Race-Based Admissions at UNC

The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, is under fire and in the courts over its fundamentally racist admissions policy.  Plaintiffs are arguing that UNC violates Supreme Court rulings by giving too much weight to applicants’ race. The problem, though, is that any weight to race is too much, is fundamentally racist.  The Supreme Court’s rulings don’t go far enough to bar this behavior.  As things stand, though, the plaintiffs have a case IMNSHO.

Religious Bigotry?

North Dakota wants to let its high schools teach a Bible studies class, and the ACLU (among others) has gotten its institutional panties in a twist over it. State Congressman Aaron McWilliams (R) has a bill moving through the State’s legislature that would achieve that.  He said

The intention of this bill is to provide an option to schools to teach a class on the bible from a historical perspective.  My position is that no religious text should be excluded from being taught as it relates to the historical or philosophical influences in our history or on our society today.

Union Greed

Teachers union style.  The Los Angeles Unified School District is so close to out of money that, under California law, the LA county is obligated to take the district into functional receivership under its own control if money gets much shorter.

It’s about to, and they’re about to.  The United Teachers Los Angeles union has said it will strike the school district, demanding more money—twice as much as it’s been offered—if it can’t get more money for its teachers and get rival, and educationally superior, charter schools capped on the State resources they receive.

Racism and Naming Schools

Jason Willick had an op-ed in Friday’s Wall Street Journal that recounted a failed effort to rename a Palo Alto, CA, middle school in honor of an American WWII war hero. That hero was PFC and Silver Star recipient Fred Minoru Yamamoto of the US Army’s 442nd Regimental Combat Team; he was killed in action in 1944 in the Vosges, in eastern France, by German artillery.

PC Police-ism

In re the matter of Professor Richard Ned Lebow, of King’s College London, and Professor Simona Sharoni, of Merrimack College and a member of the International Studies Association, the ISA’s Executive Committee has spoken.

I demur from the ISA’s politically correct (if ever there were an oxymoron, here is one) position, in particular their Item 7.

7) … Although you explained that your comment was intended as a joking reference to an old, cultural trope, your email was not apologetic and PRR (and eventually ExComm) found that it was marginalizing and trivializing Prof. Sharoni’s reaction to your comment and that it was an attempt to intimidate her….

A Necessary Start

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is on the verge of issuing actual rules (not “guidance” letters) directing the way in which colleges and universities must handle accusations of sexual assault.  These rules will include

  • the right of every survivor to be taken seriously and the right of every person accused to know that guilt is not predetermined
  • both the alleged victim and the accused would be able to inspect and review all evidence
  • All Title IX hearings would include cross-examination, which could occur in-person or by live stream, with campus adjudicators allowed to observe the demeanor of witnesses as they assess credibility

Bullying

You can’t wear the clothes you can afford to buy, that are good quality, and that look nice without being ostentatious (you can’t wear your ostentatious rags, either, come to that).  That’s bullying, don’t you know.

That’s the attitude of the Church of England’s Woodchurch High School in northwestern England (it’s across the Mersey from Liverpool—yes, that Mersey).  They’re pretending to “poverty proof” their school, so they sent a letter to their students’ significant overseers (the institution actually refered to “parents/carers”:

As you are all aware from an email that was sent out yesterday, pupils will not be permitted to bring in Canadian (sic) Goose and Monclair (sic) coats after the Christmas break.

Hillary Clinton, School Curriculum, and Censorship

The Texas State Board of Education had been considering dropping ex-Presidential candidate (among other accomplishments) Hillary Clinton (D) from its social studies curriculum.  Last Tuesday, the board voted 12-2 (plus one abstention) to keep her in the curriculum, for now.  The two nay voters had their reasons.

I just do not respect the woman.  As far as I’m concerned, she’s done a lot of detrimental things to our country.

And

The Benghazi thing did it for me.

Race and College Admission

During final arguments in the civil suit against Harvard over its use of race in its admission decisions, Harvard’s lawyers insisted that

plaintiffs had to prove admissions officers were motivated by racial animus….

This is a disingenuous argument, though. Racial animus isn’t necessary to get a disparate impact ruling.  With disparate impact established in the courts, for the time being, it’s clear that racial animus doesn’t have to be proved in Harvard’s bias case, either.

The Harvard lawyers weren’t through, though.

Harvard’s lawyers said race is only used as a preference among the most competitive applicants, in the same way exceptional musical talent can make a difference in admissions.

Right Answer, Wrong Dissent

The Washington State Supreme Court issued a ruling favorable to the State’s charter schools last Thursday.  The question before the court was whether those charter schools were violating the State’s constitution by receiving funding from the State’s lottery facilities.  Writing for the court, Justice Mary Yu wrote in plain words,

Charter schools are not rendered unconstitutional just because they do not operate identically to common school[.]

She expanded on that in addressing the plaintiffs’ argument that the charter schools lacked voter control, holding that, as The Seattle Times paraphrased her,