Educating Ignorance

University Indoctrination Center by Janice Shaw Crouse –
The best-kept secret in America today is the precipitous drop in the quality of college since the Left seized power in higher education. Every year, various magazines publish a list of rankings for American undergraduate institutions. Forbes assures parents that “Every school with a Forbes grade meets a high standard.” U.S. News and World Reportassures its readers that they consider a wide variety of factors in measuring a college’s effectiveness. While American colleges were once great institutions of learning, those who know higher education today recognize that “high standards” of quality are casualties in the war against traditionalism and American values. Where religion and love of country and family were once revered, radical Leftist ideology now prevails. Traditional values have been replaced by moral relativism, anti-establishment teachings, and the breakdown of the family.

The radicalization of colleges did not happen overnight. What we have now is a product of past indifference and disinclination to do anything to reverse the spread of Leftist trends. [Read more…]

Dumbing Down American Public Education

Dumbing Down American Public Educationby Glenn Fairman –
In thinking about how valuable education is in cultivating the next generation of Americans, my mind took me back nearly twenty years to when I was a graduate student functioning as a substitute teacher at La Puente High School in Southern California. On one assignment, I was to cover a social studies class of some old-timer; he had written down in his instructions that since his classes were on a field trip, my sole duty was to show a movie at 6th period to those who did not attend. What I found that day opened my eyes.

In a dusty corner shelf of the room was a set of thirty-year-old textbooks from the mid-1960s, and although my memory cannot now relinquish their title, their contents burned themselves into my brain. As I flipped through the pages, I was astonished to find what I would now consider an upper-level college textbook under color of what in the high schools used to be termed “civics.” This text contained a very detailed understanding of political theory, constitutional law, macroeconomics, American history, and comparative political systems. I spent the rest of the day in slack-jawed amazement, perusing what a student in a working-class town was expected to know before the mavens of education began tinkering with the curricula of our schools. [Read more…]

The Unteachables: A Generation that Cannot Learn

Indoctrination of Childrenby Janice Fiamengo –
The greatest tragedy of progressive education is not the students’ lack of skills, but of teachable character.
“The honeymoon is over.” Instructors who award low grades in humanities disciplines will likely be familiar with a phenomenon that occurs after the first essays are returned to students: former smiles vanish, hands once jubilantly raised to answer questions are now resentfully folded across chests, offended pride and sulkiness replace the careless cheer of former days. Too often, the smiles are gone for good because the customary “B+” or “A” grades have been withheld, and many students cannot forgive the insult.

The matter doesn’t always end there. Some students are prepared for a fight, writing emails of entreaty or threat, or besieging the instructor in his office to make clear that the grade is unacceptable. Every instructor who has been so besieged knows the legion of excuses and expressions of indignation offered, the certainty that such work was always judged acceptable in the past, the implication that a few small slip-ups, a wrong word or two, have been blown out of proportion. [Read more…]

Freedom vs. the Secular Seminary

Freedom vs. the Secular Seminaryby Christopher Chantrill –
Little did I know, when contrasting conservative freedom and liberal liberation, that a poster-girl for liberation was presenting herself at the Altar of the Victim, the remarkable Sandra Fluke, the toast of our Democratic friends. For Ms. Fluke’s belief system suggests to her that she cannot have access to her sexuality unless a big institution provides her contraception. Moreover, since she is a law student with a degree in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Cornell, she is evidently well into a professional career in liberation activism.

Conservatives scratch our heads at the activist university and its characteristic products like Ms. Fluke. But we are fools. The university has seldom been an institution of higher learning devoted to science and disinterested scholarship. More often it has been a seminary. When young Fred Vincy, son of a Middlemarch merchant, went off to the University of Cambridge in around 1830, it was to study to be a priest in the state Church of England. [Read more…]

What Kids Now Learn in College

Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager

by Dennis Prager –
Save your money. Here’s a list of the lessons they’ll be taught.

As high school seniors throughout America will be receiving acceptance letters to colleges within the next month, it would be nice for parents to meditate on what they are getting for the $20–$50,000 they will pay each year.

The United States is no better than any other country, and in many areas worse than many. On the world stage, America is an imperialist country, and domestically it mistreats its minorities and neglects its poor, while discriminating against non-whites.

There is no better and no worse in literature and the arts. The reason universities in the past taught Shakespeare, Michelangelo, and Bach rather than, let us say, Guatemalan poets, Sri Lankan musicians, and Native American storytellers was “Eurocentrism.”

God is at best a non-issue, and at worst, a foolish and dangerous belief.

Christianity is largely a history of inquisitions, crusades, oppression, and anti-intellectualism. Islam, on the other hand, is “a religion of peace.” [Read more…]

The Problem With Intellectuals (and Karl Marx)

Karl Marx evil lazy delusional impostor by Richard F. Miniter –
Isn’t long past time that conservatives take a pitchfork in one hand and a flaming torch in the other, and then, after mustering up the like-minded, simply burn Frankenstein’s castle down? Especially since as far back as 1942 George Orwell pointed out just how combustible the Left-Wing Liberal edifice really is?

After all, it isn’t as if we haven’t tried reasoned argument, but it’s dismissed by the Left-Wing Liberal, often with vicious personal attacks. Evidence of the idiocy or unintended consequences of left-wing laws, regulations, and redistributions haven’t mattered at all either. Neither have appeals to tradition, the Constitution, the concept of individual responsibility or rights. It’s true that the left received a bloody nose in 1946, 1994, and 2010, while the Reagan years covered his aggressively pro-American foreign policy in glory, but ever since that long-ago Supreme Court wilted under FDR’s animosity, government has continued to metastasize, individual rights have continued to shrink, and this once-magnificent Republic has continued to lose ever more substance and color.

So all in all, what choice do we have other than to go after the one individual whose horrible vulnerability Orwell pointed out? The one individual upon whom the entire Left-Wing Liberal movement depends, and must depend for its galvanic power — the liberal intellectual? [Read more…]

An Open Letter to a College Freshman

Timothy Dalrymple

Timothy Dalrymple

by Timothy Dalrymple –
At last your time has come. Leaving behind the old world and the deep ruts you carved in the corner of that world that belonged to you, you’re off to explore undiscovered countries, to join a new and ever-replenishing society of fascinating people and learned scholars and impassioned artists and driven achievers, off to a place where the world is new and so are you. Whether or not your college years will be “the best years of your life,” they will almost certainly be among the most transformative.

The question is whether that transformation will be for the better. Unmoored from the people and places that once defined you, you’ll feel a fluidity in your identity that’s both thrilling and frightening. You may feel as though you can be anyone and become anything. I pray that you will become who you are — the individual you most truly and deeply are, the one God dreamt of when he made you — and not the person that you or your parents or your friends think you should be. In service to that end, I thought I would offer seven pieces of advice. [Read more…]

Half Baked: UC Berkeley’s Diversity Machine Loses Its Mind

Cupcakes diversity half-baked by Heather Mac Donald –

Tuesday’s now infamous affirmative-action bake sale at the University of California at Berkeley is unlikely to dissuade Governor Jerry Brown from signing a bill that would reintroduce race and gender preferences into the state’s public universities. It has nevertheless served one useful function: it has clarified just what Berkeley’s vice chancellor for equity and diversity does for his whopping $194,000 annual salary.

Berkeley’s College Republicans wanted their “Increase Diversity Bake Sale” to serve as a counterweight to a phone bank erected on the campus’s main thoroughfare, where students could call Brown and urge him to sign the preference-reinstating legislation, Senate Bill 185. Like other anti-affirmative-action bake sales on college campuses over the last decade, the College Republicans’ sale priced items according to the race and gender of the customer: whites paid $2 for a pastry, with Latinos paying $1 and blacks 75 cents, while women got a 25-cent discount on all items. [Read more…]

UK Atheists Push to Censor Academic Freedom

Atheists Censor Academic Freedom Intelligent Design by Christine Dao –
An atheist group is petitioning the British government to issue policy to censor academic freedom and push evolution-only indoctrination on primary school students in the United Kingdom.

Celebrity scientists such as David Attenborough and Richard Dawkins have joined the British Humanist Association (BHA) in the campaign, alleging that organizations like Truth in Science and Creation Ministries International (CMI) “are encouraging teachers to incorporate ‘intelligent design’ into their science teaching.”1

Students in the UK are not forced to learn about evolution until the age of 14 or 15. But the campaign supporters want teachers to teach evolution at both the primary and secondary level in all publicly funded schools.

Meanwhile, Truth in Science maintained that it “has never advocated the teaching of creationism in science lessons in schools. It has consistently advocated, promoted and distributed materials that encourage a more critical approach to the teaching of Evolution as an important component of science education, allowing individuals to follow the evidence wherever it leads.” 2 [Read more…]

Why Young Americans Can’t Think Morally

Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager

by Dennis Prager –
Last week, David Brooks of The New York Times wrote a column on an academic study concerning the nearly complete lack of a moral vocabulary among most American young people. Below are some excerpts from Brooks’ summary of the study of Americans aged 18 to 23. (It was led by “the eminent Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith.”)

“Smith and company asked about the young people’s moral lives, and the results are depressing …

“When asked to describe a moral dilemma they had faced, two-thirds of the young people either couldn’t answer the question or described problems that are not moral at all …

“Moral thinking didn’t enter the picture, even when considering things like drunken driving, cheating in school or cheating on a partner …

“The default position, which most of them came back to again and again, is that moral choices are just a matter of individual taste … [Read more…]

Dreher: ‘Anti-Bullying’ Another Battle in the Culture War

Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher

by Rod Dreher –
For many years now, the gay movement has been using school bullying as a wedge to work pro-gay teaching into curricula and into the life of public schools, and to marginalize religious students and others who hold a traditional view of the morality of homosexuality.

It goes under the mantra of making schools “safe.”

If you don’t affirm homosexuality explicitly, the argument goes, then you are making your schools unsafe for gay kids. You can well imagine how lawsuit-fearing school administrators hate to hear that.

It’s nonsense, of course.

There is no reason at all why pro-gay instruction, either in classrooms or extracurricular, has to happen for bullying to be opposed effectively. What’s wrong with a school administration saying that bullying will not be tolerated, and making good on that policy by coming down like a ton of bricks on bullies, no matter their target? That would be the most value-neutral way to handle it. [Read more…]

The Man Class – FOCUS

“Progressive polices have done more to exacerbate poverty than to alleviate it. They tear apart families and create a generational cycle of dependency. They do not fulfill the Gospel imperative to care for the poor. We must do better.” – Fr. Johannes Jacobse

Here’s an Orthodox effort that is trying to heal the effects of that Progressive policies are largely responsible for:
[Read more…]

‘I’ Is for Indoctrination

Indoctrination of Children by Lucia Rafanelli –
“Back to school” may soon mean something more like “back to political education camp” if liberal regulators have their way.

If your child is looking to get a high school diploma in Maryland, reading, writing, and arithmetic may no longer be enough. Students may soon have to be able to “[e]xplain that differences in the behavior of individuals arise from the interaction of culture and experience” in order to graduate.

Despite it sounding more like the stuff of sociology than hard environmental science, that line is taken from a draft of the state’s new “Environmental Literacy Curriculum.” The draft, according to William Reinhard of the Maryland State Department of Education, is meant to “help guide local [school] systems as they develop their own plans” to integrate environmental literacy into their curricula. [Read more…]

California Paves Way for Blatant Homosexual Promotion in Schools

Homosexual Indoctrination California SB48 Schools “It is an outrage that Governor Jerry Brown has opened the classroom door for homosexual activists to indoctrinate the minds of California’s youth, since no factual materials would be allowed to be presented,” said Rev. Louis Sheldon, chairman and founder of Traditional Values Coalition (TVC). “By signing SB 48 today, California’s classrooms, textbooks and instructional materials will all become pro-homosexual promotion tools. If parents don’t already have their children out of public schools, this should cause them to remove them.”

Senate Bill 48, authored by homosexual State Senator Mark Leno, Democrat of San Francisco, is being called the “Fair, Accountable, Inclusive, and Respectful Education Act” or FAIR Act. But there is nothing fair, accountable, inclusive or respectful about it. This bill is so far-reaching into the structure of California’s education system that it is possible its harmful effects could be never-ending.

SB 48 would amend current Education Code sections to include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender to the list of categories to be covered in all textbooks and instructional materials. These new textbooks and instructional materials would apply to ALL subjects in curriculum and to ALL grades K-12. [Read more…]

Immune to Reform

Teacher Unions Undermine Education Communist Teachers’ unions will never willingly give up their power, says Terry Moe.
by Marcus A. Winters –
Last fall, I took my wife—a well-informed, intelligent professional who unintentionally married into the contentious world of education reform—to see Davis Guggenheim’s documentary about the plight of America’s public schools, Waiting for Superman. She left the theater convinced that our schools face clear problems that have some clear solutions. But she was puzzled about why reforming the system was so difficult. She knew that the teachers’ unions had something to do with what was wrong with the schools, but just how they wielded so much power baffled her. How is it that the unions manage to protect preposterous arrangements like lifetime job security and seniority-based layoffs while forcing students to attend schools that everyone knows are failing? I’d guess that many people emerge from Guggenheim’s film asking similar questions.

In his new book, Special Interest: Teachers Unions and America’s Public Schools, Stanford University political scientist Terry Moe provides the answers. Moe traces the sources of the unions’ power and explains why they behave as they do. In the process, he blows apart several pervasive myths that have been used for far too long to let teachers and their unions off the hook. [Read more…]