The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) is embroiled in a battle over textbook content that, media reports claim, could dictate public school curricula nationwide. As the single largest textbook purchaser in the country, Texas is a major decision-maker regarding content of books available on the market, since publishers naturally cater to their most lucrative client. Republicans on the SBOE have made headlines in recent months overturning what they call a "subtle trend" toward liberalism and negativity about America in the high school social studies curriculum.
Standardized tests are not a perfect tool to measure academic achievement or intellectual ability. But standardized tests represent a serious attempt to objectively determine how much a student has learned and how well his mind works in certain defined areas.
The Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, school district lent high school sophomore Blake Robbins an Apple MacBook laptop last fall, and then utilized security software on the computer's webcam to take pictures of him in his home. The pictures involved him sleeping and getting dressed, but the school district's information systems coordinator Carol Cafiero contends in a lawsuit that Robbins had “no legitimate expectation of privacy” with the laptop.
There's an old saying: If you don't have to pay someone to be good, then he's probably good for nothing. Harvard economist Roland Fryer, Jr. is testing the reliability of this old saw using schoolchildren as test subjects.
Perhaps the best case study in leftism run amuck is England, which in two generations has gone from Churchill and churches to hate-speech laws and halal ritual. For example, in recent times the U.K. has treated us to stories about a school guide stating that toddlers who say “yuck” in response to foreign food may have bigoted tendencies, about a 66-year-old pet shop owner and grandmother forced to wear an electronic tracking bracelet because she sold a goldfish to a 14-year-old, and a police officer who was harassed because he wouldn’t don a pink ribbon to mark a homosexual event.
“The Death of Liberal Arts” lamented a headline in an April 5 Newsweek.com article that carried the subhead: “How the recession and unemployment are making schools and students rethink the value of an education in the humanities.”
President Obama’s plan to help eliminate student-loan payments and minimize college students’ reliance on banks was the subject of much controversy, and for good reason. While the plan does allow for more students to attend college, it proposes a system that would increase government spending and would likely reduce the quality of education for those who do go to college. Furthermore, the Democrat leaders’ decision to insert the student-loan provisions into the already unpopular healthcare bill confirmed that the Democratic party has resorted to solely underhanded tactics.
New textbook standards approved in Texas are poised to revolutionize public-school curricula nationwide, and liberal educators are furious. Every year the Texas State Board of Education revises a particular subject curriculum, outlining rules that school districts must follow in purchasing teaching materials with state money. Since Texas is the single largest purchaser of textbooks in the country, it holds sway over content of books available on the market to all states.
First it was coeducation.Then it was young men and women in different wings of the same dormitories. Next we had the sexes sharing the same hallways and bathrooms. Now, this evolution (devolution?) has brought us sex-neutral housing, where male and female students can share the same room.
On Wednesday March 10, a panel of educators coordinated by governors and state school superintendents convened to propose national uniform academic standards. Since the introduction of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in 2002, states moved to lower their standards to make it easier for students to pass exams in an effort to avoid penalties under the law. The proposed national standards are intended to counteract the effects of the NCLB and force states to raise their standards.
There was a time when boys of easy virtue had to content themselves with sneaking a peek at the girls’ swim team during practice. But social engineers may make this passé with a proposal to allow boys to use girls’ bathrooms and locker rooms.