Tag: Education

What kind of person is our education system designed to create? Best-selling author and award-winning essayist William Deresiewicz discusses the failures of our higher education system, how it mis-conditions our elite, and fails to value the humanities, as well as his latest collection of essays, “The End of Solitude.”

Sign up for our event with Bill via Zoom in 1 week! https://jmp.princeton.edu/events/college-kids-are-not-ok-and-what-do-about-it-conversation-william-deresiewicz-end-solitude

Show Me the Money!


Writing about Gov. Ron DeSantis is always so satisfying for me, that I rarely pass up an opportunity to celebrate his latest accomplishments. And as I was writing this post, I realized that living in a country that is plagued with selfish, unethical, and dystopian activity, where we can’t trust our federal leadership and bureaucrats, where we are constantly bombarded with distortions or suffer from a lack of candor and information, we have the opportunity to switch our attention to those who may actually save this country. And Ron DeSantis leads the pack.

Now I’m not just talking about governors, although there a number of them who have gained my attention and respect. But I’m talking about legislators and even media representatives whom I believe can be counted on. They are almost always consistent in their positions, they are risk-takers and they repeatedly expound on their commitment to the people of this country, and their allegiance to this country transcends the positions they hold. Jim Jordan and Rick Scott are two legislators who immediately come to mind. They won’t be pushed around, and are not afraid to alienate people. Mollie Hemingway, Byron York, Holman Jenkins, and David Harsanyi are four journalists who are fearless as well. I’ll speak more to their relevance to this country.

With the Supreme Court poised to potentially outlaw race-conscious admissions, Affirmative Action may soon be on the chopping block.

What will be the legacy of this half-century-old policy? Jason Riley, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and columnist at the Wall Street Journal, discusses affirmative action’s impact both on the black community and the broader American education system.

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I had some interesting comments on a piece I wrote last week, criticizing aspects of 1950s America. I wanted to narrow in on the issue of education because I think it’s complicated enough to deserve its own discussion. I’ve had some time to formulate my thoughts, and my theory is that reading, writing and arithmetic […]

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Author and investor Michael Gibson joins Brian Anderson to discuss the work of the 1517 Fund and the Thiel Fellowship, why real technological progress has stalled and how elite universities contribute to that stagnation, and what some promising new educational models and institutions look like. His book, Paper Belt on Fire: How Renegade Investors Sparked a Revolt Against the University, will be published November 29.

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

The Present Discontents


Some weeks ago, John Anderson — former deputy prime minister of Australia — passed through Hillsdale and did an interview with me for his podcast. I thought nothing of it: I do this sort of thing from time to time. But John posted it on Friday, and I began getting email. Yesterday, on a whim, I watched it. At the time that it was taped, I thought that I had not done well. I remembered that the name Barack Obama chose for his administration suggested that he had a revolution in mind but I could not come up, on the spur of the moment, with the name: The New Foundation.

Yesterday, I watched the interview and thought, “This is not just good. Its posting is timely.” You might find it interesting as well.

DeSantis-Crist Debate: Used Car Salesman Available


The debate the other night between Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Gov. Charlie Crist offered actual meat coming from Gov. DeSantis, with the new fake plant-based meat coming from Crist. We’ve lived in Florida long enough to have lived under both governors. DeSantis delivered answers that belong to a real governor. He answered questions directly, based on real-life issues, both state and national, and his policies. For example:

He believes in teaching children the basics — math, reading, writing, history — and not distorting their young, fragile minds with confusing gender ideology, race-baiting, planet-worshiping, or any of today’s trends that young children should not be subjected to. He made it clear that parents decide their child’s health, which includes vaccines, their mental and emotional well-being, and their gender identity.

Schools are for teaching skills and all history — not selective, as it has always been. He rejected Common Core elements that left math and other skills more complicated than teaching needed to be, and heard teachers who wanted to teach and not be bound by countless tests — and a specific, nationally dictated curriculum. Teachers want to teach children, and share their gifts of enthusiasm for our country and all that it has to offer. I spoke to teachers and they told me so, and how they’ve been hampered by Common Core.

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We’re finally in the final phases of the 2022 election. Campaigns, of course, start well before Labor Day, but it remains the traditional start of the general election campaign in most states (some, like New Hampshire, have late primaries). While roughly a third of voters typically make up their minds early, more than half often […]

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What kinds of tools do we need to make big decisions, and why aren’t our universities training us to make them? Are universities doing students a disservice by occupying them with myriads of boxes to tick? Are students right to prefer money to meaning?

Madison Program alumni Ben and Jenna Storey discuss the philosophy of making choices and of restlessness, and critique the way universities treat those topics.

Quote of the Day: Artificial Stupidity


“Ours may become the first civilization destroyed, not by the power of our enemies, but by the ignorance of our teachers and the dangerous nonsense they are teaching our children. In an age of artificial intelligence, they are creating artificial stupidity.” — Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell states the importance of a good education and ensuring those that provide it are competent to teach better than I can. Education is the great sleeper issue of this campaign, buried beneath the economy and crime. But nothing has done more to cause traditional Democrat constituencies to vote Republican than the misuse of the education system at the hands of the educational establishment. The purpose of the American education system, in their eyes, is to enrich the employees and use it to sell their cultural agenda. The quality of education provided is at the bottom of their priorities, to be given sufficient lip service to convince the suckers financing this country’s public schools and institutions of higher education to continue funding it.

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.


Quote of the Day: A College Degree


“In the end, a college degree is either valuable or it isn’t. If it’s valuable, it will pay for itself. If it’s not valuable, no one should pay for it. Either way, there’s no reason for the government to be involved in higher education. The more involved it does get, the worse the problem becomes.” — Antony Davies

If one could graph the decline of the institutes of higher education in this country, it would follow a curve inverse to the level of government involvement in academia. I am not talking about the 19th-century land grant schools created by the Morell Act. Yes, state and federal governments established colleges and funded them over the next 100 years, but it was a period of benign neglect. The government pretty well let the institutions run themselves.

Political scientist and MI adjunct fellow Michael Hartney joins Theodore Kupfer to discuss education policy, the political power of teachers’ unions, and democratic contestation in the public school system. His new book, How Policies Make Interest Groups: Governments, Unions, and American Education, is out this month.

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

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My discussion question for today: In a world with global and highly-efficient transportation and communications…and billions of people who are accustomed to low wages…is it possible for a country such as the United States to maintain its accustomed high standards of living for the large majority of its people?…and, if so, what are the key […]

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Credentialist Privilege and Snobbery, and Student Loan ‘Forgiveness’


In late 2020, I wrote a post titled Living in the Hate of the Common People, and in early 2021, I wrote a sequel.  I think these posts, and the general pattern they describe, are very relevant to the current issues about student loans and the overall topic of education funding.  In summary:

Someone at a social media site, who I will not dignify with a link, wrote, “I think we need to find a way to stop the working class from voting altogether.”  An example of this attitude appeared on MSNBC back in August 2021, with anchor Chris Hayes and Washington Post writer Dave Weigel avidly agreeing about the characteristics of Trump supporters (of whom they don’t approve) … men without a college degree who have enough income to buy a boat (Hayes qualifies it as white men). Personally, I tend to admire people who have managed to do ok or very well for themselves without the benefit of a college credential. (And anyone believing that a college degree necessarily implies that an individual has acquired a broad base of knowledge and thinking skills hasn’t been paying much attention of late.)

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.