Tag: Education

Quote of the Day: The Barbarian Invasion

 

“Each new generation born is in effect an invasion of civilization by little barbarians, who must be civilized before it is too late.” – Thomas Sowell

The truth of this observation is being made plain by the failure of the United States education system. Instead of being centers to educate and civilize our next generation they have become centers to indoctrinate and foster barbarism.

Quote of the Day: “The Cat Is on the Mat”

 

Every once in a while, I’ll pick a date for one of these “Quote of the Day” posts because it resonates with me. It’s a special date for me, or it’s the anniversary of something, or the memorial of something, or a famous date in history, or something else I want to write about. But more often than not, I pick a date at random, and then back into a subject, either as one strikes me, or by noodling around on the web until I find something interesting. I like that. I like finding something to write about that I otherwise wouldn’t, and then having to take a stab at it.

So, here we are on September 23. And Wikipedia has bailed me out again: Today is the 218th birthday of one William Holmes McGuffey, probably the most illustrious and best-known citizen of the small hamlet of Claysville, just a few miles down the road from Chez She, out here in the wilds of Western Pennsylvania.

There’s not much to Claysville these days: Blink too hard while you’re driving through it, and you’ll miss it altogether. There’s even less than there was thirty-three years ago when we moved out here, and the entrance and exits to the town were delineated by the offices of Dr. Little (Dentist) on the one end, and of Dr. Large (Family Practitioner), a few blocks away, on the other. I never met Dr. Little. Dr. Fred Large was a wonderful old gentleman who, it was discovered when the hospital I worked for bought his practice after his retirement, often accepted payment in the form of chickens, honey, and bacon. Transferring his accounts into our unforgiving and automated system was a frustrating, and sometimes riotous, labor of love.

Providing a Service People Want Isn’t “Exploitation”

 

A Harvard survey last month found that a slim majority of millennials reject capitalism, and with the quality of media reporting about business and the economy, it’s not hard to guess why. (Not to mention the pitiful state of economics education in public high schools.) The Washington Post published a story today that perfectly illustrates the extent of the problem in a single sentence.

The story is about single women in China who have passed their early 20s without a husband, which they say brings shame to their families and have turned to “love markets” as a last resort. Turns out that some entrepreneurs have started companies to help these women find husbands. These are more than dating websites. The companies train the women in man-finding techniques and search cities to help them locate eligible men.

“Blurred Lines”: Scandals in Bohemia and Ecclesia

 

“And that’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl / I know you want it… / I hate these blurred lines / I know you want it… / But you’re a good girl…” Unlike in Thicke’s hit, the “it” youth seeking mentorship want is hopefully not sex. Nonetheless, decent people have long suspected that among more bohemian sorts — actors, musicians, academics, etc — the blurring of lines between mentorship and sexual grooming, coupled with the impulse to save face, risks fostering a climate of sexual abuse. I’ve even heard decent people argue that those who go into bohemian fields ought to know what they’re getting into, and if they’re abused, it’s really their fault.

Decent people don’t want bohemian clergy. Nonetheless, religious callings have more in common with the bohemian than decent people might like to think. It’s appropriate for spiritual mentorship to be intense (possibly even more intense than intellectual or artistic mentorship). It’s normal for charismatic spiritual leaders to attract groupies (also known as disciples). Great good can come from both these dynamics. But also great evil. Decent people are properly sensitive to the great harm false accusations can do, and it feels awful to suspect those called to holiness of perverting these dynamics. Nonetheless, perversion has obviously happened — especially, it seems, in Catholic seminaries.

Member Post

 

I’ve never understood binary code. (Don’t worry, this is not a post about binary code, at least I don’t think it will be.) I’ve asked several people over the years how computers work, from the early key cards to the smartphone I’m typing this on. It’s a fascinating feat of technology I’d like to understand. […]

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Alternative Math

 

Rarely do we have the opportunity to laugh at the antics of the Left and the irrationality of their ideas. Instead, we bemoan the distortions of truth and call out for rational, sensible behavior. Sometimes, it’s satisfying to just laugh at all of it.

Penn Law’s Amy Wax on Being Ousted from Her First-Year Class

 

Amy Wax is the Robert Mundheim Professor of Law at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she specializes in social welfare law and policy as well as the relationship of the family, the workplace, and labor markets.

Professor Wax has become a controversial figure because of her politically incorrect comments advocating in favor of bourgeois values and the WASP culture from which they stem, and in her claims that black students had generally performed at lower levels than other students in her classes in context of a conversation about the downsides of affirmative action — comments that got her ousted from teaching the first year civil procedure class for which she had previously won an award for “teaching excellence.”

Member Post

 

We live in a golden age of identity politics. We set people in myriad boxes and categories — racial, sexual, religious, political — and stamp our feet when a few intrepid souls dare to leave their alloted places. Our culture finds value in variety and shuns all forms of unity, save for whatever unity develops within the […]

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This week on Banter, AEI Resident Scholar Nat Malkus joins the show to discuss the DC Public Schools graduation scandal. After posting a record graduation rate in 2017, an audit revealed that one-third of graduates received diplomas in violation of the District’s attendance policy. If the District’s attendance policy had been followed, the graduation rate would have fallen from 73 percent to less than 50 percent. What implications does this have for education reform and what systems should be developed to ensure this doesn’t happen in the future? Read more about the scandal at the links below.

Learn More:

A quarter of a century since the nation’s first charter school opened in Minnesota, a new administration in Washington speaks of “school choice.” Eric Hanushek, the Hoover Institution’s Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow, and Macke Raymond, a Hoover distinguished research fellow and director of the Stanford-based Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), discuss the health of the charter-school movement and what needs to be done at the federal, state and local levels to improve the nation’s classrooms.

Member Post

 

I doubt there will ever be armed teachers on campus in my deep-blue school district. Be that as it may, my operational mind can’t help but wonder what “right” looks like regarding what the right combination of teachers and arms would be in the event of an active shooter threat at my school. We have […]

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Member Post

 

I’m currently gathering books on American history covering the era beginning with Reconstruction on through the 1970’s. Many of the books I’ve encountered on  – for example-  western expansion, tend to focus on sociology, rather than plain history. I just want to know what happened without the commentary. The same goes for the history of […]

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Someone to Have on Your Speechwriting Team

 

I’m recuperating tonight from two and a half days of subbing in a fourth-grade classroom. There were some struggles, but it mostly went well. There were lots of vivid moments that are satisfying to remember. For example, the students were assigned to take a position on an issue from an argument feature of Scholastic News, then give reasons to back up their claim. They completed this in teams, and voted on one team member to go up to the front and present their conclusions. (It was cute to see one team that kept raising their hands. I’d go over there, and then realize that they were just voting.) The kids elected to speak did a great job, for the most part standing up straight, looking at the audience, and speaking in complete sentences.

One reserved little girl gave an unexpected argument in defense of keeping the penny that charmed the socks off me. I asked her if she had seen it in the Scholastic issue, since the “for” and “against” items are written by kids. Nope, it was her own, she corrected me in her quiet way. See, Ricochet members, if we get rid of the penny, we are losing out, because finding a penny is good luck. We won’t have these serendipitous discoveries anymore if we coldheartedly pull these one-cent pieces out of circulation. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

All They Need Is a Name

 

Over the last few weeks, I’ve felt ill-at-ease about the shootings at Parkland in a way that went far beyond the deaths and desperation that has followed the episode. I finally put my finger on my perceptions. And it raised great concern for me. Let me summarize first what has been happening nationwide regarding the shootings, students, and protests.

Students are obviously in great emotional pain and are motivated to take action following the traumatic experience of the shootings. They have come together for a primary cause. They have made the National Rifle Association their primary focus/scapegoat, and secondarily the legislature. They are saying to everyone that you are either anti-gun or against their teens. Companies have boycotted the NRA. Those who didn’t support the calls for new legislation are the enemy. Hundreds of students and adults all over the country have organized protests. Millions of dollars have been donated to their cause, including GoFundMe sites, many of which are for the survivors and their families; included with the donors are Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney, and his wife.

Member Post

 

The teen responses I have heard in response to the school shooting in Florida provide no indication that they have applied any critical thinking or analysis, nor that there are any teachers encouraging critical and analytical thinking. I recognize that teen brains are still developing, and that teen hormones mean that emotions often overtake thinking. […]

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Member Post

 

Teachers and medical health professionals are mandatory reporters. They are required to learn about abuse, what abuse looks like, and how children may present when they have physical or psychological abuse. They are required to take a test and have a certification demonstrating competency. Some of us must even complete these competencies yearly. Perhaps it […]

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Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for February 16, 2018, it’s number 162, the Liz Warren 2020! edition of the show with your humble hosts, Todd Feinburg, radio guy and Mike Stopa nanophysicist. This week, in anticipation of her nomination, election and coronation in 2020, is our all Liz week! What’s the point of swimming upstream? Socialism is nigh. We didn’t build it! Who doesn’t need a shrill school marm to keep us all in line? Who doesn’t yearn for that Patron Saint of people who can’t read the fine print on their credit card application?

We will reveal some things you never knew about Granny Warren and discuss some things you know only too well.

Question: To Stay or Leave Teaching in Public Schools?

 

I’m thinking about this question, and I’m curious what the Ricochetti might answer: Is it time to for this teacher to abandon the Public School system? Here’s some of the circumstances relating to the question:

  1. I hold K-8 multiple-subject and secondary Biology certificates, and I have over 20 years of classroom experience in grades 6 through 12.
  2. I’m also an evangelical Christian, white male, politically and socially conservative.
  3. My school district has adopted the Progressive doctrine of “Cultural Competence” based upon the philosophy that all social inequalities are the result of institutional “privilege.” Correcting this “privilege” means seeking “equity,” a short-hand term meaning equality of outcome on behalf of identified victims of “privilege.”
  4. I work in a state that allows the teachers union to withhold 100% of apportioned membership dues from my paycheck, and then forcing me to request to be reimbursed of whatever portion the union decides wasn’t spent advocating on my behalf (typically about 30% of the total withheld).
  5. I am required by law to teach district-approved curriculum and content. As a science teacher, this has included such scientifically dubious subjects as man-generated global climate change (and the associated advocacy for progressive solutions) and contentious social issues such as acceptance of transgender behavior.

So … here’s where I’m at: A local private Christian school has a job posting for a junior high/high school science position for next year. Do I pursue it? Or, do I stick with the public schools, on the basis that as a Christian, I have been called to be “salt and light” to the world?