Category Archives: education

Heather Hastie on the declining state of American education

I call your attention to Heather Hastie’s new post, “Has the US education system been set-up to fail?” It paints a dire picture of what’s happening in U.S. schools, discusses Trump’s appointment of Betsy DeVos (probably a creationist) as his education secretary, and explains why DeVos’s and Trump’s emphasis on “school choice” as a solution to […]

UC Berkeley cancels free online courses because they weren’t accessible to the deaf

This is a crummy situation and I don’t know what to do about it. But what’s clear is that everyone in this situation is a loser. What happened is that the University of California at Berkeley provided free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to students, a real bonus to those who lacked either funds or […]

The newest microaggression: Mispronouncing someone’s name

A reader sent me a link to reason.com, a right-wing libertarian website, describing the newest form of microaggression: mispronouncing someone’s name. (They, in turn, took most of their story from a CNS News report (also a conservative site) by Amy Furr. As you’ll see, the reader was dismayed to have to find this stuff on right-wing […]

Do we need religious education in schools?

Although the posts on this site go straight to Twi**er, and I occasionally post something else there, I don’t follow the tw**ts of others. That’s mainly for lack of time: I can’t write on this site and tw**t at the same time. But I still parasitize my friends and readers who sent me tw**ts, and […]

Mission accomplished

Tomorrow is graduation, and it might be a weather disaster given the 60% chance of thunderstorms predicted. The University of Chicago has no inside alternative: they just pass out plastic rain ponchos to keep you dry. I couldn’t help but feel a twinge as I walked home by the empty venue, which tomorrow morning will fill […]

Kristof on the Authoritarian Leftism of universities: Part deux

On May 8 I wrote about one of Nicholas Kristof’s New York Times columns, “A confession of liberal intolerance.” There he promoted the idea of increased diversity in universities: not just diversity of ethnic minorities, but diversity of ideas. In particular, he called for hiring more conservative professors, since, by and large, academia comprises Leftists. Kristof didn’t favor […]

Unregulated Jewish faith schools constricting the lives of thousands of London boys

Muslims have their madrassas and Jews have their yeshivas. The problems come when these religious schools—schools that teach only religion—are used as substitutes for the broader education required by most Western countries. Sadly, that is happening with both Jews and Muslims in Britain, according to new articles in East London Lines (ELL), in The Guardian, and in The Independent. These pieces concentrate on the problem […]

The UK is a Christian nation: damn those pesky High Courts and Humanists

by Grania Spingies Although most Americans correctly regard Europe as a fairly secular place with far lower levels of religiosity than the US; countries within Europe often find that there are still people in positions of power who find this immensely annoying and pine for the imaginary halcyon days of yore when European nations all bent […]

The Princeton dilemma: what do we do about Woodrow Wilson?

If you’ve followed these pages, you’ll know that, among the welter of college protests, student activists at Princeton have asked for expunging the name of a Princeton icon, Woodrow Wilson, from its infrastructure. Wilson was not only president of Princeton, but President of the United States, and apparently a progressive one. But he was regressive […]

In misguided attempt to achieve gender equity, kindergarten teacher prohibits boys from using Legos

We are living in an Onion world now, where no act of political piety surprises me. When I sent this article to a colleague, he even thought it came from the Onion. But it didn’t, it comes from CBS in Seattle, and I’ve verified it from other venues. As  CBS Seattle reports, a kindergarten teacher in […]