Archive for the ‘education’ Tag

Can We Use Our Reason, Please?   Leave a comment

My heart went out when I heard about the egregious case of alleged child abuse by a California family charged with starving and torturing their children in a so-called “private school”.

In the aftermath, I’m not surprised to hear some commentators call for greater regulation of all homeschooling families. In an Op-Ed article in the Los Angeles Times, Rachel Coleman suggested “abuse in homeschool settings is all too common,” and she recommended strict homeschool regulation. She stated:

Force contact with mandatory reporters. States could require annual assessments by a certified teacher and annual doctor’s visits…

AA006063Of course, this ignores the fact that data shows that homeschoolers excel in academics and in adulthood.

To use this outrageous example of abuse to attack homeschooling families and suggest that they need more oversight is reactionary and inappropriate.

The vast majority of the more than two million homeschoolers in the United States live in nurturing homes with caring parents who are overly attentive to their education and well-being. Most children thrive in a homeschooled environment that allows for flexible instruction, tailored curriculum, community immersion, and interest-based learning and public and larger private schools, by their vary nature, struggle to provide those benefits.

Data shows that homeschoolers excel in academics and in adulthood. U.S. News & World Report reports that a majority of homeschoolers “who go on to college will outperform their peers.”

Child abuse of any kind should bother us, but we shouldn’t target an entire population of families because we are worried about a few bad apples. Crimes against children by public schoolteachers are appallingly common throughout the United States; yet, we don’t stereotype all teachers as potential predators. In 2014 alone, there were 781 reported sex crimes by teachers and other employees. That is an average of 15 students per week who were sexually victimized by school personnel.

An article in the Des Moines Register calls for an end to the private homeschooling option, stating: “Licensed educators are mandatory reporters of child abuse, are held to high standards for preparation and professional conduct, must be fingerprinted, and undergo background checks. Yet Iowa allows anyone to ‘teach’ their own and up to four unrelated children.”

In March 2017, the Des Moines Register reported on a case of a long-time Iowa public high school teacher charged with a sex crime against a student. In September, the 61-year-old teacher was sentenced to prison for repeated sexual assault. He had been a licensed Iowa school teacher since 1978. What good did not high standards of preparation and professional conduct, fingerprinting and background checks do his victims? Should we outlaw public schools based on this one case?

Children are vulnerable and should be protected. For most children, parents are their best protectors and the ones most able to ensure their well-being. We must do our best to try to protect children while also not infringing on the privacy and freedom of law-abiding citizens. What is needed is public policy based on reason — on what is best for a broad range of children and their families, rather than on a singular examples (both in homeschooling and public schools) that should both enrage us all.

Yes, You Can Go to College Without Debt   Leave a comment

Image result for image teen working constructionI’ve heard it once again “You can’t even pay your way through college on minimum wage.”

That’s one of those statements that makes me shake my head in sorrow over the dumbing down of Americans.

Student loan debt in the U.S. has reached more than $1.3 trillion — including both federal and private student loans. College isn’t cheap and it keeps increasing year after year.

Our daughter Bri decided to forego college to be a gypsy musician. She says she’ll get back to it eventually. Her brother Kiernan will graduate from  high school next year and he wants to go to college. Not being the children of wealthy people, they have small college funds that they will have to add to themselves.

It’s no secret that college isn’t cheap — and the price of education is continuing to increase year after year. As people who are debt adverse, this is what we have learned from looking at college financing.

Federal student loans can assist students in paying for school, but they don’t always cover the entire cost, and depending on the college, students end up graduating with tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

Turning to private loans is even worse. They typically come with much higher interest rates, fees for late payments and other standard credit features that make them less favorable than federal loans.

So students who rely on loans will graduate from college with a huge load on their young new lives. My sister-in-law is in her mid-30s and still paying off student loan debt from almost 15 years ago. So is her husband. It’s not a really good way to conduct your life and those money burdens are a significant source of marital stress for them.

Are there alternatives? With a little research and extra hard work, there are ways you can pay your tuition bills without getting buried in student loan debt. It may make life a little more complicated at times, but for many people, that can be a much better choice than getting stuck with debt for decades. There are scholarships, grants, work study programs, and honors programs that will all help you reduce your cost of college, but let me suggest that the best tool for affording college is you.

What do I mean by that? Get a job. It’s best to work while you’re in high school because every job you take and perform well at helps you get a better job the next time. So, you work minimum wage as a high school student and by the time you’re in college, you can qualify for jobs that make more. Starbucks will pay half your tuition for the freshman and sophomore years. If you make it to junior year, they then offer full tuition reimbursement for both junior and senior year. To qualify, Starbucks employees are only required to work a minimum of 20 hours a week; there is no minimum length of service time required to qualify. Perhaps best of all, there are no requirements to stay with the corporation after graduation.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a year or two between high school and college to work and save money. This especially works if you choose to live at home with your parents (even if you pay something for room and board). Pile up every dime, mostly say “no” to going out with friends or traveling … live sparely so you can afford college.

Then pick the right school

The cost of college can vary a lot depending on the school. Choosing a school that’s better for your budget can save you a lot of money in the long run, so it’s important to do a little research. Find out what kind of financial aid different schools offer, as some provide aid based on need, some offer free tuition based on academics, and others are free altogether. Public schools are typically cheaper than private colleges, and qualifying for in-state tuition at a state school can save you a lot.

As a friend of mine pointed out — he went to Dartmouth and I went to University of Alaska-Fairbanks — we got the same basic education (he studied economics, I studied journalism, so some difference there), but he graduated $50,000 in debt (this was nearly 30 years ago) and I graduated with $1,000 in the bank, so which one of us is smarter, he wanted to know.  The only difference we could figure between our educations was that he made a lot of connections at Dartmouth that would have really helped him if he’d wanted to go into politics or Wall Street business. He owns a family company in Alaska, so … he met a lot of interesting people who were no help to him whatsoever in his career. Most of the time, employers couldn’t care less whether you got your degree at an Ivy League or city college. I’ve never even had an employer ask what university I went to or my GPA. They just want to know what my degrees are. I

I’m a big fan of the idea of starting out at a two-year community college and then transferring to a state or other bigger four-year school where you plan to graduate from. Employers never ask where you started school. You may not get the same sense of campus life when you go to a community college, but you will get an education in what’s usually a more student-oriented environment than at a traditional college. Then after two years, you can transfer to a traditional school and end up with only two years to pay for — instead of four. 

Similarly, many state universities also have regional campuses that are far less expensive than the flagship main campus.

A friend of my daughter just graduated from University of Alaska-Fairbanks with a degree that has netted him a $50,000 salary that will grow pretty rapidly if he’s a good employee. Drew worked while he was in high school, as a barista for a local company. His parents couldn’t afford much to help him with school, but they agreed that every dollar he put into his college fund, they would match it with 50 cents. His employer was so impressed with him as a worker that he offered him the same deal, only at 25 cents on the dollar and only for working for him Drew earned a scholarship, but it was not impressive, so he took a year off school after high school graduation and worked construction for his coffee cart employer’s brother. He had about $20,000 saved when he graduated high school. He made $70,000 take home that 15 months, lived at home and spent very little money (he bought a $2,000 used truck and went hiking on his days off). He went to UAF, which is about $5,000 a semester ($10,000 a year). He continued working for the coffee cart for his first two years, then took a better-paying part-time job in the winter, which he got because the coffee cart employer was so impressed with him. He continued working construction in the summers — making about $30-40,000 a summer. He graduated with honors and money in the bank, bought a better used SUV (for cash) and took a one-week trip to Hawaii (also with cash and still had money in the bank). He’s working construction this summer because his new “grown up” job starts in September. He jokes that he’ll actually be taking a pay cut to take this job, but that won’t last long. He’s looking forward to actual paid vacations after six years with only one one-week vacation.

My point — you don’t have to go into debt to go to college and, while it would be a really slow way to do it, you could actually cash flow college with a minimum wage job — IF you really are determined to do it and your parents were okay with you living in their basement.

Maybe One Reason Schools are Failing   Leave a comment

Teachers perform one of society’s more useful functions. However during a time of strained public finances students’ needs must come first – not teachers’ salaries.

The teachers’ unions have been hugely successful. Median compensation for US workers is $28,900. Teachers earn $58,000, almost double that amount .

The gap between teachers and those communities they teach in is exacerbated by the fact that gold-plated, state-guaranteed pensions mean that public school teachers generally retire as millionaires.

If teachers were paid at market rates, there would be more money available to fund students’ needs such as smaller class sizes, libraries, computers and vocation training so they might be able to get jobs when they graduate.

Posted June 12, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Government, Uncategorized

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Little Known Facts in Education History   1 comment

Meme Horace Mann

Horace Mann is considered by many to be the great champion of education. Is that true or is it just something we’ve been taught to believe?

For generations, children learned in their homes, from their parents, and throughout their communities. Children were invaluable contributors to a homestead, becoming involved in household chores and rhythms from very early ages. They learned important, practical skills by observing and imitating their parents and neighbors and engaged in hands-on apprenticeships as teens. They still managed to learn the 3 R’s around the fireside.

The literacy rate in Massachusetts in 1850 (two years prior to the passage of the country’s first compulsory school attendance law) was 97%.

The National Center for Education Statistics tells us that the Massachusetts adult literacy rate in 2003 was only 90%.

In advocating for compulsory schooling statutes, Horace Mann and his 19th century education reform colleagues were deeply fearful of parental authority. You don’t have to believe me. You can go out and read what they wrote. Here’s a snippet.

“Those now pouring in upon us, in masses of thousands upon thousands, are wholly of another kind in morals and intellect.” That’s the Massachusetts state legislature regarding the new Boston Irish (Catholic) immigrants whose diversity challenged existing cultural and religious norms.

In Horace Mann’s Troubling Legacy, University of Vermont professor, Bob Pepperman Taylor, elaborates further on the 19th-century distrust of parents — particularly immigrant parents — and its role in catalyzing compulsory schooling. Pepperman Taylor explains that “the group receiving the greatest scolding from Mann is parents themselves. He questions the competence of a great many parents, but even worse is what he takes to be the perverse moral education provided to children by their corrupt parents.” (Pepperman Taylor, Bob. Horace Mann’s Troubling Legacy: The Education of Democratic Citizens. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2010, p. 33.)

Mann and his colleagues intended that forced schooling correct those “corrupt parents.” He apparently didn’t think morally superior parents like himself needed such help, because Mann continued to homeschool his own three children with no intention of sending them to the common schools he mandated for others. As Mann’s biographer, Jonathan Messerli writes:

“From a hundred platforms, Mann had lectured that the need for better schools was predicated upon the assumption that parents could no longer be entrusted to perform their traditional roles in moral training and that a more systematic approach within the public school was necessary. Now as a father, he fell back on the educational responsibilities of the family, hoping to make the fireside achieve for his own son what he wanted the schools to accomplish for others.” (Messerli, Jonathan. Horace Mann: A Biography. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1972, p. 429.)

As mass schooling expanded over the past 165 years, parental empowerment precipitously declined. Parents have largely been replaced by institutions and the consequences are telling. Children are now swept into the mass schooling system at ever-earlier ages with the expansion of government-funded preschool and early intervention programs. Most young people spend the majority of their days away from their families and in increasingly restrictive, test-driven educational environments. And society is beginning to recognize that these institutional environments damage many of the children it claims to be helping. Boston College psychology professor, Dr. Peter Gray, writes in Salon, of all places:

“School is a place where children are compelled to be and where their freedom is greatly restricted–far more restricted than most adults would tolerate in their workplaces. In recent decades, we have been compelling our children to spend ever more time in this kind of setting, and there is strong evidence (summarized in my recent book [Free To Learn]) that this is causing serious psychological damage to many of them.”

For teenagers, the impact of mass schooling can be even more severe. Largely cut off from the authentic adult world in which they should begin interacting, many adolescents rebel. Some kids engage in anger, substance abuse and suicide, while others become so overwhelmed with the homework that they go from being A students to wanting to drop out. As Dr. Robert Epstein writes in his book, The Case Against Adolescence: Rediscovering the Adult in Every Teen: “Driven by evolutionary imperatives established thousands of years ago, the main need a teenager has is to become productive and independent. After puberty, if we pretend our teens are still children, we will be unable to meet their most fundamental needs, and we will cause some teens great distress.”[5]

It is time to hand the reins of education back to parents and once again prioritize authentic learning over mass schooling. Parents know best. They should be able to choose freely from a wide variety of innovative, agile education options, rather than rely on a one-size-fits-all mass schooling model. By positioning parents to take back control of their children’s education–to reclaim their rightful place as experts on their own children–we can foster more education options and better outcomes for children and society.

But, of course, we can’t do that unless we stop holding up parents for education taxes that exclusively go to the public schools.

Public Education in One Picture   10 comments

Sorting Through the DeVos Lies   Leave a comment

Betsy DeVos has been confirmed (just barely) as Secretary of Education. I heard a lot of outrageous claims about her views in the run up to the vote. The other day, I had a Twitter conversation with someone talking about many of these claims. Then, oddly, I had the almost exact conversation with a friend who is a teacher. She even used some of the same phrases.

Image result for image of a public school

Well, slap me silly … that sounded like folks who are getting their talking points from the same source. I’m not surprised that my friend is clinging to old forms for dear life. It’s how she pays her bills. But that made me curious as to whether these claims had any merit.


In an op-ed for the New York Times, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) alleged that she was voting against Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education because:

  • DeVos opposes policies that allow “our young people, all of them, to participate in our democracy and compete on a fair footing in the workforce.”
  • DeVos supports “voucher systems that divert taxpayer dollars to private, religious and for-profit schools without requirements for accountability.”
  • “The voucher programs that Ms. DeVos advocates leave out students whose families cannot afford to pay the part of the tuition that the voucher does not cover; the programs also leave behind students with disabilities because the schools do not accommodate their complex needs.”

Brad, who is from New Hampshire originally and still has family there who know who Maggie Hassan really is, explained that Senator Hassan (who comes from a very privileged background) sent her own kid to a private school and he found it interesting that she would deny the same benefits to other people’s children. Then I noticed that she has a disabled child that she sent to public school and required that the school change policies to accommodate his needs. This caused Brad to quip, “apparently ‘substandard’ private schooling was okay for her daughter, but if there’d been another school that was better for her son, no way.”

Understand that school choice only recently passed in Missouri, where DeVos was a leading advocate of it, so any claims that school choice has been a disaster in Missouri are merely prophetic in nature. That’s not been the experience of other states, though programs still remain too limited to actually prove claims of school choice being a miracle in education reform.


Let’s be honest. Under the current U.S. education system, the quality of students’ schooling is largely determined by their parents’ income. Wealthy parents can afford to send their children to private schools and live in neighborhoods with the best public schools. Such options narrow as income declines, and the children of poor families typically end up in the nation’s worst schools. That’s reality.

However ….

Image result for image of private schoolContrary to popular perception, funding is not the primary cause of differences between schools. Since the early 1970s, school districts with large portions of minority students have spent about the same amount per student as districts with fewer minorities. This is shown by studies conducted by the left-leaning Urban Institute, the U.S. Department of Education, Ph.D. economist Derek Neal, and the conservative Heritage Foundation. All these diverse sources being in agreement should tell us that their figures are trustworthy.

And, despite what the alt-right might believe, minorities are not intellectually inferior, empirical and anecdotal evidence suggests that people of all races can excel if they have access to competent schooling. For example, in 2009, Public School 172 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, New York, had:

  • a mostly Hispanic population.
  • one-third of the students not fluent in English and no bilingual classes.
  • 80% of the students poor enough to qualify for free lunch.
  • lower spending per student than the New York City average.
  • the highest average math score of all fourth graders in New York City, with 99% of the students scoring “advanced.”
  • the top-dozen English scores of all fourth graders in New York City, with 99% of students passing.

School quality plays a significant role in student performance. Hassan and other critics of school choice are keenly aware of this, which is why they send their kids to better schools.  These other critics of school choice who send their kids to private schools would include Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Bill and Hillary Clinton, who all sent their own children to private K-12 schools. It would also include Obama’s first Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, who had this to say about choosing to live in Arlington, Virginia so his daughter could attend its public schools. In his words:

That was why we chose where we live, it was the determining factor. That was the most important thing to me. My family has given up so much so that I could have the opportunity to serve; I didn’t want to try to save the country’s children and our educational system and jeopardize my own children’s education.

Duncan’s statement is a tacit admission that public schools in the D.C. area often jeopardize the education of children, but his child deserved better. Few parents have the choice that Duncan made because most cannot afford to live in places like Arlington (average median family income $144,843) . Most taxpayers cannot afford to pay both the property taxes for a public school system they aren’t using and the tuition to an elite private high school like Phillips Exeter Academy, where Hassan’s daughter attended. Vouchers are meant to correct that.

The existing U.S. education system does not provide an equal footing for children, but Hassan criticizes DeVos for supporting school choice, which would reduce the inequity. By its very definition, school choice allows parents to select the schools their children attend, an option that Hassan and other affluent people regularly exercise. But while they are smart enough, apparently, to choose a good private school for their children, we mere taxpayers must continue to send our children to failing public schools.

Just look at the facts that disprove Hassan’s claim that DeVos wants to “divert taxpayer dollars” to non-public schools “without requirements for accountability.”

First, private school choice generally increases public school per-pupil spending, which according to Stephen Cornman, a statistician with the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, is “the gold standard in school finance.”

Private school choice programs boost per-student funding in public schools because the public schools no longer educate the students who go to the private schools, which typically spend much less per student than public schools. Vouchers are typically less than 2/3rds of the per-student funding, so this leaves additional funding for the students who remain in public schools.

According to the latest available data, the average spending per student in private K-12 schools was about $6,762. In the same year, the average spending per student in public schools was $13,398. Yeah, that’s about twice as much.

Second, school choice provides the most direct form of accountability, that demanded by students and parents. With school choice, if parents are unhappy with any school, they have the ability to send their children to other schools. This means that every school is accountable to every parent.

Under the current public education system, schools are accountable to government officials, not students and parents. Hassan knows this because her son has severe disabilities, and Hassan used her influence as a lawyer to get her son’s public elementary school to “accommodate his needs” while sending her daughter to one of those high-quality “unaccountable” private schools.

Unlike Hassan, people without a law degree, extra time on their hands, or ample financial resources are at the mercy of politicians and government employees. Most children and parents are stuck with their public schools, regardless of whether they are effective or safe. That is precisely the situation that DeVos would like to fix through school choice, but Hassan talks as if DeVos were trying to do the opposite.

Third, Hassan has actually advocated for more taxpayer funds to be used for private schools. Her campaign website states that she “will fight to expand Pell Grants” which are often used for private colleges like Brown University, the Ivy League school that she, her husband, and her daughter attended.

That’s right — Hassan supports using taxpayer money for top students to attend elite private universities, but she opposes the same opportunity for poor students to attend private K-12 schools. Of course, that misses the very real point that poor students can’t hope to qualify for those elite private universities if they haven’t had quality K-12 education.

Why do I smell apartheid in the air?

Hassan’s position on college aid also undercuts her objection that DeVos supports programs that “leave out students whose families cannot afford to pay the part of the tuition that the voucher does not cover.” If that were truly Hassan’s objection, she would also oppose aid that doesn’t cover the full costs of every college, because that would leave out students who can’t pay the rest of the tuition. Thanks for thinking of us, Maggie! I’m so touched! Bless your tiny little heart! If covering the rest of the tuition is important to me, I’ll get a second job to pick up that extra few thousand, something I can now do because the voucher gets me closer to the goal.

Fourth, contrary to Hassan’s rhetoric about accountability to taxpayers, she supports current spending levels in public K-12 schools, “debt-free public college for all,” and expanding “early childhood education” in spite of the facts that:

  • the U.S. spends an average of 31% more per K-12 student than other developed nations, but 15-year-olds in the U.S. rank 31st among 35 nations in math.
  • federal, state, and local governments spend about $900 billion per year on formal education, but only 18% of U.S. residents aged 16 and older can correctly answer a word problem requiring the ability to search text, interpret it, and calculate using multiplication and division.
  • the average spending per public school classroom is $286,000 per year, but only 26% of the high school students who take the ACT exam meet its college readiness benchmarks in all four subjects (English, reading, math, and science).
  • federal, state and local governments spend $173 billion per year on higher education, but 80% of first-time, full-time students who enroll in a public community college do not receive a degree from the college within 10 years of matriculation.
  • 4-year public colleges spend an average of $40,033 per year for each full-time student, but one-third of students who graduate from 4-year colleges don’t improve their “critical thinking, analytical reasoning, problem-solving, and writing” skills by more than one percentage point over their entire college careers.
  • the federal government funds dozens of preschool programs, and the largest —Head Start—spends an average of $8,772 per child per year, but it produces no measurable benefit by the time students reach 3rd grade.

Is that accountability? It doesn’t look like it to me. Hassan supports pumping taxpayer money into programs with high costs and substandard outcomes, but she opposes doing the same for private K–12 schools that already demonstrably produce better outcomes at far lower costs.

Hassan’s claim that private school choice programs “leave behind students with disabilities because the schools do not accommodate their complex needs” is also false. Did you know there are  more than 30 private, state-approved, special education schools in northern and central New Jersey? Apparently, these parents feel these schools serve the needs of their children better than the public schools in their areas, or else they wouldn’t pay to send their kids there and these private schools would not exist. But yeah, if you’re poor, you probably can’t afford them unless you can get a school choice voucher.

In a recent brief to the Nevada Supreme Court, the nation’s largest teachers’ union, and its state affiliate argue that free-market voucher programs will lead to “cream-skimming—the drawing away of the brightest and most motivated students to private schools which would lead to a highly stratified system of education.”

The current public school system is already highly stratified by income, and income and education go hand in hand. Truthfully, the real issue is not stratification but what happens to students who stay in public schools. Contrary to the belief that school choice will harm these students, a mass of evidence shows the opposite.

At least 21 high-quality studies have been performed on the academic outcomes of students who remain in public schools that are subject to school choice programs. All but one found neutral-to-positive results, and none found negative results. This is consistent with the theory that the competition created by school choice induces public schools to improve.

Wide-ranging evidence prove that school choice is a win for students, parents, and taxpayers. It does, however, financially harm teachers unions by depriving them of dues, because private schools are less likely to have unions than public ones. A shift in that direction would financially harm Democratic politicians, political action committees, and related organizations, which have received about $200 million in reported donations from the two largest teachers’ unions since 1990.

Teachers’ unions are firmly opposed to private school choice, and the National Education Association has sent an open letter to Democrats stating that “opposition to vouchers is a top priority for NEA.” So, of course, they voted in lockstep against DeVos because we all know that the NEA stands opposed to improving education if it results in damaging its position within the hierarchy of elitist power.


The Truth About the Detroit Public Schools   Leave a comment

Walter E. Williams

Detroit school students, represented by the Los Angeles-based public interest firm Public Counsel, filed suit last month against the state of Michigan, claiming a legal right to literacy based on the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. Ninety-three percent of Detroit’s predominantly black public school eighth-graders are not proficient in reading, and 96 percent are not proficient in mathematics. According to the lawsuit, “decades of State disinvestment in and deliberate indifference to Detroit schools have denied Plaintiff schoolchildren access to the most basic building block of education: literacy.”

Source: The Truth About the Detroit Public Schools


In terms of per-pupil expenditures, the state does not treat Detroit public school students any differently than it does other students. According to the Michigan Department of Education, the Detroit school district ranks 50th in state spending, at $13,743 per pupil. This is out of 841 total districts. That puts Detroit schools in the top 6 percent of per-pupil expenditures in the state. Discrimination in school expenditures cannot explain poor educational outcomes for black students in Detroit or anywhere else in the nation. Let’s look at routinely ignored educational impediments in Detroit and elsewhere.

Annie Ellington, director of the Detroit Youth Violence Prevention Initiative, reported that 87 percent of the 1,301 Detroit public school students interviewed in a survey last year knew someone who had been killed, disabled or wounded by gun violence. According to an article published by the American Psychological Association, 80 percent of teachers surveyed nationally in 2011 had been victimized at school at least once during that school year or the prior year. Detroit public schools are plagued with the same problems of violence faced by other predominately black schools in other cities.

Current Prices on popular forms of Gold Bullion

In Baltimore, each school day in 2010, an average of four teachers and staff were assaulted. In February 2014, The Baltimore Sun reported that more than 300 Baltimore school staff members had filed workers’ compensation claims during the previous fiscal year because of injuries received through assaults or altercations on the job. A 1999 Michigan law requires school districts to expel any student in sixth grade or above who physically assaults a school employee. The Lansing Board of Education ignored the law and refused to expel four students for throwing chairs at an employee, slapping a teacher and punching another in the face. It took a Michigan Supreme Court to get the board to enforce the law. The court said the law was enacted “specifically (to) protect teachers from assault and to assist them in more effectively performing their jobs.”

Colin Flaherty, author of “Don’t Make the Black Kids Angry,” has compiled news stories and videos that show how black students target teachers for violence. He discusses some of it in his Jan. 12, 2015, American Thinker article, titled “Documented: Black Students Target Teachers for Violence” ( As a result of school violence and other problems, many teachers quit when June rolls around. Every year, Detroit loses about 5 percent of its teaching positions (135 teachers). According to a Detroit schools representative, substitutes, principals and other staffers must cover classes, a situation not unique to Detroit ( In California, signing bonuses of $20,000, “combat pay,” aren’t enough to prevent teachers from leaving altogether or seeking out less violent schools.

The departments of Education and Justice have launched a campaign against disproportionate minority discipline rates, which show up in virtually every school district with significant numbers of black and Hispanic students. The possibility that students’ behavior, not educators’ racism, drives those rates lies outside the Obama administration’s conceptual universe. Black people ought to heed the sentiments of Aaron Benner, a black teacher in a St. Paul, Minnesota, school who abhors the idea of different behavioral standards for black students. He says: “They’re trying to pull one over on us. Black folks are drinking the Kool-Aid; this ‘let-them-clown’ philosophy could have been devised by the KKK.” Personally, I can’t think of a more racist argument than one that holds that disruptive, rude behavior and foul language are a part of black culture.

Here’s my prediction: If the Michigan lawsuit is successful, it will line the pockets of Detroit’s teaching establishment and do absolutely nothing for black academic achievement.

Posted October 22, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in culture, Uncategorized

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Left-Wing Cruelty to Black Students   Leave a comment

Image result for image of walter e williamsLast year’s college news was about demands for safe spaces, trigger warnings, and bans on insensitivity. This year’s college news is about black student demands for segregated campus housing and other racially segregated campus spaces and programs. I totally disagree with these calls by black students. It’s a gross dereliction of duty for college administrators to cave to these demands, but I truly sympathize with the problems that many black college students face. For college administrators and leftist faculty, the actual fate of black students is not nearly so important as the good feelings they receive from a black presence on campus. Let’s examine some of the problems. A very large percentage of all incoming freshmen have no business being admitted to college. According to College Board’s 2015 report, the average combined SAT score for white students was 1576 out of a possible 2400. Black student SAT scores, at 1277, were the lowest of the seven reported racial groups ( The College Board considers a SAT score of 1550 as the benchmark that indicates a readiness for college-level work.

Source: Left-Wing Cruelty to Black Students

Posted September 24, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in racism

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The Most Schooled Generation in History Is Miserable | Zachary Slayback   Leave a comment

Millennials are stressed out because they’re bored

Source: The Most Schooled Generation in History Is Miserable | Zachary Slayback


Lela says – I’m a huge believer in the value of an education, but I also subscribe to a belief in self-education. I totally agreed with this Will Hunting quote –

“You blew 150k on an education you could have gotten in$1.50 in late fees from the library.”

Posted June 10, 2016 by aurorawatcherak in culture

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Congratulations, 2014 graduates: Be responsible, be ready, and keep an eye on debt   Leave a comment

Congratulations, 2014 graduates: Be responsible, be ready, and keep an eye on debt – Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Editorials.

Valentine But

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a voracious reader. | a book blogger.


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