Tag: Education

Former secretary of education Betsy DeVos joins Reihan Salam to discuss the case for school choice, the curriculum wars, and the need for educational transparency.

Find the transcript of this conversation and more at City Journal.

On this episode of Take Back Our Schools, Beth and Andrew speak with Bob Eitel about the Biden administration’s proposed changes to Title IX rules. Bob explains how the Obama administration manipulated Title IX to erode due process in favor of kangaroo courts and secret inquiries. He discusses how the Trump administration under Secretary Betsy DeVos reversed the Obama changes, and how the newly proposed Biden rules not only threaten free speech and academic freedom, but trample parental rights and have the potential to destroy girl’s and women’s sports at the university and K-12 level. Bob also shares his view that Title IX is being used to usher in radical gender ideology and is effectively a backdoor to fundamental cultural change. 

Bob Eitel is a co-founder and president of Defense of Freedom Institute for Policy Studies (DFI), a non-profit, non-partisan organization that is fighting to reduce the power of the federal government and the influence of government sector unions in education and workforce policy and to defend the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans in the classroom and the workplace. Bob previously served as Senior Counselor to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos from 2017 through 2020 where he supervised the implementation of the Secretary’s regulatory agenda and was an architect of the Secretary’s reforms concerning Title IX and the Higher Education Act.   

Additional information about the proposed Title IX rules can be found on DFI’s website (https://dfipolicy.org/titleix/). Concerned Americans can submit a comment about Title IX to the Department of Education through either www.dfipolicy.org or https://protecttitle9.org.

12-Step Totalitarian Program: Step 1

 

It is a testament to the power of the human mind to create blind spots to the Truth that so many conservatives and classical liberals who deeply admire and respect Thomas Sowell can still fail to see what he sees. This is understandable, especially for those with public reputations. The mind is designed to protect our self-image and our view of reality. It screens out threats, especially ones that would upend all that we know.

I have no illusions that this essay will persuade the staunchly certain. The mind responds to such certainty by creating blind spots to anything contradicting those certainties. I can only hope this essay chips away at the certainties of many who believe that in America we still have Politics as Usual. That the good fight can still be waged by our elected representatives.

Taking Down the Woke Agenda

 

No part of our culture has been immune from the disease of woke-ism. Whether one studies corporations, educational institutions, the media, federal and state governments, woke-ism has corrupted every part of our culture to one degree or another. When I contemplate how to even begin to break its hold on our country, that proposition appears overwhelming. Where to start? How to make legitimate inroads? How to get an informed audience to consider the issues and make changes?

Eventually, however, I discerned that tackling one bastion of woke-ism might be possible. It is one of the oldest institutions, as it began to show its power in the 20th century, and it continues to demonstrate its pervasive influence nearly everywhere.

I’m talking about the public university.

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.

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.

Member Post

 

I found three papers discussing the lost learning suffered by school children as a result of the Covid lockdowns.  I thought that this might be of interest to some of you. Before getting to the three studies, I want to address the measurement issue.  Two of the three report the educational harm to school kids […]

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Giving Students a Chance

 

I scored 126th out of 126 students.  When I was a junior in high school, our class took a test for a possible college-level English curriculum in our senior year. Having been told the results, I sat sobbing on my bedroom floor. For some reason, grammatical prowess in my mother tongue eluded me. Syntax seemed like “sin tax” to me.

And grammar was the first of three levels in the senior curriculum. I had to pass out of one level to get to the next two: essay writing, then free writing. I had been behind the door when grammar was taught in middle school. Somewhere, somehow, I missed lessons on prepositional phrases, split infinitives, and hanging gerunds. I tried and tried to pass through to the next level. No amount of tutelage helped. I languished in the wasteland of grammatical incoherence.

But the thing was, I could write. I knew instinctively what sounded right. I heard the words even if I didn’t understand how they fit together. And Roy Honeywell knew it.

Member Post

 

Stop saying it when all you mean is “credentialed” (and correct others, when that’s possible without being obnoxious). For example, the authoritarians being produced at Yale Law School aren’t “highly educated” according to any serious understanding of those words. They are, at most, highly- or well- credentialed. Credentials, not education, are what they went there […]

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Classics and the Public Sphere

 

From a WSJ op-ed: “As Tennessee expands possibilities for new charter schools, critics are assailing classical education. Some of these schools teach students about the sages and scoundrels of ancient Greece and Rome.” In The New Republic, a public school teacher from New York seems concerned that classics-focused schools promote “retreat from the public sphere” along with sundry bad things such as “nationalistic exaltation of Western civilization.”

Now, a little thought and historical reading will demonstrate that study of the classics is entirely consistent with participation in the public sphere, including participation at very high levels–in the US and in other countries as well. But the issue is more fundamental than this.  Is participation in the public sphere–which I read in this context to largely mean political activism–really the only thing that matters in life?

Ayaan speaks with Ian Rowe about the power of personal agency and how to build it. Ian introduces a new framework to help develop agency in individuals: the FREE framework (family, religion, education, and entrepreneurship). His new book, Agency, is out today.

Ian Rowe is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where he focuses on education and upward mobility, family formation, and adoption. Mr. Rowe is also the cofounder of Vertex Partnership Academies, a new network of character-based International Baccalaureate high schools opening in the Bronx in 2022; the chairman of the board of Spence-Chapin, a nonprofit adoption services organization; and the cofounder of the National Summer School Initiative. He concurrently serves as a senior visiting fellow at the Woodson Center and a writer for the 1776 Unites Campaign.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu joins Jim and Greg to explain why he turned down persistent GOP efforts to get him to run for U.S. Senate this year and why he strongly prefers to run for governor again. Gov. Sununu also talks about where he sees the Republican Party heading, and what it will take to win in swing states this year and in 2024. In addition, they discuss what the Republican agenda ought to be for fighting inflation and dig into Gov. Sununu’s record on school choice and abortion. Finally, Jim and Greg ask whether New Hampshire should always get to bat leadoff in the presidential primary season.

 

Why Even Have Sex Ed?

 

With Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law (which has nothing to do with saying “gay,” oddly enough) and all of the disproportionate hand-wringing, mud-slinging, and poo-flinging for all to see, I have come to wonder why we let schools have sex education anyway.

It is possible that this will mark me (yet again!) as some sort of dinosaur.  But follow me here.  What was the original purpose of sexual education?  If you ask Planned Parenthood, it is to promote sexual health and wellness.  If you ask others, it is to promote awareness of the body, reproductive functions, and to limit negative behaviors that result in unwanted pregnancies and STIs.  If you ask even more people, they’ll tell you that it is to teach healthy sexuality and promote monogamy.  Everyone has their own definition and purpose of what it is.  Newsweek even had an article on the history of sexual education in the US starting from the 1920s onward.

Join Greg and Rob Long as they hope reports of major downsizing at public schools over shrinking enrollment means public schools will need to compete for students and provide a much better education. They also cringe as Biden official Samantha Power seems happy that farmers are getting crushed by much higher fertilizer prices because it will accelerate the government’s green agenda. And they shake their heads at the administration’s latest COVID hypocrisy at the border.

Join Jim and Greg as they encourage Republicans like Virginia Lt. Governor Winsome Sears to continue to push against the Democrat’s radical education agenda and speculate that the left’s decision to insist upon controversial subjects in classrooms will culminate in a ‘Red Wave’ in November. They also scratch their heads at a floundering Biden administration that seems unable to find a way to curb the rising inflation. And after lambasting Tulsi Gabbard for putting her political career before her constituents in the 2020 presidential race, Hawaii Rep. Kai Kahele has not shown up on Capitol Hill since January.

Member Post

 

We’re renting a house while our new home is completed. We sold our last house on a whim, not thinking it would go anywhere, but the current real estate market threw the rule book out the window. We were stunned that our crazy asking price was met within 36 hours, cash offer above asking price.  […]

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Don’t Trust the Education Blob

 

In my state, the Republican-dominated legislature is moving toward a vote on two anti-CRT bills. Here, as in other places where similar bills are being considered, the state edu-blob is wringing its gelatinous nubs and screeching about censorship. Not long ago, Indiana teachers warned that a “CRT-inspired bill” could “drive them from the classrooms.” We can only hope! The College Board is threatening to withhold AP credit from schools in communities that adopt anti-woke policies. As bills like Ohio’s make it onto statehouse floors, I expect the controversy to ramp up.

Local media is behaving as you’d expect — holding a microphone up to the edu-blob’s mouth, publishing outraged op-eds written by professors, non-profit leaders, and “experts” on racism, sexism, ableism, disestablishmentarianism, and every other -ism under the sun. A typical example of the reaction is today’s episode of Today in Ohio, a news podcast produced by the Cleveland Plain Dealer. What do the hosts think of Republican anti-CRT bills? Here’s editor Chris Quinn:

Courage, Resilience, and Irreverence

 

Recently I had the incredible opportunity to hear the ideas of five brilliant men of our time, who are determined to save our country. The event was sponsored by Hillsdale College and held in Naples, FL, and the selection of speakers were voices that every American needs to hear.

The two-day seminar began with Governor Ron DeSantis. I knew it would be akin to a campaign speech, but it was much, much more. He was relentless in criticizing the powers-that-be, and determined to restore the freedoms of Floridians. I was especially impressed with his overall energy. Some people believe that he doesn’t demonstrate the rhetorical power of others in the political realm. But DeSantis was on fire that night. It wasn’t just his words, but his manner told everyone that he was in for the fight and would not give it up. Answering questions from Dr. Larry Arnn, President of Hillsdale College, he made it clear that the vicious and malicious attacks were not going to stop him. When asked what we all needed to do to fight back, he forcefully stated, “Stand up and speak out!” We can no longer ignore or hide from the inroads of the Left. They must be stopped at every opportunity. This past week, DeSantis was looking at legislation that would prevent sexual orientation and gender identity from being taught in the schools. And he’s not finished.

Violation of a Sacred Trust

 

Public schools have broken a sacred trust. Parents have both the right and responsibility to care for, teach and train their children. When they send them to a public school (or a private one, for that matter) they are allowing that school to teach those children on their behalf. It is a sacred trust. The parent is trusting the school to provide education for the children on behalf of the parent whose job and right it is to bring up their children as they see fit.

It is not up to the educator to decide what kind of person they would like to produce. It is not up to the educator to instill values in their children that are contrary to the wishes of the parents. It is not up to the educator to make the children do something the parent does not want them to do. For educators to do this, as it is being done today, is to break a sacred trust.

The Real Epidemic: Shoddy Research

 

It seems to me that we have an epidemic of poor quality research in this country and around the world.  This is causing us to make bad decisions and bad public policy with an unfounded sense of confidence and righteousness.

I am a history teacher at an international school, and we recently had a mind-numbingly dull “professional development” day where we paid some grifter education consultant thousands of dollars to educate us about the newest research-approved methods of assessment.   (My suggestion that we cancel the “professional learning” day and use the money for a schoolwide party was unfortunately rejected by the administration.)