Tag Archives: education

Former Obama Education Secretary calls for school boycott over guns

I actually agree with him! The former Secretary of Education from the Obama administration, Arne Duncan, is calling for parents to pull their kids from public schools until the “gun laws are changed to make them safe.”

Personally, if I had children I would have never allowed them to attend any of today’s public schools, not because of gun safety but because they do a worse than horrible job of teaching kids anything.

Moreover, educating your kids either in a private school or at home gives you a much better chance of protecting them. At home you can be armed. Private schools have more flexibility, and will more likely include armed teachers if that’s what the parents want.

Public schools, and the unions that run them, not so much. I really do hope Duncan’s boycott catches on. It will give us a chance to shut down the failing public schools and replace them with competing organizations that actually get the job done.


1 in 10 graduates of DC schools rarely if ever attended school

The coming dark age: An investigation into the Washington DC school system has found a great deal of corruption in grading, including the fact that 1 in 10 graduates receive diplomas even though they rarely if ever attend school.

The report, commissioned by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, portrays a school system riddled by student absenteeism and teachers who feel pressured to push chronically absent high school seniors across the graduation stage regardless of whether they earned their diplomas.

The review saved some of its sharpest criticism for Ballou High School, which has been engulfed in controversy amid a graduation scandal. The report found that the school’s administrators told teachers that a high percentage of their students were expected to pass and encouraged them to provide makeup work and extra credit to students, no matter how much school they missed. Teachers received little training in a new grading system, and their annual performance reviews hinged in small part on their success in graduating students.

At the same time the report was released, D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Antwan Wilson announced that Ballou Principal Yetunde Reeves, who had been reassigned pending the investigation, will not return to the Southeast Washington school.

While this kind of corruption in public schools is somewhat rampant throughout the country, it has tended to happen far more in cities and states that have been controlled for years by a one-party political machine, which in the U.S. has almost routinely been a Democratic Party machine. The problem isn’t specifically Democrats (though that party’s policies almost routinely make things worse). The problem is the one-party political machine and a reliance on a big government school system.

It would be far better to eliminate the whole public school system, including the taxes it confiscates, and leave it to the families in a local neighborhood to simply band together, hire a teacher, and start a one-room school house for their elementary school kids. These small schools could then band together to form a larger high school, all paid for directly by the parents.

Sounds absurd? It was how the colonies and the U.S. did it for their first few hundred years, until the late 1800s.

I admit that going back to the old way might not work, however. There has also been a dumbing-down of standards nationwide, by everyone. We also no longer have the moral and religious framework that dominated American culture before the mid-20th century that required all parents to get their kids educated.


Pennsylvania school district apologizes for teacher who attacked pro-life protesters

This is a victory: The Pennsylvania school district where a teacher had verbally and physically harassed two pro-life demonstrators has apologized to the demonstrators as part of a lawsuit settlement.

It has also changed their school policy, making it clear that all students, whether pro-life or pro-abortion, have the right to express their opinions and should not be harassed by teachers for doing so.

I had posted the original story of the teacher’s misbehavior (including the video of his actions) under an essay entitled The Coming Fascism. This victory for freedom of speech gives me some reason to hope that my previous pessimism might have been premature.


California community colleges consider eliminating algebra requirement

The coming dark age: Because algebra is hard for many minority students, the California community college system is considering eliminating their algebra requirement.

“The second thing I’d say is yes, this is a civil rights issue, but this is also something that plagues all Americans — particularly low-income Americans,” [said Eloy Ortiz Oakley, chancellor of the California community college system.] If you think about all the underemployed or unemployed Americans in this country who cannot connect to a job in this economy — which is unforgiving of those students who don’t have a credential — the biggest barrier for them is this algebra requirement. It’s what has kept them from achieving a credential.”

Hey, Chancellor Oakley, you know that you are implying that blacks and minorities are not capable of understanding algebra.

Meanwhile I, as a conservative, instead think that if we demand them to do better, they will do better.

So who’s the racist?


Public school teachers now required to do student mental health assessments

What could possibly go wrong? A federal law passed in 2015 and signed by President Obama now requires public school teachers to do mental health assessments of their elementary school students, without obtaining parental permission.

You read that right: if you live in an ESSA state, your child’s mental health will be assessed by a non-medical professional in a non-medical context. The paperwork will not be protected by HIPAA laws, which means that the school district can share a teacher’s assessment of your child’s mental health with literally anyone. Parents are not asked for permission before the DESSA is administered, nor do they have any say over where the records go once they are obtained.

Worse, the assessments require teachers to fill out a form with 72 questions on each student, a time-consuming task that will likely interfere with unimportant things like teaching.


The left moves to indoctrinate elementary school kids

Fascists: A new leftist movement has begun inserting racial and leftist indoctrination materials into elementary public school materials, teaching kids the evils of racism that are inherent in American society, before they are even aware that different races even exist.

Marxist theorist Paolo Freire advocated in Pedagogy of the Oppressed, that schools be used to inculcate radical values in students so they become agents of social change. Freire held that the so-called dominant pedagogy “silences” poor and minority children and that there is no such thing as a neutral educational system.

Joining Freire in his desire to use the educational system to level institutions is unrepentant communist terrorist and education theorist Bill Ayers, who has long advocated poisoning the minds of the young so they can agitate to fundamentally transform American society. “If we want change to come, we would do well not to look at the sites of power we have no access to; the White House, the Congress, the Pentagon,” he said in 2012. “We have absolute access to the community, the school, the neighborhood, the street, the classroom, the workplace, the shop, the farm.”

The article then describes at length actual examples of leftist and racist indoctrination in a variety of public elementary schools, going on right now. And make no mistake, the educational materials here are outright bigoted in their hatred of whites and American society. I am appalled that American parents are tolerating this.


Israeli student cubesat launched from Atlas 5

When the Cygnus capsule was placed in orbit yesterday, it also released a number of nanosats, one of which was a cubesat built by Israeli high school students.

More than 80 pupils in grades 9-12 at schools in Herzliya, Ofakim, Yeruham, Ofra, and the Bedouin town of Hura helped to construct Duchifat-2, which weighs just 1.8 kilograms (four pounds), and is just 20 centimeters (eight inches) tall and 10 centimeters wide. Due to its small size, the satellite has no motors and instead uses the earth’s magnetic field to keep itself correctly aligned in space.

Cubesats have generally been built and launched as college projects to help teach students the engineering behind satellites. This however was the only nanosat released by the Atlas 5 that involved high school students.

Note also that the project did not simply involve Jewish students.


Modern college students think America invented slavery

The coming dark age: Modern college students not only think America invented slavery, they know even less about American history.

Before even distributing the syllabus for his courses, Pesta administered his short quizzes with basic questions about American history, economics and Western culture. For instance, the questions asked students to circle which of three historical figures was a president of the United States, or to name three slave-holding countries over the last 2,000 years, or define “capitalism” and “socialism” in one sentence each.

Often, more students connected Thomas Jefferson to slavery then could identify him as president, according to Pesta. On one quiz, 29 out of 32 students responding knew that Jefferson owned slaves, but only three out of the 32 correctly identified him as president. Interestingly, more students— six of 32—actually believed Ben Franklin had been president.

The biggest irony of all is that it was in the United States that the abolition movement was born. Until that happened, the idea of slavery had been considered morally acceptable by all nations in all previous human history.


Baltimore to ignore behavior and homework in school grading

The coming dark age: The Baltimore school system this week revealed that it is ordering its teachers to ignore student behavior and not count homework in determining school grades. Worse,

The school system also now recommends that teachers do not factor homework into overall grades or give students marks below 50%. Community Superintendent for Zone 2 George Roberts says low marks can damage a student’s feeling of self-potential. “The power of the zero is extremely powerful and frankly hurtful to a student,” Roberts said. “If a child gets a zero on an assignment, it’s that much harder for the child to come out of.” [emphasis mine]

What Baltimore and America is instead going to get is badly behaved students who simply don’t know anything. Seems to me that it is time to get those kids out of these public schools and to shut them down, since they a waste of money and are doing real harm to children.


Most of America’s elite universities do not require history majors to study U.S. history

The coming dark age: More than fifty American universities do not require history majors to take a course in United States history.

This bears repeating: The universities allow history majors to get a degree in history without having to study American history. The article also includes lots of interviews from lots of academic types, all making excuses for this dismal policy.

No wonder no one seems to know what the Bill of Rights is. Our universities, run almost exclusively by leftwing hacks, have sent it down the memory hole to be forgotten and ignored.


Toy boat crosses the Atlantic

A toy boat launched by students in South Carolina has been found by beach-goers in Wales.

The boat had been launched by fourth graders from St Andrews School of Math and Science in Charleston as part of a project to teach students about the ocean. This was in May 2015. The Carolina Dreamer traveled over 6400 kilometers across the pond, making a pit stop in Bermuda along the way.

The students equipped the vessel with a time capsule and GPS tracker before sending it out to sea. Although it lost a sail along the way, the boat transmitted its location 16 kilometers from the town of Aberstwyth, prompting the teacher behind the idea, Amy McMahon, to contact the local marines.

The best part of the story? School officials in Wales are planning to launch the boat back towards the western hemisphere.


2015’s 13 most ridiculous protests on college campuses

Link here.

Read it all and weep. I would also suggest that if you need to choose a university for your child, you should cross off Swarthmore University, the University of New Hampshire, Idaho State University, College of the Canyons (in Los Angeles), Western University (in London), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Harvard University, Brandeis University, the University of California-Los Angeles, Kansas University, North Carolina University, Scripps College (in California), the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Washington, the University of Ottawa (in Canada), the University of Georgia, Quinnipiac University, and the University of California-Merced.

Most of these are government colleges, which also means that as voters we should also be demanding that their government funding should cease, now, immediately, without any negotiation. They are not only failing to educate their students, the academics who run these colleges are actually teaching them very stupid and bad ideas. They should be forced to find some real work where they will be no longer be able to do society this harm.


National Youth Orchestra of the USA – Simple Gifts

An evening pause: From Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring and performed during a seven city tour in China in 2015. The orchestra is privately funded and is part of a program by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute for training young musicians ages 16–19.

Hat tip Danae. Stay till the end for a nice and clever surprise.


Get 2 out of 10 questions right and pass!

The coming dark age: A California school district has instituted a new grading scale that allows students to pass with a score of only 20 out of 100.

Some teachers have tried to hang on to the traditional grading system but have been tripped up by a blanket new policy that students, even if they do not hand in homework or take a test, get 50 percent. Under the new rule, it’s possible for a student who skips a test to receive a better grade than a student who takes the test and does poorly. “This is just incomprehensible. I don’t have words,” said Lanny Lowery, who has taught English at Rancho Cotate High since 1980

And then there’s this: NYC schools passing failing students, colleges accepting them.

In other words, you can now graduate having learned absolutely nothing. Should make for an interesting future for the student and the society that student helps shape.


Obamacare forces schools to cut back

Finding out what’s in it: Public school budgets continue to be squeezed by the cost of Obamacare.

They find they either have to cut employee hours, privatize some services, or eliminate health insurance entirely and pay the Obamacare fines. Otherwise, they can’t afford the costs.

This quote however illustrates the educational cost of Obamacare:

School officials say that it’s hard for students to adjust to having multiple part-time educators throughout the day. Chris Johnson, an administrator with the Penn Manor school district in Pennsylvania, told a publication there that, “If you start doing a half day with this person and then a half day with that person, those students don’t react well.”

Even as it bankrupts us financially, Obamacare is also bankrupting us socially. What a disaster. We desperately need to repeal it, as soon as possible.


11-year-old threatened with expulsion for virtual gun

Madness: An 11-year-old has been threatened with expulsion for bringing a virtual gun to a virtual school.

In listening to the audio of the talk radio report, the school demanded the boy change his avatar because it included an image of a pistol, and is now rushing to craft a policy that would outlaw gun images in the future. Not only is this insane, it would be a violation of the first amendment.


High school student arrested for writing he killed his neighbor’s dinosaur with a gun

Madness: A South Carolina high school student was arrested for writing — in a “What-I-did-during-summer-vacation” school assignment — that he killed his neighbor’s dinosaur with a gun.

Investigators say the teacher contacted school officials after seeing the message containing the words “gun” and “take care of business,” and police were then notified on Tuesday. Summerville police officials say Stone’s book bag and locker were searched on Tuesday, and a gun was not found. According to police, when Stone was asked by school officials about the comment written on the assignment, he became “very irate” and said it was a joke. A Summerville Police Department report states that Stone continued to be disruptive and was placed in handcuffs, and was told that he was being detained for disturbing schools.

The police are claiming that he was arrested because of his behavior when questioned. I don’t blame him. I think the teacher who reported him and the school officials who called the police should be fired immediately for downright stupidity. Such people are not competent to teach the young.


A Connecticut high school student discovers that his school firewall has been set up to specifically block access to all conservative sites while allowing access to liberal ones.

Free speech for me but not for thee: A Connecticut high school student discovers that his school firewall has been set up to specifically block access to all conservative sites while allowing access to liberal ones.

Andrew Lampart, a senior at Nonnewaug High School, discovered that he couldn’t get on the National Rifle Association’s website while on campus as he was doing research for a classroom debate on gun control in May. “So, I went over to the other side,” Lampart told WTIC. And I went over on sites such as Moms Demand Action or Newtown Action Alliance and I could get on these websites but not the others.”

The 18-year-old decided to investigate further by broadening his search terms to political parties in Connecticut. “I immediately found out that the State Democrat website was unblocked but the State GOP website was blocked,” Lampart said. The student took it a step further and looked at websits focusing on abortion issues and religion. He discovered that “right-to-life” groups were blocked by the firewall but that Planned Parenthood and Pro-Choice America weren’t. Lampart even tried to explore websites like Christianity.com and the Vatican’s site but they were both blocked. However, Islam-guide.com was not blocked. “They’re trying to, in my opinion, shelter us from what’s actually going on around the country and around the world by blocking these web sites,” Lampart explained. “It should be the other way around. The websites should be unblocked so that students can get different viewpoints from different sides of each argument.”

The superintendent of Woodbury schools was notified by Lampart, but nothing was done to fix the problem after a week. He decided to take his concerns to the Board of Education on Monday.”

The lack of action by his superintendent I think proves that this partisan blocking was not an accident but was entirely intentional. But remember, the left is the tolerant and open-minded movement!


Oklahoma today joined Indiana and South Carolina in rejecting the Common Core education standards that have been imposed by the federal government.

Oklahoma today joined Indiana and South Carolina in pulling out of the Common Core education standards that have been imposed by the federal government.

All told, seventeen states are pushing back against the federal standards, with four states, Alaska, Nebraska, Texas, and Virginia, refusing to participate at all.


An award winning science teacher was suspended when an unnamed school employee thought two student science projects looked too much like weapons.

Idiocracy: An award winning science teacher was suspended when an unnamed school employee thought two student science projects looked too much like weapons.

Schiller got into trouble after two of his students turned in science projects designed to shoot little projectiles, reports the Los Angeles Times. One of the projects used compressed air (but was not actually connected to any air). The other one was coil gun: a tube surrounded by a coil and powered by a standard AA battery.

An unidentified school employee saw the air-pressure projectile device and got scared because, to her, it looked like a fearsome weapon. The amount of knowledge the employee has concerning science – if any – is unclear.

As a result of the unnamed employee’s fears, Schiller – who actually never got to see either the air-pressure project or the coil project except in photos – was dismissed from the classroom indefinitely. School officials impounded both projects as “evidence,” according to the mother of the kid who did the coil project.

Why am I reminded of this movie scene?
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A new study has found that there is zero correlation between increased spending and improvements in education.

A new study has found that there is zero correlation between increased spending and improvements in education.

While spending has just about tripled in inflation-adjusted dollars and the number of school employees has almost doubled since 1970, reading, math and science scores for students have remained stagnant.

“That is remarkably unusual,” Coulson wrote in his study. “In virtually every other field, productivity has risen over this period thanks to the adoption of countless technological advances — advances that, in many cases, would seem ideally suited to facilitating learning. And yet, surrounded by this torrent of progress, education has remained anchored to the riverbed, watching the rest of the world rush past it.”

Click on the link just to see the main graph. While math, reading, and science scores have remained unchanged for literally decades, spending has skyrocketed. To put it bluntly, we aren’t getting our money’s worth.

Note this quote also:

But if spending has no affect, then why do students at private schools, which charge tuition, perform better than students in public schools? “Actually, the average per-pupil spending in private schools is substantially below the average per-pupil spending in government schools,” Coulson said. He pointed to a study he conducted in New Mexico’s neighboring state of Arizona in which Coulson said average per-pupil spending at private schools was about 66 percent of the cost of public schools.

I wonder if the phrase “public sector unions” comes to anyone’s mind as an explanation for this sad situation,


Moronic Common Core lessons the federal government is imposing on public schools.

Government marches on! Moronic Common Core lessons the federal government is imposing on public schools.

#4 is especially vile, as its whole point is to encourage racial hatred.

I have not written much about the federally mandated education program Common Core, but don’t worry, nothing about it will surprise you. It is like most things the federal government requires these days, poorly thought out, politically motivated, and destructive to our society.

Other than that, it is peachy cream wonderful!


A Connecticut museum, having switched its focus from art to science, has chosen to sell its most valuable statue to finance its own cubesat.

Art vs Engineering: A Connecticut museum, having switched its focus from art to science, has chosen to sell its most valuable statue to finance its own cubesat.

The Discovery Museum and Planetarium in Bridgeport is making a calculated trade-off as it launches a significant upgrade to its science education program for schoolchildren. The 55-year-old museum is auctioning a massive bronze statue Friday to raise money to outfit and program a satellite the size of a milk carton attached to a NASA rocket beaming back data on space dust. …

The statue [is] of a man handing a torch to another man reaching down while on a horse symbolizes the passing of the knowledge of civilization from one generation to the next. …

The satellite will be programmed to capture small space debris analyzed by students in high-school and younger at the museum’s Challenger Learning Center. “We’re building a mission control at the museum,” said David Mestre, director of space science education at the museum. “We’re developing software for a kid to run a space program.” [emphasis mine]

That last quote clinches the deal for me. The statue is impressive, but it merely expresses the idea. Having children operate their own space satellite puts the idea into action.


In a launch today a Russian Dnepr rocket sent 32 satellites into orbit, breaking the record of 29 set less than a week ago by a Minotaur rocket.

The competition heats up: In a launch today a Russian Dnepr rocket sent 32 satellites into orbit, breaking the record of 29 set less than a week ago by a Minotaur rocket.

This is the future. Satellites are going to get smaller, and thus cheaper to launch.


Want to send your child to school with a lunch you prepared yourself? The federal government now forbids it, unless you get a doctor’s note.

Want to send your child to school with a lunch you prepared yourself? The federal government now forbids it, unless you get a doctor’s note.

When I was a kid it was assumed your parents would provide you the lunch you liked. Today, every kid is fed by the federal school lunch program. And it appears that this federal program has decided that only it knows what is good for your child.

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