Should you follow your passion, wherever it may take you? Should you do only what you love…or learn to love what you do? How can you identify which path to take? How about which paths to avoid? TV personality Mike Rowe, star of “Dirty Jobs” and “Somebody’s Gotta Do It,” shares the dirty truth in PragerU’s 2016 commencement address.
What exactly are charter schools? Are they good for students? Watch this video and decide for yourself if they help or hurt public education. This video is part of a collaborative business and economics project with Job Creators Network. To learn more about JCN, visit http://www.jobcreatorsnetwork.com.
Want to check out which colleges and universities are the most ideologically diverse? The offending list is the Heterodox Academy’s new ranking of 200 schools created to measure how much viewpoint diversity one can expect to find on a particular campus.
It is enlightening.
- The ranking has revealed that New England is by far the worst region of the country, especially for liberal-arts colleges, when it comes to campuses that support and maintain viewpoint diversity. With Harvard, Yale, Brown, and Tufts on the university side and Williams, Wesleyan, Smith, Amherst, and Mount Holyoke on the liberal-arts college side, these schools reflect the politics of the region and were all at the bottom of the rankings in terms of viewpoint diversity. This could well be the first time that these esteemed institutions have found themselves at the bottom of national rankings that are so crucial to the very mission of higher education.
- Schools in the Upper Midwest and along the West Coast are the next-worst in the rankings.
- Schools in the South and the Midwest are the least closed in terms of viewpoint diversity, with William and Mary, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and the University of Florida leading the charge toward being least closed. Of course, these are broad general strokes that represent general trends.
- For instance, the Claremont Colleges were among the most highly ranked schools in terms of prompting viewpoint diversity despite being close to the West Coast and surrounded by other schools that were struggling to promoting a real diversity of ideas on campus.
What in the name of Ru Paul is wrong with the New York City Board of Education?
Parents are furious after children as young as 5-years-old were exposed to an erotic drag show performance at what was supposed to be a school district talent show.
Some good questions from Todd Starnes:
- “First, who signed off on a school program that featured a kindergarten choir and a gyrating, adult drag queen?”
- “Second, why is that person still employed by the school district?”
- “Third, why hasn’t the school district publicly apologized to traumatized parents and their children?”
Every year, almost every industry improves. It is the way we roll in the United States. We work ourselves silly making things better. In the last 10 years, Apple has introduce 7 new iPhones. Consider the innovation in just 10 years. What is up with our educational system? Is “Common Core” really the best we can do?
We get more choices — usually better choices, for less money. But not in education. Is it because schools are run like a monopoly? Where is the competition? What is the investment like in innovation? Continue reading
In Syria, the sheer physical and human devastation undermines the prospects of a viable state for years to come. The stats are almost incomprehensible: more than half the population depends on humanitarian aid to make it through the day.
Some three million kids are not attending school—in a population of twenty-two million. Besides a staggering death toll, one and a half million people have been injured or permanently disabled. Life expectancy is down fifteen years from when the civil war started, in 2011.
Almost one out of five citizens has fled the country altogether. They may have little incentive to return. Physical destruction totals at least two hundred and fifty billion dollars, in a state the size of Washington. And it increases every day.
What is the moral obligation of the United States and our allies in light of the genocide of Bashar al-Assad? Will bombing a few of his planes get him to stop the murders and devastation?
Really, what should we do?
Now here is some good news. Other states ought to take notice. I am getting encouraged school choice may gain more traction.
A bill in the Florida State House of Representatives to allow charter-school students to participate in extra-curricular activities at private schools may not affect a great number of students, but it shows why school-choice measures accomplish exactly what their critics say they fail to do.
A common argument against school choice is that going to a smaller charter school or being homeschooled will limit students’ options and social life, but the way to expand such options is actually to loosen restrictions, not further cement them. Floridians know the value of this idea because their state is the home of the first-ever Heisman Trophy winner to be homeschooled: Tim Tebow. A statute colloquially known as “the Tim Tebow law” allowed the University of Florida’s eventual national title-winning quarterback to continue being homeschooled while playing football at Allen D. Nease High School.
The Tebows paid their taxes and schooled their children, so why shouldn’t they be able to see their son play football for their local high school?
Our constitution guarantees us certain rights around due process. We have police trained to investigate. We have a judicial system designed to be fair and deliver justice.
So why are higher education institutions allowed to circumvent it?
Academia’s descent into perpetual hysteria and incipient tyranny is partly fueled by the fiction that one in five college students is sexually assaulted and that campuses require minute federal supervision to cure this. Encouraged by the government’s misuse of discredited social science (one survey supposedly proving this one-in-five fiction), colleges and universities are implementing unconstitutional procedures mandated by the government.
You would think that as enrollment is going up, costs would be coming down. Of course, the opposite is actually happening.
You would also think the quality of the education experience would go up as well. Not so.
“A new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that higher education in America is changing in more ways than one. Colleges and universities are increasingly hiring adjunct or part-time faculty instead of full-time professors, according to economists Liang Zhang, Ronald Ehrenberg, and Xiangmin Liu. Since 1993, the part-time share of faculty at four-year universities has risen from 30 percent to 38 percent, while full-time professors’ ranks have fallen from 60 percent to 51 percent.
“Private institutions now employ part-time faculty and full-time professors in equal proportions. The less-flexible nature of public universities keeps full-time professors in the majority, but the trend is still clear. Adjuncts are rapidly becoming the new normal.
“Just 59 percent of students at four-year colleges graduate within six years, and 44 percent of those who do will not find a job that requires a college degree. The boost in part-time professors has not helped matters, and may have made things worse by drawing students into career paths for which they are not suited. It is perfectly possible that this phenomenon is at least partially responsible for the underdevelopment of American college students’ potential.”
Charter Schools have proven themselves to be a boon to disadvantaged children who can’t get into private schools. It is a shame to see our politicians turn their back on the advantages being offered.
It is probably asking too much for teacher’s unions to support them. Isn’t the goal to educate children? Shouldn’t their needs come first?
…[T]he people who run the public-school system that doesn’t work—the one where you can’t fire teachers who sexually prey on students and principals who don’t even show up for work, which is to say the public schools run by the…huge and powerful teachers union—don’t like the charter schools. And they are [New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s] supporters, a significant part of his base. The very existence of charter schools is an implicit rebuke to the public schools… It means they are not succeeding, and something new must be tried. … When a school exists for the students, you can tell. When it exists for the unions, you can tell that too…
There is a real question about what you do with chronically disruptive students. In Charter or Private schools, eventually they kick them out. Should public schools follow the same approach?
A recent, widely publicized incident in which a policeman was called to a school classroom to deal with a disruptive student has provoked all sorts of comments on whether the policeman used “excessive force.”What has received far less attention, though it is a far larger question, with more sweeping implications, is the role of disruptive students in schools.
President Obama called for limiting the amount of standardized educational testing to 2 percent of classroom time, addressing the growing concern across the county about an over emphasis on test taking. President Obama seems to miss the point. Education is a state and local school district issue. If local school districts want to do more or less, that is their decision.
The Tenth Amendment that “powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
“Obama cannot force states or districts to limit testing, which has drawn consternation from parents and teachers. But he directed the Education Department to make it easier for states to satisfy federal testing mandates and he urged states and districts to use factors beyond testing to assess student performance.
“In addition, The New York Times reports Obama will ask Congress make his plan into legislation.
“The administration said it still supports standardized tests as a necessary assessment tool, and there are no signs they are going away soon.”
There are some great experiments going on in the education world. Allowing parents to choose and creating charter schools is very innovative. In most cases it is working. Consider how charter schools gave New Orleans a second chance after Katrina.
“After Arizona pioneered an unusual school-choice law called education savings accounts (ESAs), which deposit’s a child’s state education dollars into a bank account with a debit card parents control, parents of autistic children founded a school for their kids. They have seen substantial progress with the help of expert teachers and therapists and an extremely low student-to-teacher ratio.
“With a new law this spring, Nevadans will have a similar opportunity. The state’s education savings accounts, the nation’s most expansive because they are open to all public school students, allow parents to take their kids out of public schools and spend state money on their kids’ education.Parents can cater an a la carte education to their child’s needs.
“That money is 90 percent of what the state had been spending on the kid’s education in public schools, or about $5,100 for most kids, so it doesn’t cost taxpayers anything extra. Parents can spend the money on more than just private school tuition. Tutoring, textbooks, transportation, therapy, curricula, and testing fees are approved expenses. Whatever’s left at the end of the year rolls over into the next, and ultimately can go towards college expenses. Parents can cater an a la carte education to their child’s needs.”
“We’ve told the young that sex is “no big deal,” except for those with non-traditional inclinations, in which case, sex is their whole identity. They’ve been instructed that the crucial moral lesson they should take away from sex education is hygiene. They’ve learned that anything goes so long as both (or all) parties consent; and, most crucially, they’ve been schooled that there are no differences that matter between the sexes.
“So here we go again, plunging into the same tail-chasing, unhelpful debate. The Left cries havoc, and demands that more men be punished and more civil liberties be curtailed. The Right cries foul, and objects that the “rape culture” is contrived. It’s not that the truth lies somewhere between these two poles—it’s that seeing the truth requires a different perspective entirely.
“College campuses, like the rest of American society today, are struggling to contain the wreckage of the sexual revolution. Neither men nor women are happy with the chaotic and utterly unromantic world they’ve inherited. It’s a culture of drunken hook-ups and “booty calls,” where traditional courtship is dead and even dating is rare.”
The traditional education model of public schools can be changed and re-thought. In New Orleans case, it took a disaster to make it happen but it does give us a different model to look at. I’m sure it isn’t perfect but some of the results are worth considering.
Grade 3 to 8 students passing the standardized state test went from 28 percent in 2008 to 57 percent in 2013, more than a 100 percent improvement, while high school graduation rate in the city increased by over 50 percent, from 55.4 percent to 77.8 percent, between 2004 and 2012. The graduation rate in the city is higher than the state’s average, not something you see in many states.
Ten years ago Hurricane Katrina struck the city and nearly wiped it off the map. Despite the unpreparedness of public authorities, rampant corruption and scandalous waste, something positive did come out of the disaster.
New Orleans quickly became the first city in the country to have 100 percent charter schools within its city limits. While it did come at a heavy price for some–all 7,000, mostly African-American and unionized teachers were fired–the results for students and their parents have been astounding.