Why Johnny Can’t Read

News Flash:  The citizens, taxpayers and parents of Osseo, MN have discovered what the parents of Saint Paul, Edina and some other Twin Cities’ area communities have found out:  focusing to exclusion on “white privilege” as the reason for the achievement gap doesn’t actually change, or even affect, the achievement gap.

Unlike other Twin CIties communities, Osseo’s actually been able to do something about it; they’ve bagged their contract with Pacific Education Group – the company that has turned privilege-shaming into an eight-figure business model – the company:

In 2012, the Osseo Area School District hired Pacific Education Group (PEG) to help with the high suspension rate amongst its non-white students and achievement gap issue the schools faced. Last year, the school board cancelled its contract with the racial equity consultants after abiding by its suggestions for five years and watching the racial achievement gap grow.

Wait – grow, you say?

What is clear for Osseo according to statistics obtained from Minnesota’s Department of Education, math scores for black students in the School District have steadily declined, dropping from 33 percent in 2014 (which was above the statewide level) to 29 percent in 2017. In the same time period, math scores for white students remain largely unchanged at 73 percent. In reading, black students maintained a 36 percent proficiency in the same time period, while the gap with their white counterparts grew from 73 percent in 2014 to 74 percent in 2017.

No huge surprise – it’s pretty much true everywhere.

The surprise?  We’ve actually found a school board that’ll tell the Emperor he’s walking around naked:

“The problem is hard to fix when you have good teachers who are thinking about quitting, but you can’t help them because you’ve been sworn to not reveal their names,” Gerhart told Alpha News. “We have a staff that is currently about 80% white, so in effect we are using taxpayer money to systematically shame 4/5ths of our staff for simply being born.”

Gerhart describes an environment where teachers were afraid to step forward – teachers who were physically and verbally threatened and abused on a daily basis by their students.

The problem, of course, is that like most “progressive” “efforts”, the end results end up being indistinguishable from Stalin’s CHeKA, or the Spanish Inquisition:

“PEG has instilled a culture of fear among a number of teachers,” Gerhart states. “PEG likes to talk about having ‘courageous conversations,’ however in reality they have a number of ‘protocols’ in place that you have to agree and adhere to before taking part in the ‘conversation.’  These protocols frame the context of the discussion before the conversation even takes place, in essence disallowing true discussion much less debate or disagreement. If a person does not agree to these basic protocols, it is regarded as evidence of that person’s inherent racism. And remember, according to PEG, all white people are inherently racist no matter what, so a number of our teachers simply keep their mouths shut for fear of being labeled “racist” and getting fired or bullied out of their jobs.”

The “Conversation” is always defined by them.  Which means it’s never a conversation.

Congratulations, people of Osseo.  Your elected officials have exhibited just the faintest shred of courage.  It almost beggars the imagination.

 

 

George Barron

When people talk about what is wrong with American education today, at the end of the day most of the answers come back as some variation of “there aren’t more teachers out there like George Barron used to be”.

George Barron was my high school chemistry teacher…sort of.  He passed away late last month.

I say he was “sort of” my chemistry teacher because it didn’t really go well.  I mention this lest you think that this is going to turn into one of those Pollyanna-ish stories about teachers – Stand and Deliver or Mister Holland’s Opus or Watch Misplaced Teacher Turn The Meth-Heads Into Math-Heads or whatever –  where some plucky teacher triumphs over the recalcitrant kid (and the system that keeps them down, natch) and teaches everyone the Big Lesson by the end of the story.   It’s not.

Well, not directly.  Indirectly, it very much is.  But we’ll come back to that.

A solid generation before I took his chemistry class, George Barron was – or so I was told – a Navy dive-bomber pilot.  He didn’t talk about the war – none of the small group of teachers that were WWII veterans ever did – although he did make sure we knew that, during the war, he trusted his life to a tailgunner not much older than we.  Us, on the other hand?  He didn’t trust us to fetch donuts from the bakery. We had a way to go before we got there.

Judging by old high school annuals, Mr. Barron got out of the Navy, came to Jamestown, and became a chemistry teacher.  I know he was teaching when my father was a student, back in the fifties; he was still there when my dad came back to teach in the mid-sixties, and he was still teaching in 1979 when I was a sophomore in high school.  His legend preceded him; you learned a lot from his classes (Jamestown High School produced an inordinate number of doctors and scientists in those days, all of them alums of Barron’s classes), but he was tough.  .

I was not.  Not academically, at least.  I’d spent 9th and 10th grade bored out of my skull; English was a mind-numbing reiteration of grammar classes; History was taught by football coaches who had read less of the material than I had; but for languages (three years of German), Orchestra and Stage Band, I had pretty well checked out.

Which wasn’t a great start.

Toward the end of my sophomore year, as we were signing up for next year’s classes, we got a mimeographed sheet from Mr. Barron explaining that:

  • People who wanted to go to college took Chemistry.  People who wanted to go to Vocational school took “Practical Chemistry” from Barron’s associate, Mr. Scherbenske.  People who wanted neither, took neither.
  • He was tough, and made no excuses for it.  He had standards, and if you didn’t measure up, you’d get an “F”.

The page included a list of students who’d succeeded, and students who’d dropped the class – which struck me as a little odd at the time.  But I signed up anyway.

Of course, on top of everything else my junior year, Chemistry hit me like a truck.  Oh, Mr. Barron’s class hit everyone like a truck – but I was really, truly not ready for that.   I was disorganized, didn’t really have the math down, and just could not keep up.

I’d love to say there was an inspirational speech, or some moment standing at the blackboard trying to calculate a reaction where I had a blinding flash of epiphany that would be presented in a movie with a montage of late-night studying, slow improvement, and cutaway shots of Mr. Barron’s implacable grimace slowly softening into the hint of a smile.

But that’s Hollywood.  Me?  I cratered.  After my first six-weeks’ grade (a solid “F”), I dropped the class.  No, I didn’t switch to study hall; I managed to talk my way into Latin I; I started seven weeks behind the rest of the class, and caught up by the end of the semester.

My other classes?  I jumped from the C’s and D’s and occasional F’s of my first two years of high school to mostly A’s and B’s.  This was also my first year at the radio station – and I threw myself into that as well, and learned a lot of radio by the end of the year.  Part of it was that I was finally taking classes I cared about, and taking them from teachers who actually cared about the material themselves – my dad’s speech class, writing and a few others in particular.

Part of it was to not only live down, but expunge the stench of “quitting”.

Toward the end of my junior year, a sophomore friend handed me a copy of Mr. Barron’s mimeograph for the next year’s class. My stomach fell down my leg in an icy ball of confusion; I was listed among the kids who’d dropped the class.

My first reaction was to hunt him down and make him eat a bunson burner.  But the girl who’d sat behind me in class – let’s call her Lori – said “he’s just putting you out there as an example of a smart kid who didn’t gel with the class”.  It may have been BS, but I felt a little better.

The main point being, I spent the rest of that year, and the next, living that scarlet “Q” down.  And through four years of college, where I averaged over 20 credits a semester.  And the decades since, where in trial after trial, “don’t quit” has been the only real palatable solution.

And I owe that to Mr. Barron.

His “practical chem” colleague, another former Barron student, and my dad’s chess partner, Mr. Scherbenske, wrote a memorial to Mr. Barron in my hometown paper that sums the man up pretty well.

Government Is All Things We’re Incompetent At Together

What happens when you try to solve a problem by creating a bureaucracy full of rent-seeking, graft-splitting government sinecures designed mostly to provide a steady income to unelected members of the political class?

Well, the problem doesn’t go away, if that’s what you’re wondering about.

After fifteen years of exquisitely expensive “effort to address the achievement gap” in the Saint Paul schools…

…oh, do I even need to say it?

Fifteen years into a nationwide push to provide every student with an equal education, Minnesota schools have grown more segregated and the state’s nation-leading academic achievement gap refuses to close.

Minnesota now has more than 200 schools where students of color make up 90 percent or more of the enrollment, state data shows. That’s more than double what the state had in 2002, when the federal No Child Left Behind Act reinvigorated the national campaign for school equity.

If it doesn’t involve blowing up enemies or prosecuting offenders, then everything government does pretty much involves transferring money to bureaucrats.

Rebooting Berkeley

This email was circulated at Berkeley earlier this week, according to an acquaintance of mine:

 “Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
This fall, the issue of free speech will once more engage our community in powerful and complex ways. Events in Charlottesville, with their racism, bigotry, violence and mayhem, make the issue of free speech even more tense. The law is very clear; public institutions like UC Berkeley must permit speakers invited in accordance with campus policies to speak, without discrimination in regard to point of view. The United States has the strongest free speech protections of any liberal democracy; the First Amendment protects even speech that most of us would find hateful, abhorrent and odious, and the courts have consistently upheld these protections.
But the most powerful argument for free speech is not one of legal constraint—that we’re required to allow it—but of value. The public expression of many sharply divergent points of view is fundamental both to our democracy and to our mission as a university. The philosophical justification underlying free speech, most powerfully articulated by John Stuart Mill in his book On Liberty, rests on two basic assumptions. The first is that truth is of such power that it will always ultimately prevail; any abridgement of argument therefore compromises the opportunity of exchanging error for truth. The second is an extreme skepticism about the right of any authority to determine which opinions are noxious or abhorrent. Once you embark on the path to censorship, you make your own speech vulnerable to it.
Berkeley, as you know, is the home of the Free Speech Movement, where students on the right and students on the left united to fight for the right to advocate political views on campus. Particularly now, it is critical that the Berkeley community come together once again to protect this right. It is who we are.
Nonetheless, defending the right of free speech for those whose ideas we find offensive is not easy. It often conflicts with the values we hold as a community—tolerance, inclusion, reason and diversity. Some constitutionally-protected speech attacks the very identity of particular groups of individuals in ways that are deeply hurtful. However, the right response is not the heckler’s veto, or what some call platform denial. Call toxic speech out for what it is, don’t shout it down, for in shouting it down, you collude in the narrative that universities are not open to all speech. Respond to hate speech with more speech.
We all desire safe space, where we can be ourselves and find support for our identities. You have the right at Berkeley to expect the university to keep you physically safe. But we would be providing students with a less valuable education, preparing them less well for the world after graduation, if we tried to shelter them from ideas that many find wrong, even dangerous. We must show that we can choose what to listen to, that we can cultivate our own arguments and that we can develop inner resilience, which is the surest form of safe space. These are not easy tasks, and we will offer support services for those who desire them.
This September, Ben Shapiro and Milo Yiannopoulos have both been invited by student groups to speak at Berkeley. The university has the responsibility to provide safety and security for its community and guests, and we will invest the necessary resources to achieve that goal. If you choose to protest, do so peacefully. That is your right, and we will defend it with vigor. We will not tolerate violence, and we will hold anyone accountable who engages in it.
We will have many opportunities this year to come together as a Berkeley community over the issue of free speech; it will be a free speech year. We have already planned a student panel, a faculty panel and several book talks. Bridge USA and the Center for New Media will hold a day-long conference on October 5; PEN, the international writers’ organization, will hold a free speech convening in Berkeley on October 23. We are planning a series in which people with sharply divergent points of view will meet for a moderated discussion. Free speech is our legacy, and we have the power once more to shape this narrative.
Sincerely,
Carol Christ
Chancellor”
In between the lines, it looks like the Chancellor is trying to reboot Berkeley’s policy to disallow violent suppression of dissenting opinions.  This is a marked contrast from the University’s behavior over the winter.
Of course, the real bellwether would be “how do the campus’s tiny conservative minority fare in day to day interactions”.   That’s the part I’m most intrested in.
But it’ll be interesting to see if this announcement is followed up with effective execution – and if any other schools follow suit.

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.