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To the Left, Even Math is Racist!

The false bill of goods that Leftists peddle will haunt their advocates and apologists for decades

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Picture a young Isaac Newton, Madame Curie, Henri Poincare, Srinivasa Ramanujan, Albert Einstein, Alan Turing, or, for that matter, Pythagoras, Euclid, or Archimedes as newly enrolled in a Portland, Oregon grade school. Exposed to this state’s edict regarding how math is to be taught, would any of them have achieved prominence? Would the world be the same?

Consider the ladies profiled in the movie Hidden Figures, including Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Dorothy Vaughan. Without them, we probably still would have made it to the Moon, but maybe with more difficulty and more delay.

Racism! It’s Everywhere!

The Left relentlessly seeks ways to dumb down education so that anybody, at any time, can get a passing grade regardless of what they know. If black lives truly matter, as well as white lives, shouldn’t students be competitive in the workplace? Otherwise, how are they going to land decent jobs?

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: Martha’s Vineyard Hypocrisy

‘Social justice’ warriors detect racism, real or imagined, all day long, everywhere they look, particularly in education. Achievement tests, end-of-grade testing, report cards, and the mere act of assigning letter grades to a student’s performance are all absolute signs of racism according to the Left.

Nevertheless, if a student — any student — has been attentive and diligent and has applied himself or herself, not one single quiz, achievement test, final exam, or end-of-grade test precipitates undue concern. Such tests do not represent a stumbling block for students who have been appropriately taught, been attentive in class, done their homework regularly, and appropriately studied for tests.

Even in ‘poor’ schools, a decent teacher and a motivated student can yield academic success.

Measuring Tools Matter

Those on the Left prefer to cast aspersions on American education, stop all testing, apparently for all students, for all time. So, no more SATs for high school juniors and seniors. No more ACTs. After all, the tests are hopelessly biased against anything but the Caucasian majority. Although Asians seem to do well…

To the Left, testing, academics, and the English language, in and of itself, are merely tools of oppression and must be abandoned – now.

Isn’t it odd that the Left never pushes for more rigorous standards? “Why are tests needed at all?” they demand to know. “Learning takes place on many different levels. Why conform to the white man’s version of what represents academic achievement?”

Let’s assess the ramifications of such assertions.

The Very Long Way Home

How confident would you be driving across a high bridge, over a wide river, knowing that the bridge was designed by engineers who ‘learned’ math in Oregon, or didn’t take any final exams in college? Knowing the academic credentials of the bridge designers, or lack thereof, could change your driving habits.

What if you need brain surgery? Among a handful of brain surgeons in your area, you learn that some never took final exams in medical school, or any exams at all! These same surgeons turned in no college papers, took no quizzes, and perhaps spent little time in class.

Suppose they’re all good surgeons and have successfully operated on others? You’ve got this nagging suspicion, nonetheless, that your best choice would be among the brain surgeons who attended class, did well on quizzes and tests, passed final exams, and proved to be academically superior.

Would anyone find you to be discriminatory? Can we find fault with your decision to seek a formally trained and tested brain surgeon?

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Mechanical and structural engineers, and brain surgeons, do not represent the brunt of society; everyday people do. Whether it’s receiving change at the grocery store, having your car fixed, hiring a masseuse, or any of dozens of other product and service options, as Ghostbusters fans would say, “Who ya gonna call?”

The lifetime economic curse that Leftists advocates bestow upon those who follow their edicts is crippling. Suppose you attend a university, such as Rutgers, where proper English is not required, exams are not given, and graduation is all but guaranteed? Knowing the background of students who matriculated from such an institution, what future employer would choose such students over others who have bonafide academic credentials?

Haunted for Generations

The false bill of goods that far Left groups peddle will come back to haunt their advocates and apologists, not merely for years, but for decades to come.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Based on what the Left deems to be sufficient, anyone who thinks he or she will be able to compete for jobs is in for a lifetime of rude awakenings.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Education

Texas School District Says Enough is Enough

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Photo by MChe Lee on Unsplash

BREAKING: The Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District in North Texas voted last night to:

1) Ban the teaching of critical race theory. 

2) Wait until students are in the fifth grade to teach them sexual orientation and gender identity. 

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3) Ban boys from playing in girls’ sports.

4) Encourage the use of pronouns that align with student’s biological gender and require them to use restrooms and locker rooms that align with their biological gender.

5) Require that library materials be posted online and readily available for review by parents.

6) Not teach The New York Times “1619 Project”.

7) Implement a strict process for reviewing library books, so as to allow To Kill A Mockingbird and disallow Daddy, Papa, and Me and others.

It seems nearly incomprehensible that a school district would have to vote on measures like these. In fact, to many thoughtful Americans, it seems utterly Orwellian. How can truths about gender and the proper use of pronouns suddenly seem controversial rather than commonsensical?

Why does it seem radical to return power to parents and reaffirm biological reality? Or to keep boys from dominating girls in sports? Or to let students read revisionist history and propaganda about their nation on their own time? Why teach something that cannot withstand even the lightest objective criticism? 

Perhaps the school district’s 4-3 vote is a sign that there’s hope, that the pendulum has reached its arc and is beginning to move back toward truth and reality. Maybe the radicals are on the run.

No matter what, kudos to North Texas educators for pushing back against the absurdity and reaffirming responsible education.

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Education

Make Universities Accountable for Predatory Student Loan Abuse

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The Biden administration is still talking about delivering on the President’s promise to relieve student loan debt for many Americans. There is continuing discussion on how much debt should be forgiven, how to pay for it, and whether it is fair to all those who have diligently and painfully worked to already pay off their own student loans. After all, if you’re going to eliminate student debt to buy votes, why just limit it to student debt?

Unfortunately for Biden, according to numerous sources including National Review, the executive branch has no generalized power to forgive any amount of student debt. Even Nancy Pelosi confirmed simply that “the president can’t do it. That’s not even a discussion.” The Department of Education came to the same verdict, determining that the executive branch “does not have the statutory authority to cancel, compromise, discharge, or forgive, on a blanket or mass basis, principal balances of student loans, and/or to materially modify the repayment amounts or terms thereof.”

Of course, even if he had the authority, forgiving student debt doesn’t make the debt go away. Reality has a way of breaking into such “freeloading” dreams. It’s pay me now, or somebody else pay me later. But why should some future taxpayer pay off anyone else’s student debt?

Whatever happened to wise warnings of “student beware.” When you get an education and agree to pay the tuition, you ought to realize that you must at some point pay for that education. You signed on the bottom line. Face your real-world responsibilities. Hopefully, you picked a degree major that will ensure a career capable of paying off your loans. Students clearly have some responsibility, but what about the universities that took advantage of the money coming from those loans?

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: Martha’s Vineyard Hypocrisy

After all, there is ample evidence that student tuitions exploded far faster than inflation when government funds became readily available for student loans. Complaints of excessive tuition increases by students trapped in their programs tended to be met with a less than caring response—pound sand!

Since 2008, the tuition cost or a four-year college degree has increased nearly 25%. In that same period, student debt has doubled, increasing by 107%. 2015 study found that a dollar of subsidized student loans results in a published tuition increase of 58 cents at a typical university, An NBER paper suggests that changes to federal student loans are more than sufficient to explain tuition increases at private nonprofit colleges. And a 2014 study found that for-profit colleges eligible for federal student aid charged tuition 78% higher than that of similar but aid-ineligible institutions.

In short, there is no doubt that tuition was rising faster than the inflation level. Evidence has been clear for decades. In 1987, Secretary of Education William J. Bennett argued that “increases in financial aid in recent years have enabled colleges and universities to raise their tuition, confident that Federal loan subsidies would help cushion the increase.”

Bennett pointed out in 1987 that federal student aid had risen 57 percent since 1980, while inflation had been 26 percent. A 2020 analysis by the Congressional Budget Office brought the numbers up to date: “Between 1995 and 2017, the balance of outstanding federal student loan debt increased more than sevenfold, from $187 billion to $1.4 trillion (in 2017 dollars).” What is the lesson? The more federal aid to students is available colleges raise tuition more. Salaries rise and bureaucracies expand. There are more courses, more dorms, dining halls, lavish recreational centers, and more money for endowments.

Far too many students find that once they begin their education, their schools raise the tuition at such a high rate that their debt explodes. The university builds their endowment, and the “trapped” student is compelled to finish what they started at a cost they did not expect to have to pay. In such a situation, should not the university be responsible for any increased cost above the increase in cost of living during the same time? It’s time for universities to take responsibility for their share of student debt.

The universities that benefited from these loans should have a part in footing the bill. That means universities that raked in millions to inflate endowments should be holding the bag for those who can’t afford to pay their loans. With universities holding hundreds of billions of dollars in tax-free endowments, any government program to relieve student debt should be completely dependent on taxing those university endowments.

It’s time to counter the Democrats’ vote-buying scheme by making lasting changes to the student loan process. That means putting universities on the hook for their predatory behavior. That will go much further than a temporary payoff that does nothing to solve what is causing the problem.

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