Posts Tagged ‘education’

Fallout from the Supreme Court Affirmative Action Decision

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of Michigan voters in banning Affirmative Action (i.e, discrimination based on race) in college admissions

Conservatives and libertarians have a very simple position on racial discrimination:

  • “All men are created equal, and are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.”
  • Individuals should “not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” (I’m going to assume that you recognize theses first two, slightly paraphrased quotes on their own.)
  • “Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.” — Justice John Harlan, dissenting in Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896
  • “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” — Chief Justice John Roberts, in Ricci v. DeStefano, 2009
  • The liberal position can be paraphrased thus: “Racism requires racism, because racism.”

    What, you think that’s a bit reductio ad absurdum? Fine. How about:

    “Because the lingering effects of institutional racism continue to hold back historically disadvantaged groups*, the federal government must continue to impose preferential treatment for members of those groups.”

    “*Historically disadvantaged groups” are those that in pre-PC speak were referred to as “minorities.” Except of course, the Democratic Party’s current formulation excludes Asians from preferential treatment, resulting in systematic discrimination against them by colleges that practice Affirmative Action compared to less qualified black and Hispanic candidates.

    Left unsaid is when do we stop discriminating against people based on their race due to the “lingering effects” of racism? Why should someone born in 1996 (as those entering college this fall) be discriminated against due to laws scrapped three decades before they were born?

    It is also obvious that Affirmative Action sets up minorities to fail by mismatching them with institutions desperate for “diversity” where they will be at a disadvantage compared to brighter students. So someone who could have been in the middle of their class at, say, Texas Tech, is instead at the very bottom of the class at Harvard or Yale.

    Affirmative Action is a racist relic of bygone days and should be eliminated from a free, colorblind society.

    Ethnic Grievance Lobby Tries To Get Its Hooks Into SBOE

    Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

    Here’s one of those stories that buries the real news under bright, shiny affirmations of political correctness:

    Texas State Board of Education member Ruben Cortez says he’ll propose a vote to decide whether to create a statewide Mexican-American studies course at the agency’s meeting next month.

    If passed, the measure would mark a major victory for Latino education activists who have pressed for a public school curriculum more reflective of their state’s majority-Hispanic student body.

    “This is it — we’ve been inching our way to a vote,” Cortez told The Huffington Post. “Just the mere fact that we’re going to have a vote is historic.”

    The group Librotraficante, formed in 2012 to protest the banning of the Tucson Mexican-American studies program, started calling last year for the Texas SBOE to include a dual-credit Mexican-American studies course when the state agency took up the question of new course design.

    The idea appealed to Cortez, a Democrat from the Rio Grande Valley who says too many Mexican-Americans go through their public school educations without learning about the achievements of Hispanic heroes.

    Even before we start digging into the issue, there are a few problems here. First of course is the unspoken assumption that students should only identify with great Americans if they have similar skin-tones or ethnic makeups. Americans should look up to and admire George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King for their towering achievements, not because of ethnic solidarity; they’re heroes for the content of their character, not the color of their skin.

    Second, if any Texas students “go through their public school educations without learning about the achievements of Hispanic heroes,” then it’s only because Texas teachers aren’t doing their jobs. Are students no longer taught that many defenders of the Alamo (Juan Abamillo, Juan Antonio Badillo, Carlos Espalier, José María (Gregorio) Esparza, Antonio Fuentes, Andrés Nava) were ethically Hispanic, or about the career of Juan Seguín? Are they not taught that Texans were initially fighting for restoration of the more liberal Mexican Constitution of 1824?

    If so, these are indeed problems, but not ones a “statewide Mexican-American studies course” would be designed to address.

    No, the real reason Democrats want such a course can be deduced from mention of that Tucson Mexican-American studies program whose cancellation has them so upset. Just what did that course consist of?

    What is left out of traditional syllabi, of course, is the grievance and distortion. When Horne finally acquired the program materials he requested, they included texts with titles such as Occupied America and The Pedagogy of Oppression. And according to John Ward, a Tucson teacher who saw his U.S. history course coopted by the Raza Studies department, the Raza curriculum’s focus is “that Mexican-Americans were and continue to be victims of a racist American society driven by the interests of middle and upper-class whites.”

    When Ward raised concerns about Raza Studies (which is part of TUSD’s larger Ethnic Studies department) he was, despite being Hispanic himself, called a racist and eventually reassigned to another course. Ward told a reporter from the Arizona Republic that by the time he left the Raza Studies class, he had observed a definite change in the students: “An angry tone. They taught them not to trust their teachers, not to trust the system. They taught them the system wasn’t worth trusting.”

    How bad was it? “Che Guevara was openly displayed on the walls and schoolchildren were taught that Benjamin Franklin was a racist.”

    “’It’s propagandizing and brainwashing that’s going on there,’ Tom Horne, Arizona’s newly elected attorney general, said this week as he officially declared the program in violation of a state law that went into effect on Jan. 1.”

    And here we see the real reason for the course: Another chance for the far-left ethnic grievance lobby to get their hooks into students and indoctrinate them in Critical Race Theory’s victimhood identity politics.

    It’s a bad idea that should be quashed. If you agree, write your state board of education representative and tell them so.

    LinkSwarm for March 10, 2014

    Monday, March 10th, 2014

    Time for another LinkSwarm, sweeping up all the news that was happening while I was churning out Texas primary news:

  • “The uninsured just aren’t buying ObamaCare.”
  • A not-so-short compendium of all the people Harry Reid is calling a liar.
  • ObamaCare will slash wages by as much as $5 an hour for hospitality workers.
  • ObamaCare helps states transfer medical costs for imprisoned felons to Medicaid.
  • In Sean Trende’s latest senate simulation, Democrats are more likely to lose 14 seats than 0 seats.
  • Among those in trouble: Mo Udall. (Hat tip: Shall Not Be Questioned.)
  • Even Obama is worried that Democrats will get “walloped.” (Hat tip: Instapundit.)
  • This week’s Democrat caught beating his wife: Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida
  • Senate to Obama’s cop killer fan nominee: REJECTED!
  • But evidently Mary Landrieu and Kay Hagan are just fine with cop-killer supporters.
  • New York City’s new mayor is perfectly willing to screw poor black kids attending a charter school because it’s a non-union school run by his “political nemesis.”
  • Speaking of cities run by Democrats: woman’s mummified remains found in foreclosed Detroit house.
  • A great list of things Obama won’t even consider to stop Putin.
  • Time magazine continues its record of unrivaled prognostication: “No, Russia Will Not Intervene in Ukraine.”
  • “If economic success is all but criminal in France these days, why not depart for places that reward it instead?”
  • Israel intercepts more Iranian freedom missiles and happiness rockets in route to Hamas.
  • Nigerian Muslim defends daughter’s conversion to Christianity, pleads for multiculturalism and tolerance. Ha, just kidding! He hacked her to death with a machete.
  • “What Nigerian scams are to your grandfather, Bitcoin exchanges are to the 20-30 semi-tech-savvy libertarian demographic.”

    “The exchanges are based on layers upon layers of bad software, run by shady characters,” he writes. “The Bitcoin masses, judging by their behavior on forums, have no actual interest in science, technology or even objective reality when it interferes with their market position. They believe that holding a Bitcoin somehow makes them an active participant in a bold new future, even as they passively get fleeced in the bolder current present.”

  • The bigger the cushion, the sweeter the pushin’…
  • Can anyone derail the juggernaut that is Biden 2016?
  • Vaunted liberal tolerance rears its head in Ireland:

  • We have an early winner for “stupidest Critical Race Theory race-baiting essay” from Salon (natch): “Why I can’t stand white belly dancers.”
  • Meanwhile, National Review is celebrating Chinese classical musicians. Now remind me again: Which side is racist?
  • More on Critical Race Theorist/Social Justice Warrior types: “These people don’t listen to things like “logic” and “reason” when they are in one of their social justice tizzies. It’s not even worth trying to be kind or polite to them.”
  • Winners and Losers from the Texas primaries.
  • Small Grambling Update

    Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

    While the Grambling football team is back practicing, from Dwight comes news that Grambling fired David Lankster, online editor ofThe Gramblinite student newspaper, supposedly over posts made on the official Twitter feed. Lankster played a key role in exposing the deplorable facilities football players were complaining about. (Fox News has pictures of the facilities.) Lanskster’s firing was overturned, but he plans to resign.

    I do wonder if I had some small hand in Lankster’s firing, since he used his personal Twitter account to retweet my suspicion that someone in the Administration was embezzling funds:

    And it’s not just the athletic department; large parts of the rest of the university are falling apart. And as a well-known book collector, this picture just breaks my heart:

    Just budget cuts and the higher education bubble bursting? Maybe, but that doesn’t seem to explain everything. If I were Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal or Treasurer John Kennedy, I’d seriously consider auditing Grambling…

    LinkSwarm for April 4, 2013

    Friday, April 5th, 2013

    Been a while since the last Friday LinkSwarm, so here it is!

  • The problem with Europe’s economy? It’s the spending, stupid.

    Government spending on bailouts, subsidies, grants, salaries and entitlements commands a much larger share of these economies than it did just a few years ago. European austerity has been focused on the private sector — namely, taxpayers with high incomes.

    That is the second thing the PIIGGS have in common. The highest income tax rate was recently increased in every one of the troubled PIIGGS except Italy (where it was already too high at 43%). The top tax rate was hiked from 40 to 46.5% in Portugal, from 41 to 48% in Ireland, from 40 to 45% in Greece, from 40 to 50% in Great Britain, and from 48 to 52% in Spain.

  • Immigration “reform:” Distrust and Then Verify.
  • News flash: Getting a PhD in Literature is not a surefire path to financial security. Stop the presses!
  • Female Princeton grad tells current Princeton women that maybe they should consider getting married in college. Naturally the Ivy league/feminist/MSM complex threw a fit. (Pro-tip: There are few surer signs of leftwing PC think than the word “hetronormative.”)
  • Homicide Trends in the US: 1980 to 2008.
  • Dwight brings up another case of journalistic malpractice. “Meet the Sniper Who Killed 2,200 People in Iraq.” As Dwight notes, anyone with even passing knowledge of snipers should know that this claim is ludicrous from the git go. In sports terms, it’s like someone claiming they threw 20 Major League no hitters, or ran a two minute mile. It reminds me of Scott Thomas Beauchamp’s smears about troops in Iraq in The New Republic. (If you remember the Beauchampo affair, it turns out that he was engaged to Elspeeth reeve, who just happened to be a TNR fact-checker. Somebody should make them read Stolen Valor.
  • Also from Dwight: This interesting piece about a gay man talks about coming out at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty university.
  • Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott: UN Treaties don’t trump the Bill of Rights.
  • Left-wing bigots pat themselves on the back.
  • Texas Vs. California Update for February 28, 2013

    Thursday, February 28th, 2013

    I’m running out of month! Here’s another quick Texas vs. California update:

  • Is California really back? Yeah, not so much.
  • California to impose tax on rain.
  • Add Costa Mesa to the list of California cities where a pension crises looms.
  • Texas spending on education has outpaced inflation.
  • The Texas Growth Machine.
  • LinkSwarm for February 15, 2013

    Friday, February 15th, 2013

    The Week of Extreme Busyness continues (though the weekend has gotten slightly less busy), but here’s a semi-random LinkSwarm to end your work week with.

  • The Washington Post is shocked, shocked that Ted Cruz dares to rock the comfy Democratic Media Complex boat.
  • Democrats attempting to hold onto the Senate just got kicked right in the Vilsack.
  • Government entitlement spending is unsustainable. Duh.
  • Thanks to ObamaCare’s electronic billing provisions, doctors “see fewer patients per shift than they did previously, and spend less time with each one.”
  • The media just can’t help itself when it comes to lying about Sarah Palin.
  • Gee, who do I trust less: a New York Times reporter, or the CEO of an electric car maker who received $465 million in “green energy” loans?
  • Oh, and everyone complaining about New York Times inaccuracy and bias? Now you know how every gun owner feels about every NYT story about guns.
  • America doesn’t have a crime problem, it has a Democrat problem.
  • Massachusetts Democratic Senator-in-Waiting Ed Markey is deeply upset that somewhere out there, people might be having fun on roller coasters.
  • Grad student sues over university giving her a C+ in a class. Oh, and she also attend the university for free. Why not just hang a sign around your neck saying “No employer should ever hire me, I’m a lawsuit waiting to happen”?
  • School locked down over evil “Assault Shovel”.
  • Cops to Dorner: We don’t need no water, let the motherfarker burn. (NSFW reference follows.)

  • Have a great weekend!

    Quick Notes from the TPPF Gun Control Conference Call for February 11, 2013

    Monday, February 11th, 2013

    I sat in a Texas Public Policy Foundation teleconference on the current state legislative session, the main topic of which was Texas efforts to fight Democrats gun control agenda at the national level. On hand were Arlene Wohlgemuth, Mario Loyola and James Golsan, though I believe all the gun control points were from Loyola. Here are a few very brief notes on the call:

    There are three main legislative to avoid federal gun control laws being enacted in Texas:

    1. Nullification: Refuse Cooperation. “We don’t think this approach is constitutional or can prevail.”

    2. Keep state employees from becoming agents of the federal government. “Printz vs. United States struck down part of the Brady Act that forced state officials to enforce federal law.” Make it illegal to cooperate.
    3. Gun control version of TSA Groping bill, Rep. Otto sponsored (HR 553). “Arrest those trying to enforce unconstitutional laws, sort it out in court. High risk, high reward.”

    Some Republicans losing their nerve against fighting ObamaCare.

    Loyola: There’s a difference between setting up exchanges and Medicaid expansion. Later is holding a gun to our heads and will bankrupt our country. It’s important for Texas to hold the line rather than giving into blackmail with their own money. Republican governors need to hold the line to prevent Texas from going it alone.

    Once again a federal judge wants Texas to spend more money on education ($2,000 more per student). Smart play is to appeal and take no legislative action while the issue works its way through the court.

    Another Law School Dean Leaves Over Slush Funds

    Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

    Hey, remember when UT’s Dean stepped down because he had a $500,000 slush fund?

    Well, there’s been another law school dean stepping down because of a slush fund. Only this time it’s St. Louis University School of Law Dean Annette Clark and she’s stepping down not because of her own slush fund, but because University President Father Lawrence Biondi transferred more than $1 million in law school funds into his own slush fund. Without asking her. Or consulting her on the new law school building. And refusing to meet with a law school reaccreditation team.

    I am very far indeed from intimate knowledge of St. Louis University, but if even half of what Clark alleges is true, something stinks to high heaven.

    (Hat tip: Tax Prof Blog, via Instapundit.)

    When Looking for Primary School Qualifications, “Founded by Mimes” Should Not Be a Plus

    Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

    “Parents are yanking their kids out of the ‘progressive,’ $32,000 per-year private school founded by the Blue Man Group—which has no books and no tests—because their kids are barely learning to read.”

    You mean that “progressive” education doesn’t work, even in a school founded by mimes? Who knew?

    Well, guess I’ll have to cancel my graduate school application for The Marcel Marceau School of Advanced Particle Physics…

    (Hat tip: The Daily Caller via Jim Treacher’s twitter feed.)