Social Inflation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

This article says America is great because we had high school for everybody, which gave us the educated workforce required to succeed during the growth of businesses as banking, retail and manufacturing.

Wait, what?  Everybody had to go to high school so they could work as bankers and shop clerks?  Those activities have been around for millennia.  Christ drove the money-lenders from the temple.  His Dad, Joseph, was in manufacturing.  His Disciples bought bread and wine for the Last Supper from retail merchants.  None of them had a high school degree. What does Algebra II have to do with working in business?

The article points out that eventually, employers required new employees to have high school diplomas.  Yes, but was that because typewriters were so complex to operate that only the fully educated could manipulate them?  Or was it because there were so many high school graduates available, the employer might as well demand a diploma?  My son is a Senior Financial Analyst but can’t even apply for a promotion until he completes his MBA – not because the job duties require secret training only available in the MBA program, but because there are so many credentialed applicants available, the company can get away with demanding one.

Did demand for diplomas drive high schools to supply them, or did an excess of applicants supplied with diplomas drive demand for them?

It’s a critical question when we consider that Bernie and Hillary both demanded free college degrees, using the same tired justification.  Has it ever been true?

If a mediocre high school student dropped out of high school at age 14 to apprentice himself to an electrician, how would his economic prospects compare at age 24 to those of a mediocre student with a Liberal Arts degree?

Joe Doakes

At this rate, you’ll need a PhD in “retail kinesology” to run a checkout at Cub Foods.

The Machine Lives On Forever

A friend of this blog writes…:

“We’re for wealth sharing and against white supremacy – But only on our terms. Followed this link from Minnpost.

How many tales of woe started with those five words?

But I digress:

 The biggest 2 complaints from this blogger seems to be that wealthy people are sharing their wealth to help the less wealthy and that parents of color are choosing to ignore what white elected people think is best for their families. I see nothing wrong with that. And I thought getting the wealthy to share their wealth and to have people of color reject white supremacy were liberal goals. So, every one should agree, right?

I checked out the link – and as I live and breathe, it’s our old friend Ed Levine.   Apparently he’s got some anti-charter school group – I’d guess some teachers’ union spinoff – to fund him, and I’d guess fund him pretty well; that’s a pretty slick website.

Since my kids finished high school, I have to confess – I’ve been a little lax in my coverage of the war on charter schools – but the DFL push to torpedo the lifeboats and push those kids and their families back onto the Titanic continues apac

Anyway, Ed – I know, right?  The nerve of those inner-city parents.  Who are they going to believe – the Teachers Union, or their own lying eyes?

There Is No Space Safe From The Social Justice Cheka

Purdue hires a social justice warrior to head its engineering program.  

While overt sexism and homophobia are less common than historically, they still play out in ways that are subtle and, therefore, insidious and hard to combat. How do you see this happening in the sciences, and how do you deal with it?

One of the biggest sources of sexism and homophobia is lodged in the epistemology of science. How we think, and what we think, matter in determining what we know and don’t know, and affects our workplace interactions in very negative ways. We think that we eliminate bias by keeping our “personal lives” – some aspects of ourselves – out of the lab, classroom, or office. But actually this is how we allow implicit bias to seep in and saturate everything we do, because that which is male, straight, white, able-bodied, monied, is not left behind in the practice of science and engineering – it is just so normative that lots of us don’t notice.

The story came out on Saturday.  I can only hope it’s an April Fool prank – perhaps the most insanely brillaint one o al time.  

I’m not very hopeful.

Mixed Messages

On the one hand, I do believe that rehabilitation makes sense; once most people get out of their 20s and 30s, the small-brain hormonal impulsiveness behind a fair portion of crime starts to fade just a bit, and long-term prisoners need something to replace that part of their lives with.

So the prison college program hignlighted on NPR earlier this week would seem to make some sense.

On the other hand, the sound bite of one of the classes:

Professor Delia Mellis teaches a modern U.S. history class and, when I arrive, 18 men dressed in green jumpsuits are discussing sexual identity politics.

“I don’t think he’s saying that; I think he’s making a distinction between it being gay acts — homosexual acts — and it being a gay identity,” one student interjects.

Mellis responds, “That’s absolutely his central idea, right?”

 

…makes it clear that retribution and revenge would seem to be part of the goal, still.

Oops

The Shakopee School District had a flub in their budget, to the tune of almost $5 million:

According to Thompson’s email, the district found a $4.5 million discrepancy during a yearly financial review.

Finance Director Mike Burlager mentioned the error during the school board’s Truth in Taxation meeting Dec. 12, but did not mention the exact amount. Soon after, Thompson mentioned a $5 million shortfall.

Of course, if it were a charter school, the state would have SWAT team locking the doors by now.

 

Choice For Me. Not For Thee.

Remember when Al Franken lit into Betsy DeVos over her school choice beliefs?

Some might have thought Franken opposed school choice.   He does, in fact, support school choice.

For those who can afford it.

…the Senator also has very little experience with public schools.

According to an interview with Harvard magazine, Franken was a math and science whiz as a boy. As he approached secondary school years, his parents wanted to find a better school for their gifted student. Franken ended up attending and graduating from Blake, one of the most exclusive private schools in the Minneapolis area, where the tuition for upperclassmen is currently $29,025 per year.

Franken’s two kids also avoided public school. Instead, his kids attended The Dalton School in New York City where tuition is $44,640 per year. Dalton is known for educating celebrities and children of royalty.

Forget about Franken; I sincerely doubt you find the children of many superstar superintendents toiling away in public schools.

Bill Cooper

Bill Cooper, former chair of the Minnesota GOP and longtime CEO at TCF Bank, passed away earlier this week  at 73.

In addition to leading the MNGOP during the Carlson years, Cooper did two things that made him a hero to me.

Nick-Slapped:  Back in 2005, then-Strib columnist Nick Coleman wrote a deeply dumb column wondering how Scott Johnson of Power Line  managed to blog during his work day (Johnson was at the time TCF’s corporate counsel), and urging TCF customers to pull their money out of the bank in protest over employing an “out” conservative.

Cooper pulled TCF’s ad money from the Strib – $250K a year – and followed up by cutting off the City Pages as well.

And the whining and carping lulled me to a sound, happy nap.   I’d like to think that costing the Strib a cool quarter mill had a lot to do with Coleman’s retirement.   For that alone, we should thank Cooper.

Friends:  In a more serious and productive vein, Cooper was one of the movers and shakers behind “Friends of Education”, a chain of charter schools that were focused on specific communities and educational models.

Friends of Education schools were, and perpetually remain, among the top-performing charters in the state.  And that was in part due to Cooper’s business sense; “Friends” charters that didn’t succeed got shut down; the successful ones carried on.

The New Puritans

SCENE:  Mitch BERG is shopping for a generator at Menard’s.  As he pores over the spec sheet, Moonbeam BIRKENSTOCK steps around the corner.  

BIRKENSTOCK:  Merg!   The “christian” college, “Liberty University”, is building a gun violence range for its students.

BERG:   It’s a gun range.  And so what?

BIRKENSTOCK:  It’s weird.

BERG:   Hardly. It’s a conservative institution.  Many of its students are shooters.  The campus 2nd Amendment group is large and active, and shootings sports are popular among students.  It’s not unreasonable to assume that a shooting-sports-friendly campus is going to be a draw for students who are, like most Liberty students, to the right of center.

BIRKENSTOCK:  But guns on campus!  Isn’t that just kind of weird?  Shouldn’t school be a place of non-violence?

BERG:   Non-violence?   You mean like “gun-free” Virginia Tech?

BIRKENSTOCK:  Yes!

BERG:  Where a gunman killed 32 students and faculty?

BIRKENSTOCK:  Don’t confuse me with irrelevant details.

BERG:  Er, right.  So – why should Liberty not provide that facility, if it’s an obvious marketing spiff for them?

BIRKENSTOCK:  There should be no guns at places of higher learning.

BERG:  Question for you, Moonbeam:   should colleges teach abstinence only sex education?

BIRKENSTOCK:  Good heavens, no.  That never works!

BERG:  Because people naturally gravitate toward things they enjoy?

BIRKENSTOCK:  Yes!

BERG:   So abstinence only education can not work when it comes to sex, but is the only acceptable solution when it comes to guns?

BIRKENSTOCK:  Why do you hate women and minorities?

BERG:  Naturally.

And SCENE. 

Whatshisorherface

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Students in the English Department at the University of Pennsylvania took down a portrait of Shakespeare and replaced it with a portrait of that other one.  You know, that author whose works have passed-the-test-of-time, delighted billions around the globe.  What’s the name again? 

 Help me out here, it’s that famous writer.  The one you’ve heard of, whose books you read in school, everybody read them.  Dang, it’s on the tip of my tongue: Chaucer, Spenser, Milton, Twain, Hemmingway . . . aw, I can’t believe this, how could I forget? 

 Look, it’s the English Department.  They put up portraits of the greatest writers of all time just like the mural outside Barnes and Noble.  They’re the most influential, most enduring, the authors whose literature is literally timeless.  I can’t believe I’m blanking on this one.

 Shelley, Proust, Solzhenitsyn, Homer?  Agggh.  You know, the greatest writer of all time, obviously, since the writings are deemed worthy to replace Shakespeare.  Practically the foundation of the entire canon of literature in western civilization.  Way more well-known than that famous black professor who every cop knows on sight.

 This is so embarrassing.  It’ll come to me.

 Joe Doakes

Got me.

Exodus

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Why are families leaving St. Paul schools?  It’s a mystery.  Now that the staff member doing the survey has been let go, we may never find out.

 Looking at the chart, there appears to be some overlap in causes since the percentages work out to 114% and even under Common Core math, that’s not a reasonable answer.  But just looking at the top three responses, I think I detect a pattern.

 40% said “We moved.”  I wonder why they moved?  Better job outside the district?  Seems unlikely, the economy isn’t that robust.  Maybe they moved to GET outside the district?  But why would they do that? Who’d want to leave the vibrant diversity of Frogtown to live in monochrome, monoculture Woodbury?

 36% said “the school was unsafe.”  But St. Paul just adopted new discipline policies to let Children Whose Lives Matter run wild.  That’ll cut down on reported discipline statistics which will be a big help, won’t it?  After the news accounts of violence in the last two years and the “don’t-bother-to-catch-go-straight-to-release” policy in effect, why would families think schools would be unsafe?

 30% said “child was harassed/bullied.” Well that’s just whining.  All kids are harassed and bullied, especially kids with Privilege who deserve it.  That’s no excuse to leave the school. Pulling your kids out of our school costs us pupil-day money and that’s a racist hate crime.

 Yep, it’s a total mystery why parents are pulling their kids out of St. Paul schools.  Luckily, there are paid consultants to offer possible suggestions, some cited in the article.  More arts classes might help.  Different languages, smaller class sizes, better special education.  Maybe training, to teach parents not to expect so much from schools like order, discipline, learning. 

 I hope they figure it out soon.  A child’s education is not an experiment you can do over if it fails the first time, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to avoid a life of misery.  All those minds would be a terrible thing to waste on fantasy feel-good foolishness.

 Joe Doakes

Joe’s got some good ideas…

…but when you combine a “one size fits all” model of education, combined with a system that is designed to provide sinecures for the ruling political class’s care and feeding much more than “educating” people (despite the best efforts of a lot of teachers), what do they expect?

Or, more importantly, what do they expect you to expect?

Mystery!

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Why are families leaving St. Paul schools?  It’s a mystery.  Now that the staff member doing the survey has been let go, we may never find out.

 

Looking at the chart, there appears to be some overlap in causes since the percentages work out to 114% and even under Common Core math, that’s not a reasonable answer.  But just looking at the top three responses, I think I detect a pattern.

 40% said “We moved.”  I wonder why they moved?  Better job outside the district?  Seems unlikely, the economy isn’t that robust.  Maybe they moved to GET outside the district?  But why would they do that? Who’d want to leave the vibrant diversity of Frogtown to live in monochrome, monoculture Woodbury?

 36% said “the school was unsafe.”  But St. Paul just adopted new discipline policies to let Children Whose Lives Matter run wild.  That’ll cut down on reported discipline statistics which will be a big help, won’t it?  After the news accounts of violence in the last two years and the “don’t-bother-to-catch-go-straight-to-release” policy in effect, why would families think schools would be unsafe?

 30% said “child was harassed/bullied.” Well that’s just whining.  All kids are harassed and bullied, especially kids with Privilege who deserve it.  That’s no excuse to leave the school. Pulling your kids out of our school costs us pupil-day money and that’s a racist hate crime.

 Yep, it’s a total mystery why parents are pulling their kids out of St. Paul schools.  Luckily, there are paid consultants to offer possible suggestions, some cited in the article.  More arts classes might help.  Different languages, smaller class sizes, better special education.  Maybe training, to teach parents not to expect so much from schools like order, discipline, learning. 

 I hope they figure it out soon.  A child’s education is not an experiment you can do over if it fails the first time, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to avoid a life of misery.  All those minds would be a terrible thing to waste on fantasy feel-good foolishness.

 Joe Doakes

I’m not saying “Making the schools crappy” was a diabolical DFL plot to make conservative-leaning people leave Minneapolis and Saint Paul, to consolidate control forever in the hands of the DFL.

But if it were their plan, how would it be working any differently?

Defining “Crime” Down

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

“That means minor crimes that take place at school, such as trespassing, truancy, theft and drug use, she said, would be “dealt with more appropriately in other ways” that don’t involve arrest and prosecution.”

All crimes?  Or only crimes committed by Students Whose Lives Matter, to make the statistics come out better?

What a rude shock when you leave school and find out there are laws in place and people expect you to follow them. Thugs will encounter kindler, gentler police when police encounter kindler, gentler thugs.  Until then . . . .

I’ll differ with Joe in degree, here; we do have too many arrestable crimes in this country.  Truancy?  Marijuana possession?  Minor driving offenses?  Please.

 

 

  Joe Doakes

If There’s A Bubble In Education Administration…

…then one can only hope that this is the needle.

A student  on a school bus, seeing another student pointing a gun at a third student, wrestled the would be shooter to the ground, almost certainly saving the intended victim’s life.

The school administration reacted… Well, you’ve read this blog for a few years, right? How do you think they reacted?

A Florida high school hero who wrestled a loaded gun away from a football player threatening to shoot a teammate was himself suspended for three days.
The 16-year-old, from Cypress Lake High School in Fort Myers, was punished for his part in disarming the boy who wanted to blast another student on the school bus ride home…

…But, instead of rewarding the heroic teen who put his own life at risk, school authorities suspended him “for his role in an incident where a weapon was present”.

Good is punished as if it’s evil.

And they say schools aren’t mindless indoctrination centers.

Our Blizzard Of Snowflakes

Joe Doakes of Como Park emails:

The current Campus Crybaby Crisis is explained by Reynold’s Law:
“The government decides to try to increase the middle class by subsidizing things that middle class people have: If middle-class people go to college and own homes, then surely if more people go to college and own homes, we’ll have more middle-class people. But homeownership and college aren’t causes of middle-class status, they’re markers for possessing the kinds of traits — self-discipline, the ability to defer gratification, etc. — that let you enter, and stay, in the middle class. Subsidizing the markers doesn’t produce the traits; if anything, it undermines them.”
If fewer people were able to afford college, degrees would become valuable again. Plus, young people wouldn’t be saddled with a mountain of unpayable and non-dischargeable debt, so they could afford to buy houses and start families.
Student loans: end them, don’t mend them.
Joe Doakes

Along with making education about, well, education, rather than schooling (to say nothing of indoctrination).

You Don’t Do Business Against The Family

A Saint Paul substitute teacher who went to the press about having had the crap beaten out of her by a seventh-grader is being blackballed by the SPPS:

On Tuesday, Egan said, she was subbing at St. Paul’s Johnson Senior High School when her employer, Teachers On Call (TOC), called. A manager told her the St. Paul Public Schools had contacted TOC to say Egan could not sub for the district again.

Candice Egan, a St. Paul substitute teacher, said a student repeatedly shoved her, including into a wall, at a St. Paul school on March 22, 2016. (Courtesy photo)
Candice Egan (Courtesy photo)
“She claimed it was because I didn’t notify Teachers On Call about what happened and that no one at Creative Arts (High School) knew what happened, and that I had gone to the media about it,” Egan said. But Egan said none of that was true.

Egan said she had told plenty of people at Creative Arts what happened, as well as Teachers On Call. And she spoke with the Pioneer Press after a reporter initiated contact with her.

“I think this is happening because I talked about it,” Egan said. “I don’t know if it’s because I filed a (police) report or not.”

The SPPS is reacting to the collapse in discipline in the schools…

…by waging a PR campaign to convince everyone that there’s no problem.

Saint Paul Schools: Safety Rally

There’s going to be a rally for better safety in the Saint Paul Public School, on Tuesday, 3/22:

RALLY FOR SAFE ST. PAUL SCHOOLS

Date: March 22, 2016
Time: 5:30 P. M.
Location: 360 Colborne Street, St. Paul
Link: http://www.mapquest.com/us/mn/st-paul/55102-3228/360-colborne-st-44.930979,-93.119580
Come join us in supporting Safe Schools in St. Paul and let our school board know that we demand Safe Schools in St. Paul.  So far this year 19 St. Paul Public School employees have been injured by students and two have had to hospitalized due to serious head injuries.  Enough is enough!  We are demanding revised discipline policies for the protection of our students and staff.  Our schools need have a safe learning environment for our children and the workplace needs to be safe for our teachers and staff.
Let’s show the SPPS school board that we care about having a safe learning environment for both students and staff!  Join us on March 22, 2015 at 5:30 P. M. at St. Paul Public School Board meeting and let them know that we want Safe Schools NOW!
Tell your friends and neighbors!
Sponsored by the St. Paul Republican Party

I’m gonna be there.  I hope you will too – whether you live in St. Paul or not.  It’s everyone’s tax money going into this cesspool.

Malinvestment

Macalester – at $47,195 a year – has made the list of colleges where alumni earn less than high school grads.

Now, to some extent these rankings are misleading; students’ earning potential is whatever they decide it’s going to be.

Provided they don’t think waving a degree about and saying “I want a job in  my field” is the way to do it.

Which, given the number of International Victimization Studies majors Mac turns out, may be a bigger problem than most places.

Urban Liberal Privilege: Enough Is Enough

Saint Paul’s social justice mafia is baying for blood again.

A Saint Paul teacher, Theo Olson, made a perfectly legitimate observation:

screenshot-www.fox9.com 2016-03-09 22-13-04

“Black Lives Matter” of Saint Paul is threatening to – you guessed it – “close down” Como High School over the posting.

(Note to BLM; if you are a one trick pony, eventually people get bored with that one trick.  It might pay to learn a new one.  Just saying).

Now, if you’ve read this blog, you know I’m no huge fan of the public school system.   I’ve got my reasons.  I don’t cut public schools, least of all the SPPS, a whole lot of slack.

But Olson’s right.

And this is another example of a particularly ugly form of anti-intellectual know-nothingism that’s sweeping ” progressive” circles in “progressive” cesspools like Saint Paul; shaming and attacking and calling “racist” the very act of questioning BLM.

For any reason!

At all!

Of course, the SPPS’ leadership will be too pusillanimous to react as it should.  It’s sort of baked into their organizational DNA.