The Boston Globe | Op-ed | August 3, 2018 In June, one of the dozens of labor unions at the University of Massachusetts launched a vicious and unfair smear campaign against university president Martin T. Meehan. In online ads, the UMass Lowell adjunct faculty union,...read more
The Boston Globe | Op-ed | July 2, 2018 PORTLAND, Maine -- Ericka Lee-Winship has taught social studies at Portland High School for 20 years. But lately the veteran teacher has been frustrated by what she sees as an attempt by consultants and policy makers to turn the...read more
Independent Women's Forum | Blog | June 4, 2018 Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), who chairs the Senate Committee on Education, last week expressed support for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s effort to reform the way that Title IX is enforced. Title IX of the...read more
The Boston Globe | Op-Ed | May 28, 2018 Do we really need to litigate every school dress code in federal court? The ACLU and the National Women’s Law Center think so. They argue that rules against inappropriate attire perpetuate “gender stereotypes” in violation...read more
As the postmodern takeover of American education nears completion, the practice of assessing student performance with letter grades is under attack. Education disrupters claim grades and GPAs create an unfair academic hierarchy and put undue pressure on high-achieving students, leaving the rest mired in low self-esteem.
Combine these objections with the political insistence that all students graduate “college ready” and armed with “21st-century skills,” and a revolution in assessment is well under way.
Many elementary-school teachers years ago abandoned letter grades in reading, writing and arithmetic. Instead they write progress reports that assess, on a scale of 1-3 (or 1-4), the student’s proficiency in various skills. The reports typically indicate whether the student has achieved competency, is “progressing” toward competency, or has not made progress.
This type of “standards-based grading” (as it is called) represents more than a change in nomenclature. Whereas letter grades (or numeric percentages) measure the work a student has completed, the new system is concerned primarily with what the student will be able to do by year’s end. Teachers expect most students to be “progressing” toward the standard on their first report and then to have “met” the standard on their last.read more
Bashing Christopher Columbus has long been de rigueur among the liberal elite. Today, it has infiltrated our nation’s classrooms and poisons our public discourse. You know the mantra: Columbus was a greedy and egomaniacal villain who brought slavery, disease, “genocide,” and ecological ruin to a previously undisturbed land. Rather than honor this legacy of “hate,” the argument goes, Americans should celebrate the peaceful indigenous peoples who populated this hemisphere long before their lands were stolen by European explorers.
The war against Columbus is cloaked in the lexicon of “diversity” and the rhetoric of “inclusion.” But what many of its foot soldiers do not realize is that in fact it has its intellectual roots in the not so tolerant ideologies of Marxism and white supremacy.
Karl Marx, of course, viewed history as the product of a great class struggle between those who control the means of production and those who do not. According to Marx, history should be understood not as the story of humanity’s progress but rather as an ongoing clash of opposing forces, a battle between the haves and the have-nots. Friedrich Engels, who with Marx authored the Communist Manifesto, lambasted Columbus as the godfather of modern capitalism. According to Engels, Columbus’s westward journeys unleashed the era of “big commerce,” the world market, and the birth of the bourgeoisie. “The discovery of America was connected with the advent of machinery,” he wrote in 1847, “and with that the struggle became necessary which we are conducting today, the struggle of the propertyless against the property owners.”read more
The Wall Street Journal | September 11, 2017 Dear female members of the class of 2021: Now that you’ve set up your rooms and purchased your course materials, it’s time for some straight talk about sexual assault. If you follow the news, you’ve probably heard that 1 in...read more
National Review Online| April 6 , 2017 | Book Review| Something is rotten with the state of academia. So says Laura Kipnis, a tenured professor of film studies at Northwestern University. And she should know. Two years ago Kipnis was investigated by university...read more
The Wall Street Journal | Op-ed | October 23, 2016 Yale University’s motto is Lux et Veritas, light and truth. But at Yale today, bureaucrats charged with investigating and punishing alleged sexual misconduct seem less interested in truth or fairness than in scoring...read more
New Boston Post | April 18, 2016 Today, Massachusetts celebrates Patriots’ Day. In towns across the commonwealth, crowds will gather for parades of marching bands, scout troops and public officials. In Lexington and Concord, Redcoats and Minutemen will reenact the...read more
“Some people would rather give every child a trophy than let poor performers feel bad about themselves. But anyone who wants to limit the influence of money, connections and bias on students’ post-high school prospects should fight like hell to keep grades.”