As if public school teachers do not have enough on their plate, the Department of Education is now demanding that school teachers and principals monitor Facebook behavior. According to The Daily Caller, officials at the Department of Education “are threatening school principals with lawsuits if they fail to monitor and curb students’ lunchtime chat and evening Facebook time for expressing ideas and words that are deemed by Washington special-interest groups to be harassment of some students.”
The U.S. Department of Education does not serve any clear purpose. The Constitution leaves education to state governments as a residual power. In our history, that did not mean states had to provide education to children at taxpayer expense, although that was the rule throughout the states, at least to a certain age.
Today, March 14, is celebrated by school kids around the world as Pi Day — the holiday in honor of the mathematical constant π, commonly written as Pi. March 14 was chosen as Pi Day as the numerical value of π begins with the numbers 3, 1, and 4, thus March 14.
The recent events in Wisconsin, in which unionized teachers behaved like third-world mobs, is a stark reminder of what a grave mistake it was to permit government employees to unionize. Since government employees have always had job security and benefits that many workers in the private sector couldn’t dream of getting, there was no need for them to unionize unless they wanted to use union power to intimidate legislators and extort more money from the taxpayers.
A Rhode Island school district has decided to fight the ACLU rather than remove a prayer banner that has been displayed in its high school for nearly 50 years. With some 200 supporters in attendance at a March 7 meeting on the issue, the school committee of Cranston, a suburb of Providence, voted 4-3 to continue displaying the banner, which has been hanging in the Cranston High School West auditorium since 1963.
Chalk up a small victory for religious liberty on campus. On March 7 the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a lower-court decision that granted a Catholic campus group student funding from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
President Obama may be humbled by the dramatically decreased number of schools requesting his presence at commencement ceremonies. Last year, more than 1,000 schools competed to secure a commencement address from President Obama, but according to a leaked internal White House memo, there is a serious shortage of applicants for the Race to the Top Commencement Challenge this year.
Item:An Education Weekblog for February 14, in a piece entitled “Obama Proposes Modest Hike in Education Spending for FY 2012,” reported that “education is a bright spot in an otherwise tight budget.” The “Politics K-12” blog took note of President Obama’s visit that day to a school in Baltimore County, Maryland. The President said “that while he recognizes the need to rein in federal spending, ‘we can’t sacrifice our future in the proc-ess. That’s especially true when it comes to education.’”
More than 40 years after Harvard University severed its relationship with the U.S. military’s Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC), the elite school announced on March 4 that the program would return to campus later this year. In 1969, at the height of the Vietnam conflict, Harvard officials voted to withhold academic credit from students enrolled in ROTC, and the program left campus a few years later.
Census statistics released earlier this month show that 42 percent of the Texas population is white, non-Hispanic, down from 50 percent ten years ago. As white males are now the minority in the state of Texas, the newly founded “Former Majority Association for Equality” is granting scholarships to white males.
The State of Wisconsin is a microcosm of everything that's wrong in public education, including education policy at the federal and state levels, as well as with the unionization of public employees. In the midst of the protests by unionized teachers.