Category Archives: Education

Celebrity and Politics


I smirk at celebrities testifying at government hearings, pontificating from awards shows or even spreading nonsense on Twitter.

Comb. Fix tie.

If you really think Woody Harrelson, Ashton Kutcher and  Meryl Streep are more knowledgeable about social issues than the average citizen, fine. Obviously, they have a right to their opinions.

Sam White notes some British examples of celebrities spouting, and then says this:

Aloof, blinkered, and dismissive of ordinary people’s opinions, they seem willing to put lives and liberties in danger for no other reason than to preserve their own warped ideology.

But take a breather and you remember that they’re not deliberately nefarious. They believe earnestly that they’re doing the correct, moral thing. And that is at once chilling, and simultaneously a paradoxical reminder of all that needs protecting in Western democracies.

It’s chilling because it illustrates their unknowing indoctrination into the rigid cultural orthodoxy of the modern left.

If we’ve learned anything about the modern left it is that they have filled the swimming pool bit by bit with their nonsense. We are floating is a container of silly notions: guns are bad, peace activists make a difference, religion means intolerance, (except Native American shams. They’re cool!) Earning a PhD is some nonsense means you know something useful. Somebody else should pay. Violence is fine if you are trying to prevent future hypothetical violence. Punching a Nazi? Good. Saying ‘punch’ in a room full of people who may or may not have ever been punched? Even when the punch is orange, and served in a large bowl? That’s a micro-aggressive trigger. 

It’s going to take some real work to get back to other ways of thinking. We also have to remind ourselves that the bulk of liberalism isn’t nefarious, but earnest. They think they’re right, while thinking we’re evil. we’re not, and they should know it.

 

 

How Little Can We Get Away With Teaching Him?


 

The Supreme Court will hear arguments this week in a case that might upend special education. A school district is arguing that an autistic child’s education plan was good enough as it provided “some educational benefit.” In other words, just this side of the minimum.

Edweek.org:

The case began when Drew was still in elementary school. He started to exhibit serious behavior problems and went through periods of self-harming behavior, including head-banging and running away from school. By the end of 4th grade, Drew’s behavior had deteriorated to the point where he had made minimal progress on his educational goals. His parents argue that the individualized education program that the district developed for 5th grade was just offering more of the same. They withdrew him from public school, enrolled him in a Denver private school called Firefly Autism House, and argued that the district should be responsible for his tuition. [He’s doing well at the private school. – Dave]

On the one hand, a new definition of the responsibility of school districts toward students could be written. On the other hand, if the parents win, your local school district could be on the hook for private school tuition.  Either way, it’s the latest chapter in a long saga starting in the 1970’s, when we decided that the best way to address special needs students was to create a bureaucracy. It’s something I’ve been living with over the last 17 years or so, and can’t take time to address here.

We don’t do education well for anybody, but we do it very poorly for those who need it most.  

Police Blotter


The Craft Blog has a zero tolerance policy for stupid.

The Daily Signal:

After examining the evidence—a single butter knife—the police department turned over the investigation to the local Florida state attorney’s office, which is now weighing whether to bring criminal charges against the student.

A spokeswoman for the school district maintains that the school followed district policy throughout the incident, while pointing out that the district is working with the family of the suspended student by agreeing to reduce her suspension from six to three days. Needless to say, the family is not satisfied with the ongoing investigation and has hired a lawyer to represent them in the matter.

It was a downsized, rounded, dull butter knife.  As dull as the adults involved, one might say.

You. You got time to arrest an 11-year-old for a butter knife? Me neither.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident, but yet another example of an overreaction to minor infractions due to a zero tolerance school weapons ban, which can have serious consequences.

In Ohio, 10th-grader Da’von Shaw gave a class presentation on how to make a healthy breakfast, which included an apple that he sliced in front of the class. Da’von received a five-day suspension for possessing a weapon on campus due to his demonstration.

In California, high school senior Brandon Cappelletti was not nearly as fortunate. He faced a misdemeanor charge after school officials discovered pocket knives left over from a family fishing trip in the console of his car, which was parked on school grounds. Cappelletti narrowly avoided expulsion due to community outrage against the disproportionate punishment.

Triggered by Police Uniform? Call the Cops!


Loyola Professor Calls Cops on Student Because He’s Wearing His Police Officer Uniform – Heatstreet

Thus insuring that the number of people in the class wearing a uniform would double or triple. 

Image result for jack webb

“No. Really.  Take this call.  You’ll never believe it.”

Actually, the police never came. The original uniformed officer was taking a college course, and had been attending out of uniform for 6 weeks.  They knew him.  This was the first time he arrived at class in uniform.

Collins, who works in the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, points out in his Facebook post that it is incredibly ironic that the reaction to being scared of a police officer is to call the police. He also writes that “as a police officer, I feel as though I must hide my profession in order to obtain a fair education.”

Welcome to the party, pal.  I’m a conservative.

You Cannot Not Offend Some Folks


Sam Hooper of Semi-Partisan Politics takes apart the complex, but ironic tale of the University of Maryland president who wanted to make sure illegal immigrant students felt safe, and accidentally offended them.  He quotes Campus Reform, then examines the idiocy of the victimhood culture:

His repetition of the same statement in Spanish, however, raised eyebrows among some members of the crowd, even though he had employed a similar tactic in a campus-wide email last month in which he first outlined UMD’s intent to resist federal immigration enforcement efforts.

Student Senator Ashley Vasquez, for instance, complained that Spanish “does not represent the entire immigrant community here” during a post-speech Q&A, asking Loh if he would like to apologize for repeating his promise in Spanish.

Vasquez later told The Diamondback that she found Loh’s use of Spanish offensive because it implied that the only immigrants on campus are “Latinx.”

This is brilliant on so many levels.

Firstly, why make the comment in Spanish at all? Is anybody studying at the University of Maryland incapable of speaking English? (Hint: No) Is this part of a policy of general bilingual communications, signs, written and verbal instructions at the university? (Hint: No again). The only reason for President Wallace Loh to make such a gesture is that it affords him a quick and easy way to signal his own virtue, his acceptance of absolutely all kinds of immigration, legal and illegal, moral and immoral.

Wallace Loh learned Spanish in his native Peru.  He objected to their objection of his use of Spanish, and by now they’re all trying to signal their greater virtue and victimhood.

In the current culture of sensitivity about appearances, it is better to stay silent. Not that I’d choose that path, but I don’t work in a university environment, surrounded by quasi-victims.

FYI: If you are a college student at the University of Maryland, you are unlikely to be deported, abused or mistreated because of your culture or immigration status.  Even in Trump’s America, you are way down on somebody’s list. I’d lobby to make sure you’re never on the list.

You live a more comfortable life than most other Americans, eat better and have a nice place to sleep.  You are essentially at camp, but with books and classes.  If the university president speaks Spanish to you, then you call him insensitive, and nobody calls you an idiot…  Well, you live in a bubble.

If you act like that and nobody openly mocks you to your face, then your experience is unique.  Act that way at your first job when the Peruvian-born CEO speaks Spanish to you, and I hope they hand you a box and security watches you clean out your desk. 

 

Captain Louis Renault Remains Shocked


The Southern Poverty Law Center report on hate speech in schools surveyed teachers about the impact of the election on schools,  but did not report all their results:

The Counterjihadreport:

The SPLC’s widely cited report — “The Trump Effect: The Impact of the 2016 Presidential Election on Our Nation’s Schools” — reported that 40 percent of the more than 10,000 educators who responded to the survey “have heard derogatory language directed at students of color, Muslims, immigrants and people based on gender or sexual orientation.”

The takeaway was that Trump-supporting white kids have been harassing minorities at the nation’s schools. And SPLC’s schools report, along with a broader report on alleged Trump-inspired hate crimes — “Ten Days After: Harassment and Intimidation in the Aftermath of the Election” — sparked breathless coverage in the New York Times, Washington Post and other major media. -snip-

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I’m shocked to find the SPLC does not report all of the facts. Shocked”

But the SPLC didn’t present the whole story. The Montgomery, Ala.-based nonprofit self-censored results from a key question it asked educators — whether they agree or disagree with the following statement: “I have heard derogatory language or slurs about white students.”

Asked last week to provide the data, SPLC initially said it was having a hard time getting the information “from the researchers.” Pressed, SPLC spokeswoman Kirsten Bokenkamp finally revealed that “about 20 percent answered affirmatively to that question.”

Thousands of incidents of harassment or intimidation — or just discouraging words — aimed at white students.  I’m shocked these went unreported.

Hate is hate, and I hate it.  On the other hand, if we’re going to report intimidation, let’s report it all.  

 

Teacher Retires After Comparing Trump to Hitler


UPDATE: Another case below this post.  Mixed feelings all around.

From KQED:

After teaching history and special education at Mountain View High School for 40 years, Frank Navarro can barely get the words out of his mouth. They came haltingly, in fits and starts.

“I will not be coming back, and it’s very hard for me to say that,” Navarro said. “I love this job. I mean, I feel like I can learn something from it every day.”

Navarro said he’s retiring in June because the Mountain View Los Altos High School District showed him little respect by putting him on paid leave on Nov. 10 to investigate a complaint about his world history lesson comparing Donald Trump and Adolf Hitler.
Frank Navarro has taught history and special education at Mountain View High School for 40 years.

Navarro said it all started about three weeks before the Nov. 8 election when he gave a historical lesson on Hitler’s rise to power in Germany from 1930 to 1933 and compared it to Donald Trump’s platform.

“Adolf Hitler said he’d make Germany great again. Donald Trump said he’s going to make America great again,” Navarro said. “Hitler focused on the Jews as the great peril of Germany, and Trump focused on the Muslims and talk about a registry and keeping Muslims out of the country.”

He seems like a decent enough guy, but the comparison only fits if you believe in the worst of Trump, and America.  He won’t be the new Hitler, and we’d never let him try.

The Cumberland County Board of Education spent nearly nine hours behind closed doors, listening to Lee Francis’ appeal.

It included more than a dozen witnesses, and when it was over, the board decided that Superintendent Dr. Frank Till was right, and Francis was wrong.

“My heart is broken, teaching is my life and love,” Francis said.

Allen Rogers, Francis’ attorney said he “definitely” didn’t intend to drop the case.

“I think there is a window of opportunity to appeal to Superior Court, and I certainly anticipate that we will be in Superior Court,” Rogers said.

Frances was kicked out of his history class at Massey Hill Classical High School after a student snapped a photo of the teacher standing on a U.S. flag during a lecture on free speech.

The writer seems to forget that this was not “his” history class.  The people of Cumberland County, home to the largest military and retired military population you’ll find nearly anywhere…those people were paying his salary.  You do not have unlimited rights within the classroom.  

We elect the boards of education around here.