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Today, I interview Spotted Toad, of Twitter fame, about his book on education. He now works in public policy research, a moderately quant guy, as he says–but he was once an idealistic Teach For America kinda guy, who taught the sciences for ten years in public schools in New York and then upstate, among the poor as well as the well to do, in different communities and different periods of the ongoing failure of Progressive education reform. He eventually wrote a lovely, all-American, Emersonian book of reflections on his experience and you can buy it for 99 cents on Amazon as e-book and read it in an afternoon. It’s intelligent and poetic at the same time, devoid of narcissism, and serious about the problems a young teacher faces. This is the sort of conservatism I think we should encourage and so this is me doing my part!
I originally intended to post this on May Day. May Day is a day for remembering that communists are still out to get you. They just call themselves socialists now to sidestep communism’s ugly histories. A group of idolized elites and vast unaccountable bureaucracy all claiming to represent commoners against elites like themselves? Check. Preview […]
It’s about time! Wilfred M. McClay has decided it’s time to take back history from the dominance of Howard Zinn, who disparaged America in his history books and wrote with an extreme, Leftist perspective. His books still dominate the market; his publisher claims over two million in sales (nine years after Zinn died). Although Professor McClay will not be able to change the history education of our children overnight, he has taken a major step in providing a balanced view of American History.
In an Opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal (it may be behind a pay wall so I cite a number of other articles here), McClay decries the current state of history textbooks:
‘They’re completely unreadable because they’re assembled by committee, by graduate students who write little bits and pieces of them. I’m not convinced that most of the textbooks that have the names of very eminent historians on the cover were actually read by them, let alone written by them.’
“Mom, what does making love mean?” “What are you reading?!” Preview Open
I was 10 years old when Sputnik 1 was launched and the space race started. Echo – a giant reflective satellite – was launched in 1960. I can remember going to our neighbors yard and watching it through his telescope. When I was in Junior High School, my family moved to Maryland and the school […]
The Atlantic has an excellent piece on the divisive nature of education and socio-economic/racial disparity. If you recall, Trump’s Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has been tasked with fixing our education system. Few changes have been made. In New York’s elite Stuyvesant High School, only 1% of the students identify as African-American. This is in New York City, one of the most diverse areas in the United States. Only 1% identify, whereas nearly 17% of students nationally are identified as being African-American.
Clearly, Ms. DeVos has not taken her role seriously. Students are being segregated, not only by color, but primarily by academic ability. As the Atlantic makes clear:
https://www.bbc.com/news/video_and_audio/must_see/48060788/finland-s-new-generation-of-climate-heroes Play on words: Actually that is the name of a Finnish town which has achieved “zero waste” and has therefore proven that if a town of 10,ooo can do it, according to a person in the video (teacher?) we can do it globally and so we have “no more excuses.” Well, there isn’t enough […]
Jim Geraghty of National Review and talk show host Greg Knapp bring you three crazy martinis today. Jim and Greg differ with Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders on the issue of reinstating the voting rights of people with felony records. They also raise some concerns with Elizabeth Warren’s proposal to make public colleges tuition free and forgive $50,000 in student loans for Americans in households earning less than $100,000 a year. Lastly, they discuss Herman Cain’s withdrawal from consideration for a seat at the Federal Reserve.
I saw this article in my news feed, lamenting the collapse of interest in The Great Books. Articles much like this one show up often in my news feeds. The collapse of interest in The Great Books, the Classics, traditional curricula, etc., is “common knowledge” amongst conservative intellectuals.
I don’t have sufficient data to disprove that this “collapse” is occurring, but anecdotal evidence makes me skeptical. In the past, there were essentially three ways to be exposed to The Great Books: 1) They were assigned in a classroom. 2) They were assigned by parents who owned a high-quality home library. 3) A reader would stumble upon them in a public library.
Our old friend, Claire Berlinski, has a very good piece in the City Journal about a communist festival she attended last Fall. In classic Berlinski style, she captures the fist in the air punch with all its Marxist glory, using her funny/serious, tongue-in-cheek writing style. It’s a snapshot of the mindset of current zombie European […]
Our schools have been corrupted in many ways that are difficult to fathom: U.S. History has been distorted, English composition has been bastardized, standards continue to be lowered to accommodate the worst students. And now we are brainwashing students as early as kindergarten, saying that transgender students are normal. How did we arrive at this place?
We often point to the Leftist agenda for these changes in education. Just to give you an idea of how sophisticated these efforts are, we can look at Washington State, where the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has established new requirements. This summary gives you the highlights, from K-12. In the case of the OSPI, parents were not notified of these changes.
Rachel “Wolfie” Wolfson, comedian, writer, producer, and advocate for cannabis, sits down with Bridget to discuss her disdain for bitcoin, their shared desire to do VR stand-up shows, and why she believes colleges are like engagement rings – expensive and unnecessary. They cover everything from why machines will eventually wipe out humans because of our extreme inefficiency, to a belief that mental health will be the biggest problem this country faces in the near future, to the fact that the dangers of weed should be taught the same way as the dangers of alcohol, to what it takes to create change in the world and in society. Rachel is an advocate for cannabis, but doesn’t necessarily recommend it for everyone and believes that having a healthy relationship with weed requires approaching it as a medicine first. Meanwhile, Bridget hopes she’ll live long enough to see the first sex robot kill a human. You can find Rachel on Twitter and Instagram @wolfiecomedy.
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Ray Domanico joins City Journal associate editor Seth Barron to discuss charter schools in New York City, the growing protests by education workers across the country, and Democrats’ weakening support for charters.
In teachers’ unions protests from West Virginia to California, activists claim that the growth of charters has come at the expense of district schools.
Greg Ashman distills his wisdom on a complex topic. Is there application to fields besides education? Probably the clearest sign that an expert knows what he or she is on about comes from the way they present their arguments. They will tend to take a position on something and they will explain how the research supports that […]
“I couldn’t get through it,” said the would-be anthropologist, nodding to a two-page extract from Locke’s Second Treatise. “It’s all like, ‘God made ye betwixt thee and thine’ and stuff. I looked at SparkNotes instead.” She then opened her laptop to a 25-page article about the “imbricated spacialities of class, race, and gender,” which she had […]
I believe that education is a key battleground (if not the key battleground) on which the war of ideas over the west’s (and the world’s) long-term future will be won or lost. The bad guys (and their bad ideas) are currently winning this war, especially in the eyes of the west’s youth. The consequences of […]
I have mentioned before that I decided to go back for a Master’s degree after receiving my Bachelor’s 13 years prior. My program is made up of about 25 students; only five of which (including myself) are over 35 and have careers. I am a lifelong Conservative, and remember back when I was in undergrad […]
I’m sure almost everyone here has either asked this question, been asked this question by children, or both. Here is a programmer’s take on a response. “I think that people use a rule of thumb when deciding what things in life are worth learning. Most people seek knowledge in one of the following three categories: […]