November 29, 2021

WELL, IT IS A CAPTIVE AUDIENCE AFTER ALL! “Prisons are training inmates for the next generation of in-demand jobs.”

Every year, hundreds of thousands of prisoners, at almost every U.S. prison, take federally funded career and technical education courses. And postsecondary education in prison, both vocational and more traditionally academic, will soon become more widespread: This perennially low-funded, essentially hidden part of the education world will be getting more money, thanks to three decisions in Washington: the First Step Act criminal justice reforms, the newest version of the federal Perkins Act for career and technical education and, most notably, the recent expansion of Second Chance Pell college grants for prisoners.


That’s good news, the evidence shows. Inmates who participate in correctional education — from GED certificates to college degrees and trade training and everything in between — are up to 43 percent less likely to return to prison, and such education provides a $5 return for every taxpayer dollar spent, according to the Rand Corp. And that’s just within three years of a prisoner’s release.

EVEN AN ACROSS THE BOARD VICTORY FOR CONSERVATIVE/LIBERTARIAN REPUBLICANS WON’T CHANGE ONE FUNDAMENTAL FACT: THE GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS CANNOT BE REFORMED IN ANY MEANINGFUL WAY. (Already been there, seen it, done it.) They begin wrong in theory and must therefore fail in practice: “Teacher Unions, Parents Gird for 2022 Battles.”

November 28, 2021

THESE SCHOOLS SHOULD BE FOR-PROFIT AND PRIVATIZED: “Thousands of ‘fake students’ enrolled in California community colleges seeking financial aid.”

The California Community Colleges system is being overwhelmed by thousands of fake students, or “bots,” applying and enrolling in classes to scam money from financial aid.


Kim Rich, a criminal justice professor at Pierce College, first noticed the issue during the summer semester in June 2021, when she discovered multiple “students” in her online class exhibiting suspicious behavior: submitting work done by someone outside the class, registering for the same courses, and using profile photos pulled from the internet.


Since then, Rich says she has experienced “roadblock after roadblock” in bringing the issue to the administration’s attention. The district seems not to care, even though, as she previously told The Epoch Times, Rich believes between one-third to one-half of enrolled students could be fake.


She came to these numbers by surveying hundreds of class rosters, both from her own college and other schools in the system.


“In some classes, 95 percent of the students I believed were fake. In other classes, it might have only been 5 percent,” Rich said in an interview with The College Fix. “The point of it was there are a lot of them there. It’s a huge hit, enrollment-wise, if you were to remove those students.”

AS IF THIS WEREN’T PREDICTABLE? It seems pretty clear to me that you have a choice: watch your kids fail or #JustWalkAway: “Remote Learning Lowered Test Scores in Every State; Minority Students Hit the Worst.”

A paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) shows remote learning has had a negative impact on students’ test scores in every state. Not only were students across the country affected, minority students were impacted the most.


According to the publication, remote learning led to declines in test scores for English and math, when compared to scores of students who went to schools with more in-person learning. “Our research shows that test score losses are significantly larger in districts with less in-person learning,” said Emily Oster, professor of economics at Brown University.


“This suggests, yes, that virtual learning was – and is – less effective than in-person learning, at least as measured by school-based testing” added Oster. “Passing rates in math declined by 14.2 percentage points on average; we estimate this decline was 10.1 percentage points smaller for districts fully in-person,” the study found. . . .


Score declines showed variations by state, as well. Virginia “which had the most complete virtual learning time, along with Colorado, saw an almost 32% drop on math test scores in the 2020-21 school year when compared to the 2018-19 school year” reports Tampa Free Press.


Wyoming, however, “which had the most in-person learning, along with Florida, saw just a 2.3% drop in English, the study found.”

HIGHER EDUCATION HAS BECOME SOMETHING OF A RACKET MEANT TO SERVE THE RULING CLASS. Ryan Stowers is helping us to think out way out of the Education Matrix. “How Post-Secondary Education Is Squandering Human Potential.”

There is a limitlessness to human potential — the capacity of all to discover, develop and deploy their unique aptitudes and gifts so they can benefit themselves and others. Post-secondary education can help unlock this potential, but far too many people aren’t having this experience. This can be avoided, but it requires us to fundamentally rethink how we approach education beyond high school, both public and private, and its connectivity to careers that provide fulfillment and purpose. In short, we need a shift in mental models from the kind of top-down thinking that produced such measures of “success” as seat time, test scores and credit hours to a focus on treating every learner as an individual with distinct needs and potential. The former approach loses sight of what matters most — passions and aptitudes that are unique to each individual.


To address this inexhaustible variation, we need a multitude of adaptable approaches to learning that empowers all so they can flourish. While this challenge is recognized in some educational and philanthropic circles, action currently lags far behind the public’s growing expectations.

Rather than conform, the public is eager to see transformation. In a recent survey by our organization, 61 percent of respondents said universities should do a better job of changing to meet the needs of students, while just 16 percent felt that students needed to do a better job of adjusting to the “tried and tested model” of a traditional four-year college. What’s more, of those seeking to acquire new skills, 72 percent expressed a preference for an option other than a four-year college or university. Most Americans also have a favorable opinion of the kind of career and technical education traditionally offered by their local community colleges and vocational schools.

While many of the leaders atop the oft-cited university rankings continue to focus on exclusivity rather than transformation, institutions like Western Governors University and Arizona State University have risen to the challenge and opened new pathways to millions of students. They are being joined by a growing constellation of providers who recognize that Americans are increasingly open to new credentials. The SkillUp Coalition, for example, is working with Per ScholasClimb Hire and Coursera to support displaced workers with the tools and resources to get upskilled and hired for high-paying, in-demand jobs. Achieve Partners is working with leading employers to hire apprentices who transition to in-demand careers. And the Mike Rowe Works Foundation is challenging the status quo by working to remove the stigma associated with learners eager to pursue careers in the skilled trades.

Read the whole thing.


GEE, WHAT COULD GO WRONG? I’m all for innovation and entrepreneurship in education, but I’m pretty sure that META-Education would be META-woke: “As Facebook Changes Name to Meta, Company Wants to Pull Education Into Its ‘Metaverse’.”

Facebook changed its corporate name to Meta yesterday, as part of CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s sweeping vision of creating a next-generation “embodied” internet inspired by science fiction, where users, as he described it, will be “in the experience, not just looking at it.” And he is targeting education as one key part of that vision.


What that metaverse will look like is still a bit vague, but the company gave some hints in prepared statements and in an hour-long video it released. And it has committed real dollars to the educational part of its effort, promising that its Facebook Reality Labs will invest $150 million in an education program to assist with tech development and to train people to use augmented and virtual reality tools.


And Facebook (er, I guess now Meta) announced that it would partner with Coursera and edX to help push Meta’s curriculum in augmented and virtual reality, which it calls the Spark AR Curriculum. A spokesperson for edX, which started as a nonprofit by Harvard and MIT but is in the process of being sold to for-profit 2U, said the group would share more information about the partnership and its broader shifts in the coming weeks.

STOKING THE FIRES OF IGNORANCE ON CAMPUS: University Administrators on the Rittenhouse Verdict

FAKE OUTRAGE ALERT—University of Oregon Edition: “‘A celebration of the ongoing genocide’: Workshop suggests ‘reparations,’ ‘National Day of Mourning’ to ‘decolonize’ Thanksgiving.”

THIS IS A SENSIBLE APPROACH TO STUDYING HISTORY: “Trouble in the Time of Thanksgiving: How Our Fraught History Can Still Be the Source of Unity.”

VIRTUE SIGNALLING AS A WAY OF LIFE: “No, Thanksgiving Isn’t About ‘Genocide And Violence’.”

Gyasi Ross, a Blackfeet (Native American) author (Huffington Post, Gawker, and Indian Country Today) attorney, “rapper, speaker and storyteller,” explained on MSNBC the other day, speaking of the Mayflower Pilgrims, “Instead of bringing stuffing and biscuits, those settlers brought genocide and violence.” Speaking of Thanksgiving, Ross adds, “That genocide and violence is still on the menu.” . . .


Today the left professes to despise colonialism and to see nothing but the usurpation of people and destruction of the environment as the consequence. This is a little odd, given that the left also generally favors the abolition of national borders.


I don’t know if that applies in Ross’s case. He may want to keep the borders (or perhaps expand them) of the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana. The loss of control of land, loss of independence, and other indignities by Native Americans were experienced by many as a dismal fate.


But history is complex. Some Native Americans embraced Western civilization; some sought a synthesis of tradition and the West; and some, like Ross, found places within the Western tradition where accusation and anger became a new kind of currency.


In that vein, hating Thanksgiving, like hating Columbus, has become a ritual. Some people watch the Macy’s Parade; some watch football; some enjoy the homecoming of relatives; some offer God sincere prayers of gratitude. And some make up stories about violence and genocide.

Read the whole thing.

HISTORY IS A COMPLEX THING IF YOU’RE ACTUALLY HONEST ABOUT IT: “Whose Land Did Native Americans Steal Before Europeans Stole It From Them?

THIS IS A VERY BAD IDEA AND SHOULD BE OPPOSED. It will enshrine education as a fundamental right and it will be a dose of steroids to the government school system: “Proposed California Ballot Measure Would Give Parents ‘Legal Standing’ to Sue for Better Schools as Right-to-Education Efforts Spread.”

Californians could vote next year on whether students should have a constitutional right to a high-quality education, potentially opening the door to litigation from parents dissatisfied with their children’s schools.


The effort to get the measure on the November 2022 ballot is just getting started, but such a statute would give parents “legal standing” before a judge to argue that districts should make better use of education dollars, said initiative spokesman Michael Trujillo, a veteran political strategist.


“Here’s a chance for parents to become effective policymakers on behalf of their children,” said Trujillo, who has long worked for former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a supporter of the initiative.


The move comes as parents across the country are vocally asserting their rights to influence the education agenda. Parents’ anger over school closures and controversial diversity and equity initiatives was considered a key factor in tipping the Virginia governor’s race in favor of Republican Glenn Youngkin.


The California initiative would be the third effort nationally to enshrine a child’s opportunity to receive a high-quality education in a state constitution. Supporters have launched similar campaigns in Minnesota and New Mexico.


“Having that right in the constitution could be very helpful in addressing long-standing inequities in our educational system and closing opportunity gaps,” said Ted Lempert, president of Children Now, an Oakland-based advocacy organization. He added that “getting more dollars to kids of color and English learners has to be part of the equation.” . . .


State constitutions, Levin added, all include some “affirmative obligation” to provide students a public education, but courts have varied in how they interpret what that education should include.


Federal courts in recent years have also been asked to consider whether the U.S. Constitution should entitle children to an education. Last year, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer agreed to a $100 million settlement in a 6th Circuit Court of Appeals case in which seven Detroit students argued their schools had failed to teach them to read.


On Nov. 1, the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in a case in which 14 Rhode Island students argue their schools don’t provide civics education, leaving them unprepared to exercise their rights as citizens.

EdWatchDaily rejects the claim that children have a right to an education paid for by a third party. Our friend, The Redneck Intellectual will be writing an essay on this topic in the very near future.

FACT #1: IT’S EVERYWHERE. Fact # 2: You can’t do anything about it. Fact #3: If you don’t want your children exposed to critical race theory you to #JustWalkAway and either find a private/charter school that explicitly doesn’t teach CRT or you must homeschool: “If critical race theory can creep into the classrooms of Missouri, it’s likely in yours.”

The untold, ironic truth is that CRT is rooted in work by dead white European guys. White male German Marxists devised critical theory, a philosophy rooted in an atheism that denies absolute truth, rejects God and makes government the highest power. Atheist Communist China and the former Soviet Union are examples of CT’s totalitarianism.


Sadly, these toxic Marxist beliefs were repackaged by Black Lives Matter, which rejects the “Western-prescribed nuclear family.” We cannot ignore the brokenness of the world, but CRT would break it further. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Destroying the black family destroys black lives because the family is the fundamental unit of society.


Instead of CRT, schools should teach excellence in mathematics, reading, science, economics and personal finance. Students should learn how to start businesses, not why they should burn them down. And if schools fail, parents deserve vouchers to send children to schools that don’t. I hope someday Springfield, Mo., schools will become those schools again.

JOIN THE PARENT-DIRECTED EDUCATION MOVEMENT BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE: “Homeschooling Advocacy Group Reports Significant Increase in Parents Pulling Children out of School.”

November 27, 2021

REMIND ME: YOU’RE SENDING YOUR CHILDREN TO THE GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS, WHY? “Rand Paul: Militants Pushing Critical Race Theory, Gender Ideology Want to ‘Hold Your Kid Down and Give Them a Shot Without Your Permission’.”

Health officials have not “completely explored” the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for children, Sen. Rand Paul warned, calling for more examination and information on the safety risks that vaccines potentially pose for children.


“These are the same people that want to teach critical race theory,” the Kentucky Republican said in an interview Thursday with The Daily Signal. “They’re the same people that want to teach your kindergartner that if they’re a boy, they can easily become a girl. ”


“This is the craziness being foisted upon our children in school, but it’s also the same crazy people that want to hold your kid down and give them a shot without your permission, and we need to fight back,” he said.


The Food and Drug Administration’s Oct. 29 emergency use authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children has sparked concerns that officials will use the authorization to mandate vaccinations for children.


OUTRAGEOUS! Do you see now why our friend, The Redneck Intellectual, is writing about the question of “rights: and education? “Mom ‘outraged’ that school did not tell her about transgender child.”

IS IT JUST ME, OR DOES IT SEEM LIKE SOUTHERN STUDENTS ARE MORE NORMAL AND DECENT THAN STUDENTS IN, SAY, NEW ENGLAND? Kinda hard to imagine Yale and Harvard students doing something like this: “Alabama students raise awareness for veteran suicide in march from Tuscaloosa to Auburn.”

Student veterans in Alabama began a more than 150-mile ruck march on Wednesday from Tuscaloosa to Auburn to raise awareness for the estimated 17 veterans lost to each day to suicide.


The fourth annual Operation Iron Ruck — which features students from the University of Alabama and Auburn University — kickstarted outside of Bryant-Denny Stadium Wednesday in Tuscaloosa and will conclude Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn just before the rival schools’ football teams face off in the Iron Bowl.

DOES THIS MEAN THAT THE MEDIA AND THE EDUCATION ESTABLISHMENT LIED TO AMERICA? “Despite media denial, Detroit schools superintendent says they teach CRT.”

Despite repeated denials from media and educators that Critical Race Theory (CRT) is taught in Michigan schools, the superintendent of the largest school district in the state said admitted they teach CRT.


In a Tuesday Detroit Board of Education meeting, Detroit Public Schools Community District General Superintendent Nikolai Vitti said the 50,000-student district is teaching CRT.


“Our curriculum is deeply using critical race theory especially in social studies, but you’ll find it in English language arts and the other disciplines. … Students need to understand the truth of history … understand the history of this country, to better understand who they are and about the injustices that have occurred in this country,” Vitti said, Chalkbeat reported. . . .


Michigan Capitol Confidential first reported several instances below of educators and media denying that any Michigan schools teach CRT.


In a June 27 Detroit Free Press story, Michigan State University professor Dorinda Carter Andrews said it was misleading to suggest Michigan schools teach CRT and added: “I’d be hard pressed to find a K-12 teacher who is doing that in their school district.”


In a July 6 Bridge story, Michigan Association of School Boards spokeswoman Shelly Davis Boyd said that the group didn’t know of any schools statewide teaching CRT.


Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers union, said in a July 6 speech: “Let’s be clear: Critical race theory is not taught in elementary schools or high schools. It’s a method of examination taught in law school and college that helps analyze whether systemic racism exists – and, in particular, whether it has an effect on law and public policy.”

AMERICAN PARENTS IN LONDON DECLARING THEIR INDEPENDENCE FROM RACISM: “Parent power crosses the pond: Headteacher at London’s most expensive day school resigns over CRT.”

Education is the new civil right and that has been shown through recent elections. Parents are participating in the education of their children with renewed vigor and that’s a good thing. That’s the silver lining in the middle of the propaganda being forced on young minds. It’s even crossed the pond.


Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has reviewed two books previously contested by parents as pornographic and pedophilic and decided to put them back into the district’s libraries, according to a statement released by FCPS on Tuesday.


A two month committee review process conducted by FCPS as a result of a “formal challenge” found “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe and “Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison appropriate for high schoolers, according to the FCPS statement.


The books will be put back in the school system’s libraries, which were removed in September after Stacy Langton, a FCPS mom went to a Sept. 23 school board meeting and denounced the nature of the books.


Langton previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the books depicted pedophilia and sex between men and boys, including one book that showed a fourth-grade boy performing oral sex on what appears to be an adult male.


“Please describe to me what do you call this image of the adult bearded male with an erect penis fondling the genitalia of the child male? What is that?” Langton said in response to the district’s decision to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “He’s twice the size of the other character too. And I mean his erect penis is also twice the size of the boy’s penis.”


Langton said she somehow expected the district “could do the right thing” but “it’s clear to me now, they have no intention of doing the right thing about this.” “This is about an agenda they’re pushing and they’re not interested in protecting kids.”


“The other book has detailed illustrations of a man having sex with a boy,” Langton said to the school board in September while she unfolded copies of the illustrations. “The illustrations include fellatio, sex toys, masturbation and violent nudity.”

IT’S NOT ABOUT EDUCATION AT ALL: Units of Indoctrination

GOVERNMENT “PUBLIC” SCHOOLING DESTROYS THE “PUBLIC.” “Wrenching struggle to define critical race theory divides an Orange County school district.”

MOST COLLEGE TRUSTEES ARE USELESS WIMPS: UNC Board of Trustees votes down anti-discrimination resolution


IT’S KINDA WEIRD THAT TWO OLD GUYS, RON PAUL AND BERNIE SAUNDERS, BOTH GENERATED GREAT EXCITEMENT WITH COLLEGE STUDENTS. Hint: it might have to do with the fact that they were viewed by young people as principled: “Surprising Facts About College Student Politics.”

OF COURSE THEY CAN. And it’s almost certainly racist and classist to think otherwise: “Yes, Parents Can Choose Curricula for Their Children – With Success.”

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