Join Greg and Scot Bertram as they appreciate Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett telling Americans to “read the opinion” before getting worked up over the court’s upcoming opinions. They also analyze the effects of Colorado’s newly signed abortion bill, which allows abortions up to the moment of birth, and the hard left shift by Democrats nationally on the issue of life. And they roll their eyes as Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoes legislation to clean up the voter rolls of citizens, saying it’s an undue burden on county clerks.

Logic 101: Birds and Bees Edition

 

If homosexuality means being attracted to members of one’s own sex, then the following two statements can not both be true — however much each is seen as gospel by our progressive friends.

  1. Being homosexual is not a preference, but rather an orientation — that is, not a choice, but simply how someone is born.
  2. Being male or female is a choice, not a matter of birth and biology.

Because, obviously, if the second is true then every homosexual can choose to be a person of the opposite sex and so, voila!, heterosexual.

What I Knew About My Elementary School Teachers

 

Recently I saw a Tweet from a kindergarten teacher that was quite concerned about the law in Florida to limit sharing of information about sexuality with children in kindergarten through the third grade.  He was quite upset that he wouldn’t be able to tell his students that he had gone paddleboarding with his partner over the weekend. Can you imagine those poor tots going without such important information about aquatic sports?

It got me thinking about what I knew about the sex lives of my teachers in those years at Mark West Elementary.  In kindergarten, my teacher was Mrs. West who always made sure we brought our beach towels to lay down on for nap time. Though I didn’t think about it at the time, her title, “Mrs.” indicates she was married. Or had been married. She might have been divorced or widowed and I would have never known because to my recollection, she never talked about her husband. These same things would be true about my first-grade teacher, Mrs. Rudenal, the woman who made me sit outside the classroom when I talked too much.  And “Mrs.” was all I knew about the love life of Mrs. Clarke, even though she taught me in the 2nd and 3rd grade.

I don’t recall having any interest in their married lives, let alone whether they cruised the local bars while their husbands were out of town. I do know that in such sad, unenlightened times, they had married men. (The options back then were so limited.)

Jim and Greg welcome Byron York, host of The Byron York Show podcast and chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner to preview the 2022 midterm elections. They examine the many factors suggesting this could be a big year for Republicans – from President Biden’s deep unpopularity to the many issues breaking in their favor. They also look at potential stumbling blocks for the GOP and how this year of great political potential could end up as a disappointment. And they consider what wildcards could impact this election season.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-host Cara Candal talks with John Lewis Gaddis, the Robert A. Lovett Professor of Military and Naval History at Yale University, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of George F. Kennan: An American Life. He shares some of the wider background knowledge, major historical themes, and key events that today’s students should know about the Cold War and its impact. He discusses the life and legacy of George F. Kennan, the subject of his Pulitzer-winning biography, who was the architect of America’s Containment policy toward Soviet communism and understood the true character of the Russian people and why communism would fail. They survey some of the outstanding political, military, literary, and religious leaders, as well as the murderous dictators, of the Cold War era. Prof. Gaddis explains why the West has often seemed less resolute towards Communist China and Putin’s Russia since the Cold War, and explores what teachers, students, and the public should know regarding Russia’s long-standing goal of dominating Ukraine. The episode concludes with a reading from Prof. Gaddis’s book, The Cold War: A New History.

Stories of the Week: In Massachusetts, education policymakers are moving ahead with a second review of the Boston Public Schools (BPS), which may lead to state receivership, after reports found that 16,000 BPS students attend schools performing in the bottom 10 percent statewide. Pioneer Institute’s Senior Fellow Charles Chieppo, most recently co-author of a RealClearPolicy op-ed on this topic, joins Cara for an in-depth discussion.

Member Post

 

My university still requires all its wards – students, professors, staff – to wear masks while indoors. Not just masks, mind you, but surgical masks or “better,” such as N95s or KN95s. Out of one side of its bureaucratic mouth, the university celebrates that 99% of all students, faculty, and staff are fully vaccinated. Out […]

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Join Jim and Greg as they cheer a poll showing a majority of Democrats supporting the Florida legislation keeping controversial sexual topics away from kids in kindergarten through third grade and Gov. Ron DeSantis sporting a healthy lead over the Dems running against him. They also sigh as President Biden says sanctions were never going to deter Russia despite top administration officials saying exactly the opposite for weeks. And Jim dissects China’s new COVID problem as cases are on the rise there.

 

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Dr. Arthur Levine, a scholar with New York University’s Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy, a senior fellow and president emeritus of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, and president emeritus of Columbia University’s Teachers College. He shares the main findings and recommendations of a new book he recently co-authored, The Great Upheaval: Higher Education’s Past, Present, and Uncertain Future. He discusses some of the key issues of academic quality, technology, administration, and cost in American higher education today, before and after COVID-19. He also offers thoughts on the role of teacher preparation programs in delivering better academic outcomes for students of all backgrounds. They explore how schools of education can be reformed to better prepare teachers with both the wide background knowledge and practical experience necessary to boost student achievement, and how they can achieve the stellar reputations enjoyed by law and medical schools. The interview concludes with Dr. Levine reading from his recent book.

This episode also features a shorter interview with Dr. Sephira Shuttlesworth, to commemorate her late husband, Civil Rights activist Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, who would have turned 100 on March 18th, and share her current work to help students recover from trauma.

Join Jim and Greg as they implore Missouri primary voters to pick another Republican as more allegations of abuse emerge about Senate candidate Eric Greitens. They also grimace as Vice President Harris offers up another nonsensical word salad in public comments. And the CDC retroactively changes COVID death totals, reducing the total for children by 24%.

 

In this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Andrew speaks with Matt Beienburg, Director of Education Policy at the Goldwater Institute. Matt shares his views on the politicization of America’s public schools, critical race theory, and the genesis of curriculum transparency legislation, which Matt helped draft. We discuss the key features of this legislation and learn how it will help parents understand what is being taught in their children’s schools. We also talk about the intense pushback from the national teachers unions on this issue.

You can follow Matt on Twitter at @MBeienburg 

Upside-down Academia

 

Just a quick observation about what is, to me, a perplexing aspect of today’s education environment.

We have a kerfuffle in Florida prompted by a very sensible call to prohibit the radical sexual indoctrination of kids in pre-school through third grade. The “alphabet people,” as one popular stand-up comic likes to call them, have their nickers in a twist over the possibility that other people’s young children won’t be fed a load of malarky regarding their gender identity — won’t be, at least, until they turn nine.

Join Jim and Greg as they dissect retiring Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy’s comments accusing Dem leaders of siding with the far left and sending left-wing activist groups to pressure moderates into supporting a progressive agenda.  They also fume as another Northern Virginia school district is caught covering up a vicious rape of a 14-year-old girl. And they sigh as Jussie Smollett is freed from jail after just six days while his conviction is appealed.

Georgia Republicans Help Defeat School Choice Bill

 

There was a bill in Georgia Senate to provide a $6,000 voucher to help provide students with an alternative to failing public schools. Eight Republicans voted with Democrats to kill it

Sen. Steve Gooch, a Dahlonega Republican who supported the measure, said that some schools outside metro Atlanta cost less than $6,000, or not more than that amount. He predicted parents would “work harder” to earn a little more money to afford to send their child to a the school of their choice

Join Jim and Greg as they analyze new polls showing President Biden’s energy agenda is deeply unpopular and that a majority of Americans agree with controversial Florida legislation blocking students from kindergarten through third grade from being taught about gender identity and sexual orientation. They congratulate Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan for enacting common sense policy that allows applicants without a college degree to be considered in the state hiring process and suspect Democrats are not being completely honest in why they oppose the bill. We might soon be saying goodbye to changing those clocks as Sens. Marco Rubio and Ed Markey pass a bill making daylight saving time permanent. And they cringe as President Biden struggles to make basic introductions at a public event.

Join Jim and Greg as they applaud West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin for refusing to approve radical Federal Reserve nominee Sarah Bloom Raskin despite pressure from the left.  They also chide New Jersey Rep. Tom Malinowski for dismissing parents’ concerns about schools as made-up cultural BS and they see it is a signal that Democrats are in big trouble for the upcoming midterms.  And “The View” hosts Ana Navarro and Whoopi Goldberg accuse Tucker Carlson and Tulsi Gabbard of treason.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Leslie Hiner, Vice President of Legal Affairs and Director of Legal Defense & Education Center with EdChoice. They discuss the the landmark U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision in Brown v. Board of Education, among the most important in the nation’s history, and how Brown’s call for racial access and equity in K-12 education has helped inform the work and advocacy of the school choice movement. They also review important SCOTUS decisions such as Zelman v. Simmons-Harris in 2002 related to school vouchers; and Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue in 2020, extending a public scholarship program to religious schools. They then explore the key legal contours of Carson v. Makin, a Maine school tuitioning case that the Supreme Court will decide this year, and its wider implications for school choice in America. Ms. Hiner offers thoughts on the next legal battles, as well as how and where school choice opponents will likely strike back.

Stories of the Week: The American Federation of Teachers and the AAUP are planning to join forces on objectives such as protecting academic freedom, and supporting increased funding for public higher education. A Pew Research Center survey shows that support for school principals has declined among Republicans, likely connected to contentious policy debates around mask mandates and history curricula.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-host Cara Candal talks with Linda Chavez, a senior fellow at the National Immigration Forum and the author of Out of the Barrio: Toward a New Politics of Hispanic Assimilation. She shares how her ethnic background, Catholic education, and experience working with legendary American Federation of Teachers president Al Shanker, a great champion of civic education, shaped her outlook and public career. Ms. Chavez talks about why she ultimately parted ways with the teachers’ unions on key education issues. They discuss heated policy debates in American K-12 education regarding how to craft and deliver curricula that honor students’ diversity, while also educating for common ideals. Chavez sheds light on changing perceptions of Hispanic students, pointing to the wide variation in socioeconomic and academic achievement levels among those from different Spanish-speaking countries. She makes the case for a more flexible, broad, skills-based national immigration policy that responds to labor demands, and concludes with insights on why the country is struggling to unify around common civic values.

Stories of the Week: In Connecticut, a trend in the making? The state’s tech ed and career system, enrolling 12,000 students, is planning to become independent from the state education department, to increase its autonomy over finances and curricula. A new $100 million Google certification program could put students on the fast track to successful IT careers – bypassing a four-year degree.

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Reinier Moquete, son of immigrants from the Dominican Republic and founder of CyberWarrior, a cyber security services provider in Boston, Massachusetts. Reinier shares why he is continuing the entrepreneurial tradition started by his grandmother and mother, who moved to the U.S. in search of a better quality of life for their families. Reinier describes his efforts to give back to the country that gave his family a chance, through non-profits and foundations he has launched that elevate disadvantaged communities, expose children to STEM education, and uplift particularly Latinx people in the U.S., as you’ll learn in this week’s JobMakers.

Guest