Thursday, October 05, 2023

School Districts With DEI Officers See Worse Black, Hispanic Learning Loss and Secretive Transgender Policies

Administrators focused on diversity, equity and inclusion have ballooned in public school districts across the country, but their presence doesn’t translate to educational improvement for black and Hispanic students, nor to the inclusion of parents in decisions about their kids’ health and well-being.

According to a new report from The Heritage Foundation, the percentage of large school districts with a chief diversity officer rose from 39% to 48% from 2021 to 2023, while school districts with a chief diversity officer experienced a decline in minority student performance and a greater likelihood of secretive transgender policies. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)

“Taxpayers provided $190 billion in extra funding to schools so that they could prevent learning loss during the pandemic,” Jay Greene, a senior research fellow at Heritage’s Center for Education Policy, told The Daily Signal. “Schools then decided to use a bunch of that money to hire chief diversity officers, who actually exacerbated learning loss among black and Hispanic students, rather than prevent it.”

“We found that black and Hispanic students in districts that had hired chief diversity officers lost an additional 4.5 percentile points on their math achievement tests relative to districts that did not have a chief diversity officer,” he added.

“While chief diversity officers were academically counterproductive, they appear to have accomplished ideological goals,” Greene noted. “In particular, we found that school districts with chief diversity officers were significantly more likely to have adopted policies to keep gender transition secret from parents by withholding information about their own children changing names, pronouns, or bathroom use.”

The report, “Equity Elementary Extended: The Growth and Effects of ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’ Staff in Public Schools,” provided first exclusively to The Daily Signal, analyzes the 555 school districts across the U.S. with enrollments of at least 15,000 students. The report identifies which school districts employ a chief diversity officer or an administrator with an equivalent title and role, and compares those districts with data from the Educational Opportunity Project at Stanford University showing how well students performed in standardized math tests.

It also compares those districts with a list of school districts with policies requiring that information about students’ changes in names, pronouns, or bathroom usage remain secret from parents. The parental rights group Parents Defending Education maintains that list.

Of the 555 school districts with at least 15,000 students, 265 (or 48%) employed a chief diversity officer as of August. In 2021, only 214 (39%) of those school districts employed such an officer. While 13 school districts appeared to have eliminated this kind of DEI officer, 64 districts had hired one.

In school districts that employed a DEI officer, black students were 4.5 percentile points more likely to have lower math scores between 2019 and 2022. This represents about a third of the average learning loss in math for all students in this time. Even when taking the math learning loss of white students into account, the black students’ learning loss still translates to 2.7 percentile points, according to the report.

Hispanic students in a school district with a DEI officer fared even worse, according to the report. Between 2019 and 2022, these students experienced a learning loss of 4.8 percentile points worse than students in districts without a DEI officer. Adjusting for the change in white achievement in those same districts shrinks the number to 3.2 percentile points.

In other words, at least according to math scores measured by the Educational Opportunity Project at Stanford University, the employment of DEI officers correlates with larger racial performance gaps between white students and black and Hispanic students.

Yet DEI officers also translated to a higher likelihood of policies keeping parents in the dark when their children claim to “identify” as transgender, the study also finds.

Forty percent of school districts with a chief diversity officer had policies directing teachers and staff not to notify parents if their children claim to identify as a gender opposite their biological sex at school, while only 17.2% of districts without a chief diversity officer had such policies.

Even narrowing the comparison to districts within the same states, a district with a DEI officer is 15.7% more likely to have a gender-secrets policy than non-DEI districts in the same state, the study finds. Some states have banned such policies, so an analysis of districts within each state helps illustrate the facts on the ground. The impact of larger, liberal states such as California does not account for the greater likelihood of DEI districts having a gender-secrets policy.

DEI staffs also dominate universities, and that trend may trickle down to K-12 schools.

A previous Heritage Foundation report measured the size of DEI bureaucracies at the 65 universities that in 2021 were members of one of the Power 5 athletic conferences (the Big Ten, the Big 12, the Pac-12, the Southeastern Conference, and the Atlantic Coast Conference), finding that the average university listed more than 45 people as having formal responsibility for promoting DEI goals.

DEI staff outnumbered professors at the average university’s history department (by a factor of 1.4 to 1). The average university had 3.4 employees working to promote DEI for every 100 tenured or tenure-track faculty members.

The more recent study suggests that the growing impact of diversity, equity, and inclusion officers translates to less racial equality and the exclusion of parents from decisions about their own children. The study urges parents, school districts, and state legislators to reexamine the effectiveness of chief diversity officers and consider eliminating their roles in public schools.


‘Groundbreaking Legal Victory’: Court Rules School Cannot Trans Kids Without Parental Consent

A Waukesha County Circuit Court ruled Tuesday in favor of Wisconsin parents, deciding that a Wisconsin school district “abrogated” parents’ rights when it decided to socially “affirm” their daughter as a transgender boy against their wishes.

Represented by Alliance Defending Freedom and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, two sets of Wisconsin parents had sued Kettle Moraine School District, accusing the district of violating their parental rights by “adopting a policy to allow, facilitate, and affirm a minor student’s request to transition to a different gender identity at school without parental consent and even over the parents’ objection.”

Circuit Court Judge Michael Maxwell granted the parents’ motion for summary judgment Monday, ruling on the merits of the case without a trial. His ruling and order, which the clerk filed Tuesday, said that the case dealt with “whether a school district can supplant a parent’s right to control the healthcare and medical decisions for their children.”

“The well established case law in that regard is clear,” he ruled. “Kettle Moraine can not.”

The judge concluded: “The current policy of handling these issues on a case-by-case basis without either notifying the parents or by disregarding the parents’ wishes is not permissible and violates fundamental parental rights.”

Maxwell ruled in favor of the parents and issued an order preventing Kettle Moraine School District from “allowing or requiring staff to refer to students using a name or pronouns at odds with the student’s biological sex, while at school, without express parental consent.”

The parents’ lawsuit, filed in the Waukesha County Circuit Court in November 2021, alleged that Kettle Moraine School District violated the constitutionally protected rights of one set of parents when it allegedly pushed their 12-year-old daughter toward a significant life decision she was not prepared to make by socially affirming her claimed gender identity against her parents’ wishes.

Another set of parents mentioned in the suit expressed concerns that the district would push their two children toward gender transition in the same fashion.

“I am so grateful the Court has found that this policy harms children and undermines the rights of parents to direct the upbringing of their children,” Tammy, the mother of one of the children named in the lawsuit, told The Daily Signal. (She asked that her last name be withheld to protect the family’s privacy.)

“Our daughter experienced increased anxiety and depression and her school responded to this by disregarding our parental guidance,” she explained. “Since leaving the school and allowing our daughter time to work through her mental health concerns, she has been able to healthily thrive and grow. Parents should be concerned when school districts disregard their concerns and override the voice and role of parents.”

That 12-year-old girl began experiencing “rapid onset gender dysphoria” as well as “significant anxiety and depression” in December 2020, attorneys from ADF and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty said in a May 2021 letter to members of the school district.

Her parents temporarily withdrew her from Kettle Moraine Middle School so she could attend a mental health center and process what was going on, but the center allegedly affirmed to her that she was actually a boy and encouraged her to transition. So in early January, according to the letter, she told her parents that she wanted to use a boy name and boy pronouns at school.

The girl’s parents decided that “immediately transitioning would not be in their daughter’s best interest,” the letter said, and they told their daughter that they wanted her to explore the cause of her feelings before taking such a significant step. They also asked the staff at the school to continue using her legal name and female pronouns.

“But the District refused to honor their request,” the attorneys wrote, and the parents “were told that, pursuant to District policy, school staff would be required to address their daughter using a male name and pronouns if that’s what she wanted.”

The parents then had no choice but to withdraw her from the school district and to distance her from the mental health center and therapist she had been seeing, the letter said, “concerned that daily affirmation of a male identity could harm their daughter.”

Kettle Moraine School District did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Signal. But the parents’ legal teams hailed the news as a “groundbreaking legal victory” for parental rights.

“This victory represents a major win for parental rights,” Luke Berg, Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty deputy counsel, said in a statement Tuesday. “The court confirmed that parents, not educators or school faculty, have the right to decide whether a social transition is in their own child’s best interests. The decision should be a warning to the many districts across the country with similar policies to exclude parents from gender transitions at school.”

Kate Anderson, director of the ADF Center for Parental Rights, emphasized that “parents’ rights to direct the upbringing and education of their children is one of the most basic constitutional rights every parent holds dear.”


College Admissions Officers Use Pronouns to Give Preferences to Liberals

Why are so many of our institutions captured by people on the fringes of the cultural Left? Two new books, one by Christopher Rufo and another by Richard Hanania, offer comprehensive answers to that question.

But a recent study by two economists at West Virginia University provides a microcosmic example of how cultural leftists keep a grip on their power in universities: They discriminate in favor of their own.

No, this isn’t a study about suppressing conservative speech on campuses. This sort of discrimination is much more subtle.

The study, “Gender Identity and Access to Higher Education,” found that college admissions counselors give preferential treatment to emails from people with pronouns in their signature lines.

The authors of the study sent emails to college admissions counselors at 500 randomly selected colleges and universities in the United States. Some of the emails included pronouns in the signature line—“he/him,” “she/her,” or “xe/xem.”

Those who did received responses 4% more often than those who did not.

There was no statistical difference in the speed of replies or in the number of words included in a reply, which suggested that “the decision was whether to respond, and [pronouns] did not affect the eagerness to respond.” But admissions officers’ responses to pronoun users tended to be different than to non-users.

Responses to pronoun users were “more positive” and “friendlier,” including “heightened use of exclamation marks and emojis.” Admissions officers used exclamation marks 10.5% more often with pronoun users and used emojis 141.7% more often with pronoun users.

Pronoun non-users tended to receive “strictly factual replies.”

What follows are some representative examples of the trend. The economists sent an identical email asking about the timing and delivery of decision letters to three admissions officers. The first two emails included pronouns, the third did not.

Here are the responses:

Hi Morgan, Thanks for your message! The first item we will mail to you is your admission decision. It will be sent electronically and if admitted, also through the mail. Will you have moved by February?

Hi Morgan, How long until you move? We will send an admissions email and then a physical packet in the mail within about 3 weeks from them [sic] so it will depend on that as most communication from WVU will be via email. Warm regards,
I would say you should use whichever one you want to get your mail sent to because we’ll mail your acceptance letter, scholarship certificate, and financial aid package to that address.

It was noteworthy that the economists did not find a preference for nonbinary people (represented by “xe/xem” pronouns), but rather a fairly uniform preference for anyone who uses pronouns.

Thus, the economists concluded that the data suggest “that agents of higher education institutions hold a preference for progressively minded individuals.”

The institutions most likely to discriminate tend to be medium to large, based in cities, and have low retention rates and a large proportion of students receiving need-based financial aid.

The economists note that by giving pronoun users preferential treatment, admissions counselors make it easier for those applicants to gain admission.

In economic parlance, they “decrease the transaction costs” of the application process. Admissions officers’ preferential treatment also has the effect of promoting their institutions to pronoun users above others.

If you follow this logic one step further, the end result is that pronoun users will have an easier time getting through the application process and will tend to feel more welcome at a school than non-users will.

It may be a small effect in the grand scheme of things, but it’s only one small effect among thousands of similar effects. And just as thousands of raindrops will fill a bucket, thousands of little discriminations will fill a university with the preferred sort of student.




Wednesday, October 04, 2023

Students being placed into advanced math classes based off standardized test scores, not grades

DALLAS (AP) — When Tha Cung looked over his sixth-grade class schedule, he took notice of the math block. He had been placed in an advanced class.

“I didn’t know ‘honors’ even existed,” he said.

Tha was little when his family immigrated from Myanmar and, for much of his time in Dallas schools, he took courses designed for children who are learning English. In fifth grade, his standardized test scores showed he was a strong math student — someone who should be challenged with honors classes in middle school.

Under the Dallas school system’s policy, Tha’s parents didn’t need to sign him up for advanced math. A teacher or counselor didn’t have to recommend him, either. In many schools, those are the hoops a student must get through to join honors classes. But Tha was automatically placed in the advanced course because of his scores on Texas’ STAAR test.

A version of this approach will soon be replicated statewide as part of an effort to remove barriers that can stand between bright students and rigorous courses. Instead of having families opt in to advanced math, they are instead given the choice to opt out

A new Texas law calls for every student who performs in the top 40% on a fifth-grade math assessment to be enrolled automatically in advanced math for sixth grade.

The rollout could provide lessons for other states. Leaders across the country are confronting the need to prepare a new, diverse generation of workers in science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. Heightening the alarm: Students nationally have been struggling to bounce back from widespread learning loss in math.

Before the pandemic, Black and Hispanic students in Texas were routinely left out of advanced classes — even if they earned high test scores, according to research by the E3 Alliance, an Austin-based education collaborative that advocated for the law.

Enrolling in advanced math in sixth grade clears the way for a student to take Algebra I in eighth grade. That leads to courses such as calculus and statistics during high school. And that can set a foundation for a STEM major in college and a high-paying career.

Advocates for the new policy say it’s a workforce issue in addition to an equity issue.

“Especially in today’s rapidly changing and technology-driven economy, math matters more than ever — for individual students and for the larger Texas workforce to remain competitive,” said Jonathan Feinstein, a state director at The Education Trust, a national nonprofit promoting equity.

One recent morning at Sam Tasby Middle School, dozens of students in Room 304 were calculating the area of parallelograms and trapezoids. One of them, Alexis Grant, 11, thinks her year in sixth-grade honors math will pave the way for achieving one of her goals: studying at Harvard.

“I knew it would be challenging,” Alexis said of her math class. “We push each other to get the work done.”

More Dallas students have been enrolling in advanced math, and the classrooms have been more diverse.

In 2018, prior to the opt-out policy, about 17% of Black students in sixth grade and one-third of Hispanic students were in honors math, compared to half of white students. Now, 43% of Black students are in honors math when they enter middle school and nearly six in 10 Hispanic students are. The percentage of white sixth graders in honors math has also gone up, to roughly 82%.


Student Loan Repayments Begin Again

Student loan deferment has come to an end. The U.S. Supreme Court in late June overturned President Joe Biden’s executive bribe and, as of Sunday, October 1, those who had not been paying their student loans all along need to resume paying their debts.

Many took advantage of the COVID-era deferment that should have ended two and a half years ago when people were able to go back to work. But the freeze on student loan payments continued, and President Biden led people further down the path of financial burden by promising to forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt for millions of borrowers.

Biden and even then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi knew that he didn’t have the executive power to forgive that debt, but he tried to do it anyway. Not having to pay student loans during the pandemic acted as a carrot in front of voters who saw loan forgiveness as a way out of a financial hole. Team Biden used those borrowers’ plight to apply pressure on the rest of the government to allow his overreach to stand.

Borrowers got used to not having to account for that student loan deficit in their monthly budgets. They could afford more things and have taken on other debt that they now can’t afford. Adding to the hurt of that renewed financial burden is a terrible economy, bad inflation, and rising interest rates. One does feel sad for them, but at the same time, they made a bet and lost. The twofold bet was that Biden would be able to get away with an unconstitutional act and that the rest of America would be okay with using their tax dollars to cover the cost.

Politically, the blame is thrown at the Republicans’ feet, but as Politico reports, this reversal of student loan forgiveness has been part of the Democrat calculus for a while. As much as Politico tries to paint it as Democrat benevolence in terms of programs to help with repayments, the important political point is buried in the happy talk. Realistically, it’s been a lost revenue stream for the government since the loan repayments stopped. However, the trade-off of that renewed revenue stream will mean a more bearish economy since borrowers are going to have to slow spending on goods and services as a result.

Duping millions of people into going along with their harebrained student loan forgiveness scheme is bad, but it’s only a symptom, and it’s not the actual source of the problem.

The advocates for student loan forgiveness, though wrong on just about every point, are right about a college education being too expensive for the average American. Why do colleges and universities charge so much for higher education? Our Nate Jackson has written about this at length, but between government subsidies, too much unnecessary staff (read: DEI diversity hires), and imprudent spending, the price of a college education is unsustainable. Many people who aren’t of the elite class are going to choose other options than college.

Part of the impetus that spurred on the whole student loan forgiveness scheme came from the ideologically driven premise that college debt hurts students of color more than other students. However, this premise is part of the problem. Racism is not to blame for college debt; rather, it’s the pushing of the need for college diversity on students who can’t achieve academically and yet have incurred college debt.

The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh recently did an interview with Heather Mac Donald, academic and author of When Race Trumps Merit. Mac Donald addresses the inherent problems with identity politics in college. When merit is replaced by an oppression hierarchy, people who aren’t ready or aren’t able to handle the academic rigor of becoming a doctor or engineer are then funneled into programs that are a waste of their time and money, such as gender or racial studies, which are not exactly financially responsible paths for future careers. Even overpaid DEI professors are culled once their positions fall out of favor.

Democrats have used COVID, systemic racism, and the economy as an excuse to lure borrowers into a false sense of financial security. They will try to spin it as the Republicans’ fault, but the reality is that the Democrats placed power, ideology, and potential votes over the financial well-being of their constituents. It won’t end until feckless spenders are booted out of office and the American public becomes financially literate and perhaps even opts out of the college racket.


Johnny Can’t Spell G-A-Y

You just thought you could get away from Pride Month, which was back in June. The Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald laments that leftists just won’t quit.

It has been almost 90 days since Gay Pride month. According to the Los Angeles Unified School District, that is too long a hiatus from the imperative of immersing young children in the arcana of gay and trans identity. So throughout the week of October 9, many elementary school classrooms in Los Angeles will celebrate “National Coming Out Day,” which falls on October 11.

October is itself LGBTQ+ History Month, the Los Angeles Unified School District bureaucracy has reminded what it calls the district’s “fabulous educators.” Other LGBTQ+ programming will take place throughout October, picking up where Gay Pride month left off. The goals for the so-called Week of Action are ambitious: to turn six-year-olds into budding gender and critical race theorists.

Mac Donald goes on to detail various indoctrination lessons — everything from rainbow colors all over the place to more insidious things like an “Identity Map” for kids to chart their experiences and learning The Narrative about Jazz Jennings, the gender confused boy whose mother is exploiting him for her own gain. Mac Donald highlights plenty more outrageous grooming, but she adds this context:

In 2022, 61 percent of third-graders in the Los Angeles Unified School District did not meet California’s watered-down, equity-driven standard for English. Children not reading by third grade will fall further and further behind in school, since they will be ill-prepared to absorb ever more complex academic content across a range of fields.

In 2022, 59 percent of third-graders failed to meet the state’s already-low standard for math competency. Over 76 percent of LAUSD eighth-graders did not meet math standards. Eighth-grade math is a make-or-break point, after which poorly performing students become ever less likely to master the skills necessary for STEM careers or admission to selective schools.

On top of that, she says, the learning loss during COVID was appalling.

But even if fluency in LGBTQ-speak is a school’s primary concern, how will third-graders parse the words “gender expression” and “sex assigned at birth,” much less fathom their meanings, if they can’t do basic third-grade reading? How will third-graders perform the arithmetical calculations necessary to track the ever-increasing number of LGBTQ categories served up by the LAUSD, without third-grade math skills?

Remedying Los Angeles’s ongoing educational failure should be the district’s sole focus. There is barely enough time in the school year to make up for the home deficits that the majority of students bring to school. The district should excise from the curriculum everything not related to academic knowledge and core academic skills.

Regarding the grooming culture, she concludes:

Advocates justify premature gay and trans indoctrination on the ground that it is necessary to prevent harm to trans youth. Their ultimate blackmail is the threat that without such indoctrination (and without “gender affirming care”) trans adolescents will commit suicide. But if “trans” adolescents have higher rates of claimed mental illness and distress, that distress is more likely the cause of their trans and nonbinary identities than the result of the social rejection of those alleged identities.

The number of trans-identifying students is rising exponentially, leading to majorities in the student bodies of the most progressive schools. This rise is without any historical precedent. It is proof of social contagion, not of a preexisting biological reality. …

Los Angeles’s kindergartners know nothing about sex, much less about its recent artificial mutations, other than what the activists are cramming down their throats. If this is not grooming, it is hard to know what is.




Tuesday, October 03, 2023

GMU’s President Gets It Wrong: DEI Has Overtaken His School

Does having a bevy of officers who push race, sex, and LGBT victim/oppressor theories on university students enhance or detract from their learning?

This is the question that George Mason University’s president, Gregory Washington, never addresses in his unusually public criticism of our report for The Heritage Foundation on the extravagant “diversity, equity, and inclusion” bureaucracies he oversees at GMU. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s news outlet.)

Instead, Washington claims that we overcount the resources his school dedicates to diversity, equity, and inclusion, or DEI, and argues that he actually isn’t 100% all in on DEI—just mostly all in.

Even if he were correct about the numbers (and we explain below why he isn’t), the burden is squarely on GMU’s president to justify why spending on divisive programs that breed anxiety and resentment among students should be anything other than zero.

Washington was so concerned by our exposé that he emailed all 40,000 GMU students Tuesday afternoon with an attempted rebuttal. But Washington doth protest too much, and we stand behind our findings.

We start by noting that Washington fails to acknowledge that GMU endorses one-sided and extreme ideological content as evidenced on the university’s own websites, including pages urging students to sign petitions in support of passage of specific legislation, vote for certain kinds of politicians, and donate to advocacy organizations with radical agendas.

As our report pointed out, George Mason University hosts a “Black Lives Matter” website that endorses racially discriminatory behavior. It is inappropriate, we said, for a university funded by taxpayers of all political persuasions to ask for donations to such causes as defunding the police or diminishing the family, particularly at a time when American cities are gripped by a horrendous crime wave that can be directly traced to family destruction.

Washington’s silence on all this speaks volumes. We equally take his studied attempt to downplay any support of DEI itself as a testament to the toxicity surrounding these practices.

Therefore, again, we remain curious to know whether, as GMU’s president, Washington believes that taking political positions such as this with university resources is an appropriate role for a public university.

And if Washington believes it is, we would like to know why GMU selected these pieces of legislation and these politicians and advocacy organizations for endorsement and not others.

Now, in response to Washington’s three stated concerns with our report:

1. Number of DEI staff at GMU: Washington no longer insists that George Mason University only has 17 DEI employees, as he did in an email to all faculty Friday evening. But he does allege that “the report grossly overstates the number of DEI staff at 69.”

We published 20 of GMU’s DEI job titles in our report and publicly posted all 69 on Saturday evening. Even after that, Washington continues to claim that we came up with more than three times too many DEI personnel by including outdated positions, double-counting positions, counting faculty who didn’t have DEI bureaucracy roles, and including “an overwhelming number of part-time student positions.”

We took all 69 job titles from GMU websites and publicly posted links to where these titles may be found. We also have 65 unique names that we did not post, out of respect for privacy. But we would be happy to share those names with Washington if he is unable to identify all of those working to promote DEI at the university he runs.

Four names are repeated because they were listed on different websites with different roles that might have been filled by someone else and not yet updated on the websites. Some of the 69 individuals also may hold faculty positions, but all of them had roles and job titles as part of DEI bureaucracies.

Our definition of DEI staff in the study excluded faculty members whose responsibilities were focused on the core university responsibilities of teaching and research. However, we clearly included student interns in DEI roles as part of our definition of DEI staff.

Only 17 of the 69 positions are held by GMU graduate or undergraduate students, not “an overwhelming number,” as Washington alleges.

These students are properly included in our count. GMU itself seems to believe the contributions of these students are significant, since its own websites list the students under the heading “staff” or “professionals.”

If Washington continues to insist that the correct number of DEI positions at GMU is “less than a third” of the 69 we listed, we would like him to publicly post all the job titles of those he believes should be counted, along with links to where their positions may be found.

We also expect that this list of fewer than 23 DEI job titles (which Washington must have in his coat pocket) would include those with specific responsibilities to serve veterans, students with disabilities, international students, low-income students, students who are parents, first-generation students, and those from many religious traditions.

We include none of them in our list of 69, but they do fall within the expansive definition of diversity, equity, and inclusion that Washington offered in his email to faculty Friday evening.

We note in passing that veteran heroes generally chafe at being included on lists of victims or “oppressed” groups.

2. Indexing DEI staff to tenured/tenure-track faculty: Washington also objects to our comparison of the size of each Virginia university’s DEI bureaucracy to the number of tenure-track and tenured faculty at the school to gauge which institution has the largest DEI bloat.

The reason we focus on tenure-track faculty is simple—it represents the magnitude of each university’s commitment to employing long-term staff to fulfill the core responsibilities of teaching and research. The more a university devotes resources to those promoting DEI rather than serving these core responsibilities, the more wasteful the institution is.

Washington’s argument that George Mason University has an especially large number of adjunct and temporary instructors who contribute far less to research and mentoring of students isn’t the point that most university presidents would choose to highlight. His argument also doesn’t demonstrate GMU’s commitment to its core responsibilities as opposed to promoting DEI.

One doesn’t usually find words such as “Leading the nation in the number of temporary teachers!” in the text of universities’ promotional brochures.

3. Including GMU with Power 5 schools: Washington objects to our comparing the size of his DEI bureaucracy to those found in universities that belong to one of the Power 5 athletic conferences.

In 2021, we chose to collect information on the size of DEI bureaucracies at the 65 universities that at the time were members of one of the Power 5 conferences. We described the reasons for selecting those universities for examination:

The focus was on these universities because they tend to be large, public institutions chosen by many students simply because of geographic proximity. These universities tend not to be highly selective institutions with explicit DEI missions intended to attract ideologically aligned students. Instead, Power 5 universities tend to be mainstream institutions that students select—and state legislatures support—without much thought to their political and cultural aims. … These 65 universities serve over 2.2 million students, representing about 16% of all students enrolled in four-year universities, thereby presenting a broad picture of higher education.

When we expanded our data to highlight the size of DEI bureaucracies in Virginia’s public universities, we included GMU because it met all these criteria.

“George Mason University belongs to the Atlantic 10 Conference, which is not among the Power 5,” Washington observed. That is relevant to GMU’s share of sports broadcasting revenue, but is not disqualifying for our purposes.

We are pleased that Washington says he still would like to meet to discuss these issues further. He offers to give us “an orientation” on diversity, equity, and inclusion. If this DEI orientation is anything like what GMU freshmen have to endure, though, we’ll pass.

If, instead, Washington is open to having a real discussion in a public forum about how much and what kind of DEI content is sponsored by George Mason University, we’re happy to join that debate, receipts in hand.


Australia: The disability commission was split on special schools. Some with lived experience want them closed

Some disablement is pretty severe. Where are you going to put them? Putting them into mainstream schools will require a lot of teacher attention and hamper the education of other students

Disability Royal Commissioner Dr Rhonda Galbally said governments should give significant weight to her own and two colleagues’ lived experience with disabilities when deciding whether to back their call for all special schools to be shut within 30 years, after the commission split over the future of segregated education.

The division among the six commissioners about the future of special schools was a key feature of the landmark 12-volume final report of the Disability Royal Commission, with a three-three split among the experts leaving governments without a clear authority on the issue and facing a choice about the best way forward.

In an interview following the public release of the report on Friday, Galbally acknowledged that the lack of consensus on segregated education had diluted the commission’s influence on the matter, as she stressed that the three commissioners urging the closure of special schools had direct experience with disabilities.

“But on the other hand, the two commissioners with disability are recommending this and the other commissioner who is recommending it is a parent of a grown woman with a disability,” Galbally, a former board member of the National Disability Insurance Agency, said.

“I think governments will give really significant weight to lived experience, to the expertise of people with disabilities. I think that will really be very weighty for them.”

Over the course of the 4½-year commission – which cost $600 million and received evidence from more than 9000 people with disabilities, their families, carers and advocates – no dedicated public hearings were held on special schools.

Hinting at friction among the commissioners on this issue, Galbally said this aspect was “very disappointing”, adding: “some of us raised it many times and would have wished it was different.”

Galbally and commissioner Alastair McEwin, who both live with a disability, joined with commissioner Barbara Bennett in recommending that no new special schools be built from 2025 and that all existing schools be closed by 2051. Bennett’s daughter was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at 12 years old.

In a joint position, they concluded that “segregated education stems from, and contributes to, the devaluing of people with disability” and the continued maintenance of segregation in education settings was “incompatible” with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

But their position diverged with that advocated by the commission’s chair, Ronald Sackville, and commissioners John Ryan and Andrea Mason, who found that separate settings did not need to – and should not – involve people with a disability being isolated from their peers or the general community. They recommended a range of measures aimed at ensuring there was regular interaction between students at special schools and those at mainstream schools.

But Galbally said this approach risked being tokenistic and would not drive the attitude change needed for people with disabilities to be seen as equal to able-bodied people.

“Students having contact that’s not gritty and day-to-day and in the process of doing what one does at school, which is learning and playing, it can become a little token,” Galbally said.

She said it was clear that the dual system of education was “failing” children with disabilities, pointing to modelling done by the commission.

“If you go to a special school, you’re 85 per cent more likely to end up in a sheltered workshop and with very limited living options as an adult,” Galbally said.

The three commissioners’ proposal to phase out special schools was welcomed by peak body Children and Young People with Disability Australia, and Down Syndrome Australia, but they also expressed disappointment at the long timeline to 2051.

Galbally said that she understood the dismay from those groups, but said it was driven by a need to ensure there was as much consensus as possible and encourage governments to embrace it.

“If governments feel they could do this sooner, that would be really great. We were aware that out of all the settings we’ve addressed … this schooling one is the one governments would probably find most difficult and so it was an attempt to really try and allow them time to get this done,” she said.

However, some experts have questioned the feasibility of closing all non-mainstream schools and removing choice for parents, while others say the lack of unanimity from the royal commission could erode the political will and substantial funding commitments required to overhaul the education sector to remove segregation.

Former NDIS board member Martin Lavery, chief executive of one of Australia’s largest charitable providers, said he was “really concerned that the royal commission has outlined a destination that we as a society haven’t yet grappled with how to pay for”.

“If we see the end of special schools too, the end of group homes too suddenly, and supported employment being turned off too suddenly, our society hasn’t yet got the mechanism to meet those costs,” he said.

Laverty said the taskforce established by the federal government in response to the commission’s findings needed to hear the message that segregation must end, and determine the “pace at which the taxpayer, the families, the charitable organisations, but most importantly, the people with disabilities want that transition to occur.”


The niche, elitist research of universities: a waste of money

Each year more than $12 billion disappears into the abyss vaguely described as ‘research and development’ in the higher education sector. By way of return on this ‘investment’, there has been a steady flow of research projects demonstrating an unhealthy fixation on the niche, the ideological, and the political.

Hardworking Australians would be justified in asking where their money goes and who oversees its dispersal.

The allocation of grant largesse is decided by the team of bureaucrats at the Australian Research Council (ARC). The fate of the intellectual culture of our nation rests in their hands.

Yet, research released by the Institute of Public Affairs in 2019 confirmed the extent to which university grants are focused on class, race, and gender and just how much Australians are paying for it. The IPA report Humanities in Crisis: An Audit of Taxpayer-funded ARC Grants found the ARC had distributed $1.34 billion in funding to humanities research between 2002 and 2019. The dominance of identity politics in successful grant applications raises questions about the objectivity of the allocation process.

The ARC claims its mission is ‘to grow knowledge and innovation’ for the benefit of the Australian community. However, the audit found that ‘identity politics’ and ‘Indigenous history’ were the two most common themes in successful grant applications. In contrast, the ‘rule of law’ and ‘free speech’ were among the least common themes. This more than suggests that post-modernist themes are being promoted at the expense of the values, culture and history of Western Civilisation.

In fact, tertiary research that fails to pay tribute to postmodern thought is disadvantaged on two fronts. Not only is it less likely to secure a grant, but it is further undermined by the funded postmodern research which attacks rather than promotes Western thought.

When the IPA first released its research there was a justified outcry, but the caravan moved on quickly and to this day taxpayers continue to receive a very poor return on their money.

One of the most glaring examples is that of the Sydney Environment Institute’s (SEI) 2024 collaborative grants. From calculating the carbon footprint of medical procedures to interrogating the environmental narrative around the Botany Wetlands, SEI grants highlight the decline of research into a process of propaganda production.

The first grant tackles the theme ‘environmental justices’ which is part of the SEI’s broader goal to ‘reconceptualise justice’ itself. ‘What would justice across the human-more-than-human world look like and entail?’ SEI researchers ask. It must be ‘sufficiently capacious’ to accommodate ‘climate change, Indigenous rights, resource depletion, and industrial farming.’ This leads them to conclude, conveniently, that the solution to injustice is more collaboration between academics like themselves, artists and activists.

A second grant examines the theme of ‘biocultural diversities’ which focuses on finding ‘inclusive solutions’ to issues like biodiversity loss and social inequality. ‘This theme champions and values biological and cultural diversities by elevating Indigenous knowledges and exploring diverse ways of engaging with our living world,’ SEI researchers explain. ‘We aim to better understand and cultivate appreciation for diverse human and non-human lives, knowledges and cultures.’

A third grant falls under the theme of ‘climate disaster and adaptation’. SEI researchers note that ‘communities and ecosystems are increasingly threatened, disrupted, and displaced’. They continue: ‘Mitigation and resilience are no longer sufficient and new climate realities require adaptation, and radical shifts in how diverse communities respond to disasters.’

These research themes raise a few important questions. First, in the case of ‘environmental justices’ has the SEI manufactured a problem and then a solution? If justice is not reconceptualised, the problems they discovered disappear rather quickly. Second, why does the ‘biocultural diversities’ theme emphasise ‘Indigenous knowledges’? Is there a hidden political agenda at play here? Third, why does the SEI’s description of ‘climate disaster and adaption’ use language like ‘radical shift’ and ‘disaster’? The apocalyptic language and sense of urgency evoked does not appear to suit the tone of a research institute.

According to the SEI, based at Sydney University, its research addresses ‘some of the greatest challenges of our time’. However, designing a ‘carbon footprint calculator’ or the ‘implications for justice’ linked to mangroves would be considered a top priority by very few.

These vanity projects highlight the gulf between mainstream Australians and those individuals who hold positions of power in governments and the tertiary sector. Ultimately, the millions spent on research and development each year do little to serve the public interest.

Mainstream Australians have every right to ask why they should fund projects which, far from benefiting society, are designed to undermine the values, principles and knowledge that made the West as free, prosperous and successful as it has been.

What is more, Australian universities are established by government legislation, built on public property and largely backed by government grants and state-subsidised loans. Consequently, universities are effectively public institutions dependent upon and, therefore responsible to, taxpayers.

Finally, IPA research reveals a two-fold problem. Firstly, with the prioritisation of certain research themes in the grant allocation process. Secondly, with the flow-on effects on researchers who are likely aware there is a higher chance of being awarded a grant if they focus on issues of class, race and gender. The evident bias represents a profound problem for the integrity of tertiary research in Australia.

It is clear the system requires comprehensive reform. With the future of higher education hanging in the balance, mainstream Australians need to exert pressure on politicians to demand more from universities, and to hold them to a higher standard and deliver research that benefits us all.




University professor cancelled by students sets up a 'faculty for common sense' at rival institution to fight wokeness

Leaving a well-paid tenured position is a bit edgy but I understand his position. I did the same, resigning from the Univerity of NSW in 1983 at age 39. I just did not feel at ease being among Marxists. They were civil to me but I regarded them as charlatans

An eminent professor cancelled by students at a top London university is launching a war on woke by founding a 'faculty for common sense' at a rival institution.

Professor Eric Kaufmann, 53, formerly head of Politics at Birkbeck, University of London is creating a Centre for Heterodox Social Science as a beacon of academic free speech at the University of Buckingham.

He hopes it will become a globally recognised centre for research into today's culture wars, examining woke attitudes to controversial subjects such as trans rights and critical race theory.

Professor Kaufmann's first course, 'Woke: the Origins, Dynamics and Implications of an Elite Ideology,' will be launched in January. A Masters degree will follow in September 2024. Both are the first of their kind in the world.

The move follows what he believes to be a five year campaign to oust him from Birkbeck for his right-leaning views on ethnicity, national identity, left wing ideology and religion. He quit at the end of August following a 20-year-career.

The professor says: 'I was cancelled by 1,000 cuts. Academia should be about the advancement of knowledge but you're not allowed to advance theories which go against the progressive narrative. If you have a different viewpoint, you're in the crosshairs.

'The climate at British universities has worsened because morally absolutist, often younger, illiberal progressives are using pressure, public reputational attacks and social media to limit academic freedom.

'It's a target rich environment. The woke left can make your life hell and they know it. You worry about saying the wrong thing in class so you make it vanilla. You worry about getting your research grant so you self censor.

'You've got to be in line with the orthodoxy, you can't deviate from dogma. It's an Orwellian threat to the enlightenment - free speech, equal treatment, due process, objective scientific truth.

'I believe this new woke ideology threatens the foundations of our civilisation. Every parent in the UK - and around the world - should be concerned at how far it has penetrated into our universities, schools and elite institutions.'

Today Professor Kaufmann, who is half Jewish, a quarter Chinese and a quarter Costa Rican, reveals details of how he was labelled a white supremacist and a racist apologist for holding views which he defines as 'liberal conservative'.

He has faced:

Social media pile ons, on Twitter, now X, organised by hostile students

An open letter to the Master of Birkbeck denouncing him and calling for him to be fired 'for his defence of white identity politics and his countless attacks against Black Lives Matter and other activists and scholars of colour on social media'

Denunciations from a junior colleague who resigned because of the 'impact on Birkbeck staff and students of being in such close proximity to his [Professor Kaufmann's] far right followers' dragging him into an embarrassing media storm

A number of hostile student course evaluations and letters, which he believes were a coordinated attack, resulting in three damaging internal inquiries

Being avoided by some of his colleagues who were desperate to avoid being cancelled by association

Today he's no longer part of Birkbeck's politics department which is housed in the Bloomsbury Group study rooms once graced by TS Eliot, George Bernard Shaw and John Maynard Keynes. Instead he's sitting in a smart London bar telling his story in the soft Canadian accent of his native country.

He says: 'I'm the kind of academic who doesn't want to see Roald Dahl's writing bowdlerised, traditional things renamed and statues taken down. I don't want conversations about immigration or homelessness and the causes of it simply shut down. But if that's you in 2023 - then you're radio active.'

As a conservative thinker he jokes that, at the start of his UK career back in the nineties he was 'in the closet'. 'I was careful to keep things at an abstract enough level, nothing too controversial. I ascended the university ladder. It went smoothly. It is a left wing environment - the jokes were all about the Tory party - so youinternalise the fact that conversation is not as free as it should be, but you adapt.

'However by 2022 when I was nailing my colours to the mast, becoming associated with conservatism, the academic freedom bill and the anti-woke movement, there's no question that I was a scalp.'

The academic freedom bill to which the professor is referring became law in May this year, aimed at protecting dissenting voices in Britain's higher education sector.

It included the appointment of a free speech and academic freedom champion to the board of the Office for Students; strengthened the right to free speech in universities and extended it to students' unions; and created a new complaints scheme for breaches, such as when a guest speaker is 'no-platformed' by opponents at a campus event.

Professor Kauffman co-authored the 2021 think tank report which was the source for several of its key proposals. 'yes, that bill which the University and College Union hate, and which radical students hate …' he shrugs.

Despite the protections offered by the new law, he decided he could not continue teaching at Birkbeck, relinquishing what he amiably agrees was a 'fireproof job for life, a tenured professorship, gold plated with a nice pension.'

From today his new - and far more precarious - academic home will be at the University of Buckingham, one of Britain's few not for profit private universities which is currently flying up the country's good university guides. It is the UK's top ranked university for freedom of expression, according to this year's National Student Survey


UK: Mobile phones are to be banned in schools

Mobiles are to be banned from classrooms, the Education Secretary will announce on Monday.

Gillian Keegan will order schools to outlaw smartphones during lessons, and also in breaks, in a bid to end disruption and make it easier for pupils to focus.

A government source said new guidance would be issued to schools across England requiring them to take action.

'Gillian believes that mobile phones pose a serious challenge in terms of distraction, disruptive behaviour, and bullying,' the insider said. 'It is one of the biggest issues that children and teachers have to grapple with so she will set out a way forward to empower teachers to ban mobiles from classrooms.'

Some schools already ban the use of mobiles, with pupils required to hand in their phones each morning – or face the punishment of a detention if they are caught using them.

But many others still permit their use, particularly during breaks, despite growing evidence of the damage they cause.

The announcement will be made on Monday at the Conservative Party's annual conference in Manchester,


UK: Former Education Secretary Michael Gove said some state schools are more like “teen crèches”.

After 13 years of Tory rule, the Cabinet minister admitted many pupils are being failed by the school system.

“Show me what those who really have money and influence do,” he told a fringe event at the Conservative conference. “Do they send their kids to, essentially, a teen crèche or do they send them to highly academic institutions with competitive team sports?”

Mr Gove said he believed that state schools should provide a more rigorous education. He gave the example of one academy that provides extracurricular activities like “putting on a play in ancient Greek or Latin”.

He highlighted how Jade Goody had chosen to send her children to private school, saying that “to her enormous credit” she used “celebrity in order to fashion a better life for herself”. “What did she do with her money? What was the first thing she chose to do? It was to send her children to independent schools. Now, she shouldn't have had to do that because the state school should have been good enough,” he said.

“But the whole point was she wanted the very, very best education for her children… She knew the type of education that was best, not private, but education that was academically rigorous. Education, where the subjects that are being taught would give her sons the chance - if they wanted - to go to the best universities.”




Sunday, October 01, 2023

School District Censored Watchdog Group After It Exposed Teacher’s Tirade Against Parental Rights

The person behind a popular X (formerly Twitter) account aimed at exposing leftist ideology in schools is threatening legal action after a Maryland school district that has become notorious for clamping down on parents restricted the account’s access to what courts have ruled constitutes a public forum.

Montgomery County Public Schools blocked the account, Inside the Classroom, days after Inside the Classroom had exposed a public school teacher who condemned the “right-wing idea of parents’ rights” as “literally just fascism.” The school district has fought in the courts to deny parents the right to opt their kids out of lessons that include LGBTQ+ books.

America First Legal, a public interest law firm that represents Inside the Classroom, sent a demand letter to the school district on Tuesday, threatening legal action if the district does not restore Inside the Classroom’s access to the district’s account.

“It isn’t enough that Montgomery County Public Schools has been trampling all over parental rights,” Ian Prior, senior adviser at America First Legal, told The Daily Signal. “Now, MCPS teachers are taking to social media to bash parents as ‘fascist’ for daring to protect their children from the radical and abusive transgender agenda.”

“Then, MCPS hits the trifecta of bad judgment and violates the First Amendment rights of those, like Inside the Classroom, that are shining the spotlight of accountability on what is happening at our schools,” Prior added. “We look forward to MCPS taking swift action to unblock all accounts and come into compliance with the First Amendment.”

In the demand letter, Inside the Classroom notes that Montgomery County Public Schools blocked its X account shortly after the account exposed the teacher who condemned the idea of parental rights.

“Alright, we have to talk about this right-wing idea of parents’ rights. It’s literally just fascism,” the teacher said in a TikTok video Inside the Classroom shared on Feb. 10. While the teacher says she sees “educators’ role as partnering with parents,” she goes on to insist that “parents and caregivers who reject their children’s gender identities are not taking care of their children.”

“Conservatives that claim that their real concern is ‘parents’ rights’ are just trying to use a family-friendly excuse for wanting trans people to not exist,” the teacher says.

Four days after Inside the Classroom shared that video, “tagging” Montgomery County Public Schools in the post, the school district blocked Inside the Classroom’s account from accessing the school district’s X page.

While X users have the ability to block any other user, courts have ruled that the First Amendment bars government officials from doing so in certain circumstances.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Davison v. Randall (2019) that a Virginia public official violated the First Amendment by engaging in “viewpoint discrimination.” The official had banned an individual from commenting on her social media page, which the court said constitutes a public forum.

Phyllis J. Randall, chair of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, banned Virginia resident Brian Davison from her official Facebook page, on which she allows public comments. The court ruled that the “interactive component” of a local government official’s social media page constitutes a public forum and that Randall violated the First Amendment by excluding Davison from her page due to his views.

Inside the Classroom claims in the letter that Montgomery County Public Schools is “even more culpable in its constitutional violation” than Randall had been.

“Unlike the defendant in Davison v. Randall, where the account at issue was that of an elected official, the account at issue is the official account for the entire taxpayer-funded school system,” the letter reads. “MCPS has over [122,000] followers on X, and users are able to repost, reply, and like MCPS’s posts.

MCPS’s X account consists of information related to school activities such as upcoming events, announcements, surveys, and school schedules. In fact, according to the MCPS website, social media ‘can help Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) further our mission and core values by engaging students, their parents/guardians, and the community.’”

“Given that the MCPS X account is undoubtedly a public forum, it is thus impermissible for MCPS to discriminate on the basis of viewpoint against those who engage in the interactive nature of that public forum,” the letter adds. “Here, MCPS blocked Inside the Classroom because it tagged MCPS and tweeted a video and its commentary of an MCPS teacher who compared parental rights to ‘fascism’ and stated that parents who don’t affirm their child’s claimed gender ‘are not taking care of their children.’”

Many X users interacted with Inside the Classroom’s post, mostly criticizing the teacher and Montgomery County Public Schools, and then the school district blocked Inside the Classroom.

“It is abundantly clear that MCPS was motivated to take this action by suppressing the ‘particular views taken by’ Inside the Classroom; namely, disapproval of a teacher attacking parents for not supporting ‘gender identity,’” the letter adds, citing a relevant court case.

“America First Legal therefore demands, on behalf of Inside the Classroom, that MCPS cease and desist blocking Inside the Classroom on X and that any and all official MCPS or MCPS staff social media accounts cease and desist blocking users in violation of the First Amendment,” the letter concludes.


How Marxist Left Captured Higher Education

The mission of a university is to discover truth and transmit that essential knowledge to future generations. That has been achieved by what we call in the West the Socratic dialogue—that is, ferreting out what is good, true, and beautiful by testing ideas in an academic setting.

None of that is possible in an educational environment controlled by a Marxist Left that denies the existence of truth, that seeks to stop the transmission of past traditions to future generations, that decries Socrates and Western concepts, and that wages war on beauty.

Now that this Left is entrenched in academia, it uses myriad ways to impose its views and suppress others.

The concept that the good, the true, and the beautiful are transcendental “properties of being” goes back to Plato, Socrates’ disciple. It was explored further by St. Augustine in the transition between antiquity and the Middle Ages and by St. Thomas Aquinas in the High Middle Ages.

Quoting Aristotle recently, Peter Berkowitz rightly noted that the purpose of right education consists of “cultivating the virtues and transmitting the knowledge that enables citizens to preserve their form of government and way of life.”

But the leftists running America’s institutions no longer want such preservation. Rather, they see it as their quest to “decolonize” the university from Western thinking and believe that class time must be used instead to study non-Western (read “victim”) ways and works.

This particular Left, which focuses on culture, has gained ascendancy in universities since the 1980s, when the student radicals of the 1960s discovered that they could carry out their revolutionary mission culturally by taking over academia.

The chant “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Western Civ has got to go” refers to the time on Jan. 15, 1987, when Jesse Jackson rallied 500 students to march on Stanford University. As Robert Curry at Intellectual Takeout reminds us, “They were protesting Stanford University’s introductory humanities program known as ‘Western Culture.’ For Jackson and the protesters, the problem was its lack of ‘diversity.’ The faculty and administration raced to appease the protesters, and ‘Western Culture’ was formally replaced with ‘Cultures, Ideas, and Values.’”

In the past decade and a half, this destructive mission has been accelerated, first with the election of Barack Obama in 2008, then with the creation of Black Lives Matter in 2013, and finally with BLM’s damaging riots in 2020. The shock was so great that the leaders of key societal institutions surrendered and accepted the facile, but bizarre, notion that America is systemically racist and oppressive and thus in dire need of systemic overhaul.

During this evolution, the culturally Marxist Left has increasingly used racial and sexual characteristics as determinants of victimhood status and thus as reasons for the supposedly aggrieved to tear up the system.

Obama’s “Dear Colleague” letter in 2011 provided a new interpretation of Title IX in its “guidance” on how universities were to judge sexual accusations. John Schoof of The Heritage Foundation explained at the time that this guidance “pressured schools to use the ‘preponderance of evidence’ standard of proof rather than the much stronger ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ standard applied to sexual assault cases in our criminal justice system.” (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)

This new guidance soon became “about policing and disciplining speech on campus—especially speech that deviates from the orthodoxy of progressive politics,” as professor Adam Ellwanger explained in 2015.

He was in a position to know. Four years after Obama’s letter, Ellwanger had a Title IX complaint lodged against him because he had not sufficiently “affirmed” a student’s homosexual life choice.

“Title IX in its expanded articulation,” he wrote, “is nothing less than an attempt to advance the ideological objectives of the Left on campus. It has been weaponized to silence dissenting speech and chill open debate of leftist ideology on campus.”

The letter led to a second way in which the new Left polices conservative ideas: the boom in diversity, equity, and inclusion offices. The letter “exploded upon impact into a thousand Offices of Diversity and Inclusion,” wrote Ellwanger.

These DEI offices employ a growing bevy of officers who are nothing more than political commissars, imposing the Left’s view on faculty and students alike. As Heritage’s Jay Greene and I wrote recently, the University of Virginia alone has 94 of these officials, or 6.5 for every 100 tenured or tenure-track faculty members.

A third way (out of many) to suppress thought that does not conform to the Left’s orthodoxy is to demand that faculty sign statements declaring loyalty to DEI and promising to further the mission as a condition of hiring or promotion. These are nothing more than loyalty oaths to the extreme wing of the political spectrum that is dedicated to the victim-oppressor paradigm. They are intended to shut down the Socratic dialogue.

And yet The New York Times informs us that “nearly half the large universities in America require that job applicants write such statements.”

How do we get out of this fix? First, we need to explain to the public what has happened to create a favorable climate of opinion. That is already happening.

Then, political figures must understand that their political longevity depends on delivering solutions. Most universities, public and private, depend on taxpayer money. And the taxpayers have been clear: They want it to pay for the good, the true, and the beautiful.


Foxx: Hunting and Archery Programs are Here to Stay

Today, the House passed H.R. 5110, the Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act, bipartisan legislation that overturns the Department of Education’s funding ban on hunting and archery programs in schools.

On passage of the bill, Education and the Workforce Committee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC) made the following statement: “The Department of Education is completely tone-deaf to think that cutting hunting and archery programs in schools is a good idea. These programs have been around for decades. They educate millions of students on how to become better stewards of our land and animals, and they develop responsible hunters and gun owners. It should be a wake-up call for this administration that this bill passed on a bipartisan basis. Hunting and archery programs are here to stay.”

The Protecting Hunting Heritage and Education Act:
Clarifies that the prohibition on the use of ESEA funds for certain weapons does not apply to educational enrichment activities such as archery, hunting, other shooting sports, or culinary arts;
Reaffirms that hunting and archery programs teach America’s schoolchildren self-esteem, responsibility, and how to use these recreational tools safely; and
Sends the Department of Education a clear message that we stand behind student hunters and archers.

Press release