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01 July 2020



"... being competent in STEM fields at the end of secondary school is the modern equivalent of being literate and numerate in the 19th century"- Teitelbaum

STEM fields in secondary school are just math, chemistry and physics; adding Techology is just fluff and adding Engineering (applied science) just adds a vowel.

Rich Ulery

I do believe that Republicans are slowly waking up to the need to begin focusing on the importance of school board elections. The Arizona GOP has a specific training program for Republican school board candidates. The Orange County Board of Education in California now has a conservative majority and is led by a good friend and former colleague. They are successfully approving charter schools against the stiff opposition of teacher's unions. And yours truly now sits on the board of our local elementary school district, which also has a strong conservative majority. The fact that we are too far behind in ceding our schools to the Left is unquestioned, but there may be a small flicker of hope.

George Rebane

RichU 602pm - Good to hear from you. Jo Ann goaded me into applying for a vacancy on the NC Board of Ed, which I did, and was predictably rejected in favor of a more established apparatchik. The Union misreported the criticism in my application to which I replied in a letter that was published today. For your reading pleasure -

The June 26 piece in The Union on the Nevada County Board of Education replacing one of its members erroneously reported that I, as one of the three unsuccessful applicants for the slot, had characterized our public school system as being in “complete disarray.”

That I did not. Instead, I did characterize it as being dysfunctional. Our public school industry is anything but in disarray.

Over the last decades it has become one of our most insular, sclerotic, and ideologically narrow institutions in its structure, process, and policies, which student performance numbers corroborate year after year. In short, its “array” is very firm, stable, and enduring as it has successfully resisted efforts to redeem its student orientation, and step back from being another merit-optional public employee sinecure for teachers and administrators.

Seeking to contribute to a change in the status quo, I concluded my application with, “In sum, I would like for you to consider my joining you only if you believe that productive change on the local level is within the art of the possible. However, if you are comfortable with the current state and direction of our county’s public schools, and wish to have a compatible and compliant colleague to continue the same ol’ same ol’, then please consider this application moot and withdrawn. Please let me know.”

Which, of course, they did.


George, the eternal optimist...

Bill Tozer

‘Universities Sowing the Seeds of Their Own Obsolescence’

“Universities are certainly teaching our youth to be confident, loud, and self-righteous. But the media blitz during these last several weeks of protests, riots, and looting also revealed a generation that is poorly educated and yet petulant and self-assured without justification.

Many of the young people on the televised front lines of the protests are in their 20s. But most appear juvenile, at least in comparison to their grandparents — survivors of the Great Depression and World War II.

How can so many so sheltered and prolonged adolescents claim to be all-knowing?

Ask questions like these, and the answers ultimately lead back to the university.“



re: Schools.

Just for Mr. Gregory's sake...

"The email also laid out a series of steps to be taken by the college in order to combat racial injustice. These include hosting a series of Equity Scorecard Sessions throughout the academic year, adding anti-racism sessions to New Student Orientation, and engaging in fundraising to “develop curriculum that addresses systemic racism.” “Supporting our Black students, faculty and staff, as well as our other students, faculty, and staff of color, will continue to be a priority” for the Harvey Mudd administration.

According to the transcript, Harvey Mudd administrators stated that the college currently has many plans in place to increase the number of Black students, including its “Future Achievers in Science and Technology” program, which flies in underrepresented students. Harvey Mudd has also dropped its SAT subject test requirement, and has also temporarily suspended its SAT/ACT testing requirements. "


lol. Oh well.

Serious question. Where do you send a promising kid now? I expect even the service academies will pick up this nonsense, especially in a Vice President Rice/Harris administration. This all assumes that life isn't lived a bit more bare to the bone, finagling up fake passport to escape The Party with gold sewn into your clothing.

It's an important question since any overseas univerity might likely require new language skills.


re: education.

I was thinking about Harvey Mudd dropping some test requirements and it brought a few things to mind.

. I was wondering to what extent the problem in modern colleges is simply low entrance standards, especially the better schools. You perform various sorts of AA and the likely result is people who drop out or move to departments with little in the way of rigor. Plus, there's the added value of angry kids feeling left out because they aren't capable of the work.

. Digging around the web archives a few weeks ago in a fit of boredom, I ran into standardized tests for the 19C. British civil service in India. No passee, no jobee. Man, those were some serious exams, held over a week or so. These were intended for folks going through the normal school system in the UK at the time, not the wealthy (why would wealthy people want to run a train depot in Bombay?). Greek, Latin, non-trivial questions in mathematics and literature, multiple local (in India) languages. An eye opener.

. Leading to a theory. How to choose a school. I wonder if Latin might not be a good gating requirement. I doubt that the average university grad, at least the variety we get to read about in the college-outrage-of-the-day, would be capable of the work it takes to learn it at any level. The act of learning something difficult, as opposed to merely telling everyone how you feel, has a lot of value. At least you aren't required to learn a new alphabet (mostly).

Don Bessee

What an expensive waste of a Harvard degree ima sure mom and dad are so happy with the outcome -

Claira Janover, who graduated in May with a degree in government and psychology, went viral after posting a short clip in which she attacked anyone with “the nerve, the sheer entitled Caucasity to say, ‘all lives matter.’”

“I’ma stab you,” the Connecticut native said, zooming in close on her face.

“I’ma stab you, and while you’re struggling and bleeding out, I’ma show you my paper cut and say, ‘My cut matters, too,’” she added.




Next up for the chop. Steven Pinker. The guillotine is always hungry and The Terror never sleeps.


"We want to note here that we have no desire to judge Dr. Pinker’s actions in moral terms, or claim to know what his aims are. Nor do we seek to “cancel” Dr. Pinker, or to bar him from participating in the linguistics and LSA communities (though many of our signatories may well believe that doing so would be the right course of action). We do, however, believe that the examples introduced above establish that Dr. Pinker’s public actions constitute a pattern of downplaying the very real violence of systemic racism and sexism, and, moreover, a pattern that is not above deceitfulness, misrepresentation, or the employment of dogwhistles. In light of the fact that Dr. Pinker is read widely beyond the linguistics community, this behavior is particularly harmful, not merely for the perception of linguistics by the general public, but for movements against the systems of racism and sexism, and for linguists affected by these violent systems."

"Nor do we seek to “cancel” Dr. Pinker"


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