Saturday, September 17, 2022

Mom wins fight against NYU to allow ‘banned’ baby on campus

A “desperate” mom who’s juggling motherhood and law school scored a victory this week when — with the help of The Post — she successfully convinced NYU to let her previously banned baby onto campus.

After weeks of pleading with officials to allow her three-month-old son onto campus so that she can breastfeed him between classes, second-year law student Devorah Neiger was repeatedly told that only vaccinated guests ages 5 and older can enter any NYU building.

As she’s enrolled in four courses and in class five days a week, Neiger came up with a workaround: Having her baby and his vaccinated nanny wait in an empty space on campus until she could squeeze in a quick feeding session.

But when the infant and nanny were caught in the lobby of the law school’s Furman Hall during the second week of classes, the Director for Diversity and Inclusion emailed Neiger to put her on notice: “This is still a violation of the university’s COVID-19 Visitor Policy which applies to lobby areas as well as interior parts of the building so cannot be a continued practice.”

After The Post began making calls about the baby ban, NYU apparently changed its policy by end of day Thursday — the same time as the deadline The Post gave the school for comment.

Now, the Westchester mom of three will finally be able to have her 12-pound tot wait inside school buildings.

“They’re making an exception for me,” Neiger told The Post on Thursday.

Asked about the sudden change of policy, including the “exception,” Michael Orey, spokesperson for the law school, told The Post: “NYU regularly reassesses its health and safety protocols, and has recently relaxed a number of Covid-19 restrictions. In accordance with that trend, our student, and others who are similarly situated, may now bring their children into NYU buildings.”

The school, which carries a $73,216 tuition, did not respond to questions about whether children under 5 must present vaccination status.

After being rebuked by the Director for Diversity and Inclusion for having her son and nanny in the lobby of Furman Hall, Neiger pleaded with officials on Sept. 8 in an email seen by The Post.

“All I want to do is be able to breastfeed my baby when I literally have just 10 minutes between/during classes. I’m not asking for much,” she wrote. “I am in an intensive academic program where I’m told attendance is mandatory or my degree will be jeopardized. You have a mother who is willing, able (and frankly desperate) to try and give her baby everything he needs while pursuing an education. I am so disheartened and surprised by the university’s response and the roadblocks placed in my way.”

Neiger, who was valedictorian of Baruch College, said she had previously been permitted to bring her son into class by two professors. In an email seen by The Post, one even reminisced about bringing her own young kids to class while she was a law student.

The mom, who said she needs to have immediate access to her son, said that an official had previously suggested two public spaces for him and the nanny to wait for her: one play space in Union Square, another neighborhood entirely; and a public library .8 miles away.

But Neiger said she was uncomfortable with the nanny and her tiny tot traipsing around the crime-ridden Greenwich Village to pass time until she could meet them. “I don’t want my baby in random places in Manhattan, especially in a neighborhood riddled with crime,” she said.

“All I want to do is breastfeed my child at the door of the school,” Neiger told The Post. “I’m grateful to NYU for allowing my baby in. It was a relief to have him close by today on campus.”


GOP welcomes end to ‘disastrous’ policy of masking Head Start toddlers

Republicans on Friday welcomed a decision by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to drop a mandate for kids as young as two at Head Start preschool and daycare centers.

"I hope these reports are true that Secretary Becerra is finally ceding to commonsense and will lift the federal mandate that forces certain toddlers to wear face masks on the playground," Senate Minority Whip John Thune, R-S.D., told Fox News Digital. "I’ve been fighting this government overreach since the very beginning. This decision is long overdue."

"Head Start's mask mandates would have continued to hinder the education and social development of nearly a million children from disadvantaged communities," Rep. Michael Cloud, R-Texas, told Fox News Digital. "Finally we're seeing one small step away from virtue signaling and a step toward actual science. I'm glad to see the Biden administration reverse course on their disastrous policy and finally unmask American children."

An HHS spokesperson confirmed to Fox News Digital Friday that it will remove its COVID mask mandate to align with CDC guidelines. The Hill first reported the move.

"Today, the Office of Head Start (OHS) notified programs that, in the near future, it intends to publish a final rule that will formally remove the requirement for universal masking in Head Start programs for all individuals ages 2 and older, which will align Head Start program masking requirements more closely with the updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance," the HHS spokesperson said.

"OHS has not monitored mask use at Head Start programs since February 2022, following updated recommendations from CDC," the spokesperson added. "OHS will continue to not evaluate compliance with the mask requirement during monitoring visits. This applies to all Head Start programs."

The HHS spokesperson did not address a question from Fox News Digital about whether Head Start will continue to require staff to be vaccinated.

The shift came just days after Republicans in both the House and the Senate called on the Biden administration to rescind the mask mandate.

Thune and Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee Ranking Member Richard Burr, R-N.C., led a group of senators asking the administration to roll back both mask and vaccine mandates. Republicans on the House Oversight Committee, where Cloud is a senior member, led a similar letter.

"Numerous studies have shown it is detrimental to children to be continually subjected to mask-wearing; children learning how to speak, interact socially, and interpret the world around them at early ages have the most to lose from this mask policy developmentally, economically, and educationally," the House lawmakers wrote.

The National Head Start Association, which says it's the "central association for the Head Start workforce," also lauded the decision to roll back the mask mandate Friday.

"The Head Start community is grateful for today’s announcement that finally gives us the clarity we have been seeking. It will go a long way to allow programs to do what they do best in a safe, healthy, and community-driven manner," the group said in a press release. "We appreciate the Administration’s work to restore the local authority that is vital to programs and their ability to serve as many low-income children and families as possible."

The HHS decision comes near the start of the third full school year of the post-COVID era, which finds children and parents grappling with the effects of masking, shutdowns, virtual learning and learning loss.

"Prior to the pandemic, two thirds of students in the U.S. didn’t read at grade level anyway," Erika Sanzi, director of outreach at Parents Defending Education and a former educator, told Fox News Digital this week. "Things were bad already. Now, the house is on fire more than it already was."


My High School’s ‘Antiracist’ Agitprop

I was educated in the school district ranked by as America’s third-best. Immigrants from around the world come to Great Neck, N.Y., to raise their children. My best friend’s father was at the Tiananmen Square massacre. My classmates left behind their families in El Salvador. My mother escaped revolutionary Iran, and my grandfather escaped the Nazis.

Lately, though, the area’s diverse and liberal-minded residents may have reason to think their local school officials aren’t as open-minded as they thought. In 2021 Great Neck North High School directed the student government to give $375 of student funds to a “racial equity” group to speak to the student body about “systemic racism.” I was the student government’s treasurer, and I felt we didn’t know enough about the organization and its mission to disburse the funds. So I refused to sign the check.

In response, the teachers who advise the student government berated, bullied and insulted me at our next meeting, which took place over Zoom for my parents to overhear. They began by announcing that my social studies teacher would be present. Together, the three adults told me that the principal himself found my stance “appalling.” I had made them and the school “look bad,” they told me. One teacher said the situation gave her “hives.”

When I suggested that students might not need or want a lecture on systemic racism, my social-studies teacher asked whether I’d also oppose a Holocaust survivor’s presentation.

I objected to that comparison, but she cut me off: “If you’re not on board with systemic racism, I have trouble with that, girlfriend.”

When I didn’t back down, she made a bizarre accusation: “The fact that you think slavery is debatable . . .”

I logged off Zoom and started crying. My parents comforted me, and I decided I wasn’t going to sign that check.

That’s when I noticed how illiberal my liberal high school had become. I once expressed disagreement with the narrative of the “1619 Project,” and that same social-studies teacher snapped that I was opposed to hearing other perspectives. I had signed up for her class because it was described as “discussion-based,” but certain discussion seemed forbidden.

Later, a friend showed me a lesson from his English class—a Google Slides presentation urging that students pledge to work “relentlessly” in the “lifelong process” of “antiracism.” According to these slides, America is a place where racism is “no better today than it was 200 years ago.” I disagreed but didn’t mind the debate. Yet this wasn’t about debate: Immigrant children were being told to “pledge” to defend a view many of them don’t hold.

I doubt students could have comfortably objected in class. The lesson pre-empted criticism by imputing to them “white fragility,” which means they “close off self-reflection,” “trivialize the reality of racism,” and “protect a limited worldview.” The adult presenting this accusatory material was a teacher who had the power to grade them and affect their prospects of getting into college.

When parents caught wind of this presentation, their group chats exploded: “I feel like I live under a rock.” “I did not realize the extent of this at all.” “If you too are troubled by this, join us at the upcoming school board meeting.”

I decided to tell the school board about my treatment at the hands of teachers and school officials. I was nervous but I made my case. The response, to my shock, was a standing ovation. I also received many expressions of support from fed-up parents, from teachers who silently abhorred their one-sided “professional development” courses, and from students who had been punished by administrators for questioning the orthodoxy of systemic racism. (One of those students had been sent to the principal’s office for refusing to sign an “antihate” pledge.)

That experience prompted me and a few like-minded others to look into our school’s curriculums. What we found was an arsenal of lopsidedly race-obsessed lesson plans. One was about the American Psychological Association’s “Apology to People of Color” for its role in “Promoting, Perpetuating, and Failing to Challenge Racism.” Another was titled “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.” My favorite: “A Critical Race Theory Approach to The Great Gatsby.”

The schools in our district had always followed the guidelines of New York state’s comprehensive social-studies curriculum, which included teaching about the pervasiveness and evils of slavery, mistreatment of Native Americans, discrimination against Chinese immigrants and so on. What we discovered was something else—partisanship and race essentialism, mixed in with administrative intimidation and bullying that our officials refused to address.

District officials responded in the way school officials often do when criticized. They ignored us for as long as possible, then delayed taking action for as long as possible, clearly hoping everybody would forget the controversy and move on. They didn’t respond to my father’s freedom-of-information request until the day before a contentious school-board election. The board then promised to further investigate the curriculums, but we never heard anything after that. My school brought in a member of the state Education Department’s Board of Regents, to discuss curriculums, but that resulted in nothing.

I graduated last spring, but no one has moved on. Students and parents across the country are finally asking tough questions about anti-American curriculums. Immigrants like my mother and grandfather found refuge in America because for all its problems, it’s a wonderful place full of generous and open-minded people. The nation’s schools have a duty to teach students that basic truth.




Friday, September 16, 2022

DeSantis: Purpose of Education Is to Educate, Not ‘Indoctrinate’ Kids

Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke about how important it was for parents to reclaim their rights in education, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’ve seen over the last few years in our country how important policy is, both good and very bad,” DeSantis said at a Heritage Foundation event Friday in Orlando. “There may be no area where the contrast between a free state like Florida and some of the lockdown states was [bigger] than on education during COVID.”

The event featured the unveiling of Heritage’s “Education Freedom Report Card,” which ranked Florida as the freest state in the nation. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)

“We’re not going to let fear drive policy making,” he added. “we’re going to make sure that we’re there to support the well-being of our kids and also to support families throughout Florida.”

The governor also addressed how his plans to give parents more rights in the education of their children has led to conflict with leftist groups. DeSantis highlighted his state’s work on the “Parental Rights in Education” bill and curriculum transparency bills.

The “Parental Rights in Education” legislation was often referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by critics and the corporate media.

“The purpose of our school system is to educate kids, not to indoctrinate kids,” DeSantis said. “You do not distort American history to try to advance your current ideological agenda.”

DeSantis also said his administration was placing an increased emphasis on teaching American civics.

“As [we] fight back against things like [critical race theory]… we’ve put a renewed emphasis on American civics, on making sure that the kids who come through our schools have an idea of what it means to be an American,” DeSantis said.

After his speech, the governor sat down with Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts for a discussion on what made Florida’s education policies some of the best in the country.

Roberts noted that while Florida was first on several different metrics for education freedom, it lagged behind other states on school choice. Roberts then asked DeSantis what his plans were to bolster school choice in the Sunshine State.

The governor targeted teachers unions as a negative influence in achieving better school choice policies in Florida, and said his state was planning on reforming how families could use state scholarship funds to choose where to send their kids to school.

“There’s an opportunity for some innovation with [scholarships] if it’s an account that the parents can control that can be tuition, but could also be for tutoring or for other services,” DeSantis said. “The parent will be able to make a whole host of other choices to give their kids the most opportunity possible.”

According to “Education Freedom Report Card”, Florida is the best state in the Union at protecting parental rights. Roberts, who referred to DeSantis as “America’s governor,” said that the work Florida lawmakers were doing in education is the “lever for taking back our schools for our kids, and our parents, and our families.”


Pandemic “Learning Loss” Actually Reveals More About Schooling Than Learning

There are mounting concerns over profound learning loss due to prolonged school closures and remote learning. New data released last week by the US Department of Education reveal that fourth-grade reading and math scores dropped sharply over the past two years.

Fingers are waving regarding who is to blame, but the alleged “learning loss” now being exposed is more reflective of the nature of forced schooling rather than how children actually learn.

The current hullabaloo over pandemic learning loss mirrors the well-worn narrative regarding “summer slide,” in which children allegedly lose knowledge over summer vacation. In 2017, I wrote an article for Boston NPR stating that there’s no such thing as the summer slide.

Students may memorize and regurgitate information for a test or a teacher, but if it has no meaning for them, they quickly forget it. Come high school graduation, most of us forget most of what we supposedly learned in school.

In his New York Times opinion article this week, economist Bryan Caplan makes a related point: “I figure that most of the learning students lost in Zoom school is learning they would have lost by early adulthood even if schools had remained open. My claim is not that in the long run remote learning is almost as good as in-person learning. My claim is that in the long run in-person learning is almost as bad as remote learning.”

Learning and schooling are completely different. Learning is something we humans do, while schooling is something done to us. We need more learning and less schooling.

Yet, the solutions being proposed to deal with the identified learning loss over the past two years promise the opposite. Billions of dollars in federal COVID relief funds are being funneled into more schooling and school-like activities, including intensive tutoring, extended-day learning programs, longer school years, and more summer school. These efforts could raise test scores, as has been seen in Texas where students receive 30 hours of tutoring in each subject area in which they have failed a test, but do they really reflect true learning?

As we know from research on unschoolers and others who learn in self-directed education settings, non-coercive, interest-driven learning tends to be deep and authentic. When learning is individually-initiated and unforced, it is not a chore. It is absorbed and retained with enthusiasm because it is tied to personal passions and goals.

Certainly, many children have been deprived of both intellectual and social stimulation since 2020, as lockdowns and other pandemic policies kept them detached from their larger communities. I wrote back in September 2020 that these policies were damaging an entire generation of kids, and urged parents to do whatever possible to ensure that their children had normal interactions with the wider world.

Children who were not able to have those interactions will need more opportunities now to play and explore and discover their world. It is through this play, exploration, and discovery that they will acquire and expand their intellectual and social skills. This is best facilitated outside of a conventional classroom, not inside one.

“What we need is less school, not more,” writes Boston College psychology professor Peter Gray. “Kids need more time to play and just be kids. Mother nature designed kids to play, explore, and daydream without adult intervention because that is how kids develop the skills, confidence, and attitudes necessary for mental health and overall wellbeing.”

Fortunately, non-coercive schooling alternatives are becoming more widely available. My latest Forbes article describes an Illinois public middle school science teacher, Josh Pickel, who quit his job this summer to open a new self-directed microschool. As Pickel wondered: “What if we removed coercion and those kids were allowed to focus their energy and their intellect on things they care about?”

The start of this new school year brings with it greater education possibilities, including those like Pickel’s that enable children to joyfully explore content they care about, in pursuit of goals that matter to them, leading to genuine learning retained for years to come.

We can criticize school shutdowns and affirm that they never should have happened, while also recognizing that imposing more schooling is not the solution to presumed pandemic-era learning loss. It might raise test scores, but it’s unlikely to lead to true learning. Only freedom can do that.


The Plot Against Jewish Education

Sometime soon, The New York Times is slated to publish its expose on the state of Hasidic education in New York. Several members of the community who were contacted by the Times expressed their grave concerns to Tablet about the paper’s biases and the likelihood, or lack thereof, that the Times will give Hasidic Jews a fair hearing. One member described the impending piece as “yet another assault.”

It’s a convenient feature of the Times these days that one hardly has to read it to divine what the Gray Lady might utter. And so, unless the muse of objective journalism intervenes in some way none of us should reasonably expect, we can assume the report will read something like this: We’ve talked to dozens of (self-selecting) people in the Hasidic community, reviewed documents handed to us (by interested parties), and were troubled to find that Hasidic schools have fallen far behind. Despite receiving enormous amounts of government assistance, these (money-grubbing) private schools don’t bother teaching children basic tenets like history or science, the result being graduates who are illiterate and an embarrassment. This Dickensian grimness is made possible because those crafty Hasidim vote en masse and hold local politicians under their sway—power these black-hatted Rasputins inexplicably choose not to exert when it comes to charging and convicting assailants who beat up members of their own community.

How to address such allegations?

You could play defense, and say that labeling what goes on in Hasidic yeshivot as strictly religious instruction that bears no relevance to the so-called secular world is woefully unfair. Study page 14 of Tractate Eruvin, for example, and you’ll come across the pronouncement that, “Whatever circle has a circumference of three tefachim must have a diameter of one tefach.” Aha! the average Times reader may growl. But this is wrong! Pi isn’t 3, it’s 3.1415 etc.!

Tosafot, the medieval commentaries on the Talmud, got there first: “But [pi] is a little more [than 3],” they write, “which means that the value [of pi] is rounded down.” The rabbis grapple with this, but can’t come to a good conclusion to explain this Talmudic error. “This is difficult,” Tosafot goes on to proclaim, “because the result [that pi=3] is not precise, as demonstrated by those who understand geometry.” It doesn’t take a Euclid to realize that for a young Hasidic boy to understand these concepts—appearing, again, in a most sacred text—he first needs to understand the basic premise of geometry.

Or history, given that so much of the Talmud is an account of about a millennium’s worth of movements and conquests, from Alexander the Great’s unprecedented empire to the rise of Christianity to the golden era of the Sasanian Empire. Go ahead and ask a public school graduate to tell you about Queen Shushandukht and see how far you get.

If you’re in a slightly nastier mood, of course, you can go on offense and argue that no one in their right mind ought to launch anything like an apologia for New York’s public education system. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, K-12 enrollment has dropped by a mind-boggling 9%. Maybe that’s because of the fact that despite receiving $14 billion for education courtesy of two federal stimulus packages, New York delivered one of the nation’s absolute worst performances. A survey of remote learning during the pandemic, for example, found that students in New York City’s schools received less than half of the instruction the state itself requires per year, a disgrace that Miami, say, or Houston, somehow managed to avoid, despite receiving significantly lower sums from Washington.

But this ain’t the Times; we’ve no interest in playing partisan politics here. Instead, let’s assume, for argument’s sake, that everything the Times will argue is absolutely true. Let’s assume that Hasidic schools are failing to teach children the basic foundations of secular education, and let’s assume also that public schools would do a much better job giving them these tools.

So what?

The community that runs these schools produces individuals who grow up in multigenerational homes, live close to and support each other throughout life, raise children, live according to their virtues, and spend their days doing things they love and believe are of the utmost importance. As a result, they are happier. Don’t believe me? Maybe you’d like to glance at that hotbed of Haredi propaganda, The Journal of Psychology, which, in a 2020 study titled “Prioritizing Patterns and Life Satisfaction Among Ultra-Orthodox Jews: The Moderating Role of the Sense of Community,” came up with the following conclusion: Haredi Jews are happier. “The results,” read the survey, “demonstrated that prioritizing meaning and sense of community were positively associated with life satisfaction … Our findings suggest that even in extremely close-knit community-oriented societies, a strong sense of belonging to a community enables individuals to prioritize more hedonic aspects of their lives in order to promote their life satisfaction.”

All of which should lead us to what ought to be the crux of this and any other conversation about education—which is what, precisely, is its ultimate goal. Education is a means to an end; what, then, do we want our well-educated children to be?

This approach forces us to do two things. First, it demands that we look at output, not input. The zealots trying to use state power to curb Hasidic liberties to educate their children as they see fit are demanding that yeshivot be compelled to teach as many hours of English, math, and other core subjects as do public schools, no matter how spotty the actual outcomes. Instead, we must demand better and judge an educational system by how well it succeeds in actually meeting its goals.

Which leads us to a second, and much trickier task: answering what, precisely, these goals ought to be. Here’s a radical idea: Above all, we want students invested in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We want them to become neighbors who care for the needy next door. We want them to become children who care for their parents as they age. We want them to become siblings who support each other through life. We want them to become spouses who treat their husbands and wives with respect and reverence and love. We want them to become individuals who are self-confident, grateful to their Creator for all of His bounties, and mindful that true joy means balancing personal appetites with communal needs. We want them to be happy.

With these perfectly obvious yardsticks at hand, let’s ask a much more pressing question: How well are our schools doing? And because roughly 50 million American students, or about 90% of all school-age children, attend public schools, a more accurate way to phrase this question is this: How well are our public schools doing?

To hear Nobel Laureate economist Angus Deaton tell it, not well at all. Together with his wife, the Princeton economist Anne Case, Deaton researched the rapid surge of so-called “deaths of despair” caused by suicide or drug overdose or alcohol-related diseases. Consider the following: In 2017 alone, the last year for which dependable data is available, 158,000 Americans died deaths of despair—the equivalent, Case and Deaton wrote, of “three fully loaded Boeing 737 MAX jets falling out of the sky every day for a year.” Nearly 92,000 Americans died in 2020 from drug overdoses, a number that continues to climb. Another estimated 95,000 die each year from alcohol-related causes, which is more than double those we lose to gun violence, two-thirds of whom are victims of suicides. With so many Americans rushing to put an end, one way or another, to their miserable existence, it’s no surprise to read the Times report that “the average life expectancy of Americans fell precipitously in 2020 and 2021, the sharpest two-year decline in nearly 100 years.”

And then there are the Americans never born at all. America’s birth rate has plummeted by a whopping 20% since 2007. To maintain a so-called “replacement rate” and keep the population stable, we need an average of 2.1 births per woman of childbearing age; America’s now at 1.6. With 4 in 10 Americans aged 25 to 54 now unpartnered—a steep 29% increase from 1990—it’s not hard to understand why.

Let us recap: Of the overwhelming majority of Americans who attend public schools, an increasingly alarming number go on to live solitary lives that drive them to choose infertility and turn to drugs and alcohol in record numbers to numb their pain. This is stark proof of an education system failing on the grandest scale imaginable, a catastrophic collapse that should terrify us all, parents and nonparents alike.

How to fix it? The answer may be simpler than we think. If the problem we’re facing is despair, the cure may be hope, that precious metal that is best mined wherever a sense of belonging is strong and a higher purpose evident. Hasidic communities have all that in droves, which is why they’re faring much, much, better than their nonobservant neighbors.

What we need, then, isn’t another Times hit piece suggesting that observant Jews are using their political clout to mask a vast cultivation of ignorance that borders on child abuse. What we need is a committee of Hasidic rabbis investigating New York’s failing public school system and offering ways to imbue it with the moral and ethical education it currently lacks and which it so clearly and desperately needs.




Thursday, September 15, 2022

Nation’s Largest Public University Hit With Class Action Suit Over Race-Based Hiring Practices

The largest public university in the United States is reserving faculty positions based on race and making six-figure bonuses available exclusively to minorities, programs that are now the subject of a class action lawsuit.

As part of a new initiative to attract "faculty of color," Texas A&M University set aside $2 million in July to be spent on bonuses for "hires from underrepresented minority groups," according to a memo from the university's office of diversity. The max bonus is $100,000, and eligible minority groups are defined by the university to include "African Americans, Hispanic/Latino Americans, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, and Native Hawaiians."

Another program, at the university’s Mays Business School, reserves certain slots on the faculty for the same minority groups, emails between Texas A&M professors show.

These explosive revelations form the basis for a class action complaint filed this weekend by the conservative nonprofit America First Legal. The plaintiff, a University of Texas at Austin finance professor named Richard Lowery, argues that the hiring programs violate three different civil rights laws: the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which prohibits race discrimination in contracting; Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits race discrimination at federally funded universities; and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, which bars public universities from using racial preferences in nearly all situations.

"University administrators think they can flout these federal statutes with impunity because no one ever sues them over their discriminatory faculty-hiring practices and the Department of Education looks the other way," the lawsuit reads. Lowery is asking a Texas district court to put an end to Texas A&M’s programs and appoint a court monitor to make sure that the diversity office "does not aid or abet violations of the nation’s civil-rights laws."

Such violations are increasingly de rigueur in both academia and corporate America. A faculty hiring plan at George Mason University, announced in April 2021, drew criticism from law professors over its apparent use of racial quotas, which are illegal under federal law. Google, Pfizer, Microsoft, and IBM have capped or outright excluded white and Asian applicants from prestigious fellowships, while Amazon offers "Black, Latinx, and Native American entrepreneurs" a $10,000 stipend to launch their own delivery startups—a program that, like Texas A&M’s initiatives, is now the subject of a lawsuit.

Many of these programs seek to ensure that an institution’s racial balance reflects the demographics of the population. George Mason said its hiring initiative would close "gaps" between the racial composition of its students and the racial composition of its professors. Texas A&M likewise touted its race-based bonus scheme as a way to achieve demographic "parity" with the state of Texas.

Though the public universities can use race as a "plus factor" in admissions, it’s not clear whether they can do so in faculty hiring. Even if they can, the lawsuit argues, Supreme Court precedent would still forbid the sort of outright quotas used by Texas A&M.

"These discriminatory, illegal, and anti-meritocratic practices have been egged on by woke ideologues who populate the so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion offices at public and private universities throughout the United States," Lowery’s lawsuit says. "The existence of these offices is subverting meritocracy and encouraging wholesale violations of civil-rights laws throughout our nation’s university system."

Laylan Copelin, the vice chancellor of marketing and communications for Texas A&M, said the the university system would "review the lawsuit" and "take appropriate action as warranted." With more than 73,000 enrolled students, Texas A&M is the largest university in the country.


NYC’s Trinity School bares its unholy leftist hate

There were hopeful signs last week that reality might slowly be dawning on the tony Trinity School on the Upper West Side, when the board of trustees issued a statement subtly repudiating the headmaster’s clueless handling of the racist “Dexter” scandal.

In a statement to parents, David Perez, president of the Board of Trustees, did what headmaster John Allman failed to do the previous week when a senior teacher was caught on video saying that “we just need some vigilante Dexter” to get rid of the “horrible . . . white boys” at the school.

Since Dexter is a TV serial killer, Trinity teacher Jennifer Norris appeared to be advocating for white male students to be murdered when she was secretly recorded by gonzo journalism outfit Project Veritas.

Perez was lead author on last week’s revisionary statement assuring parents that he and Allman “categorically denounce the derogatory and antagonistic comments in the recently released video about our white students . . . Bias of any kind or the threat of violence toward any person has no place at Trinity School.

“The comments made in the video do not reflect the mission or values of Trinity School. Ms. Norris is not speaking for Trinity School.”

Well, that’s a relief. But why is Norris still employed? As of Sunday, she was still on paid leave, according to Kevin Ramsey, Trinity’s director of Communications.

School’s initial silence

Why did it take five days and two statements for the school to state the bleeding obvious? You’d think it was a no-brainer immediately to come out and say that Trinity does not share the values of a teacher who thinks white boys should be murdered by a serial killer.

But. no, the previous week the school had issued a tone-deaf statement expressing anger — at Project Veritas. The primary complaint was “the reprehensible way Ms. Norris and our school community were targeted,” and that she was recorded “without her knowledge and permission by someone who misrepresented himself.”

The hateful bigotry expressed by Norris was mentioned only as a mild afterthought, something that “does not reflect the mission or values of Trinity School.”

No surprise really, considering Norris implies that other school members share her hostile view of conservatives, and considering Allman’s bizarre outpouring of grief in 2016 after Donald Trump was elected president.

When Norris told Veritas that Trinity is “definitely a school where conservatives would not feel comfortable,” she was telling the truth.

In the end, Perez must have felt enough heat to issue a stronger statement a few days after the school’s initial limp offering.

Maybe there has been a change of heart. Or, more likely, the trustees don’t enjoy getting calls from journalists.

It’s a prestigious gig to sit on the board of trustees of an elite Manhattan private school whose annual fees start at $61,000, and it’s guaranteed to earn you esteem in the social pecking order, and all the best invitations.

The last thing the trustees want is to be engulfed in a scandal.

But they are involved. The board “bears ultimate responsibility for the well-being of the school,” says its mission statement.

It’s their fault that the nation’s oldest Episcopal school, a once-great institution of learning, has gone so far off the rails. It is not one teacher but the entire woke ethos of the school.

Perez, a Cuban-born investment banker, must understand from life in his former homeland the lethal trajectory of far-left ideological manipulation in schools.

Unfortunately, calls and emails to Perez and other board members have gone unanswered, unless you count Ramsey’s emailed statements.

But take billionaire William P. Lauder, heir to the Estée Lauder cosmetics fortune, Trinity Class of 1978 and respected emeritus trustee of the school board.

Does he think it’s OK for the school to exclude conservatives, and for a teacher to advocate that white male students, like he once was, be murdered? He won’t say, but he should.

He comes from a family which well understood the murderous nature of hate and bigotry. His uncle Ronald Lauder, as president of the World Jewish Congress, used to talk about confronting bullies: “When there is no reaction to their hate they are emboldened. Silence gives them strength.”

He was talking about anti-Semitism, but the sentiment applies to bigotry of all kinds, including dehumanizing conservatives and plotting the painful deaths of “white boys.”


The snobby dark side of Australia's universities: How a State school student was 'humiliated' so badly at a university Open Day he almost gave up his dream of becoming a doctor

An interesting story. I think I need to put my sociologist's hat on to explain it. The Muslim guy obviously lacked social skills and awareness.

The early days at university are a time of uncertainty and some anxiety for most students. And they reassure themselves by hanging out with other freshers that they know -- usually from their old school. It is not snobbery. It is an adjustment to a new environment and experience.

So if you have no-one there that you know you are at a largely inescapable disadvantage -- as Mr Khan was. His prior environment did not prepare him for university. It was a new milieu for him.

I was in a similar sitution. I actually taught myself for the Senior exam so I knew nobody at university when I first went there. As it happens, that did not bother me. I was used to running my own race. But I did do what Mr Khan should have done: Join campus special interest groups. I met people that I became friendly with that way. Approaching people you don't know out of the blue and with nobody or nothing to introduce you is just not British and will get you nowhere

A medical student has claimed his neighbourhood and the humble state high school background led to him being led to him being 'snobbed' at one of Australia's most prestigious universities.

The experience was so humiliating that Fahad Khan said it almost caused him to give up his dream of becoming a doctor.

In a TikTok video, which has almost 50K likes, third-year medical student Fahad Khan recalled his experience of attending Sydney University's Open Day as a year 12 student in 2016 from western Sydney.

Under the caption 'Getting snobbed @USyd Open Day as a person from Western Sydney' Fahad said the first thing he did was go to the medicine information session.

'I saw that there were two medical students, I think, and about 10 Year 12 students with them,' Fahad says. 'When I went close to them I heard them speaking about things like 'does Mr X still teach maths and does Mrs X still do that?' 'And they were all having a laugh and I went 'look they are all mates, that's like pretty nice'.'

The caption on the TikTok video changes to: 'This is why I believe there's parts of USyd with a toxic selective/private school culture' as Fahad describes trying to join in the conversation.

'I tried to say hello and they ignored me,' he says. 'And then I say it again... I say 'Hi my name's Fahad'. 'And they all turned around and they looked at me and then they looked away and one of the medical students was like 'oh, hi'.

'And then they all started talking about their high school again and I said 'what the hell? They just like kind of ignored me',' Fahad says.

'But I said 'You know what? The session is starting in five minutes, maybe this is just a group of mates and fair enough if they want to talk to their mates before they start talking to everyone, that's fine'.'

However, things did not improve when the session started. 'The first question they asked was 'Which high school did everyone go to?',' Fahad says. 'Most of them were James Ruse students, there was some Sydney Boys [High] and Sydney Girls. 'I was the only student from a non-selective non-private school.'

Fahad describes what happened next as 'unbelievable'. He said all those from the selective and private schools were taken to one side of the room to talk to the medical students while he was left alone on the other side.

'I asked them 'Am I coming? Am I also included in this?'

'And the medical student turned around to me and he was like 'Oh, there's like this third medical student going to come, you hang out with that person' and I was like 'What the hell?'.'

The third medical student did not show up.

Fahad decided he was 'going to force' himself into the experience. 'So, I went there and I sat with them, and I forced myself to sit with them and do what they were doing,' Fahad says.

'And I kid you not throughout the entire 100 per cent of the session they were talking about inside jokes from their high school.

'Whenever I asked a question like, 'How was first year? How was second year?' they were like, 'Oh yeah, it's alright'. 'Then they looked away and started talking about their high school again and I was like, 'What the hell is wrong with these people?'.'

Fahad said the experience was shattering. 'I remember leaving that session completely humiliated,' he says.

'Then on the train home I remember thinking about how my peers at school would laugh at me when I said I wanted to be a doctor and they would just say to me 'you know some dreams are out of reach'. 'That day almost made me believe I couldn't be a doctor.'

The comments underneath the video made it clear that Fahad's experience wasn't unique.

'I went through usyd med as one of the only non selective/public schooled/low SES students and it was so isolating being around so much privilege,' one wrote.

'Usyd was so toxic, I transferred there my 2nd uni year and the vast majority of people looked down on me for the area I came from,' another said.

'Definitely a superiority complex held by many students at usyd,' another wrote.

Fahad's story touched at least one person who said they were associated with the university.

'From someone that works at USYD: Really sorry you had to go through this man. Was heartbreaking to watch,' they wrote.




Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Biden’s controversial Title IX rule bombarded with record number of comments from concerned parents

President Biden's proposed changes for Title IX have stirred up such controversy that they've generated a record number of public comments from parents, many of whom are concerned about their children's safety in schools, and what the amendments will mean for women's sports.

The Biden administration proposed new regulations on the 50th anniversary of Title IX, which prohibits sex-based discrimination in schools, to expand the protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Defense of Freedom Institute for Policy Studies recently released a study highlighting what they called the "Dirty Dozen Defects" of the draft. The "defects" the group said has fired parents up most are those that would require schools and colleges to allow biological males to compete in girls’ sports and use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their "gender identity."

Monday marks the last day of public comment period for the Title IX proposals. As of Friday, it received a record-breaking number of comments for the Department of Education - over 184,000 as of Sunday - from individuals sounding off on the rule to redefine sex.

"For fifty years, Title IX has provided important protections and opportunities for women by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex," one commenter wrote. "While parents across the country are demanding the rejection of ‘woke’ policies, the Department of Education instead has chosen to hijack Title IX to force gender ideology on children without their parents’ knowledge or approval."

"Your rule changes will destroy girl's sports. It will no longer exist. Your rule changes will subject girls to boys in their private spaces. Your rule changes will perpetuate the spread of confused children who claim to be another gender to fit in," another parent wrote, saying, they "can't even publicly comment on this issue without fear of retaliation."

Yael Levin-Sheldon, technology and communication officer for No Left Turn in Education, said she commented through the portal provided by the Defense of Freedom Institute, which offered four main categories - parental rights, women’s sports, due process, and freedom of speech. She said she submitted a comment through all four.

"The obvious concern I would say is that Title IX was made specifically to make a space for women so adding gender identity to it pretty much voids it," Levin-Sheldon told Fox News Digital.

"As a mom… the clear usurpation of parental rights that basically a child… the schools are assuming the responsibility of in loco parentis and acting as if they are the parents or legal guardians of the child and will be able to hide anything they want from the parents," she continued.

Individuals of all ages sounded off on the

"For fifty years, Title IX has provided important protections and opportunities for women by prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex," one commenter wrote. "While parents across the country are demanding the rejection of ‘woke’ policies, the Department of Education instead has chosen to hijack Title IX to force gender ideology on children without their parents’ knowledge or approval. This proposed rule is a lawless interpretation and is a complete overreach by the Department of Education. As a 71-year-old woman who has cherished Title IX, this is abhorrent and must be stopped. Please do the right thing and oppose the Biden Regime."

Others threatened to file lawsuits.

"You are using non-discrimination laws in an illegal and unconstitutional way, and if this hits my kids’ school, we will file a lawsuit," one user wrote.


Private School Diversity Director: ‘BIPOC Students’ Must be Protected from ‘White Gaze’

The Director of Diversity and Inclusion for a private school in Baltimore expressed support for racial segregation in order to protect students from the “white gaze” and promoted turning children into woke activists.

Kalea Selmon, the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Maryvale Preparatory School, gave a presentation where she argued that nonwhite students must be given spaces away from white students and described how those who work in education can use students as activists.

The presentation was given at the People of Color Conference, which is hosted by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and tells teachers and administration how to embed the tenets of Critical Race Theory into their schools. The NAIS is America’s largest accreditation agency for K-12 private schools.

In a video of part of her presentation, Selmon claims that “BIPOC spaces are sacred.” The term stands for “Black, Indigenous, People of Color.”

Selmon then goes on to say “It’s necessary for BIPOC students to have space away from white gaze and that it is absolutely okay to give black and brown students things you’re not giving white children because the white children are fine.”

In a second clip, Selmon discusses the utility of racially segregated affinity groups, saying that they can be used to find future leaders, who she refers to as “boots on the ground,” for organizing.

In yet another video clip, Selmon explains that her work is motivated by what she calls “70 over 460.” She goes on to explain that 70 is “the number of BIPOC students” while 460 was the total number of students at the school. The slide read “This is why we do this work!”

According to her LinkedIn profile, Selmon “Supervises affinity student groups with the Dean of Students” and “Chairs the Equity and Justice Committee” in her role as a diversity director at Maryvale Preparatory School. Selmon is also tasked with developing “inclusive and multicultural curricular and co-curricular programming that reflect the school’s mission and commitment to diversity.”

The school teaches Critical Race Theory to its students, with lessons for middle school students, like “The Historical Construction of Race and Current Racial Identities Throughout U.S. Society,” and “Racism as a Primary ‘Institution’ of the U.S. – How We May Combat Systemic Inequality.”

Meanwhile, teachers at the school have engaged in professional development training seminars based in the tenets of Critical Race Theory. Among the professional development training resources listed on their website are talks titled “Identity, Race, and the Classroom,” as well as “Let’s Talk! Discussing Whiteness.”

There is also a talk from Critical Race Theorist Robin DiAngelo, titled, “Healing the Racial Water: a half-day Anti-Racist Workshop with Dr. Robin DiAngelo.”

In the talk, DiAngelo presents a “systemic analysis of White Supremacy and work around Whiteness and White Fragility. Dr. DiAngelo takes participants through topics including white socialization, systemic racism and the specific ways racism manifests for white progressives.”

Maryvale Preparatory School received over $1.2 million dollars in federal money through the Paycheck Protection Program. Maryvale, which is an all-girls school, is a 501c3.


Democrat Mom Accuses Educators, Therapist of Driving Her Autistic, Gender-Confused Child to ‘Catastrophic Ruin’

After educators and a therapist drove her high-functioning autistic, gender-confused daughter to a mental breakdown, a California mother is speaking out about the “trauma” and “catastrophic ruin” that gender ideology has caused her family.

Vera Lindner (not her real name) says she worries that other parents’ children will be led down a path of delusion.

“Children who have experienced trauma or adverse childhood experiences, who are neurodivergent such as autistic or with ADD, ADHD [attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder] are extremely susceptible to the transgender ideology,” Lindner says.

“Instead of the teachers and the doctors saying, ‘OK, now let’s get to the bottom of this. Let’s see what’s really bothering you. Why are you saying you’re not a girl?,’ the teachers and the doctors blindly affirm. They perpetuate this delusion.”

Lindner says she wanted to speak up using her real name, but doesn’t feel safe doing so. She is an industry leader in California who employs more than 10 individuals and mentors dozens more.

Should she get “canceled” or blacklisted for sharing her politically unpopular views, she fears that everyone she employs could lose their jobs, incomes, and livelihoods.

Still, Lindner says she believes her story was important enough to risk telling on camera, while concealing her face, to protect a generation of neurodivergent young girls who she believes are being manipulated and exploited under the guise of compassion.

Lindner’s daughter first identified as transgender in August 2020, a few months after COVID-19 lockdowns took full effect. She was 14 years old.

Lindner believes that her daughter was first exposed to the idea of gender identity in her public school. In seventh grade, she received a “Genderbread” worksheet that claimed gender identity is separate from biological sex. The worksheet asked Lindner’s daughter to pinpoint where she falls on the “gender identity” scale.

During the pandemic lockdowns, Lindner says, her daughter and some friends watched TikTok videos for hours at a time. In this group of five female friends, one already identified as transgender. Bored and isolated at home, the girls started “nudging” each other to make up male names, use male pronouns, and take on transgender identities.

It came as a shock, Lindner says, when her daughter told her: “Don’t call me a woman. Don’t call me a girl. Don’t call me she. I’m a guy. I’m your son.”

Just one week prior, she recalls, her daughter had said: “I am a proud lesbian and a Democrat and that’s who I am.”

Lindner herself is a lifelong Democrat who has hired, mentored, and promoted LGBTQ+ individuals. She had supported her daughter in her coming out as a lesbian, and initially, she supported her daughter’s exploration of her “gender identity,” too.

However, immediately after announcing she identified as transgender, Lindner’s daughter demanded treatment such as testosterone and a binder to flatten her chest.

“I understood that there is a medical harm. There are profound side effects involved in taking opposite-sex hormones. They make the body ill, but the side effects on the mental health are much worse,” Lindner says. “This is where I had to draw the line.”

In June 2020, Lindner hired a seasoned therapist who was a lesbian in her mid-70s. Lindner’s daughter faced a slew of mental health issues that needed to be addressed: in the fall of 2020, she was diagnosed with autism, ADD, depression, anxiety, and an eating disorder.

When her daughter announced her transgender self-identification just two months into working with the therapist, Lindner says, the therapist began referring to her daughter as a boy.

“At the time, I spoke with a therapist, saying, ‘My daughter has autism, ADD, anxiety, and depression. Why is it not cool anymore to be a lesbian? Can you explore these issues?’” Lindner recalls.

“I also wrote to the therapist, ‘Out of the five friends in her friend group, four are now identifying as transgender. Could this be peer influence?’ None of these questions were ever addressed.”

Lindner describes being “profoundly disappointed” with the therapist for failing to explore the underlying issues that might be causing her daughter to identify as the opposite sex. Worse, Lindner says, the therapist perpetuated her daughter’s confusion by telling her that testosterone would bring her “gender congruity,” and instructed her to call her parents’ insurance company to ask whether she was eligible for testosterone at the age of 14.

These ideas, Lindner says, led her daughter into a mental breakdown, which presented itself as a severe depression.

“My teen was in her room all day long, lying on the floor, catatonic, with the cellphone in her hands, watching TikTok videos,” she recalls.

Lindner says that when she asked the therapist to help her daughter minimize the time she spent on social media, the therapist did the opposite.

Lindner says the therapist told her: “She has a broken heart. She has to soothe herself and distract herself with social media.”

At that point, Lindner says, her mother’s intuition kicked in and told her to approach the crisis “holistically.” This involved drastic measures: Mother and daughter packed up and moved to a mountain farm community where the daughter could volunteer, be around animals, move her body, and get in touch with nature.

“That return to real people, real-life stories, and spending less time on social media has been the most healing,” Lindner says.

Slowly, with the help of medication to treat the depression and ADD, her daughter’s mental health began to improve.

“What I had to do is be loving, supportive, and kind without affirming the delusion. Without affirming the ideology,” Lindner says. “And drawing a very clear boundary that ‘You’re loved, you’re safe. But we will do absolutely no medical interventions until you are 18.’”

Lindner says she has voted Democrat since she became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2000. As she watches politicians from California all the way up to the White House pressure parents by repeating the lie that children will commit suicide if parents don’t “affirm,” she says she feels betrayed:

I’m profoundly disappointed that the Democratic Party has chosen to affirm a delusion and a very toxic ideology that derails these vulnerable children.

I entrusted my child with professionals. And they created so much trauma and such catastrophic ruin in our family.

Autistic people often describe feeling disconnected from their bodies, in addition to having trouble understanding society’s expectations for “masculine” and “feminine” behavior.

By sharing her story, Lindner says, she hopes that instead of blindly affirming gender confusion, politicians, doctors, and educators will begin asking why so many trans-identifying individuals are also autistic.

“One of the most toxic ideas of transgenderism is the idea that you’re born into the wrong body,” she says, adding:

What kind of an idiocy is this? Your body’s wrong? It has to be medicalized? It’s autism.

As a parent who has watched this firsthand with my child and with her friends, I have to fight this. There’s no other way for me.




Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Republicans Should Bring Back College Debt Bankruptcy, And Here’s Why

For the last several years, Democrats have been running on wiping out student loan debt at taxpayer expense. On Aug. 24, President Biden finally bowed to the pressure and announced he will unilaterally “forgive” up to $20,000 worth of debt for some borrowers.

Republican candidates have generally had little to say on the subject other than to reject the government giveaway, but the problem of crippling debt remains for many Gen-Zers, Millennials, and Gen-Xers. Republicans may well be losing winnable votes over this issue, and if no plan is put forward, we can expect Democrats will eventually win the day.

What should Republicans do to address the student loan crisis? It is very simple: bring back bankruptcy for student debt for those who cannot repay their loans after several years of good-faith efforts and require that colleges repay half of their students’ discharged debt.

Nearly every college in the country accepts federal money, and if they wish to continue receiving this funding, colleges should be willing to assist in cleaning up the mess that so many of them helped create.

Fifty years ago, college debt was readily dischargeable in bankruptcy; but since then, Congress and the courts have made it more and more difficult to discharge student debt. It is past time to reverse course.

How big is the student debt crisis? Nearly 48 million Americans owe money on student loans; more than 45 million of them owe the federal government. A U.S. News poll from earlier this year found that 37 percent could not afford to make payments on these loans. Another 27 percent said they could barely afford to make their payments. If this poll is accurate, more than 15 million borrowers cannot repay their loans, and 9 million can barely afford their loan payments.

In addition to helping individual borrowers, bankruptcy for student debt would benefit American society. The U.S. News poll also found that 37 percent of those with student debt were putting off a home purchase, 32 percent were putting off saving for retirement, 19 percent were putting off starting a family, and 18 percent were putting off marriage.

Once freed from their debts, these college graduates would have an easier time settling down, starting and raising a family, and buying a home or starting a business. All of these outcomes benefit society at large and increase the likelihood that a person will hold conservative views.

Why should colleges be required to repay a portion of their students’ discharged debt? In addition to the fact that colleges have profited handsomely from the student debt crisis, they have also kept crucial pieces of information from students and parents. For example, most colleges do not disclose the average salary earned by graduates of the institution’s various degree programs. Furthermore, colleges routinely issue intentionally confusing financial aid award letters that make it difficult to discern how much a year of college costs and how much of the aid package consists of loans that must be repaid. So it should not be at all surprising when young people make poor choices based on incomplete data.

Allowing individuals with crushing student debt to discharge that debt in bankruptcy and holding colleges accountable for their students’ outcomes would transform higher education. If colleges knew they would be required to repay their students’ discharged debt, then colleges would change their ways in a hurry. They would likely pare back or jettison degree programs that provide few employment opportunities and focus on preparing students for the real world.

Colleges would also be incentivized to trim their bureaucracies, reduce costs, and work harder to ensure their students found suitable jobs after graduation. In other words, bankruptcy for college debt with a clawback provision would help align the financial interests of colleges and their students.

Biden’s plan, by contrast, simply rewards colleges’ greed and profligacy and decouples the cost of a college degree from its economic value. That colleges have failed to produce graduates capable of earning enough to pay back their loans is of no consequence; colleges get paid anyway.

Colleges now have no incentive to reassess their spending and lower tuition, as they would if they were on the hook for a portion of student debt in bankruptcy. Instead, colleges can continue to eagerly belly up to the federal loan trough and spend extravagantly on projects, programs, buildings, administrators, and amenities that have little or nothing to do with providing quality education. Colleges can go right on with degree programs that produce graduates who cannot pay back their loans.

Before Biden’s move, colleges and students may have only been working under the assumption the federal government would eventually forgive student debt. Now they know. The precedent is now set for the next student loan crisis — an inevitability so long as the federal government remains in the student loan business. The federal government will not reassess its lending habits as a private bank would. It will simply go on lending, same as before, until the next student loan crisis hits.

Nor will Biden’s plan give students or employers any reason to reconsider the economic value of a college education as compared to alternatives such as vocational training, on-the-job training, or starting a small business out of high school.

To help solve the student debt crisis, transform higher education, reduce tuitions, and improve conservatives’ electoral prospects, Republicans should support allowing student debt to be discharged in bankruptcy with a clawback provision that requires colleges to pay back half their alums’ discharged debt. Gambling and credit card debts run up by middle-aged adults are routinely discharged in bankruptcy. Why shouldn’t college debt be treated the same way?


The fate of a generation of Jewish children is at stake in yeshiva debate

By Michael Steinhardt

In a surprisingly caustic Wall Street Journal op-ed last year, Dovid Margolin, a senior editor at the Hasidic magazine, warned of a major new threat to his community’s vast network of schools, known as yeshivas. “New York’s yeshivas face a challenge with echoes of ancient persecution,” he wrote, comparing it to the shuttering of Jewish cheder schools in the Soviet Union a century ago.

He wasn’t alone in sounding the alarm. “This war on Orthodox Jews’ religious educational underpinnings,” wrote Eli Steinberg in the Daily Wire, “is as much an existential threat as the madmen who storm their grocery stores with guns and rush their homes with machetes.”

Margolin and Steinberg aren’t talking about violence or state-sponsored persecution, however. The looming horror they describe is nothing more than a set of proposals the state Board of Regents is considering to help these schools provide children a basic education.

Upwards of 65,000 Hasidic children statewide do not receive the education they deserve. Most of them are boys attending yeshivas whose language of instruction is Yiddish: Children are not even taught to read and write in English. Similar neglect is found in math, science and other key subjects.

The lack of a basic secular education contributes to a cycle of poverty that prevails across the Hasidic community — one that will only get worse as its population grows.

Such schools are not simply neglectful: They fail to meet New York’s legal requirements for education.

True, the 1895 state law mandating compulsory education allows for the creation of nonpublic schools, including religious ones like yeshivas. But such schools must still offer a secular education “substantially equivalent” to nearby public schools’.

And public schools are constitutionally obligated to provide, per a 1995 ruling, a “sound basic education” — including reading, writing, math and other skills necessary for productive civic engagement.

This month, the Board of Regents will consider a series of regulations aimed at helping nonpublic schools, including yeshivas, fill the needs — and rights guaranteed by the state Constitution — of their students. They flow from a 2015 complaint that offered detailed accounts of educational neglect. After a few years of court battles, the proposals on the table offer no fewer than four different pathways to compliance.

Contrary to opponents’ claims, the proposals do not interfere with yeshivas’ religious freedoms or management. They come from a genuine desire to help them follow the law while protecting their community’s way of life.

There is nothing inherent in Jewish tradition that forecloses a basic secular education. For many centuries until very recently, most traditional rabbis learned how to earn a living alongside their religious studies. Today, Modern Orthodox day schools provide a rigorous secular education alongside their religious one — and some are among the nation’s top private schools. Indeed, some Orthodox communities in America compete favorably against almost every other ethno-religious category, Jewish or otherwise, for academic excellence.

Efforts like those of Margolin, Steinberg and others to paint their opponents as closet Cossacks are beyond outrageous. Many behind the campaign to make Hasidic schools follow the law, such as Young Advocates for Fair Education, which filed the 2015 complaint, are themselves committed Jews worried about the fate of the children who attend these schools.

As am I. For more than three decades, I’ve invested heavily in programs like Birthright Israel, which strengthen Jewish identity in the Diaspora. Central to my identity has always been a concern for the success of all Jewish communities — including the ultra-Orthodox. They are my people as much as any other group of Jews.

So it troubles me deeply that so many Hasidic leaders have chosen a path that rejects the Jewish tradition of educational excellence and instead leads to poverty, dependence and an inability to contribute meaningfully to the world. This is most sharply expressed in the education their children, especially their boys, receive.

For that reason, I’ve always looked for ways to help ultra-Orthodox communities become more economically self-sufficient and build excellence through education. I’ve also been a supporter of YAFFED’s efforts to enforce New York law.

But in the American Jewish community, only a small number of philanthropists, and none of the major institutions, have taken up the fight. The Jewish establishment has been surprisingly silent.

American Jews must understand what is truly at stake in the debate over New York Hasidic schools: nothing less than the fate of a generation of Jewish children. Organized American Jewry should stand up to the voices opposing the proposed regulations and strongly show their support.

And the Board of Regents, as well as the state’s Education Department, should stand firm in enforcing the law and not hesitate to pass and implement the proposals.


Team Biden’s shameless bid to dodge blame for school closure damage

Team Biden’s comment on news that school lockdowns cost America’s kids years of progress boils down to “Don’t blame us!”

Seriously: President Joe Biden’s Education Department late last week issued this absurdity: “When President Biden took office, most schools in America remained closed. President Biden got to work. He put teachers at the front of the vaccine line and got Congress to provide aid to improve ventilation and spacing in schools. This plan produced results: A few weeks after President Biden put these measures in place, a majority of schools were open for the first time since the pandemic started.”

What bull: The Biden administration without question slowed down school reopenings, in concert with Democrats nationwide who were rushing to please teachers unions that fought them.

It’s a known fact that schools reopened far sooner in Republican-led “red” states and cities than in Democratic-controlled “blue” ones. Teachers unions in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco and other major cities kept schools closed far longer than in, say, Florida — which had in fact reopened well before Biden took office.

In February 2021, the White House pushed the Centers for Disease Control to accept the input of American Federation of Teachers chief Randi Weingarten, which led the CDC to adopt “advisory” language delaying reopenings.

The fact that most schools reopened after Biden took office had nothing to with him. In fact, local leaders had to ignore the Bidenites’ advice to realize that 1) kids were never actually at significant COVID risk, and 2) school shutdowns did enormous damage to children.

America’s children, particularly minority kids in major cities, needlessly suffered immense learning loss thanks to Democrats’ eagerness to satisfy a selfish special interest.

Now that the damage is obvious, all the villains from Weingarten to the White House are pretending they worked hard to reopen schools. It’s a shameful, self-serving lie.




Monday, September 12, 2022

Yeshiva University in New York City will not have to recognize an LGBT student club, at least not for the time being, according to an emergency ruling the U.S. Supreme Court issued

Founded in 1897, the Orthodox Jewish university describes itself in court documents as “the world’s premier Torah-based institution of higher education.” The word “yeshiva” itself refers to a traditional Jewish religious school. Recognizing the LGBT student organization would violate its religious teachings, the school argues.

The new ruling came as the high court has become increasingly protective of constitutionally guaranteed religious rights in recent years.

The order was issued by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who oversees emergency applications from New York and two other states within the 2nd Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Sotomayor provided no reasons for her decision in the case known as Yeshiva University v. YU Pride Alliance, court file 22A184. Her order (pdf) states that the lower court ruling “is hereby stayed pending further order of the undersigned or of the Court.”

The university asked the U.S. Supreme Court to pause a court ruling that determined its refusal to recognize the YU Pride Alliance violated the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL), which forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In the alternative, the school asked the high court to take up the case and fast-track it, something the high court may yet do.

Rabbi Ari Berman, president of Yeshiva University, hailed the new ruling. “We are pleased with Justice Sotomayor’s ruling which protects our religious liberty and identity as a leading faith-based academic institution,” Berman told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement.

“But make no mistake, we will continue to strive to create an environment that welcomes all students, including those of our LGBTQ community. We remain committed to engaging in meaningful dialogue with our students, Rabbis, and faculty about how best to ensure an inclusive campus for all students in accordance with our Torah values.”

The attorney for the YU Pride Alliance, Katie Rosenfeld of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff Abady Ward and Maazel LLP, said her client “will await a final order from the Supreme Court.”

The group “remains committed to creating a safe space for LGBTQ students on YU’s campus to build community and support one another without being discriminated against,” Rosenfeld told The Epoch Times by email.

In June, Judge Lynn Kotler of the 1st Judicial District of the New York Supreme Court, determined that the university was not a bona fide religious corporation so it was, therefore, not exempt from the public accommodation provisions of the NYCHRL, as The Epoch Times reported.

Kotler, a Democrat, ruled that even though the university is “religious” and “at first blush” appeared to be exempt from the law, its “organizing documents” do not “expressly indicate that Yeshiva has a religious purpose.”

Kotler stated that Yeshiva amended its charter in 1967 to become, in the words of the amending document, “an educational corporation under the Education Law of the State of New York.” The document states that “Yeshiva University is and continues to be organized and operated exclusively for educational purposes.”

Although in 1965, the NYCHRL “excluded ‘colleges and universities’ from classification as a place of public accommodation, in 1991, the City Council removed this exemption from the NYCHRL.” This means, the judge wrote, that the court’s finding that “Yeshiva is not exempt from the NYCHRL is wholly consistent with the legislative intent of the NYCHRL, which requires that exemption from it be narrowly construed in order to minimize discriminatory conduct.”

Kotler issued a permanent injunction directing Yeshiva to “immediately grant Plaintiff YU Pride Alliance” official approval as a club.

The university’s attorney, Eric S. Baxter of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, previously said Kotler’s ruling was “an unprecedented intrusion into the autonomy of a religious organization and a gross violation of the First Amendment.”


Affirmative action hurts Asian-Americans—but the left just shrugs

In her landmark 2003 opinion legalizing affirmative action in Grutter v. Bollinger, Sandra Day O’Connor famously wrote, “The Court expects that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary.”

This is the only time I can think of when the Supreme Court assigned an expiration date to a constitutional right. We’re coming up on Justice O’Connor’s deadline and — right on schedule — the Supreme Court is poised to end affirmative action in lawsuits against Harvard University and the University of North Carolina.

But the legal argument is not that affirmative action is unnecessary. It’s that it causes schools to actively discriminate against Asian applicants. The evidence is infuriatingly strong.

A 2009 study by Princeton professor Thomas Espenshade found that Asian applicants had to score 140 points higher than white ones on the SAT to have the same chance of admission to elite colleges, 270 points higher than Hispanic applicants, and 450 points higher than black ones. Progressives usually argue that Espenshade himself said his evidence isn’t a smoking gun, because Asian applicants are possibly worse than other races on all the soft factors beyond GPAs and test scores.

I can’t help but notice that liberals don’t demand a smoking gun when inquiring into racism against other ethnicities.

It’s kind of funny and sad that our antiracist society buys the argument that elite colleges aren’t discriminating against Asians because we’re just cowardly, unlikeable, unkind worker drones who aren’t leaders. It’s common knowledge that this is the exact same argument that Harvard made when it discriminated against Jews almost a century ago.

Harvard wanted to reduce its population of Jewish students from 25- to 15%. The university called that “the Jewish problem.” To accomplish this without imposing a strict quota, it introduced “character” requirements like leadership, which it found Jewish applicants consistently fell short on. It also introduced legacy admissions to further address its Jewish problem.

I don’t think we need to bring in Sherlock Holmes on this one. Harvard is discriminating against Asian applicants in exactly the same way it did against Jewish ones, for exactly the same reasons, with exactly the same results, and exactly the same justifications. But when you look at media analysis of the issue, you get a dozen progressive think pieces about how calling this “racism” is just a conservative talking point.

Society seems to be going in the direction of handing out education, jobs, honors and even medical treatment on the basis of race. New York, Utah and Minnesota all allocated scarce lifesaving COVID-19 treatments on the basis of race, explicitly prioritizing nonwhite people above white ones on the CDC’s recommendation.

Race-based victim status isn’t just a shortcut to education and lifesaving care these days. It’s also becoming a qualification for government money. In March 2021, Oakland announced to great fanfare that it was launching a pilot program testing universal basic income, distributing $500 a month to 600 low-income families for eighteen months.

There’s a catch: white people weren’t eligible to apply. Officials and media justified this discrimination by appealing to gaps in median wealth between races; the editorial board of the Daily Californian breathlessly praised, “The radical potential of guaranteed income based on race.”

But individuals are not mere representatives of their race, and a poor black family and a poor white one with the same amount of money are equally poor no matter what’s happening to the median white and black family. As the threat of lawsuits rolled in, Oakland quietly changed its eligibility requirements to say that people of all races are permitted to apply to the program, though its focus is still on helping “BIPOC” people.

This is clearly a fig leaf to hide the city’s naked discrimination from the equal protection clause of the US Constitution. I don’t think the Constitution will be so easily fooled, and I hope the same is true for today’s judges who interpret it.


Save NYC school snow days, Chancellor Banks, and let our kids have actual childhoods

Announcing that city public-school kids will now have to sign in for remote learning when snow shutters the actual schools, Chancellor David Banks chirped: “Sorry, kids! No more snow days, but it’s gonna be good for you.”

No, it won’t.

Remote learning was, with few exceptions, a complete disaster for New York’s schoolkids. Just look at the pandemic-year data on everything from enrollment numbers (down 10%) to learning loss (40% of students across the city fell below math benchmarks over the 2021 academic year; in reading, 50%) — to say nothing about skyrocketing rates of mental illness among adolescents.

In short, to learn and thrive, kids need to be physically present in school with their buddies and teachers. Not parked, as the chancellor seems to envision, in front of a screen for eight hours.

Yes, remote learning can work in certain limited contexts — for, say, an honors calculus class at Stuyvesant. But what Banks’ edict means for the vast majority of NYC schools will be teachers pretending to teach (many not even virtually present for class, since union rules say they don’t have to be), and an utter loss for students.

And yes, the proliferation of school holidays (which is likely driving the “no more snow days” move, as the Department of Education legally must “teach” 180 days a year) is a problem Banks can’t easily fix. But chaining little kids to their tablets while snow sparkles outside isn’t the answer.

Disturbing, too, is the notion that technology is good in itself that seems to underlie the call. Just because schools can present content at a distance, over tablets and laptops, doesn’t mean they should. It’s no substitute for rigorous, in-person instruction in fundamentals and actual education innovation. Note as well that those tablets and laptops, lent by the DOE, often simply failed to work for NYC’s lower-income families even as the DOE provided no tech support.

Meanwhile, play — free, unstructured, and as unsupervised as possible — is also hugely important for kids. It helps them develop self-reliance, sharpens their social skills, improves their physical health and provides a necessary outlet from the very real stresses and pressures they face. In our era of hyperstimulation, pointlessly putting them in front of yet another screen when they could be outside having a snowball fight is as absurd as it is cruel.

So long live snow days! Chancellor Banks, if you really have the best interests of kids at heart — and we know you do — you need to reconsider your decision.




Sunday, September 11, 2022

Is it time to defund the humanities?

As I have often pointed out, I am a big fan of much in the humanities but I don't see it as deserving of taxpayer subsidy

My own first degree was an Arts degree but I think the argument in favour of Humanities involvement in education is greatly over-egged. I am not at all sure that any arts and humanities courses should be publicly funded. There is very little evidence that they do any good. All we get are high flown assertions to that effect

I myself greatly enjoyed my studies of Homer, Thucydides, Chaucer, Tennyson, Wordsworth, Hopkins, Goethe, Wittgenstein, Schubert, Bach and Beethoven etc. and still do -- but I can't see that I needed to go to university to acquire that familiarity

Much of the cost of running our universities and other centres of higher education is borne by government, meaning the taxpayer. Therefore, to reciprocate, one of the main responsibilities of these institutions should be to produce graduates who meet the needs of society. This is not to suggest that we should exclude the ‘follow your dreams’ brigade from higher education. But funding, facilities and priority should be given to subjects that will contribute more to our national prosperity and societal requirements. These subjects would include engineering, computer science, mathematics, chemistry, physics and other sciences intended to improve our skill deficiencies, our industrial productivity and to encourage more entrepreneurs. To improve our public services, we need to expand training in medicine, dentistry, nursing, other healthcare professions as well as social work of different kinds.

The state should consider reducing university funding for the arts and humanities. Would our society suffer by having fewer graduates in English, history, geography, modern languages and other subjects, or would it prosper by redirecting that university funding to more beneficial subjects? Many readers will be enraged by that suggestion and I will be accused of being an intellectual philistine attempting another form of social engineering. On the contrary though, this is merely being pragmatic. As a nation, we should cut our cloth to suit our need.

A case in point is the cap on medical student places of 7,500 annually which has been static for almost a decade with the exception of A level grade inflation in 2020 and 2021. This number of training slots is totally inadequate for the needs of the NHS. To plug the gap, the General Medical Council registered 53,296 doctors from abroad between 2016 and 2021. The cap exists because of the costs of training doctors. There is no additional funding available but that could change if places for less essential subjects were reduced.

It is not to insult the humanities or other subjects to point out the problem we have in this country with ‘Mickey Mouse’ degrees. The term was even expressed by Margaret Hodge when Minister of State for Universities in the Tony Blair Labour government. She described it as ‘a degree where the content is not as rigorous as one would expect and where the degree itself may not have huge relevance in the labour market.’ That was 20 years ago and priorities have not changed. If anything more non-academic modules have been introduced.

Dame Margaret’s comment would have annoyed her boss who in 1999 had expressed a target of 50 per cent of school leavers going to university, a target recently increased to 70 per cent by the Tony Blair Foundation. That ambition would guarantee the creation of more unsuitable subjects especially for less able students who would be laden with debt from tuition fees. Why does Tony Blair not listen to his son Euan and voices from industry who advocate more apprenticeships?

By reducing funding for the humanities, students would begin to not think of university life as a goal in itself or as being a means of finding independence and liberation from parental influences. Instead the primary consideration would be the utility of their subject. There are of course, exceptions to this rule at the moment. The brightest students from the best universities studying the most esoteric subject may effortlessly move into finance, management consultancy or the law. There will also be scientists who fail in the job market. But it is the average student from the average university gaining the average BA degree who will have the most difficulty finding relevant employment. It is for them that this article is written. They should not suffer because of misguided career advice and a flawed state university funding policy.

The problem may be self-limiting as universities push for tuition fees to be increased closer to the £24,000 per year paid by foreign students. Prospective university students whose chosen subject has little relevance to the job market may be reluctant to take the excessive debt gamble. A glance at tables linking degrees to graduate entry salaries or to the chances of getting a job with that degree would be a wise move for most young people.

Part of the problem is that the decision on approximate career paths must be taken while selecting A level subjects. That is how we have arranged our higher education. At that age, students may be more attracted to softer subjects in preference to the greater discipline and demands of science subjects. That truth delegates greater responsibility to schools and to realistic career advice. Schools have the responsibility to guide students to good jobs.

I’m not suggesting that schools should indoctrinate students into science subjects but the advantages, importance and greater challenges of the broad range of studies defined by the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) should be explained. Science and mathematics teachers could be encouraged to make the case to counterbalance the preference some pupils at that age have for softer subjects. They could be paid more than other teachers given the greater relevance of their subjects. And the state should itself reduce funding and therefore the number of humanity places available so that only the most rigorous and successful courses continue.

Science and technology look forward to a progressive future while English and history look back into the past and at best, attempt reinterpretation and revision. These subjects can be learnt alongside STEM subjects. And in my experience, many scientists are also hungry culture vultures – there’s no reason students can’t enjoy the arts outside of a university degree.


Family-run bakery hails $36.5 million settlement that Oberlin FINALLY paid - after woke college defamed the small business with false racism claims

The owners of an Ohio bakery celebrated on Thursday their $36.5 million victory over the liberal arts institution Oberlin College in a defamation case, declaring that 'David has overcome Goliath'.

The college had been ordered to pay after jurors ruled that it had defamed Gibson's Bakery by describing the institution as racist, after the storeowner chased down three black students who stole from the business in November 2016.

With legal fees and interest, the amount rose to over $36.5 million.

Oberlin College had tried to appeal the case to the Ohio Supreme Court, which announced on August 30 that it would not take up the issue.

Finally, in a statement on Thursday, the college announced it 'has initiated payment in full of the $36.59 million judgment in the Gibson's Bakery case and is awaiting payment information from the plaintiffs.

A lawyer for the bakery celebrated the huge settlement. 'With Oberlin's decision to not pursue any additional appeals, the Gibson Family's fight is finally over,' said Brandon McHugh, an attorney for the family. 'Truth still matters, and David has overcome Goliath.'

McHugh said the ruling meant the family firm was saved from collapse. 'While Oberlin College has still refused to admit they were wrong, the jury, a unanimous panel from the court of appeals, and a majority of the Ohio Supreme Court decided otherwise,' he said.

'Now, the Gibsons will be able to rebuild the business their family started 137 years ago and keep the lights on for another generation.'

The anger at Oberlin was whipped up by the former dean of students, Meredith Raimondo, who led the woke mob's attacks against Gibson's - and even turned up outside the business to screech accusations while toting a bullhorn. While named as a defendant in the suit, she won't have to pay the settlement.

And despite the disgrace she heaped on her former employer, Raimondo has now landed a cozy job at Oglethorpe Liberal Arts College in Atlanta, and has yet to speak out over her role in the costly scandal.

The statement continued to say that while school officials are 'disappointed by the Court's decision... We hope that the end of the litigation will begin the healing of our entire community.'

'We value our relationship with the City of Oberlin, and we look forward to continuing our support of, and partnership with, local businesses as we work together to help our city thrive,' school officials said.

They added that 'our careful financial planning... means that we can satisfy our legal obligation without impacting our academic and student experience.

'It is our belief that the way forward is to continue to support and strengthen the quality of education for our students now and into the future.'

Former Dean of Students and Vice President Meredith Raimondo stoked protests against Gibson's Bakery following the shoplifting incident, even though the claims were found to be totally false.

She has since been blamed for much of the behavior that has seen Oberlin ordered to pay $35 million for defamation, with Raimondo since moving to a college in Atlanta

Store owners Allyn Gibson and his son, David Gibson, both now deceased, sued Oberlin College in November 2017 claiming they had been libeled by the school and that their business had been harmed.

The suit was filed a year after David's son, also named Allyn, chased and tackled a black male student he suspected of having stolen a bottle of wine.

Two black female students who were with him then intervened, and all three were arrested and later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges.

The arrests sparked protests outside Gibson's Bakery where flyers were handed out, some by an Oberlin College vice president and dean of students, accusing Gibsons of a long track record of racial profiling and discrimination.

A Student Senate resolution condemning the Gibson family was then emailed to all students and was posted in a display case at a school student center, where it remained for a year.

Soon, the woke college — located in the small town of Oberlin southwest of Cleveland — ordered its campus food provider to stop buying cookies, bagels and other items from Gibson's, hurting the bakery's profits.

And even after the storeowners complained about the way they were being portrayed by college officials, they refused to retract their claims, protests continued, and the store was forced to lay off half its staff and cut opening hours.

In June 2019, after a five-week trial, jurors awarded the Gibsons $44 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

The award was later reduced to $25 million and $6 million in legal fees, but rose again in this week's state supreme court decision after a series of appeals.

The bakery has been begging school officials to pay up, claiming their comments and subsequent boycott of their business hurt its reputation.

In an opinion article just last week, Lorna Gibson, widow of the former bakery owner, said the 'shelves are bare', it now only has a trickle of customers, staff has been laid off and the family — which is white — is deep in debt.

'If I got the money from the college, I wouldn't buy a house, or go on vacation, or leave Ohio. I would replace the compressors for the refrigerators and replace the fryers and proofers that we use for our dough,' she wrote.

'If the money doesn't come through within the next couple of months, I'll be forced to declare bankruptcy and shut the doors of Gibson's for good,' she added.

She then went on to describe how the massive protests in the days after Donald Trump's election affected the family's business.

'They blocked the door and screamed at customers who elbowed their way through to the counter. A few came in to record videos on their phones of our customers.'

'Our world was turned upside down and has never been set right,' Lorna Gibson wrote in the article, in which she strenuously rejected claims her family were 'white supremacists' who racially profiled customers. 'Calling us racists wasn't just wrong, it was deeply painful to our core.'

The boycott effectively continues to this day and freshmen nowadays are 'brainwashed to hate us' she added.

By November 2018, David Gibson died at the age of 65 after battling pancreatic cancer. His bereaved wife said she wanted to do everything she could 'to honor his final wish' and 'keep the doors open, no matter what'.

Allyn Gibson then died in February, aged 93. He spent much of his eighties sitting in front of the bakery, a 'fixture in the community' who chatted with locals, wrote Lorna Gibson.

After the protests, 'no one would talk to him. It broke his heart', she added.


Princeton will offer 'free ride' worth $300,000 to all students whose families earn less than $100,000: Includes tuition, housing and meals

One wonders a little about what this will do for standards

Princeton announced it will offer a 'free ride' for most undergraduate students from families making under $100,000, including tuition, accommodation and food.

The Ivy League institution's offer breaks down to about $79,540 annually, and is equivalent to more than $300,000 over the course of four year-degree.

The offer will also be extended to some students coming from families making as much as $300,000 that have multiple children at the New Jersey college.

About a quarter of the elite University's student body of about 5,500 - some 1,375 students - is expected to qualify. The new aid program will come into effect fall of 2023.

The money to support the aid program is coming out of investment returns from the school's endowment worth over $79 billion according to The Washington Post.

Princeton previously offered a similar package for students coming from families making under $65,000.

The move comes as Princeton has spent years trying to shake its long-held reputation as being a stronghold for the wealthy and elite by recruiting heavily from a high schools representing diverse economic background.

Princeton president Christopher L. Eisgruber's announcement of the program echoed those ideas.

'We know that Princeton can achieve its research, teaching and service goals only if it attracts the best talent from throughout society,' Eisgruber said, 'I hope that these improvements will help prospective students and families see more clearly than ever one of this University's core commitments - at Princeton, we seek and welcome talented learners from every background and every sector of society.

Princeton president Christopher L. Eisgruber said he hope the new measures would help students 'flourish on our campus' +3
Princeton president Christopher L. Eisgruber said he hope the new measures would help students 'flourish on our campus'

Eisgruber explained the students from families earning up tp $300,000 with more than one child in college would qualify for aid in increments proportionate to the family income.

Families earning $150,000 would pay $12,500 per year; families earning $200,000 would pay $25,000; families earning $250,000 would pay $37,500; and families earning $300,000 would pay $50,000.

Eisgruber noted the school was going away with an old policy requiring students accepting financial aid to provide $3,500 for books and other expenses. He said he hope the new measures would help students 'flourish on our campus.'

The move comes weeks after Joe Biden announced plans to spend up to $1 trillion to cancel student loan debt for Americans earning under $125,000, angering many who said it was unfair to those who'd scrimped and saved to pay off debts already.

And not all were impressed with the leafy school's efforts, including Sandy Baum, an economist at the Urban Institute who previously studied financial aid and tuition tends for College Board.

'Does it change the world? No,' Baum said, 'Will it make life better for the small number of people who are fortunate enough to get into Princeton? Sure.'

'I'm not really worried about these Princeton students. I'm worried about all the people who don't go to Princeton,' she added.

Princeton's acceptance rate is among the lowest in the country - of the tens of thousands who apply annually, the acceptance rate hovers around 4 percent.

The school has been working to boost its undergraduate enrollment up to 5,700 by 2025 and has been adding new residence halls to accommodate.

Princeton's move is the latest in a tuition arms race amongst the ivy league, as the elite institutions vie for to draw students and to foster more inclusive student bodies.

In June Dartmouth College abolished student loans for families that qualify for financial aid, after well-heeled donors provided $120million for the initiative.

Both Harvard and Yale also cover the full tuition costs for students coming from families earning up to $75,000.