Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. School Stuff You Still Use

 

Tonight, I had to log onto a career resource and resume template website. I made an account my freshman year of high school; the teacher warned us to create a username and password we could remember because we would be using this website for a long time. The student teacher mentioned he was using it.

I was skeptical. There are many things teachers will tell you will be long-term things that you will use later in your education, or perhaps into your career. As it turned out, a few of these predictions were right, and many were wrong. Not that I think the teachers were universally wrong: Some students probably did go on to use those things, but not me.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Carl Bistany, the president of SABIS® Educational Systems, an education company founded over 130 years ago that serves young women in the Middle East, and poor and minority students in the U.S. Carl describes SABIS’® successful model for educating underserved and at-risk students, especially its use of regular, consistent testing, to bridge achievement gaps among those who are often seen as the most challenging to educate. He describes some of his proudest accomplishments, as well as barriers that have made it difficult, politically, for for-profit school management companies like SABIS® to operate and expand their successful models. They also explore some of the most promising developments in K-12 education reform internationally, and in the U.S.

Stories of the Week: Ohio lawmakers have passed a proposal that would overhaul the criteria for the state’s largest private school tuition program, to serve more low-income students currently enrolled in public schools whose performance ranks in the bottom fifth. A study by Bellwether Education found that the rate of teacher retirement in six of seven states reviewed has declined by five percent. Has COVID-related virtual instruction helped retain veteran faculty?

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome growing evidence that coronavirus transmission rates are very low in the schools. Jim explains why the Trump campaign’s accusations of massive election fraud don’t seem to hold water. And they shake their heads as Barack Obama reveals why his Middle East peace efforts went nowhere.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Arizona Voters Foolishly Choose New Taxes

 

Arizona voters have some serious ‘splaining to do about the passage of Prop. 208, which raised education funds by boosting income tax rates up to 98% for high-income filers. How could this have happened?

Arizona schools have already received over $1 billion in new sustainable monies over recent years, with more coming. More importantly, Arizona public schools, without receiving much credit, have become a remarkable success story.

Academic achievement gains for minority students are among the highest in the nation. Arizona charter schools excel in competitive rankings.

Join Jim and Greg as they discuss Senate Democrats unloading on Minority Leader Chuck Schumer over Democrats failing to win several highly targeted seats this year. Is his job safe? They also unload on Joe Biden’s plan to tax gun owners $34 billion and ban some of the most popular rifles and magazines on the market. And they dissect New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo melting down over COVID, schools, and law enforcement officers refusing to endorse his absurd policy on Thanksgiving gatherings.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Wayne Franklin, professor of English at the University of Connecticut and definitive biographer of the American literary figure James Fenimore Cooper. As we celebrate Native American Heritage Month, Prof. Franklin reviews Cooper’s background and major works, especially the “Leatherstocking Tales,” including The Last of the Mohicans, which are distinguished for their enlightened and sympathetic portrayal of the disappearing tribes. Franklin discusses why these books, set in upstate New York in the middle of the 18th century, and their memorable protagonists have captivated generations of readers for over a century, and why Cooper deserves more contemporary study and appreciation. They also explore Cooper’s lessons about the importance of constitutionalism, liberty, self-government, and civic knowledge as the basis for the rule of law in our republic. Prof. Franklin concludes with a reading from The Last of the Mohicans.

Stories of the Week: In Europe, despite a COVID-19 surge that has prompted closures of restaurants, theaters, and gyms, schools remain open. Are there lessons for the U.S.? Some prominent names have been floated to serve as the next U.S. Secretary of Education – among them, Eduardo Padron, president emeritus of Miami Dade College; Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers; and Lily Eskelsen García, former president of the National Education Association – but would they accept?

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Jason Riley, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and columnist for The Wall Street Journal. Jason shares insights on the 2020 election, its implications for the next two years, and assuming Vice President Biden becomes president, how he may govern on K-12 education. They discuss the likely direction of policymaking with regard to charter public schools and school choice, and the influence of the teachers’ unions. Jason offers thoughts about the George Floyd tragedy and protests, the state of race relations across America, and how political, media, civic, and religious leaders could address the country’s deep divisions. Lastly, Jason shares lessons on race, economics, and education from Dr. Thomas Sowell, the subject of his forthcoming biography.

Story of the Week: Dr. Thomas Sowell, Hoover Institution Senior Fellow, describes the legal and regulatory barriers, promoted by the powerful and self-interested teachers’ unions, that prevent more students from attending the charter public schools that are successfully educating low-income minority children across America.

This election is far from over. Votes are still being counted, and some will even end up being recounted. Contrary to what is all over social media and the news, this election is not final until each state certifies their results and the electors cast theirs. Period. More important than who wins is the confidence level the American people have that when all the legal ballots are counted that we as a country “got it right”. In this podcast, we are joined by Jay Shepard, Vice Chair of the RNC and Dr. Bruce Abramson, President of the American Restoration Institute to look at the facts, where we are right now and what are the question we as a country really need to be asking so that when all is said and done, we are certain that the election was free and fair. Also, if you want our video podcast https://acekfund.org/2020/11/08/election-integrity/

 

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Tara Ross, the nationally recognized author of Why We Need the Electoral College. On the eve of the 2020 election, they discuss the critical and controversial role of the Electoral College in determining which candidate will become the next President of the United States. Tara explains how the Electoral College functions, why the Framers established it, and why this key feature of the U.S. Constitution and electoral system has become such a lightning rod. They explore its historical role in balancing power between small and large states, encouraging candidates to build wide coalitions across numerous states and regions, and checking the excesses of popular passions. They also discuss the role of the Electoral College in helping to isolate closely contested elections to specific states, such as in Florida in 2000; and Tara shares thoughts on the current political landscape.

Stories of the Week: Results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) show troubling declines in grade 12 reading performance – will the results reinforce arguments to end testing? Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced she will no longer enforce the prohibition against religious organizations applying for federal funding for charter schools – opening charters to criticisms that opponents have long leveled, that these schools are not truly public.

In our special Halloween edition of “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Pulitzer-Prize winner Stacy Schiff, whose most recent book is The Witches: Salem, 1692. They discuss why, in Schiff’s view, the Salem witch trials are the “the best known, least understood chapter” of American history, and why the trials, false charges, and finger pointing, remain relevant today in our Internet culture. They review the characteristics of the accused and accusers, and compare them to perceptions passed down through the fiction of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Arthur Miller, and others. They also explore the connection between Puritanism, with its iconoclastic principles, and the American founding; and how such a highly literate society based on piety and learning could devolve into one that embraces hocus pocus, superstition, and injustice. Schiff delves into the role of gender and race in the witch trials, and what colonial Salem teaches us about how hysteria can foment civil strife and violence. She concludes with a reading from The Witches: Salem, 1692.

Stories of the Week: In North Carolina, a lawsuit was filed against the state’s opportunity scholarship program that provides up to $4,200 a year in tuition assistance for low-income students to attend private schools. Will state legislators succeed in persuading the Court to dismiss the case? In Detroit, a financial review commission has agreed to release the public school system from state oversight after nearly 11 years, a hopeful sign for a beleaguered district.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Andrew Burstein, the Charles P. Manship Professor of History at Louisiana State University, and author of The Original Knickerbocker: The Life of Washington Irving, and with Nancy Isenberg, The Problem of Democracy: The Presidents Adams Confront the Cult of Personality. As we near Halloween, Professor Burstein explains why Irving’s short stories and tales, with their distinctive blend of imagination and nostalgia, continue to delight audiences young and old, and how the Headless Horseman from “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” became one of literature’s most infamous ghosts. In addition to being the U.S. ambassador to Spain and becoming an international celebrity, they discuss how Irving Americanized the Christmas holiday, including its central figure, St. Nicholas, and influenced Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Lastly, as the nation prepares for a contentious election, they turn to Professor Burstein’s biographies of the two Adamses, Jefferson, Madison, and Jackson. They discuss the devolution of the American presidency into a cult of personality, and whether this departs from the Founding Fathers’ vision and expectations for the chief executive. Professor Burstein concludes with a reading from his Irving biography.

Stories of the Week: In New York City, Mayor DeBlasio is demanding that Success Academies charter public schools pay $500,000 so that students can continue using school district athletic fields they have been practicing on for years. The 2020 American Federation for Children has published its 2020 school choice guidebook, providing state-by-state information and analyses on educational options such as voucher, ESA, and tax credit scholarship programs across the country.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Critical Race Theory and Its Discontents

 

Most Americans were not aware when a toxic theory of race relations deeply embedded itself into our culture, especially our schools.

Critical race theory (CRT) sounds like sophisticated academic reasoning, but it is not rooted in any science nor subjected to disciplined analysis. It is based on the assumption that white people are born with a belief in their own superiority and with prejudice against other races that, because it is inborn, can never be eliminated.

Racism is defined as the mindset of judging people on the basis of their race. It is profoundly racist to believe that any person’s beliefs can be reliably determined based only on their skin color.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Kate Walsh, president of the National Council on Teacher Quality. They discuss the factors contributing to the decline in qualifications of those who enter the teaching profession, including a general lowering of academic expectations within graduate schools of education and across higher education. They explore the importance of liberal arts content knowledge and subject-area expertise in teacher preparation, and what research shows about the impact of teachers obtaining advanced degrees on student outcomes. Kate describes some of the key differences between teacher preparation, accreditation, and job prospects in the U.S. and other countries, including Canada. They speculate about what a Biden presidency might mean for K-12 education policymaking, delving into the politics of education reform, and the role of trade associations and special interest groups, such as teachers’ unions, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and the National Governors Association, in impeding necessary changes. Lastly, Kate shares insights on how to diversify the teaching pipeline, at a time when people of color make up half of public school students, but only 20 percent of their teachers.

Stories of the Week: The governing board of NAEP, or the Nation’s Report Card, is considering changing the framework of the reading section to account for differences in students’ sociocultural backgrounds – will such a shift undermine the reliability of this important barometer of school district performance? An analysis from EducationNext shows that the number of K-12 administrative staff employed in U.S. public school districts has increased by 75 percent over the last two decades, but only 7 percent for teachers. Is this trend sustainable as resources become scarcer?

This podcast is a quick, down and dirty look at the Hunter Biden scandal and Big Tech’s chilling decision to totally blackout the NY Post’s story, right before our elections on Nov 3rd. What drives it, why there are no real consequences for the Masters of The Universe, and what really needs to change if we are to truly protect our rights to speak freely.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Cheryl Brown Henderson, president of the Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence, and Research. She shares her experience as the daughter of the lead plaintiff in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, and thoughts on how the historic decision contributed to advancing civil rights in our country. They explore the tragic murder of George Floyd and the ongoing problem of racial inequality, and consider steps that political, educational, civic, and religious leaders should take to address past injustices. Lastly, Cheryl discusses COVID-19’s impact on the important conversation about the wide achievement gaps that have blocked educational opportunity for poor children of color, and how to bridge them.

Stories of the Week: Would a Joe Biden presidency stem the tide of labor unions’ decline in influence? The former Vice President is expected to appoint a union leader to his Cabinet, perhaps in the U.S. Department of Education. This week marks “fall count day,” when schools across the U.S. must submit student enrollment numbers to determine state funding for the next year – but 60 of the nation’s largest districts are reporting significant declines, especially in kindergarten and elementary grades.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Paul Peterson, the Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government and Director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University. They discuss his recent Wall Street Journal op-ed analyzing NAEP results from 2005-17 to show that charter schools are helping underprivileged students improve at faster rates than their peers in traditional district schools, especially among African-American students. Professor Peterson shares thoughts on the implications of this evidence for charter school expansion, and the challenges from opponents, predominantly in the Northeast, who seek to over-regulate charter schools. They also delve into lessons from COVID-19 with regard to the long overdue embrace of online education, options such as micro-schools and pods that are unfortunately often only available to affluent families, and the effects of school closures on children.

Stories of the Week: In Boston, attending a charter school dramatically narrows achievement gaps between special-education students and English learners, and their traditional public school counterparts, according to new analysis from Tufts Professor Elizabeth Setren. In Kansas, the Education Commissioner stated that both remote and hybrid learning models are not effective and sustainable through the academic year.

The money behind BLM and what real domestic terrorism is. This weeks podcast featuring Dr. Bruce Abramson reveals the truth about this and why public education is failing our children. We take on the teachers union, lost civics education. We also throw in a dose of the politics behind Trump’s Supreme Court appointment and the nationalization of this November’s election.

Also, check out our first video podcast!

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

After some BLM-related controversies, my local school district, and especially the high school where I had the misfortune to spend four years, has, like all school districts in America, gone woke — though not so woke as northern Virginia’s Loudoun County Public Schools, which is flirting with the idea of banning dissent outright. But I […]

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Brenda Wineapple, author of the award-winning Hawthorne: A Life and The Impeachers: The Trial of Andrew Johnson and the Dream of a Just Nation. They discuss her definitive biography of Nathaniel Hawthorne and the 170th anniversary of the publication of his classic novel, The Scarlet Letter. They explore how Hawthorne’s writing was shaped by the author’s Salem, Massachusetts setting and his notorious Puritan ancestor, who had been involved in the Witchcraft Trials. Brenda describes why Hester Prynne, the protagonist of The Scarlet Letter, is such a compelling heroine, and why students today should read Hawthorne’s work. The discussion then turns to Brenda’s most recent book, The Impeachers, and the impulse to condemn or publicly shame. President Andrew Johnson’s impeachment trial was the first against any U.S. chief executive. Brenda talks about how it influenced Americans’ view of their chief executives, accountability, and whether we are likely to see increased attempts to remove presidents from office. The episode concludes with Brenda doing a reading from The Impeachers.

Stories of the Week: In New Hampshire, the state Supreme Court is hearing a case challenging the adequacy of the state’s school funding formula, contending that local taxpayers are being unfairly required to cover a disproportionate amount of school budgets. In South Carolina, the pandemic has led to a substantial increase in enrollment in virtual charter schools.