Dumb and Dumber (Nos. 14 & 15)

Watching the Education Apocalypse in Slow Motion

**Important Announcement: Over the course of the next few weeks, I plan to publish a series of long-form essays on education in America, and, more particularly, on how the concept “rights” applies to education. Some of the questions addressed will be: 1) How does the Left view the rights of parents and the role of the government in education; 2) What are the rights of parents? 3) Do children have a right to education?

This is the most important issue of our time, and The Redneck Intellectual has something to say about it!

DUMB AND DUMBER (No. 14)

K-12 EDITION

THE REVOLUTION IS HERE; IT IS NOW! Homeschooling is the most important social movement in the United States since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and the leaders of the movement are a new generation of young women (and a few dads) who have heard the call to #JustWalk Away: “American Homeschooling Goes Boom.”

The number of kids going to school at home nationwide has doubled over the past two years. In 2019, there were about 2.5 million students learning at home. Today there are nearly 5 million. That means more than 11 percent of American households are educating their children outside of traditional schools.

In Wrobel’s state of Vermont, homeschool applications are up 75 percent. And that’s in the northeast, where regulations are strictest. The phenomenon is exploding across the country. In North Carolina, the site for registering homeschools crashed last summer. In California, applications for homeschooling tripled from 2020 to 2021. In Alaska, more than a quarter of students in the state are now homeschooled. . . .

The American Schoolhouse was in serious disrepair before 2020 — about that no one would disagree. But the events of last year tore the whole thing down to the studs. First, the pandemic. Then, the lockdowns. Then the summer of unrest: George Floyd, the protests, the riots, the mea culpas. Many local school boards seemed more concerned about teaching critical race theory and renaming schools than reopening them. Parents didn’t know what to do — what was safe, what was right, whom to trust. It was like being inside a tornado.

#JUST_WALK_AWAY. More on the revolution: “Forget Classroom Battles: Homeschooling Is Easier Than Ever.”

‘CAUSE TRUMP MADE THE SCHOOLS INTO GOVERNMENT INDOCTRINATION CENTERS: “Schools become political 'battlefield' in culture wars Trump cultivated.

Longtime operators in the education world say they've never seen anything like it.

"Normally, our kids have been off-limits," said Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, one of the country's largest unions. "We had tension over Common Core. There was tension over other issues. But in modern history, since the huge desegregation battles, kids have been off-limits. Now, they are the battlefield."

Randi Weingarten is right. This is where the battlefield is, and she wants to be your child’s “second mother.”

SEE HOW IT WORKS: “CDC tightened masking guidelines after threats from teachers union, emails show.”

SPEAKING OF THE TEACHERS’ UNIONS, WATCH THIS MUST-SEE MOCKUMENTARY OF THE PEOPLE WHO RUINED YOUR CHILD’S EDUCATION THIS LAST YEAR:

RACISM ALERT—PROGRESSIVISM EDITION “The Real Structural Racism: Is it OK that black eighth graders aren’t proficient in math and reading?” This is a scandal created and perpetuated by the Education Establishment.

For if ever there were a structure systemically keeping African-Americans from getting ahead, it would surely be America’s big city public-school systems. By any objective measure, these schools consistently fail to provide their African-American students with the basic education they will need to get ahead. But instead of addressing achievement head on, the progressive answer is to funnel yet more money into the existing failed structure, eliminate tests that expose its failure, and impose race-based preferences to make up for it.

Look, for example, at the most recent results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the nation’s report card. For the past 20 years, achievement has been broken down by school district level in its Trial Urban District Assessment. Of the 27 U.S. urban school districts that reported their results for 2019—from Boston and Chicago to Fort Worth, Texas, and Los Angeles—not a single one can say a majority of the black eighth graders in their care are proficient in either math or reading.

And now for the coup de grâce:

Of the 100 largest public school systems (based on enrollment), the six that spent the most per pupil in FY 2019 were the New York City School District in New York ($28,004), Boston City Schools in Massachusetts ($25,653), Washington Schools in the District of Columbia ($22,406), San Francisco Unified in California ($17,228), Atlanta School District in Georgia ($17,112), and Seattle Public Schools in Washington ($16,543).

African-American parents need to #JustWalkAway. Oh, and by the way, it turns out that’s exactly what they’re doing. Read the whole darn article, here. Every word of it.

A TOTAL DISGRACE: “Analysis: With 90% of Newark Students Behind Grade Level in Math, New Tutoring Collaboration Aims to Fill Void for High Schoolers Looking to Recover Learning.”

Problem: In Newark, pandemic-induced school closures have significantly disrupted student academic progress, with only 9% of Newark students meeting state expectations in math and 11% of students meeting expectations in reading. Parents are demanding intensive learning support for their children but the district is largely indifferent.

CHANGE: “COVID-19 Spurs School Choice Legislation — Missouri, 4 Other States Pass Education Savings Account Bills.”

As the new school year ramps up, much of the national attention is focused on mask mandates and how aspects of U.S. history will be taught. But away from the spotlight, the issue of school choice is quietly gaining acceptance, with seven states passing legislation this year that assists parents in at least partially funding their children’s education outside of public schools. . . .

Of the seven states that passed school choice bills for the first time this year — Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, New Hampshire, West Virginia, Arkansas and Ohio — five created education savings accounts, in which parents receive state money or tax credits to use for private school tuition, tutoring, counseling, transportation or other educational needs.

Tax-credit scholarships are the most common form of private school choice programs, operating in 21 states. With this year’s legislation, 10 states now have ESAs, eight funded by direct government appropriation and two funded by tax credits. “ESAs are the future of private school choice,” said Wolf. “It’s the model that provides the maximum amount of customization.”

CANADA GOES FASCIST! First there were a series of church burnings, and now they’re burning books! O Canada, where art thou? “Book burning at Ontario francophone schools as 'gesture of reconciliation' denounced.”

WE HAVE THE BEST RULING CLASS: “Education Department claim about student misconduct rates was wrong, as it should have known.”

NO COMMENT: “American Education Is Rotten from Top to Bottom.”

HIGHER ED EDITION

IF YOU DO NOTHING ELSE TODAY, PLEASE READ the philosopher Peter Boghossian’s resignation letter from Portland State University. PSU is ground zero for Antifa fascism. “My University Sacrificed Ideas for Ideology. So Today I Quit.”

I noticed signs of the illiberalism that has now fully swallowed the academy quite early during my time at Portland State. I witnessed students refusing to engage with different points of view.  Questions from faculty at diversity trainings that challenged approved narratives were instantly dismissed. Those who asked for evidence to justify new institutional policies were accused of microaggressions. And professors were accused of bigotry for assigning canonical texts written by philosophers who happened to have been European and male. . . .

. . . While I am grateful for the opportunity to have taught at Portland State for over a decade, it has become clear to me that this institution is no place for people who intend to think freely and explore ideas. 

This is not the outcome I wanted. But I feel morally obligated to make this choice. For ten years, I have taught my students the importance of living by your principles. One of mine is to defend our system of liberal education from those who seek to destroy it. Who would I be if I didn’t?

Sincerely,

Peter Boghossian

STATUS CLIMBER. I wonder what it must be like to go to a cocktail party with Lee Bollinger. Think I’ll pass. “Columbia University president: 'Critical race theory' is 'urgent and necessary'.”

EVIDENCE THAT AMERICA’S UNIVERSITIES ARE NOT RUN ON THE MERIT SYSTEM. Exhibit A: “Merit system is unjust because it rewards productive individuals, professors argue.”

MOVE OFF CAMPUS. Problem solved: “Stanford bans indoors parties for its 95 percent vaccinated student body.”

THE BUBBLE IS ABOUT TO BURST. Oh well. “In-state tuition and fees have increased nearly 200 percent since 1990: report.”

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