If they had a choice ...
Democrats constantly tell us they are the party of "choice". Of course they seem to almost exclusively define ’choice’ in terms of reproductive rights. The choice of schools? Not so much.No one that I know of would argue that Oregon is a "conservative" or right-wing dominated state.  
Bill Ayers on Bill Ayers, oh, and education
The resurrection of Bill Ayers continues. His most recent attempt is at Huffington Post where he ostensibly uses the opportunity to tell Barack Obama how he screwed up choosing the Education Secretary he did.I mean, this guy is an education ’expert’ didn’t you know? His self-written HuffPo CV proves it:Author and Dist
 
Government and Education - working real well isn’t it?
Another in a long line of reasons to rush to turn over your health care to the government. Because, as it has demonstrated with education, government always improves anything it does or in which it is involved:Your child is less likely to graduate from high school than you were, and most states are doing little to hold schools accountable, according to a
 
Flailing around
Oliver Willis asks on Twitter:"How many qualified and tested Republican women did McCain pass over for Sarah Palin? "About as many as the Democrats passed over to pick Barack Obama, Oliver. Why?That, btw, is the new line of attack by the Dems. Barbara Boxers says: The Vice President is a heartbeat away from becoming Pre
 
Progressivism isn’t selling well in college
There was an article the other day saying that the professors who were products of the ’60s were beginning to retire from academia. I, personally, couldn’t be happier. For institutions which seem to be over-the-top with their concerns about ’diversity’, one bit of diversity over which they seem to have little concern has to do with the political ideology of the faculty. In most cases it is "be progressive or be unemployed". Maybe attrition
 
Obama and a second language
Yesterday, at a stop in GA, Obama made reference to how embarrassing it was that Americans were so frustratingly sold on English - to the point that some of them even want it to be declared the official language.Instead, Obama thinks we should make it a priority for our children learn a second language - like Spanish.Americans, however,  
Fun with Charts - Education
Ever try to have that talk with your kids about why education is important and will pay actual dividends later in life.I’ve found that pictures usually do better than words. A couple from the Fundmastery blog:
 
Obama - learn a second language. McQ - learn your own first.
Said Barack Obama today:Democrat Barack Obama said U.S. students must learn a second or even third language or the country will struggle to compete in a global economy."We as a society do a really bad job teaching foreign languages, and it is costing us when it comes to being competitive in a global marketplace," the Illinois senator said at a schoo
 
McLean VA school temporarily bans tag
Seems like an easy one doesn’t it? Low-hanging blog fruit. OMG! What is up with these idiots! Banning tag! Why, why, that’s been played for centuries by children!And, of course, some of the blogosphere is reacting in just that manner. So what’s the story?Robyn Hooker, principal of Kent Gardens Elemen
 
The Education Monopoly
Apparently, the government’s re-licensing standards for teachers do not appear to preclude people convicted of racketeering and fraud directly related to education. Fortunately, we have a dollar democracy, where we can easily withdraw our support and take our child to a competing education system with higher standards.
 
False "self-esteem" at the state level
Pity you can’t just say they suck:To soothe the bruised egos of educators and children in lackluster schools, Massachusetts officials are now pushing for kinder, gentler euphemisms for failure.Instead of calling these schools "underperforming," the Board of Education is considering labeling them as "C
 
Dem "Dream Ticket" takes a hit
At least one configuration of it does, anyway. Barack Obama in an interview today:Q: You’ve raised $55 million in February and in your speech today you said "I was against the war in ’03, ’04, ’05 — all the way on through 2010, and you specifically mentioned Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Could you ever see yourself on the same ticket as Senator Clinton?
 
Home schooling your children is unconstitutional in California
Sounds like a constitutional amendment moment for California. The following is from the actual ruling of the Court Of Appeal Of The State Of California, Second Appellate District (HT: Ted Bezat):In this dependency case (Welf. & Inst. Code, § 300), we consider the question whether parents can legally “home school” their children. The attorney for two of the three minor
 
Discriminating in a non-discriminating way
I have to admit I’m confused by all of this:Six times a week, Harvard kicks all the guys out of the Quadrangle Recreational Athletic Center at the request of the Harvard Islamic Society. This is to accommodate those female Muslim students whose faith won’t let them work out in front of men.In the old days, Harvard
 
The Veterans Day case for teaching critical thinking
First, remember, this is about celebrating Veterans Day in a school.How it began:It started with an eight-line e-mail from fourth-grade teacher Rolf Hanson to the school staff. Hanson thought conscientious objectors should be honored by placing their names on a banner, giving them more or less equal recognition with veterans who fought in wars.
 
Education: When does the helicopter run out of gas?
A new study says "helicopter parents", i.e. those who "hover" over their kids in college, are a "good thing":Despite the negative reputation of "helicopter parents," those moms and dads who hover over children in college and swoop into their academic affairs appear to be doing plenty of good.That’s the conclusion of one of the
 
Government Choice
Ezra Klein...One thing that is a bit unclear to me is why Congress doesn’t have the courage of its convictions. In other words, why don’t they appropriate massive amounts of money for two grand experiments, one testing a conservative education solution, the other implementing an ideal-world progressive alternative. Convince some demographically simil
 
And these people think they’re moderate
Harvard Magazine carries a portrait of one of its illuminati, psychologist Howard Gardner (The Hobbs professor of cognition and education at the Graduate School of Education) which contains this little nugget:In the magazine Foreign Policy, he argued in the spring for upper limits on the amount of income an American should be allowed to keep and the amou
 
Education’s multicultural scam
Robert Holland, in a Baltimore Sun article today, shines a bit of light on multicultural education. He begins with a reminder:When he was governor of Maryland in 2004, Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. stirred a hornet’s nest when he denounced multiculturalism as "bunk" on a talk-radio show. Because many Americans believe multiculturali
 
What does academia owe the tyrants of this world?
A continuence of my post below on moral equivalence with a focus on Columbia University’s invitation to Amadinejad:Columbia University said it would welcome any notable figure visiting the United States — even Adolf Hitler himself — to speak to students and faculty at the Ivy League college.Stunning. What, pray tell, would be so "notable" about Hitler that he
 
Putin plans to shade history (update)
When you see a Russian history school book in the future, ensure that you understand that when they talk about "truth" that, in fact, "truthy" might be a better description:Critics are accusing President Vladimir Putin’s government of a Soviet-style rewriting of Russian history with a series of new "patriotic" textbooks to be unveiled in the new school year.
 
Seeking employment (Updated)
If you know anyone who needs an ex-professor there’s one available:The University of Colorado’s Board of Regents today fired professor Ward Churchill, 2 1/2 years after his comments about the victims of the 9/11 attacks sparked a firestorm.The regents said Churchill committed academic misconduct. The board convened this mor
 
Critical thinking
Myron Magnet explores some interesting aspects of the culture which surrounded the Duke rape case specifically and how they relate to the greater culture at large. A couple of paragraphs which struck me as interesting were these:Part of what a university should teach is the critical reasoning power to analyze situations like these, with claims and counter
 
Is academic tenure a relic of the past or a necessity for today?
Today’s Atlanta-Journal Constitution brought a guest op/ed which attempts to make a case for university tenure in the face of a decision by a newly opened college which has plans not to offer it to its professors.Hugh Hudson, who is a professor of history at Ga. State Univ. and executive secretary of the Georgia Conference of the American
 
Direct action
I have to admit I love it:A music teacher is under investigation by school officials after a student stunned a concert audience with a profane tirade that she said was merely imitating the instructor’s style.Savannah Larson, 13, gave the first performance in the spring concert attended by abo
 
Academic Diversity - or the lack thereof
We often hear how universities and colleges are ’liberal bastions’. We also hear about how concerned they are about ’diversity’. David Freidman points out that almost always academia is worried about the wrong type of diversity:In the employment context, a diversity hire is someone hired in part because he is black, or she is fem
 
Memorial for Cho (update)
I’m unsurprised by her major:A senior at Virginia Tech said moral responsibility led her to add a stone for gunman Seung-Hui Cho to a memorial for his 32 shooting victims that was set up at Virginia Tech late last week. The stone was later removed, but was restored by Wednesday morning.Katelynn Johnson, a senior sociology-psychology major, identified he
 
An illustration
The other day, in a post entitled "We Get the Government We Deserve", I touched on the appalling lack of understanding most of our fellow citizens have about our system of government, traditions, founding principles, etc. Ms. Lori Reimherr of Chicago chose to come to my aid by illustrating my point in a
 
Utah: School Vouchers
Utah has passed some ground breaking legislation "under which every family, depending on its income, will be reimbursed between $500 and $3,000 per child for annual tuition paid to the private school of their choice."Not everyone is happy about the law as Mike Rosen discusses:First, the union’s survival is at stak
 
Steve Jobs attacks Teacher’s Unions
Jay Greene, writing in the NY Sun, brings us this story:In a speech on Friday, the chief executive officer of Apple and Disney honcho declared: "I believe that what’s wrong with our schools in this nation is that they have become unionized in the worst possible way."The problem with unionization, Mr. Jobs argued, is that it has constrained schools from attracting an
 
Common Sense vs the University of Georgia
While the Supreme Court hashes out whether or not the color of you skin can be used to discriminate for or against you in college admissions, we had this little drama going on locally:This week, the Georgia Pi chapter of Beta Upsilon Chi (BYX), also known as Brothers Under Christ, filed a lawsuit against the University of Georgia contending that UGA has d
 
The irrational Professor
Yeah, I can’t wait to see this:On Tuesday, November 7th, American voters will go to the polls for the mid-term elections. On Monday, November 6th, George Mason University economist Bryan Caplan, author of the forthcoming book The Myth of the Rational Voter, will argue that we can’t
 
Highlighting the absurdity of the "false self-esteem" culture
I heard about this story earlier in the week and never had an opportunity to write about it:Sharp on offense and unrelenting on defense, Bridgeport Central High School’s football team played a terrific game Friday night to win its season opener against its city riv
 
Education: Radicalizing middle schoolers
What ever happened to the three "R’s", get a job and be a good citizen?Sol Stern makes the point that in the past, public schools did the necessary basic education well and in addition helped assimilate students into the broader civic culture.But he’s seeing more and more of what he calls "social justice" education popping up in NY
 
CU Chancellor announces intent to fire Ward Churchill
And I say, "Bravo"!The interim chancellor of the University of Colorado at Boulder announced today that CU wants to fire ethnic studies professor Ward Churchill."Today I issued to Professor Churchill a notice of intent to dismiss him from his faculty position here at the University of Colorado," said Phil DiStefano at a press conference.Churchill has 10 days to appeal.
 
Redefining terms for fun and an agenda
Racism. The word has become one of the most feared words in our language. When it was first used, it was an apt description of those who felt their race to be superior to others. In fact, it was defined precisely that way:Racism:n: The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
 
Executive salaries: school executives that is
We hear a lot about executive salaries and how they’re out of proportion with the worker’s salaries and characterized as "shameless displays of greed" by some. A good example of that so-called greed is found in the recent 400 million package that Exxon paid a recently retired CEO. Of course that CEO had overseen earnings of about 39 billion for the company, but that’s ra
 
Joanne Jacobs in SoCal
Joanne Jacobs has asked me to pass along the following info:I’ll be in San Diego and Orange County this week to promote my book about a charter school that prepares Mexican-American students to college, Our School: The Inspiring Story of Two Teachers, One Big Idea and the School That Beat the Odds (Palgrave Macmillan). I’ll speak and sign books on Thursday, April 20 at 5:30 pm at High Tech High, 2861 Womble
 
Education: An interesting way to frame the debate
I guess today is Massachussets day. Or at least Mitt Romney day. After chastising him for signing on to the "health care" debacle, I’m going to praise him about his approach to education reform. What struck me as I read his piece in the Washington Times was how he framed the debate:First, close the Excellence Gap. American 15-year-olds rank 24th out of 29 OE
 
Another Plan the NEA Hates
Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney—who is also likely to be a contender for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination, is taking on the teacher’s union in his state with a new education plan.The governor’s bill seeks to upend the status quo in teacher pay and evaluation that has been written into collec