Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Everyone In Education Should Read The Linked Post And Take Its Intent to Heart

Joanne hit one out of the park today.  In a post entitled "The child is not the creature of the state", Joanne posits that parents should have a significant say in the education of their children.  Enough of this keeping secrets from parents, something I've railed about for quite some time:

Advocates say secrecy is needed to protect children from abusive parents. But the law already requires teachers to report suspected child abuse to child protective services, says attorney Vernadette Broyles of the Child and Parental Rights Campaign. “You’re not entitled to take it onto yourself as a teacher to make the judgment that somehow this parent does not share the right value system, or is going to correct or guide their child in a way that you don’t approve of.” 

Just in case you didn't get the important part, here it is again:

“You’re not entitled to take it onto yourself as a teacher to make the judgment that somehow this parent does not share the right value system, or is going to correct or guide their child in a way that you don’t approve of.”

I give this my loudest and most thunderous "hear hear". 

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Taking A Knife To A Gun Fight

Henry Rogers is a fool, and he looks doubly so going up against John McWhorter:

John McWhorter’s latest column for the NY Times is about a Change.org petition demanding an end to “discriminatory” licensing exams. Here’s a bit of what the petition says...

So, according to the petition, the test’s design is biased and denying it’s biased is racist. In his opinion piece, McWhorter notices that the petition doesn’t point to any proof of these claims...

He concludes that it’s still possible there is a problem with the exams but that before we get rid of them we should at least ask to see the evidence the exams are racist.

Ibram Kendi’s name is never mentioned in McWhorter’s column but the idea that something is racist simply because the outcome doesn’t benefit all races equally is clearly his baby. And Kendi has argued in the past for ending standardized testing. So yesterday he posted a tweet thread in response to McWhorter’s column...

Read the whole thing.  It's more evidence that Henry Rogers is a race hustler, while McWhorter is a brilliant and thoughtful man.  It's really that simple.

Another Decision Goes Against Oberlin

I hope the Oberlin administration and their lawyers run out of dirty tricks before the Gibsons run out of money:

Hopefully the long, hard road Gibson’s Bakery has traveled in its fight with Oberlin College has come to an end.

The Ohio Supreme Court just refused to accept jurisdiction over Oberlin College’s appeal (the Court also refused to hear the Gibsons’ appeal seeking to reinstate the full punitive damages award). It was a 4-3 decision, and it means the Gibsons now can collect approximately $36 million...

Several commenters mention Oberlin College going to federal court. That is a long, long, long shot. The appeal would be from the Ohio Supreme Court to the U.S. Supreme Court. The likelihood the U.S. Supreme Court would agree to hear a case the Ohio Supreme Court refused to hear is not zero, but it’s approaching zero. I would not be shocked if they tried, but they would have to obtain another stay of enforcement of the judgment from the U.S. Supreme Court, another major hurdle that has little likelihood of success.

As I've said previously, there's a special place in Hell reserved for the Oberlin administration, in part because the Gibsons have put all their family's money into fighting this injustice and say that have enough remaining for just a couple months.

Monday, August 29, 2022

The Dreaded Teacher Shortage

Last spring I completed my 25th year of teaching.  After a quarter of a century in this business I've seen the comings and goings, and one of the most persistent of stories in this field is that of the coming teacher shortage.  It's always coming, but it never quite happens:

While pundits caution that schools are facing catastrophic teacher shortages — the result of substantial exit from the profession during the chaos of COVID — new research indicates that those warnings could be overstated. 

Teacher turnover rates are actually about the same as they were before the pandemic, according to a working paper released this month through the Annenberg Institute at Brown University. Flush with pandemic relief money and faced with the generational challenge of fostering learning recovery, school districts are hiring for more positions and leaving vacancies open for longer.

Even after the 'rona, we're not flocking to the exits. I have 5 years until I flock.  Then, like a mother goose in Kansas, I'm getting the flock out of Dodge.

Confirmed!

I went to a clinic today, where the doctor confirmed my diagnosis:  my biennial case of bronchitis.  The steroids they prescribe usually have me feeling better in under a day.  I look forward to that, this coughing and hacking has got to cease.

But yes, I'm going to live :-)

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Theatrics

Among its other symptoms, the 'rona made some people stupid:

I Cannot Fathom The Injustice

It's good that The Innocence Project exists, and sad that it needs to:

A Louisiana man has been exonerated after spending more than 36 years in jail for rape, according to court documents.

Sullivan Walter, now 53, was "exonerated after 36 years, 1 month, and 30 days incarcerated for a rape he did not commit," Innocence Project New Orleans (IPNO) said in an Instagram post...
 
Walter was arrested for the rape and his jury trial lasted one day, according to court documents. 
 
Walter went through numerous appeals, but from 1997 until October 2021, Walter had no legal assistance, court documents say. 
 
After taking on Walter's case in October 2021, IPNO attorneys "discovered that though the serological testing in the 1980s concluded that Mr. Walter was not the perpetrator, the jury that convicted Mr. Walter did not know this," the organization said. 
There's no indication in the story that there was a racial bias in this situation:
About a month and-a-half after the rape, Walter was arrested for simple burglary and when police thought he looked like the man L.S. (the rape victim) described, a photo array was presented to L.S. and she identified Walter as the rapist, court documents say. Walter was wearing a blue baseball cap in the photo, the same color hat the man who raped her was wearing.
Race?  Trauma of being raped?  Hard to say.

So much sadness in this story.

Friday, August 26, 2022

Math Sites

While I lean towards the more traditional methods of teaching, there is certainly a place (however limited) for math web sites--and here are 11 of them.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Charging Drug Dealers With Murder?

I'm against holding car manufacturers responsible when a car kills a person, I'm against holding firearms manufacturers responsible when a firearm is used to kill a person, and I'm against holding a drug dealer responsible when someone dies from drug usage:

Elected Democrats in California’s State Senate have once again voted down a plan that would allow local and state prosecutors to more easily charge drug dealers with manslaughter or murder when Americans die as a result of the drugs they sold to them. 

On Wednesday, Democrat State Senators rejected an amendment to include “Alexandra’s Law” in Assembly Bill 2195. The law, as Breitbart News chronicled, was named after 20-year-old Alexandra Capelouto, who was poisoned and killed by fentanyl when she was sold what she believed was a pharmaceutical drug for depression and insomnia. 

Alexandra’s Law would notify convicted drug dealers that should they be convicted again in the state of California, they could be charged with manslaughter and murder if the drugs they sell have led to a person’s death.

This is the right call.  Increase the penalties for dealing drugs, if you want to, but let's not muddy the waters with trying to assign blame this way.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

The Effects of Tracking in Schools

From a working paper

Schools often track students to classes based on ability. Proponents of tracking argue it is a low-cost tool to improve learning since instruction is more effective when students are more homogeneous, while opponents argue it exacerbates initial differences in opportunities without strong evidence of efficacy. In fact, little is known about the pervasiveness or determinants of ability tracking in the US. To fill this gap, we use detailed administrative data from Texas to estimate the extent of tracking within schools for grades 4 through 8 over the years 2011-2019. We find substantial tracking; tracking within schools overwhelms any sorting by ability that takes place across schools. The most important determinant of tracking is heterogeneity in student ability, and schools operationalize tracking through the classification of students into categories such as gifted and disabled and curricular differentiation. When we examine how tracking changes in response to educational policies, we see that schools decrease tracking in response to accountability pressures. Finally, when we explore how exposure to tracking correlates with student mobility in the achievement distribution, we find positive effects on high-achieving students with no negative effects on low-achieving students, suggesting that tracking may increase inequality by raising the ceiling.

So it could help high-achieving students but not hurt low-achieving students.  Then what's the problem?  That gap, that's the problem.  Excellence isn't the standard in education anymore, mediocrity (or worse) is.

Canceling College Debt

Of course I'm against it, and for the same reasons listed in this article:

1) it's probably illegal,

2) it's still regressive, and

3) it still screws over taxpayers.

I'd add that it infantilizes adults, who are no longer required to fulfill obligations into which they freely entered.

Update, 8/27/22:  I've long loved this story about Davy Crockett and Horatio Bunce, it speaks to giving away other people's money.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Not Feeling Great

I've had a sore throat since late last week.  And for the last few days you can add in sinus pain and hacking up crud.  Did the inevitable finally happen, did I get the 'rona?

I'm not interested in missing work, but neither am I interested in becoming Patient 0 for the next major outbreak in the neighborhood.  I went to the office today and asked for a 'rona test.

No, I didn't want the take-home type, which are about as reliable as reading goat entrails.  I wanted the official, super-duper test.  One of our office workers administered it for me, although I had to put the swab in my nose myself.

The result?  A loud and thunderous negatory.  Maybe I have a summer cold, but I don't have the 'rona.  So off to 1st period I went.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Good-bye To An Old Friend

After I graduated from West Point and reported to Fort Bliss, Texas, for my Air Defense Artillery Officer Basic Course, I needed to take care of some things that West Point had always taken care of for me.  Much like my high school days, I had to do my own laundry again.  And since no one was around to iron my uniforms, I had to iron them myself.  (Mama West Point took care of our laundry and ironing for us.  For a price, of course.)

Back in my day, our "fatigue uniform" was the woodland camouflage pattern BDU's.  How many fatigue uniforms have come and gone since then?  But I digress.

So back in the summer of 1987, I bought a Norelco iron.  And I've kept and used that iron since that summer.  Until now.

I began to iron some pants a week or two ago, and I noticed that no steam came out of the iron.  I checked to ensure it was set to be hot enough for steam--it was--but I couldn't figure out why there was no steam.  Nothing I did seemed to work.

An iron that gets hot isn't satisfactory, I need one with steam.  It's been 35 years, perhaps it's time to get a new iron.

"There Is No Climate Emergency"

The left doesn't like it when we challenge their talking points, but they are so often wrong:

Legal Insurrection readers may recall that relatively early on in the covid pandemic cycle, leading infectious disease experts created the Great Barrington Declaration.

The formal declaration stressed that lockdowns were destructive and “focused protection” of vulnerable individuals was the way to properly address the highly infectious, novel virus. Over 4000 scientists, including a good number of epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists, signed the document.

It turns out these scientists were correct...

Perhaps it is time to consider if the World Climate Declaration, which has been signed by 1,200 climate scientists and related professionals, may be something to seriously consider, promote, and act on. In the document, these scientists affirm that there is “no climate emergency.”

The political fiction that humans cause most or all climate change and the claim that the science behind this notion is ‘settled’, has been dealt a savage blow by the publication of a ‘World Climate Declaration (WCD)’ signed by over 1,100 scientists and professionals. There is no climate emergency, say the authors, who are drawn from across the world and led by the Norwegian physics Nobel Prize laureate Professor Ivar Giaever. Climate science is said to have degenerated into a discussion based on beliefs, not on sound self-critical science.

The article continues: 

I am thinking that most of the advice they will give will be unsolicited. Here is hoping that policy makers, teachers, and everyone else listen to the group’s many points:

  • Natural causes contribute to climate changes.
  • Warming has been slower than predicted.
  • Climate policy is being based on inadequate models.
  • Carbon dioxide is plant food, and the basis for life on Earth.
  • Global warming has not increased natural disasters.

Perhaps the last point the CLINTEL Group makes is the most critical:  Climate policy must respect scientific and economic realities.

Hear hear.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

The 37% Rule

Until today I'd never heard of this rule:

We’ve all found ourselves in this situation, whether we’re considering job offers, buying a new car, or dating new people. When it comes to love, how many people should you date before settling down? It’s a problem that bridges mathematics and psychology, and it’s got a name: the optimal stopping problem.

...How long do you spend sampling options to give the optimum chances of a successful final decision? How many frogs must you kiss to secure your chances of getting a prince?

Mathematicians have given us an answer: 37%. The basic idea is that, if you need to make a decision from 100 different options, you should sample and discard (or hold off on) the first 37. The 37% rule is not some mindless, automatic thing. It’s a calibration period during which you identify what works and what does not. From the rejected 37%, we choose the best and keep that information in our heads moving forward. If any subsequent options beat that benchmark standard, then you should stick with that option to get the best ultimate outcome.

Throw some pop psychology into the article and it's an intriguing read.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Maybe If They Were Left There A Couple Days....

Chaining themselves to objects (often trees) is an old tactic of the left.  Lately, however, they've taken to gluing themselves to objects, sometimes even to priceless works of art.  Perhaps if we left them glued there, getting hungry and thirsty after a day or two, such idiocy would halt:

Two climate activists glued themselves to the base of a famous sculpture at Vatican Museums on Thursday.

The demonstrators glued themselves to the ancient Roman sculpture "Laoco├Ân and His Sons" housed at the Vatican, the activist group Last Generation said in a statement.

It was not immediately clear if the protesters were arrested and their identities have not been revealed.

Last Generation said the activists glued themselves to the sculpture around 10:30 a.m. Thursday, prompting Vatican Museums to evacuate the section of the museum and seized seize mobile phones from "people present in support of the activists.

Entirely too many leftists have mental disorders. Let's be blunt, this kind of behavior isn't normal.

These Results Don't Surprise Me At All

I’ve often found that those on the right are much more open-minded than those on the left:

Almost half of second-year college students say they wouldn’t choose to be roommates with someone who supported a different presidential candidate than they did in 2020...

Democratic respondents are much more opposed to rooming with someone who voted differently in 2020 (62% of them say they would “probably not” or “definitely not” room with such a person) than Republican respondents are (28%).

Some of us truly support diversity, others just say they do.

Friday, August 19, 2022

They've Done a 180

It was many years ago when I first heard eHarmony advertisements on the radio and tv.  They were strictly for heterosexuals--until the inevitable lawsuit.  eHarmony eventually started marketing its "scientific matching" to homosexuals as well.

The transformation is apparently complete, as last night while watching tv I saw an eHarmony commercial with two men--including a kiss.

One Battle Is Almost Won

I mentioned my 5-figure situation of having to have all new plumbing throughout my house.  The plumbers wanted to shut my water off all week and work on it, but there was no way I was going to move out due to lack of water.  I asked them to put all the new plumbing in place, and then at the very end, cut off the old connections and hook up the new ones.

Each day this week when I got home from work, I enjoyed going through the house and seeing what they worked on that day.  Yesterday when I got home, though, they were still here.  They were going to connect everything and finish up, and I looked forward to it.

I had no water in my house from the time I got home yesterday until 18 minutes after midnight, when they left.  But it's all done.  I have new pipes, I have water in my house, and I have no leak.  I'll call that a victory.

The battle is not yet won, though.  I still have some sheet rock that needs to be replaced, a vanity to be purchased and installed, and painting to be done.  The plumbers don't do that work so I'm still looking for someone to do it.

I'll be happy when it's all done and I can move back into my master bathroom, which right now looks like a cross between a construction project and a war zone.

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Doubling Down

Knowing without a doubt that this is absolutely illegal, why would they do it?  The answer is obvious--to demonstrate their progressive bona fides:

Ahead of the new school year, Minneapolis Public Schools has defended its agreement reached with the teacher's union this spring to prioritize retaining educators of underrepresented backgrounds when determining layoffs.

Effective in the spring of 2023, the contract provision states that teachers who are members of "populations underrepresented among licensed teachers in the district" may be exempt from district-wide layoffs outside of seniority order, deviating from the traditional "last-in, first-out" system.

The stipulation is a part of a recent collective bargaining agreement between the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) and MPS, which concluded a weekslong teachers' strike in March.

"To remedy the continuing effects of past discrimination, Minneapolis Public Schools and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) mutually agreed to contract language that aims to support the recruitment and retention of teachers from underrepresented groups as compared to the labor market and to the community served by the school district," a spokesperson for Minneapolis Public Schools said in a statement to ABC News Wednesday.

Making these types of hiring/firing decisions based on race is illegal in this country.  How much taxpayer money will be wasted on the inevitable lawsuit?

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Transgender Student Rejected By Every University of Alabama Sorority

The story:

A transgender woman was rejected by all University of Alabama sororities during their student recruitment process, according to social media posts from the student.

Grant Sikes, a biological male, wrote on Instagram that the applicant was denied entry to all of the sororities on campus. There are nearly 20 campus chapters.

"Unfortunately, this chapter is closed. This recruitment journey is over for me," Sikes wrote. "Being dropped from my last house this morning during primary recruitment at the University of Alabama doesn’t come as a surprise considering out of the almost 20 chapters – I was dropped by every single one except 2 before day 1."

I have a hard time believing that a large number of these women were political conservatives.

You Know Who Worries About So-called Climate Change?

People who can afford to, that's who:

Americans are less concerned now about how climate change might impact them personally — and about how their personal choices affect the climate — than they were three years ago, a new poll shows, even as a wide majority still believe climate change is happening.

What's different now, I wonder....

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

An Entrepreneur Probably Wouldn't Run A Business Like This

I got my insurance company's estimate for the cost to repair the damage to my trailer after my recent break-in, so now it's time to take the trailer to a shop and find out the real cost.  Not too far from me is a national corporation that sells and repairs RV's as well as selling RV/camping equipment, so I called over there to see when I could schedule an appointment.  Speaking to the service guy, he said that he's so busy that he couldn't fit me in until December.

I have to believe that an entrepreneur, a sole proprietor, would find a way to get more work done and earn more money--after all, such flush times won't happen forever!  But this person doesn't own the business, he is an employee of a large corporation.  He apparently has no financial incentive to increase, even temporarily, the volume of work he can get done.

I'll continue my search.

So-called Learning Styles

Academic content (or any other content, for that matter) should be taught in the manner most conducive to conveying the content, not to any particular student's preferred learning mode:

Are you a visual, auditory, reading/writing, or kinesthetic learner? For millions of students, this question has become so familiar that they already have an answer ready to go. Some identify as visual learners, which means that, in theory, they learn best by seeing concepts in pictures and diagrams, perhaps on a blackboard or in a video. Others identify as auditory learners, which means they learn best by hearing, or reading/writing learners, which means they learn best by reading books and taking notes. Still others identify as kinesthetic learners, which means they learn best when they can physically engage with things, such as in a chemistry lab.

For most of us, the idea that different people have different learning styles is so obvious that it is simply common knowledge. But there’s a problem here, a big problem. No matter how hard scientists have looked, they haven’t been able to find any good evidence for the learning styles theory. Indeed, many academics who study this for a living consider learning styles to be one of the biggest myths in education.

“There is no credible evidence that learning styles exist,” write psychologists Cedar Riener and Daniel Willingham in a 2010 paper titled The Myth of Learning Styles. “Students may have preferences about how to learn, but no evidence suggests that catering to those preferences will lead to better learning.”

Read the whole thing.  And toss in so-called Multiple Intelligences, too, while you're resting.

Monday, August 15, 2022

Heroes

I love posting about teenagers' heroic acts:

A group of Georgia high school football players quickly jumped into action to help save a 50-year-old woman who was involved in a serious car crash.

Rome High School football players Cesar Parker, Treyvon Adams, Antwiion Carey, Messiah Daniels, Tyson Brown and Alto Moore were just arriving at school on Friday when they witnessed the collision.

Smoke was seen pouring out from under the hood and fluid was pouring onto the intersection. The door of the vehicle was jammed, and the woman was unable to get out...

"They literally started using their strength to pry the door open, so the lady could be released. After a few seconds of pulling and pushing the door, the boys ended up opening it and helped her get out of the car. She was shaking and still in panic, but our RHS boys gave her comfort and were able to help her," (math teacher Luis) Goya wrote in a Facebook post.

Good job, guys.

Why We On The Right Might Be A Little Suspicious of Political Motives Behind The Raid on Donald Trump's House

I was asked by a snarky anonymous commenter about my thoughts on the raid on Donald Trump's house.  I don't have any fixed opinions on it yet; rather, I'm waiting for more information to be released by both sides.  Any new information, though, will be filtered through the lens of the following information:

It's difficult to trust the news, and even previously respected agencies like the FBI, given their involvement in the hoaxes above.

Want more?  Watch the video here (and be prepared to laugh--the creator did a great job!).

Ch-ch-ch-changes

A new state law that has gone into effect in California this year requires that high schools not start the school day prior to 8:30.  This is 25 minutes later than my school used to start.

My commute to work used to occur between 7:00 and 7:25 am, now it occurs between 7:30 and 8:00 am.  There is a marked difference in the amount of traffic on the roads at that later time!

If I leave school prior to 4:30, which is 1 hour after school gets out, there isn't much change in the going-home commute.  Leave school after 4:30, though, and there are a lot more cars on the road.

Just something I've noticed over the past few days.  I doubt this was an "unintended" consequence; more likely, it was an "unconsidered" consequence of the start time change.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Union Won't Back A Teacher Challenging Leftie Indoctrination

If you think unions protect your interests, think again:

A Connecticut gym teacher says his school threatened to fire him after he criticized its mandatory diversity training on "exploring privilege." But when he filed a grievance against the school, the local teachers' union dismissed the complaint without explanation.

John Grande filed the grievance against Hartford Public Schools for what he called targeted discipline—including threats of termination and further "Sensitivity Awareness" training—but the American Federation of Teachers Local 1018, which has jurisdiction over this arbitration process for teachers, rejected his plea, his attorney told the Washington Free Beacon. Grande, who has been a gym teacher for 30 years, said the union retaliated against him for refusing to join the labor group...

"Officials are refusing to represent him simply because he isn't a member," Nathan McGrath, president of the Fairness Center, told the Free Beacon. "John is just asking the union to do its job so he can continue doing his."

It's the unions who asked government to designate unions the sole representative of employees, members or not.   Now, when asked to live up to what they always asked for and got, they renege.

Then there's this:

"The Hartford School System, aided and abetted by the teachers' union, has failed our kids," Ricci told the Free Beacon. "Instead of focusing on their dismal test scores or bridging the achievement gap, they are focusing on ‘privilege,' which is nothing more than a distraction for their failed education policies."

When they can't deliver good education, they'll deliver "woke" education.

Friday, August 12, 2022

Hemorrhaging Money

If trouble comes in 3's, I should be done now.  Please, Lord, let it be done now.

When I got home from Baja I went through my bills--why were my gas bill and water bill so high?  What?  My water bill said I used an average of 600 gallons of water a day while I was gone!  When I'm home and watering the lawn I use about 150 gallons a day.  I had a plumber confirm my worst suspicion--I have a hot water leak.  So my water heater was running nonstop for weeks.  It took time to figure that out, my most recent water bill was significantly higher.  Imagine the cost of water in California during a drought.  Two months in a row of crazy high water and gas bills, and by crazy high I mean a couple hundred dollars.

So I have that hot water leak.  Probably under my slab flooring.  I could pay a few thousand to find the leak, have someone jackhammer through the inside of my house, and fix that one leak--and go through it all again for the next leak, as the pipes are 60 years old.  So I'm having the entire house replumbed through the attic, at a cost with 5 digits.  And no, insurance doesn't cover this; they'd cover damage to the house if there had been water damage, but they don't cover the pipe itself and the needed repair.  So I have to deal with it.

Work on the plumbing starts Monday.  Students showed up to school yesterday.  I started to leave the house this morning for my second day with students and what did I see?  Last night someone broke into my travel trailer.  They didn't trash it, but they definitely did damage getting in and they stole some things.

Right now, I'm not a very happy camper.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Remarkably Smooth

Today was our first day with students and it went remarkably smoothly.  Of course, students are always on their best behavior and we'll have a honeymoon period of up to a week, but I'm not necessarily talking about students here.  None of my classes is "over", meaning too many students put in classes.  Contractually, we can have as many students in class as is needed for the first 4 weeks of school, by which time our counseling department "level" the classes and make sure all of us are under our contractual limits.  That so many teachers are already at or under these limits means there will be much less shuffling of individual students and entire classes over the next 4 weeks, and that's good for all of us.

I have one class of dual-enrolled students; they're my high school students but are also enrolled in a class at the local community college.  My district math people and I had one vision of what a dual-enrollment class should look like, and the community college people have an entirely different vision, and I don't like their vision at all.  It reduces me almost to a babysitter, and I'm a teacher.  It's crazy to say this, and plenty of people tell me I should just accept this cushy setup, but I'm not really expected to teach or even tutor this class.  It's actually a waste of my time as a teacher.  The school could put in anyone to babysit this class and give me a class where I could actually teach.  We'll see what happens.

I also have a student teacher.  Eventually she will take over one of my classes as well as a different class for another teacher.  That other teacher...was my student teacher maybe 5 years ago!

Our quirky school schedule has really been pared down this year, and I for one am elated.  A couple other peculiarities have been corrected to great acclaim by the staff.  For example, since time immemorial our Back To School Night has been on a Wednesday; we'd have a minimum day on Wednesday and return to school in the evening to meet with the parents, followed by a Thursday with a staff meeting after school.  This year our Back To School Night will be on Thursday, the staff meeting will be the following week, and we'll get a minimum day on Friday.  It sounds like such a small thing but it made a lot of people happy at no cost, so I say call it a victory!

Should I start counting down?  I think I have 904 teaching days remaining in my career.

I Thought He Was Long Since Fired

Remember Gabriel Gipe, the Sacramento commie teacher?  Here are my two previous posts about him.  Well, he resigned back then but apparently kept fighting:


There's a spot for him right next to the Oberlin administrators.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Probably The Right Legal Decision, But Disappointing Nonetheless

There's a special place in Hell being reserved for the Oberlin College administration and attorneys:

The Ohio Supreme Court this week ruled that Oberlin College can pause payments from a $36 million judgment the school faces for defaming a local grocery store while the school appeals the judgment.

In ruling against Oberlin, a jury in 2019 determined campus leaders had participated in a racially motivated smear attempt against nearby Gibson’s Bakery, a small 130-year-old grocery that had done business with the school for decades...

But the delay in payments have put the bakery defamed by Oberlin in a deep financial hole, and a spokesperson for the bakery said if the checks don’t start coming soon, it “may only survive for the next couple of months"...

“The Gibsons have correctly completed every step necessary to properly execute on its judgment and collect on the surety bond in this case,” says the Gibsons’ Supreme Court filing against Oberlin. “All that is left is for the surety to make the payment. Belatedly realizing their error, Oberlin asks this Court to come to its rescue. The Court should not.”

The Ohio Supreme Court has not indicated when it plans to take up the case.

Keeping Secrets

In general, if you're telling kids to keep things from their parents, you might be the bad guy:

The American Federation of Teachers promoted the use of a pronoun card which included a question of whether the student wanted their parents to know about their pronouns, Fox News Digital has learned. 

The AFT's "Share My Lesson" website promoted using the cards in an "all" grade levels section, such as middle school. "Something as simple as a Student Introduction Card could make a student feel seen and affirmed," the lesson, by the AFT's Vision and Mission of the Identity Affirming Classroom Team, said.

The "Introduction Card" asked whether the student wanted their pronouns used when calling the student's parents

"Can I call you this name outside of class?" the card said. "May I use these pronouns when calling home?"

Tuesday, August 09, 2022

An Omen?

Our students' first day of this class is this Thursday, August 11th--which is also a full moon.

Coincidence?

Monday, August 08, 2022

Under A Thousand

While our students don't show up until Thursday, we teachers were back at work today.  We have meetings, teacher work days, professional development, etc.

Unless I've made a error somewhere, I have 905 teaching days left in my career.

Sunday, August 07, 2022

Bill Whittle, Jon Stewart, War Criminals & The True Story of the Atomic Bombs

The atomic bombings were entirely justifiable.  Stewart and his ilk are intellectual lightweights, and perhaps worse.  It's important not to let the likes of Stewart cloud historical facts.

Stop Asian Hate

You know why you don't hear that rallying cry anymore?  Because the attention made it clear to everyone who the primary perpetrators of violence against Asians are--and it's not white Anglo-Saxon protestant males.

While not violence, anti-Asian sentiment in education is abhorrent and should be treated as abhorrent:

The dirty little secret of higher-ed admissions is that achieving a desired “diverse” racial mix means discriminating against Asian applicants — or at least, secret until Students for Fair Admissions exposed it.

The higher-ed establishment is brazenly defending its race-conscious admissions in dozens of amicus briefs just filed in the US Supreme Court opposing SFFA’s discrimination suits against Harvard and the University of North Carolina. It’s terrified the cases, which the court just announced it will hear in October, could spell the end of racial affirmative action.

The statistics are shocking. As SFFA noted in its Harvard petition, “an Asian American in the fourth-lowest decile has virtually no chance of being admitted to Harvard (0.9%); but an African American in that decile has a higher chance of admission (12.8%) than an Asian American in the top decile (12.7%).”

Such unequal treatment followed the 2003 Supreme Court decision in Grutter v. Bollinger permitting schools’ temporary, limited use of race as one of many factors for the desired educational objective of viewpoint diversity. Harvard and other schools have used this loophole to drive de facto illegal racial quotas, using admissions subterfuges like personal scores and a “holistic” approach reminiscent of the methodologies Harvard developed a century ago to limit Jewish enrollment.

Saturday, August 06, 2022

Roe v. Wade and the AP Test

I guess this explanation is reasonable enough:

Questions about Roe v. Wade won’t be included on next year’s Advanced Placement U.S. Government and Politics exam, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of the ruling in June.

The College Board, the organization that runs the AP program, announced the decision in a message to AP U.S. Government and Politics teachers in July. Roe has been a required case in the course framework since the 2018-19 school year.

In the message, the College Board explained that the choice to remove questions about Roe has to do with how the AP tests are created. The exams are written years in advance, so questions about Roe as a legal precedent slated for the 2023 test “are at risk of becoming inaccurate and confusing to students,” the message reads.

The College Board plans to evaluate whether and how Roe will be included in future exams and provide an update to teachers in the fall.

I like this view from an AP teacher: 

Importantly, she wants students to come away from these discussions with the understanding that they can agree or disagree with Supreme Court decisions and that they can advocate for changes they want to see in the process or the outcomes—“that they are active players in this democratic republic,” Cohen said.

“The Supreme Court doesn’t provide the ‘right’ answer to a particular question. It produces finality—a final answer, or a final-for-now answer,” she said. “Students have this default ... respect for authority. And it’s kind of an opportunity to say, ‘No, no, no, maybe your arguments are better.’”

I wonder if she was this open-minded about Roe itself.  My gut tells me probably not.  I'll go further and suggest that she'd probably challenge a student who held this view:

Climate Change and the Great Barrier Reef

I'm shocked--shocked, I say--that the scaremongering "fears" haven't come to pass.

Smart Kid

We hear so much negativity about young people, I love it when they do great things:

A teenager in western Pennsylvania helped save multiple residents from an apartment fire by moving a trampoline to ease the landing for victims jumping out the side of the building.

Friday, August 05, 2022

Blog Appearance

It had been a couple years since I changed the look of the blog, so I tinkered with colors.

OK, the lime green background didn't go over very well.

So I tried switching it back to its usual gray.  No can do--I click on gray and I get blood red!  I don't know what the problem is, but the colors buttons don't seem to be working correctly, and I can't get gray out of any of them.

Since contrast seemed to be part of the issue, I've made the background blue until I can figure out how to get back to gray.

Affirmative Action and Other Race Preferences

If the left cared about results rather than feelz, so many of their policies would reside in the dustheap of history:

Abstract

Mounting empirical research shows that race-preferential admissions policies are doing more harm than good. Instead of increasing the numbers of African Americans entering high-status careers, these policies reduce those numbers relative to what we would have had if colleges and universities had followed race-neutral policies. We have fewer African-American scientists, physicians, and engineers and likely fewer lawyers and college professors. If, as the evidence indicates, the effects of race-preferential admissions policies are exactly the opposite of what was originally intended, it is difficult to understand why anyone would wish to support them.

Is This Really The Role of a State Governor?

It's more than unseemly for a state governor to act this way:

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom called on the Hollywood film industry to bring back production moved to Oklahoma and Georgia amid pandemic lockdowns and rising crime, criticizing the Republican-controlled states over policies against abortion in a new ad published in Variety. 

The full-page spread, paid for by the Newsom campaign, is titled: "Hollywood: Your values, Your choice."

Also, state-funded travel to 22 states is forbidden for purely political reasons.  Gavin is, as is typical of those on the left (e.g., teachers unions), acting like a 3rd grader: "You can't be friends with them if you want to be friends with me."  And since they want to be friends with him....

Wednesday, August 03, 2022

Racism, Straight Up

The Left's racial hatred and the racial climate it creates produces these outcomes:

Student-run debate organizations at Northeastern University and Boston College co-hosted the American Parliamentary Debate Association’s (APDA) “inaugural BIPOC tournament” and explicitly prohibited white students from competing.

The BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color,) only tournament included teams from multiple universities including the University of Chicago.

As The Chicago Thinker reported this past semester, The University of Chicago informed students the BIPOC debate was only open to anyone who “does not identify as white"...

Topics for the debate tournament include “issues relating to race and social justice"...

According to Northeastern University’s Policy and Procedures, "Northeastern University strictly prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, religious creed, genetic information, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, ancestry, veteran, or disability status."  

Similarly, Boston College’s University Notice on Nondiscrimination explicitly prohibits discrimination based on race, stating  “federal laws and regulations require the University not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, sex, or age in treatment, employment, admission or access to Boston College and its educational programs and activities."

When asked to clarify how the debate’s exclusion of white students would not infringe this policy, neither Northeastern University, Boston College, the Northeastern Debate Society, nor event organizers responded.

Tuesday, August 02, 2022

Taiwan

Screw the Chicoms.  I'm glad Nancy Pelosi followed through on her visit to Taiwan.

My opinion:  our current policy regarding Taiwan is stupid.  

Yes, you could say that our ambiguous policy of treating Taiwan like an independent country while saying it's not keeps China guessing.  I don't want China guessing, I want them to know exactly where the red line is--and they'd better not cross it.

If you look at history, the Taipei government is the legitimate government of China, not Beijing.  As the communist insurgents approached the seat of the Chinese government, that government fled to Taiwan and set up government in Taipei.  Thus, Taiwan's government is the legitimate government of China, and the Beijing government is the usurper.  US foreign policy should treat both governments accordingly.

If the Speaker of the House wants to visit the independent nation of Taiwan, she should do so.

Monday, August 01, 2022

Making Race The Focus of All Education

My key point is that we are at an inflection point. “Critical Race Theory” is now a toxic term and the racialization of education has lost the public opinion battle overall. But the infrastructure that racialized and increasingly sexualized education remains — the school board members, the big money leftist donors and foundations, the teachers unions, the consultants, the book companies, the education bureaucracy, and other institutional support. We are at an inflection point where we need to shift to dismantling the woke educational infrastructure, because if it is permitted to remain, when the publicity fades these grifters will come roaring back.

Control of the state government in more than half the states is one of the few institutions where non-liberals still have power. Almost every other institution has been captured. So the states, including state legislatures, are uniquely positioned as both a last line of defense and a platform to recapture what has been lost and bring it back at least to the center.

Read the whole thing.

Back To Work

Today is Monday, August 1st.  I return to work next Monday.

*sigh*