This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard Robinson and guest co-host Kerry McDonald talk with Jean Strouse, author of the award-winning biography of J.P. Morgan, Morgan: American Financier. They discuss why the general public and students alike should know more about the life and accomplishments of the controversial, late 19th- and early 20th-century American banker. She explains Morgan’s role as a stabilizing figure while serving as the de facto central bank during financial booms and panics, and his importance in the creation of U.S. Steel, Edison General Electric, and the railroad empire, all of which helped propel the nation’s economic ascent. He was also involved in public disputes with Theodore Roosevelt and other Progressive-era figures over the power of business trusts and monopolies. Finally, Ms. Strouse describes Morgan’s famous art collecting, and one of the most interesting figures in his life, Belle da Costa Greene, who was director of the world-renowned Pierpont Morgan Library. The interview concludes with Ms. Strouse’s reading from her biography of J.P. Morgan.

Stories of the Week: Survey data show more Americans are considering foregoing college in favor of alternatives to career pathways, and enrollment has not seen a post-COVID rebound. For those families who do plan for college, U.S. News offers some tips, including starting the search early, talking to recruiters, learning effective study habits, and more.

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You can look up and listen to Evita’s speeches, or one of ’em. The one I found may have been a video/audio montage. But I feel certain all the parts are authentic. She really called people – some people – her supporters – descamisados. Imagine saying into a microphone “shirtless ones.” Imagine the words booming […]

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I think this is really big news.  Just recently, the faculty of the University of Washington, in deep-blue Seattle, rejected a requirement that faculty seeking tenure sign a “diversity statement”.  This was worse than the anti-communist “loyalty oath” that was required in the 1950s.  The professor who spoke with local radio host Dori Monson said […]

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This Fourth of July week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Dr. Joseph Ellis, Professor Emeritus of History at Mount Holyoke College and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation. They discuss the resurgence of public interest in the Revolutionary and Founding generations due, in part, to his book, Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams. Known as the “Atlas of American Independence,” John Adams was perhaps the best educated among the Founding generation. Ellis describes his deep knowledge of classical liberal arts and Enlightenment subjects, including ancient history, political philosophy, and the law, and how it equipped him for intellectual and political leadership. They review Adams’ key experiences and character traits, as the major author of the 1780 Massachusetts Constitution, which served as a model for the U.S. Constitution; his ardent opposition to slavery; and his critical eye for spotting political talent. Lastly, they explore the relationship between Adams and his beloved, talented wife, Abigail; as well as their gifted son, John Quincy Adams, the sixth U.S. President; and the family’s remarkable dedication to public service. Prof. Ellis concludes the interview with a reading about John Adams and American Independence.

Stories of the Week: In Mississippi, public K-12 students have made greater gains than in any other state, becoming a national model for both practitioners and policymakers alike, as a result of specific reforms implemented by State Superintendent of Education Carey Wright. At least 12 states are relaxing teacher certification rules, including licensure, to address the labor shortage.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Gerard Robinson and Cara Candal talk with Arif Panju, a managing attorney with the Institute for Justice and co-counsel in the U.S. Supreme Court school choice case, Carson v. Makin; and David Carson, the lead plaintiff. Panju shares the key legal contours of Carson v. Makin and the potential impact of the Court’s decision in favor of the plaintiffs. They delve into the origins of the Maine school tuitioning program, and the change in the early 1980s that resulted in discrimination against religious families. They also review the 2020 Supreme Court ruling, Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, which was a major victory for the Institute for Justice and school choice. Carson reflects on what motivated his family to join this case and take such a courageous stand for school choice and religious liberty, and what it has been like being involved in such a high-profile U.S. Supreme Court case.

Stories of the Week: Cara and Gerard review the impact of the Pell Grant program, launched 50 years ago this week, in helping to expand access to higher education. What would high school look like if it were designed to give students job-based learning experiences and marketable skills upon graduation?

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It is hard to believe that New Yorker cartoons were ever funny. But some were in fact so good that it is possible, decades later, just to describe them in words and convey their humor. Once, someone at a medical school tacked up one that showed an operating-room scene where the surgeon asks, “How’s the […]

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On this very special episode of Take Back our Schools, Beth and Andrew speak with former U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. We discuss Betsy’s lifelong advocacy for education freedom and school choice, and she shares stories of some of the innovative schools she has seen as well as her experiences being the primary target for the powerful teachers unions. We also discuss her effort reforming of the Title IX rules, and the Biden administration’s proposed rollback, announced just yesterday, of some of these regulations around sex and gender discrimination in schools and universities.

Betsy DeVos is the author of Hostages No More – The Fight For Education Freedom and the Future of the American Child, published this week. Betsy served as the 11th U.S. Secretary of Education from 2017 – 2021 and for more than three decades, she’s led the fight for policies that allow students and their parents the freedom to choose the best educational option for them. Betsy is the former chair of the American Federation of Children, the Philanthropy Roundtable, and the Michigan Republican Party. She is also a mother of four children and a grandmother of ten.

To comment on the Biden Administration’s proposed changes to Title IX click here.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard Robinson and guest co-host Kerry McDonald talk with Robert Pondiscio, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He shares his background working with curriculum expert E.D. Hirsch, Jr., who has emphasized the importance of academic content knowledge in K-12 education as well as civic education to develop active participants in our democracy. They discuss why civics and the study of U.S. history have fallen out of favor over the last several decades, and what that means for the health of our representative government and liberties. Pondiscio explains some of the findings of his book, How the Other Half Learns, on New York’s Success Academy charter schools network, and how the charter movement can overcome growing political obstacles, especially among Democrats. Finally, they explore his recent National Affairs essay on the need to restore trust in the institution of public schooling.

Stories of the WeekThe Economist offers a thought experiment: 20 years from now, will children be taught by artificial intelligence-powered personalized learning assistants? America celebrates the 50th anniversary of Title IX, which helped bring about gender parity in sports, the many women whose lives were changed, and the impact on women in leadership roles in corporate America.

Kim Borchers (Photo: Bird Dog Recruitment & Consulting, LLC)

On this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Beth and Andrew speak with parent advocate Kim Borchers. Kim is the President and owner of Bird Dog Recruitment and Consulting LLC, was formerly with the Foundation for Government Accountability, and has spent 20+ years in the grassroots movement. Along the way she also served in politics, serving as a Deputy Chief of Staff for a Midwest governor, is the current RNC National Committeewoman for Kansas and currently advises and directs the Policy Circle’s Civic Leadership Engagement Roadmap (CLER) program. Kim is also part of the Independent Women’s Forum. 

Jim & Greg cheer on the Supreme Court decision that voucher programs must include religious schools if they include private schools. They also slam President Biden over his suggestion that high energy prices are getting us closer to his green energy agenda goals. And they condemn Missouri GOP Senate candidate and former governor Eric Greitens crazy RINO hunting ad.

 

Rob Long is in for Jim. Join Rob and Greg as they cheer the energy industry bluntly rebutting President Biden’s pathetic demonization of it by laying out how production, refining, and pricing actually work and how Biden’s vow to end fossil fuels is directly responsible for skyrocketing energy prices. They also slam Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer for trying to derail school voucher options for parents. And they look at the left’s creepy war on pregnancy centers.

Emily Jashinsky of The Federalist is in for Jim Geraghty. Join Emily and Greg as they recoil at the radical pro-abortion group Jane’s Revenge taking responsibility for many violent attacks on pregnancy centers in recent weeks and vowing to be even more aggressive. They also sigh as new polls show Dr. Oz deeply unpopular among Pennsylvania voters – just as some of us warned. And they hammer the Biden administration’s latest lame narrative for high gas prices – the oil companies just aren’t patriotic enough to lower prices.

 

Andrea Gross and Amy Gonzalez

In this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Beth and Andrew talk to two courageous mothers, Andrea Gross and Amy Gonzalez. They tell the story of how their children were expelled from their prestigious private school, Columbus Academy (Columbus, OH) because of their advocacy efforts.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” co-hosts Cara Candal and Gerard Robinson talk with Dr. Margaret “Macke” Raymond, founder and director of the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University. She shares some of the major highlights from Hoover’s recent Education Summit that featured a wide variety of national and international experts. They discuss the reasons for persistent problems, even after several federal efforts, with American students’ performance on important exams such as NAEP, TIMSS, and PISA, and the best path forward for state and federal education reforms. They discuss the shift in political support for charter schools, and the outlook for expansion among charters as well as private school choice programs. Dr. Raymond offers thoughts on the implications of the successful U.S. Supreme Court decision on Espinoza, and the likelihood of another victory in the Carson v. Makin case.

Stories of the Week: In Rhode Island, a federal lawsuit over whether there is a constitutional right to an adequate civics education has led to an agreement to improve instruction. States such as Texas and California are directing portions of the $350 billion in federal COVID relief aid to create or expand service and conservation corps programs.

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In yesterday’s print edition of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, there is a front page article about how Democratic nominee for Governor, Stacey Abrams, and U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock are pushing President Biden to forgive large amounts of student loan debt – now. Here’s a bit of the article. If you want to read the whole thing, […]

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Does the Biden Administration Intentionally Go Out of Its Way to Hire Stupid People?

 

Someone (possibly Jim Geraghty at National Review) recently offered up the opinion that Obama’s “E Team” (those left after the A, B, C, and D teams had left the White House over two terms) were Biden’s “A Team.” Clearly in the Biden Administration, we are not getting “the best and brightest.” Does the Biden Administration intentionally hire stupid people, or is the problem that only stupid people will work for the Biden Administration?

I am posting this because of a story so idiotic it would be unbelievable, but we have seen so much idiocy at the Biden Administration, maybe it’s true (and not Babylon Bee).

My Upcoming Surgery?

 

I have made an appointment for surgery at the end of summer. I haven’t chosen which operation to have yet, but I know it’s going to be costly.  I don’t mean that I have to choose between two similar operations.  I mean I don’t have a clue in the world what kind of surgery I am going to get.  But I look at it like this: nearly everyone gets some kind of surgery at some point in their life, right?  So I went ahead and made an appointment on the assumption that I will eventually figure out what is the right kind of surgery for me.  I’m sure the hospital will have a guidance counselor or patient advisor who will make a good suggestion as to what kind of surgery would be a good fit for me.  There’s a government loan program for this, and if it turns out that the surgery was totally unnecessary, maybe I can convince some politicians to let me off the hook on repaying the loan.

The above paragraph is satire, of course.  I was listening to the latest episode of The Ricochet Podcast and at the end of it @peterrobinson talks about a conversation he had with a gentleman who went to Princeton.  Not knowing what he should do at Princeton, he let people talk him into getting a major in Hispanic Studies.  This degree was good for getting him a job driving a taxi.  This — in my opinion — is not an anomalous situation.  I have heard of many young people who have gone off to college with no idea of what they want to do with their life.  They just know that everyone goes to college, except for those . . . well, you know . . . dumb people who just aren’t smart enough to get in.  Usually, though, at least these young people are going to a more affordable school than Princeton.

“Political Beats” host Scot Bertram is in for Jim today.  Scot and Greg cheer Iowa voters for ousting four Republican lawmakers who opposed legislation to give parents more options on how to educate their children. They also hammer Democrats and the media for greatly downplaying the arrest of a man attempting to kill Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh not far from Kavanaugh’s home. And they groan as the Grammys try to attract more viewers by adding new awards, including one for “Best Song for Social Change.”