Friday, September 30, 2022

"Woke" K-12 Schools on American Military Bases

Schools on American military bases, educating almost 70,000 children of service personnel, push the same anti-racism curriculum found in America’s most liberal school districts, with the goal of preparing these students for lives dedicated to a global citizenship meant to displace American citizenship and the American way of life.

The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) employs thousands of teachers, and its budget exceeds $3.2 billion. Reflecting Department-wide priorities, the 2022 DoDEA “Blueprint for Continuous Improvement” strategic plan was recently updated to emphasize “diversity, equity, and inclusion” as “Core Values” for the system.

As part of delivering on the Defense Department’s diversity agenda, the Pentagon sponsored an “Equity and Access” conference in 2021, where teachers from around the military system delivered talks about promoting queer theory, “antiracism,” global citizenship, and left-wing activism generally. Antiracism was the dominant topic of discussion, but we must understand that “antiracism” does not mean, “not being racist.” On the contrary, the new working definition of “antiracism”—given to us by Boston University’s Ibram X. Kendi—means assuming that all American society is shot through with racism, that every white person is racist, and that denial of racism is evidence of racism.

Thanks to a whistleblower, the Claremont Institute received more than fifty presentations from the 2021 DoDEA conference. The content was, to put it gently, enlightening. Military base teachers instructed their colleagues how to insert antiracist ideology into their classrooms through a simple, two-step process. First, cultivate a sense of guilt and discomfort in students through subtle accusations. Second, replace the previous complacency and comfort with a commitment to activism and a sense of mission about restructuring society and the world.

Trainers emphasized the first step of cultivating “critical conversations” and discomfort in more than a dozen presentations. They hued closely to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Let’s Talk” handbook, which describes critical conversations as discussions “about the ways that injustice affects our lives and our society” and explorations about “the relationship between identity and power, that traces the structures that privilege some at the expense of others, that helps students think through the actions they can take to create a more just, more equitable, world.”

Such conversations can begin in countless ways, but they must always take place within the antiracism framework. Injustice means disparities between group outcomes—disparities to the disadvantage of favored minorities. Blacks suffer from some health problems at rates higher than whites—so DoDEA has a presentation on health equity—“We All Have Shoes: But Do They Fit? Health Education Equity.” In “Be Well Do Well,” a presenter emphasizes questions like “what aspect of your racial or ethnic identity makes you the proudest?” and “Have you ever experienced a situation where your racial or ethnic identity seemed to contribute to a problem or an uncomfortable situation?”

Once students are saddled with white guilt, teachers must give them their marching orders. In “Combating 1-Sided Narratives (Decolonize the Curriculum),” AP language teacher Gregory DeJardin insists that teachers must become activists themselves, since nothing naturally bends toward justice “without us bending it.” Decolonizing the curriculum involves expunging old books like Dr. Seuss or Shakespeare from the curriculum and replacing them with antiracist children’s books. Equitable bookshelves must be created, including texts from and, which feature books such as Rise Up: The Art of Protest and What We Believe: A Black Lives Matter Principles Activity Book. The “‘REDI’ for Change: Antiracism in Action” talk emphasized urging white people to confess their crimes of privilege and silence. “I was reading Me and White Supremacy,” said one teacher, and what it teaches “about white silence, and I realized the damage I was doing by my white silence.”

Decolonizing the curriculum could involve changing what history class is about. A focus on inventors or discoverers, for instance, leaves students with only a white-American view of the world, according to one student, since so many of the greatest American inventors have been white men. Decolonization of the classroom should emphasize all the great black inventors or stop focusing on inventors altogether. Bending the arc of justice requires a definite change in emphasis, if not a series of lies, noble or otherwise.

When schools do not allow such books to be taught, trainers encouraged teachers to use their academic freedom to integrate radical readings. Teachers “do have some influence,” one trainer said, over the books they choose “for read-aloud . . . independent reading, book clubs, literature circles.”

All of this is done not simply for the good of equity, but to cultivate a new kind of student. “Global citizenship education is a means to combat these ideas and practices,” one teacher maintains. Children will think their own country is fundamentally racist and in need of systemic change, but those kids can become attached to a higher ideal than the nation—an understanding of humanity as such.

It is unwise to undermine the attachment military children feel toward their country. It is unjust to put lies at the heart of their education. Yet our military educators are doing both. The country will soon reap the sad harvest of this planting season.


Washington Post Urges Colleges To Offer ‘Climate Anxiety’ Counseling

On September 12, The Washington Post highlighted the “critical” need for what it called “climate stress counseling services” at universities across the country.

“It was hard to feel as though there was a ‘level of understanding of how dire the situation is,’” one student told the Post.

Oh Lord, here come the sob stories.

Eco-anxiety is commonly used to describe people’s concerns about ‘climate change’, but psychologists say it is better to use more general terms such as ‘climate stress’ and ‘climate distress’ — terms that encompass the array of feelings someone may have in response to climate change,” according to The Post.

You’ve got to be kidding me.

The Post indicated that these “counseling services” are to “validate” students’ feelings of helplessness and anxiety over climate change.

So yes, that means that taxpayer money that goes into public universities is paying for students to have their feelings over climate change “validated.”

What the frick is happening to our society!?

More lunacy indicated that these university support groups needed places to “manage despair and grief related to the future of the planet.”

At meetings, participants would choose an object in nature they resonate with — including leaves, flowers, twigs, stones, shells — sparking conversation and allowing students to connect to each other’s experiences.

To take it a step further, the Post indicated that “experts” suggested that counselors seek special training to help people with “eco-anxiety” as it takes a special type of psycho to think that people need therapy over ‘climate change’.

The Washington Post not only published this dumb story on its website but even spent money printing it out for the September 16 edition of the paper.

Sure, the climate may be experiencing some changes but dwelling on it and having “support groups” to talk about twigs, flowers and stones is not going to do anything except validate stupid feelings.


Arizona Points the Way to Greater Education Freedom

It’s vitally important for America that states up their game in public education, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said during an appearance on “The Kevin Roberts Show.”

In an interview on Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts’ podcast, the two-term Republican governor began a discussion of education policy and school choice in Arizona by acknowledging the problems faced by the nation in K-12 schools. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s multimedia news organization.)

To set an example, Ducey said, he aimed to put Arizona at the forefront of innovation by giving parents more choices in their children’s education.

“K-12 education, I believe, in so many places is failing. Across the country, it has been flatlined since the mid-’80s,” Ducey told Roberts. “In America, we very rarely solve a problem. We innovate out of these problems. And Arizona has tried to be on the leading edge of new ideas that not only provide choice for the parents, but also have results.”

As The Daily Signal previously reported, Heritage’s new Education Freedom Report Card ranks Arizona No. 2 among all states and the District of Columbia in overall education freedom after considering categories such as school choice, transparency, regulatory freedom, and spending.

On “The Kevin Roberts Show,” Ducey stressed the effectiveness of using government resources to empower parents to decide where is best to educate their children. He outlined the first steps he said would help improve the nation’s education system.

“This idea of public education is about educating the public,” Ducey said. “We’ve seen in Arizona, and I think … if you can start with the idea of the charter schools—the public schools with private management where [schools] can hire the teachers—and you see these education entrepreneurs that come out of these great programs … and they want to open up a school.”

Desire for parental choice in education has been on the rise, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic, and Ducey expressed discontent with school choice being a partisan issue. Instead, he said, it has been driven by resilient parents who challenged the current system.

“I don’t think this is a Republican issue,” Ducey said, adding: “That choice movement, if anyone’s seen [the 2010 documentary] “Waiting for Superman,” … this was a parent movement. And some of the first and greatest successes were in the toughest minority areas.”

“The stories of Harlem in the documentary, to this day, bring a tear to your eye,” the Arizona governor said. “And when you see somebody that knows that their child’s entire future is based on a lottery … I think these are things we should reject in our country.”

Roberts and Ducey also discussed how education should be part of cultivating good American citizens and provide a stepping stone to a better country.

“This incredible idea that you can pursue happiness in this country, in security, in safety, is still the best idea put forward,” Ducey said. “And K-12 education is a part of continuing it. And when you talk about the liberal arts … [it] is the formation of the full citizen … those foundations and grounding that also have that participation, is where the strength of the country, and any state, is.”

In closing, Ducey reflected on his two terms as Arizona governor since 2015 and his pride in taking his state to “the gold standard of educational freedom.” (Because of Arizona’s term limit for its governor, he can’t run for a third four-year term.)

“It took all of eight years to get here,” Ducey said. “Persistence is part of it, and also a great team. I’ve really been blessed with a great staff … and on this one, we were able to get this over the finish line.”




Thursday, September 29, 2022

US Reading and Math Scores Fell Sharply During Pandemic, New Data Reveals

Math scores for New York City students took a nosedive during the pandemic — with only 38% of kids in grades 3-8 being proficient in the subject last school year, according to results of statewide standardized tests released Wednesday.

That’s a dip of nearly 8 percentage points from 2019, before COVID-19 hit, when 46% of students made the grade, the highly-anticipated data put out by the city shows.

Meanwhile, kids in grades 3-5 — who were just learning how to read during the worst of pandemic-era school disruptions — saw a substantial drop in English scores, though results in that subject increased for those in 6th through 8th grade.

As a whole, less than half of 3rd through 8th graders were considered proficient in English last school year, the data shows.

The results offer a first look at how students in the nation’s largest public system are faring in the aftermath of school closures and the trauma induced by COVID-19.

“While results are complicated by the pandemic, the results reflect hard work by our students, families and educators during a difficult time,” said First Deputy Chancellor Dan Weisberg in a statement.

“They also reflect opportunity gaps and outcomes in particular for Black and Hispanic students as well as students with disabilities and English-language learners that are unacceptable,” he said.

Roughly 36% and 37% of black and Hispanic students passed the English test, compared to 67% and 71% of their white and Asian peers. Similar patterns emerged in math, with 21% and 23% of black and Hispanic students passing, while 59% and 68% white and Asian schoolkids deemed proficient.

Students with disabilities and English-language learners showed some improvements in reading, but their pass rate declined in math. Fewer than 2 in 5 schoolkids with a disability passed either test, despite there being alternative assessments for kids with the most severe needs. Just 13% of current English learners showed proficiency in reading, and 15% in math.

Weisberg added that his focus “looking ahead” is for all students to graduate on track for careers, economic security and “a positive force for change.”

Officials suggested remote learning may have had a bigger impact on math scores than reading.

English results for kids in 6th and 7th grade, specifically, saw a big improvement since the last time tests were widely administered in 2019.

But scores of the youngest test takers — 3rd and 4th graders — have plummeted following school closures. English proficiency for 3rd graders dropped by 4 percentage points, while those in 4th grade saw a dip of 6 percentage points from 2019.

“These students would have been in 1st and 2nd grades in March 2020” when classes went remote, explained Kim Sweet, executive director of Advocates for Children, “grades when children are mastering the relationships between sounds and letters, and building the foundational literacy skills that will shape their future academic trajectory.”

Research shows students who do not learn how to read by 3rd grade will struggle to master the basic skill later on.

Sweet added she was “encouraged” the current administration under Mayor Eric Adams has prioritized literacy, but warned of challenges ahead.

“Shifting what happens in thousands of classrooms on a day-to-day basis is no small task,” she said, “and the devil is truly in the details.”

The last time that a majority of students sat for the state tests, in 2019, more than half of city schoolkids still couldn’t handle basic math or English, even while scores ticked up slightly. Only 47.4% in grades 3-8 passed the English language arts exams, and 45.6% the math. The English proficiency rate improved 0.7% from the year before and math scores went up by 2.9%.

Roughly 80% of local kids did not take the state exams in the 2020-21 school year, when students who were mostly learning remotely had to opt into the tests.

Last school year, more than 10% of all public school kids opted out of one or both tests, compared to 4% in 2019. Though in-person learning had resumed full time, roughly 40% of city students were regularly absent from school.

“Chronic absenteeism, which is not obvious in the scores, is a hidden dimension,” said David Bloomfield, a professor of education law and policy at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center.“Those kids are disproportionately represented in that 10% who didn’t even take the test.”

Bloomfield suggested there could be challenges to interpreting the city data without having the results for the state as a whole, especially when it comes to the disparity in reading scores by grade.

“When you see what looks like a pretty clear division between the lower grades and higher grades, it may be an artifact of the test. We won’t know until we see statewide test scores come out — to see whether there’s been an overall pattern, or if this is unique to New York City,” he said.


State data offer further proof that school lockdowns were a disaster for NYC kids

Lockdowns set New York City’s public-school kids back big-time, state test data just confirmed — fresh proof that the COVID-phobic teachers union put the children’s interests last.

Math scores for kids in Grades 3-8 took a nosedive — with only 38% of kids being proficient. That was a drop of nearly 8 percentage points from 2019.

Reading scores dropped in grades 3-5, but rose in grades 6-8 (though the latter figure may well reflect a dumbed-down exam, since it cuts against the national trend). And overall, less than half the kids tested as proficient in reading.

Plus, the number of city kids taking the tests was down noticeably, even allowing for lower enrollment. Since opt-outs tend to be lower-scoring, that suggests the real picture is even more grim.

Kudos to Schools Chancellor David Banks for getting the basic facts straight: “No matter what the latest test results tell you, I can tell you the system is broken in far too many ways. We are trying to create a new way forward.”

The State Education Department, meanwhile, is trying to hide the bad news. It sent the test scores to school districts statewide in mid-August, but banned public release of the info until now — and still refuses to release easy-to-compare data for the whole state. Historically, the public always got the full picture in August.

This, after SED cancelled the exams in the pandemic’s first year and made them completely optional in the second. Nor does it have any real excuse for keeping so much info under wraps now.

The obvious conclusion: Unlike Banks, the folks in charge of state education policy don’t want parents realizing the bad news, at least until after Election Day.

New Yorkers should be asking why more than half of the city’s public-school kids aren’t proficient in English or Math, despite record funding for education. Banks, to his great credit, knows that the system is a mess and that more money isn’t the answer. He’s intent on holding bureaucrats, principals and teachers accountable.

But SED, controlled by Democrats utterly beholden to teachers unions, has the opposite agenda: It wants ever-more spending and ever-less accountability.

The question is whether the special interests can succeed in stopping Banks from delivering the change the city’s kids so desperately need.


Alliance Defending Freedom to argue Connecticut policy harms girls' sports, is 'clear violation of Title IX'

Oral arguments are set to begin Thursday in a case involving four female athletes who challenged a Connecticut policy that allows males who identify as female to compete in girls’ athletic events.

Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing track athletes Selina Soule, Alanna Smith, Chelsea Mitchell, and Ashley Nicoletti in Soule v. Connecticut Association of Schools, said in a press release ahead of arguments that the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference’s policy resulted in males who identify as female "consistently depriving" the women of honors and opportunities to compete at elite levels. The group argues, for instance, that the young women were denied medals and/or advancement opportunities. A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit on April 25, 2021, but the plaintiffs have appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.

"What we're arguing before the court tomorrow at the Second Circuit is that the court should allow this case to move forward, that girls should be able to make their case in court and demonstrate that males coming in and dominating girls' sports is a clear violation of Title IX," ADF Senior Counsel Christiana Kiefer told Fox News Digital.

The ACLU is among those defending Andraya Yearwood and Terry Miller, two transgender student athletes who have since graduated from Connecticut high schools. U.S. District Court Judge Robert Chatigny dismissed the lawsuit in April on procedural grounds, saying in the ruling that there was no dispute to resolve because the two transgender athletes have graduated, and the plaintiffs could not identify other female transgender athletes.

ACLU of Connecticut didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

"We think everyone is protected under Title IX on the same basis, and that's based on their biological sex," Kiefer continued. "The whole reason that we have women's sports as a separate category is because there are actual physical differences between males and females. Science shows that there's anywhere from a 10 to a 50% performance advantage that males have over their female counterparts. So, if we want a future where girls like my clients, Selina, Chelsea, Alanna can continue to compete to be the best that they can to earn college scholarships, to showcase their talents, then we have to protect the integrity of women's sports."

"Males will always have inherent physical advantages over comparably talented and trained girls; Title IX’s whole purpose was to ensure that girls had equal athletic opportunities to compete—and win—in girls’ sports events," ADF Senior Counsel Roger Brooks, who will be arguing before the court on behalf of the female athletes in Thursday's oral arguments said in a press release. "And when our laws and policies fail to recognize the real physical differences between males and females, women and girls bear the brunt of the harm. It’s our hope that the 2nd Circuit will give the young women we represent the right to pursue their case and put women’s sports back on a level playing field."

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference declined to comment ahead of the hearing when Fox News Digital reached out.

On the 50th anniversary of Title IX, a federal civil rights law established in 1972 designed to create equal opportunities for women in education and athletics, in July, President Biden unveiled new draft rules that sparked the fury of many parents for how the new proposals would expand the definition of sex.

The proposed regulations would sweep gender identity into the law’s protections, "strengthen[ing] protections for LGBTQIA+ students who face discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity," according to the Department of Education.

Should the draft rules become law, Kiefer predicted it would have a "devastating impact" on female athletes.

Other female athletes have spoken out against policies they've argued are unfair to women's sports. Notably, former All-American University of Kentucky swimmer Riley Gaines has blasted policies allowing Lia Thomas, a former transgender athlete for the University of Pennsylvania, to compete against her in last year's NCAA tournaments.




San Francisco teachers: Don’t go into teaching in California, it doesn’t pay

Low salaries and steep housing costs have priced some teachers in the San Francisco Bay Area out of their school districts, forcing them to face long commutes, two local educators told Fox News.

"I don't encourage any young people to go into teaching right now," Mindy Arndt, a South Bay kindergarten teacher, told Fox News. "I do not feel that California places a premium on their teachers."

Heidi Herschbach, a second-grade teacher said: "California does not value teachers enough."

"I don't know, honestly, if I would get into teaching now," she continued. "Financially it's so much more difficult."

The San Jose metro area in the South Bay Area has a median existing-home sales price of $1.9 million, making it the most expensive metro area in the country, according to the National Association of Realtors. San Francisco has the second most expensive market at $1.55 million.

The median sold price for a single-family home in Santa Clara County, where Arndt and Herschbach teach, is $1.65 million, according to the California Association of Realtors.

"California is getting more expensive," Herschbach said. "The median home price is so high."

"We already know that gas prices and food prices are going up, rent still is very, very high for people," she continued. "It's hard to live."

Arndt agreed. "A teacher's salary is not going to be able to afford you housing in the Bay Area," she told Fox News.

The average salary for a teacher in the San Jose school district where Arndt and Herschbach work is $88,000, while the average salary for a teacher in the nearby San Jose Unified School District is $81,000, according to the California Department of Education. "I could not afford to live in my school district," Arndt, who lives on a single income, said.

Herschbach inherited her family home, allowing her to live in San Jose. But Arndt told Fox News she lives in neighboring Santa Cruz County and commutes for nearly an hour to her school in San Jose because of the cheaper home prices.

"People tend to have to find communities farther and farther away from where they work, where they can afford to either pay rent or hopefully, you know, purchase a home," she Arndt.

To combat teacher housing issues, the Milpitas Unified School District sent a message to South Bay Area parents asking them to open their homes and spare rooms for teachers to rent.

Milpitas teacher salaries start at $67,000 and top off at $110,000, according to the school district. Rising living costs are a main issue in hiring and retaining teachers the school district's superintendent, Cheryl Jordan, told the Daily Mail.

'We've lost out on some employees that we tried to recruit because once they see how much it costs to live here, they determine that it's just not possible," Jordan said.

Nationally, about 300,000 public school teachers and staff have left the field between February 2020 and May 2022, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"I don't think that there is really an understanding for what teachers are doing in 2022 and the scope of our job and the amount of energy and time," Arndt told Fox News.

Teaching is getting more complex every year, and the profession took on new responsibilities after the pandemic, both teachers said. Every year, more students need speech and occupational therapy as well as academic counseling and individual education plans, adding more to teachers' plates, according to Arndt.

"I think there's parents that appreciate us," she told Fox News. "I think there's some administrators that appreciate us."

"I do not feel appreciated" by the state of California, Arndt said.


Report card on big labor unions show significant loss of teacher union membership since 2018

A 50-state report card on Big Labor shows how labor unions have lost a significant amount of members over the past couple of years.

Per a report on Worker Freedom in the State sent exclusively to Fox News Digital from the Commonwealth Foundation, the big four national government unions saw legislative victories in state legislatures and courts, yet saw a net drop of nearly 219,000 union members between 2017 and 2021.

The Worker Freedom in the State report card shows each state's progress in breaking away from labor union control.

The National Education Association (NEA) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) were among the four big unions that lost over lost 200,000 members since 2018.

The membership loss was felt since Janus v. American Federation of States, a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court ruled mandatory public union agency fees for nonmembers were unconstitutional.

Rebecca Friedrichs, the lead plaintiff of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, which challenged the constitutionality of mandatory dues, told Fox News Digital that "the union stranglehold on government workers and teachers is fueled by the same politicians that labor leaders spend millions of dollars to elect."

The three-decade California teacher went on to say that, "Even after the Supreme Court recognized our rights, unions continue to receive privileges like automatic paycheck deductions and easy access to employees because of the influence they gain through campaign donations. Collective bargaining for government unions pits labor leaders and teachers against taxpayers, parents, and students. Reigning in the power and control government unions exert on education will improve teacher quality, student outcomes, and restore the rights of parents to take charge of their child's future."

After the Janus ruling, the NEA lost 87,774 fee-paying members and the AFT lost 82,713. The general drop in membership of the NEA was 84, 980 and the AFT was 39, 773.

The Commonwealth Foundation Executive Vice President Jennifer Stefano told Fox News Digital that "even with the Supreme Court’s Janus ruling, government union labor executives and their allies in government are not going to make it easy for public servants to break free of union control."

"Union executives have transferred vast sums of money from workers’ wages to politicians who create roadblocks to worker freedom," she continued. "To ensure that the promise of Janus is realized, lawmakers across the country must stand up to ensure that every civil servant has the right to choose whether or not to be associated with a union – they should not be forced to join a union or fund their political agendas."

American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten praised the deal as a "game-changer for teachers and families drowning in an ocean of online dishonesty."
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten praised the deal as a "game-changer for teachers and families drowning in an ocean of online dishonesty." (REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein/File Photo)

AFT and the National Education Association were blasted last year after it was discovered the powerful teachers unions had corresponded with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ahead of school reopening guidance, which appeared to result in a slow walking of a return to in-person instruction. The CDC appeared to use the unions' suggestions word-for-word in more than one instance in the final text of the CDC document.

The AFT defended the correspondence, saying it was routine and that it also worked closely with the Trump administration. The AFT represents 1.7 million educators, healthcare professionals and public employees who spent the last 14 months serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. So naturally, we have been in regular touch with the agencies setting policy that affect their work and lives, including the CDC," AFT spokeswoman Oriana Korin said.

McKinsey & Company research examined the effects of the pandemic on the 2020-21 school year and found that students were on average five months behind on math and four months behind in reading. For schools with largely minority populations, students fell six months behind in math and five to six months behind in reading.

The closures have also exacerbated a mental health crisis among young people often forced to isolate from their peers, experts have agreed


Columbia students react to their college being ranked worst for free speech on campus

Columbia University students shared mixed reactions to their college ranking last for free speech on campus, with some expressing confusion while also shunning hate speech. "I think everyone here is very open-minded, and so I'm not really sure where that's coming from," one student told Fox News.

However, Arianna, a senior at the Ivy League school, said, "Of course people think they can't say things. I think people think they might be judged by the majority."

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) ranked Columbia last in its third annual College Free Speech Rankings, which surveyed nearly 45,000 students from more than 200 colleges. The Ivy League university scored a 9.91 out of 100.

"I am surprised by that result," Astrid, a senior, told Fox News. "I don't think that I've personally experienced or witnessed the suppression of free speech at Columbia."

"I think that there is definitely a homogenous point of view at school, but I don't think that opposing points of view are necessarily suppressed either," she continued.

But Astrid added that "hate speech should definitely at least be monitored" on campus.

Numerous other students Fox News spoke with similarly considered Columbia open-minded and tolerant but said hate speech should not be allowed.

"Hate speech, that's not good to be hearing," one girl said. "But I think everything else, as long as it's like furthering ideas, that's good to talk about."

A freshman, Aarush, told Fox News, "I've heard some people with certain political views might not be able to express their opinions because it might be perceived as offensive."

He also said hate speech is unacceptable, that "obviously you can say whatever you want, like, physically, but there's going to be social repercussions."

"People should just be more careful about what they say," he added.

FIRE — a nonpartisan free speech advocacy group — used seven components in its scoring system, including openness to discussing challenging topics on campus, tolerance for controversial liberal and conservative speakers, and comfort expressing ideas and protest acceptability.

A senior, Sam, told Fox News that political issues are often taboo to discuss on campus, "Especially if you're not leaning left — can't say a word about that."

FIRE researchers found that only 27% of Columbia’s students don't believe it's ever acceptable to shout down a speaker to silence them. They also reported that there are roughly 6.8 liberal students for every conservative student on campus.

"You do have to walk on eggshells a bit because you don't want to offend anybody," Freshman Rosnell told Fox News. "If you do kind of misstep, people aren't really as forgiving as you would like them to be."

Similarly, Sam said the campus is "very averse to ideas that go against the grain."

"I’ve certainly seen people get trashed online; or in class, they’ll say something, and it will come up after class," he added. "Makes people afraid to speak."

The FIRE study found that 63% of students surveyed reported feeling worry over damaging their reputation based on someone else misunderstanding them, and 22% said they often self-censor.

Researchers also found that about three out of every five students reported that they would be uncomfortable "publicly disagreeing with a professor about a controversial topic or expressing an unpopular opinion to their peers on a social media accounts tied to their name."




Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Is Tenure Really Dying?

Throughout the United States, several stories have emerged about politicians and organizations interested in ending the institution of tenure in higher education. In Florida, steps have been taken to review the work of tenured faculty. In Texas, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick has articulated a desire to do the same.

But it’s not just politicians. Emporia State University recently submitted a plan to restructure which would allow the firing of all employees, including tenured professors, with 30 days notice.

Even states with no direct legislative opposition to tenure, like California, have seen a decline in the density of tenured professors.

Data by the American Association of University professors indicates a decline in tenure track professors in percentage terms over the last few decades, though it is important to note that part of the decline is caused by the rise of community and for-profit colleges.

Nonetheless, it appears that tenure as an institution is, to say the least, under scrutiny. The question is, why? But in order to understand a possible deterioration of tenure, it’s necessary to understand why tenure exists in the first place.

No Profit, More Problems

Tenure has always been a controversial system, and it’s easy to understand why. The trope of the lazy professor who can’t be fired is by no means unbelievable. This is the central argument that critics launch against the system of tenure. If professors have more job security, they’ll be less accountable to expectations.

On the other hand proponents often argue that tenure is necessary because it protects academic freedom. Without tenure, some claim that those with unpopular research agendas and findings will be fired.

While this argument for tenure may sound like a good argument for why there should be tenure, it’s an unconvincing argument for explaining why there is tenure.

Instead, economist Armen Alchian in a piece titled “Private Property and the Relative Cost of Tenure” (1977) offered a convincing argument for why tenure evolved for purely economic reasons.

Alchian starts with the observation that universities are almost always non-profit organizations. This is true of both public and private universities.

In for-profit business, when managers choose to punish or fire a productive employee for arbitrary reasons unrelated to productivity (such as discrimination, political disagreements, or personal antipathy), the company will take a hit to their bottom line. Firing a great worker due to personal disagreements means you’ll have to spend money to replace that worker, if you can find a replacement at all.

Managers who exercise their firing power arbitrarily like this won’t be around for long. Either owners will recognize this particular manager is costing them money, or competitors who don’t fire employees arbitrarily will be able to drive them out of business due to lower costs.

In a for-profit business, losses caused by such behavior will be unacceptable, because owners have the ability to take their money out of the business and redirect it to other uses. Business assets will be liquidated and money will go elsewhere. Thus, in a for-profit context, there is an incentive to avoid arbitrary firings.

The same is not true in the non-profit sector. As Alchian points out:

“[i]n a non-profit-seeking enterprise, the administrator must spend all the income in the business for salaries, materials, building, etc.”

The nature of a non-profit is there is no owner who is able to take their money out and redirect it to better uses.

Without an owner with this ability, there is less incentive to push an organization to be as efficient as possible from a pecuniary perspective. Instead, those within the organization will have more discretion to use resources in unproductive ways.


Biden’s $420B student loan boondoggle is blatantly illegal — but progressives don’t care

The Congressional Budget Office says the price tag for President Biden’s constitutionally illiterate, fiscally reckless, socially divisive student debt cancelation will exceed $420 billion. It’s staggering, it’s infuriating — and it’s illegal.

So how is Biden getting away with it?

The administration is hoping that by running out the clock and exploiting legal loopholes, it can spend this money — and likely much more — in a move that makes a mockery of the separation-of-powers principles on which our Constitution was established 245 years ago.

Not only that — it flouts Supreme Court precedent from just last term. Simply stated, the executive branch, including such components as the Department of Education, lack the authority to exercise powers of “vast economic and political significance” absent a clear delegation from Congress, as the Court put it on June 30 in West Virginia v. EPA.

Congress has granted no such authority. Nor would it. Biden’s gambit is a naked appeal to the Democrats’ woke-progressive base, who are happy to ignore Constitutional norms and turn him into a president-king.

To function properly, our system needs government officials who are committed to the Constitution’s division of authorities. A member of Congress must defend the legislative branch’s powers from usurpation by the executive — and that includes the power of the purse. Progressives, however, see the constitutional framework as a sclerotic inhibition on the achievement of leftist policy goals. Hence the dramatic expansion of the administrative state, which shifts power from politically accountable officeholders to insulated bureaucrats at an alphabet’s soup of federal agencies.

More to the point, the Framers would have expected that a president who dared usurp legislative power would find Congress responding by slashing the executive’s budget and, in egregious cases, filing articles of impeachment. Progressives, however, prioritize policy outcomes, not constitutional niceties.

When Democrats control the White House, congressional Democrats are a rubber-stamp for aggressive “pen and phone” executive governance. Only when there is a Republican president do Democrats rediscover congressional powers to check executive action — while they then rely on progressive judges to implement policy preferences of the radical left, distorting the Constitution as necessary.

For now, Democrats control both houses of Congress, so the courts are the only promising avenue for blocking Biden’s lawless plan. Here, though, the president is banking on the so-called standing doctrine. This requires a litigant challenging executive action to show more than that it is illegal or unfair.

An individual does not have standing to file a lawsuit unless a personal injury can be shown — harm that is concrete, unique (i.e., hurts the person in a way that is different from the hurt it causes society as a whole), and quantifiable in the sense that it can be redressed by judicial action.

Ironically, even as he ignores the Constitution, Biden expects the federal courts to be sticklers for standing rules. These would bar a lawsuit based on, say, the claim that as a taxpayers, we are harmed by an illegal decree that forces us to underwrite the costs of extinguished student debt.

Still, there are some legal challenges that should surmount standing hurdles. The Pacific Legal Foundation may have found a way around the usual bar to taxpayer standing. Several states tax loan forgiveness. On Tuesday, PLF challenged Biden’s edict on behalf of an Indiana man, Frank Garrison, who can show individual harm: Under a federal program rewarding public service, he would not have been taxed; under Biden’s order, though, he’ll be penalized.

Others with obvious claims include student-loan servicing companies, whose income is generated by collecting loan payments. As commentators have pointed out, they could be fearful of the Biden administration, the Education Department, and congressional Democrats, who have may ways of undermining their business. Still, it is unlikely that all of them will be unwilling to sue.

George Mason University’s Ilya Somin notes that academic institutions such as Hillsdale College, which refuse to accept federally funded student loans (due to the various strings attached to them), could sue based on the doctrine of “competitor standing” — i.e., Biden’s program puts them at a disadvantage in competing for students because loans at their schools will not be eligible for forgiveness.

Then there’s another constitutional anomaly to factor in: legislative standing. It would no doubt surprise the Framers, who made Congress the most powerful branch of government, that lawmakers would need the judiciary to do their heavy lifting.

But as traditional separation-of-powers has broken down, the courts have been more open to allowing Congress to sue the president for usurping its power. Such suits must be brought by Congress as an institution, not by individual lawmakers. That means there will be no such suit until Republicans gain control of either or both chambers.

As with many things, then, President Biden will not get his comeuppance on the student loan travesty until the voters have spoken in November. How much money will be out the door by then?


Apparent Victory Rings Hollow for Group Opposing School Choice

The effort to block a massive expansion of education choice in Arizona appears to be running out of steam.

Beth Lewis, executive director of the anti-school choice group Save Our Schools Arizona put on her best game face Friday afternoon as she announced that her group has gathered enough signatures to put the recent expansion of Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account program on the ballot for voters to decide.

But it wasn’t hard to detect Lewis’ disappointment.

Earlier this summer, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, signed a bill sponsored by Arizona House Majority Leader Ben Toma, R-Peoria, to expand eligibility for the state’s ESA policy to all 1.1 million of the state’s K-12 students.

That would mean all families could receive about $7,000 to use for educational expenses such as private school tuition, tutoring, textbooks, homeschool curricula, online courses, special-needs therapy, and more.

The program is widely hailed as the gold standard of education choice, cementing Arizona’s first-place ranking for education choice in The Heritage Foundation’s new Education Freedom Report Card. Arizona placed second nationwide for education freedom overall (including rankings of education choice, academic transparency, regulatory freedom, and return), behind only Florida.

Lewis’ group acted quickly to contest the ESA expansion. Under Arizona state law, voters may refer recently enacted legislation to the ballot for voter approval if they gather the signatures of registered Arizona voters equal to at least 5% of all votes cast in the last gubernatorial election.

In 2018, Save Our Schools Arizona ran a similar referendum campaign, in which it gathered about 111,000 signatures—comfortably exceeding the threshold of about 75,000 valid voter signatures. This year, sending the issue to referendum required about 119,000 valid signatures.

“Valid” is the key word. Signatures may be invalid for a variety of reasons—for example, if the signer isn’t registered to vote in Arizona, the signature or address doesn’t match what’s on file, and so on.

According to Ballotpedia, the average signature validity rate of ballot initiative petitions such as this one is 75.3%. Even with an 80% validity rate, Save Our Schools would need about 150,000 signatures to meet the threshold.

But Save Our Schools turned in only about 142,000 signatures Friday afternoon. Unless the group achieved an unusually high validity rate—84%—it is likely that it has failed to obtain enough valid signatures.

It appears that Save Our Schools Arizona already sees the writing on the wall. Earlier this week, Lewis offered a litany of excuses to the left-wing media outlet Salon, complaining about the higher signature threshold relative to 2018, the 80-day window to collect signatures, and likely scrutiny from the legal system.

But Lewis reserved her greatest ire for the efforts of school choice groups such as the Goldwater Institute and the American Federation for Children, to protect the expansion of Empowerment Scholarship Accounts. Salon reported:

‘They’re already signaling massive legal battles,’ said SOS Arizona director Beth Lewis, who said that petitions are frequently challenged over not just issues like duplicate signatures but also incomplete addresses for signees and smudged notary markings.

Lewis appeared especially aggravated by the pro-ESA grassroots activists who urged voters to decline to sign her group’s petitions. According to Salon, she accused these activists (without evidence) of being backed by the Goldwater Institute and American Federation for Children:

In the meantime, the final weeks of petition gathering have turned hostile, as groups backed by the Goldwater Institute and AFC have launched a massive ‘Decline to Sign’ campaign, holding protests at petition gathering spots, urging supporters to call businesses near petition sites to complain that ‘this is hurting our children’s education’ and videotaping both petition circulators and voters who sign, posting clips of those interactions online. In this atmosphere, petition volunteers say they’ve been surrounded, harassed and followed for blocks on end, while pro-ESA protesters say they’ve been insulted or sworn at by referendum supporters.

While Lewis said there wasn’t ‘any organized opposition’ to the [2018] petition process … this year, ‘It’s like a war zone at some of these events.’

The “Decline to Sign” protesters, who want to protect the ESA program, see it differently.

“Hundreds of volunteer parents from all different backgrounds have come together to peacefully hold signs and talk to voters about the ESA program,” said Taylor Hoffman, a mother of two from Gilbert, Arizona, including one child with special needs.

Hoffman described how she and fellow protesters have had great success in persuading voters not to sign the Save Our Schools petitions. In one case, they approached a father who was considering signing.

“We brought up the fact that Save Our Schools has a history of fighting against multiple school choice laws in Arizona, including the original ESA program that helps special-needs students,” Hoffman said. “The dad decided not to sign and walked away.”

One of the greatest hurdles for Save Our Schools Arizona is voter support for education choice, which has reached all-time highs in the wake of prolonged school shutdowns, Zoom school, and concerns over-politicized classrooms.

A Morning Consult poll released in August found that 66% of Arizonans and 75% of parents of school-age children said they support Empowerment Scholarship Accounts. Meanwhile, only a third of voters said they believe that their local district schools are on the “right track.”

Save Our Schools’ assault on education choice at a time when parents need it most may have awakened a sleeping giant and filled it with a terrible resolve.

“The grassroots movement of Decline to Sign not only slowed down SOS signature gatherers, but it created a community of like-minded folks that genuinely care about what is best for kids,” said Grant Botma, a father of three from Gilbert, Arizona. “No politics. No hidden agenda. Just parents fighting for what is best for their kids and kids in the community.”

The coming weeks certainly will see signature challenges and likely will see litigation. One thing is for certain: Arizona parents will be watching.




Monday, September 26, 2022

Teachers want to ‘save’ kids with social justice — try just teaching them

It’s become apparent that there are people who believe they must do everything possible to save us from ourselves. They’ve entered nearly every industry that allows them authority and have proceeded to anoint themselves as the arbiters of social change for your own good, or in the case of the educational system, for your children’s benefit.

Since the death of George Floyd, savior teachers have taken it upon themselves to force-feed the doctrine of social justice ad nauseam to the most innocent of audiences.

They’ll exclaim that these actions are for the benefit of your child’s future, but their priority will always be the upliftment of themselves because saviors never do anything without the purpose of receiving congratulatory acknowledgement.

This month, Harlem educator Billy Green was named New York State’s Teacher of the Year — but not without criticisms from parental advocates that he focuses far too much on “wokeness” over course work and basic skills. Indeed, one of his algebra lessons had little to do with math, but instead aimed to teach “the vocabulary of inequalities to empower my identities in America.”

Woke progressivism has become a framework for narcissistic saviors to mask themselves with, as it provides strategy, language and worldview that’s performative enough to garner the attention they seek without the substance to benefit anyone else.

When Green was discussing his working at lower performing schools, he’s quoted as saying “I chose to work at those schools, they didn’t choose me. They NEED me at the worst schools.”

You must possess an exceeding high amount of arrogance to believe that any employer needs you, implying failure without you. The savior always believes that their existence is empirical to your success and without them, you will inevitably fail.

When they don’t receive the recognition they feel they deserve, the savior will revert into the momentary victim as a defense mechanism. In Green’s case, him being Puerto Rican, black and gay is the reason that he believes the Department of Education doesn’t want him to supposedly “succeed” and why the mayor hasn’t said anything to him about his award.

There are some jobs that require minimal ego even when you’re one of the best in the field; teaching is one of them. There is a reason a firefighter says “I was just doing my job” after rescuing someone in dire need: it’s because they are here to serve the public and serving the public should require no congratulatory measure.

The public would find it distasteful if the same firefighter complained that they had yet to receive an award or a phone call from the mayor for their heroism and it should be equally distasteful coming from a public-school teacher.

The more parents are becoming involved in their children’s education, the bigger the threat they’ve become to uncovering this population of savior teachers. Under the authority of a savior teacher, your children’s purpose is to inflate their ego to a satisfactory manner — educational results be damned.

Woke progressive saviors want your children to be subservient to the will of their ego and embrace being impaired as victims of American society. They’ll continue to flaunt their credentials and experience to make parents feel insecure about their involvement in their children’s education. But this strategy is running thin.

Our children don’t need saving, they need serving by teachers who understand they are aides for the public, not adversaries against it.


UK: Fury at 'witch-hunt' sacking of math teacher who refused to use a teenage pupil's preferred pronouns without obtaining parental permission first

A maths teacher has been sacked after refusing to affirm a pupil’s gender change because he wanted to first obtain the permission of the student’s parents.

Kevin Lister is taking legal action against his employers for unfair dismissal, claiming he is a victim of a ‘witch-hunt’ for challenging ‘dangerous transgender ideology’.

He has been backed by campaigners as well as Tory MP Danny Kruger, who said he was ‘very concerned’ because recent government guidance says the teacher had been within his rights to apply caution.

Mr Lister, a teacher at a school in Swindon, had enjoyed an unblemished 18-year teaching career before he was dismissed for ‘gross misconduct’ this month.

He had refused to refer to a biologically female student, aged 17, by their preferred male name and he/him pronouns in A-level lessons.

The 59-year-old teacher told The Mail on Sunday he was concerned that the ‘out-of-the-blue’ request amounted to social transition, which could put the teen on a pathway to irreversible medical treatments.

‘I wanted at least to make sure that my student had parental support and was making an informed decision,’ he said. ‘As a parent myself, I would have been furious if my child had taken this step and I hadn’t been told anything.’

Mr Lister said he was ‘gobsmacked’ when he approached the safeguarding officers and was told the parents would not be informed about the student’s wish to identify as male in the classroom. The school’s guide to supporting transitioning students states that staff should ‘maintain confidentiality and only tell others about the person’s trans status with their permission’.

Mr Lister said he then found himself in an ‘impossible position’: ‘I ended up pointing to her as politely as I could to avoid either dead-naming her or supporting transition without parental consent.’ A few weeks later the student wanted to enter a female maths Olympiad.

Mr Lister said: ‘I put the names of the students on the board who wanted to take part and I put her name up on the board as being a female’s name to enter a female maths competition.’

Earlier this year, Mr Lister discovered some students had made accusations of transphobia against him and he was suspended in February, pending an inquiry, and escorted off the school grounds.

A disciplinary hearing last month upheld three complaints, namely that he had ‘subjected a gender-transitioning student’ to ‘transphobic discrimination’ and ‘harassment’ and ‘refused to use’ their preferred name and he/him pronouns.

He was also told in a letter earlier this month by the school’s vice-principal that he had ‘degraded’ the student by pointing in class and he was ‘insensitive’ by writing the female name on the board relating to the Olympiad.

The letter, which announced his dismissal, added: ‘We acknowledge that you are entitled to your beliefs, however, it is my view that your treatment of [the student] violated his dignity.’

Mr Lister has refuted the allegations against him, saying he was simply trying to protect his student’s welfare.

Last month the then Attorney General, Suella Braverman, said the law was clear that under-18s could not legally change their gender, meaning schools were under no legal obligation to address children by a new pronoun.

Mr Kruger, MP for Devizes, Wiltshire, said: ‘I am very concerned that a school agreed to affirm a child’s transgender identity without parental consent.’

A spokesman for the school said: ‘We are unable to comment.’


New Yorkers, facing poorly performing schools, need more choice

By Lee Zeldin

Every New York student deserves access to a quality education regardless of race, ethnicity, wealth or ZIP code. The reality, though, is poorly performing public schools, violence, pandemic policies, woke educators and curricula run wild have forced more and more parents to explore other options, such as charter, private or parochial schools and in some cases homeschooling.

To truly raise the bar, we must lift the antiquated cap on charter schools, implement tax credits for school choice and Education Savings Accounts, extend advanced and specialized academics, protect merit-based entry exams into specialized schools, expand technical training and so much more. The status quo just doesn’t cut it.

My twin teenage daughters are going to the same public high school I attended, and my wife Diana and I are very happy with the quality education they’re receiving. All New Yorkers aren’t so fortunate, and many have been forced to make hard decisions about their children’s education.

An example of how New York has failed many of our children is captured in a study comparing the quality of education in New York and Florida. Both states have roughly the same student population, but that’s where the similarities end.

Florida has a greater number of black, Hispanic and low-income students. It also spends far less: $9,986 per student versus $24,882 per student in New York. Testing of fourth-grade students in both states show very different results; Florida students of all backgrounds scored higher in math and reading, ranking near the top of the national scale, while New York ranked 40th and 28th respectively.

What a shocking gap when the Empire State spends 2½ times the tax dollars per student as Florida.

A primary option for many parents seeking a better education for their children has been charters: independently operated schools funded with your tax dollars. Yet Gov. Kathy Hochul and Democrats in Albany have stalled raising the cap on the number of charter schools around the state.

In August, New York City charter schools welcomed more than 145,000 students to 275 schools throughout the five boroughs. That’s roughly 15% of all city students receiving a public education. About 80% of these students come from economically disadvantaged families choosing charter schools because they felt traditional public schools simply weren’t educating their children.

The proof of success is in charter schools’ four-year high-school-graduation rates, which are four times that of local public schools. It’s quite remarkable the superior scores that charter-school students receive on standardized testing compared with their public-school peers. And it’s even more striking when you consider the cost per pupil is $17,626 versus roughly $28,000 in traditional New York City public schools.

While the solution might be found in a charter school, the problem is that demand far outweighs the number of available seats, leaving more than 50,000 students on waiting lists. This situation can only be remedied by lifting the cap on the number of charter, a cap that’s become obsolete with these schools’ proven success in New York City and state over the past two decades.

Some parents may feel that private or religious schools or even homeschooling are the right choice for their children. Many struggle to pay the tuition, or, in the case of homeschooling, one parent is forced to give up a full-time job so their children can receive a quality education. Already facing runaway inflation and skyrocketing taxes, these hardworking New Yorkers deserve relief in the form of tax credits, savings accounts and other reasonable options that will lessen the bite of tuition costs or homeschooling.

By providing true learning choices for our students and their parents, we’ll also create competition that will spur all schools and educators to provide a better education to remain viable.

The greatest asset we have is our children; they are the future of the Empire State and deserve the best education possible.




Sunday, September 25, 2022

Virginia Overhauls Transgender Student Policies on Pronouns, Bathrooms, and Sports

Virginia took a sharp turn on transgender student policies with new guidelines released on Sept. 16.

According to the new guidelines, public schools cannot affirm a student’s gender without parents’ written requests. In addition, bathroom and locker room use is to be based on students’ sex, defined as the biological sex at birth. Student sports participation should be sex-based as well unless federal laws require otherwise.

The new policies are is a complete reversal of the previous guidelines, which define transgender as a student’s “self-identifying term.” Those rules, which took effect in March 2021 under former Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, ask schools to consider not disclosing a student’s gender identity to the parents “if a student is not ready or able to safely share” it with their family.

The new policies have common ground with the previous rules with regard to ensuring a safe learning environment without bullying, discrimination, or harassment for students. It lists the First and 14th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution as primary evidence.

The new guidelines will enter a 30-day public comment period around Sept. 26 and take effect after the state superintendent approves the final version.

“The 2022 model policy posted delivers on the governor’s commitment to preserving parental rights and upholding the dignity and respect of all public school students,” Macaulay Porter, spokesperson for Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, said in a statement emailed to The Epoch Times.

“It is not under a school’s or the government’s purview to impose a set of particular ideological beliefs on all students. Key decisions rest, first and foremost, with the parents.

“The previous policies implemented under the Northam Administration did not uphold constitutional principles and parental rights, and will be replaced.”

Virginia Del. Marcus Simon (D-Fairfax), who introduced the state House bill that became a 2020 law and the basis of the 2021 rules, said in a tweet on Sept. 16: “These new policies are cruel and not at all evidence-based. … If enacted, these policies will harm Virginia children. Stop bullying kids to score political points.”

Loudoun County-based parental rights group Fight for Schools applauded the new policy. “Governor Youngkin promised to put parents back in charge of the care, upbringing, and education of their children. Today, he delivered—big time,” said Ian Prior, executive director of Fight for Schools, in a statement emailed to The Epoch Times.

He also had something to say to the school boards, especially his own in Loudoun County: “To the school boards in Virginia, such as the one in Loudoun County, you spent last year telling parents that they had to pass radical anti-parent, transgender policies to match the VDOE’s [Virginia Department of Education] model policy—now you will have to revise those policies based on the law and your own words. So get to work.”

Clint Thomas, a father to Loudoun County schoolchildren, echoed Fight for Schools’ sentiment. He has two daughters, both studying in Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS). Caroline, the elder daughter, is a high school senior and was on the school’s soccer team.

He’s also a plaintiff in a lawsuit against LCPS administrators and school board members, filed by America First Legal (AFL), a nonprofit conservative legal group, on his and 10 other parents’ behalf. At the end of June, the defendants were sued for “promoting secret gender transitions” and “forcing children to change in locker rooms with members of the opposite sex,” according to AFL.

“Virginia is returning to a focus on parents’ rights in education with its 2022 revision to model policies,” Thomas told The Epoch Times. “It feels so good as a father of children in LCPS to know our state Department of Education is returning to sanity when it comes to the basic rights of girls and women in our schools and athletic competitions.”

It’s unclear whether school districts will face budgetary consequences if they don’t follow the requirements. Porter didn’t respond to a question by The Epoch Times about the potential ramifications of noncompliance.


Boston school BANS gay pride flags and BLM livery from its classrooms to 'avoid disruption' and to foster an inclusive learning environment

School officials have barred a public high school in Massachusetts from displaying gay pride and Black Lives Matter flags in classrooms.

Stoughton High School staff were instructed during a faculty meeting on September 14 to not display the flags along with the police officer flag, known as the Thin Blue Line flag, a staff member told The Boston Globe.

'We need to avoid placing items in the classroom that can cause disruption or distraction,' Administrative Principle Juliette Miller said in an e-mail to staff. 'We are an inclusive environment and want to maintain that inclusivity.'

While the flags are prohibited, LGBTQ+ stickers will be distributed and placed on classroom doors. The stickers will not have the words 'Diversity, Equity Inclusion' to avoid 'politically charged' lingo.

Miller didn't immediately comment on the matter.

An unidentified staff member complained about the recent order from the school and worries it will create a less 'welcoming' and 'warm' environment for students.

'Pride flags help LGBTQIA+ students feel safe and welcomed in school. Taking down Pride flags could hurt students' well-being and make them feel like they have nowhere to run,' the staff member told The Boston Globe.

'Having a rainbow or BLM flag in our rooms isn't pushing your beliefs on someone or displaying any political views. It is just saying, "Hey, you're welcome here, and we support you."'

Some people on social media were infuriated about the school's decision. 'So much for inclusivity,' one person wrote. 'Glad my child is educated outside of our town.'

Another added, 'They should be trying to teach current events, not sweep them under the carpet.'

'History loves to repeat itself,' another said.

Meanwhile, others praised the school's decision and said they should stick to teaching 'math' and 'english.' 'Smart move by your principal - political flags have no business in ANY public school,' one person wrote.

Another added: 'Let's go back to assuming all are welcome. I don't see separate areas for race or gender in schools, and I'm pretty sure that did exist before. Just assume it's 2022 and you're accepted until somebody gives you a reason to think different.'

'It’s insane and I don’t use that term lightly, it’s actually insane to think a flag or sticker on a door is going to create this magical inclusive environment.'

'Over the last couple of years, teachers have been asked to remove potentially controversial items from their classrooms. This is part of a consistent effort by the district to limit potential disruptions to students’ learning so that our students and faculty can focus on educational lessons inside the classroom,' Raab told Fox News.

He added: 'Lessons and conversations around complex topics are an important part of the education our students receive, and I believe they can and show be addressed within the structured framework of age-appropriate lessons.'

Raab didn't immediately respond to for a comment.

Stoughton High School joins the various schools that have banned flags and symbols supporting police, BLM, and MAGA.

Kettle Moraine School Board in Wisconsin voted in August to continue the prohibition of the political displays.

The issue was raised by right-leaning school board member Kelly Brown, who has a son in the district, complained about the influence the banners were having on her son.

To strike a compromise, Superintendent Stephen Plum said that the district would interpret the employee conduct guidelines to ban all such messaging.

School board president Gary Vose said that the interpretation was meant to support all students and prevent bullying.

'Having Pride flags in some classrooms and not in others -and maybe it's not the intent - could send the message that some staff members want to support students with various lifestyle choices and others do not,' he said at the meeting.

We don't want that in Kettle Marine. We want all staff members to support all students. We don't want to have conflict between students or conflict between staff members. We should not be allowing any bullying for any reason.'

More than 13,000 people have signed an online petition opposing the Kettle Moraine policy that was launched by two local high school students, Bethany Provan and Brit Farrar.

'Having a rainbow flag in your room isn't pushing your beliefs on someone,' Provan told WITI-TV. 'It's just saying, 'Hey, you're welcome here, and we support you.'


Chicago High School to Enforce Race-Based Grading System

Racial thinking has always been prt of the Leftist mentality

A high school in Chicago is attempting to justify implementing a race-based grading system “to adjust classroom grading scales to account for skin color or ethnicity of its students.”

Advocates for the racist system claim it is necessary because “traditional grading practices perpetuate inequities."

The new system will hold students accountable (or not accountable) for missing classes, misbehaving, or failing to turn in assignments based on the color of their skin.

The West Cook News reports:

Oak Park and River Forest High School (OPRF) administrators will require teachers next school year to adjust their classroom grading scales to account for the skin color or ethnicity of its students.

School board members discussed the plan called “Transformative Education Professional Development & Grading” at a meeting on May 26, presented by Assistant Superintendent for Student Learning Laurie Fiorenza.

[The plan] calls for what OPRF leaders describe as “competency-based grading, eliminating zeros from the grade book…encouraging and rewarding growth over time.” Teachers are being instructed how to measure student “growth” while keeping the school leaders’ political ideology in mind.

“Teachers and administrators at OPRFHS will continue the process necessary to make grading improvements that reflect our core beliefs,” reads the plan, which is set to kick off in the fall of 2023.