of all the radical ideas they’ve been trying to foist on America, messing with parents on K-12 education may be the one that does them in.

Democratic politicians have repeatedly failed to stand up to the “woke” crowd, the activist radical left wing of their own party. Remember the open borders question in the 2019 Democratic presidential primary debates? The moderators asked all the candidates to raise their hand if they wanted to decriminalize illegal border crossings. Almost every Democratic candidate raised a hand. Joe Biden was elected and took apart the Trump-era border policies that were working, and we now have record high levels of illegal border crossings and record low levels of arrests. Polls now show that opening the southern border isn’t actually popular with regular Americans, and now it looks as if the Biden administration may be walking back its radical open-border position. Most prominently, the White House has announced plans to begin reinstating Trump’s successful “Remain in Mexico” policy.

Democratic politicians around the country got caught up in the “defund the police” movement as well. It’s hard to find something crazier than open borders, but getting rid of police is a new level. Are there police abuses? Do we need police reform? The answer is, of course, yes. But only a crazy person thinks getting rid of the police is a real answer. Now that crime is going up, Democratic politicians across the country are starting to reverse course.

These are clearly wacky ideas. It’s hard to imagine the thought process that caused leading Democrats to promote them. Regardless, Democratic politicians’ unwillingness to stand up to the insanity in their own party has clearly hurt them in the polls. Hispanic voters, independents and even suburban moms are getting turned off by the ideological, radical strain driving the agenda. It seems that even after scalding their hands on the hot stove, Democrats are coming back for more punishment. This time, they are helping the radicals screw around with children’s education.

The things happening in American schools are truly scary. Despite the left’s desire to keep it quiet and the liberal media’s desire to whitewash it, parents are catching on — and they are not happy.

On race, school districts around the country are normalizing racism. Corporate media will tell you otherwise. The New York Times asserted definitively just this morning that “conservatives have … falsely claimed” divisive critical race theory is bleeding into schools. You’ll find similar gaslighting at NBC, The Washington Post and several other left-wing media companies.

Meanwhile, a teacher in New York City made headlines when he complained about students and teachers being broken up by race for “anti-racism” training, wherein they were taught that “objectivity” and “individualism” were white attributes. A school in Cupertino, California, asked third graders to “deconstruct their racial identities, then rank themselves according to their ‘power and privilege,’” according to City Journal. And, finally, if critical race theorists aren’t trying to indoctrinate children, why is the country’s leading critical race theory guru hocking an “Antiracist Baby” picture book for infants?

There are countless examples. Kids may not be learning the “advanced legal theory” graduate schools offer, but it is clear to anyone who has not had a significant psychological break from reality that these concepts are downstream from that theory, and schools are adopting them.

Contrary to the views espoused by Martin Luther King Jr., these concepts are teaching students that race defines us. They are teaching kids to judge others based on race. As usual with the left, this insanity is packaged to sound nonthreatening. They call it “critical race theory.” You shouldn’t. Just call it racism. That’s all it is.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a product of the segregated South, most eloquently pushed back on the insanity this week: “One of the worries that I have about the way that we’re talking about race is that it either seems so big that somehow white people now have to feel guilty for everything that happened in the past — I don’t think that’s very productive — or black people have to feel disempowered by race. I would like black kids to be completely empowered, to know that they are beautiful in their blackness, but in order to do that I don’t have to make white kids feel bad for being white.”

That’s all there is to it. That’s America. Outside of the radical left and a few crazy racists on the fringe, most Americans share Rice’s vision. Parents should certainly have the right to instill these American ideals in their children. I wouldn’t want to be the one getting in their way.

The second area of radicalization in our schools concerns the LGBTQ agenda. Two recent headlines highlight the insanity in our schools going on in the name of tolerance. First, in Loudoun County, Virginia, a young girl was allegedly sexually assaulted by a male student with a skirt on in a female bathroom. The school district allegedly attempted to cover up the assault and instead arrested the young girl’s father when his complaints were viewed as endangering the school’s bathroom policies. Second, teachers in Broward County, Florida, brought elementary school kids to a gay bar for a field trip. There are so many things wrong with this. Who takes elementary school kids to any bar for a field trip? Who thinks teaching kids that young any of this in school makes sense in the first place? It’s literally insane.

Democrats may have made mistakes on the border and with policing, but there’s a good chance that the school issues dwarf even those within the electorate. Parents have the right to teach their children their own values. That’s a concept almost everyone agrees with. Yet, to date, the Biden administration’s only response to parents’ growing concerns was a Justice Department memorandum that equated concerned parents with domestic terrorists. That’s a decision they are very likely going to regret.


The silence from some quarters on a “transgender” rape in a school is loud and clear

Is rape OK if committed by a transgender? Leftists seem to think so

All evil things will eventually come to light. That’s what Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS) is finding out in a big way. The horrible rape of a young girl in a Stone Bridge High School bathroom keeps getting more doleful as new information is revealed. The biggest question now is, where is #MeToo? This incident should be high profile enough to get that movement’s attention, right?


Here are the new revelations in the Loudoun County case. The teen boy and girl had a previous sexual relationship, but on May 28 the girl did not give her consent. The boy was transferred to another school where he is charged with kidnapping and sexually assaulting another student. The latter case has yet to be tried. At a recent hearing for the original rape, he incredulously claimed that at least one of the acts he committed happened by accident because his watch got caught on his skirt. Hmph.

Such obfuscation obviously does not take away from the fact that he raped her. As #MeToo is very fond of pointing out in most other cases, No means no. But have we heard a peep vis-à-vis Loudoun County? No. The school board won’t touch this case with a nine-foot pole because it might hurt the LGBTQ+ agenda. In fact, the feminist activist group Women’s Liberation Front called out #MeToo for the imbalance of only choosing “which rape victims to believe based on what supports their gender narrative.”

This story is not just about a rape committed by a “gender fluid” boy in a girls’ bathroom. This story is about the LPSC hiding behind Title IX regulations and Virginia state law in an attempt to cover up this story. It’s about the Loudoun County school board lying and claiming it didn’t know about the incident until a conservative media outlet blew the whistle earlier this month. It’s about the high school itself calling the police on the victim’s father the day of the rape for making a scene and not on the boy who committed the offense.

This tragic rape is also not merely about the “transgender”-friendly bathroom assault by a boy wearing a skirt. It’s about the pervasive higher levels of corruption.

Loudoun’s next-door neighbor, Fairfax County, has a similar history of quashing sexual crimes. To do so, it even uses a legal firm where Democrat gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe used to work as a senior adviser. Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has employed Hunton Andrews Kurth for a long time, and in recent years the majority of FCPS’s money has been used to employee this firm to fight Loudoun County-type cases. Both FCPS and the law firm have used Title IX as a shield to hide at least one sexual assault. Furthermore, both have aggressively interpreted Title IX to favor school administrators and not the victims. Fortunately, their felonious interpretation was struck down in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, but they intend to take it to the Supreme Court. A favorable verdict there would be disastrous for school rape survivors all over the country.

Parents and students are fed up with the hypocrisy of the woke agenda that pits actual victims against “transgender rights.” Earlier this week, students in several Loudoun County high schools staged a walkout in protest of that county’s handling of the rape cases.

As podcaster Liz Wheeler points out, what’s going on in Virginia is not Democrats vs. Republicans. Rather, it’s leftists vs. parents. Virginia is a petri dish for the leftist agenda at large. It harkens back to something political pundit Ben Shapiro observed last year: “They don’t hate you because they hate Trump. They hate Trump because they hate you.” If this attempt at silencing the rape that would tarnish the transgender agenda isn’t because they hate the average American, I don’t know what is. Every major decision under this woke, progressive administration has proven this to be an accurate assessment of the situation.

The #MeToo partisans only care about victims they can use to further leftist policies. These children are a sacrifice they are willing to make for the sake of their own power. #MeToo’s silence on this issue is loud and clear.


Australia: Cyberbullies to be suspended, more social media put on notice under new online safety laws

I am not sure about this. It is normal for kids to be very critical of one-another. We would have to be careful not to stop a normal part of growth

Australia’s program to shut down cyberbullies will get even bigger next year, reaching social networks like Snapchat, Discord and WhatsApp.

Children who suffer threats, harassment and humiliation in gaming forums and private messaging apps will be able to ask the eSafety Commission for help in a shake-up of the country’s world-first anti-cyberbullying laws next year.

The changes, which could see bullies stripped of their accounts or taken to court, will also reduce the time social media giants are given to remove harmful messages from their platforms from 48 hours to just one day.

But experts say cashed-up social media and gaming platforms needed to improve how they tackle cyberbullying and shouldn’t rely “on the eSafety Commissioner to do their job”.

The changes come after weeks of pressure on tech giants, with Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen revealing the company’s own research showed Instagram had the potential to harm children, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison pledged to introduce new laws to deal with offensive content on social networks.

The expansion of the Australian eSafety Commission’s cyberbullying scheme will come as part of the Online Safety Act due to begin in January.

eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant said cyberbullying reports made to the agency jumped by 30 per cent last year, and one third of those reports involved children being bullied in private messages.

A recent study of 3600 Australian children by the Commission also found one in five children were bullied while playing online games, but the current anti-bullying scheme was only set up to deal with content posted to open social networks.

“We know that harms happen in any online spaces that kids are in,” Ms Inman Grant said.

“(With this change) we’ll be able to help children who are experiencing serious cyberbullying on whatever platform they’re on.”

Under the new rules, any Australian child or their guardian will be able to report serious threats, intimidation, harassment or humiliation to the eSafety Commission that have been sent using services including WhatsApp, Discord, Twitch and Snapchat, and in private messages on Instagram or Facebook.

The harmful content must first be reported to the platform that hosts it but they will have just 24 hours, rather than the current 48, to take action before it can be escalated.

While the agency could currently seek court-ordered injunctions against online bullies and civil penalties from online platforms which did not respond, Ms Inman Grant said the new scheme would require a different approach.

“We might not be dealing with content take-down notices because this is happening in real-time but there are important things that can be done to make sure platforms are enforcing their own policies and, if there are abusive accounts, that they are suspending them,” she said.

Cybersafety educator Leonie Smith welcomed the change to the reporting scheme, saying “the majority of cyberbullying reported to be from schools happens in direct messages”.

But she said social networks and online gaming platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Roblox, needed to do more themselves.

“This will put pressure on social media companies to make reporting easier and that’s what they should be doing,” she said. “But we shouldn’t be relying on the eSafety Commissioner to do their job.”

Ms Smith said online platforms needed to introduce greater safeguards for children under the age of 13, including easier reporting and better moderation of online bullying, and greater parental controls for younger users.




Sunday, October 31, 2021

Parents outraged over school picture day ‘retouch’ trend

Jennifer Greene doesn’t want her 12-year-old daughter, Madeline, to feel pressured into looking picture-perfect.

So when the Maryland mum opened the seventh-grader’s school picture package from photography company Lifetouch and saw it urged parents to lay out an extra $12 for portrait “retouching” services — including teeth whitening, skin-tone evening and blemish removal — she freaked. “I was shocked,” Greene, 43, told The Post.

“I completely disagree with (retouching a child’s school picture), because it’s teaching kids that they need to look perfect all the time and that they can change (a perceived flaw) with the click of a mouse.”

Retouching options on school portraits aren’t new — but they’re now being offered to students as young as pre-K and are becoming as ubiquitous as face-altering filters on social media, which have triggered a spike in anxiety and depression in teen girls.

Greene, a travel blogger and social media administrator, was so incensed by the Photoshop proposition that she blasted the company on Twitter.

“I’m going to need someone to explain to me why @Lifetouch offers PHOTO RETOUCH for KIDS school pics?!” she tweeted late last month. “What the hell?!”

She said she never received a response. In a statement to The Post, Lifetouch said, “Our goal is always to authentically capture each child we photograph. Photo retouch is an entirely opt-in service that customers choose to add on to photo packages. Most, if not all, school photography companies offer this service and it’s an expectation as an available option for schools.”

Last November, Tampa, Fla.-based mum Kristin Loerns did a double-take when she received her son Kieran’s school photos. His adorable freckles had vanished.

“I gave permission for ‘basic retouching,’ which would be removing blemishes, and they removed all of his freckles instead,” the 36-year-old blogger (@loefamilyloves) and photographer told The Post.

She complained to Lifetouch, which remedied the situation by resending the pictures with Kieran’s adorable freckles returned.

School picture alterations don’t appear to be limited to the airbrushing of a child’s skin, teeth or blemishes.

Whitney Rose, a mum of two hearing-impaired toddlers, told The Post that she believes a photographer from a different company erased her 3-year-old son’s hearing aids from his school picture. Her outrage over the apparent offence garnered 2.2 million views on TikTok.

“These are my son’s hearing aids. They help him hear, they’re a part of who he is and he likes them,” Rose said on her TikTok account, @TheseDeafKidsRock. “It’s sending a message to him that part of who he is, his hearing loss, is something he should be ashamed of.”

But Manhattan mum Heidi Green — an event and professional portrait photographer who spent 10 years snapping school pictures — said it is often parents who are pushing for perfection.

“The parent feels like they had to get [the flaw] fixed in order to enjoy the school picture, or to make the child look better,” she said.

Green said there’s a fine line between standard photo editing and damaging retouching — particularly if the perceived imperfection is permanent.

One year, a client asked Green to edit out a lifelong scar caused by a birth defect on her daughter’s face. “I felt bad about it,” she said. “I smoothed it out a little bit so that she’d be happy with the picture without changing much.

“Removing a permanent scar to me would be like saying, ‘Can you make my child’s eyes blue?’” Green added. “Because why would you want your kid to look in the picture like they don’t look in real life?”

Still, Green says not all edits are sinister. She has long offered free-of-charge retouches for children whose pictures showed visible scratches, blemishes, messy hair from playing or eyeglass glare. Some changes, like minor teeth whitening, are part of the overall photo-editing process.

That type of minor retouching is something children won’t notice, said Yamalis Diaz, a child psychologist at NYU Langone.

What is concerning is when a child learns that their permanent characteristics have been changed in a photo — and no longer reflect what they see in the mirror. “Could that start to make them feel inadequate? … Can that lead to some anxiety and depressed mood, eating disorders, body dysmorphia? Absolutely,” Diaz said.

Unlike adults, children are in an “evolution” stage of understanding themselves — and something as simple as messing with a school picture can be damaging.

“Instead of accepting your physical characteristics, your disability, your features, your appearance, you’re supposed to be fixing it or hiding it,” Diaz said.

“And that is a dangerous message to send.”


Sussex university professor Kathleen Stock resigns after transgender rights row

A philosophy professor who became embroiled in a row over transgender rights has stepped down from her role at the University of Sussex.

Kathleen Stock, who has an OBE for her contribution to higher education, had faced calls to be sacked over her stance on gender identity.

The controversy centres on her view that a person’s self-declared gender does not trump their biological sex, “particularly when it comes to law and policy”.

Prof Stock believes that female-only spaces such as changing rooms should not be open to self-identifying trans women.

As a result, the academic was accused of transphobia, with an anonymous group, allegedly led by students, campaigning for her to be fired.

Posters to this effect were reportedly put up near the university campus, while an image of a protester holding a banner reading “Stock Out” appeared online.

Announcing her decision to leave the university, Prof Stock explained how the last few years had been “very difficult” and “an absolutely horrible time” for her and her family. “I’m putting it behind me now. On to brighter things soon, I hope,” she said.

Professor Adam Tickell, the vice-chancellor of the University of Sussex, said in a statement that the institution was sorry to see her go. “Her departure is a loss to us all,” he wrote.

He added that harassment and bullying had no place at the university. “Rigorous academic challenge is welcome. However, we have seen an intolerance of her as a member of our community because of her work,” Prof Tickell said.


What Role Do Parents Play in Education?

Dear parents: Thank you for sending your child to school. Now stay out of their education. It’s none of your business.

This sums up the attitude of many school boards these days. They don’t want any disagreement about the radical agenda they’re pushing on students across America.

This isn’t a new problem. Leftists have used education to burrow into the center of our culture and rot it from within for many decades. But now they’re openly admitting what they’re doing and telling the rest of us to stay out of the discussion.

As former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe boldly proclaimed during a recent gubernatorial debate, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

And he’s not alone.

Jack Schneider and Jennifer Berkshire write in The Washington Post that parents don’t have any right to influence the school curriculum and that the uproar over parental rights is radical and unprecedented. They claim “common law and case law in the United States have long supported the idea that education should prepare young people to think for themselves, even if that runs counter to the wishes of parents.”

And that’s the problem. The education kids receive today is not teaching them to think for themselves. In fact, the right to an alternative opinion is condemned by school boards, administrators, and educators at all levels.

No one is suggesting that parents make every decision about a school district’s curriculum. Parents don’t want to write the curriculum, but they have a right to an alternative opinion when teaching becomes indoctrination.

Expressing different opinions has led some parents to be deemed “domestic terrorists” by the National School Boards Association (NSBA).

And now, Attorney General Merrick Garland has directed the FBI to investigate “alleged harassment and threats to school boards, teachers, staff and administrators.” (Even after being challenged in Congress, and even after the NSBA apologized for its letter requesting Justice Department action, Garland refused to back down.)

The only people being harassed are the parents who want their children learning how to read and write instead of being force-fed Critical Race Theory (CRT) or gender fluidity. They want their children to be taught to love their country despite its flaws rather than being told their only hope is to dismantle the institutions, values, and traditions of our founding.

Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers and her comrades “would prefer that parental contact with their children be limited by an increasingly powerful state at an ever-earlier age,” writes political analyst Stephen Kruiser. “That’s why they’re pushing for universal pre-K.” Democrats will fund universal pre-K as part of the “Build Back Better” scheme.

To highlight just how far the Left is willing to go to silence the rest of us, one Ohio private school even expelled three students in retaliation for their parents criticizing the school’s teaching of CRT. A surgeon in Minnesota was fired for daring to say that parents should decide whether their children wear masks in school.

Parents are finally taking a stand, but the best approach may be school choice rather than trying to save a school system already lost to the culture wars.

The productive way for parents to fight the culture wars is to “choose different schools,” writes former free speech litigator David French. “Kids who lack resources should be provided ‘backpack funding’ — educational dollars that follow students to the school their families choose.” This approach “uses the liberty the Constitution preserves to protect the authority of parents in the American family.” The Left, on the other hand, “uses the powers the Constitution does not restrict to magnify the role of the state in the life of the child.”

Those who seek to use education to undermine our civilization have dug in their heels. Now those of us who want our children educated instead of indoctrinated need to do the same.