Friday, November 12, 2021

Bribery? NY to Give Out 50 Full Rides to State Colleges, But Only Vaccinated Kids Can Enter to Win

The FDA recently authorized the emergency use of the COVID-19 vaccine for 5- to 11-year-olds. Now, the state of New York is trying to entice parents to get their children vaccinated.

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Tuesday that vaccinated children will be eligible for a full scholarship to any two- or four-year New York public university.

Parents can enter a drawing for their child to win the “Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate” scholarship over the next five weeks. Fifty children will be selected.

“Our critical work to make the vaccine accessible and available to all eligible children and their families is underway — and we will creatively support and celebrate those who get vaccinated,” Hochul said.

“The ‘Vaccinate, Educate, Graduate’ program is an extraordinary opportunity for children to win free tuition to a [State University of New York] or [City University of New York] college or university, and I urge parents and guardians to help their children get vaccinated and enter into this once-in-a-lifetime program.”

“If one of your children win this, you should probably take them to Disney World because that would be a very good thing. You’ll have extra money now — you don’t have to be saving for college,” Hochul added.

The coronavirus has not posed a massive threat to children.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children have accounted for 16.7 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S. Between 0.1 and 2 percent of child COVID-19 cases resulted in hospitalization, and up to 0.03 percent of child cases resulted in death.

“Most kids who are infected typically don’t become as sick as adults and some might not show any symptoms at all,” the Mayo Clinic reported.

Data from clinical vaccine studies for the age group was “limited,” according to Stat News. “It’s not a lot to go on, but what we do have to go on looks great,” said Kathleen Neuzil, director of the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

A significant number of parents do not want their children vaccinated.

One poll found that nearly one-third of parents with children under the age of 12 were not interested in getting them vaccinated. The poll was conducted from Oct. 14 to Oct. 22 among 758 parents. No margin of error was provided.

Nonetheless, Hochul is arguing that there is no reason for kids not to get vaccinated.

“There’s no excuse not to get the adults vaccinated, get the kids vaccinated and … put this pandemic in the rear-view mirror,” she said.


Diversity officials have begun corrupting K-12 schools with radical ideas about diversity, equity, and inclusion

Diversity officers slowly are corrupting K-12 education by bringing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives into schools and teaching children divisive topics such as critical race theory, a Heritage Foundation scholar says.

A new report from Jay Greene, a senior research fellow in education at Heritage, highlights how harmful these diversity officers and their initiatives can be. Worse than simply indoctrinating children, the report says, proposals to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion contribute to a widening achievement gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students.

In some cases, the gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged students can be utterly crippling, he explains.

“So it’s easy to understand, this is how many grade levels apart the average white student is from the average black student in that [school] district. That average, by the way, is almost two grade levels,” Greene says at one point.

Greene joins “The Daily Signal Podcast” to discuss diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and how they negatively affect disadvantaged students.

We also cover these stories:

The Biden administration encourages schools to promote the new COVID-19 vaccine for children.
The president’s approval ratings are in bad shape, according to a new USA Today/Suffolk University poll.
America is now open to travelers from Europe, Canada, and Mexico, providing they’re fully vaccinated against COVID-19.


Taxpayer-funded 'how to be woke' courses for public servants are slammed for 'teaching Australians to hate white people'

Taxpayer-funded courses for public servants in New South Wales on 'how to be woke' have been slammed as an extravagant waste of money by critics.

State One Nation leader Mark Latham said the 'SBS Inclusion Program' which teaches about 'intersex inclusion' and 'unconscious bias' is nothing more than 'political indoctrination'.

Numerous government departments have been shelling out tens of thousands of dollars to participate in the programs, with the NSW Treasury spending $56,000 and the Department of Communities and Justice handing over $22,000.

Public broadcaster SBS started the courses in 2019 to guide workplaces on cultural diversity. The training includes sections on gender equality, LGBTQI issues, disability awareness and Indigenous culture.

But Mr Latham argues the courses are 'designed to make participants hate Australia and white people in particular'.

'They depict our country as inherently racist, sexist and homophobic,' he said. 'It's not about inclusion at all. It's about division, propaganda and political indoctrination.

'It says a lot about how the NSW Government wastes taxpayers' money on this stuff, instead of having public servants get on with their day jobs in delivering basic services.'

Australian Taxpayer Alliance spokesman Gabe Buckley also took aim at the 'wasteful' spending. 'Not only is it a gross misuse of taxpayer funds, it is inappropriate for the government to indoctrinate a worldview through propaganda,' he told the Daily Telegraph.

But the NSW Treasury dismissed the criticism saying it gives public servants a better understanding of inclusion and the diverse communities they work for.




Thursday, November 11, 2021

Israeli ambassador to the UK rushed out of LSE amid tense protest over her appearance

The Israeli ambassador to the U.K. was rushed out of the London School of Economics Tuesday night after a protest formed outside condemning her appearance at a debate forum, according to a report.

The Times of Israel posted a video that showed Ambassador Tzipi Hotovely while she was rushed into a black car amid shouts from the crowd. One asked her if she was ashamed. She was guarded by men in dark suits. At least one protester was blocked by a security guard while the ambassador left.

The protesters chanted, "Shame on you," as her car sped off.

The protest prompted swift condemnation from Nadhim Zahawi, a Conservative MP. He called the video "deeply disturbing." "I am so sorry Ambassador Hotovely," he posted.

The school and the Israeli Embassy did not immediately respond to emails from Fox News. Videos from the scene showed protesters waving Palestinian flags while chanting "Israel is a terror state."

Similar scenes have played out in the U.S. where conservative speakers have been shouted off campuses. Critics say these protests have no place on campuses. The protesters were praised by some supporters online upset with Israel over the recent announcement of new settlements.

Hotovely had been invited by the school’s student union to take part in a debate, the Times of Israel reported. Her invitation reportedly sparked controversy and pro-Palestinian groups at the school who accused the student union of giving a platform to "racism."

The protesters said the ambassador, who is in former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, has been a staunch supporter of "settler colonialism" and accused her of using "Islamophobic rhetoric" in the past, the paper said. She once served as the country’s settlement affairs minister.


Are Colleges Causing National Decline? Should We Tax Them?

Most think the enormous growth in college enrollments in the last half of the 20th century and the first decade of the 21st contributed to our prosperity and high quality of life. Yet during the period, one could argue that America’s exceptionalism and its primacy in world affairs began an accelerating decline, so now we are entering a China Century or, more broadly, Asian Century. And universities arguably played a role in several indicators of decline, suggesting Milton Friedman was prescient in suggesting in a 2003 email to me that perhaps we should be taxing universities for their negative spillover effects rather than subsidizing them for alleged “positive externalities.”

Let me show just six of many indicators of decline.

In the 1950s and 1960s, when fewer than 10 % of adult Americans had college degrees, annual economic growth was about 4% a year; in the 2010s, when over 30% had degrees, that had declined sharply to about 2.3%;

Around 1950 or 1960, about 25 babies were born per 1,000 American population; today, birth rates have fallen more than 50%, to about 12 per 1,000, and some states (e.g., my Ohio) are reporting more deaths than births;

In 1960, fewer than 10 out of every 100 births occurred outside wedlock; today about 40 are, with devastating impact on learning, earnings, respect for authority and needed discipline inculcated by traditional two parent families;

Before an unwritten fiscal constitution was destroyed in the late 20th century, the national debt was usually less than 50% the size of a year’s GDP; today it exceeds 100% and no major political forces are pushing for fiscal responsibility; total unfunded liabilities of our national government today may exceed $100 trillion -over four years of GDP;

As the proportion of college graduates has more than tripled over the past half century, measured income inequality has grown sharply and achieving the American Dream by upward income mobility is becoming somewhat rarer.

We are becoming a nation of atheists and agnostics; the proportion of Americans reporting church affiliation has dropped coincident with the rise in the proportion of college graduates. Declining respect for the Ten Commandments and other religious-based strictures may be contributing to declining respect for the rule of law.

It may well be that college education is partly responsible for many of these trends. It was college professors who preached the Keynesian doctrine that federal budget deficits can be a powerful force for national good, providing cover for irresponsible fiscal behavior by national politicians.

Zealous climate change and environmental advocates within universities argue human actions cause mortal damage to the planet and to its life. Although strictly anecdotal, I suspect American higher education institutions buy more condoms than any other non-profit organizations. Human beings are often viewed as villains needing to be numerically controlled. Humans pollute.

Perhaps more controversial, academics largely devised and advocated for the modern welfare state, and I don’t think it is coincidental that the sharp rise in babies born out of wedlock from the 1960s forward came as public assistance programs grew extraordinarily fast; the Great Society was a product of ideas of college-educated individuals, often professors working temporarily for the federal government.

The ingredients for rapid economic growth were chipped away by academics who denigrated the virtues of capitalism and individual initiative advocated by Adam Smith and other Enlightenment philosophers and economists—high saving, free trade, low interference in human decision-making, modest taxation, etc. Inefficient governmental allocation of resources crowded out more efficient allocations made by markets.

Partly because of the unintended consequences of governmental student financial assistance policies (federal loans especially), we may have actually made higher education less accessible to the poor, and raised barriers to income mobility. While faculty overwhelmingly support progressive policies ostensibly promoting income equality, they may actually be strengthening academic aristocracies increasing barriers for young, poor, but also clever and ambitious individuals to succeed in our society.

It is revealing in the debates over slimming down the Biden “social infrastructure” package, most higher education provisions, including “free community college”, have been eliminated. Public support for universities is vital, but increasingly endangered. Will we stop subsidizing state universities and start taxing tuition fees? Probably not, but don’t rule it out.


Australian Entrepreneur says year 12 marks do not determine success

He's right. There is very little connection between academic course content and skills needed in life and employment

Famous entrepreneur Dick Smith told 2GB that he received terrible grades at school but still managed to go on to become highly successful.

“I was absolutely hopeless. I came 45th out of 47th in the class. I always thought I was hopeless at school but I managed to do OK,” Mr Smith said.

Mr Smith told parents and grandparents not to worry about their children or grandchildren who did not perform well at school, insisting there are many opportunities for success outside of the traditional path of a university education.

“If they're no good at schoolwork don’t worry too much,” he said.

“I say to everyone, get as many qualification as you can – that's good – but there's still potential to open your own business. “This is a great country and you can still do well even if you can’t get those qualifications.”

Mr Smith became one of the richest men in Australia after he successfully grew his electronics business from $610 in 1968 to $1.4bn in 2014.




Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Arizona State University professor says traditional grading system is 'racist' and demands an end to 'white supremacy' by grading papers based on EFFORT

Results don't matter? Teaching that is a strange preparation for later life. Is any employer going to tell the kids that results don't matter?

A professor at Arizona State University is arguing that the traditional grading system is 'racist' and is calling for an end to 'white language' by encouraging teachers to grade students based on the labor they put into their work instead of factors like spelling, grammar or quality.

Asao Inoue, a professor of rhetoric and composition, has given a series of lectures on the topic and most recently delivered one during a virtual event Friday, during which he argued that labor-based grading 'redistributes power in ways that allow for more diverse habits of language to circulate,' the College Fix first reported.

During his lecture, titled The Possibilities of Antiracist Writing Assessment Ecologies, Inoue said: 'White language supremacy in writing classrooms is due to the uneven and diverse linguistic legacies that everyone inherits, and the racialized white discourses that are used as standards, which give privilege to those students who embody those habits of white language already.'

In other words, Inoue urged teachers to focus on how much effort students put into their assignments and understanding the lesson rather than traditional spelling, grammar and punctuation grading norms.

Inoue refers to the common way most teachers and professors grade papers as a phrase he coined called 'Habits of White Language,' or 'HOWL.' Inoue said that HOWL and white supremacy culture '[make] up the culture and normal practices of our classrooms and disciplines.'

'Labor-based grading structurally changes everyone's relationship to dominant standards of English that come from elite, masculine, heteronormative, ableist, white racial groups of speakers,' Inoue said.

Inoue wrote a blog post on the matter that he shared in a tweet on October 25 with the excerpt: 'The antiracist use of any model of English languaging should open up our eyes, ears, and hearts to our own and others' languaging behaviors... to open up the conventionality and unconventionality of both our models and our own languaging…'

In his blog, he addresses white teachers specifically and writes: 'You grade your students on the English you learned and grew up with, the kind of English in your models and training, but like those Filipino or Native American students, your students aren't you, nor are they like the authors of your models. They do not come from where you or those authors came from, not exactly. And they are not embodied in their language practices in the same ways as you are.'

He continued: 'Further, your students will likely use their Englishes for different things in their lives than you do. It's not that they don't stand to learn something good from your English or your models, but we too often grade them on how closely they are like our models. This means you punish students for not being like you or like your models.'

In his lecture, Inoue also asked teachers to consider one characteristic of white supremacy culture that they engage in during their courses, the College Fix reported. At another point in the presentation, he had participating teachers and students pause to exercise 'an important antiracist practice' of examining how they participate in racism or antiracism.

'Pausing in our work helps us intervene and disrupt by first noticing ourselves participating in racism, engaging in white fragility, in white rage, or white language supremacy,' he said.

Inoue's talk came during a 70-minute event hosted by the Rhetoric, Writing and Linguistics Speaker Series sponsored by the Department of English at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The discussion was geared toward professors but was also open to students, alumni and others.

According to an online description of the talk: 'Inoue poses problems about dominant standards of the English language in schools and universities and the Habits of White Language (HOWL) that are paradoxically meaningful and harmful to locally diverse students when used to evaluate their language performances and produce grades.'

Inoue told Fox News on Tuesday that 'labor-based grading ecologies are fundamentally about creating compassionate, democratic conditions, ones that are critical and rigorous, if by rigorous we mean deep, thoughtful, engagement with each other for each other's sake and not for grades or false external motivators that ultimately erode students' abilities to learn and take risks.'

Inoue said that he is not calling for an end to teaching spelling, grammar or punctuation, but what he's arguing 'for are safe classrooms that offer better, clearer ways to understand what it means to learn dominant forms of English in our world today'

'These new conditions can provide a wider group of students who come from a more diverse set of language backgrounds, to thrive and learn. This is important to do if we are to inquire about the politics of English language in our world that end up creating situations of misunderstanding and harm.'

Inoue said that he is not calling for an end to teaching spelling, grammar or punctuation, but rather: 'What I'm arguing for are safe classrooms that offer better, clearer ways to understand what it means to learn dominant forms of English in our world today.'

Inoue and his wife recently launched an antiracist teaching endowment that aims to fund 'an antiracist teaching conference for secondary and postsecondary teachers,' 'support a summer workshop or institute for a smaller group of teachers to learn about and research antiracist teaching approaches,' and create 'several scholarships for students who wish to focus on antiracist approaches to teaching in a variety of disciplines,' according to a blog post explaining the program.

In a tweet pinned on his profile, Inoue wrote: 'The new antiracist teaching endowment that my wife and I just started is now accepting donations! If you've benefited from my work at all over the years, consider donating something. Thanks!'


Texas School Board Says Parents Should be Ashamed for Criticizing Sexually Explicit Library Books

Keller Independent School District was found to have a book in one of its libraries that included illustrations and descriptions of sex, pedophilia and incest, according to an Oct. 26 Twitter thread posted by a parent in the district.

The district then informed parents that the book had been removed from the library. However, other books later discovered by parents that also contained inappropriate material remain.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued a letter to the Texas Association of School Boards, calling on them to "ensure that no child in Texas is exposed to pornography or other inappropriate content while inside a Texas public school."

And after the district was criticized on Facebook for offering the pornographic book to children, KISD School Board President Ruthie Keyes responded with a comment that said parents should be ashamed of themselves for spreading the content online.

"This was one of 589,000 books in the district," Keyes said in her response on Facebook. "It was immediately removed and the only reason hundreds of people saw it is because people started distributing out [sic] on social media. Those are the people that should be ashamed for distributing. I wish people would want to be part of the solution and ask what they can do to help instead of spreading hate and division."

Her remarks prompted a petition, which has about 1,500 signatures, asking for the district to hold a special board meeting.

Nonprofit parents group Parents Defending Education slammed the district for Keyes' response to concerns raised by parents.

"Sadly, in far too many districts across the country, school board members ignore and mock the concerns of the very people they have been elected to represent. It's little wonder there were electoral repercussions last week - a trend that is likely to continue unless and until voters are treated with respect," PDE President Nicole Neily said in a statement.

"It would be strange if parents were not concerned about sexually explicit material accessible to their children — the content of some of these books is not only ideological in nature but also graphic its depictions of sexual acts between adults and children," she continued. "A strap-on dildo is not something parents expect to see in a book on the school library shelves."


Critical Race Theory in Our Schools? Fact-Check: True

The media keep denying this fact because it would force them to defend CRT’s merits

Mainstream media outlets have assured their viewers time and time again that Critical Race Theory (CRT) is not taught in public schools. MSNBC host Joy Reid insists it’s merely “anything that makes a white parent uncomfortable.”

Another host, Nicole Wallace, went so far as to say, “There is no Critical Race Theory.” These pundits have attempted to convince people that CRT in schools is a “racist dogwhistle” or a “coded boogeyman.”

There’s only one problem: It’s not true. Critical Race Theory does exist.

The architects of CRT — people like Kimberlé Crenshaw and Richard Delgado — would be very distressed to learn that their theory does not, in fact, exist. CRT has been taught in schools like Harvard Law for many years, though it has increasingly filtered its way down to K-12 schools.

A lot of parents know that this narrative by the mainstream media is a lie.

This worldview lens through which CRT advocates teach history and social studies has been part of the education curriculum in K-12 schools for a while. And thanks to COVID-19, parents were able to see during their children’s Zoom classes exactly how this ideology is taught.

In Loudoun County, Virginia, parents are at the forefront of this conversation. They have been attempting to make their voices heard with the Loudoun County School Board, letting the members know they don’t want CRT in their schools. One white mother told the school board she pulled her child from public school because she came home asking if she was born evil because of her skin color.

Another mother cited how this very theory was used to dupe black people during the Nazi regime. And yet another mother said she didn’t want her black child being told that because of his black skin, he couldn’t succeed or that his white classmates were guilty of “white privilege.” But the Left’s message to these concerned parents was, Don’t believe your lying eyes.

Critical Race Theory is taught in K-12 schools.

CRT is not explicitly a part of the curriculum. No, they don’t have books labeled “Critical Race Theory,” but teachers are aware of it and are using the tenets of CRT — racial essentialism, institutional systemic racism, and claims that America was bad from the start due to slavery — as lessons in all sorts of subjects.

There have been stories about third-graders being made to rank themselves based on the amount of privilege they have according to CRT. One math curriculum in Seattle put more emphasis on CRT activism than on math itself.

Reporter Christopher Rufo has a list of the terms that schools use to mask the fact they are teaching Critical Race Theory. Teachers are also undergoing trainings on this worldview with the explicit purpose of using it in the classroom. As a former teacher myself, I can attest that this is most definitely the case. A simple search into a popular teacher resource exposes the lie.

I had the honor of teaching a high school U.S. Government class last year. In one of our discussion-led lessons, CRT was a topic brought up by a student. He had been told by another teacher at his previous school that because he was white and male, people (in his words) “hated him.” This child was only 16. How is he supposed to process that? This goes beyond making “white kids uncomfortable.”

Why the continued gaslighting?

Leftists across the board know that if argued on its merits, Critical Race Theory is not palatable to the American people. It is actual racism toward those they see at the top of the privilege hierarchy, a.k.a. straight white men.

CRT is also a tool of Marxist origin that uses race as a way to gain power and destroy democracy. That is why leftist pundits are so quick to say it doesn’t exist, but don’t you dare take it out of our schools.

They twist the narrative and say that white parents just don’t want their kids to be taught about slavery. By this they are referring to history via the 1619 Project, which is a tool for CRT-type activism, according to its author, Nikole Hannah-Jones.

The mainstream media (the Left’s propaganda machine) and Democrat politicians found out in Virginia just how much of a mistake it is to pretend CRT isn’t real. It is a losing strategy that, if they continue with it, will lose them more important races in 2022.




Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Loudoun County's Equity Consultant Says Relationships, Not Learning, Should be the Focus of Public Schools

The co-founding partner of The Equity Collaborative, the consulting firm hired by Loudoun County Public Schools to promote equity and inclusion into its classrooms, said in a recent lecture that he believes learning should not be the highest priority for public schools because the internet does a better job of informing students of what they need to know.

"I think the thing that public education offers…because I certainly don’t think we offer learning… are relationships…What historically high schools were for was dissemination of information very quickly…Well actually the internet is better than the high school is…Truthfully, the teacher in relation to the dissemination of information is obsolete. But the teacher in relationship to relationship is the thing," Equity Collaborative leader Jamie Almanzán said in a video posted to Twitter Monday.

Almanzán emphasized the need for school faculty to "practice" changing the minds of students by speaking to adults, whose views are harder to change, so that they would be better prepared to influence children, who, as he points out, are more persuadable because of their ever-changing perspectives.

"To change adults…sometimes I wonder whether it’s even worth it," he said. "Sometimes you’re like ‘Just forget it.’ They should just get out of the way. Kids change must faster. Adults are in the way."

He also said that it is "easier" to have a productive dialogue about equity when discussing the idea of equity itself, rather than "addressing inequity," proposing a shift in language to come up with "the outcome we want to see and then addressing the inequities that prevent us from getting to that outcome."

"People are down for equity, people are not down for challenging inequity," he said.

According to the consultant report card from nonprofit Parents Defending Education, LCPS signed a contract in 2019 with The Equity Collaborative, which was paid more than $300,000 in taxpayer funds to implement critical race theory trainings into the school curriculum.

The contract included having three of the firm's consultants, who were paid $5,000 per day per consultant, present an eight-day "Systemic Equity Assessment" to county staff, students and community members.

It also had LCPS paying $32,000 to The Equity Collaborative for a "District Equity Plan" led by Almanzan and Graig Meyer. The firm would also receive $40,000 for two "Equity Driven Central Office Leadership" trainings a month over a five-month period in 2019.

That same year, the district gave another $22,000 for a four-day "Equity in the Center Co-Facilitation" that paid Almanzan $5,500 a day.


Instead of “Retaking” K-12 Education, Let’s Remake It

It’s true, as the late, great Andrew Breitbart famously said, that “politics is downstream of culture.” But both are downstream of education. Nothing is more important to our families—or the future of our country.

In that regard, Republican Glen Younkin’s recent gubernatorial victory in Virginia, fueled in part by fed-up parents, was heartening. But does it signal that the tide has turned?

Not to downplay that happy outcome or the role brave parents played in it, but sadly, I think not. I still believe, as I wrote recently, that the “public” schools are lost to us. Which leaves parents to continue asking the same question they’ve been asking for nearly two years: “What can we do?”

There is no easy answer. Attempts to work within the system mostly aren’t succeeding, the occasional victory notwithstanding. School boards across the country grow increasingly more intransigent, digging in their heels and doubling down on mask mandates, Critical Race Theory, and LGBTQ+ propaganda.

No amount of pushback from parents, in the form of emails or newspaper editorials or impassioned speeches at board meetings, appears to have much effect. The education establishment is simply indifferent to parents’ concerns. They’re certain they know better, and that’s that.

Elections might make a temporary difference, but long-term, I believe conservative, Christian parents—indeed, all rational parents—must accept that “public schools” no longer serve the public. Instead, they have truly become “government schools,” promoting the ruling caste’s priorities over those of parents and students.

So what can families do?

Charter schools are a viable alternative, where they exist. But they are difficult to get off the ground, often facing stiff opposition from within. And because they are publicly funded, they must follow many of the same policies as other public institutions. Fundamentally, charter schools are still government schools.

Traditional private schools—long the refuge of dissatisfied parents—are beyond the means of most families, especially those with multiple children, even in states with some sort of voucher program. In addition, many private schools today suffer from the same ills that plague government schools. They, too, have become leftwing indoctrination centers and bastions of “safetyism.”

Homeschooling works well for many families but by no means all. When both parents must work full-time, teaching children at home is simply not feasible. Many parents also have legitimate concerns about homeschooled children missing out on important social opportunities and extracurricular activities. Variations on the concept, such as homeschool academies or co-ops, can help alleviate some of those problems, but again—not for everyone.

Classical academies, combining private education with homeschooling, offer some promise. However, they also combine the necessity of paying tuition with the requirement that at least one parent be home two or three days a week. Once again, not every family can do that.

I don’t mean to disparage any of these models. All have their advantages, and one of them might be the best fit for you and your family. But clearly, even taken together, they are insufficient to address the situation, because many parents who would like to get their kids out of the government schools still feel trapped there.

For those desperate parents, I would like to propose another alternative. I actually think it’s the best option, combining the strengths of all the others—including those good, strong public schools many of us grew up in.

My idea, which I first outlined a few months ago, involves churches—many of which have large, often under-utilized facilities—partnering with other community organizations to create non-government schools that offer a high-quality education and are open to all, regardless of beliefs or ability to pay. These schools will be built on three main pillars: affordability, excellence, and accessibility.

Affordability means the cost of attending will be subsidized as needed, financed by donations, fund-raisers, and capital campaigns. Tuition will be as low as possible to begin with so that vouchers (where they exist) will cover most of the cost for students who qualify.

But students who cannot afford to pay the balance—or who don’t qualify for vouchers and can’t afford full price—will not be turned away for that reason. The schools will make up the difference through need-based scholarships.

In terms of excellence, the schools will borrow heavily from the classical model, emphasizing academic skills such as reading, writing, and mathematics along with accurate history, foreign languages, and the arts.

Many have warned that the sticking point for churches may be accessibility, by which I mean no student will be turned away based on their beliefs. Students will not be required to sign a “statement of faith”—although there certainly could be a behavioral contract or “honor code.”

I understand that churches wish to evangelize. But consider this: When you invite a child into your building, whether they ever join your church or embrace your doctrine, you are performing a vital service to them and the entire community. Society benefits because that child attended your school—whether they’re Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Latter-day Saint, Jewish, or Muslim.

To paraphrase the former Archbishop of Washington, John Cardinal Hickey, “We don’t teach children because THEY are Christians; we teach them because WE are.”

If this is a model you can get behind, I would love to hear from you at the email address or Twitter handle in my bio. All are welcome—the more support, the stronger the movement—but I am particularly interested in people who bring specific skills to the table: experienced teachers and administrators, lawyers, financial experts, fund-raisers, marketing and IT professionals. All will be needed to make this idea a reality.


Tasmanian Education Department shielded paedophiles, disbelieved students, inquiry finds

The Tasmanian Education Department's predominant response to child sexual abuse complaints has for decades been to ignore students, shield abusers and protect itself from legal, financial and reputational risks, an inquiry has found.

The inquiry found "very recent" examples of student concerns and complaints that have been assumed to be untrue

The Tasmanian government has released the findings and recommendations from an independent inquiry into responses to child sexual abuse in government schools announced last August, prior to a commission of inquiry being established.

It was conducted by professors Stephen Smallbone and Tim McCormack, who made 21 recommendations, which the government has fully accepted.

The full report has not been made public due to legal impediments.

The professors said that across the 1970s, 80s and 90s, the department's primary responses to allegations "routinely involved deflecting or ignoring concerns and complaints, often by disbelieving or blaming students, and by shielding alleged or known sexual abusers."

"We have found it deeply disturbing that, as concerns, complaints and ineffectual responses literally piled up in DoE's records, serial abusers like Harington and LeClerc were not just allowed to keep teaching for decades, but that DoE leaders and others so wilfully disregarded the obvious risks and harms to students," the professors said.

Darrel George Harington, who was a teacher and sports coach at New Town High School, was found guilty of historical child sexual offences last year.

The department knowingly moved him between Hobart schools. The department also shifted paedophile teacher and former priest Anthony LeClerc between schools in the north-west.

"We cannot explain this by assuming that 'that's just the way things were back then', because the evidence in DoE's own records shows that DoE officials very often acted in ways that were completely at odds with community expectations at the time," the report's findings say.

'Recent' examples of students not being believed

They said while the culture and leadership of the Education Department have since changed for the better, there were residual cultural problems, and "very recent" examples where students' concerns and complaints had been assumed to be untrue.

The professors said they were unable to determine whether the incidence of sexual abuse in Tasmanian government schools had declined, increased or remained stable over the last five or six decades due to problems with record keeping.

They recommended the urgent implementation of a complete record of all sexual abuse concerns, including both substantiated and unsubstantiated incidents that could be regularly analysed to monitor patterns and trends.

The report recommends a range of new measures around safeguarding students, and that the University of Tasmania's education courses be updated to include content on understanding, preventing and responding to sexual abuse in schools.

'Uncertainty' over who should call police

The report found there was "significant uncertainty" amongst schools principals and student support staff about who should notify Tasmania Police about allegations, and in what circumstances.

Tasmania's Education Department has apologised to victims and survivors of abuse in schools, and said it was fully committed to making schools safe.

Education Minister Sarah Courtney said she shared the Department's deep sorrow and regret about the experiences of some Tasmanian students.

"The stories and experiences that have come to light are deeply concerning and confronting," she said.

"However, I'm also really pleased that we did commission this report, we did so that we can continue to progress positive steps forward to safeguard our children.

"We found there are a lot of matters raised that aren't acceptable.

"To those Tasmanians that contributed to this report, and others in the community that have been impacted by abuse within the Department of Education, I am deeply sorry."




Monday, November 08, 2021

‘Radical' school boards ‘topple’ across the United States as parents fight back

Sky News host James Morrow says “radical school boards” have been “toppled” across the United States as parents fight back against the left-wing ideology which is being pushed onto their children.

"If there's one good thing that has come out of this hideous pandemic, and especially the two years of on and off home schooling that came with it ... it is that parents have finally gotten to see what is being taught in their classrooms, and they don't like it,” Mr Morrow said.

“That was a major factor in Republicans' routing of Democrats across Virginia and in fact the United States last week.

“The teaching of critical race theory, and trans ideology, and even the attempt to sic the FBI on parents who spoke out against these outrages was just too much.

“But it looks like these woke Napoleons have met their Waterloo at last.

“It wasn't just in Virginia … across the nation, school boards were toppled by parents – many not politically active before they started being branded as domestic terrorists for caring about their children's education – determined to take back control.”


California School Investigating Teacher After Quiz Included a Question Criticizing Conservatives

A California high school teacher is being investigated by their school after parents and students took issue with a quiz given to students last week that included a question appearing to criticize conservatives.

The multiple-choice question asked a social science class at Whitney High School in Rocklin to identify "a group of complete idiots," with possible answers being: "A) KKK; B) all of Florida; C) Fox news; D) Texans."

Parent Jessa Krissovich, who shared a screenshot of the question with FOX40 Sacramento, told the news outlet that "it sounded unbelievable."

"We all have different beliefs," Krissovich said. "This is the United States and we all come from different backgrounds and everybody should be okay with who they are."

Another parent, who wished to remain anonymous, told the station that comments targeting Republicans are not uncommon for this social studies teacher but that this is the first time they are being looked into.

A former student of the teacher, Joel Alquicira, told KCRA-TV that he understands the teacher is "just trying to make a joke" but that this type of question "shouldn't be on a test."

The school's principal, Justin Cutts, sent a message to staff, students and families after concerns were raised about the quiz question, stating that an investigation is underway.

"A quiz was assigned to students by a social science teacher," Cutts said, according to KCRA-TV. "However, students, families and the Rocklin community have raised concern about the class assignment."

"The Whitney High School Administration Team and the Rocklin Unified School District recognizes and shares their concerns and is conducting a thorough investigation," he continued. "Whitney High and Rocklin Unified is committed to providing each student, family, and staff with a safe and welcoming environment."

Cutts added that while personnel matters are confidential, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.


Former Nevada AG Adam Laxalt Slams Critical Race Theory: ‘We’re Not Going To Teach Kids To Hate Our Country’

Nevada’s former Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) recently announced his candidacy for the Senate in the 2022 midterms. At the forefront of his campaign, he will push back against Leftist indoctrination in schools, specifically, Critical Race Theory (CRT). In an interview with Townhall, Laxalt shared his thoughts on CRT and what he plans to do going forward to prevent it from permeating schools across the country.

“I think that right now, the average voter in Nevada feels like that this Leftist radicalism is invading every aspect of their lives. It’s something that no one voted for, no one has asked for. The acceleration of the pace of it being pushed into daily living for Nevadans is astonishing,” Laxalt said in our interview. “I think that Critical Race Theory is one of the main constructs that is being used to force this radicalism on our country.”

Laxalt, who is a veteran and a father of three, assumed the position as attorney general in 2015 through 2019. He notes that CRT goes beyond just schools – that it’s an overall concept that our nation is one of oppression and people should feel apologetic or oppressed based on their race.

“Some schools are saying they’re not teaching it, that they don’t teach Critical Race Theory as a curriculum. But the parents are having none of it. Yeah, there’s not a booklet being handed around that has ‘Critical Race Theory’ as the subject line, but they understand that their kids are being taught these really negative values about our country, and they’re being taught, in some cases, to hate each other,” Laxalt explained. “They’re being taught to judge each other based on the color of their skin. All these things that we’ve spent generations and generations in the country getting away from. It seems like we’re going backwards.”

In October, Laxalt issued remarks at a school board meeting in Nevada about the harm of CRT and “cancel culture” – essentially intimidating people into silence. “At its core, Critical Race Theory is this concept that we are founded on white supremacy and we are a fundamentally, inherently racist and oppressive nation,” Laxalt said at the meeting. “We will not let [Leftists] impoison our children with this rhetoric. We will stand up for them.” Laxalt’s remarks earned him a standing ovation.

This week, Virginia’s Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe lost the election to Republican businessman Glenn Youngkin. As we covered, McAuliffe stated during his campaign that parents shouldn’t be involved in their children’s curriculum. Subsequent polls after the election showed that education was one of the top issues for voters.

On the contrary, Laxalt said as a Senator he would implement a system for parents to contact his office with concerns about CRT curriculum being taught in Nevada schools. And to date, Laxalt has received endorsements from several key Republican figures, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, and former President Donald Trump.

“I think it’s important that we [elected officials] be the voice for these parents,” Laxalt said. “We’re not going to teach kids to hate our country and to hate each other.”




Sunday, November 07, 2021

Bigot teacher abuses conservative students

A California high school teacher has been suspended after berating her students during a Zoom class for their parents’ complaints about the school’s distance learning plans.

Alissa Piro, who teaches English at San Marcos High School, was caught on video shouting at students and even telling one student that “whites get everything” in response to a question about a white student union.

Jace asks before being shouted down by his teacher, “My question is, in this case, where is the white student union, because we need all races for equality…”

Piro yells, “You don’t need a white student union, Jace! You get everything!”

San Marcos High School teacher Alissa Piro grew irritated with her virtual class of juniors and dared their parents to “come at me” when they expressed a desire to return to in-person learning full time, in one of the videos, obtained by Fox News.

She says, “If your parent wants to talk to me about their profession and their opinion on their profession, I would love to hear that. I know very little about anything else in the world other than education, okay?”

The San Marcos student, identified as Jace Jonas, ran to Fox News, saying Piro’s reaction was prompted by a question he wrote in the Zoom chat box after the school announced the creation of an Asian student union.

He explained, “I wanted to make a comment in the Zoom text box, not disrupting the class. I commented ‘why do some races get student unions but others do not?’ We should have a student union for all races or no races for true equality.”

He said that Piro paused her lesson and shouted “God d**mnit.”

“She started berating me about how as a white male I get everything and it’s my duty to look out for minorities and all these racist remarks against whites and males. She later called me a moron,” He continued.

And Just weeks after the interaction, Jace found out that his grade had dropped in Piro’s class, according to Jace’s father, Jim Jonas. When Piro was confronted about the falling grade, she blamed it on a computer error and corrected it.

Jim recalled. Piro blamed a computer error and eventually corrected it, “Jace was getting straight A’s in school. After that incident, he had a B in that class.”

Fortunately, a female student recorded Piro’s behavior and showed it to her mother, who passed it on to other parents. The encounter was then reported to the school, which quickly suspended Piro while conducting an internal investigation.

Following Piro’s suspension, a former student came forward to confirm that Piro has a history of shutting down critical thinking. The young woman explained that Piro would routinely disparage or fail students who questioned her opinions, especially if she found out that they held a political viewpoint differing from her own.


Candidates Opposing Critical Race Theory, COVID-19 Mandates Win Minnesota School Board Races

Minnesota has seen in the latest school board elections a number of wins by candidates opposing critical race theory and COVID-19 restrictions, including in areas that traditionally vote Democrats.

In Anoka-Hennepin, Minnesota’s largest school district serving some 38,000 students and 248,000 residents, Matt Audette won by a margin of over 30 percent. The only key issue on Audette’s campaign website is preventing the infiltration of CRT, which he said divides students based on their skin color and teaches that the most important aspect of their humanity is not their character, morality, or actions, but their race.

While CRT is not incorporated as part of the curriculum in Anoka-Hennepin schools, the district has partnered with the Midwest and Plains Equity Assistance Center, an organization that promotes “anti-racism education” to analyze and address supposed “systemic racism” and inequity. “The school district did take a side, and they are siding with CRT,” Audette warned. “The use of this equity analysis in our schools will affect staff development, and it will eventually get into the classrooms.”

Instead of teaching “concepts of division and guilt” derived from CRT, Audette said he supports teaching about not only racism, but also achievements and successes in racial equality in the history of the United States. He also supports giving parents “complete access” to curriculum on demand.

A special one-year seat on the Alexandria School Board went to Maureen Eigen, who said in October that she opposes CRT because it “does not empower students of color” and “furthers segregation.”

“I don’t oppose CRT because of any political agenda. I oppose it because it’s not right,” she added.

In Lakeville, Cinta Schmitz narrowly won a special election for an open school board seat. A co-founder of local parental group “Informed Fully-Awake Parents,” Schmitz ran on a platform of allowing parents to make decisions for their kids when it comes to wearing masks and receiving COVID-19 vaccines.

“Keep divisive policies that teach racism and intolerance of people with different ethnic backgrounds or skin colors—whether it’s called CRT or any other equity-related term—out of our schools,” her campaign website reads.

The Minnesota wins could be suggesting a nationwide trend, too, according to the 1776 Project PAC, a political action group with the aim to combat CRT in K–12 education and help elect conservatives to school boards in the United States. The PAC reports that as of Wednesday, 44 of the 58 candidates it endorsed have either won or are leading in their school board races.

The 44 candidates backed by the PAC include 13 in Pennsylvania, with four of them sweeping seats in Perkiomen Valley School District, which serves the powerful Democratic bastion of Montgomery County. Also among them are 11 in Colorado, nine in Kansas, four in New Jersey, three in Virginia, and two each in Minnesota and Ohio.


University worker who was forced out of his job after objecting to boss's demands to exclude white middle aged men from opening a new campus building wins £1,000 compensation

A student union worker who was forced out of his job after objecting to a manager's demands to exclude 'white middle-aged' celebrities from opening a new building has won an employment tribunal.

Ellen Rudge, then a senior manager at the University of Leicester's Students' Union, sent an email to staff asking for suggestions for high-profile figures to launch its new hub - the Percy Gee Building.

In her email the marketing manager stated she did not want 'another white, middle-aged man' for the opening of the building as she was trying to 'reflect diversity'.

But she was warned by HR worker Ricardo Champayne that by singling out a particular group she risked being offensive and derogatory.

Ms Rudge complained to her boss about Mr Champayne's response. But rather than probe her comments, an investigation was launched into Mr Champayne - who subsequently resigned.

At an employment tribunal, the father-of-six alleged he had been 'victimised' by the students' union for calling out potential discrimination.

He has now been awarded more than £1,000 after winning his claims of whistle-blowing and victimisation against the University of Leicester's SU.

In her email, marketing manager, Ms Rudge, stated she did not want 'another white, middle-aged man' for the opening of the building as she was trying to 'reflect diversity' +3
In her email, marketing manager, Ms Rudge, stated she did not want 'another white, middle-aged man' for the opening of the building as she was trying to 'reflect diversity'

At the employment tribunal, in Nottingham, a judge ruled that it was reasonable for Mr Champayne to conclude that Ms Rudge's email on February 14, 2020, was discriminatory.

In the message she said: 'I am looking for suggestions for notable public figures the University could approach to officially open the new SU/Percy Gee Building in September.

'I have been very vocal about the need for the person to reflect diversity i.e. not another white middle aged man...'

Mr Champayne, who had only worked at the SU for a month, replied to her: 'Dear Ellen, I write in regard to your email seeking nomination for representative to SU.

'I have set the matter as needing urgent attention. With all respect, I am bound by personal and legal principles to object the [sic] tone of your email.

'It is not right to speak in a derogatory way against anyone. I must highlight that diversity can be represented by any race of class.

'I am conscious that recipients of this email potentially were offended.'

Ms Rudge considered Mr Champayne was alleging she was a 'racist'. She claimed she was 'shocked and attacked' and that her 'integrity was questioned'.

'Upset' Ms Rudge brought the matter to her colleague, HR and fiance manager Samantha Creese, who 'treated the matter seriously' and launched a disciplinary investigation into Mr Champayne.

Around the same time, female workers had complained about 'inappropriate' messages from Mr Champayne on social media asking to be friends outside of work and he was jointly investigated for that.

As Mr Champayne was investigated, Ms Rudge, who now works for a volunteer group charity in Cornwall, was allowed to continue in her role at the union.

In an email, Mr Champayne said: 'I am concerned no one did anything about Ellen's conduct, given the gravity of what she sent to all the staff.

'I stand by my words, SU is inclusive and everyone is welcome, regardless of sex, status, age, etc. There is no place for discrimination. I will always challenge such behaviour, in and out of work.'

Mr Champayne lost a grievance against Ms Rudge after Ms Creese found in favour of her and he resigned on March 4, 2020.

The SU told him his behaviour would have amounted to 'gross misconduct' despite not attending a disciplinary hearing.

Now, Employment Judge Rachel Broughton has ruled Mr Champayne suffered 'detriments' as a result of the investigation, suspension, and grievance outcome in which he was 'intimidated'.

The students' union argued Mr Champayne's complaint was 'political correctness' rather than whistle-blowing but the judge dismissed the claim.

Judge Broughton said his whistle-blowing 'influenced' the students' union to suspend him.

The judge said: 'Ms Creese understood that Ms Rudge felt that Mr Champayne was calling her a racist...

'The tribunal conclude that the content of the protected act email was a significant reason why Ms Rudge was so upset and a significant reason why Ms Creese treated it so seriously, as an act of gross misconduct.

'We conclude that the allegation of discrimination was a significant reason behind the decision to suspend, the decision to carry out the disciplinary investigation into the protected act and to treat is as gross misconduct.'

As a result of the victimisation, Mr Champayne said he has 'lost his confidence', has been 'significantly damaged', and has become a 'couch potato' who has less energy for his children.

He was awarded £1,048 compensation.

However, Judge Broughton said Mr Champayne would have rightfully faced a gross misconduct investigation anyway over allegations of 'inappropriate' messages and 'potential' sexual harassment.

The University of Leicester's new Students' Union, the Percy Gee Building, opened in this year.

The union declined to comment when approached by MailOnline.