Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. ‘The Conenator’

 

Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court is now official. The former Notre Dame Law School graduate and professor will now take the next step to a seat on the Supreme Court.

Born and raised in New Orleans, Barrett enjoys the widespread and often passionate support of colleagues stretching back to her days as a clerk for the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia 20 years ago.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, I have taught high school math for 34 years. I’ve been a dues-paying member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) the entire time. They used to publish a wonderful magazine, Mathematics Teacher, which was full of interesting articles about, well, teaching math. I picked up all […]

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We are joined by Dr. Jung Chang, author of the best-selling books Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China; Mao: The Unknown Story; and Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister: Three Women at the Heart of Twentieth-Century China. Dr. Chang discusses Wild Swans, a sweeping narrative about three generations of her family across 20th-century China, and the importance of transmitting firsthand historical knowledge of life under Mao Zedong. She also describes her definitive biography of Mao – which, like Wild Swans, remains banned in China – documenting the carnage under his reign, including the peacetime deaths of an estimated 70 million people. She explores Mao’s cult of personality, changing perceptions of his character and legacy, and Maoism’s resurgence in China today. Dr. Chang then delves into the topic of her newest book, Big Sister, Little Sister, Red Sister: Three Women at the Heart of Twentieth-Century China, a group biography of the powerful Soong sisters, including Madame Chiang. She concludes with a reading from her memoir, Wild Swans.

Stories of the Week: A new report covered by Time magazine reveals a shocking lack of Holocaust knowledge among Millennials and Gen-Z Americans surveyed across 50 states – troubling evidence of the dangers of woefully inadequate history instruction. CBS News reports that more Black families, when given the option, are likely to choose remote learning, for a variety of reasons having to do with mistrust of the system and safety concerns.

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Having pretty much decided not to pursue a master’s degree in Portuguese or in Latin American Studies, I now pile on the rationalizations. Not just why I shouldn’t apply; or why, if I did apply, I wouldn’t be admitted; but also why, if I were admitted, I’d be expelled. I’d be expelled for showing excessive […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: The Problem with America’s Public Schools

 

The experts mean well, but a centralized system cannot possibly have that degree of personal concern for each individual child that we have as parents. The centralization produces deadening uniformity, it destroys the experimentation that is the fundamental source of progress. What we need to do is to enable parents, by vouchers or other means, to have more say about the school which their child goes to, a public school or a private school, whichever meets the need of the child best.

Join Jim and Greg as they chronicle how Princeton University’s self-flagellation over systemic racism launched a federal investigation into whether they should no longer qualify for taxpayer dollars. They also cringe as two swing states (and, yes, Nevada is one of them) create mail-in voting loopholes that erode confidence in the system. And they hammer Joe Biden for claiming to be for and against fracking in the same answer.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Hoist Them On Their Own Petard, Betsy!

 

I’m a bit giddy with schadenfreude. It’s probably because I’m a nerd of a lawyer.

Betsy DeVos has been a terrific Secretary of Education. Yesterday, her department sent a letter to the President of Princeton about Princeton’s admission of racism. Here are some excerpts (citations omitted)

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Kelly Smith, founder and CEO of Prenda, a company that helps create flexible learning environments known as microschools. Often described as the “reinvention of the one-room school house,” microschools combine homeschooling, online education, smaller class sizes, mixed age-level groupings, flipped classrooms, and personalized learning. Kelly shares what inspired him to launch Prenda in 2018, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has catapulted microschools to fame. They discuss how Prenda ensures teacher preparation in core academic areas, holds teachers accountable for student outcomes, and works to bridge achievement gaps.

Stories of the Week: A new report from Eric Hanushek and Ludger Woessmann projects that school closures could cost the U.S. economy over $14.2 trillion by the end of the century. Idaho Gov. Brad Little announced $150 million in funding to public schools and parents for COVID-19 relief, including direct payments to families for educational materials, devices, and services. In The Atlantic, scholars discuss the pros and cons of families’ increasing propensity to consider alternatives to public schools, as a result of COVID.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Monumental Ignorance of Young Americans

 

The increasing anti-American anarchism, radicalism, and Wokeism of Americans, particularly young Americans, leads me to believe that young people in America are monumentally ignorant. The apparent success of the so-called “1619 Project” is consistent with this hypothesis. But it is difficult to determine how widespread this ignorance might be. It is quite easy to find anecdotal data, like a humorous online video of young people demonstrating their cluelessness, but hard to find quantified data.

Condoleezza Rice had an interesting comment in Peter Robinson’s recent interview, reporting that she drew an analogy about the capture of a notable Muslim terrorist being equivalent to the capture of Erwin Rommel. The kids in her audience had no idea who Rommel might be.

Join Jim and Greg as they get a kick out of New York Democrat Rep. Max Rose posting a six-second ad just to bash deeply unpopular Mayor Bill de Blasio and hope it means Rep. Rose is feeling nervous. They also wade into the supposedly explosive revelations about President Trump’s coronavirus approach in Bob Woodward’s new book. And they fume as our tax dollars help pay for an event calling for an end to capitalism and even the United States itself.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Jay Greene, the Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas, and Jason Bedrick, the Director of Policy for EdChoice. They discuss their timely new book, Religious Liberty and Education: A Case Study of Yeshivas vs. New York, about the recent battle between Orthodox Jewish private schools and New York’s state government over the content of instruction. They explain “substantial equivalency” statutes and their potential impact on a wide array of private and religious schools, as well as on parental rights, K-12 education policy, and religious liberty in America. Bedrick and Greene draw comparisons between substantial equivalency regulations and the bigoted, 19th-century Blaine Amendments that were recently weakened as a result of the landmark Supreme Court decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue. They express concerns about growing interference by state departments of education, regardless of the paltry level of funding they distribute to private schools through Title I, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or other programs.

Stories of the Week: In Baltimore, the school district has formed a promising partnership with the Recreation & Parks office to give more than 1,000 students in-person access to their virtual learning lessons, in small cohort groups meeting in schools and rec centers. A New Hampshire town tuitioning program offers financial support to rural families who choose secular private schools for their children – but not to those choosing religious options. In the wake of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, does that distinction still pass constitutional muster?

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I know a few college-age kids, some of whom have gone back to campus and some of whom have decided not to return to campus but continue their studies through online classes. Some of the kids I know have tasted the Kool-Aid and live in fear, not necessarily fear of contracting COVID themselves but of […]

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This has been a hot topic on Ricochet. This debate forum is quite good.   Read More View Post

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This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and guest co-host Kerry McDonald are joined by Michelle Rhee, founder and former CEO of StudentsFirst and prior to that, former chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS). Michelle shares how her liberal arts background and Teach for America experience prepared her for a career in education leadership. Michelle reflects on the reforms she initiated at DCPS, the challenges she faced navigating notoriously difficult D.C. politics, and the rewards of working with her successor, Kaya Henderson, to implement lasting reforms and deliver great results for kids. She offers recommendations for restructuring K-12 schools, especially in larger, urban districts. They also discuss the ways in which schools and districts are being radically decentralized during COVID-19, with virtual schooling, homeschooling, and pandemic pods.

Stories of the Week: Through pandemic pods, parents without a lot of financial resources or home space are getting creative to set up meaningful learning environments across the country. A study on school responses to COVID-19 that appeared in EducationNext shows that leading charter school networks shifted seamlessly to remote learning, within days of the mid-March shutdowns. How did they succeed, and is it replicable?

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Training Children to be Activists

 

Our children have already been brainwashed in our schools with the dogma of Leftism, including the hatred of America, its Founders and its values. But the indoctrination has become more extreme than I thought: We are teaching our children to be activists.

I’m not just talking only about teenagers; I’m talking about grade school children being taught about social justice, about hating conservatives and about denigrating those who think differently than they do in a formal curriculum. Some people are having doubts about the process:

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Why Teachers Think About Quitting

 

Yesterday was the first day of school and I thought about quitting for most of it. Mostly I’m just relieved it’s Saturday today.

I work at a small independent Catholic school. Our admin decided that we would reopen for in-person instruction (which is clearly preferable to remote for all the obvious reasons), but offer a remote option to students who preferred to stay home — “hybrid” instruction. Leave it to admin to give it a name that makes it sound like it’s a perfected model. Herein lies the problem. Our school’s remote experience last spring worked pretty well mostly because everyone was remote at the same time so there was no balancing act required, at least for school.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Cara and Gerard are joined by Devery Anderson, the author of Emmett Till: The Murder That Shocked the World and Propelled the Civil Rights Movement. Today, August 28th, marks the 65th anniversary of the brutal murder of 14-year old Emmett Till, a story which is central to understanding America’s ongoing struggle for civil rights and racial justice. Devery recounts the events at Bryant’s Grocery & Meat Market in Money, Mississippi, which led to the horrific tragedy, and places it in the wider historical context of the Jim Crow South. They discuss Mamie Till-Mobley’s bold decision to make Emmett’s funeral public, with an open casket, and how the event impacted the Civil Rights Movement and its important figures, from Rosa Parks to the late Congressman John Lewis. They also delve into Till’s murderers, their acquittal and later confession, and their fate. The interview concludes with a reading from The Death of Innocence, the heart-wrenching memoir authored by Emmett Till’s courageous mother.

Stories of the Week: Writing in the USA Today, co-host Gerard Robinson explores new poll results on attitudes toward police officers among Black residents in fragile communities. Offering inspiration to millions of young women in STEM fields, a female MIT professor originally from Maine solved a mathematics problem that had stumped experts for half a century. Education insiders are speculating over who would replace USED Secretary Betsy DeVos should she depart after the presidential election.

Join host Joe Selvaggi as he talks with Hannah Mamuszka, expert in diagnostic science, about the state of COVID-19 testing technology and its implications for a safer return to school and work in the fall.

Hannah Mamuszka is Founder & CEO of ALVA10, a healthcare technology firm. Hannah has spent her 20+ year career in diagnostics – both in pharma and at diagnostics companies, in the lab and on the business side. She believes that the challenges of diagnostic technology fully impacting patient care are more commercial than technical, and conceived of ALVA10 to create a mechanism to pull technology into healthcare by aligning incentives through data. She regularly speaks on issues regarding advancement of technology in healthcare, is on the Board of Directors for two diagnostic companies and writes a column on the value of diagnostics for the Journal of Precision Medicine.

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“He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.” Read More View Post

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In the movie As Good As It Gets, Jack Nicholson plays a misanthropic author named Melvin Udall. At one point, a woman asks him, “How do you write women so well?”, to which Udall famously responds, “I think of a man, and I take away reason and accountability.” The quip popped into my head while […]

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