Join Jim and Greg as they marvel at Israel selling an air defense system to the UAE, demonstrating the success of the Abraham Accords and best chance at stability in the Middle East. They also cringe as Russian soldiers are going house to house in eastern Ukrainian provinces, forcing them to vote in favor of leaving Ukraine and joining Russia.  And that’s on top of Vladimir Putin threatening more directly than ever that he might use nukes. Finally, they call out the “gender-inclusive” insanity at the Air Force Academy, where cadets are encouraged to stop using words like mom, dad, boyfriend, and girlfriend.

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome the House GOP decision to put an agenda before the voters this year on the biggest issues where the Democrats have failed. They also discuss a former vice president from the EcoHealth Alliance stating under oath that COVID was a result of gain of function research in Wuhan funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. And they wince as Vladimir Putin orders 300,000 reservists to fight against Ukraine, while noting that these new soldiers are probably far less competent than the ones that have already failed.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Dr. Niall Ferguson, the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a senior faculty fellow of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard. He is the author of 16 books, including Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe. Dr. Ferguson comments publicly for the first time on the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning British monarch, and how we should teach about Britain’s wide impact – positive and negative – on the world in her era and over the last several hundred years, from the Magna Carta to Winston Churchill. Dr. Ferguson shares findings from his most recent book, which charts the history of disasters, from the 1346–1353 Black Death to COVID; whether our handling of these catastrophes – from both public health and economic standpoints – has improved; and how we can learn from mistakes to better prepare for the future. He describes the kind of education he imparts to his own children to help ensure they have the wisdom and resilience to live in a turbulent world. The interview concludes with Dr. Ferguson reading from his latest book.

Stories of the Week: Are schools of education helping future teachers develop content expertise, or are they too focused on pedagogy and ideology? In Philadelphia, the Martin Luther King High School is the city’s first school with Black faculty for all core freshmen subjects, a step forward in the effort to ensure students can benefit from diverse role models.

Photo: Stella O’Malley

In this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Beth and Andrew welcome psychotherapist and author Stella O’Malley to talk about the exploding number of teenage girls with gender dysphoria. Stella shares her own difficult childhood experiences growing up thinking she should be a boy and describes her journey to a career in psychotherapy. She talks about why she thinks girls are susceptible to social contagion and the role that both schools and social media play. Stella also illustrates why so few psychologists are willing to speak out on the alarming trends of gender dysphoria affecting girls and young women but shares her own optimism that the truth will eventually win out.

Join Jim and Greg as they discuss a recent New York Times poll showing 70 percent of Americans opposed to elementary school students being instructed about sexual orientation and gender identity. The country is clear on this and Republicans would be insane not to highlight the chasm between the parties. They also enjoy a new poll in Texas showing Gov. Greg Abbott nine points ahead of Beto O’Rourke in the governor’s race and it gives Jim a chance to tell the media that their dream of the Democrats winning statewide in Texas will likely have to wait…again. And they dissect President Biden’s “60 Minutes” interview, in which he’s frustrated that people aren’t happy that inflation has plateaued somewhat in recent months and completely bungles his Taiwan policy again.

 

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Dr. Bill Evers and Ze’ev Wurman, of the Independent Institute, about the challenges of ensuring all students have access to quality K-12 math and science education in California and across the U.S. They review the findings of the 1983 report, A Nation At Risk, and international TIMSS and PISA data going back a decade, as well as recent NAEP results that highlight the ongoing educational crisis, compounded by COVID-related learning loss. They discuss some of the time-tested approaches taken by higher-performing countries such as Israel, and those in East Asia and Europe, to prepare students to succeed in STEM, and how state policymakers can address the gaps so America can become competitive with international peers in STEM fields. They share the findings of Dr. Evers’ Wall Street Journal op-ed about the rise of “woke math” in California, and how we can resist politicizing learning. They conclude with a review of a 2020 Pioneer Institute report that found that less than half of all U.S. high schools offer computer science instruction, and that women and people of color were underrepresented in those classrooms.

Stories of the Week: In Massachusetts, supporters of a proposed progressive tax claim the revenue will increased education spending – but will the measure instead harm the economy and reduce state resources for education investments? A program adopted by 19 colleges across the country is facilitating connections between conservative Christian colleges and liberal institutions to address religious and political polarization.

This week on Hubwonk, host Joe Selvaggi talks with Dr. Beth Akers, AEI Senior Fellow, about the recent presidential executive order to cancel an estimated $500 billion in outstanding student debt. They explore who benefits, who pays, and the likely effects on tuition and the borrowing habits of future students.

Guest:

Photo courtesy Ian Rowe

On this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Andrew and Beth welcome education innovator and author Ian Rowe. Ian shares his own personal story coming from an immigrant family which ignited his passion for education. He discusses his framework F.R.E.E. – family, religion, education and entrepreneurship – which serves as an alternative to the toxic and divisive victimhood narrative currently ascendant in our nation’s schools. Ian also talks about the charter high school he cofounded in the Bronx, NY, and the vitriol he has received from teachers unions over his efforts to launch this brand new school.

Join Jim and Greg as they cheer a very strong ad from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis that uses Floridians from all walks of life mentioning how his policies have made their lives better. They also are intrigued to see the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette call our John Fetterman for being unable to take part in debates and the New York Times start to lay expectations for the defeat of Stacey Abrams in Georgia. Finally, they shake their heads at the left looking to California as the leaders in progressive energy policy…only to see California suffering rolling blackouts and and energy restrictions as a heat wave rolls in.

In this Labor Day edition of “The Learning Curve,” Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Timothy Garton Ash, Professor of European Studies at the University of Oxford, Isaiah Berlin Professorial Fellow at St Antony’s College, Oxford, and the author of The Polish Revolution: Solidarity. Professor Garton Ash shares insights on what both the public and students should know about Poland’s Solidarity movement, the first independent trade union (with 10 million members) behind the Iron Curtain, and its charismatic co-founder, Lech Walesa. They discuss the wide range of support for it, from U.S. President Ronald Reagan, Pope John Paul II, and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, to peace campaigners and socialists, and how it helped topple Soviet communism. He explains Poland’s role during World War II as ground zero of the Holocaust, how Allied decisions at Yalta set the stage for the Cold War, and lessons that we should remember in the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The interview concludes with a reading from his book.

Stories of the Week: Loan forgiveness programs and other issues surrounding higher education are already political – but could politicos push the envelope by imposing tuition caps or outcome-based funding, interfere with autonomy in hiring, or target affirmative action programs? A new initiative is tackling big, structural problems in K-12 education, developing tools that can help parents with more flexible learning options, greater equity, and access to postsecondary college and career opportunities.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Angel Adams Parham, Associate Professor of Sociology and senior fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture (IASC) at the University of Virginia, and the author of The Black Intellectual Tradition: Reading Freedom in Classical Literature. Professor Parham shares her background as an academic and former homeschooling mom, her embrace of classical education, and her philosophy about what constitutes a sound humanities curriculum. She reviews the wide variety of ancient and contemporary sources she has drawn upon, and how best to weave both faith and classical learning into the lives of children. She offers thoughts on how parents and teachers should be using enduring ideas of justice, from Plato through MLK, in this time of bitter division, and how to teach about America’s past. They also talk about her 2022 Wall Street Journal op-ed on the importance of classics, and the main themes of her new book.

Stories of the Week: In Maine, multiple police departments have recovered candy-colored fentanyl and methamphetamine in the shape of chewable vitamins, part of a nationwide trend of making these deadly drugs more appealing to younger people. Is the teacher shortage crisis a myth? New research cited in The 74 indicates that teacher turnover rates have not changed since before COVID.

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome Washington, D.C. postponing a COVID vaccine mandate for students 12 years and older after the Daily Signal repeatedly pointed out that the requirement would keep 40 percent of black students in that age range out of school. They also chronicle just how bad New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is – from telling political opponents they don’t belong in the state to falsely indicating that she was against closing schools over COVID. And they walk through the the effort in Los Angeles to force hotels to house the homeless in any vacant rooms they have.

 

Member Post

 

…and the student loan debacle announced by the person sitting in the Oval Office.  I think he only missed one thing-see if you can figure out what it is.  Italics mine. To change the subject from inflation, politicians like President Biden often find it useful to accuse businesses of price gouging. The alleged price gouging […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.

Join Jim and Greg as they serve up two bad martinis and a crazy one. First, they groan as the Biden administration foolishly pursues a new Iran nuclear deal that in several ways would be even worse than the original. They also fume as California lays out plans to ban the sale of gasoline-powered cars by 2035, explain how electric vehicles are a thoroughly unacceptable option for millions of Americans, and how government has no business forcing options on us that we don’t want. And they have a LOT to say about the Biden administration’s rollout of its plan to force Americans who didn’t take out student loans or have paid them off to cover those costs for others.

Photo courtesy Ramona Bessinger

On this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Beth and Andrew welcome Ramona Bessinger, a teacher who bravely spoke out about the racialized curriculum in her school district. Ramona talks about what prompted her to speak up and the push back she got from her school, other teachers, parents and students. She discusses the article she wrote for Legal Insurrection exposing her school’s divisive CRT based curriculum and the retaliation she received for writing it. Ramona also shares her views on why it is so difficult for other teachers to come forward and oppose the ideological takeover of our nation’s schools.

Ramona Bessinger is a 23-year veteran public school teacher, currently teaching English at Classical High School in Providence, RI. Ramona has extensive experience developing curriculum and has served as a school base model classroom. As a teacher of American Literature, World Literature, Multicultural Literature, Ramona brings a diverse understanding of English instruction for K-12 learners. Ramona is also a mother, patriot and active in restoring truthful pro-American K-12 Education and Curriculum Standards for all children.

What Back-to-School-Night Speeches May Sound Like This Year

 

[Years ago, I wrote a post about what back-to-school-night speeches would sound like if parents of typical kids got talked to the way parents of kids in special education do. Feels like it’s time to do another one, anticipating what those speeches might be like in these days when schools seem less interested in informing parents than intimidating them.]

Good evening, assembled terrorists, bigots, and people who provide room and board for our children:

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome news that Democrats in Florida admit being “fatalistic” in knowing Republicans are very likely to win statewide races. They also unload on the Biden administration over it’s plan to “forgive” $10,000 in student loans and pass the bill over to people who never took out the loans or responsibly paid their bills. Finally, they discuss Rep. Jerry Nadler’s surprisingly easy win in a member vs. member New York House primary and Rep. Carolyn Maloney blaming her loss – at least in part – on misogyny and a sexist system.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Alan Taylor, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Professor of History at the University of Virginia, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, and author of the book, Thomas Jefferson’s Education. Professor Taylor shares some highlights of Jefferson’s career, his views on the importance of primary and higher public education in serving the political aspirations of his state and region, and Jefferson’s role as the architect of the University of Virginia, whose buildings embody his Neoclassical outlook. Professor Taylor reviews Virginia’s complex, 18th-century history as the most politically influential, populous, and wealthiest state, but one that was heavily dependent on agriculture and slavery. The interview concludes with Professor Taylor reading from his book on Jefferson.

Stories of the Week: A Washington Post column raises concerns about data showing that we are under-educating our children through low academic expectations, especially those from low-income and minority backgrounds. In Wisconsin, Act 31 requires that K-12 public schools instruct students in the history of the state’s Native Americans – but some estimate that less than half of the schools are implementing it.

Join Jim and Greg as they serve up three more good martinis! First, they like where Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stands in his re-election bid and they enjoy watching another progressive darling cruising towards defeat. They don’t like the state of the the economy but they’re also relieved to see nearly 70 percent of Americans rejecting the Biden administration’s bogus argument that we’re not really in a recession.  And they cheer Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin for blasting Fairfax County Public Schools for failing to remove a middle school counselor for soliciting a minor for sex until almost two years after the fact.

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Dr. Liya Palagashvili, immigrant from the former Soviet Union, Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and affiliated research fellow at NYU Law. Dr. Palagashvili shares findings from research she co-authored on the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program, which fills the gap for international students between studying in the U.S. and being employed here through a work visa. The program enables America to retain talented students at just the time in their lives when they’re likely to generate ideas and start businesses, but recent legislation seeks to end the program. Dr. Palagashvili explains why such a move is counterproductive and even a national security threat. Instead, she argues, reforming and making it easier to access OPT would help enhance America’s edge in the global search for talent, and prevent that talent from moving to Canada, the U.K. and other countries – as you’ll learn in this week’s JobMakers.

Guest: