Thursday, September 21, 2023

Progressives Hate School Choice Until It’s Time to Send Their Kids to School

Another week, another batch of teachers union officials lobbying against school choice while sending their own children to private schools.

Chicago Teachers Union President Stacy Davis Gates and Illinois Education Association official Sean Denney send their kids to private schools while devoting their time to fighting against poorer parents’ rights to send their children to similar schools.

This isn’t a new phenomenon. Gates and Denney join a long line of hypocrites who live the “school choice for me, but not for thee” lifestyle.

“School choice” is the principle that families, not the government, should decide where their children go to school. It encompasses a wide range of options, from providing parents vouchers for private and charter school tuition to accessing “education savings accounts” for tuition, education materials, and special needs testing.

In practice, school choice allows parents to direct the education tax dollars already spent on their children instead of requiring the money to be spent at an assigned public school based on the parents’ ZIP code.

Advocates for school choice suggest that the primary benefits of “funding students [directly], not systems” include fostering competition among schools, improving academic performance, and providing access to quality education for all students, regardless of their socioeconomic status.

Progressives often lambast the practice—suggesting that allowing parents to choose which schools their children and money go to will drain and destroy public schools.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, declared a state of emergency in May after the state Legislature passed additional measures to expand school choice in North Carolina.

Cooper claimed the Legislature was trying to “tear our public schools down” by allowing parents to choose where education tax dollars allocated for their children went.

Ironically, Cooper sent his children to a private school because the governor preferred that option over a public school. Unlike many North Carolina residents who are poorer than he, Cooper could afford to send his children where he wished—and so he did.

President Joe Biden, while still a candidate for that office, also warned that voucher programs and school choice measures would defund public schools.

Writing on Twitter in January 2020, Biden claimed: “When we divert public funds to private schools, we undermine the entire public education system. We’ve got to prioritize investing in our public schools, so every kid in America gets a fair shot. That’s why I oppose vouchers.”

Biden didn’t practice this “investment” in his private life, however, sending both of his sons to the private Archmere Academy, a Roman Catholic college preparatory school in Claymont, Delaware.

Other elected Democrats who sent their children to private schools while speaking out against school choice include former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. A host of state legislators also do so.

There are so many hypocritical elected officials, business executives, and union officials in this category that the Education Freedom Institute created an interactive map to catalog the rapidly growing list of those taking advantage of privileges their constituents cannot.

Why go to the trouble of fighting so desperately against school choice if you’re sending your children to school choice options anyway?

Recent polls indicate overwhelming support of additional school choice options among all major political parties and demographics.

A poll from RealClear Opinion Research found a 9% increase in support for school choice among Democrats, to 59%, since April 2020. Republicans’ support for school choice rose by 7% for a total of 75% in the same poll, and independents by 7% for a total of 67%.

The poll also found that 72% of white voters, 70% of black voters, 66% of Asian voters, and 77% of Hispanic voters said they support school choice.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, claims that the union’s fight against school choice keeps public schools from closing and prevents America from returning to racial segregation.

In Chicago, Gates went so far as to call private schools “fascist,” though the teachers union president has no problem sending her kids to one.

Broader union positions over the past few decades claimed simultaneously that school choice options would result in the abandonment and closing of public schools while asking state and federal legislators to drastically increase funding for declining public schools.

An analysis on the fourth-grade level would note that if public schools were such a great option, parents wouldn’t pull their children from those schools if given a choice. Additionally, public schools that have received drastic funding increases over the past decade have seen only greater academic decline and more parents pulling out their kids anyway (often at great personal cost).

Although Gates argues that private schools are racist and fascist, her own Chicago Public Schools is a school district that boasts a 17% literacy rate for Hispanic students and an 11% literacy rate for black students in 2021.

Anti-choice activists openly argue that if parents want to send their children to private, charter, or microschools, they should pay the additional cost—therefore funding both the local public school and the school parents want to send their children to.

I don’t have an issue with teachers union officials and Democrat politicians sending their children to private schools. Parents should have the right to send their children to a school that best suits the values and needs of that family.

The problem rests in the hypocrisy of the situation. Few things come across worse than the Marie Antoinette look.

Forcing families to funnel their money into failing public schools while your children go to better schools of your choice fosters resentment. If you really believe public schools are the best option to the point of advocating against other options, your children better be attending those public schools.


Stanford University will return $5.5M in donations from Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX

Stanford University reportedly plans to return the millions of dollars it received in charitable contributions from Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto firm FTX before its spectacular collapse.

The alleged fraudster’s parents — Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried, longtime professors at Stanford Law School — allegedly pushed the crypto exchange and its related entities to donate “more than $5.5 million” to the elite school “to boost Bankman and Fried’s professional and social status at the expense of the FTX Group,” according to a lawsuit brought by the bankrupt firm’s advisors in Delaware bankruptcy court.

“Bankman also conceived of various creative means by which to remit payments to Stanford University through different FTX Group entities,” according to the complaint filed Monday.

Stanford received the donations from November 2021 to May 2022, the lawsuit said. FTX, once valued at $32 billion, imploded in November 2022 with $8 billion in liabilities to as many as 1 million creditors.

“We have been in discussions with attorneys for the FTX debtors to recover these gifts and we will be returning the funds in their entirety,” a Stanford spokesperson told Bloomberg on Tuesday.

Representatives for the university didn’t immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

The decision to return the fund comes after FTX’s advisors claimed Bankman and Fried, “misappropriated funds” they received from FTX and its sister hedge fund, Alameda Research, including when they allegedly “pushed for tens of millions of dollars in political and charitable contributions, including to Stanford University,” the court documents said.

The parents have come under intense scrutiny as their son’s fraud trial approaches on Oct. 2. Neither has been charged with any wrongdoing. Bankman-Fried has pleaded not guilty.

Bankman took a leave of absence from Stanford Law School in December 2021 to focus on the FTX Group, according to the filing.

The charitable gifts to Stanford allegedly began the month before when “Bankman directed a donation of $500,000 from FTX Trading to pass through Paper Bird,” a Delaware-based company owned by Bankman-Fried, according to the court filing.

In February 2022, he allegedly proposed a $4 million gift to the Stanford School of Medicine to support its Fund For Pandemic Preparedness.

According to the court documents, Bankman called the donation “pretty much a no-brainer,” but he wanted to run it by FTX’s project officer.

“A few months later, the gift was funded by a Bitcoin transfer from an Alameda Ltd. exchange account that, because of the fluctuating price of Bitcoin at the time it was sold, was worth $4,010,579,” the filing said.

In March 2022, Bankman allegedly asked that the FTX Foundation dish out $1.5 million to Stanford, which FTX debtors claimed was handed over via two wire transfers.

An FTX bank account also contributed $10,000 to sponsor the Stanford Blockchain Conference in July 2022, according to the filing.

The lawsuit went on to claim that weeks before FTX’s house of cards came crumbling down, “Bankman directed another $500,000 donation to Stanford Law School.”

Bankman, a Stanford professor for more than three decades, also allegedly ordered FTX to pay for one of his students to go to a Formula 1 Grand Prix in the south of France, including plane tickets, $1,200-per-night hotels, and tickets to the event, the filing said.

Lawyers for Bankman and Fried told Bloomberg that FTX’s allegations of fraudulent transfers are “completely false.” A representative for the parents declined to comment on Stanford’s decision to return the donations, the outlet reported.

Bankman-Fried is currently awaiting his fraud case -- set to go to trial on Oct. 2 -- at a Brooklyn jail.


Maryland county battle heats up over 'sexually explicit' books in schools as mom vows to appeal decision

FOX News Digital spoke to Moms for Liberty chapter president Kit Hart on the battle she is leading in her county over "sexually explicit" books in public libraries.

Hart won a minor victory in Carroll County, Maryland, after a local reconsideration committee made up of teachers, parents and even students voted to remove two books from school libraries. As of Wednesday, the committee has decided to remove two books and keep seven other books on school library shelves. The deciding body still has 49 books to review, Hart said.

The two books that were chosen to be removed from schools were "A Court of Thorns and Roses" and "Water for Elephants."

The first book was found "not appropriate for recommended age and grade levels" by the reconsideration committee, Hart said. "It's basically for a mature audience and much of the book is based around sexual content."

The second book also had so much "graphic and explicit material" that made it "inappropriate for children," she explained, adding that "we really need to start understanding that the distinction between what a child can be exposed to and what an adult can deem appropriate or entertaining."

It's a difference, she added, that "should be very different and respected."

Hart said that, as a rule, the books she recommends for removal from school libraries "contain very, very graphic and explicit sex" that makes them clearly "not appropriate for schools" or for the eyes of children.

But Hart said that she wasn't done fighting the battle to keep children safe in her district from "sexually explicit" materials. The next stage in her battle with her county was appealing the committee's decision to the local superintendent.

When asked roughly what percentage of parents were for or against removing sexually explicit books from schools, Hart said that the group supporting "taking a look at these books and considering removing them" was likely the majority. The opposing side has largely taken an attitude that removing sexually explicit or controversial books from schools is a form of censorship.

"There is a faction of the population that consists of parents and some librarians who I think have taken the narrative of book banning and censorship and really fought against that idea rather than look at the individual content of the books," she said, which forced them to "defend the concept of book banning" as a political tool.

That's also because, Hart added, the defenders of these allegedly graphic books have trouble actually defending "the content of the books."

She also weighed in on the popularity of the term "book bans."

"People throw out terms like book banning and censorship" because, Hart said, "Americans don't like those concepts."

"Of course, we firmly believe in the First Amendment," Hart said. "We will fight for that."

But the issue of keeping sexually explicit books in schools was an entirely different one, she said, calling the phenomenon a "manufactured crisis."

Hart argued that the movers and shakers in school libraries across the country, like American Library Association (ALA) President Emily Drabinski, have "totally captured" school libraries. Drabinski is a self-identified "Marxist lesbian."

"We're responding, we're calling out what we deem to be inappropriate," Hart said.

Hart also said that parents have every right to want to protect their children and reduce their exposure to sexually graphic materials in school.

"We are entrusting our children, our most prized possession [to schools]," she said.

"And so when they go into these libraries, and they're finding these books, that's not a safe environment for them," she added. "And it really breaks the trust that parents have" with their "librarians and their schools."




Wednesday, September 20, 2023

‘Double Standard’: Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Christian Athletic Club Ousted From California School District

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that a California school district violated the rights of a Christian athletics club by forcing it off campus.

In 2019, the San Jose Unified School District derecognized the Fellowship for Christian Athletics after a teacher made complaints that the club was sharing its faith on campus, which included the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.

The FCA filed a lawsuit with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in April 2020 but faced several defeats in court, until the 9th Circuit ruled Wednesday that the district had potentially violated the FCA’s rights under the First Amendment and reversed a previous decision to deny FCA’s request for an injunction, according to court documents.

“The District, rather than treating FCA like comparable secular student groups whose membership was limited based on criteria including sex, race, ethnicity, and gender identity, penalized it based on its religious beliefs,” the ruling reads. “Because the Constitution prohibits such a double standard—even in the absence of any motive to do so—we reverse the district court’s denial of FCA’s motion for a preliminary injunction.”

The FCA requires students who volunteer with the club in a “leadership capacity” to sign a statement of faith that includes the belief that “sexual intimacy is designed only to be expressed within the confines of a marriage between one man and one woman” and that they will follow the club’s policy on this issue, according to the ruling.

In April 2019, Peter Glasser, a teacher at Pioneer High School, obtained a copy of this statement of faith and posted it on his whiteboard, saying that he was “deeply saddened” by such a policy.

The following month, after several complaints from Glasser, the district stripped FCA of its Associated Student Body status and could not longer be a recognized club on campus, according to the ruling. Principal Herb Espiritu said the policy is of a “discriminatory nature” in the Pioneer’s school newspaper, The Pony Express, despite later testifying that he did not consult FCA about the policy before making the decision.

A district court ruled against the Christian organization’s request for an injunction in June 2022, meaning the group could not operate on campus as an Associated Student Body while the lawsuit went through the court system, according to the ruling. The appeals court, however, determined that the lower court’s decision was flawed since it was trying to hold the FCA to a higher standard than it had for the past two decades, according to the ruling.

“Here, the District’s new policy of enforcing its nondiscrimination rules likewise alters the status quo of providing FCA clubs ASB recognition,” the ruling reads. “Because it was the District’s action that ‘affirmatively changed’ that status quo and Plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction seeks to restore that status quo … the district court thus erred in applying a heightened standard applicable to mandatory injunctions.”


Australia: Universities deliver ‘woke’ degrees to trainee teachers who demand more practical training

“Woke’’ universities are instructing trainee teachers in gender theory, climate activism and race relations, as young teachers demand practical classroom skills.

One in five teachers has warned the federal Education Department that universities failed to teach them all the practical skills required to teach children to read and write, or to manage classrooms.

Up to one-third of recent teaching graduates from some universities declared their degree had failed to prepare them for the classroom.

Teachers-in-training have been lectured on “postmodernism, existentialism and reconstructionism” in the University of Canberra’s initial teacher education degree.

Course materials sent to students show lecturers have critiqued the “social and political content’’ of the Australian Curriculum, mandated by the nation’s education ministers for teaching children from primary school through to year 10.

A lecture slide notes “we aren’t even doing a very good job”, tallying up 19 references to social justice, Aboriginal rights, invasion, colonisation, the Stolen Generation, assimilation, social justice and racism.

The course material includes a slide from CNN, with the title “Our World Today’’, linking climate change to aggression and violent behaviour, depression and anxiety, farmer suicide and forced migration.

Thousands of students skipped school on Friday to march in “School Strikes 4 Climate’’ protests in Brisbane, Darwin and Melbourne.

One protester brandished a misspelt placard declaring “I’M MAD AND DISSAPOINTED”.

Two of Australia’s most eminent scientists – Nobel laureate and Australian National University vice-chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt and former chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel – this week criticised the poor levels of literacy and numeracy among school students and called for greater focus on schools teaching the basics of English and mathematics.

One-third of school students failed to meet the minimum standards for reading, writing and numeracy in this year’s NAPLAN (National Assessment Program, Literacy and Numeracy) tests, with students twice as likely to fail than to excel in the tests.

But many teachers are struggling with literacy and numeracy themselves, as universities fill their teaching degrees with lectures on social justice.

The federal Education Department revealed on Tuesday that many teachers fresh from university feel their degrees failed to prepare them for classroom teaching.

“A lot of students talked about the need to have more practical on-the-job training as part of the course and some suggested something along the lines of an apprenticeship model,’’ said Lisa Bolton, director of research and strategy for the department’s Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching survey of university graduates.

“They wanted to know more about classroom behaviour management, dealing with parents and dealing with students with particular learning needs.

“They said the placement was too short, the course was too theoretical and even a bit outdated. A few had made comments about wanting the lecturers to have more recent teaching experience in schools.’’

One University of Canberra final-year student told The Australian the education degree was “teaching us to indoctrinate students’’. “It teaches about gender diversity and critical race theory rather than drilling down on the fundamental skills so we can be really effective teachers ourselves,’’ the student said.

“I’m pretty irritated by all the politically correct and woke stuff. “We could learn more in a school classroom than in the university … and save ourselves and the taxpayer a lot of money.’’

At the University of Canberra, a lecturer’s slide about “postmodernist writing’’ includes a rambling and incomprehensible 92-word sentence: “The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power.’’

A University of Canberra spokeswoman said the student’s complaints “do not accurately represent’’ the quality and content of its degree. She said trainee teachers were given practicum placements in schools, ranging from a week in the first year to 30 days in the fourth year of study.

“Taken together, all units of study that focus on a key learning area of the Australian Curriculum – mathematics, English, science etc – represent approximately 50 per cent of the total units studied by students in an undergraduate course of initial teacher education,’’ the spokeswoman said.

“The other half of the courses focuses on educational and developmental psychology, classroom and behaviour management, the use of data to improve learning, designing learning for diversity and inclusion, and the development of a professional identity well-informed by policy, theory, appropriate sources of professional learning and codes of conduct and practice.’’

Federal, state and territory education ministers have given universities until the start of 2025 to update their degrees to focus more on classroom management, children’s brain development and the teaching of phonics-based reading and writing, as well as mathematics.

The detail of what is taught in existing university degrees is kept secret: universities must submit course content to state and territory teaching accreditation bodies for approval, but most only publish a broad outline on their websites.

The Australian sought the universities’ course materials from the Queensland College of Teachers but was told they could not be released “for privacy reasons’’.

The University of Queensland’s website shows that teaching students spend the first six weeks of their degree learning about “sociological ideas and concepts needed for understanding the complexities of schooling and the social processes that often go on within them”. “We delve into the history of knowledge production in sociology, and explore the need to decolonise, expand and diversify what we know about schools and the processes that go on in them,’’ it states.

Students are assessed, in part, on a 10-minute verbal presentation explaining concepts such as “decolonising knowledge’’, the “myth of meritocracy” and “deficit discourses’’. Another lecture is about “expanding notions of sex, gender and sexuality’’.

At Victoria University, the very first subject in its teaching degree aims to “develop understanding for the cultures, histories and languages of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and to use this knowledge in the promotion of reconciliation”.

The teaching of science, maths and reading is not covered until the second year, and students must wait until the final year of their four-year degree to specialise in subjects such as biology and humanities, or to integrate the use of digital technologies in lessons.

Charles Sturt University’s course handbook for its Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary) has a list of 11 outcomes for its graduates.

The top priority is for graduates to be “agents of change’’’.

“Graduates from this course will teach for social justice and equity,’’ it states. The fifth priority is that “graduates from this course will teach for student learning’’.

At the University of Adelaide, an introduction to Australian history “treats the development of Australian society to the present through the lenses of Aboriginal deep time history; convicts and colonialism; war and conflict; migration and multiculturalism; landscape and the environment, and; the development of democratic institutions”.

Despite 13 years at school and four at university, 7 per cent of the 20,000 final-year trainee teachers failed to pass the mandatory literacy and numeracy test in 2021.

The Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students was set up as a guardrail to keep poorly trained teachers out of classrooms.

The test includes questions that could be answered by primary school students, such as correcting a spelling error or answering: “This year a teacher spent $383.30 on stationery. Last year the teacher spent $257.85 on stationery. How much more did the teacher spend this year than last year?’’


The DEI Racket Transformed Our Colleges, Universities. But Tide Could Be Turning

College campuses have been dominated by the Left for generations. That’s hardly news to anyone. But a recent news report sheds light on how higher education has been transformed from a general haven of left-wing ideology into an engine of radicalism and revolution in the name of DEI: diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The lengthy report in The New York Times, of all places, highlights how the use of DEI statements essentially has allowed schools to create ideological loyalty oaths for new faculty. These tests aren’t being applied only in humanities departments, they’re the norm in science departments and all others too.

California—upholding its reputation for being at the cutting edge of anti-civilizational lunacy and tyranny—has predictably gone all in on the diversity, equity, and inclusion regime. Fealty to DEI dogma has become practically mandatory at all levels of higher education.

The Times notes that the faculty senate at the University of California, San Francisco urged professors to apply an “anti-oppression and anti-racism” lens to their coursework. On its website, UCLA’s public affairs school pledged to “decolonize the curriculum and pedagogy.” And the faculty senate of California Community Colleges instructed teachers on their duty to “lift the veil of white supremacy” and “colonialism.”

“Professions of fealty to DEI ideology are so ubiquitous as to be meaningless,” Daniel Sargent, a professor of history and public policy at the University of California, Berkeley, told the Times. “We are institutionalizing a performative dishonesty.”

It’s not just that school administrators enforce a pervasive, left-wing culture on campus. That’s been happening for generations. These schools also are hiring with strict DEI-style parameters, to the near total exclusion of merit.

In one study, according to the Times, researchers found that at Berkeley “a faculty committee rejected 75% of applicants in life sciences and environmental sciences and management purely on diversity statements.”

It seems this may have been a racial test too. From the Times’ report:

Latino candidates constituted 13% of applicants and 59% of finalists. Asian and Asian-American applicants constituted 26% of applicants and 19% of finalists. Fifty-four percent of applicants were white and 14% made it to the final stage. Black candidates made up 3% of applicants and 9% of finalists.

That makes sense, given what’s in the diversity statements. Many schools, including Berkeley, publicly post their standards online. Among the answers that will produce a low score is saying that you will “treat everyone the same.”

To get the highest scores, you need to be explicitly racial in thinking and demonstrate that you’ve not only participated in or will participate in campus DEI programs but will be actively leading new initiatives.

What’s clear is that these schools aren’t focused simply on weeding out conservatives. People anywhere vaguely on the Right clearly don’t have a ghost of a chance of getting through the application process. No, these schools are about finding active, devoted leaders of social justice causes.

If you aren’t a DEI revolutionary, schools don’t want you to teach about science or engineering or anything else at their institution.

Remember, when the Left says “believe the science,” what it’s really saying is “believe the left-wing activist with institutional backing next to his/her/zir name.”

Unfortunately, what started in California didn’t stay in California, as many schools around the country copied the Golden State model.

Among the methods schools use to promote DEI goals is what John Sailer, a fellow at the National Association of Scholars, called “cluster hiring.” Universities hire applicants in bulk, using DEI statements to weed out most unwanted applicants.

Sailer noted how in 2021, Vanderbilt University’s Department of Psychology undertook a cluster hire that “eliminated approximately 85% of its candidates based solely on diversity statements.”

The federal government exacerbates this problem.

“The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has allocated $241 million in grant money for cluster hires at universities around the country—with the condition that every search committee must require and heavily weigh diversity statements,” Sailer wrote.

The DEI racket is a national phenomenon, but this bleak environment includes signs that change may be coming.

It seems that some school systems are reconsidering their DEI litmus tests. For instance, Georgia’s public university system eliminated DEI requirements in July. It put out a statement saying that hiring decisions should be “free of ideological tests, affirmations, and oaths.”

I’d like to ascribe this change to a genuine change of heart, but it’s telling that this policy shift came right after the Supreme Court’s ruling that racial preferences in college admissions are unlawful.

It goes to show how much of a game-changer that decision is. Schools now have reason to be concerned about lawsuits from applicants claiming discrimination.

Creating ideological litmus tests that appear to discriminate and actually tell faculty that not discriminating is bad surely won’t help the cause of colleges and universities.

This small retreat won’t exactly fix what ails higher education in America, but it does represent an opening for a recalibration.

Larger change will happen when more schools return to a classical learning model and jettison the DEI regime altogether. That seems unlikely to happen without outside pressure.

But outside pressure is building as institutional trust declines. If more states reject the California model, a genuine new birth of freedom in education may not be so far-fetched as it seemed just a few years ago.




Tuesday, September 19, 2023

‘School Choice for Me but Not for Thee’: New Report Reveals Backroom Deals Between Teachers Unions and Louisiana Schools

A new report published by the Pelican Institute, a Louisiana think tank, reveals a series of detrimental, hypocritical, and possibly illegal deals brokered between teachers unions and several public school systems—including clauses giving teachers who have kids school choice opportunities that other parents can’t access.

Six Louisiana school systems and two New Orleans charter schools annually broker bargaining agreements between Louisiana teachers unions and the school system, regulating school policy and teacher behavior. These collective bargaining agreements, like most around the country, are made in secret.

The Pelican Institute has just released several findings from these secret collective bargaining agreements. These agreements, made on behalf of teachers whether they are in the union or not, restrict what teachers and administrators can do to determine how the school operates and only allow teachers to leave the union during a specific window.

Four parishes in Louisiana have brokered collective bargaining agreements with teachers unions that provide the unions exclusive time during the year to recruit new members—specifically during faculty meetings and new teacher orientation. Additionally, the Pelican Institute found that unions were given exclusive access to distribute literature and use the schools’ email systems.

In St. Tammany Parish, the brokered collective bargaining agreement not only gives the union access to teachers’ time, space, and resources—but forbids any outside organization from using teachers’ time or accessing school space and resources.

No third party, other than the teachers union, is allowed to “distribute literature, place messages on the email system, have presentation time at orientation, use school facilities, or post messages on a school bulletin board.”

St. Tammany Parish also agrees to give the unions an annual list of new faculty for targeted recruitment.

These collective bargaining agreements also forbid teachers who are a part of the union from leaving the union except during a “very narrow window” each year. In St. John Parish, teachers may only resign from the union from the beginning of the academic year to Sept. 1. In Vermilion Parish, teachers are limited to resigning from the union from the beginning of the academic year to Aug. 1. St. Bernard Parish teachers only have “the first 10 working days of school” to leave the union, and St. Tammany Parish only allows teachers to leave the union in July.

If teachers don’t resign during those incredibly small windows, they will be fined another year of dues. According to Louisiana State Superintendent Cade Brumley, that can range from $200 to well over $600 per year.

This may not be entirely legal. In Janus vs. AFSCME (2018), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that unions may not force employees to retain membership or pay dues. Courts have struck down these “resignation windows” in states like Michigan.

Sarah Harbison, author of the Pelican Institute report, told The Daily Signal that she’s looking for a Louisiana teacher who would be interested in suing the union over forcing what she called the “unconstitutional drop window” requirement.

The Pelican Institute’s most damning discovery involves a form of school choice for teachers with kids that is not available to other parents in two school districts.

Under current Louisiana state law, Louisiana families are only allowed to move their children from “a failing school to a higher performing public school,” severely limiting school choice and parental preference. In the collective bargaining agreements for St. Bernard and Vermilion parishes, however, teachers are granted the opportunity to “select a different school that fits their children,” including non-public schools.

Why is that particularly damning?

A bill to expand school choice in Louisiana via education savings accounts would have extended funding for all parents to send their students to a school of their choice. Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, however, vetoed the measure twice. Both the Louisiana Federation of Teachers (the state affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers) and the Louisiana Association of Educators (the state affiliate of the National Education Association) repeatedly endorsed him.

The unions also lobby consistently and passionately against expanding to parents the same school choice opportunities that their St. Bernard and Vermilion Parish members enjoy. The Pelican Institute report dubs this policy “School Choice for Me but Not for Thee.”

Harbison told The Daily Signal that she believed these contracts further illustrate the unions’ dedication to themselves, not children:

Schools exist for the sake of kids, not for the sake of unions. Instead of unions focusing on serving their own ends, we should all focus on how to make education better for our children—and that means ensuring that every kid gets a school that fits.

The Pelican Institute has proposed eight recommendations for the Louisiana Legislature to ensure teachers unions aren’t brokering backroom deals with parishes at the expense and against the wishes of Louisiana teachers, parents, and students:


Donald Trump Pledges to Champion Homeschool Families

Former President Donald Trump pledged Thursday to champion American homeschoolers if he should again become president in 2025.

“As president, it was my honor to support America’s homeschool families—and to protect the God-given right of every parent to be the steward of their children’s education,” Trump said in a new Agenda47 video released on social media and Rumble. “Since the China virus, America has seen an estimated 30% increase in homeschool enrollment.”

“When I am reelected, I will do everything I can to support parents who make the courageous choice of homeschool,” he emphasized. “Under the Trump tax cuts, we allowed families to use 529 education savings accounts to spend up to $10,000 a year tax-free on tuition for grades K through 12. This was a tremendous win for school choice—very important, school choice, remember that term—and yet, that benefit did not apply to homeschoolers.”

In his next term, Trump pledged, he will fight to “allow homeschool parents the same incredible benefits—$10,000 a year per child, completely tax-free—to spend on costs associated with homeschool education.”

“I will also work to ensure that every homeschool family is entitled to full access to the benefits available to non-homeschool students—including participating in athletic programs, clubs, after-school activities, educational trips, and more,” the former president said. “To every homeschool family, I will be your champion.”

Trump closed his message by urging homeschooling parents not to vote Democrat, warning that “they are looking to destroy you.”

Many American families began homeschooling their children during the COVID-19 pandemic due to shutdowns and the discovery of ideological, racial, and sexual content in schools. But data shows that post-pandemic, homeschooling is still on the rise.

Research from the Household Pulse Survey found that as of May 2023, 5.4% of American students are homeschooled, 9.6% attend private school, and 85% go to public school. Pre-pandemic, the Reason Foundation reports, 2.8% of American students were being homeschooled.

Research published by the Urban Institute found that in states that require homeschooling to be reported (21 states and Washington, D.C.), homeschool enrollment increased by 30% between the 2019 to 2020 and 2021 to 2022 school years. Pennsylvania (53%), Florida (43%), and New York (65%) saw “particularly large” increases in homeschool enrollment, the Urban Institute found.

“Notably, this dramatic increase reflects enrollment during the second full school year under the pandemic, when most schools returned to in-person instruction,” the Urban Institute report said. “These data indicate that the early homeschooling increase documented by a US Census Bureau survey persisted into the 2021–22 school year.”

Trump enjoys a large lead in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, with 56% in the RealClearPolitics polling average, leading the second- and third-place candidates, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (13%) and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy (6.6%), by a wide margin.


New College of Florida is right to abolish gender studies

Predictable accusations have greeted the announcement by Manhattan Institute fellow Chris Rufo, trustee of the New College of Florida, that the college is abolishing its gender studies program in a move designed, he wrote, to ‘begin rolling back the encroachment of gender ideology and queer theory on its academic offerings’.

Earlier this month, Rufo explained in City Journal that cancelling the program is part of the university’s renewed commitment to ‘revive classical liberal education and restore the founding mission of the college’.

In response, 36 professors opposed to the plan have either left the college on their own initiative or been dismissed, and critics have been quick to paint the gender studies decision as an attack on academic freedom. They say that it will transform New College of Florida into a know-nothing institution in which critical thinking and open-minded exploration will be walled out of the school.

One might have thought that with close to four thousand degree-granting post-secondary institutions in the United States, the gender warriors might have let a single institution minimise its gender offerings. But feminist ideologues never sleep, and their rhetoric around New College of Florida has moved immediately into DEFCON 2 territory.

As he publicly announced his resignation from the school, Nicholas Clarkson, a transgender man and the school’s only full-time professor of gender studies, branded all of Florida as ‘the state where learning goes to die’ proclaiming his refusal to remain ‘in an environment characterise by censorship, refusal of accountability, blatant disregard for students’ well-being, and consistent denigration of both my work and my personhood’.

The President of the National Women’s Studies Association said that controversy over gender studies was ‘a struggle for the heart and soul of this nation’ and claimed:

‘If we let them win this battle, they will never stop attacking us, threatening us and intimidating us.’

Reading these melodramatic accusations, one might conclude that it is highly unusual for university programs to be scaled back or disbanded. But in fact, it happens all the time, usually without so much drama. Universities continually make decisions about their emphasis, programming, and public image in order to secure funding and attract students. Individual departments and programs do the same, justifying their course requirements, defending their budgets and hiring needs.

Often cuts are made to courses and programs that were once at the core of a classical education. As a faculty member at the University of Saskatchewan and University of Ottawa, I was often saddened to see traditional programs diluted of content and rigour in the name of (alleged) relevance or faculty/student interest. At the University of Ottawa, the Classics department was folded in with Religious Studies to create what seemed a mishmash of courses and options, some focusing on ancient languages and culture, some covering modern world religious, including Amerindian and Inuit traditions, and even a special offering on non-religion.

The description of the department’s offerings states that the programs’ ‘11 full-time professors specialise in a wide range of fields that occasionally interlock, though for most day-to-day purposes […] operate independently’.

In other words, two small groups of scholars, unable to represent all major dimensions of their separate disciplines, must make peace with fragmentation and incoherence. I can’t say for sure that secularism and progressivism played any role in the reduction of the two programs, but given that neither lends itself readily to intersectional feminist orthodoxies, it seems possible. A few years ago, Princeton decided to abolish the Latin and Greek language requirements for its Classics major over concerns about ‘systemic racism’.

The obvious difference between a program in Classics and one in gender studies is that it is extremely difficult to learn ancient languages and history without the guidance of trained specialists. Nearly anyone with access to social media can figure out gender studies.

But what about the claim that gender studies should be a part of any true classical liberal education?

This is the argument made by Marcie Bianco, feminist author of Breaking Free: The Lie of Equality and the Feminist Fight for Freedom, which argues, according to the author’s blurb, that, ‘…equality is a racist, patriarchal ideal that perpetuates women’s systemic oppression.’ In an opinion piece for MSNBC New College of Florida’s attack on gender studies gets ‘classical liberal arts’ all wrong, Bianco claims that gender studies embodies the true essence of a liberal arts education in opposition to the theocratic mental enslavement sought by a right-wing agenda.

Bianco detects a religious agenda in Rufo’s reference to the classical pursuit of ‘the true, the good, and the beautiful’. Though she admits that Rufo never mentions Christianity in his announcement, she notes that because Christian Neoplatonists defined God as ‘truth, goodness and beauty’, that counts as a ‘direct allusion’ to a not-so-secret plan to smuggle in ‘doctrinal Christianity’ under the guise of the liberal arts. Bianco’s observation might be slightly more persuasive if so many non-Christians hadn’t used the phrase ‘the true, the good, and the beautiful’ over the years (for a detailed genealogy, see John Levi Martin’s 50-page analysis).

Bianco wants her readers at MSNBC to believe that gender studies is under attack precisely because, as a bastion of truth-seeking and critical interrogation, it stands against the ‘ignorance’ that Ruffo conservative associates favour. Gender studies, she explains, ‘…is simply the rigorous examination of how arguably the human dynamic and social and political roles of gender have acquired meaning and shaped humanity and our institutions for centuries across cultures.’

As to the content of gender studies and why it matters to a classical liberal education, Bianco can only attest that it is ‘the epitome of learning’, which is ‘to ask questions, to examine, to be critical and think critically’. She assures us that it is ‘the polar opposite of the ideological indoctrination that conservatives seek’.

Unfortunately for those of us who like the sound of ‘rigorous examination’ and ‘critical’ thinking, they are perceived by some fans of gender theory to be merely code for a series of hermetic claims about hegemony, language, power, and systemic oppression that brooks no opposition. Try standing up in a gender studies course to argue that we do not live in a rape culture, and see how many instructors applaud your critical thinking. Try arguing that biology, not ‘discourse’, is the primary driver of gender roles. Try arguing that gender dysphoria is a disorder that should be treated as such, not augmented with hormone blockers and surgery. Try arguing that white men do not have privilege as white men, and that in fact, they experience systemic discrimination in North America. Any such critical thinking will not be welcomed.

A liberal arts education, by contrast, encourages questioning because it pushes no specific iron-law ideology; rather, it examines ‘the best that has been thought and said’, as Matthew Arnold put it, and draws rich content from the greatest thinkers in history. Unlike the fly-by-night trendiness of gender ideology, a classically liberal education is founded on the tradition of Great Books – from the ancient Greeks to the Founding Fathers, from (in the English literary tradition) Beowulf to Virginia Woolf. Long-standing classics of philosophy, art, literature, and political thought are taught, as much as possible, without ideological distortion, presented in their particular contexts and carefully read (not blithely dismissed or acclaimed) so that students can grasp their enduring significance. Once their meaning is grasped, students are encouraged to question, judge, compare, and criticise.

Gender studies has never done anything like this. It has been judged from the beginning in ignorance and rage, without proportion and without rational argument or sound evidence. It has pushed lies as truth (see, for example, Christina Hoff Sommers’ debunking of fundamental falsehoods about women’s experience in Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women), denying biology and history.

From its earliest incarnations, gender studies have promoted preposterous contentions about Woman as Other (Simone De Beauvoir), the suburban family as a comfortable concentration camp (Betty Friedan), the social construction of gender (Kate Millett), women as Playboy Bunnies (Gloria Steinem), the female eunuch (Germaine Greer), honourable man-hating (Robin Morgan), rape culture (Susan Brownmiller) gynocide (Mary Daly), compulsory heterosexuality (Adrienne Rich), white privilege (Peggy McIntosh), intersectionality (Kimberlé Crenshaw), family abolition (Sophie Lewis), gender as performance (Judith Butler) and the difficulty of distinguishing rape from normal sex (Catharine MacKinnon), to name only a few. Its purpose was never to encourage critical thought, let alone disagreement or resistance.

Marinating in the impenetrable jargon and the gaseous outrage of victim politics, students learn almost nothing of substance except to hate their society and to embrace the utopian necessity of its destruction.

While deploring New College of Florida’s alleged gender bigotry, critics have also pointed out (somewhat paradoxically) that the move is hollow: gender studies at the college was an interdisciplinary program, meaning that it had only one full-time faculty member and primarily drew on courses taught by academics working in various established departments, many of whom (despite the culling) still work on gender and intersectional theory in their disciplines.

But far from detracting from the significance of what the college has done, this reality suggests the depth of the rot gender studies has brought to academic departments, a rot that has now spread throughout the arts, humanities, and social sciences, even into many faculties of business, journalism, law, and medical science, as research is corrupted by social and political advocacy. It will not be easy to reform the universities. Still, New College’s decision to abolish an avowedly radical, anti-family, and anti-social program is good in itself and sends a good signal: dispassionate research, the genuine pursuit of truth, and the transmission of the Western heritage are in; facile isms, intersectional victimology, and overt indoctrination are out. As the (feminist) slogan goes: Never retract, never explain, never apologize: Get the thing done and let them howl.




Monday, September 18, 2023

Another CA School District Will Protect Parents’ Rights in Education

On Thursday, another California school district passed a new policy to protect parents’ rights and notify them if their child requests to be identified as a gender other than their biological sex at school.

According to KCRA, the Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District Board of Trustees passed the policy unanimously after two hours of public comment this week.

"Dry Creek is committed to working with parents and guardians, community, and educational partners in efforts that continue to promote a safe, welcoming and inclusive school environment for all students," the school district said in a statement. "As a District, we believe communication and honesty between students and families is profoundly important, and we encourage families to speak about sensitive and important matters."

Cara Hytoff, a mother in the district, told the outlet: “We really want parents to be notified of very important mental and health things that are going on with their students and we feel that teachers keeping secrets is not good for kids. It's not good for families. It's not good for teachers.”

School districts in California have recently been a battleground over transgender parental notification policies. Townhall previously reported how Chino Valley Unified School District moved forward with a policy of their own in July, prompting other nearby districts, like Orange Unified, to do the same.

Shortly after, Townhall reported how Democrat California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed a lawsuit against the school district over the policy. And, a San Bernardino County Superior judge ruled that the Chino Valley Unified School District cannot enforce a new policy.

Earlier this month, another California school district paid $100,000 to settle a lawsuit after a mother, Jessica Konen, claimed that district supported her child’s gender transition and kept it a secret from her.


Yale University student Saifullah Khan acquitted of rape SUES his accuser for defamation after Connecticut Supreme court ruling clears the way

A former Yale student who was expelled by the university after being accused of sexual assault is suing one of his accusers for defamation - and is demanding $110million in damages from the school after not being able to get his degree.

Expelled in 2019, Saifullah Khan, 30, filed the suit more than four years ago - 20 months after after he was acquitted of raping a female student on Halloween night in 2015, but deemed 'responsible' for the act by the school months later.

The case has since slowly grinded through the Connecticut courts, culminating in a recent ruling this past June where jurists said the then 21-year-old woman is not immune from a defamation lawsuit, while not commenting on the merits of such a case.

Khan - a member of the class of 2016 who had his undergraduate studies upended over the claims - was found not guilty of the alleged rape in a court of law.

Following his exoneration - which came at the height of America's #MeToo movement - Khan was readmitted as a full-time student in 2018, but was subject to protests from the student body along the way, the suit claims.

Barely a month later, another student - one of Khan’s chief supporters during the trial and a former romantic partner - came forward to claim Khan slapped him during consensual threesome in DC in June of 2018.

Aired in an interview with the school newspaper, those claims led to Khan being again suspended - and eventually expelled in January 2019 after the school ruled that he was 'responsible' for the other unproven act even without a conviction.

The ruling came more than three years after the alleged assault was first reported, and made way for Khan's new suit, now given the greenlight.

It demands $110 million in damages on the basis that the school violated his rights throughout the investigation process, particularly a federal law that governs how universities should handle sexual assault hearings called Title IX.

The aforementioned damages attributed to the obstruction of his degree completion, reputational harm, and breach of his right to privacy, the suit states - along with alleged instances of emotional distress.

The filing describes in-depth how Khan was arrested in November 2015 for the alleged rape ahead of his trial, which, initially slated for 2017, was postponed after Yale Police failed to provide the defense with interviews from prospective witnesses.

Before providing Khan's version of what happened, lawyers wrote how the Afghani neuroscience student, who began attending Yale in 2012, was expected to graduate 'with a Yale baccalaureate,' and 'was on the cusp of a world filled with promise.


Empty shelves, desolate minds: Canada’s ‘equity book-weeding’

At least in previous centuries a trail of smoke loitered in the air after the censors were done burning books. The smell of information dying could not be escaped, nor could the haze be hidden.

In the digital era, information is deleted and edited by millions of invisible hands. Entire works of fiction are rewritten by publishing houses given custody of their survival, while historical records are misplaced if they invalidate the ‘current thing’. One wonders how much we have lost in the last 5 years…

These are dangerous times for knowledge.

Libraries are one of the few places where censorship can be seen in the flesh. Housing real books, their absence is conspicuous. This became the topic of conversation last week when parents in Canada were startled by a half-empty library in an Ontario school.

In a brazen fit of superior wisdom, books published before 2008 were removed to ensure the library remained ‘inclusive’.

Call me crazy, but it’s pretty ‘exclusive’ to cut down the history of human thought to the last 15-odd years of unremarkable publications.

Try to name of a great work published after 2008. No? That is probably because civilisation has been saturated by propaganda rather than talent. You are more likely to find illustrated rainbow pornography in the children’s section than a book on mathematics.

Described by staff at the school as ‘equity book-weeding’, parents fear it has left the library devoid of knowledge.

Historians would sell every organ in their body to magically recreate the lost libraries of Alexandria. The point of knowledge is to hoard it. That is what made civilisation smarter. The written word is a key indicator of success, as oral traditions are not enough to preserve knowledge. It is too easily lost, corrupted, forgotten, or misremembered.

Civilisations without written texts failed to progress at the speed of their peers in the ancient world. Our historical kin understood this, which is why they built and revered libraries. Would Cleopatra have authorised the weeding out of dusty scrolls? As for our so-called modern civilisation, if it keeps deleting things it will suffer from amnesia.

The libraries of Alexandria were destroyed in stages, with a final record found in 642 AD after being captured by the Islamic forces of Amr ibn al-As. The destruction of the remaining scrolls was ordered by Caliph Omar who is said to have reasoned, ‘If those books are in agreement with the Quran, we have no need of them; and if these are opposed to the Quran, destroy them.’ It is a sentiment re-emerging within the jealous and inferior ideology of progressive thought.

In Canada, dismayed by the savage weeding, the Ontario Education Minister asked the school to stop chucking out books.

‘Ontario is committed to ensuring that the addition of new books better reflects the rich diversity of our communities. It is offensive, illogical, and counter-intuitive to remove books from years past that educate students on Canada’s history, antisemitism, or celebrated literary classics,’ said the Minister.

Oh well… At least the library’s books are donated and end up in the hands of someone who might learn something. No chance. According to CBC, ‘When it comes to disposing of the books that are weeded, the board documents say the resources are “causing harm”, either as a health hazard because of the condition of the book or because “they are not inclusive, culturally responsive, relevant, or accurate”. For those reasons, the documents say the books cannot be donated as “they are not suitable for any learners”.’ This has since been rectified.

Christopher Hitchens once asked in his famous lecture on free speech, ‘Who would you trust to make the decision about what you are allowed to read?’ The answer appears to be something along the lines of politically sensitive school boards and the education bureaucracy.

While it is unsurprising that such directives exist in 2023’s schooling environment, what is surprising is the silent obedience of those who carry out these orders.

The ‘weeding’ has since been described as a ‘miscommunication’. Would this slight backtrack have happened without the public outrage? Almost certainly not. Social media is increasingly being used to hold institutions to account.

Later, the board explained its focus on ‘safe’ and ‘inclusive’ material that is ‘culturally appropriate’ and viewed through the ‘right lens’. Which, as the rest of the world has been trying to explain, is the entire problem. This kind of political curation of a library is the opposite of diversity.

When asked if the board would replace the books which were thrown out, they said only that the shelves needed to be filled swiftly. Even when asked if Anne Frank’s diary would be returned, the answer was something about ‘if relevant to student learning about history’ which is a far cry from, ‘Of course – we are so sorry – that will never happen again – I am going to go out and buy that myself and personally put it on the shelf.’

It was only later, after a few train wreck interviews, that the following statement was released:

‘To be clear, books such as The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and the Harry Potter series remain in our collections, and where needed, newer versions may be purchased if the book is in poor condition.’

Why was that so hard to say?

The idea of an ‘equity lens’ is a disturbing turn of events. ‘Equity’ is a cursed word of the modern era that deliberately represses and discriminates on account of historical revenge. It does not lead to an equal society, but a society built on aggressive political narratives tailored to fit the personal ideology of those at the top of the bureaucracy.

Sadly, this topic may be largely academic. Education statistics in the West – particularly for Australia – demonstrate that the only ‘inclusive’ item is the collective deterioration in children’s reading skills. Since so many of the great Western classics were ditched in favour of ‘culturally appropriate’ works written in the last 20-odd years, education has fallen off a cliff. It’s almost as if old books were better at expanding the minds of our children than the vast majority of what most of us call ‘useless Woke crap’ which has become the staple of our education system.

A good book can change a child’s life and set them on a path of learning – but give them a library full of tedious, political drivel written by Chat GPT and you’ll end up with a generation that places zero value in its history.

Or perhaps that’s the point?




Sunday, September 17, 2023

PragerU Is Now in Schools. Teacher Unions Are Fuming

For more than a decade, we at PragerU have been dedicated to helping America’s next generation live and think better by producing pro-America educational content that doesn’t just reach billions of people each and every year, but also changes hearts and changes minds.

And now, with our recently announced partnerships with the states of Florida, Texas, and Oklahoma, PragerU is now in schools.

Last month, Florida approved PragerU as an educational vendor in the state, allowing teachers throughout Florida to use PragerU materials directly in their classrooms without any fear of reprimand or reprisal.

Immediately, the Left devolved into a tailspin. Joy Reid of MSNBC labeled us a “racist” organization. California Gov. Gavin Newsom derided us as “propaganda.” And if this isn’t just the icing on the cake, NBC accused us of perpetuating “indoctrination by cartoon,” referring to our animated series “Leo and Layla’s History Adventures” and our financial literacy series “Cash Course.”

And this tailspin shows little indication of ending anytime soon, especially in light of Texas’ decision to approve PragerU as a vendor and Oklahoma’s decision last week to join the fray as well.

With all of the Left’s recent outrage, I’ll admit, it has left me pondering: Since when did the Left give a darn about indoctrination?

Since when did they hold signs outside of school board meetings—like they did in New Hampshire as the State Board of Education deliberated on a proposal to allow PragerU’s financial literacy videos and lesson plans to be counted for course credit for high school students—that read “Education NOT Indoctrination”?

And since when was financial literacy “indoctrination”? Since when did the word “indoctrination” even exist in the vernacular of the Left and the deep-pocketed union bosses they’re beholden to?

I’m still struggling to answer that one.

Because if the Left really cared about indoctrination—and I’m placing a lot of emphasis here on the really—where were their protests when critical race theory seeped into America’s schools, casting white children as oppressors, black children as victims, and America as a perpetual villain?

Where were the Left’s condemnations when a California high school teacher forced her students to watch a “Pride” video during math class and threatened punishment if they didn’t comply? It was a video so inappropriate that one student asked in a video that has since gone viral, “Why are you showing this to kids?”

The answers to these questions are simple: Never and nowhere to be found. Because, to answer my earlier question, the Left doesn’t actually care about indoctrination.

What they have a problem with is competition. For decades, the Left has been allowed unfettered and unmitigated access to America’s classrooms and, by extension, to the hearts and minds of America’s children.

With little (if any) challenge, they have been allowed to promote dangerous and false ideas, from the notion that America is a systemically racist country whose history is defined by little more than slavery to nonsensical fallacies that portray gender as no more than a social construct or an antiquity of the past.

The Left isn’t lashing out at PragerU because they’re concerned about “indoctrination.” They’re lashing out because they’re concerned that their monopoly on the psyche of America’s young people might finally be coming to an end, and because as PragerU enters more and more classrooms throughout the country, they fear that America’s children might finally (and much to their chagrin) hear the other side to the one-sided agenda they have long perpetuated.

But do you know what the irony in all of this is? While the Left has never shied away from injecting politics into the classroom, that has never been the goal of PragerU.

Our goal has been—and will always be—to simply inject truth. Nothing more, nothing less.


Harvard's woke student newspaper claims limiting applicants to 200-words penalizes students from 'marginalized backgrounds'

Harvard's student newspaper has claimed that a new admissions test is racist and discriminatory, because the 200-word limit for the essays do not give applicant from 'non-traditional backgrounds' enough space to explain themselves.

The Crimson this week, run by Cara Chang, published an op-ed written by its editorial board.

They argued that replacing the previous one optional open-ended essay and two optional short essays with five compulsory 200-word segments was discriminatory.

'Shortening the essays has a disparate impact that falls heaviest on those from marginalized backgrounds,' the board writes.

'Learning to package yourself within a shorter amount of space is a product of advanced education; longer essays more equitably allow applicants to discuss their experiences in full, particularly if they are from non-traditional backgrounds and require more space to elaborate on nuanced qualifications.'

By contrast, the authors argue, 'longer essays more equitably allow applicants to discuss their experiences in full, particularly if they are from non-traditional backgrounds and require more space to elaborate on nuanced qualifications.'

They argue that 'trauma dumping' is acceptable, describing it as 'explaining how past life experiences have shaped who you are'.

'Those who have undergone traumatic experiences should not have to fear that writing about the experiences that shaped them looks like a beg for admission,' they state.

The board adds that some of the questions are also flawed.

The authors point to the question: 'Briefly describe an intellectual experience that was important to you.'

They write: 'This question seemingly privileges applicants from well-resourced backgrounds for whom additional academic opportunities were plentiful in high school.'

Two members of the Harvard editorial board, Ruby J.J. Huang and Joshua Ochieng, disagreed with their colleagues and co-wrote a dissenting op-ed.

Huang and Ochieng argue that the new five short essays actually make Harvard more accessible.

'The new five prompts ask applicants to talk about different aspects of themselves, from their intellectual interests, extracurriculars, and family responsibilities to their life experiences,' they write.

'These prompts give clear guidance on what Harvard wants to know about its applicants.

'For a student with limited experience in writing an application, the prompts assuage the burden of trying to determine the aspects of their life that are of interest to Harvard.'

And they argue that it is an over-simplification to say that shorter essays are harder to craft.

'Writing is an idiosyncratic process that, dependent on a myriad of factors, will require different skills from different people,' they state.

'For some, brevity may be necessary to get the point across, while for others, a little elaboration may drive the point home.'

The discussion came following the June decision by the Supreme Court to end affirmative action in college applications - seen by supporters as one of the key achievements of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

As a result, universities can no longer consider applicants' race or ethnicity as they seek to correct long-standing inequalities resulting from America's segregationist past, with the aim of boosting black, Hispanic and Native American enrollment.

Universities are now wrestling with how to make their student body more diverse, within the law.


College Lacrosse Coach Ousted From Position After Speaking Up Against Male Athletes Competing Against Women

Far-Left Oberlin at work again

After speaking out against biological men competing in women's sports, Oberlin College’s head women’s lacrosse coach was “reassigned” to a desk job. (Photo: Wirestock/Getty Images)
Oberlin College’s head women’s lacrosse coach, Kim Russell, has been “reassigned” to a desk job after she spoke out against allowing biological men to compete in women’s sports, the Independent Women’s Forum reported.

Russell shared a post on social media praising Emma Weyant as the “real winner” when Weyant placed second after transgender athlete Lia Thomas during the 500-yard freestyle at the 2022 NCAA women’s swimming championship.

Two weeks after the Independent Women’s Forum released a documentary about Oberlin’s response to her post, the college has given her a new role as an “Employee Wellness Project Manager,” where she will have virtually no contact with students, according to the Independent Women’s Forum.

“I have been taken out of the role of coach, which is what I’ve done for 27 years,” Russell told Fox News Tuesday on “America’s Newsroom.” “I’ve been a P.E. teacher, a coach, and a teacher of programs of wellness, yoga, all sorts of things, kickboxing … and [have been] asked to take a role as employee wellness program manager, which would have no contact with students and be creating things—which is paperwork.”

Russell alleged in August that she was “burned at the stake” by the college for standing up for women’s rights in athletics, and that administrators and students had repeatedly attacked her for her personal opinions on biological men competing in women’s sports. Russell deplored the current state of women’s rights in the United States and said that the newer generations of women do not appreciate what older women fought for, according to the Independent Women’s Forum.

“I am so passionate about this because the reason we have these opportunities to play and coach and to do the things we do is because of the women who came before me, who fought for Title IX, who fought for us to have these opportunities,” Russell told Fox News. “And I don’t think that the younger generation even understands that these opportunities weren’t here years ago.”

“Hearing Kim Russell is no longer allowed to interact with students is so disappointing,” Paula Scanlan, a former teammate of Thomas and a spokeswoman for the Independent Women’s Forum, told the Independent Women’s Forum. “It’s unbelievable that saying women’s sports are for females only would lead Oberlin College to take such an extreme step—it’s a reprimand and punishment.”

Russell and Oberlin College did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.