Thursday, March 21, 2024

West Point Military Academy Drops “Duty, Honour, Country” From Mission Statement

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point decided to drop the “Duty, Honour, Country” motto from its mission statement last week in favour of a bland reference to “the Army Values”. The New York Post‘s Paul du Quenoy is not impressed.

“Duty, honour, country: Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.”

So said Gen. Douglas MacArthur in his famous May 1962 address to West Point cadets.

But those words are no longer hallowed. West Point last week removed them from its mission statement, substituting a bland reference to “the Army Values”.

West Point’s Superintendent, Lt. Gen. Steve Gilland, defended the change, suggesting in a damage-control letter addressed to “supporters” that it resulted from a year and a half of discussions held “across” the West Point community and in consultation with unidentified “external stakeholders”.

He said the decision was supported by Army Secretary Christine Wormuth, whose last job was director of a centre at the RAND Corp., a research and policy institute that professes to “strive to cultivate a community that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion as central to our culture”.

Gilland also claimed the approval of Army Chief of Staff Gen. Randy George, who previously served as Senior Military Assistant to Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, whose department requested $86.5 million in fiscal year 2023 for “dedicated diversity and inclusion activities”.

That would pay for a lot of implicit-bias workshops for men and women who should be trained to lead and kill, but the difference in language is neither subtle nor insignificant.

The words “duty, honour, country”, enshrined at West Point since 1898, have precise meanings that have historically bound our officer corps to timeless imperatives vital to the nation’s defence.

They presuppose our country is worth defending, honourably and as a matter of duty.

Proponents of woke ideology reject this notion.

For them, those very concepts — along with such basic values as merit, hard work, rational thought, respect for authority and even punctuality — are undesirable symptoms of a culture supposedly infused with ‘structural racism’ and ‘white supremacy’.

A country built on them is patently not one they would care to defend.

A March 2022 Quinnipiac poll found 52% of Democrats would leave the country rather than stand and fight against a military invasion of the United States.

“Army Values”, in contrast, can mean anything politicians and their diversity, equity and inclusion commissars want them to mean.


Shutting Down the DEI Racket

The revelation this month that the University of Virginia has been spending $20 million a year on 235 employees who focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion was astonishing.

Thanks to a new report by the government watchdog group Open the Books, we now know that some DEI executives at the university are raking in more than $500,000 a year, including benefits.

For example, the senior associate dean of the business school is also the global chief diversity officer. He is paid $587,340 including benefits. The vice president of DEI and community partnerships takes home an estimated $520,000 in salary and benefits. There is a whole slate of DEI executives—vice presidents, associate deans, directors, assistant directors, managers, etc.—who earn up to $400,000 in salary and benefits.

Open the Books Founder and CEO Adam Andrzejewski told me this week on Newt’s World that it takes tuition from 1,000 UVA students just to cover the base salaries of UVA’s army of DEI-focused employees.

Keep in mind, the median household income in Virginia is roughly $87,000 a year, according to the latest U.S. Census data. In Loudoun County, the state’s wealthiest area, the median household income is $147,111. So, DEI executives at a state-run school are making nearly six times more than the median income households in the state—and nearly three-and-a-half times more than median income households in the wealthiest county.

And UVA is not alone. In January, the New York Post reported the University of Michigan is paying more than $30 million to 241 DEI-focused employees. State legislatures across the country are now scrambling to curb DEI spending in their states, particularly in higher education. But the truth is, the DEI racket has gone global. Worldwide, the DEI industry is soaking up roughly $9.3 billion, according to Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

The terrible irony for Virginia is this DEI scheme is fleecing a university founded by Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration of Independence and famously penned the principle that “all men are created equal.” Since our founding—and through generations of intense civil discourse and serious effort—America has worked toward creating a society in which every American has equal opportunity and can succeed through hard work and determination.

To be clear: Diversity is good. America has been successful largely because it is a melting pot of people and cultures. I am also for making sure people are included and participate in our civil society.

However, I—and many other Americans—have serious concerns about the concept of placing equity over equality. Equity means guaranteeing people equal outcomes. DEI’s disciples will tell you equity is merely an effort to correct past discrimination and persecution. However, in practice, equity means treating people differently—or granting special accommodations—based on their ethnicity, sex, or other intrinsic traits. This flies in the face of everything we learned from the Civil Rights Movement and is the antithesis of the basic concept of equality.

Virginia Gov. Glen Youngkin has begun to investigate DEI programs at some of the largest colleges in the state. His administration is seeking to review curriculum at George Mason University and Virginia Commonwealth University. As the administration told the publication Higher Ed:

“The administration has heard concerns from members of the Board of Visitors, parents, and students across the Commonwealth regarding core curriculum mandates that are a thinly veiled attempt to incorporate the progressive left’s groupthink on Virginia’s students .... Virginia’s public institutions should be teaching our students how to think, not what to think and not advancing ideological conformity.”

In a separate statement, Youngkin’s press secretary, Macaulay Porter, told reporters the governor, “will continue to advance equal opportunities — not equal outcomes — for all Virginians.”

At America’s New Majority Project, we have learned that 88 percent of Americans believe universities should focus on teaching students how to think and succeed in the workforce—not to become social activists.
Gov. Youngkin and other state leaders are right. The DEI industry is a racket that must be shutdown.


Sydney King's School headmaster Tony George erupts over 'woke' attacks on top boys' schools - and says his students are being unfairly targeted and ridiculed over high fees

The headmaster of an elite private boys school has hit out at what he calls the 'militant victimhood' of 'wokeness' that targets the 'straw man' of 'white privileged males'.

Tony George, headmaster of The King's School located in north-west Sydney, has lamented that 'sections of government and the press seem intent on deriding independent boys’ schools with any story they can concoct'.

HIs remarks follow the recent expose by ABC program Four Corners of another Sydney private boys school, Cranbrook, which resulted in the resignation of its principal.

Writing in The King's School magazine Leader, Mr George stated 'children attending non-government schools [are] being increasingly targeted and ridiculed' in what he called 'identity abuse' and this was especially true of elite boys' institutions.

'Government single-sex schools have seemed to avoid criticism, as have single-sex girls’ schools,' he wrote.

'However, the underlying agenda against the straw man of white privileged males has fuelled the creation of the term toxic masculinity and the religious fervour it subsequently generates.'

Mr George argued 'the practice of linking toxic behaviour to masculinity is to malign all males, just as linking oppression to the West maligns all western countries as oppressive'.

He argued this 'lambasted' men and boys with the same 'tarred brush of paranoia'.




Wednesday, March 20, 2024

UK: Gender-critical teacher, 60, tells tribunal he was sacked after refusing to use trans student's preferred pronouns

A gender-critical teacher has told a tribunal he was sacked after refusing to use a trans student's preferred pronouns.

Kevin Lister, 60, was dismissed for gross misconduct in September 2022 by New College Swindon following complaints by two students.

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

Mr Lister has taken the college to an employment tribunal, claiming unfair dismissal, discrimination or victimisation on grounds of religion or belief, and that he suffered a detriment and/or dismissal due to exercising rights under the Public Interest Disclosure Act.

The hearing was told that the teenager - known only as Student A - had informed the college in September 2021 they wished to be addressed by a boy's name and with the male pronouns.

Giving evidence, Mr Lister, from Wiltshire, suggested the decision of Student A to use male pronouns had the effect of 'compelled speech' - meaning he and fellow students had to follow their wish, irrespective of their own beliefs.

'I took issue with the demand on me to socially transition children who are unable to make an informed decision,' he told the hearing at the Bristol Civil Justice Centre.

'That is the intention of the policy - to encourage children to socially transition and to push them towards transgender lobby groups.

'Why are we not allowed to question why a student is presenting in the opposite sex?

'It is not the role of a maths teacher to confirm the gender transition and social transition of a student.'

Mr Lister said that, as a teacher, he had an 'obligation to teach facts' and said college policies went beyond the Equality Act and claimed they were 'illegal' as a result.

'I do say this is breaching the Equality Act because you are encouraging the idea that a non-binary person can come into class and say she is a boy and by the afternoon she can say somewhere between the two,' he said.

Referring to the college policy, Mr Lister said: 'It doesn't require gender-critical people to change their beliefs.

'What the policy does require is to be accepting in a way that is contrary to our beliefs.'

Jude Shepherd, the barrister representing the college, suggested the policy did not prevent staff members holding gender-critical beliefs from being 'inclusive and treating people with respect'.

Mr Lister told the hearing that, when Student A informed him by email of their wish to be referred to by male pronouns, he immediately raised a safeguarding concern with the college as he was concerned about their academic performance and whether the two were linked.

'She does not have the right to compel teachers and other students who do not share her views,' he said.

'It is the interpretation of the word "respect" which is at issue here.'

The hearing was told that during lessons Mr Lister, instead of using Student A's preferred pronouns, would point at them.

'I gestured. Some people would say I was pointing. I didn't want to use her dead name but I didn't want to assist with her social transitioning,' Mr Lister said.

During one lesson, Student A asked whether they could enter a nationwide maths competition for girls, and Mr Lister replied: 'Of course you can enter because you are a girl.'

Ms Shepherd asked: 'Do you accept that was an insensitive response?'

Mr Lister replied: 'No, that was a factual response. Student A is trying to subject me to compelled speech and the rest of the class to compelled speech.


The Potted Plants of Higher Education


Throughout most of the nearly seven decades in which I have had an intimate association with American higher education, I have pondered the question: “Who really ‘owns’ the universities?”

Several groups claim at least partial control on many campuses, hence the oft-cited term “shared governance.” But to avoid chaos, some specific individual or group has to have ultimate authority to make decisions regarding the use of university resources. Almost always, that is a governing board: “board of trustees,” “board of regents,” “board of visitors,” etc. I have worked with several such boards and spoken at statewide meetings to them, so I guess some think I am an expert on the subject.

I recently corresponded with a former student of mine now a trustee at a state university, about his board’s reaction to certain major developments at the school, and he replied, “We need to discuss many things but we won’t, and will continue to be potted plants.” He added that board members literally receive scripts for each meeting, even told when to make a motion or offer a scripted comment. In short, the boards are sort of a ceremonial device to maintain the façade that the university has a group in charge of serving the broader public interest, not just rubber stamp decisions made by university power brokers. Votes are almost always unanimous. In reality, the public is being conned into believing that the universities are getting effective external oversight.

Actually, university governing boards come in all shapes and sizes. Most public boards range from perhaps seven to as many as 20 members, but private school boards often number several dozen. Occasionally, boards have activists who believe that not only should they have a major role not only in determining the general direction of the university but also in making more routine decisions, down to who should be appointed the football coach. Sometimes, boards—Michigan State is a good recent example—have nasty internal warfare over control of the board itself.

That said, the “potted plant” model my friend described is probably the most common one. Boards have one truly important job: appointing the president, but then usually take a mostly ceremonial back seat role similar to that of the King of England—nominally powerful but in reality mostly a figurehead. To be sure, appointed trustees sometimes provide useful services to the school, most importantly by their financial gifts, especially critical at private schools, but also at state schools by using political connections to help win favors in the state capital from the governor, key legislators, or regulatory groups—like a state department of education or higher education, etc.

The growing perceived problems of higher education have ignited greater conversations about the role of governing boards. In the case of state universities, is their role to maximize the interests of the university community or to represent the broader public, ensuring that the taxpayers are getting a good return on their investment? A bill—Senate Bill 506—narrowly passed the Virginia legislature but, at this writing, unsigned by the Governor, seems to explicitly state that the trustees report to the University administration, not explicitly serving the broader public interest—in my judgment, a grievous mistake. Similarly, in private schools, like those in the Ivy League, shouldn’t trustees monitor and occasionally even alter actions of the University community that hurt both the school’s reputation and the broader public good?

When Florida Governor Ron DeSantis summarily removed the entire board of New College and replaced it with new members who indicated they planned to change the nature and direction of the institution, I at first considered the action excessively radical and disruptive, but upon reflection, I feel it served a useful purpose by calling attention to the importance of imposing some external constraints on what campus communities can do.

It is increasingly obvious that colleges and universities need some adult supervision—public confidence is waning, enrollments have fallen, traditional campus support of free expression and robust viewpoint diversity have deteriorated, and increasingly unethical or even illegal behavior has occurred. Governing boards have a legitimate, more than ceremonial role to play, starting with recruiting able administrators who handle most issues, but also by monitoring campus happenings in a mostly non-intrusive way and constraining inappropriate behavior. The precise optimal role should vary somewhat—religiously affiliated schools, elite private universities, non-elite state schools, including community colleges probably require differing forms of external monitoring—but Boards should be more than rubber stamps or potted plants.


‘Exorbitant’ fees paid to academic publishers better spent on research and education, report finds

This is certainly a problem. The top journals can basically charge what they like. Any inability to access them would greatly hinder research

Australia’s public research institutions are paying $1bn a year to giant academic publishers, new research shows, amid growing calls for taxpayer money to be redirected away from private enterprises.

The Australia Institute report, released on Wednesday, questioned if more public money should be used for research and education instead of being directed to international academic publishers.

Academic publishes are among the most profitable businesses in the world – raking in massive profit margins approaching 40% – in line with Google and Apple.

The market is dominated by five major houses – Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Taylor & Francis, Springer Nature and SAGE Publications – and rakes in billions of dollars a year.

The report found Australia’s research institutions and universities spent $300m on journal subscriptions annually, totalling $1bn when additional fees and publication charges were added.

The “exorbitant” fees are charged to institutions and research groups in order to access research that the public largely funds, the report said. One-off access for a single article costs about $50.

Dr Kristen Scicluna, a postdoctoral research fellow and author of the report, said research was being “hamstrung” without appropriate funding and money could be better directed elsewhere.

“This amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars every year – much of it public money – spent on publication and subscription, not research and discovery,” she said.

Australia’s chief scientist, Dr Cathy Foley, has proposed a world-first open access model, recently finalised for the federal government, that would provide a centralised digital library for all Australians to access research papers free of charge, as long as they had a MyGov account or were in education.

Scicluna said Foley’s plan was a “great start” but did not go far enough, instead pressing for reform as to how research grants were awarded.

“It doesn’t do much to disrupt entrenchment publishers have on academic workflow,” she said.

Scicluna’s proposal includes revising grant criteria to reward publication in open access journals that have lower publishing fees and trialling a lottery-based grant system to reduce the power of major journals.

Australia’s two major public grant bodies – the Australian Research Council (Arc) and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) – require publications to be open access, with stipulations in place. But receiving a grant depends on an academic’s track record, typically based on whether they have published in prestigious journals.

Scicluna said until grant conditions offered academics alternative avenues for promotion, private publishers would continue to benefit.

The lottery system has been trialled in New Zealand, the UK, Germany, Australia and Switzerland to some success. Grant applications are first screened for eligibility, then awarded randomly to applicants considered equal, to reduce the emphasis on a researcher’s publication record.

“Publishers can just keep increasing prices, so [the] funding universities get through the government to cover the costs of research, salaries and equipment end[s] up going to library subscription fees.”

In Australia, the Council of Australian University Librarians has taken the lead on negotiating open-access agreements on behalf of institutions. The council’s executive director, Jane Angel, said the need for reform came down to equity.

Angel said not advancing open access particularly hindered innovation among people without access to paywalled information – primarily, those outside educational institutions.

“That either predicates that innovation comes or is perpetuated among those who are tertiary educated, or suggests that this is where we expect to find innovation,” she said.

“That is not democratic or progressive, or indicative of the Australia [the education minister] Jason Clare wants where ‘no one is held back, and no one is left behind’.”




Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Berkeley Is a Safe Space for Hate

Thuggish intimidation of Jewish students and teachers is the new normal as leftist brownshirts topple once-heralded free speech bastion


If graduate school has any function, it is as a preserve of a serious clash of ideas. But the UC Berkeley campus is the stage for a confrontation of a different kind. Last month, ahead of a lecture by Ran Bar-Yoshafat, a reserve combat officer in the Israel Defense Forces and a regular on the lecture circuit, Graduate Students for Justice in Palestine promised a reprise of the Hamas pogrom, hanging from the campus’ main entrance a pledge to “Flood Sather Gate”—a reference to “Al-Aqsa Flood,” the code name for Hamas’ rampage in southern Israel on Oct. 7.

On the night of the lecture, the group’s undergraduate fellow travelers, Bears for Palestine, made good on that vow, disrupting a pro-Israel event in a protest and quickly escalating into a riot. The mob smashed windows, shouted antisemitic chants, and sent at least one student to urgent care. The attendees, this author included, had to be evacuated, ironically, via a tunnel. We, the Jewish students, had forfeited our right to security after coming to hear Bar-Yoshafat’s lecture. The university had assured the campus Jewish organizations behind the event that police officers would fend off disruptive protest and uphold our First Amendment rights. The administration did little to protect the safety of the speaker and audience, and even less to protect their free speech rights.

The antisemitic riot capped months of harassment, terror apologia, and occasional outbursts of violence from the campus “Free Palestine” movement. The university’s response has been consistently craven. Meanwhile, some faculty members, such as in the history department, where I am a Ph.D. student, have justified and covered for this behavior. My department has been a microcosm of a larger institutional failure, in which “equity” and “anti-colonialism” act as shields for rank antisemitism.

Leading a coterie of Ph.D. students in the UC Berkeley history department is professor Ussama Makdisi, the chapter president of what Harold Bloom labeled the school of resentment. Makdisi wrote his first books on sectarianism in the late Ottoman Empire, and his latest volume rhapsodizes about a 19th-century convivencia in the Levant that Zionism supposedly ruined. Even before the Hamas pogrom, he told a lecture hall full of students that Jews should have founded their state in postwar Germany. The university press office rewarded him for this in an article in which he was lauded, including by Berkeley’s vice chancellor for equity and inclusion, for creating a “learning space” that exemplifies “what’s possible when we imagine, create and actualize the conditions that support thriving for every member of our campus community.”

The message could not have been clearer: Intimidation and the specter of mob violence carry the day at this institution.

On the day of the Hamas pogrom, Makdisi posted a thinly veiled justification of the slaughter: “Just waking up to the news. Go read CLR James, Black Jacobins, on the violence of the oppressed. And then try to ignore the utterly racist double standard of Western politicians and media when it comes to questions of resistance and occupation and international law.” His online verbiage has since become more florid: He has accused Israel of “hunting” Palestinian children “in the name of Anne Frank,” and mocked diaspora Jews as “narcissists” for fretting over their security. He has addressed the crowds that have gathered on campus for “Free Palestine” marches and participated in a slew of events with Bears for Palestine.

Since the UC Berkeley Feb. 26 riot, Makdisi has defended the campus malefactors in a flurry of posts on X. Lavishing praise on an op-ed in The Daily Californian that attempted to “contextualize” the incident, he charged the whole brouhaha was no more than an attempt to distract from “the genocide” in Gaza. In a missive dispatched on the same day, he hit out at “the campaign of bullying, intimidation, and narcissistic gaslighting occurring across our campuses … all designed to make sure we don’t talk about Israel’s appalling genocide of Palestinians.”

Makdisi had put the light to the touchpaper in our department in the days after the Hamas pogrom. Canceling a mandatory course for first-year Ph.D. students that he taught, he urged the class to attend his “teach-in” (organized with BFP), in which he would “historicize” and “contextualize” the events of Oct. 7. The event was then promoted on our graduate student listserv, on the same email chain as a union organizing session. When I balked at this, pointing out the campus Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapter’s vehement defense of the Hamas pogrom, a group organized a letter to the department chair directed at me. “We reject the assertions made, within our very community, that learning the history of Palestine is tantamount to terrorism or terror apologism,” the signatories, numbering about half of the graduate students, wrote. The signatories, who were mounting a defense of their mentor, spiced the letter with the customary accusation of lack of departmental engagement on “white supremacy ... within our community” (that is, those who had deplored the Hamas pogrom), and intoned about our “obligation to listen to the scholars whose research and lived experiences center these issues [Palestine and the Palestinians], and an equal responsibility to ensure that their voices are heard.” Hostage posters in our academic building were soon ripped down by fellow graduate students. Around this time, some members of the department started Graduate Students for Justice in Palestine, the group that posted the “Flood Sather Gate” sign.

Protesters bang on windows (shortly before the glass was smashed) to disrupt the Ran Bar-Yoshafat event last month
Protesters bang on windows (shortly before the glass was smashed) to disrupt the Ran Bar-Yoshafat event last month

Jewish students’ repeated attempts, over email and in-person, to explain to department administrators and colleagues how these actions were offensive and off-base soon met with escalating ostracism from others and a progressive withdrawal of Jewish students from departmental spaces and events. Antisemitism has battered a Jewish friend out of this department, after the majority of his first-year cohort claimed that “all resistance is justified to anyone with morals.” Another friend told me she would no longer come to our graduate library because “people there want my family dead.” Despite the department’s concern about the situation, administrators have maintained that academic freedom and institutional procedures prevent them from adopting a clear stance against the antisemitism in our midst and the primary instigator thereof. The same administrators have also consistently misrepresented the matter as a question of upholding civility in the course of intense political discord. Jewish students have sometimes felt like we are talking to a brick wall in explaining that this is not the case.

SJP’s antisemitic onslaught began on the same day as the Hamas pogrom. On that day, Bears for Palestine released a statement praising its “comrades in blood and arms” for their operations “in the so-called ‘Gaza envelope.’” The same organization then mounted demonstrations at which participants, wearing masks and Palestinian headscarves, clamored to “globalize the intifada” and “free Palestine from the river to the sea.” The demonstrations sometimes spilled over into minor altercations, such as when an SJP member attempted to rip an Israeli flag from a counterprotester’s hands. The protests took place on the university’s main plaza, right next to the academic building where in the fall I was teaching a freshman seminar on Holocaust memory. I was so concerned for my students’ safety that I moved our meetings to the campus Hillel.

The university’s response to these events was tepid and laden with false equivalencies. UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol Christ acknowledged in early November that “fear is being generated by the rhetoric used at some of the recent protests on campus”—a turn of phrase that was telling in its use of the passive voice and refusal to name names. She mentioned worries about antisemitism, which she nullified in the same breath with a condemnation of the “harassment, threats and doxxing that have targeted our Palestinian students and their supporters.” She even noted that one ought not to equate pro-Palestinian campus protests with support for terrorism (which seems at odds with the declarations of these self-same protesters). Christ closed her statement with a lofty call to honor the institution’s “long-lived and unwavering” dedication to free speech. [For Leftists only]


University ‘Forces’ Journalism Students to Fork Over Tuition Money for Course on ‘Microaggressions,’ Pronouns

Arizona State University (ASU) forces students to hand over tuition money to take a course that pushes left-wing ideas, according to documents obtained by the Goldwater Institute.

The course, titled “Diversity and Civility at Cronkite,” pushes gender ideology onto students, and one requires students to make a public relations plan for a theoretical popstar who uses “they/them” pronouns, according to the Goldwater Institute, a free-market public policy research and litigation organization. The course is required for graduation from several degree programs at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

“The journalism school at Arizona State forces students to take a course advising them that benign statements—such as ‘I believe the most qualified person should get the job’—are offensive ‘microaggressions’ that make people feel unwelcome. This course also requires students to develop a public relations plan for a nonbinary pop star who uses ‘they/them’ pronouns. This course shows how universities use graduation requirements to force students to sit through lectures in progressive dogmas that add little or nothing to their education,” Timothy K. Minella, a senior fellow at the Goldwater Institute’s Van Sittert Center for Constitutional Advocacy, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The course “emphasizes the importance of diversity, inclusion, equity and civility to ensure all Cronkite students feel represented, valued and supported” and “offers training and awareness on cultural sensitivities, civil discourse, bias awareness and diversity initiatives,” according to the online description of the class. The class also “empowers students” to approach reporting “with a multicultural perspective.”

Over 400 students were required to take the course in the fall 2023 semester, according to the Goldwater Institute. The course is required for the completion of bachelors degrees in Journalism and Mass Communication, Sports Journalism and Digital Audiences at ASU, according to several university webpages.

One course document says that the statement “America is a melting pot” is an example of a “microaggression,” which is a minor insult believed to be unconsciously driven, according to the Goldwater Institute. Statements such as “I believe the most qualified person should get the job” or “Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough” imply “people of color are lazy and/or incompetent and need to work harder,” according to the document.

Another reading required as a course assignment defines “cisgender privilege” as being able to “access gender-exclusive spaces (e.g., a space or activity for women) and not be excluded due to your trans status,” according to Goldwater’s report. The reading does not appear to be associated with the university and is housed on a website titled, “its pronounced metrosexual.”

Colleges around the U.S. have implemented similar classes pushing the tenets of gender ideology and critical race theory.

Princeton University made headlines in 2022 after adding “FAT: The F-Word and the Public Body” and “Anthropology of Religion: Fetishism and Decolonization” to the school’s catalog. Wesleyan University offered one course in the 2023-2024 school year, titled “Queer Russia,” which offers students an overview of how queer people have influenced Russian culture.

The University of Chicago offered one class titled “Queering God,” which questions if God is queer and how queerness is related to the idea of God. “What does queerness have to do with Judaism, Christianity, or Islam?” the course description reads.


Every school in NSW to offer gifted education programs

I am all in favour of this. It will be a great help to many students in crummy State schools. It is probably not important to really high IQ students, however. They will do well in any system. I did not go to school at all for my Senior exam. I just taught myself all in one year. Others in my IQ bracket should probably do the same

High potential and gifted education will be rolled out in every public school in the state under a new plan to challenge the students who are not reaching their full potential.

Such programs were available in only half of the state’s public schools, Education Minister Prue Car told the Sydney Morning Herald’s Schools Summit on Thursday, but fixing that would depend on tackling the state’s teacher shortage.

She said teachers had been “gaslit” by the previous government into thinking there was not a crisis in the sector.

“Parents deserve to see high potential and gifted education inside the doors of every local school,” Car said.

“Parents want confidence that regardless of their choice of school, that the learning environment will bring out the best in their child.

“Our vision is that in NSW, high potential and gifted education will be delivered in every public school, in a high-quality offering, in a way that is valued by students, parents and teachers alike.”

Under the plan, public schools will identify high potential students across four domains: intellectual, creative, social-emotional and physical.

A 2021 policy was supposed to make gifted education training available at all schools to ensure gifted students were extended even if they did not attend a selective school or opportunity class. However, only half of the state’s schools have the programs in place.

University of NSW researcher Professor Jae Jung said the extent to which the current gifted program was being taken up was highly variable.

The Sydney schools that have surged past 3000 students
“There needs to be a follow-up process and assessment to understand to what extent it is being implemented,” he said.

“One way to ensure gifted education practices are implemented is to guarantee all teachers have gifted education training at the pre-service teacher training level. There also needs to be a mandatory requirement that gifted education programs are available in all schools.”

Gifted education can take different forms including grade skipping, gifted classes and curriculum differentiation within the regular classroom, Jung said.

Car told the summit the challenges the public school system had faced, such as a lack of staff or resources, had left some communities wanting their schools to deliver more gifted education programs.

She said teachers felt “gaslit” by those supposed to support them, and that their challenging experiences in the classroom were being dismissed.

“They were told there was no shortage. That it was a beat-up,” Car said.

A research review by the NSW Department of Education previously found gifted children comprised the top 10 per cent of students, but up to 40 per cent of them were under-achieving.

If at least 10 per cent of students are gifted, 80,000 students in NSW public schools have high potential.

It found that without help to turn their promise into achievement, the students might never achieve their potential.

Car also announced at the summit that she had asked the NSW Education Standards Authority to conduct a review into professional development requirements for teachers and whether they were preventing them for undertaking learning that met their individual needs.

“I asked that NESA consider the administrative burden for teachers … as well as the professionalism of teachers in being able to identify their own professional learning priorities,” she said.




Monday, March 18, 2024

Sydney University will recruit hundreds of new teaching-focused academics in what it says is a bid to improve student experience and place a higher value on teaching in higher education.

This is just more dumbing down of education. Getting research published is the guarantee that the teacher's knowledge is at cutting-edge level. Take that away and a teacher might have no expertise to share. The students might just as well read the latest book on the subject. I did a lot of research in my academic career and I always had a LOT to say in the classroom that was not in the books

Vice chancellor Mark Scott said the roles would carve out a new career path for teaching specialists in academia, allowing them to fill some of the most senior roles at the university.

However, some are unhappy about the plan, suggesting it creates two tiers of academics by removing a focus on research.

The university will on Monday launch an international campaign to recruit more than 150 tenured academics after an initial appointment of internal applicants across 55 new roles.

The teaching-focused positions will be for every career stage, from lecturers to full professors and senior leadership roles across a broad range of disciplines.

Scott said for students the key engagement with the university is around what happens in the classroom, not in the research lab.

“Our most brilliant teachers should be as famous and revered in the institution as our most brilliant researchers are today,” he said.

“I have a view that we owe every student a transformational experience here at the university.

“They’re paying higher fees than students have ever paid in this country.

“So to prioritise appropriately teaching and learning as important as we do research - that’s what we need to do. I think that’s what the great global universities do.”

Teaching-focused academic roles are controversial among many academics who see the roles as career-limiting and involving intense workloads.

The jobs came about as part of protracted EBA negotiations with staff which concluded last year. The university agreed to introduce 330 new permanent academic roles to reduce casualisation of the workforce but 220 of those were to be teaching-only positions.

It contrasts with the existing deal for academics which guarantees they spend 40 per cent of their time on research, 40 per cent on teaching and 20 per cent community engagement.

English and linguistics academic Nick Riemer, the university’s National Tertiary Education Union branch president, said there was a clear effort from senior management to break the teaching and research nexus.

“There should be more academic jobs at the university because at the moment it has an overreliance on casualisation and that just involves outright exploitation,” he said.

“But we are very seriously concerned that university management seems intent on separating teaching and research, which are academic functions which intrinsically belong together.

“If you’re not researching in your fields you’re passing on doctrine.”

Riemer said the education-focused roles that exist at the university were subject to high levels of overwork.

“And there’s every reason to think uni management see teaching focus roles as just a cheap way of getting staff to do a lot of teaching without giving them the time for the research they need to do to stay up to date,” he said.

But Scott said teaching at higher education level had been undervalued, and the roles would create viable career options for teaching specialists.

“We’re creating a career pathway that says to the very top end of the professoriate, people who are teaching experts can have a career pathway to the very top,” he said.

One of the first internal recruits for the roles, Louis Taborda, senior lecturer in project management, said he chose teaching because he saw it as a noble cause.

He began his career as a high-school maths and computer science teacher, then worked as an IT consultant before moving to academia.

“I felt right at the beginning that getting into teaching was something that was noble, pure and unadulterated,” he said.

“It’s absolutely a pleasure to watch students grow.”


US colleges bring back standardized testing after finding test-optional policies hurt minority students

Testing gives bright kids from poor backgrounds the opportunity to shine -- which is a large part of the reason why they were originally introduced

Universities across the United States are reinstating requirements for undergraduate applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores after previously claiming that standardized tests raised concerns about inequality in higher education.

University of St. Thomas (Houston, Texas) professor and associate dean David D. Schein told Fox News Digital that standardized testing is merely designed to give schools one central index on which to compare students. He said while good grades and extracurricular activities are considered, having a reference source independent of geography is essential.

Schein suggested that competition for students has increased because of the downward birth curve and increasing costs. Therefore, dropping testing requirements may have been viewed as a way to increase the applicant pool.

He also blamed the elimination of standardized testing on a narrative circulating in academia that some minority students do not do as well as White and Asian students because of poor schooling or cultural bias in the test.

"Frankly, I found this narrative racist and offensive on its face," Schein said. "That is because it could be interpreted as ‘certain minorities were too stupid to do well on these demanding standardized tests.’ I have always rejected this narrative. Further, schools should still have the data but can make decisions based on the many factors considered in admissions, not just the SAT."

The University of Texas at Austin announced on Monday they would once again require applicants to submit test scores beginning August 1 and claimed their test-optional approach over the last four years made it difficult to place students in programs they were best suited for.

"We looked at our students and found that, in many ways, they weren't faring as well," U.T. President Dr. Jay Hartzell told The New York Times.

The university added that due to the plethora of 4.0 high school GPAs, the standardized test requirement is a "proven differentiator" that serves the best interests of the applicant and UT.

Many universities dropped the testing requirement during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some prestigious institutions, such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Georgetown University, reinstated their admissions process requirements.

Schools have said the tests allow them to identify promising students who might otherwise have been overlooked — students from schools that don't offer advanced coursework or extracurriculars and whose teachers may be stretched too thin to write glowing letters of recommendation.

Dartmouth College was the first Ivy League school to reinstate standardized testing requirements in February, writing, "Nearly four years later, having studied the role of testing in our admissions process… we believe a standardized testing requirement will improve — not detract from — our ability to bring the most promising and diverse students to our campus."

Christopher Rim, the CEO and founder of Command Education (a private Ivy League and elite college consultancy), told Fox News Digital that many colleges created test-optional policies based on the assumption that standardized testing has historically disadvantaged students of color.

However, a study cited in Dartmouth's reinstatement announcement noted that test scores help admissions departments interpret transcripts from high schools about which Dartmouth has less information and identify high-achieving, less-advantaged students.

"Researchers found that test-optional policies unintentionally created a barrier for less advantaged students due to the fact that such students often opted against submitting their scores, even when those scores would benefit their application and demonstrate their preparedness for Dartmouth's rigorous curriculum," Rim said.

"Additionally, it placed greater emphasis on elements of the application (such as GPA and course rigor) that disadvantaged students may struggle with more due to lack of opportunity or support at underfunded public schools," he added.

Rim said that while there is no "perfectly equitable" way to evaluate all applications, reincorporating standardized testing alongside other factors, such as extracurriculars, honors courses and essays, will pave the way for a "more fair admissions process."

Soon after Dartmouth publicized its decision, Yale University announced it would abandon its test-optional policy for 2025 admissions applicants. The institution said not including the tests shifted attention to other aspects of the application, which disadvantaged certain students.

"Test scores provide one consistent and reliable bit of data among the countless other indicators, factors, and contextual considerations we incorporate into our thoughtful whole-person review process," the school said.

Brown University is the latest Ivy League institution set to return to standardized testing requirements for first-year students. The policy will begin with the class of 2029.

A report from the Brown Ad Hoc Committee on Admissions Policies noted, "The committee was concerned that some students from less advantaged backgrounds are choosing not to submit scores under the test-optional policy when doing so would actually increase their chances of being admitted."

Brown determined that higher test scores were correlated with higher grades at the university and suggested there are "unintended adverse outcomes of test-optional policies in the admissions process itself, potentially undermining the goal of increasing access."


Australia: Home Schooling Must Be Consistent With official Curriculum

The syllabus is so wishy-washy that no problems should arise

The Queensland government has introduced legislation in parliament mandating that home education is consistent with the Australian government’s curriculum.

This comes amid an almost tripling of students who are been homeschooled in the state since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Education Minister Di Farmer introduced the Education (General Provisions) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024 on March 6, which includes amendments related to homeschooling.

Under the proposed changes, students who are schooled at home are required to follow the government’s syllabus for senior subjects.

The minister noted that more than 10,000 students are currently registered for homeschooling in Queensland.

Ms. Farmer said that given these higher numbers, it is “more important than ever” that students are undertaking a high-quality program.

In addition, she highlighted that the legislation provides “safeguards for student wellbeing.”

“The bill requires a summary of the educational program to be provided at the time of application for home education registration to ensure the child or young person has immediate access to a high-quality program and removes the separate time-limited provisional registration application,” Ms. Farmer told parliament.

“This will provide a single and simplified home education registration process with appropriate oversight by the department.

“Further, the bill removes the need for a certificate of registration and associated obligations, to reduce an unnecessary regulatory burden for parents. Instead, parents will continue to receive a written notice, as they do now, setting out evidence of registration and any conditions on registration.”

Ms. Farmer said the bill establishes a “new guiding principle” emphasising that home education “should be in the best interests of the child or young person.”

“This must take into account the child’s safety, well-being, and access to a high-quality education. This amendment was included in the bill after public consultation on home education amendments was completed,” Ms. Farmer said.

“Using a guiding principle which makes explicit that a child or young person’s best interests must be central to the significant choice of home education is something I am confident Queensland families and home educators will support.”

Home Education Australia spokesperson Samantha Bryan raised concerns with AAP that the mandate may lead to more parents taking home education underground.

Ms. Bryan also told the publication most families registered with the Home Education Unit are succeeding with homeschooling, even if they are not following the national curriculum.

“If children are already receiving a high-quality education, if the system’s not broken, why are we trying to allegedly fix it,” she said.

Ms. Bryan suggested a dual enrolment option allowing families to combine part-time homeschooling with part-time school attendance.

“Families are making great sacrifices because they desperately love and care about the wellbeing of their child,” she said.

“Some of these families would love to put their kids back in school so I think a dual enrolment option—part-time home education, part-time school— would be great.”




Sunday, March 17, 2024

Australia: Authoritarianism lives in the mind of a Leftist teacher

Brendan McDougall (below) teaches in a government school in country Victoria. He realizes that some parents are prepared to make considerable efforts to ensure that their children get a good education while others are prepared simply to accept what the government offers. He deduces rightly that, no matter the system there will always be at least some people who seek privately-funded education in order to give their children more than the government offers. He wants to stop them doing that. He wants to forbid private education altogether. He would approve of the old Soviet system.

That is a distinctly radical proposal from a distinctly radical website and one with no chance of adoption so why does Brendan argue that? His argument is actually realistic in some ways. He thinks that having private schools diverts resources that might otherwise go to government schools and he wants more resources for government schools. Private schools get all the best teachers, for instance.

What he overlooks is that the existing system greatly expands the share of national resouces that goes into education. Private schools attract private money, which adds to what the government spends on education. He is actually advocating for LESS money to be spent on education

He cannot be unaware of that. It is just Leftist envy that is heaving in his breast. He is aware that many private school users "are paying for their children to have access to a more powerful peer group" and he hates it. He just cannot bear the thought of other people doing well for themelves and feeling happy about it. Their happiness makes him unhappy. He must be miserable a lot of the time.

We can be thankful that there are not enough like him to be influential. When Mark Latham was leading the Labour party, he suffered a crashing electoral defeat after just a mild threat to Federal funding to private schools. Around 40% of Australian teenagers go to private schools so that is a huge voting bloc to threaten.

In case it is of any interest, I went to a small country State school in Queensland and sent my son to a regional Catholic school. Both schools were rather good, I think

Australia’s public schools are in crisis.

Teachers nationwide have been shouting about this for more than a decade. There are no teachers. Our students are falling behind internationally. Many kids are depressed and school refusal is through the roof. It’s become so dire that even Education Minister Jason Clare agrees.

Over the past decade, right-wing responses have been to blame the teachers or claim there are too many soft skills being taught. Those advocating in the media for school reform have tended to argue about the funding disparity between public and private schools, and the fact our schools are many percentage points away from meeting the school resourcing standard.

These arguments ignore the reality that our current system values the education of some young Australians more than others — and the numbers obfuscate and distract from the true rot in the sector: class segregation.

We have one of the most robust private education sectors in the world, and it’s hard to argue, especially following a recent Four Corners investigation into allegations of harassment and discrimination at Sydney’s Cranbrook School, that this is doing our society any good.

Private schools don’t need tweaks or reforming; they need to be abolished.

No teachers, no resources

Our teachers are overworked, overwhelmed, burnt out and undervalued — and the numbers often cited are egregious. In New South Wales and Western Australia, shortages of more than 2,000 teachers were reported at the end of 2023. In Victoria, 800 jobs remained unfilled across the state when students returned from the summer (now reduced to 795 at the time of writing, including 14 principals).

This shortage is being felt across the board, but the pain is sharpest at schools in our most vulnerable communities, such as mine, where six teachers have returned from retirement this year and we still have seven unfilled full-time jobs, with no applicants in sight.

In the decade following the 2012 Gonksi review — which assessed school funding and depicted a system characterised by alarmingly declining test scores and increasing educational inequality — funding of private schools has increased at twice the rate of public. Not only did the review’s warnings go unheeded, but successive governments have worked in tandem to accelerate the trend. In Victoria and NSW in 2021, five elite private schools spent more on new facilities than governments spent on 3,372 public schools combined.

These numbers are shameful, but while they liven up discussions in staff rooms, they’re not effective at creating change. There are deeper issues at play. For every cartoonishly posh school in Kew or Bellevue Hill charging well over $30,000 tuition a year, there are five or more smaller, lower-fee private schools that cost $5,000 a year that compete for teachers and students across Australia’s less affluent areas.

These schools are often as materially scruffy as the fee-free public school down the road, with similar performances in metrics like NAPLAN and ATAR. Despite this, parents flock to these independent private schools in droves, with enrolments ticking up 14.1% over the past five years, while enrolments at Catholic private schools increased by 4.8% in the same period. Yet despite recent cost of living pressures, enrolments in public schools only grew by a measly 0.7% over the past five years, well below the average growth for all schools of 3.5%.

Paying for a peer group

We are certainly not getting richer, particularly those of us young enough to have kids starting school for the first time, so why might cash-strapped parents be willing to spend an ever-increasing portion of their disposable income on a product that isn’t measurably “better”?

One reason is that private schools have marketing departments, but a more potent force is that middle-class parents in Australia consider privately educating their children a cultural norm.

Australia is one of the richest countries in the world, and we have one of the highest percentages of private-school-educated young people in the world — 36%, with an increase of 4 percentage points over the past 20 years. In a country like the United States, where there are roiling debates about school choice and rampant social inequality, only 10% of students attended private schools as of 2022-23.

In Australia, enough parents send their kids to private schools that to do otherwise can feel inadequate or negligent. Parents care about their kids and they don’t want them to miss out, so they work two jobs and send their kids to private school so they can relax knowing they did everything they could.

In doing this, however, they inoculate themselves against needing to care about what happens to those who can’t afford what they can. They tap out, and if a third of our families tap out of public education, there becomes little political will left to make our public schools work. This is compounded by the fact that it’s the wealthier, powerful third — the parents who are also doctors and bankers and lawyers and politicians — who leave the public system first.

This means that in Australia we have two education systems — one for everyone, and one for the students whose parents believe that the one for everyone isn’t good enough. These latter children spend their formative years only associating with people like them, with limited mixing across class lines. Parents who send their kids to private schools aren’t necessarily paying for a better education — they are paying for their children to have access to a more powerful peer group.

This has been true for decades. Parents today who attended public schools grew up knowing the state didn’t care about their education, and so it is with today’s young people. They know this in their bones as they walk through the gates. As teachers, we see it in their eyes, but we also see it in our declining PISA scores, our school refusal rates, completion rates, our problems managing behaviour, and the upticks in youth crime statistics. These kids know that their country cares about other children more than them.

Education for all

In a debate about the value of VCE in my Year 12 English class last week, one student asked me if “a 40 here is really worth the same as a 40 at a private school in Melbourne”. The truth is that it’s worth so much more when it’s been fought for so much harder, but there aren’t the structures in place for us to see that.

The rampant, chronic underfunding of our public schools is a blight on our national identity, especially for a country that lionises the idea of a “fair go”. But simply reallocating funding to be more equitable will not address the class segregation corroding Australia’s school system.

So what can we do? Well, we can start by phasing out the federal taxpayer dollars pouring into the coffers of private schools — a minimum of $17.8 billion in 2024. If someone wants to pay for their child to attend a school where they won’t fall in with “the wrong crowd” or the other classist monikers we reserve for poor kids, they can pay for it themselves. We could then invest that money back into our public schools, targeting funding to the communities like mine who need it most.

We could ban the new construction of private schools that are de facto designed to siphon away from the public sector the families who have the resources to invest in their children’s education, robbing their local school of their assistance. A better-resourced public sector could be designed to provide different educational options for different kids, and we could repurpose some of those three-storey performing arts centres into facilities accessible to everyone.

These solutions aren’t easy — they require long-term thinking, values-based politics and bravery. The issue has been ignored for so long that it is entrenched. Decades of underfunding and neglect have made our public schools less competitive and less attractive to middle-class parents. Decades of conversations during school pick-ups and dinner parties have made parents increasingly anxious that their child might get left behind.

Even if we did manage to abolish the grossly inequitable privatised model we currently have, our schools would still be segregated by postcode; by the capacities of parents to pay “top-up fees” to give their local public school an edge. But unless our leaders dare to acknowledge the injustices baked into the system, more kids will leave the public system, more burnt-out public school teachers will leave the profession, and more of our next generation will leave the education system feeling as though it wasn’t designed for kids like them.

If governments, state and federal, are serious about fixing public education, they must consider the radical choice of abolishing the private education sector. Until they do so, they will never truly ensure that our schools are about every child learning, growing and flourishing.


California State University’s Mandate of Ethnic, Social Justice Studies Driven by Hatred of America

Pan-African studies are “the intellectual arm of the revolution,” the unrepentant communist Angela Davis triumphantly told students at California State University, Los Angeles, in a candid moment in 2016. Well, that arm got a lot longer this week.

The entire California State University system just announced Thursday that it was making ethnic and social justice studies mandatory for everyone who wants a degree.

Yes, that means that ethnic and social justice studies will now have pride of place along with English and science as subjects that must be mastered by those brandishing a bachelor’s degree from the vast California system.

Not that ethnic or social justice studies will do one iota to help these young Americans master their fields or become future leaders, which used to be one of the aims of what was formerly called higher education.

No, ethnic and social justice studies are political indoctrination.

Critics would say, hang on, wouldn’t ethnic and social justice studies help Americans get along better in a diverse workforce, body politics, classrooms, etc.? Those critics, of course, would have very little understanding of what actually is taught in ethnic studies or social justice studies.

Ethnic studies teach the members of what in today’s lexicon we call “minorities” (really, any American who belongs to a group that the activists have convinced the bureaucracy to officialize as marginalized) that they have a long list of grievances against the United States, and particularly against whites.

To Americans who have been cordoned off into the groups thought of as belonging to the “oppressor” classes, ethnic and social justice studies classes instruct them to forthwith act submissively, assume the burden of collective guilt for sins in which they have taken no part, listen, not talk, etc.

Who are these oppressor people? It used to be only white male Protestants, but we are seeing the anger turned against white women, who are now dismissed and cruelly disparaged as “Karens,” (anti-racist consultant Robin DiAngelo actually devotes an entire chapter of her bestseller “White Fragility” to “White Women’s Tears”), Jews, and, increasingly, Chinese and Indian Americans.

Why? Well because Chinese and Indian Americans have had the temerity to succeed, which destroys the narrative that we have oppressor and oppressed classes, and individuals cannot do anything about it.

So would anyone want to introduce this witches’ brew into the educational system of anything? Because Angela Davis was right: ethnic studies are a political project.

Ethnic and social justice studies are just one more attempt at demolishing the “hegemonic narrative.” The hegemonic narrative of this country, to those not yet indoctrinated, is the American Way of life. It is the American Dream. It is the promise of liberty and prosperity that has attracted more than 100 million immigrants to our shores in over a century and a half.

That attraction continues to this day. There is a very long line out the door of people seeking to come in and there is no line for people waiting to leave.

As I explain at length in my new book, “The Plot to Change America: How Identity Politics is Dividing the Land of the Free,” to be published this Tuesday, the hard left wants to strangle this goose that laid the golden egg.

To the hard left, this is not a dream, but a dystopian nightmare of an America that is structurally, systemically and institutionally racist. It is also too individualistic (and at the same time too family-centered), profit-driven, male-ist, etc.

To Davis and the others who understand the political value of ethnic studies, this awful American hegemonic narrative must be replaced with a counter-narrative filled with the aggrieved and the aggressors.

That is why every student who will go through the Cal State system will now receive these lessons, and be hugged more tightly by the intellectual arm of the revolution.


School choice wins in Texas — and shows other states how it’s done

The educational-choice movement is a once-in-a-generation political earthquake in America, and politicians in other states should take notice.

The Texas House failed in November to pass Gov. Greg Abbott’s school-choice legislation.

Twenty-one Republicans joined all Democrats to kill a groundbreaking compromise bill that would have created Texas’ first private school-choice program, sent $7 billion extra to public schools and provided $4,000 raises for public-school teachers and support staff.

But instead of empowering families, defecting Republicans voted against their party platform and their constituents.

It looked like the nation’s largest red state would continue to be a stubborn holdout on education freedom, but Abbott quickly and boldly went on the electoral warpath.

He endorsed primary challengers against those members and ultimately deployed more than $7 million of his own campaign cash to make sure voters knew where they stood.

The results were extraordinary.

Of the 16 anti-school-choice incumbents seeking re-election, a stunning six were defeated outright, and another four were pushed into runoffs.

Meanwhile, all five of the seats vacated by retiring members will be filled by pro-school-choice candidates.

This change in the whip count represents the largest shift toward school choice in Texas political history.

It’s difficult to recall another political event in any other state of this magnitude.

It also settled the score on school choice.

On multiple occasions, anti-choice incumbents claimed their constituents are opposed or indifferent to vouchers.

But their actions betrayed the truth.

Until election week, those incumbents still ran advertisements digging in on their vote against school choice.

Ousted Rep. Glenn Rogers wrote multiple opinion articles arguing school choice “isn’t conservative.”

Rogers lost his seat to a school-choice supporter by a 26-point margin.

As Texas’ most popular political figure, Abbott and his endorsements were hugely important to the electorate.

But the governor wasn’t alone.

In the past three months, our affiliated super PAC, AFC Victory Fund, also spent more than $4 million to make sure voters knew where their representatives stood.

All told, this election will be remembered as one of the most significant events in state-level politics in recent history.

Defeating an incumbent lawmaker is the hardest thing to do in politics.

By defeating six incumbents and pushing four more to runoffs, Abbott and AFC Victory Fund blew expectations out of the water with a resounding 77% success rate.

Coming into this year, no Texas Republican incumbents had lost a March primary re-election bid in the prior two election cycles.

Because of school choice, at least six lost in one night.

Thanks in part to the hard work of the governor and several other crucial state and national allies, parents have become the strongest interest group in town.

Texas will now have its best opportunity to pass school choice for every family, which would be the largest Day 1 school-choice program in history.