Our Pledge of Allegiance and God

A Detroit teacher is forced onto leave now because she forced a student to stand for the class’ routine recital of our Pledge of Allegiance.  Used to be, such disrespect was handled in exactly this way, and quite properly so.

The boy actually had a good reason, though, even if he misunderstood what the pledge of allegiance is about:

God said don’t worship anything other than me, don’t worship any idols, and pledging to a flag would kind of be like worshiping it[.]

What Else?

Adjunct Professor Michael Issacson at the John Jay College, a part of the City University of New York system and a used-to-be prestigious school has expressed his disdain for and hopes for violence against police officers, tweeting

He then showed he meant it, telling the New York Daily News regarding his tweet,

Oh, that s—?  Everybody dies.

The college management’s response?  President Karol Mason in her press release:

A Misconception

The Wall Street Journal wrote an op-ed about Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ speech at George Mason University regarding her intent to withdraw the Obama administration’s infamous Dear Colleague Letter that threatened the due process rights of students accused of sexual assault.  In it, though, the WSJ included a misconception.

The Obama Education Department’s response was to circumvent Congress and neglect normal executive-branch rule-making procedures mandated in the Administrative Procedure Act, such as soliciting public comment. Instead, it simply jammed the policy through by sending out a “Dear Colleague” letter, including an explicit threat that noncomplying schools could lose federal funding.

College Pupils and Administrators

Jean Twenge, a Psychology Professor at San Diego State University, theorizes that the problems the current generation of college pupils has with free speech stems from their having spent “their entire adolescence with smartphones in their hands,” thereby avoiding missing the rough and tumble of face to face interactions with other children, and from their having led an otherwise dismayingly soft life:

iGen’ers grew up in an era of smaller families and protective parenting. They rode in car seats until they were in middle school, bounced on soft-surface playgrounds and rarely walked home from school. For them, unsurprisingly, safety remains a priority, even into early adulthood.

What Do Teachers Unions and the NAACP Have Against Poor Children?

Richard Whitmire, a contributor to The 74, offered some information that might bear on the question in his piece in The Wall Street Journal.  The National Education Association and the NAACP both oppose charter schools, the one because they don’t use union teachers and the other because they attract poor kids to charters and away from inner city public schools in which the NAACP is so politically invested.  In other words, because as Whitmire put it, charters upset the comfortable status quo of these adults.

This is Why We Can’t Have Qualified Non-STEM Graduates

Joyce Chaplin, Professor of Early American History and Chair, American Studies at Harvard—Harvard American history!—illustrated why that is with this tweet of hers:

Joyce E. Chaplin @JoyceChaplin1

The USA, created by int’l community in Treaty of Paris in 1783, betrays int’l community by withdrawing from #parisclimateagreement today

Think about that.  Don’t be distracted by her foolishness on things climate, just think about what the simulated expert on American history tweeted.

Senator Ted Cruz (R, TX) did, also, and he had a couple of tweets.

Ted Cruz @tedcruz

The Rise of the PRC

Graham Allison, Director of the Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard, had some thoughts in The Boston Globe.  Here’s one that’s not in the usual political or military race discussion.

In STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)…[the PRC] annually graduates four times as many students as the United States (1.3 million vs 300,000).

A better measure would compare the quality of those graduates and their programs so as to arrive at similarly qualified graduates.

Progressive Education

The Wall Street Journal ran an op-ed last Sunday in which it extolled Los Angeles voters for elected a majority to the Los Angeles Unified School District school board that openly favored charter schools and the independence of those charters.  The WSJ also described the hysteria with which the teachers unions and the ousted school board vilified these folks who so favored actually educating the city’s children over being a jobs factory for disinterested teachers and piggy bank for union coffers.

Safe Spaces and Clarity of Thought

As The Wall Street Journal pointed out in an interview with Northwestern University’s President Morton Schapiro, the University of Chicago’s President Robert Zimmer has a view of the nature of safe spaces and the relationship between them and collegiate education.

incoming freshmen [should expect] to expect discomfort—not safe spaces—on his campus.

Schapiro, instead, wants to coddle his pupils as though they’re still two years old.

Northwestern President Morton Schapiro takes a gentler approach.

He believes that because learning is frequently uncomfortable, students need safe spaces—which for him means places where people who share an identity can retreat, relax, and recoup.

This is Why

…we can’t have nice schools.

Students at the University of New Hampshire [boycotted] final exams after a student uploaded a picture of another white student in what appears to be a bedtime facial mask, implying it’s “blackface.”

The university caved in to the students’ demands, and postponed the exams.

The right answer would have been to hold the finals as scheduled, let the pupils who skipped them—for whatever reason—receive failing grades on the exams, with attendant consequences for their course grade for the semester and for their graduation.