School Dazed

Over the past few weeks, the news that young men are rapidly heading toward being a superminority – 1/3 of the population – at America’s colleges and universities has seemed to come as a surprise to the bits and pieces of the media that have reported on it at all – like, for instance, this piece in The Atlantic,

Of course, this has been anticipated literally for decades. I first read the prediction in 2000, in Christina Hoff-Summers’ The War on Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Young Men

And it’s been a significant subject on this blog since the beginning, no less than when I spent quite a bit of time wrestling with modern education’s treatment of boys, most notably my son and stepson. . The Atlantic piece all but dismisses the notion that modern adademia (and its product and farm club, K-12 education) pathologizes boyhood, and that systematic discrimination sours boys on education even before modern post-secondary academia takes over and treats “maleness” like a mental illness. I think the article is wrong, and I’d welcome a serious, frank (read “no holds barred”) debate on the subject.

But I come here not to recap views of the disease, about which I have few doubts, but to ask questions about the treatment.

Boys are opting out of school – post-secondary education, in this case, but it applies across non-vocational higher education and non-engineering and hard-science spaces (which continue to be fairly male-dominated, despite decades of effort) . And it’s causing…

…well, “concern” may be an overstatement.

My pullquote from the Atlantic piece:

The implications of the college gender gap for individual men are troubling but uncertain. “My biggest immediate worry is that men are making the wrong decision,” Goldin said. “I worry they’ll come to severely regret their choice if they realize the best jobs require a degree they never got.” There is also the issue of dating. College grads typically marry college grads. But this trend of associative mating will hit some turbulence, at least among heterosexual people; if present trends continue, the dating pool of college grads could include two women for every guy. As women spend more time in school and their male peers dwindle as a share of the college population, further delays in marriage and childbirth may ensue. That would further reduce U.S. fertility rates, which worries some commentators, albeit not all.

Background

I not only went to college, I got a BA in English. And, perhaps unexpectedly given the state of modern higher ed, I went in a fairly “progressive” but not very well-read Democrat, and came out four years later a Reagan conservative – because of my English major adviser.

I’m sure he’d have been cashiered from academia, or at least the humanities academy, these days.

I got, in short, the sort of humanities education that today trips a whole lot of social and political triggers, but set me up for not only the life I have today but system of beliefs by which I live (and about which I write on this blog and talk on my radio show) pretty darn well, conservatism and all.

Of course, higher ed has changed a lot in the past 35 years. The academy, which tended to lean left when I was in college, has toppled over to the left today. Conservative thought is not only scarce, in some cases it is actively hunted down, intellectually speaking (so far).

A Pox?

The response from a lot of my conservative and libertarian friends has been along the lines of “Good! Get our young guys to go to tech school or do apprenticeships and become mechanics and plumbers and HVAC techs!”

There’s a practical side to that; the modern secondary education seems to consider high school grads who don’t go to college as defeats, personal slights to them as teachers. But, obviously, not everyone wants, or is suited, to be a teacher, an administrator, a professional. Destigmatizing the trades would be a wonderful thing.

But there’s a social and political side as well; some say it’s high time for young conservatives to secede from academia, go into the trades. A pox on the whole house of academia.

I get it.

But thinking back on 17 year old me? The closest thing I had to an interest in the trades was working in radio, which I’d most definitely learned on the job (then as now) – and which, to be fair, turned out to be a career, albeit not a lucrative one. Beyond that? 17 year old Mitch, just as *&^% year old Mitch, lived in his head, not with his hands, for better or worse. Even with hindsight, I can’t think of a trade I would have been happy with. (Happy with learning to a basic level of competence is another story; I’d love to have retained some of the electricity or carpentry knowledge I picked up along the way, but that’s purely avocational, not a career goal).

But it was a moot point, because when I was 17, college was not only moderately affordable, it was presented as a place to learn the tools to think critically about the smorgasbord of ideas pelting one about one’s head.

And the first 13 years of school hadn’t beaten all love of learning out of most of us guys.

Eating The Seed Corn

So I completely support destigmatizing the vocational education track.

And I understand the impetus to chuck the whole thing.

But as the masculine half of this nation’s collective brain gets pushed out of the “Brain” half of this nation’s public life, what does it get replaced with?

The feminine half?

Forget for a moment that it’s a “Feminine” half trained by, well, modern academia, with all of its current adjectives (post-structural, proto-Marxist, anti-Western-Civilization, and I could probably go on from there). Leave that out of it completely for a moment.

What happens to a nation that cedes its public intellectual life entirely to its feminine half?

Men and women lead differently, process threats and stress differently, appraise situations very differently.

And that difference can be a good thing.

But what happens when the doors that do get opened to college grads – the thinking, rather than doing jobs – have nothing but women going through them?

It’s been de rigeur since the late seventies to reflexively bark “a society and world run by women would be perfect! No war, no hunger – it’d be like having Mom run everything!”

Which, like all “progressive” fever dreams, is reductionist baked wind. A society whose entire intellectual direction is run by women – especially a society which has become as centralized, bureaucratized, credentialized and driven by increasingly stratified institutions as ours is becoming – would have different dysfunctions than a completely masculine society, but dysfunctional it would remain.

And beyond that – quick: someone show me a matriarchal society throughout all of human history that has survived prolonged conflict with an aggressive patriarchal one? History bids us to look at sub-Saharan Africa, where indigenous culture is highly matriarchal…

…and was easily steamrollered by the aggressive, patriarchal, militaristic Bantu, Swahili, and other masculine mega-tribes.

Families, across all of society, need male and female influences to thrive and survive.

So do the societies themselves.

And we’ve known for a generation, now, that we’re slowly losing that, on an intellectual level. Some of the dumber among us are celebrating it.

It’s going to be a big problem in the future.

Left on The Table

The National Education Association – the organization that actually does ruthlessly wield the money and influence Big Left attributes to the NRA – is tripling down on “social and economic justice” and Critical Race Theory.

You can read the article (about the NEA’s attempts to silence opposition and extend the social justice curricula) at your leisure.

My big question is one that we really need voters to be asking Republican candidates, especially in Minnesota. School choice, we’re seeing, is a winning issue; we see this in the “Tea Party”-like uprisings of parents all over the country against CRT.

And yet – will Minnesota Republican candidates ever come into the city to try to make their cases to charter school parents – overwhelmingly black, Latino, Asian or immigrant? The Democrats and the Teachers Union, pardon the redundancy – and even some of their proxy warriors want to kill charter schools and all meaningful school choice.

And yet you can count on zero fingers the number of GOP gubernatorial, Senate or Consitutitonal Office candidates who’ve even shown up to try to contest the battlefield.

Why does the Minnesota GOP need to be, and stay, so stupid?

A Little Hope

This video’s been making the rounds. I’ve had at least a half dozen people refer it to me. It’s Brad Taylor, speaking last week at the Rosemount School Board, on how his education has already been given over to indoctrination:

I give speaker points: the kid is excellent.

All you folks moving to the third-tier burbs looking to escape the lunacy? The lunacy is following you. Running away ain’t gonna work. You’re going to have to stand and fight.

And a few thousand more like Mr. Taylor and his like (I’m looking at you, Kyle Kashuv, wherever yo88u are) it may be a fair fight.

As re getting him on the NARN? My people are already calling his people.

New Wrinkle

When last we met Rashad Turner, he was the firebrand leader of the Saint Paul chapter of BLM.

What a difference a couple years can make:

It would seem Turner started having misgivings about BLM for some of the same reasons I did – the organization joined with the Teachers union to piddle on the charter schools that are the lifeboats for so many kids, disproportionally minority, in the city.

He’s appearing at an event tomorrow evening at Willy McCoy’s in, I believe, Champlin, along with Kendall Qualls, the former CD3 candidate who’s been running “TakeChargeMN” – the group that produced Turner’s video, and which is aiming to evangelize the black community on the things that used to make it strong; family, faith, and an actual education.

I’m looking forward to it.

All In This Together. Yuuup.

Vice President – and let’s be honest, future President, most likely after January 2023, so she has the statutory opportunity to “serve” two full terms of her own – Harris, expressing her deep empathy for working parents with kids at home:

If homeschooling, charter school and private school activists don’t start using this in their ads, they have only themselves to blame.

Logic

No less an authority than Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream informs me that public schools are hotbeds of systemic racism.

No less an authority than President Trump informed me that racism is evil.

Plainly, then, the conclusion must be obvious: public schools are evil.

Minnesota spends more than $13 Billion per year promoting evil.

We should stop doing that. 

We should close all public schools at once.

Parents who care about education and who can afford to send their children to private school, will.

Parents who care about education but who can’t afford to send their children to private school, will home school.

Parents who care about education but who can’t afford to send their children to private school nor to home school them will be out of luck and their children will grow up ignorant and poor like their parents who probably were Trump voters anyway, so they deserve it.

Teachers, administrators, support staff laid off when the schools close, should learn to code.

Joe Doakes

The thing about calling racism “structural” is you gotta get rid of the “structure” to fix it.

For Me But Not For Ye Yadda Yadda Bla Bla

California teachers union official who’s spent months claiming that schools are unsafe…

…you already know where this is going, don’t you? Yet another Democrat official demanding compliance from the proles, while seizing special treatment for them and theirs. Right?

Right. And you know he’s a Democrat, because, well, he’s white, and elected, and in Berkeley, and I’ll just defer to the physical description:

“White man with dreads”. Only Urban Progressive Privilege conveys that level of immunity to charges of “cultural appropriation”.

Anyway – Meyer was caught on tape by “reopening” activists dropping his kids off at a private pre-school. I’ve added emphasis:

“Meet Matt Meyer. White man with dreads and president of the local teachers’ union,” the group wrote in a tweet on Saturday along with video footage of Meyer. “He’s been saying it is unsafe for *your kid* to be back at school, all the while dropping his kid off at private school.”

Meyer told Fox News in a statement that the video, which blurred out his child’s face, was “very inappropriate” and an intrusion of his child’s privacy. He added that there were “no public options for kids her age.”

Right – because of him, his union, and the state government over which both have inordinate control.

The Democrats are going to need another Republican to go to Cancun, and stat.

Indoctrination

Whatever you do, don’t you dare suggest public schools have become leftist indoctrination factories:


According to whistleblower documents and a source within the school, a fifth-grade teacher at the inner-city William D. Kelley School designed a social studies curriculum to celebrate Davis, praising the “black communist” for her fight against “injustice and inequality.” As part of the lesson, the teacher asked students to “describe Davis’ early life,” reflect on her vision of social change, and “define communist”—presumably in favorable terms.

At the conclusion of the unit, the teacher led the ten- and eleven-year-old students into the school auditorium to “simulate” a Black Power rally to “free Angela Davis” from prison, where she had once been held while awaiting trial on charges of conspiracy, kidnapping, and murder. The students marched on the stage, holding signs that read “Black Power,” “Jail Trump,” “Free Angela,” and “Black Power Matters.” They chanted about Africa and ancestral power, then shouted “Free Angela! Free Angela!” as they stood at the front of the stage.

Apologists may respond “this is an anomaly! Not all public schools try to get away with this kind of thing!”

No. Just the ones in districts so blue that there will be no consequences – serving both to socialize (heh heh) the concept with other teachers, and to lower the bar of what’s “acceptable” elsewhere; “Oh, fer gosh sakes, Edina doesn’t have them chant “Free Angela” and talk about black “ancestral power”. No, perish the thought. We just study why Angela Davis is a hero (omitting all context about her crimes and communism itself, naturally), and why “whiteness” is a social cancer. Totally different things!”

Remember – Berg’s 21st Law is pretty clear on this: “When it comes to “progressive” policy, yesterday’s absurd joke is today’s serious proposal and tomorrow’s potential law”

Don’t be surprised.

Bad News / Good News

The bad news: As I observed with Ann Bauer while filling in for Brad Carlson last week, lockdowns are killing kids – especially kids who are, like so many these days, predisposed to mental illness:

Millions of American kids are struggling, and their chances for long-term improved mental health is predicated on the notion that we will now prioritize their emotional well-being, which our society has tragically shown it has no intention of doing.

Our hope for raising an emotionally healthy and mentally stable generation is dissipating with every day kids are kept locked in their bedrooms and out of schools. Skyrocketing rates of depression and anxiety are in no small part due to the fact that children feel neglected and forgotten, and they are not wrong to feel that way.

Our society has abandoned them and treated them as disposable. The damage caused by this abandonment is incalculable, and compounding every day we allow inertia, irrationality and the craven priorities of teachers unions to rule our decision-making.

The good news?

What, are you new around here? This is progressivism at work, operating through its wholly owned subsidiaries “Big Education” and “Big Karen”. Short of turning our culture around, there is none.

Government By Platitude

Governor Walz released…

…well, he called it his “education plan”, earlier this week.

Those of us who work in business – which significantly, has never included anyone in our executive branch – can identify what this…thing, is.

It’s a two page list of platitudes. One and a half when you leave out the header.

None of it has specifics. None of it is testable to see if it’s working or isn’t, in any way. And while we are assured that there’s more “plan” coming, mark my words – there’ll be no more substance in the thousands of pages of institutional gobbledigook that are surely to come.

But let’s translate the terms from their current Educational/Bureaucratic dialect – the form of English with the lowest signal to noise ratio of all our many argots – into actual English:

  • “‘Caring and Qualified’ Teachers” – Get ready to get logrolled with a few years of sob stories about how underpaid teachers, especially in the Metro, are.
  • “Expand opportunities and mental health staff” – Full employment for soft-science and non-profiteers in the school system.
  • “Statewide Mentor Program to help retain teachers” –
  • “Expand full service community school model statewide” – We need to expand the system’s efficiency at transferring taxpayer dollars, not just to Education Minnesota, but to the non-profit/industrial complex that’s attached to it like a remora fish – and all you schools in greater Minnesota need to step up and do your bit.
  • “Establish an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Center” – Because why should we pay Pacific Consulting Group millions to screw up our schools when we’ve got PCG-trained career bureaucrats who can do it for us. Although we’ll still be transferring plenty of wealth to PCG.
  • “Expand rigorous coursework options” – You bought an education system! Now, for just a few billion more, you can have one that actually teaches stuff to kids! Maybe!
  • “Prioritize school funding to the students that need it most” and “Guarantee that compensatory aid funding supports students traditionally left behind” – jigger the various knobs and levers to move more money to the Metro.
  • “One time investment to ensure pandemic enrollment loss does not negatively affect students.” – parents and students are bailing on the public schools in record numbers. We need a bailout.
  • “Strengthen community and school partnerships” – No “community” non-profit left behind.

Hope that helps.

Bigotry Of Bizarre Expectations

Kind of a good news, bad news situation here. But maybe not in the way you think.

A teachers union president in Washington State refers to reopening schools as a “white supremacist” initiative.

The good – or “good” – news: this is an example of the type of rhetorical, social and policy overreach one can expect when “progressives” – in this case invariably white, middle-class, and visibly “progressive” – find themselves in power. This statement – literally, “wanting your kids back in schools, and wanting some sense of stability and normalcy for their mental health, at a time when teenage suicide is exploding all over the country, is racist” is the very definition of “2+2=5” – mental health is mental illness, concern for kids is a pathology, truth is lies. (And the ability to say it without having ones own peers pelt one with rocks and garbage is Urban Progressive Privilege).

ut another way, evil – no scare quotes. Inverting moral truth and moral falsehood is as textbook a definition of venial evil as exists.

That’s the “good” news.

The bad news? About half the country, as this is written, doesn’t know any better, or just doesn’t want to think about it that hard.

Memory

Memory is a survival trait.

Squirrels remember where they buried the nut, so they can eat it later
to survive the winter.  Those that don’t, die.

Children remember burning their finger, so they treat fire
respectfully.  Those who don’t, burn to death.

Conservatives remember past public policy disasters, so we can avoid
repeating them.  We use monuments and books to help us remember.

Liberals remember . . . nothing.  Nothing ever happened before they were
born, except slavery, which was bad and therefore everything that
happened before they were born, is bad.  So it must all be torn down and
thrown out and replaced with something that sounds better.  And it must
be done right now, because Liberals have no patience for history lessons
or experience or hard-gained wisdom.  Why would they need any?  What
could possibly go wrong?

Half the population believes President Trump bungled the Covid response
by failing to impose a travel ban and nation-wide lock-down in January,
when Covid hit the news.  They literally cannot remember that we spent
January dealing with impeachment, or the World Health Organization
telling us Covid was nothing to worry about, or hand washing and
elbow-bumps as sensible precautions, or all the Democrat protests over
banned flights from China.  They believe 200 million Americans died of
Covid because they don’t remember differently.

Loss of memory is an anti-survival trait and half our society is eagerly
embracing it.  This does not bode well for the continued existence of
the nation.

Joe Doakes

I’m not sure it’s entirely fair to say “Progressives” (I’m not gonna continue debasing the term “liberal” – the left did enough of that) have no memory.

Orwell showed us how important controlling history – our “collective” story about ourselves – was to a would-be tyrant. This has been borne out in countless socialist and totalitarian regimes – knowing the wrong history could be a lethal error.

Having the correct memory, the one one is told to have, correctly and punctually, is a survival trait, historically (ahem) on the left.

The Fix

Macalester students, forced to “study” remotely, get not a dime’s worth of break on their tuition.

Their institutions’ president has other priorities:

Now might be a fine time for conservative entrepreneurs to start getting into the higher ed business.

He/She/Whatever Who Forgets History Is Susceptible To Democrat Drivel

It’s possible that the collapse of public education isn’t a plot to make society dumber and more susceptible to totalitarian meddling.

But it’s hard to figure how they’d do a better job of it if they were trying:

Nearly 20 percent of millennials and Gen Z in New York believe Jews caused the Holocaust, according to a new survey released Wednesday.

The findings come from the first-ever 50-state survey on the Holocaust knowledge of American millennials and Gen Z, which was commissioned by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.

For instance, although there were more than 40,000 camps and ghettos during World War II, 58 percent of respondents in New York cannot name a single one.

Additionally, 60 percent of respondents in New York do not know that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust.

It was my observation when my kids were in school – over a decade ago, in the Saint Paul Public Schools – that the only things they learned in their various social studies classes were slavery and civil rights.

No “Federalist Papers” or origins of the Constitution. Nothing about the Civil War but slavery.

Nothing about the rise of progressivism, the causes of the Depression, World War II. Nothing about the sixties but Civil Rights.

Again – that was anecdotal, and entirely possibly wrong. But I’ve found little reason to not assume I’m at least largely right on this.

And this article is certainly a plaintiff’s exhibit.

Cop Out

Hopkins School Board Vice-Chair Chris LaTondresse – did he tell you he’s an “Obama administration alum” yet?

The Defund the Police movement hitches it’s wagons into the western suburbs.

In the apparently halcyon days of April 2018, students and school officials of the Hopkins School District gathered together in what was called “National Walkout Day” in memory of the horrific tragedy of the Columbine school shootings 19 years earlier.  Students spoke of issues of gun control and school safety.  And while none of the student speakers were even alive when Columbine occurred, a common theme of seeking safety at school echoed in the various speeches.

A time-traveler from that April day in 2018 would have a hard time reconciling the Hopkins School District of just two and-a-half years later as the School Board voted to keep guns out of their schools – guns in the form of local police protection:

The Hopkins school board on Tuesday night embraced a student-led call to remove police from Hopkins High School — with the action to come at year’s end.

The 6-1 vote brings a suburban voice to a national movement that has sought to end the use of school resource officers, or SROs.

The move to defund Hopkins School Resource Officers comes after several months of intense online lobbying by a group calling themselves “CopsOutHHH” and a poll of Hopkins students in favor of the movement – a poll in which only 183 of the District’s 1,600 students voted.  By the end of the year, Hopkins will sever it’s relationship with the Minnetonka Police Department (the Hopkins School District includes parts of Edina and Minnetonka) in a move that supporter and Board Vice Chair Chris LaTondresse bizarrely described as not actually “defunding” the police since the contract was due to expire anyway.

LaTondresse, a DFL endorsed candidate for Hennepin County Commissioner who touts his consulting work for USAID as making him an “Obama administration alum” in the same way that I apparently was a member of Congress because I visited Washington D.C. once, claims the move will allows for more mental health funding.  Considering the SRO budget is $113,142 out of a budget of $91,502,418, the idea that shifting 0.01% of the School Board’s resources away from security and towards mental health will address either issue is laughable at best and incredibly dangerous at worse.

It’s also a conclusion that files in the face of peer-tested research.  Carleton University conducted a two-year study of SRO programs and in their report, published by Routledge in 2019, they concluded that for every dollar invested in the program, a minimum of $11.13 of social and economic value was created.  While attention would likely focus on the role the SRO could or did play in the estimated 525 school shootings over the past decade (a number in partial dispute as it groups any gun-related incidents on a school campus together), left unreported are the number of incidents prevented by early SRO intervention.  The group Averted School Violence has begun to attempt to collect and analyze such data, a task made somewhat difficult by the very nature of the endeavor – incidents that don’t escalate into violence rarely make the news.

LaTondresse and the Hopkins School Board also want to cite that SROs make students of color fundamentally uncomfortable.  While data can’t contend with feelings, even a Brookings Institute report from 2018 which was less than fully supportive of SROs as agents of school safety didn’t see any correlation between SROs and race.  Brookings believed context for arrest records and racial backgrounds were lacking and thus a poor metric to judge whether or not SROs were more likely to discriminate or otherwise negatively impact minority students.

But no amount of data – or even common sense – was present on Tuesday night as the Hopkins School Board voted to eliminate basic security without even so much as a concept of what would replace their School Resource Officers.  Instead, a small but vocal minority has continued to push a partisan agenda that endangers students for the goal of striking symbolic blow against the police.

Choice

A friend of the blog writes:

Just had an online meeting with our kid’s teacher. Expectations were laid out and kid is expected to be on time and we can expect a daily schedule that has the kid doing school work live, on line from 9-3:30. (There are breaks built in as there are during in person learning). 

We are at a charter school. Compare that expectation with the public school teachers union, who wanted one hour weekly of live in person, online learning.

We need more advocacy work like what Rashad Turner is doing. here. 

These are crazy days indeed, with me being on the same side of an issue as Rashad Turner.

Urban Progressive Privilege: The Free Market Of Ill-Informed, Class-Privilege-Sodden Twaddle They Are Pleased To Call “Ideas”

I listen to NPR so you don’t have to.

And there are some reasons it’s worth it. I mean, that’s where you get Live From Here with Chris Thile.

Well, for now, anyway.

Otherwise, there’s…

…well, a lot of racial virtue-signaling. I suspect the most lilywhite of America’s organizations is fearing a lot of backlash when the Bolsheviks come for the Mensheviks.

Speaking of which, it’s always a bit of a chuckle when the “progressives” that are NPR’s staff, social circle and pool of sources try to explain things like economics to the pool of “progressives” that are NPR’s audience.

Case in point – a piece from yesterday’s All Things Considered, an interview with one Eula Biss, about her new book about Capitalism.

Biss – a “non-fiction writing” major who has lived within the academic echo chamber her entire career, is the author of “Having and Being Had” – a primer on…

…wait for it…

…Capitalism.

Or, rather, a coddled, over-schooled/undereducated resident of the academic echo chamber’s perversion of the cartoon term “capitalism”, itself a hijacked representation of “the free market”…

…not that either term isn’t completely lost on Professor Biss.

Let’s start with this passage, which the NPR crowd will no doubt take for an emanation of wisdom, but merely proves that Biss’s son and babysitter are smarter than she is:

PFEIFFER: At one point, you’re talking about your son paying for a Pokemon card, although someone else thought he overpaid for the Pokemon card. What was it like for you to watch your son try to figure out what something was worth and why and maybe not figuring it out correctly?

BISS: Oh, it was amazing. In watching him learn how to play Pokemon the way it was being played in first and second grade at his school, I felt like I was seeing an economy be invented. But it was also somewhat excruciating to me because I saw the ways in which other children and his babysitter and I were training the values of capitalism into him. So, yes, at one point, he gave away a valuable Pokemon card because he just didn’t like it very much.

And then I heard his babysitter saying to him, were you a smart negotiator? And I thought, oh, no. What are we doing? This kid is only 6, and we’re already training him not to be generous and to get as much out of an exchange as he can possibly get out of it even if he doesn’t care about the thing he’s giving away.

PFEIFFER: Oh, that’s so interesting. I mean, diamonds are objectively very expensive and valuable, but if I don’t care about them and I just want to give them away, is that fine, or is that flawed financial thinking?

BISS: Under the logic of capitalism, it’s insane, right? But by some other logic, it makes perfect sense, especially since diamonds aren’t incredibly useful. You can’t eat them, and you can’t live inside them.

The interview – and one suspects the book – is a cavalcade of white progressive guilt, the sort of consequence-free wailing that afflicts our current layer of pseudointellectual societal overburden:

BISS: One of the things that I didn’t want to have happen to me as I entered this new life and lifestyle [i.e. – bought a house in a tony neighborhood near Northwestern Universitiy] was I didn’t want to begin to think that I had what I had because I’d worked hard, which is one of the patterns of thought very common to upper middle class. I don’t believe that I got what I got because I worked hard. I believe that I got what I got because the system favors me in a number of different ways – one, because I’m white, but also because I started out middle-class.

Notice she doesn’t mention “…because I’m part of an academic-industrial complex to which being a recipient of Urban Progressive Privilege gives me a priority ticket”.

Ms. Biss: If you’re that concerned about the things your “work” didn’t “earn” you, give up your teaching gig at Northwestern and become one of the people you describe later in the interview:

I think one of the possibilities that I could perceive, especially once the pandemic arrived, was the possibility of – what if we compensated the people we speak of as essential workers? So what if everyone who is essential to the daily workings of our lives was paid well and had health insurance and had basic security? That’s entirely possible. It’s even possible within capitalism, but that involves us making a series of changes in policy and, to some extent, in what we collectively value.

It’s entirely possible – say, within the context of a real epidemic, a modern-day Plague with a two-digit mortality rate, something that legitimately shuts down society for the duration of a disease serious enough to impinge even Nancy Pelosi or Lori Lightfoot’s lifestyles – for the skills and presence of “supply chain” workers, from the farm to the Walmart, to become very, very valuable. Vastly moreso than, say, writing professors at Northwestern.

But I don’t think that’s the “policy change” she’s referring to.

The bad news: these are the people teaching the “next generation of leaders”

The not-so-bad news: nobody she teaches will amount to anything outside the academic-industrial complex.

Badly Conceived

The governor’s hybrid school plan troubles me.


 I’ve been informed integrated schools are neccessary so white students get the rich diversity of Black Latino and Asian students in the classroom to share their experiences. Will students coming to school on even-numbered days be carefully selected to balance racial and gender diversity?

I’ve been informed slow students should be mainstreamed with excellent students so they get a social experience. Will the students attending class on odd numbered days be carefully selected to maintain the ratio of geniuses to dummies?

What happens to students who fall behind, perhaps because they lack Wi-Fi, their parents work, they’re unmotivated… Will we still pass them along to maintain progress through grade levels, or will we flunk them?

Troubling

Joe Doakes 

The answer: the same “cracks” into which millions of kids, including a hugely disproportionate number of Twin Cities “students of color”, fell before Covid, just turned into chasms.

The union will wash their hands of those kids (after blaming Orange Hitler and Paul Gazelka); afterwards, of them no more will be spoken.

Wage Terrorists

Teachers unions typically threaten to strike if they don’t get more money. It’s like strapping a bomb to the kid and saying, “Pay us the money or the kid gets it.”

This Time It’s Different. They strapped a bomb to themselves and are saying, “Close the school or the teacher gets it.”

Millions of parents are muttering, “Yeah? Push the damn button.”

Joe Doakes

I’d hate to be a teacher that is, shall we say, a “skeptic” about Education Minnesota these days.

Focus

Education Minnesota has released its legislative priorities.

And it’s focused on students like a dog chasing a squirrel:

Minnesota’s teachers’ union Education Minnesota recently posted its 2020 resolutions, laying out its three priorities for the new year:

1. Get out 100% of the educator vote
2. Take back the state Senate
3. Win full funding for Minnesota students

OK, I lied. Their resolutions are all about browbeating teachers and holding the taxpayer completely hostage.

Could there be a more Orwellian sentence than “win full funding for MInnesota students?”

Some Pathological Liars Are More Equal Than Others

Famous not-actual-Native American Elizabeth Warren, who was not fired from a job for being pregnant, didn’t actually send her kid to public school.

But it took other people, in every case, to make that info public.

The school thing? Oh, yeah:

Sarah Carpenter, a pro-school choice activist who organized a protest of Warren’s Thursday speech in Atlanta, told Warren that she had read news reports indicating the candidate had sent her kids to private school. Though Warren once favored school choice and was an advocate for charter schools, she changed her views while seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.
“We are going to have the same choice that you had for your kids because I read that your children went to private schools,” Carpenter told Warren when the two met, according to video posted to social media, which was first identified by Corey DeAngelis, director of school choice at Reason Foundation.
Warren denied the claim, telling Carpenter, “My children went to public schools.”
A school yearbook obtained by the Washington Free Beacon indicates, however, that Warren’s son, Alex Warren, attended the Kirby Hall School for at least the 1986-1987 school year, Warren’s final year as a professor at the University of Texas at Austin. The college preparatory school is known for its “academically advanced curriculum” and offers small class sizes for students in grades K-12. The yearbook indicates that Alex Warren attended as a fifth grader.

Running as she is for the nomination by party for which an outsized share of delegates work for the Teachers Unions, it makes good sense to throw black families under the bus (and promising “historic investments” is exactly that).

Except within the Democrat party.

#MeThree

This is from a few years ago – but the sentiment is growing, at least among our self-appointed idiot elite. It’s from Roxane Gay, a feminist professor who, for some reason, got a writeup in the NYTimes:

Men can start putting in some of the work women have long done in offering testimony. They can come forward and say “me too” while sharing how they have hurt women in ways great and small.

OK, here goes.

My Testimony: I have hurt women in one small – almost infinitesimal – way; I mock and taunt the likes of Roxane Gay for being the Robespierrian ninnies they truly are. I do the mocking and taunting because bellowing “you people are nothing but pseudointellectual brownshirts, peddling a form of groupthink that can only lead inexorably to totalitarianism” gets tiring.

I mock and taunt them because the world they want – where the “wrong” people are guilty until proven innocent, and innocence can never be proven because guilt is a matter of identity more than action – is worth fighting against. And fighting with mocking and taunting is better than doing it with guns and bombs and tanks, although I doubt the likes of Professor Gay’s followers know how or why.

This mocking and taunting no doubt infuriates Professor Gay – and I no doubt hurt her and her like among the weaker sex (“progressive” “feminist” “woke” “men” and their various female accomplices) in saying so. But much as they all may wish to bully me into acquiescence, I just won’t do it.

Which, no doubt, hurts them even more.

I’m sorry I’m not sorry.

Why Blue America Is Doomed

Math is racist. Achievement is supremacy.

Winston.

Seattle Public Schools adopt program that turns math into yet another grievance studies program:

In October, Seattle public schools unveiled a “framework” to inject “math ethnic studies” into all K-12 math classes, teaching “how math has been and continues to be used to oppress and marginalize people and communities of color.”
Students will be asked to “identify the inherent inequities of the standardized testing system used to oppress and marginalize people and communities of color” and “explain how math dictates economic oppression.”
“Why/how does data-driven processes prevent liberation?” it asks. “How important is it to be Right? What is Right? Says Who?”

It almost reads like the Babylon Bee – which is something I realize I’m saying a lot about the modern American left:

The curriculum was pushed by the school district’s ethnic studies program manager, Tracy Castro-Gill, who on Oct. 19 tweeted a picture with her “Marxist ringleader” and said the “next step is matching “INDOCTRINATED” t-shirts!”
“I am an educator of color in Seattle whose job is anti-racist work within the school district. Seattle is very white — nearly 70%. It’s also one of the most liberal cities in the US, and these liberal, white Seattleites hate being called racist, but the thing is – a lot of them are,” she wrote.
Though she was hired by the superintendent and the school board, Castro-Gill said criticisms of the math proposal from one board member’s Asian wife were racist. She also asked people to “help me push” the board and superintendent to oppose “rewhiting.”

I used to joke that pretty much every “radical atheist” was a Catholic or Evangelical with Daddy issues.

And yet again, the joke is reality:

Castro-Gill wrote on her blog that her mother is white and her father is Hispanic, but that she has a strained relationship.
“I’m fairly radical atheist and consider myself a far left anarchist who fights for racial justice,” she wrote. “My parents are both Trump supporting Republicans.”
She is also at odds with her child’s father after their child declared herself “nonbinary” after reading literature about transgenderism.

Fearless prediction – which I started writing as a joke, but as with all such things, Berg’s 21st Law is in effect here – Ms. Castro-Gill will be hired as a consultant by the Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Edina or Bloomington Public Schools in the near future.

Surprising Precisely Nobody

College Republican display at the U of M’s annual “Paint the Bridge” party vandalized.

For the fourth year in a row:

The group said their panel, which included text reading, “Donald Trump The Wall,” “Draining the Swamp,” and “America FIRST mentality,” was covered up within a day.

I wonder, sometimes, if the Democrats wonder what they’re messing with, here?

Conservatives on American campuses, after swimming upstream for four years and enduring the kind of abuse they endure, are going to be tougher than mule jerky.

In adult life, when those “kids” go up against the left’s generation of children of feckless entitled privlege, they’re going to slash through them like a lawn mower through a cabbage patch.

Campus Republican at Yale terms campus lefties’ eternal rage “Protester Derangement Syndrome”:

Sit-ins, hunger strikes and angry mobs: These are all things I became accustomed to in my late teens and early 20s. No, I haven’t been living in a country experiencing severe political unrest. I am living in New Haven, Conn., and attending Yale University as an undergrad.
While this may sound bizarre to you, behavior typical of a severely oppressed society has taken hold among students who are part of the Ivory Tower. I call it Protester Derangement Syndrome, or PDS for short.
Yale students enjoy luxuries akin to European aristocracy. Students live in resort-style housing that includes lavish feasts, massage parlors and recreational spaces that boast everything from a printing press to a pottery studio. However, Yale students afflicted with PDS display derangement symptoms similar to an oppressed religious cult. They refuse to interact with the world around them. They have demanded the buildings be renamed. They support the desecration of art. They sanitize history by demanding professors exclude certain authors from syllabi.
The Yale administration believes they can treat PDS through concessions and pacification. Unfortunately, their prescription has been ineffective.

I’m gonna so enjoy being “the real world” for these little twerps. Or at least the few of them that actually make it into the productive parts of the private sector, anyway.