To Promote Equality, California Wants to Ban Advanced Math

In the name of equality, the California Department of Education seeks to dumb down the brightest kids.

Dumbing Down of America Takes Another Leap Forward

A friend of mine emailed an article the likes of which always prompts me to say “really?”

Please consider the Reason article In the Name of Equity, California Will Discourage Students Who Are Gifted at Math.

Culturally Responsive Framework

I like to verify things myself and you can do so as well by reading the California Department of Education Mathematics Framework.

In its framework, the Department of Education seeks “Culturally responsive mathematics education.”

Introduction Highlights

  • Active efforts in mathematics teaching are required in order to counter the cultural forces that have led to and continue to perpetuate current inequities. Mathematics pathways must open mathematics to all students, eliminating option-limiting tracking. [i.e. no advance classes].
  • implementation of this framework and the standards, teachers must be mindful of other considerations that are a high priority for California’s education system including the Environmental Principles and Concepts (EP&Cs) which allow students to examine issues of environmental and social justice.

Teaching for Equity Highlights

  • The evolution of mathematics in educational settings has resulted in dramatic inequities for students of color, girls, and students from low income homes.
  • Teachers are encouraged to align instruction with the outcomes of the California ELD Standards, which state that linguistically and culturally diverse English learners receive instruction that values their home cultures.

Need to Broaden Perceptions of Mathematics

I did not go through all the chapters. Reason uncovered these gems.

  • The inequity of mathematics tracking in California can be undone through a coordinated approach in grades 6–12.
  • Middle-school students are best served in heterogeneous classes.
  • The push to calculus in grade twelve is itself misguided.
  • To encourage truly equitable and engaging mathematics classrooms we need to broaden perceptions of mathematics beyond methods and answers so that students come to view mathematics as a connected, multi-dimensional subject that is about sense making and reasoning, to which they can contribute and belong.

Sabotage the Best

Reason concludes, and I agree “If California adopts this framework, which is currently under public review, the state will end up sabotaging its brightest students. The government should let kids opt out of math if it’s not for them. Don’t let the false idea that there’s no such thing as a gifted student herald the end of advanced math entirely.”

Instead, and in the name of “equity”, the proposed framework aims to keep everyone learning at the same dumbed down level for as long as possible.

The intention is clear. The California Board of Education intends to sabotage the best and brightest, hoping to make everyone equal.

The public does not support these polices. Indeed, it is precisely this kind of talk that nearly got Trump reelected.

Biden should speak out against such nonsense, but he won’t. He is beholden to Teachers’ Unions and Boards of Education.

Care to complain? If so the California Department of Education posted these ways.

Phone Number and Address

Phone: 916-319-0598

Instructional Quality Commission
1430 N Street, Room 3207
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: 916-319-0172

Social and Mathematical Justice Q&A

Q: Who is the arbiter of environmental, mathematic, and social justice?

A: The California board of Education. They intend to cram it down your child’s throat and dumb down gifted kids no matter what their parents believe or how vigorous the objections.

If you wish to protest these absurd policies, phone or write the board of education as posted above.

Better yet, get the hell out of California.

Mike Shedlock

In the Name of Equity, California Will Discourage Students Who Are Gifted at Math

California’s Department of Education is working on a new framework for K-12 mathematics that discourages gifted students from enrolling in accelerated classes that study advanced concepts like calculus.

The draft of the framework is hundreds of pages long and covers a wide range of topics. But its overriding concern is inequity. The department is worried that too many students are sorted into different math tracks based on their natural abilities, which leads some to take calculus by their senior year of high school while others don’t make it past basic algebra. The department’s solution is to prohibit any sorting until high school, keeping gifted kids in the same classrooms as their less mathematically inclined peers until at least grade nine.

“The inequity of mathematics tracking in California can be undone through a coordinated approach in grades 6–12,” reads a January 2021 draft of the framework. “In summary, middle-school students are best served in heterogeneous classes.”

In fact, the framework concludes that calculus is overvalued, even for gifted students.

“The push to calculus in grade twelve is itself misguided,” says the framework.

As evidence for this claim, the framework cites the fact that many students who take calculus end up having to retake it in college anyway. Of course, de-prioritizing instruction in high school calculus would not really solve this problem—and in fact would likely make it worse—but the department does not seem overly worried. The framework’s overriding perspective is that teaching the tough stuff is college’s problem: The K-12 system should concern itself with making every kid fall in love with math.

Broadly speaking, this entails making math as easy and un-math-like as possible. Math is really about language and culture and social justice, and no one is naturally better at it than anyone else, according to the framework.

“All students deserve powerful mathematics; we reject ideas of natural gifts and talents,” reads a bulletpoint in chapter one of the framework. “The belief that ‘I treat everyone the same’ is insufficient: Active efforts in mathematics teaching are required in order to counter the cultural forces that have led to and continue to perpetuate current inequities.”

The entire second chapter of the framework is about connecting math to social justice concepts like bias and racism: “Teachers can support discussions that center mathematical reasoning rather than issues of status and bias by intentionally defining what it means to do and learn mathematics together in ways that include and highlight the languages, identities, and practices of historically marginalized communities.” Teachers should also think creatively about what math even entails: “To encourage truly equitable and engaging mathematics classrooms we need to broaden perceptions of mathematics beyond methods and answers so that students come to view mathematics as a connected, multi-dimensional subject that is about sense making and reasoning, to which they can contribute and belong.”

This approach is very bad. Contrary to what this guidance seems to suggest, math is not the end-all and be-all—and it’s certainly not something that all kids are equally capable of learning and enjoying. Some young people clearly excel at math, even at very early ages. Many schools offer advanced mathematics to a select group of students well before the high school level so that they can take calculus by their junior or senior year. It’s done this way for a reason: The students who like math (usually a minority) should have the opportunity to move on as rapidly as possible.

For everyone else… well, advanced math just isn’t that important. It would be preferable for schools to offer students more choices, and offer them as early as possible. Teens who are eager readers should be able to study literature instead of math; young people who aren’t particularly adept at any academic discipline might pick up art, music, computers, or even trade skills. (Coding doesn’t need to be mandatory, but it could be an option.)

The essence of good schooling is choice. Individual kids benefit from a wide range of possible educational options. Permitting them to diversify, specialize, and chart their own paths—with helpful input from the adults in their lives—is the course of action that recognizes vast differences in interest and ability. Holding back kids who are gifted at math isn’t equitable: On the contrary, it’s extremely unfair to everyone.

Yet the framework seems to reject the notion that some kids are more gifted than others. “An important goal of this framework is to replace ideas of innate mathematics ‘talent’ and ‘giftedness’ with the recognition that every student is on a growth pathway,” it states. “There is no cutoff determining when one child is ‘gifted’ and another is not.” But cutoffs are exactly what testing and grading systems produce, and it’s absurdly naive to think there’s nothing innate about such outcomes, given that intelligence is at least partly an inherited trait.

If California adopts this framework, which is currently under public review, the state will end up sabotaging its brightest students. The government should let kids opt out of math if it’s not for them. Don’t let the false idea that there’s no such thing as a gifted student herald the end of advanced math entirely.

Robby Soave is a senior editor at Reason.

NOTE: These people are sooooo ill.

Wokester apocalypse: Public school enrollment plunges in California — and everywhere else

Have the wokesters finally reached a tipping point?

Leftists of multiple stripes have been making public schools horrible places, and now students are bolting.

In California, that’s making news.  According to the Associated Press:

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California public schools have experienced a sharp decline in enrollment this year as the pandemic forced millions into online school, according to data made public Thursday.

The drop came as the state’s school districts dawdled in bringing children back to the classroom, making California one of the slowest in the country to reopen schools.

The California Department of Education data shows that the number of students at K-12 schools dropped by more than 160,000 this academic year, most of them at the K-6 level, to a total of 6 million.

The drop is by far the biggest decline in years and represents the clearest picture yet of the pandemic’s devastating toll on California public schools.

“The annual snapshot of fall enrollment shows a sharp one-year decline as the state and nation grappled with a deadly pandemic that disrupted all aspects of public education,” the education department said in a statement.

But it’s actually happening all over.  DetroitNew York CityBaltimoreD.C.Austin, TucsonMinneapolisSanta Fe, New MexicoJanesville, WisconsinChautauqua County, upstate New York, plus the entire states of New JerseyIowaVermontArizonaColoradoMichiganHawaiiNorth CarolinaTexasOklahomaMinnesotaWashingtonVirginia, and quite likely all of the others are reporting public school enrollment drops.  I didn’t have time to finish going through the list.

In California, it’s white students who are bolting most.  The AP reports that they constitute 22% of school enrollment but account for half of the exits.  They’re moving on to private schools, whose enrollments are up, or to homeschooling, which is available to anyone with a literate and motivated parent.  Or else just moving to a better state.  It suggests that poor black and Latino kids, who form far larger demographic groups within the California districts, might just be not bolting because economically, they can’t.  They may have a parent who has to work in a low-salary service industry job or else live in a household with no literacy skills to facilitate homeschooling from the adults.  Based on other factors, to be cited below, they’d get out if they could, too.

And that’s, according to press reports, all because of the pandemic — which is bee ess right there.

Far from this being the pandemic, which, scientifically speaking, affected children very little, it’s the ruling elites’ barbaric response to the pandemic.  That was visible enough in the state-imposed lockdowns on the public schools, and in the outrageous behavior of the rabidly left-wing teachers’ unions and the campaign cash-fattened politicians who love them.

Lockdowns themselves were terrible.  Besides being unscientific — recall this little incident, cited by Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen

[H]is handpicked director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Rochelle Walensky, said last week that “schools can safely reopen” and “vaccination of teachers is not a prerequisite for the safe reopening of schools,” the Biden White House slapped her down, with press secretary Jen Psaki insisting that Walensky was speaking in her “personal capacity.”

No, she wasn’t. Walensky was speaking in her capacity as a government scientist during an official briefing of the White House covid response team. And her comments came just days after a team of CDC scientists published a review in the Journal of the American Medical Association of numerous studies which show “there has been little evidence that schools have contributed meaningfully to increased community transmission.”

…they were also terrible for kids.  Kids’ grades plummeted, and many never showed up for the online Zoom sessions at all.  Worse still, mental health problems rose, and children became depressed, unable to perform the vital task for them of making friends.  For kids, that’s a positively critical need, as children are biologically wired at that age with an openness to making friends, quite unlike older people.  Child depression rose; child suicides soared.  The lockdowns were also exceptionally hard on parents.

The highest declines in enrollments, across all states, and certainly in California, were among the youngest children.  Very young children are unusually unsuited to online learning, and anyone who’s ever taught them (and I have) knows they need to physically interact: to touch, to see, to pass around, to feel, to hear, to sing, to smell, to speak, to raise hands, to dance, to participate, to mush clay, to paint, to move — it’s how they naturally are.  They don’t do virtual, and they don’t like concept stuff.  (It’s why they’re so wonderful.)

That’s just the lockdowns alone.  Parents tried to complain, parents tried to say something, but they always got ignored.

To add insult to injury, there were also the teachers’ unions and the school boards in their pocket, which had to be the last straw for a lot of parents.

Remember these charmers?

Ever wonder what school board members are saying in private about parents with kids in schools unhappy about the forever-COVID school closings?

An unwitting Zoom recording from the Oakley School Board of Contra Costa County, in the eastern San Francisco Bay Area, cleared the air on that: …

Wow.  Just wow.  They not only mocked parents behind their backs, but seemed to bond together as they did it. 

That repugnant group was just the start.

The unions themselves were beyond-vile in their behavior, as RedState contributor Jennifer Oliver O’Connell, in an excellent piece, noted here:

This is a nice way of saying that the California Teachers Unions held parents and students hostage while they made demands for social justice contingent on their return. Demands like funding BLM, and Defunding the Police. While doing this, they still collected bonuses for teaching 45-minute Zoom classes, and maligned parents who wanted their children to actually be taught in person.

What’s more, they not only made strange hostage demands, as well as called for more money, but extended and extended, and extended the lockdowns, as they drew higher pay and worked fewer hours, and Zoomed the bunny-slipper commute, as AT’s Andrea Widburg put it.  They’ve made some final blackmail payout demands as the governor of California is facing a political recall over the closures of public schools.  Reason magazine has them here.

And they had slimey Joe Biden behind them, touting teachers’ unions and proudly holding out his low-achieving wife Jill as a public school teacher now living in the White House.  That had to make parents feel powerless.

For Joe, it was more than shilling for this blackmailing bunch; it was moving the goalposts as their puppet.  As I noted here:

To the extent that Joe Biden drew votes, a very big reason was the expectation from parents and students that he would re-open the public schools, currently on extended shutdown over COVID concerns.  That was his promise, that was a signature issue, with many pixels spilled in multiple spots on Biden’s campaign website supporting the claim that he was serious about re-opening schools.

Now that he’s in office, too bad for those who actually believed him.

Instead of re-opening the schools, Biden’s re-drawn himself a goal line for school re-opening so pathetic, so wretched, so insignificant that it’s actually lower than what’s already going on now in school reopenings. 

School re-openings, it seems, no longer mean school re-openings the way normal people see them.  In Bidenland, school re-openings mean lots and lots more Zoom school, with just lip service, a little grope maybe, to the idea of re-opening.

Now he’s busy imposing Critical Race Theory on all public schools nationally — that’s the stuff that tells whitey he’s the bad guy, or needs to “try to act less white,” even if he’s just four years old.  That likely accounts for at least some of the white exodus from public schools.  (Remember: much of California still votes Republican even if Republicans don’t win).  It’s a phony education that wrecks some kids’ self-esteem, makes other kids hate their neighbors or think they’re victims, and amounts to propaganda at the expense of education.  Who’d want that?

Nice going, Joe.  Now that you’ve elevated teachers’ unions, you’ve got declining enrollment.  Heckuva Job, Bidie.

But let’s get back to California:

Besides lockdowns and teachers’ union blackmail, California’s schools are turning into outrageous dumps of junk thought, and hellish conditions quite independently of Biden’s White House.

California is the one that introduced Aztec worship chants for the little ones to pledge fealty to, in a naked violation of the separation of church and state.

California is also a big-time supporter of males engaging on equal footing in women’s sports, pretty well telling the female athletes that they can play sports, but they aren’t going to win.

According to a 2019 Los Angeles Unified School District Policy Bulletin:

Participation in competitive athletics, intramural sports, athletic teams, competitions and contact sports shall be facilitated in a manner consistent with the student’s gender identity and in accordance with the California Interscholastic Federation constitution and bylaws. Students who identify as nonbinary should be granted the opportunity to participate in athletic activities they find best align with their gender identity.  

A third big one, and it’s been boiling for a while, is the leftist bid to shut down charter schools, which are particularly prized by minority students who would otherwise be stuck in failing public schools.

Who’d Joe Biden appoint to his Department of Education?  A creature from the San Diego public school bureaucracy named Cindy Marten, whose signature issue is crushing charter schools.  Her nomination was opposed by the San Diego–area NAACP, which broke with its national organization on this ground, because, well, they were hearing from people.  According to EdWeek, a trade publication:

The San Diego NAACP, which criticized Marten, notably broke from the national NAACP in 2019 when it opposed a national call for a moratorium on charter schools. Several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates cited that national NAACP position when they called for new limits on charter schools.

The national NAACP has also split with its San Diego branch on Marten’s nomination.

That might explain why, as I argued earlier, a lot of minority kids would also like out and simply can’t get out at this point.

Bottom line here is that parents and kids are bailing.  Public schools are getting fewer takers despite being “free.”

Leftists have been so “high on their own supply” for so long in this age of the pandemic, which benefits them amazingly, that they’ve failed to realize that people are voting with their feet.  They are scrapping for other alternatives, given the public schools’ failures to reflect their values and to care for the mental health of their children and to actually educate.  That’s another thing: the failing public schools’ failure to teach is an ongoing problem.  Who needs this?

Parents and students bailing out on them is an appropriate ending for this selfish, self-absorbed, child-hating bunch.  California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom is attempting to keep school funding at the current levels, despite the drop in enrollment, to shield these perpetrators from any consequences for their atrocious actions, but he’s up for recall now for this awfulness.  He knows it.  For him, the writing’s on the wall. 

It’s also on the wall for these public schools, whether they know it or not.

Monica Showalter, American Thinker

‘It’s everywhere’: Parents Group Fights Left-wing Indoctrination in Schools

A group of parents alarmed by what they see as left-wing indoctrination sweeping through K-12 schools on Tuesday announced a new online clearinghouse of information designed to help families navigate what’s happening in their children’s classrooms.

Nicole Neily, president of the group, Parents Defending Education, said parents are hungry for information to fight back against a curriculum that increasingly promotes racial and social justice ideology.

“There’s this feeling among some that this is just a New York and California thing, but it’s not; it’s everywhere,” she said. “It’s in private schools and parochial schools

Schools across the country have adopted classwork and instructional models based on critical race theory, which teaches that the U.S. legal and governance systems are inherently racist and retain economic and political power for Whites by oppressing people of color.

In some classes, students are divided into groups according to their status as “oppressors” and “victims,” “privileged” or “resistors,” based on immutable characteristics such as the color of their skin.

The lessons have sparked a series of legal challenges in state and federal courts by parents and students.

Supporters contend the curriculum is a necessary rejoinder to decades of White supremacist thinking that has permeated society. They say the goal must be “anti-racist” rather than not racist and that their approach will educate children about advantages they have been given or handicaps they have been burdened with by systemic racism.

Parents Defending Education describes itself on its website this way: “Parents Defending Education is a national grassroots organization working to reclaim our schools from activists imposing harmful agendas. Through network and coalition building, investigative reporting, litigation, and engagement on local, state, and national policies, we are fighting indoctrination in the classroom — and promoting the restoration of a healthy, non-political education for our kids.”

Ms. Neily said thousands of parents are unaware of what’s going on or are deeply disturbed by it but unsure how to fight back, leaving them feeling alone and helpless. She envisions as a network of concerned parents who can swap horror stories and seek political or legal solutions.

The website features an “IndoctriNation Map” map, where parents can look up scores of school districts and “learn about parents organizations, incidents and FOIAs.” As more information is gathered, new flags will be posted on the map, the group says.

The “Deep Dive” section of the site provides links to news accounts of lawsuits and other issues that arise in response to the critical race theory wave.

Much of the information targets public schools, Ms. Neily said, though critical race theory has spread far and wide.

Some of the tiniest schools in the U.S., from the Dalton School in New York City to Harvard-Westlake in Los Angeles, where America’s richest families send their children, have made headlines recently for lumping their students into sinister or sympathetic groups based on their race.

“If you want to send your kid to Social Justice Country Day, you’re free to do so, but we must do what we can to not allow the imposition of these top-down solutions,” Ms. Neily said.

Asra Nomani, a former Wall Street Journal reporter who serves as Defending Education’s vice president of strategy and investigations, said she believes a tipping point is approaching in education.

“Our country is in a crisis today because of ideologues pumping divisive, polarizing ideas into our classrooms, teaching them to our children,” she said. “Educators have a moral duty to teach our kids how to read, write and think — not dictate what they must think,” she said. “As parents, we must stand together to defend education, challenge radicalization and inspire our children with positive values.”

Many parents feel at sea when they discover what is happening and need a tool to navigate waters that critical race theorists leave deliberately murky, said Christopher Rufo, a national advocate against critical race theory who advises Parents Defending Education.

“Parents across the country are mobilizing against critical race theory in schools,” he told The Washington Times. “All Americans should stand against the principles of race essentialism, collective guilt and neo-segregation.”

The group has filed motions to intervene in court cases, such as one in New York brought by Integrate NYC Inc., which advocates for more critical race theory. The lawsuit charges that New York City’s magnet schools and gifted programs are racist because they do not include enough Black and minority students.

It is one of several lawsuits in the courts pushing for more critical race theory or objecting to its implementation. Some state legislators are looking at laws that would ban education materials and practices based on critical race theory.

It is telling, Ms. Neily said, that critical race theory materials are often slipped into curricula with a minimum of discussion or parental involvement, which creates another reason for a kind of one-stop shopping site for opponents.

“Sunshine is the best disinfectant, and we need to encourage people to show up and demand answers to what in a lot of cases amounts to emotional abuse of children,” she said. “It’s actually a small group of people who want this, and we need to shine a light on what is happening.”

The Washington Times

Cancel Public Schools

Afriend who volunteers at a Sunday school in Harlem for low-income children called me the other day, greatly upset: She had been working with a pair of students who failed to learn the assigned reading, which was a short psalm or a prayer. She thought perhaps the fourth graders, a boy and a girl, weren’t applying themselves. The truth was much worse: The two children turned out to be illiterate.

Their public school teachers had passed them, grade by grade, into the fourth, and no one had ever taught them how to sound out words. Their teachers graded spelling tests and assignments—they knew they were passing kids who couldn’t read.

The two fourth graders didn’t understand words like “will” or “firm.” They couldn’t read them, and they didn’t know what they meant. Yet these children were intelligent. They were eager—touchingly, pathetically eager. And by the end of the hour with my friend they had made tangible progress. But what is one hour, compared with 35 hours every week in public school?

The New York City public school system spends $28,800 per student per year—more than anywhere else in the world. A brand-new public school teacher with a master’s degree and zero prior experience starts at $65,000 a year, plus benefits. And the children can’t read.

It’s little wonder that children become disaffected, bellicose—what we popularly call “troubled.” Little wonder that they turn to drugs and gangs and crime. When material isn’t taught well, and when the children can’t understand, they often blame themselves. They feel stupid, then resentful. Before long they’ve decided that education isn’t for them, and soon they’ll be lost forever—their potential to live happy, decent, productive, and socially healthy lives is destroyed. Their teachers and the school system are the destroyers.

The same friend of mine told me one day how another of her Harlem kids, a seven-year-old girl, had come to her in tears: The girl’s school teacher had asked everyone in class to say what they wanted to be when they grew up. The girl had said she wanted to be a mother. Her (female) teacher said her choice was wrong, apparently making her feel that it was not just incorrect, but morally unacceptable. The teacher actually made the child stand in front of the class as an example of a bad girl. No wonder she was in tears—her childhood dreams were taken away from her, and she was humiliated for having them.

This incident is not simply a questionable decision on the teacher’s part, nor is it a bad yet defensible judgment. It is child abuse. It is criminal behavior. The teacher should be in prison. She definitely shouldn’t be a teacher. And yet, given the lifelong protection she enjoys as a union member in the public school system, she will most likely go on doing her share to ruin the lives of dozens or hundreds or thousands more children—children from poor neighborhoods with no one to protect them. Children who are being sentenced to permanent lower-class status and a life of menial work, to depression and frustration and worse, by the sick, demented, and obscenely expensive criminal enterprise that is the New York City public school system.

New York politicians may be corrupt, and they may be terrible people, but they are smart enough and care enough about their own kids to keep them far, far away from the public schools whose unions they pad with our money. They know perfectly well public expenditure on education has nothing to do with education, and is simply a means of buying power. In a sensible world, they would be on trial for racketeering.

I’ve suggested before in this column that politicians should be forced to send their own children to bottom-performing public schools. This might get the schools to produce better results, but it wouldn’t do anything to cure the basic corruption of the system.

If you instead gave each family in New York $29,000 per year per child to spend on their kids’ education, you can bet they’d come up with something vastly better. For one thing, they could send the children to private school, where the average annual tuition in New York is about $19,000. But there are more creative solutions as well: Three or four families might group together and hire themselves a first-rate tutor. Slightly larger groups could form simple one-room schools, for say 35 kids: There would be enough to hire high-quality teachers for every subject. Or the parents could do what an increasing number of better-off families do, and educate their kids at home in cooperation with other families.

But homeschooling, especially without that money, won’t be an option for poor families where both parents work long hours or for single-parent households. This is precisely the situation public education was supposed to provide against, of course. The failure is not just New York’s: Public education is a failure in every city across the entire country.

A Cato Institute paper years ago made the excellent point that the creation of the modern welfare state under FDR did more than to destroy a certain spirit of independence on which Americans prided themselves: It also destroyed countless clubs, charities, social groups, and church organizations. The private money that had funded these organizations, Americans’ donations and gifts to charity, was confiscated by the government in the form of taxes. It was the first and greatest step towards unraveling a society based on faith, hope, and charity and replacing it with a society based on bureaucracy. Again, Marxism is a dictatorship of the bureaucrats.

Every child should have an education. It does not follow that we need public schools. And in practice, public schools do not educate. It’s easy enough to see this from the national literacy and numeracy rates. The more schools spend, the less they succeed in teaching. This is without even touching on the dastardly political indoctrination that exposes our children to the socialist biases of their hardly-less-ignorant teachers.

If you were to abolish the Department of Education (as the brilliant BBC series Yes, Prime Minister suggested back in the 1980s) and also abolish every single public school in the nation, education would not cease. On the contrary, it might actually start happening. You would see, in short order, hundreds of new schools funded by donations both of money and of time—charity schools in the most basic and most important form of charity. These would be schools certified not by the government but by a demonstrable ability to teach children. (Demonstrable, that is, to the parents themselves, not to a corrupt licensing board.

As politicians remind us by keeping their own kids out of public schools, as well as by avoiding public transportation, public healthcare, and public services generally, we do not trust the government with anything we take seriously. No one who has enough money to make the choice lets the government educate his kids or fix his teeth or get him to work on time.

An investor I knew used to say that if you’re looking to invest in an ice cream shop, you don’t start by looking at the balance sheets. You start by tasting the ice cream. Well, the government officials who run our schools don’t want to taste their own ice cream. They know what it would taste like. As an investor in your child’s education, that should tell you everything you need to know.

If we took the future of the nation seriously, we would end public schools tomorrow. We would then take our young children, sit them down with the first and simplest of McGuffey’s English textbooks from the 1880s, and teach them to read.

Dan Gelertner

Why I’m Leaving a Great Career in Public Education

I have worked as a public educator, first as a teacher and then as an assistant principal, for 22 years in a mix of blue and white collar, middle to upper-middle class suburban Metro-Detroit school district. The district I work in is home to the “Reagan Democrats” and its’ residents voted for Barrack Obama and Donald Trump in both candidate’s election and reelection contests. When I first started my career as a young teacher, I knew that many of my colleagues were liberal Democrats and that was not a problem for me. In 1998, despite our political differences, my colleagues and I had some shared values. In particular, these values included a respect for school authority, including our school resource officers (police officers assigned to the high school building I work at), a strong belief in free speech, an insistence on academic freedom, teaching students critical thinking skills, and most importantly — our shared belief in a colorblind society.

Today, these values have been cancelled and reengineered to fit into the spectrum of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) — an insidious agenda that heavily discriminates against conservatives and traditionalists of every race — and is based on the euphemistically termed principles of “anti-racism.” Now, only woke leftist authority is acceptable because all other authority is systemically racist. In schools, this new woke authority is developed in the administrative and teaching ranks through district sponsored anti-racism training — passed off as professional development — given by highly paid “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” consultants. Books and materials on how the police are racist, implicitly biased, and purposely target people of color now fill the libraries and classrooms of our public schools. School staff that advocate for free speech and against the cancel culture are now having their employment terminated, which has created a silencing effect for staff members who would dare speak out against the obvious totalitarian nature of being cancelled for one’s opinions. Indeed, conservative and traditional educators are now living through an Orwellian nightmare in modern-day public education. Gone are the days in which we operated according the principles of a colorblind society that Dr. Martin Luther King fought for. Now, under the new narrative, we must work for social justice and equity to rid our schools of systemic racism. This means equality of outcomes, rather than equality of opportunity that the Constitution guarantees.

According to our woke betters, colorblindness is racist and harmful to people of color, because it prevents people from seeing acts of racism in society. The emphasis on skin color that anti-racism is placing on people, rather than seeing each person as an individual, is creating a silent resentment and division within schools and society at large. This has made it impossible for me to enjoy coming to school and working with students and colleagues. Everywhere I look within the school, I am reminded that my thoughts and opinions don’t matter because of my skin color and “privilege.” If I speak out against the obvious racism, hatred and Cultural Marxism of anti-racism, I will no longer be valued as a worthwhile professional who has spent his life’s work positively influencing students. If the wrong people found out how much I despise “anti-racism” and the Critical Race Theory it is based on, I would unjustifiably be labeled a racist, lose the confidence of my employer, and most likely be encouraged to resign. Challenges to the new woke racial orthodoxy are not allowed to occur, and if they do, the end result is a career cancelled and a reputation tarnished.

As a former teacher of history, I have taught many students about the worst totalitarian movements around the world. As I ponder what is happening to our society and public education, I see many similarities to Mao’s Cultural Revolution. In America’s Cultural Revolution, the radical racialists of BLM and Antifa are leading the charge. These two avowed Marxist organizations are full of indoctrinated and disgruntled youth, like the Red Guards of Mao’s China. The campaign of destruction in many American cities and harassment of people minding their own business led by BLM and Antifa, is comparable to the terror unleashed by the Red Guards on China’s intellectuals, cultural relics, and institutions. In China, as in the cities targeted by America’s Marxist youth, statues were torn down, private property was seized and destroyed, those who disagree politically were beaten or killed and great architectural buildings were burnt to the ground.

When our public schools eventually do reopen fully in every state, I fear that the woke Cultural Revolution we are living through will continue to accelerate and make every aspect of the job more difficult for conservative educators like me to continue working in the public schools. The idea of going through a “struggle session” as a 22-year faculty member of my suburban Detroit Area school district is enough to convince me that the uphill battle conservatives (especially Trump supporters) face is not worth having my financial future and reputation ruined. America’s own version of the Red Guard are given prominence within schools for their “voice” and are being supported by school boards, administrative office staff, building administrators and classroom teachers. And as the indoctrination of our youth by mostly left-wing educators continues with anti-racism curriculum and materials, life in schools and society for conservatives will only get worse and more uncomfortable as we fear the consequences of expressing the truth of our beliefs in America as a land of opportunity for all.

A Disgruntled Administrator, American Thinker

Homeschool Your Children

Train up a child in the way he should go,

And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverb 22:6

Plain and simple. If a Christian is true to their faith, by putting their faith in God and Only God through Christ, then God will lead them to do what is right,. and the right thing to do is to Homeschool. In 99% of the World, the government’s education system is anti-Christian. So why are you sending your child to be indoctrinated against you and your GOD? I specifically blame pastors who fail to educate the flock as to the importance of homeschooling.

Yet as a response, many will say to me,

Thus the reason the church needs to join together by bringing in members who are educated in the subject matter of the day, hour, or Month. Homeschooling does NOT need to be a difficult, nor cumbersome task. Put faith in GOD, and I promise that He will be faithful to those who are truly faithful to Him. In so doing, he will open the path needed to do so For anyone looking into, but are finding it difficult, check out this site. They give a good review on different packages and their curriculum ( How Do I Homeschool ).

As for the accusation that by doing so you will shelter them from the World as though you are living on an island? Well, it didn’t hurt Tim Tebow. He is a well rounded, very smart, and a very athletic outgoing person. I personally believe the fear put into Christians that they will be harming their children by sheltering them from the World is a lie born in the pit of HELL!

Yet, even so. I believe that separating them from the World at time when their mind are an empty bucket full of mush, as a good thing. What are we sheltering them from? Evil? Well that is a good thing, because back in 2010, Obama turned elementary schools in gay recruitment centers.

When their mind is still empty is when we should be filling it with truths, not anti-Christian junk. We force them to go to a heathen indoctrination center for kindergarten 4 hours a day 5 days a week. Yet we might force them to sit through one hour of Sunday school a week.

Maybe we should do more sheltering and less exposing. Then our children will not be turning against God and their parents after 16 years of K-College indoctrination. After all, the NEA could care less bout the education of children in America, and they are the one’s in complete control of it.

I could go on and on about the reasons why every child, especially children of Christian parents, should be homeschooled. Here are 10 of them from a list of 100 I found at the Foundation for Economic Education. Check out their site, and you will see the other 90 reasons. Every reason they list has an article linkled to it for more information.

  1. Homeschoolers perform well academically.
  2. Your kids may be happier.
  3. Issues like ADHD might disappear or become less problematic.
  4. It doesn’t matter if they fidget.
  5. YOU may be happier! All that time spent on your kids’ homework can now be used more productively for family learning and living.
  6. You can still work and homeschool.
  7. And even grow a successful business while homeschooling your kids.
  8. Your kids can also build successful businesses, as many grown unschoolers become entrepreneurs.
  9. You can be a single parent and homeschool your kids.
  10. Your kids can be little for longer. Early school enrollment has been linked by Harvard researchers with troubling rates of ADHD diagnosis. A year can make a big difference in early childhood development.

Foundation for Economic Education

The Case for Closing Public Schools…Indefinitely

For the past year, parents and students across the county, mostly in Democrat-run municipalities, have been experiencing excessive levels of stress due to unending school closures. Red states like Florida, Texas, and South Dakota have been open for months. Meanwhile, the teacher’s unions have a stranglehold on the public schools in Democrat states, refusing to open for a litany of absurd reasons.

Part of me sympathizes with the conservative parents who are struggling to cope with working from home and the online curriculum management of their children. (Though that sympathy does not extend to liberal parents who knowingly voted for this lunacy.) But I am struggling to understand why conservative parents are insistent to return their children to these wretched institutions that are delivering a subpar education and indoctrinating their children with Marxist theory.

Public schools throughout the nation have adopted wholesale the insidious Marxist curriculum of race agitators like Robin DiAngelo and Ibram X. Kendi, along with Nicole Hannah Jones’s fictional work that is the “1619 Project.” In Buffalo, New York, teachers and administrators have introduced “anti-racism” lessons that instruct kindergarteners — yes, kindergarteners — that ‘all white people perpetuate systematic racism’ and forces children to watch videos of dead black children. In Oregon, the ‘Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction’ claims that obtaining the ‘right’ answer to a math problem is somehow rooted in white supremacy. And if you think this ridiculous ideology has not penetrated your conservative school district, even deep red Loudon County in Virginia will no longer celebrate Dr. Seuss for ‘strong racial undertones.’

Yet despite the schools’ concentrated efforts to eradicate racism, many of these teachers insist that merely being expected to return to in-classroom instruction is a form of oppression. The largest teachers union, the United Teachers of LA, condemned Governor Gavin Newsom for his proposal to return to in school learning as “a recipe for propagating structural racism.” In La Mesa, California, school board members called in-person learning a form of ‘white supremacist ideology’ and ‘slavery.’

only do they hate you, but they don’t care for the well-being of your children. They know that continuing to keep students out of the physical classroom is causing irreparable harm to pupil’s academic progress, but they don’t care. They aren’t actually worried
about themselves or your children contracting COVID at school, they are simply enjoying the time off. Hence why we see teacher’s union president
Matt Meyer dropping his two-year-old off at a private pre-school while insisting it’s unsafe for your child to go to school.

about themselves or your children contracting COVID at school, they are simply enjoying the time off. Hence why we see teacher’s union president
Matt Meyer dropping his two-year-old off at a private pre-school while insisting it’s unsafe for your child to go to school.

These people don’t consider themselves to be a vessel for meaningful education. They admit they are nothing more than babysitters and their only instructional objective is to teach progressive dogma. These depraved people will insist that an accomplished individual like Candace Owens is a racist and that communism in the Soviet Union wasn’t that bad because more women were in the labor force. Although I would concede standing in a bread line all day is certainly laborious.

American public schools are no longer meant to deliver quality education, they are a means to propagate progressive ideas by mostly childless and entirely miserable Marxists. To quote Michael Malice, “an ideology full of unattractive people who can’t reproduce have no choice but to raise your children as their own.”

And what do we get in return for all this progressive indoctrination? Pathetic math, reading, and science education stats.

We spend more money per pupil than any other country on earth and we produce results that are mediocre at best.

Pupils today have no knowledge of the most significant people or events of our not-so-distant history. For the students who are not total ignoramuses, gifted and talented programs are being suspended in Boston or the entry exam for such programs is being reformed to be more “inclusive” in New York City. Advanced placement classes used to be a refuge for smart students to work diligently. But according to progressives those classes are full of too many Asians, Jews, and Whites, hence they must be eliminated.

Perhaps you are still under the delusion that in the very least, public school is a place to keep your children safe while you are at work. Think again. In 2018, Project Veritas revealed an undercover video where Union City Education Association President Kathleen Valencia assures the undercover journalist she can help cover up crimes committed by teachers and brags about doing so for another union teacher who had sex with a student. If you thought online teaching might protect your children from such perversions you would still be wrong. In Montgomery County, Maryland just this week, a teacher’s aide masturbated in front of special needs students on a Zoom call. He has since been placed on leave but will not face criminal charges.

And the insanity is only going to increase under Biden. The woke administration is insistent on eliminating female sports and female privacy on campuses by letting transgender women (formerly known as boys) participate in girls’ sports and use the girls’ changing facilities. Teachers already withhold information from parents regarding LGBT instruction in school. In Anne Arundel County, Maryland, staff have been instructed not to inform parents if boy who thinks he is a girl will be sleeping in the same quarters as their daughters.

Why are parents desperate to return their precious offspring to the degenerate hands of the public-school system? This system does not make them smarter, does not teach life skills, exposes children to sexual perversions, teaches them to hate freedom, liberty, our country, white people, and celebrates outright communism.

You are sending them to an entity that virulently opposes your values, hoping they come out not adopting the leftist creed that they are inundated with for hours a day.

Dennis Prager says that sending your kids to college is playing Russian roulette with their values. Unfortunately, that threat has permeated all of K-12 and if you surrender your child to public school in their youth, don’t be surprised when they graduate hating you for it.

Sarah Lilly, American Thinker

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Are You Fed up with Your Kids’ Education ?

Are you unhappy with your children’s K–12 education? Do you believe that your children are subjected to indoctrination? If you answered yes to either question, there are alternative educational options worth considering.

If you live in a state with an education savings account (ESA) education savings account (ESA) or school voucher program, you should take advantage of the program and send your child to an outstanding school that you can afford.

If you do not have access to an ESA or school voucher program, and you are not satisfied with your child’s school, you may want to consider other options, such as a charter school, a state-sponsored or privately sponsored K–12 scholarship, homeschooling, homeschool co-ops, parochial schools, private schools, or online private schools.

Whether or not you are satisfied with you children’s schools, you can always supplement their learning by providing educational content they may not be learning at their schools.

NOTE: Links are provided to provide basic information about school alternatives. The purpose is not to promote or advocate specific schools or programs. For best results, readers interested in improving their children’s educational situation should conduct additional research

Brian Garrison, American Thinker

Teachers Unions Have Always Been Terrible

Americans have been shocked by how teachers unions have blocked school re-openings in many states despite the disastrous learning lag during this pandemic. In Montgomery County, Maryland, unreliable “distance learning” produced a more than 500 percent increase in the number of black and Hispanic students failing classes. McKinsey consultants estimate that, if the shutdown continues to the end of this school year, “students of color could be six to 12 months behind [due to lost learning], compared with four to eight months for white students.” But teachers unions are claiming that, unlike the vast majority of other American workers, their members are entitled to risk-free environments.

Unions have vilified any politician or parent who has sought to re-open schools. The Chicago Teachers Union proclaimed: “The push to reopen schools is based in sexism, racism, and misogyny.” Joe Biden owes his election victory in part to the teachers unions, and last week, the White House rejected the recommendation to re-open schools from Biden’s appointee as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky. And on Friday, the CDC issued new guidance for school safety during the pandemic. As National Public Radio observed, “Rather than a political push to reopen schools, the update is a measured, data-driven effort to expand on old recommendations.” One of the clearest lessons of this pandemic is that politicians will always be able to find data to justify whatever restrictions or delays they favor. With or without the CDC recommendations, “honesty in shutdowns” remains as unlikely as #ZeroCovid. Reason magazine’s Matt Welch predicts that “CDC’s new ‘reopening’ guidance will keep schools closed in the Fall.” During the presidential campaign, Biden pledged to re-open schools within 100 days of taking office. But now Biden is betraying that promise. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said last week that the Biden goal of reopening the schools within 100 days will be satisfied if 50 percent of schools are open “at least one day a week.”

The behavior of teachers unions during this pandemic confirms the nickname that Forbes magazine gave the NEA in the 1990s: “The National Extortion Association.” This latest betrayal of American students is no surprise, considering the unions’ long history of sabotaging learning. Since the 1970s, the National Education Association has been the leading advocate of “no-fault” teaching: whatever happens, don’t blame the teacher. Unions have launched strikes to prevent “parental interference” in public education. The Chicago Tribuneconcluded in 1988 that the Chicago Teachers Association has “as much control over operations of the public schools as the Chicago Board of Education” and “more control than is available to principals, parents, taxpayers, and voters.” The Tribune noted that “even curriculum matters, such as the program for teaching children to read, are written into the [union] contract, requiring the board to bring any proposed changes to the bargaining table.”

Teachers unions have worked to destroy local control of education, subvert standards, prevent teacher accountability, and deny parents a significant voice in their children’s education. In the late 1970s, the NEA denounced back-to-basics as “irrelevant and reactionary.” An NEA publication asserted that such reforms were orchestrated by the “neo-conservative New Right, a mixture of taxpayer groups, fundamentalists, and a few unreconstructed racists.” The same publication denounced minimum competency testing for students because it supposedly “sacrificed children who are black and poor on the altar of accountability.” As Richard Mitchell noted in his 1981 classic, The Graves of Academe, the NEA has helped debase American public schools because its members “wanted to be not teachers but preachers, and prophets too, charging themselves with the cure of the soul of democracy and the raising up in the faith of true believers.” For decades, the NEA pushed to have “social studies” replace history, government, and other classes. The result: American students are appallingly ignorant of the Constitution, American history, and American culture.

Teachers unions increasingly look like conspiracies to protect incompetent teachers and impoverish local taxpayers. Teachers unions are especially powerful in inner cities, where teacher pay is often highest and teacher performance is usually the worst. As far back as 1974, Mario Fantini noted in his book What’s Best for Children, “For many black and Puerto Rican parents, the teachers unions now represent the ‘enemy.’” A 1992 Detroit Free Press investigation entitled “Shielding Bad Teachers” found that it takes a Michigan school district seven years and costs an average of $100,000 to fire a single incompetent public school teacher. Seven years is over half of the schooling time of the average pupil. The Free Pressconcluded, “No protections are built in for the state’s 1.5 million public school students, who can suffer physical, sexual or educational abuse.” Thanks in large part to NEA priorities, by 1980 the average time spent studying traditional subjects in high school was less than three hours a day. A vast increase in government spending for schools has failed to undo the damage to students’ reading ability.

The clout of the teachers unions has become far more perilous during the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools have perennially behaved as if they were entitled to waste kids’ time, and now teacher unions feel entitled to practically waste a year of children’s lives. When lockdowns were first being imposed in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proclaimed a standard that guided many policymakers: “If everything we do saves just one life, I’ll be happy.” Teachers unions have rallied around a similar motto: “If one teacher dies, isn’t that too many?” But like most union-backed policies, this ignores the collateral damage on American children. AJournal of the American Medical Association analysis concluded that shutting down the schools would reduce the current crop of students’ collective years of life by more than five million, based on “lower income, reduced educational attainment, and worse health outcomes.”

Private schools have safely re-opened in many cities and states where government schools remain padlocked. As Wall Street Journal editorial writer Bill McGurn wrote recently, “Catholic schools prove you can keep classrooms open while keeping Covid-19 at bay, which gave teachers unions another reason to resent them. The good news is that Covid-19 has heightened awareness that too many kids are held in education limbo by public-school systems that cannot put their students first because they are hostage to the unions.” Tom Carroll, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Archdiocese of Boston, observed, “The science is clear that there is no substitute for in-person learning, especially for poor and minority children most at danger of falling behind.”

School systems are finally responding to outraged parents, but with sham school re-openings. After Maryland’s Gov. Larry Hogan ordered all of the state’s school systems to start in-person classes by March 1, the Montgomery County school system pretended to comply. Similar to the response in school systems in the Virginia suburbs, Montgomery will hire “classroom monitors” to oversee students sitting in desks while teachers remain absent from the classroom. A Maryland parents’ organization bitterly complained: “Staring at a Chromebook while your teacher teaches on a screen is not in-person instruction, and it is frankly unacceptable. It is clear [the school system] does not want to embrace a true return to schools.” One Montgomery County mother of two students groused that the new system “sounds like glorified babysitting.”

President Biden endlessly appeals for “unity” while he sacrifices the interests of millions of children to his political supporters. CNN anchor Jake Tapper commented last week on Twitter, “I’ve yet to see any evidence the Biden administration disagrees with teachers unions. Even when THEIR OWN health officials are saying something different.” Biden’s tacit support of school shutdowns promises that in the coming years his administration will sacrifice children in other ways to placate teachers unions. America will see a new “achievement gap” between privately educated students and those whose brains were offered up on the altar of teacher union power.

One of the clearest lessons of the COVID pandemic is that public employee unions cannot be trusted with children’s minds. Parents and politicians should speedily move to maximize the number of students who can exploit vouchers to escape public schools and to repudiate laws and labor agreements that are helping blight a rising generation. If politicians continue kowtowing to unions, parents must make their wrath felt or forfeit their children’s future.

James Bovard is the author of Lost Rights, Attention Deficit Democracy, and Public Policy Hooligan. He is also a USA Today columnist. Follow him on Twitter @JimBovard