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K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: One school district massively exaggerated black student absenteeism. It ruined a national survey.

LIVING THE SMUG LIFE:  Dem. Sen. Mazie Hirono: Dems Have Trouble Connecting To Voters Because They ‘Tell Everyone How Smart We Are.’

Hirono gained notoriety during the Brett Kavanaugh saga for saying that men should simply shut up when it comes to allegations of sexual misconduct.

“I’ve been saying it at all of our Senate Democratic retreats, that we need to speak to the heart not in a manipulative way, not in a way that brings forth everybody’s fears and resentments but truly to speak to the hearts so that people know that we’re actually on their side,” she continued. “But we have a really hard time doing that and one of the reasons it was told to me at one of our retreats was that we Democrats know so much, that is true. And we have kind of have to tell everyone how smart we are and so we have a tendency to be very left brain.”

She’s right — Democratic candidates in all 57 states have made that mistake.

Related: Michelle Obama Tells a Secret: “I have been at probably every powerful table that you can think of, I have worked at nonprofits, I have been at foundations, I have worked in corporations, served on corporate boards, I have been at G-summits, I have sat in at the U.N.: They are not that smart.” 

What a way to trash your husband, his administration, its transnational enablers at the UN, and its corporate and media boosters. But then, speaking of the latter, as Ben Rhodes confirmed, “They literally know nothing.”

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: High School Graduation Rates Go Up Even as Students and Teachers Fail to Show Up.

Phelps reflects a national trend in which high schools across the country have both high absenteeism and high graduation rates. A recent national study by the U.S. Department of Education showed that about one in seven students missed 15 days or more during the 2013-14 school year – the year before the national high school graduation rate hit an all-time high of 84 percent.

Students aren’t the only ones not showing up – absenteeism is also common among teachers. The Thomas B. Fordham Institute, an education think tank, found that in 2013-2014, at least one-fifth of traditional public-school teachers missed more than 10 days in 32 of the 35 states studied. According to federal data, in 2015, more than 41 percent of Rhode Island’s teachers were absent more than 10 days of the year. That was an increase from under 40 percent in 2013, but Rhode Island’s graduation rate nevertheless has hit an all-time high.

“It’s really easy to graduate more kids,” said David Griffith, a policy associate at the Fordham Institute. “You just graduate them.”

Degree inflation is a thing, even in high school diplomas.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: School Choice Moms’ Tipped the Governor’s Florida Race: DeSantis owes his win to unexpected support from minority women.

Believe it or not, Republican Ron DeSantis owes his victory in the Florida gubernatorial election to about 100,000 African-American women who unexpectedly chose him over the black Democratic candidate, Andrew Gillum.

Of the roughly 650,000 black women who voted in Florida, 18% chose Mr. DeSantis, according to CNN’s exit poll of 3,108 voters. This exceeded their support for GOP U.S. Senate candidate Rick Scott (9%), Mr. DeSantis’s performance among black men (8%) and the GOP’s national average among black women (7%).

To be sure, 18% of the black female vote in Florida is equal to less than 2% of the total electorate. But in an election decided by fewer than 40,000 votes, these 100,000 black women proved decisive. Their apparent ticket splitting helps to explain why the Florida governor’s race wasn’t as close as the Florida Senate race, though Mr. Gillum was widely expected to carry Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson to victory on his coattails.

What explains Mr. DeSantis’ surprising support from African-American women? Two words: school choice.

More than 100,000 low-income students in Florida participate in the Step Up For Students program, which grants tax-credit funded scholarships to attend private schools. Even more students are currently enrolled in the state’s 650 charter schools.

Most Step Up students are minorities whose mothers are registered Democrats. Yet many of these “school-choice moms” vote for gubernatorial candidates committed to protecting their ability to choose where their child goes to school.

Four years ago, Gov. Scott narrowly won re-election thanks to a spike in support from school-choice moms. In 2016 more than 10,000 scholarship recipients joined Martin Luther King III in Tallahassee to protest a lawsuit filed by the teachers union in America’s largest-ever school choice rally.

Regrettably, Mr. Gillum’s campaign chose to ignore signs that many minority voters view school choice as ‘’the civil rights issue of our time,” to quote Condoleezza Rice.

I don’t regret it all that much.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: There Are No ‘Good’ Public Schools.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Teacher Who Claimed Stephen Miller Ate Glue as a Kid Has Been Suspended.

The teacher who claimed this week that controversial White House aide Stephen Miller ate glue as a kid has been suspended from her job. Miller—now the mastermind behind Donald Trump’s most hardline immigration policies—was an odd kid, according to comments from veteran teacher Nikki Fiske. She recounted this week to The Hollywood Reporter: “He would pour the glue on his arm, let it dry, peel it off, and then eat it. He was a strange dude.” The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District has placed her on “home assignment” while it decides what to do about the matter. A school-district spokesperson said they were concerned about “her release of student information.” Fiske also said of Miller, then aged 8: “I was always trying to get him to clean up his desk—he always had stuff mashed up in there.”

Benjamin Svetkey had the “as told to” byline on the original Hollywood Reporter story. Makes you wonder what he was doing in third grade.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: North Carolina middle school marquee reads ‘F*** Kavanaugh.’

I saw the picture circulating and figured it was probably fake. And the school district claimed that it was at first, before admitting it was real.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: “We are 10 steps behind”: Detroit students seek fair access to literacy.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: The Education System Isn’t Designed For Smart Kids.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Tarboro child punished for calling teacher ‘ma’am.’

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Emails Reveal High School Teachers Plotting To Hide Their Political Bias From Parents.

Shortly after President Trump’s inauguration, a group of public school history teachers in the posh Boston suburb of Newton pledged to reject the “call for objectivity” in the classroom, bully conservative students for their beliefs, and serve as “liberal propagandist[s]” for the cause of social justice.

This informal pact was made in an exchange of emails among history teachers at Newton North High School, part of a very rich but academically mediocre public school district with an annual budget of $200 million, a median home price of almost half a million, and a median household income of more than $120,000. Read the entire email exchange here.

I obtained the emails under a Massachusetts public records law after one of those teachers arranged, earlier this year, for an anti-Semitic and anti-Israel organization to show Palestinian propaganda films at Newton North. This stunt earned the Newton Public Schools district a rebuke from the New England branch of the Anti-Defamation League and from Boston’s Jewish Community Relations Council. But, as the teachers’ emails reveal, Jew-hatred is not the only specter haunting the history department at Newton North.

Read the whole thing.

DISPATCHES FROM THE K-12 IMPLOSION: Get ready for elementary school Drag Queen Reading Hour (video)! “In other words, they want to soften up the kids’ thought patterns, overriding anything they might be learning at home before they advance too far and learn enough actual science to know that human beings are born into one of two genders. If you can confuse them enough in pre-school you have a much better chance of pushing this sort of misinformation on them when they approach adulthood.”

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Pensions devour school budgets, flatten teacher pay.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Public school enrollment is plummeting in North Carolina because of school choice.

If you want to see how parents act when the government stops forcing an educational monopoly on them, look to North Carolina.

Nearly 20 percent of students are attending something other than a traditional public school, where attendance is falling “rapidly,” according to The News & Observer.

The rush toward charter, private and even home schools is largely due to the Republican takeover of the Legislature in 2010.

Lawmakers have since removed the 100-school cap on charter schools (it’s up to 185 as of this fall), created a $4,200 voucher for low-income families and two programs for special-needs kids to get out of public schools (where they are often treated poorly), and even made it easier for non-parent adults to teach homeschoolers.

Charter schools have grown by twice as many students as public schools have lost since the 2014-15 school year, The News & Observer reports.

All is proceeding as I have foreseen.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: First space, then auto—now Elon Musk quietly tinkers with education.

In a corner of SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California, a small, secretive group called Ad Astra is hard at work. These are not the company’s usual rocket scientists. At the direction of Elon Musk, they are tackling ambitious projects involving flamethrowers, robots, nuclear politics, and defeating evil AIs.

Those at Ad Astra still find time for a quick game of dodgeball at lunch, however, because the average age within this group is just 10 years old.

Ad Astra encompasses students, not employees. For the past four years, this experimental non-profit school has been quietly educating Musk’s sons, the children of select SpaceX employees, and a few high-achievers from nearby Los Angeles. It started back in 2014, when Musk pulled his five young sons out of one of Los Angeles’ most prestigious private schools for gifted children. Hiring one of his sons’ teachers, the CEO founded Ad Astra to “exceed traditional school metrics on all relevant subject matter through unique project-based learning experiences,” according to a previously unreported document filed with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

“I just didn’t see that the regular schools were doing the things that I thought should be done,” he told a Chinese TV station in 2015. “So I thought, well let’s see what we can do. Maybe creating a school will be better.”

Hmm.

21ST CENTURY PROBLEMS: Popular ‘peegasm’ orgasm trick is loved by women – but it’s actually really dangerous.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: ADHD Boy Given ‘Award’ for ‘Most Likely To Be Distracted.’ “The student received the award in front of the whole class. Now, his mom is considering legal action.”

YEAH, IT COULDN’T BE A WEAPON: Russia’s plan to get rid of space junk is to blast it with a laser cannon.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Educational decline: Homeschooling surges as parents seek safer option for children.

Who could have seen this coming?

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Parents angry after students at elite NYC school have moment of silence for fallen Hamas terrorists.

THIS WILL ACCELERATE THE K-12 IMPLOSION: Obama’s education secretary Arne Duncan wants parents to keep kids out of school until gun control laws are passed.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: HS Athletic Director Lets Everyone Make Cheer Team After 1 Parent Complains.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: New high school history textbook teaches Trump is mentally ill and his supporters are racists.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: K-12: How Our Schools Make Monsters.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: ‘America’s Never Been Great’: Student Records Her Teacher’s Anti-Trump Rant. “Huntsman said the incident happened at the same high school where another teacher requested students write letters to their lawmakers demanding gun control.”

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Students’ visit to gun range ‘none of your damn business,’ parents say.

Angered by word of the disciplining of two Lacey High School students for a gun-related social media post, 200 parents, community members and other supporters of the Second Amendment on Monday let the Board of Education know they don’t want the district trampling on their rights or meddling in their home lives.

“You guys are reaching into our private life, the private life of our children,” said one parent, Lewis Fiordimondo, who has twins in pre-kindergarten and a daughter at the high school. “It’s not your place. It’s not the school’s place.”

Another dad, Frank Horvath, whose son is a senior at Lacey High, put things in blunter terms.

“It’s none of your damn business what our children do outside of school,” Horvath told the seven board members toward the end of a four-hour meeting, most of it occupied by speaker after speaker venting anger and frustration at school officials largely unable to respond due to confidentiality rules.

The unusually large turnout for Monday night’s board meeting in the high school auditorium was prompted by a five-day in-school suspension of two senior boys after one of them posted a photo of themselves with guns at a local shooting range, away from school property and not during school hours.

Punch back twice as hard.

DISPATCHES FROM THE K-12 IMPLOSION. Watch: Pissed Off Dad GOES OFF on Principal for Allowing 12-Year-Olds to Hold Gun Control Walkout.

DISPATCHES FROM THE K-12 IMPLOSION: A kindergarten gun control walkout? C’mon, man…

Related: School Walkout Was a Muppets Revival.

Young people have many virtues that accord with their youth, including idealism, innocence, enthusiasm, and energy. They do not, however, have educations or experience. They lack independence. And, in the latest far-from-spontaneous protest in favor of gun control, they are not only wrong, but also the victims of shameless manipulation  by adults for narrow, partisan ends. While such manipulation was entertaining to watch in the case of the Muppets, when constitutional rights are at stake and the puppets are our children it is simply offensive.

As Thomas Sowell would say, mascots of the anointed.

YOU CAN’T MAKE MEN INTO WOMEN; YOU CAN MAKE THEM POISONOUS:  K-12: The War on Boys and Men.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Obama’s lax discipline policies made schools dangerous.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Inside A Public School Social-Justice Factory.

For decades, the public schools of Edina, Minnesota, were the gold standard among the state’s school districts. Edina is an upscale suburb of Minneapolis, but virtually overnight, its reputation has changed. Academic rigor is unraveling, high school reading and math test scores are sliding, and students increasingly fear bullying and persecution.

The shift began in 2013, when Edina school leaders adopted the “All for All” strategic plan—a sweeping initiative that reordered the district’s mission from academic excellence for all students to “racial equity.”

“Equity” in this context does not mean “equality” or “fairness.” It means racial identity politics—an ideology that blames minority students’ academic challenges on institutional racial bias, repudiates Martin Luther King, Jr.’s color-blind ideal, and focuses on uprooting “white privilege.”

The Edina school district’s All for All plan mandated that henceforth “all teaching and learning experiences” would be viewed through the “lens of racial equity,” and that only “racially conscious” teachers and administrators should be hired. District leaders assured parents this would reduce Edina’s racial achievement gap, which they attributed to “barriers rooted in racial constructs and cultural misunderstandings.”

And the results were exactly as you’d expect. But remember, none of this is about educating kids.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Easy-pass policy fails students. To be fair, the policy was never there for students’ benefit.

THE PRE K-12 CHAIRS: Professor: Small Chairs in Preschools Are Sexist, ‘Problematic,’ and ‘Disempowering.’

Reclining Barcaloungers for all the tiny tikes!

(Classical allusion in headline.)

A DONALD TRUMP OPED IN THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER: A Year of Real Change.

We are putting America first, making real change in Washington, and creating opportunities for all of our people. From coast to coast, there is a renewed spirit. Our country is roaring back more quickly than anyone could have predicted. The American Dream is real again.

Estimates predict the U.S. economy grew at an annualized rate of more than 3 percent in the fourth quarter of last year – just like it did in the two quarters before that. The economy has created more than 2 million new jobs, and the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest rate in 17 years: 4.1 percent. We have achieved the lowest African-American unemployment rate on record, and the unemployment rate for Hispanic Americans has also hit historic lows. Chrysler has announced plans to bring jobs and production back to the U.S. from Mexico. And the stock market continues to set record high after record high.

Just before Christmas, we enacted massive tax cuts and tax reform for the American people. For the first time in 30 years, we reformed the tax code to make it simpler and fairer. We have lowered rates for both individuals and businesses, expanded 529 education savings accounts to be used for K-12 education, and doubled the child tax credit. These changes will not only allow Americans to keep more of their hard-earned money, but they will help make American workers and businesses competitive again. This sweeping reform also repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate – an unpopular, cruel, and burdensome tax that hit low- and middle-income Americans the hardest.

Over the year, as Americans have seen increases in their paychecks and retirement accounts, American companies in every sector have grown their business and created more jobs.

This is a real test of the “It’s the economy, stupid,” school of politics.

DISPATCHES FROM THE K-12 IMPLOSION: NYC’s high school equivalency program is a complete boondoggle.

Unexpectedly.

OH: Bill Gates Tacitly Admits His Common Core Experiment Was A Failure.

“Based on everything we have learned in the past 17 years, we are evolving our education strategy,” Gates wrote on his blog as a preface to a speech he gave last week in Cleveland. He followed this by detailing how U.S. education has essentially made little improvement in the years since he and his foundation — working so closely with the Obama administration that federal officials regularly consulted foundation employees and waived ethics laws to hire several — began redirecting trillions of public dollars towards programs he now admits haven’t accomplished much.

“If there is one thing I have learned,” Gates says in concluding his speech, “it is that no matter how enthusiastic we might be about one approach or another, the decision to go from pilot to wide-scale usage is ultimately and always something that has to be decided by you and others the field.” If this statement encompasses his Common Core debacle, Gates could have at least the humility to recall that Common Core had no pilot before he took it national. There wasn’t even a draft available to the public before the Obama administration hooked states into contracts, many of which were ghostwritten with Gates funds, pledging they’d buy that pig in a poke.

But it looks like this is as close to an apology or admission of failure as we’re going to get, folks. Sorry about that $4 trillion and mangled years of education for American K-12 kids and teachers.

Read the whole thing.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: School Gives Kids ‘Shooting at Trump’ as Option in Multiple-Choice Quiz.

FLASHBACK:

THIS IS A SOMEWHAT MISLEADING HEADLINE: Explosive possessed by Stephen Paddock may have been used in NYC bombing.

The lede makes a bit more sense:

An explosive compound like the one found in Las Vegas mass shooter Stephen Paddock’s car and home is believed to have been used last year in an alleged terrorist bombing in New York City.

Authorities say they recovered an undisclosed amount of the compound known as Tannerite from Paddock’s home in Mesquite and 50 pounds from his car parked at Mandalay Bay, where he used firearms to mow down concertgoers at the adjacent Route 91 Harvest festival on Sunday.

Police have not said why the 64-year-old Paddock possessed Tannerite, which is unregulated and legally used by marksmen to create targets that emit a small cloud of smoke when they are struck. Authorities also found ammonium nitrate, another ingredient that can be used to build bombs, in his vehicle at the site of the shooting.

Yes, as the Las Vegas Review-Journal article goes on to note, Tannerite was used by an Afghan immigrant in a Chelsea district bombing last year in Manhattan that injured 31. It was also used by this guy a decade ago who created a viral video in the early days of YouTube of his Appple G4 blowing up:

So very unlikely an ISIS connection based on that alone, but that isn’t stopping their Twitter account from quadrupling down on their claims. However, at this point, as Rita Katz of the Insite on Terrorism Website writes, “Regardless of Paddock’s motivations, his attack in Las Vegas was a tragic act of evil. But ISIS has come too far to walk back its claims for the Las Vegas attack. Unless it wants its future claims to be dismissed, it will need to provide what it did for flight KGL9268 and other events: proof.”

And more puzzling early details emerge, via NBC:

The investigators are puzzled by two discoveries: First, a charger was found that does not match any of the cellphones that belonged to the gunman, Stephen Paddock.

And second: Garage records show that during a period when Paddock’s car left the hotel garage, one of his key cards was used to get into his room.

There are several possible explanations for these anomalies, the investigators say, but they want to get to the bottom of it.

They are also examining his finances. IRS records show that Paddock was a successful gambler, earning at least $5 million in 2015. Some of that could be from other investments, but most of it was from gambling, officials say.

On Wednesday, Mark Steyn spoke with Tucker Carlson about how, in an era of endless social media,  weirdly blank Paddock’s Internet profile is. There’s video of the interview at Mark’s Website, to which he adds:

Whether or not he sat at gaming tables regularly, a thought occurred to me during the Sheriff’s press conference that this man’s “weirdly blank” public profile (as I put it) is closer to something like a contract killer than a mentally disturbed guy who suddenly snaps. I’m not saying this particular accountant is literally the eponymous accountant of Ben Affleck’s recent movie, but there is a level of efficiency and organization here that separates Sunday night’s carnage from almost all other single-shooter attacks.

So as the days go by this seems less and less like a lone wacko who suddenly cracks up.

Today, Steyn adds:

It is also interesting to note that Stephen Paddock apparently cased the “Life is Beautiful” concert in Las Vegas, headlined by the rapper Chance. The victims at that event would have been very different from those at the country music festival, and the press coverage would have been, too: Democrats would have stampeded down the “white supremacy” track rather than “gun control”. One senses that the killer, in his cold calculations, was aware, for whatever reason, of all these factors.

True, but as Allahpundit notes, the type of venue may have played a larger factor. “My theory for why he might have passed on an attack on the Life Is Beautiful festival was the sheer sprawl of the event, which spread out over 18 blocks. People might have been able to flee in all directions fairly quickly…It’s not the *event* that was key to his decision to attack, perhaps, but the site from which he staged it.”

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Fla. Teacher Tells 11-Year-Olds to Call ‘Them’ the Gender-Neutral Pronoun ‘Mx.’

These are Heinlein’s Crazy Years — we just live in them.

SONNY BUNCH: IF HOLLYWOOD WANTS A SCAPEGOAT FOR POOR TICKET SALES, BLAME THE POOR PROJECTION TECHNIQUES OF MOVIE THEATERS.

It has gotten to the point that, were I not literally writing about movies for money, I would never go to theaters anymore. Why would I go watch a muddy picture on a screen showing a dimmed image surrounded by grayish-letterboxed rectangles when I can stay at home in the darkness of my basement and watch a movie in the appropriate brightness on my 60-inch HD plasma a few months after its initial theatrical release? A Blu-ray is often cheaper than a theater ticket anyway, radically so once concessions are taken into account. To say nothing of the price differential for an On Demand rental. If you don’t need to see something upon its initial release, why would you even bother going to theaters?

No wonder AMC stock is down radically. If exhibitors can’t be bothered to exhibit films properly, what, exactly, is their raison d’etre?

So a terrible product, made by people who viscerally loathe middle America, terribly displayed by theater owners who don’t give a damn about their customers. Heckuva job all around, fellas.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Silicon Valley Courts Brand-Name Teachers, Raising Ethics Issues. “Ms. Delzer is a member of a growing tribe of teacher influencers, many of whom promote classroom technology. They attract notice through their blogs, social media accounts and conference talks. And they are cultivated not only by start-ups like Seesaw, but by giants like Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft, to influence which tools are used to teach American schoolchildren.”

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Maps show what Harvey’s impact would look like in other U.S. states.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: The Quiet Exodus From Mass Schooling.

If only there had been some sort of warning.

DISPATCHES FROM THE K-12 IMPLOSION. New York City’s school buses are hell on wheels:

Nearly 1,000 city school-bus drivers and escorts were suspended or fired for misbehavior in 2015 — an alarming number that has skyrocketed in recent years, records show.

One driver was seen dropping his pants outside a school, twice in one day. Another urinated in a bottle on a bus with a child aboard because he had a “bladder and bowel condition.”

One carried Coors Light; another reeked of pot. One denied dozing off at the wheel, but was caught on video by frightened attendants.

The city Department of Education listed 760 disciplined drivers and 185 errant escorts. The vast majority were removed without pay for a few days to six months — but then allowed to return.

Read the whole, depressing, thing. Why are Democrat-monopoly cities such cesspits of institutional neglect?

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Grade Inflation Is Even Worse Than We Thought:

American high schools are giving out higher and higher grades even as real academic ability stagnates. . . .

The erosion of intellectual standards is worse at the elite level: “the upward creep is most pronounced in schools with large numbers of white, wealthy students. And its especially noticeable in private schools, where the rate of inflation was about three times higher than in public schools.” This is probably explained at least partly by the attitudes of overbearing parents whose children are in the Ivy League rat race: Giving out anything less than an A is likely to lead to email protestations and parent-teacher conferences with mom and dad.

It’s also significant that even as high school grades become less and less meaningful, pressure is building in the educational establishment to de-emphasize or dumb down alternate measures of achievement, like the SAT, which are supposedly unfair to the poor and disadvantaged, and class rankings, which create too much rancor and competition. In the long run, though, this will only help boost the fortunes of elite students even further.

It’s almost as if that’s the plan.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Seventh grader, far ahead of her class, punished for taking too many courses.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Married superintendents indicted in child rape case. “A married couple, both Ohio school superintendents, have been indicted on charges stemming from sexual assault allegations involving a girl under age 13.”

Why are public schools such cesspits of sexual abuse?

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: No Students Are Proficient in Math And English At Six Baltimore City Schools.

Six schools in Baltimore have exactly zero students who are proficient in math and English.

WBFF reports Project Baltimore led an investigation and discovered five Baltimore City high schools, along with one middle school, do not have any students who scored high enough to be deemed “proficient” in math and English on state testing.

The schools that did not have a single proficient student are Booker T. Washington Middle School, Frederick Douglass High School, Achievement Academy at Harbor City, New Era Academy, Excel Academy at Francis M. Wood High, and New Hope Academy. . . .

WBFF notes Baltimore City Schools spends $16,000 per student per year, making it the fourth highest spending district in the country per student.

The solution obviously involves more funding.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: 6 Baltimore schools, no students proficient in state tests.

None, zero.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: After-school staff allegedly locked boy inside ‘torture’ compartment. “A 6-year-old boy was repeatedly jammed into a dark hole in a closet ceiling by sadistic staffers at an after-school program inside a city school, The Post has learned. After being hoisted by the crotch and lifted headfirst into the pitch-black compartment as a form of punishment, the terrified kindergartner would be locked — ‘kicking, screaming and crying’ — inside the tiny classroom closet for ‘God knows how long,’ his mother Porsche Gaddy told The Post.”

K-12 HAS CHOSEN SIDES: High School Takes Back Yearbooks with Trump Quotes.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Everyone graduates? It’s ‘just a fantasy.’

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: 5-Year-Old Suspended from School for Pretending a Stick Was a Gun.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Public high-school principal accused of keeping Catholic-school kids off admission list.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Foreign Students Say U.S. High School Classes Are Absurdly Easy.

When the Brookings Institution’s Brown Center on Education Policy surveyed foreign exchange students studying in the U.S. in 2001, it found that they thought that American education was a cake walk compared to secondary education in their home countries. And when it conducted the survey again in 2016, it found that exchange students thought that U.S. education was even less challenging than before. . . .

Foreign exchange students’ perceptions of U.S. education clearly depends on their own educational background and their school placement. Students placed in underperforming Chicago schools, for example, are more likely to say that U.S. education is easier compared with foreign students placed at top-tier high schools in upper-middle class university towns.

The study doesn’t offer details about these alternative variables that might offer a more granular account of where U.S. schools are succeeding and failing; nonetheless, the overall picture—that teenagers from abroad overwhelmingly think that American schools demand less of them than schools in their home countries—is not exactly a ringing endorsement of this country’s educational establishment.

Well, our educational establishment — like most of our establishments these days, really — sucks.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Stanford researchers show we’re sending many children to school way too early.

Parents wondering whether to wait a year to send their kids to kindergarten, take note: A new study from Stanford University shows that Danish kids who postponed kindergarten for up to one year showed dramatically higher levels of self-control.

“We found that delaying kindergarten for one year reduced inattention and hyperactivity by 73% for an average child at age 11,” Thomas Dee, one of the co-authors and a Stanford Graduate School of Education professor, said in a release.

Dee did his research with Hans Henrik Sievertsen of the Danish National Centre for Social Research, who told Quartz that the impact was strong and lasted a long time: “We were a bit surprised at how persistent the effect was.” The effect of delaying school on hyperactivity and inattention didn’t diminish over time, as they expected, but increased: in fact, waiting one year virtually eliminated the chance that an average kid at age 11 would have higher-than-normal scores on those measures.

Start kids later, start school later in the morning. . . . .

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: How Do Unschoolers Turn Out?

Peter Gray has studied how learning happens without any academic requirements at a democratic school. The Boston College research professor also wrote about the long history and benefits of age-mixed, self-directed education in his book Free to Learn. Over the years, as he encountered more and more families who had adopted this approach at home (these so-called “unschoolers” are estimated to represent about 10 percent of the more than two million homeschooled children), he began to wonder about its outcomes in that setting. Finding no academic studies that adequately answered his question, he decided to conduct his own.

In 2011, he and colleague Gina Riley surveyed 232 parents who unschool their children, which they defined as not following any curriculum, instead letting the children take charge of their own education. The respondents were overwhelmingly positive about their unschooling experience, saying it improved their children’s general well-being as well as their learning, and also enhanced family harmony. Their challenges primarily stemmed from feeling a need to defend their practices to family and friends, and overcoming their own deeply ingrained ways of thinking about education. (The results are discussed at length here.)

This led Gray to wonder how unschooled children themselves felt about the experience, and what impact it may have had on their ability to pursue higher education and find gainful and satisfying employment. . . .

Overall, 83 percent of the respondents had gone on to pursue some form of higher education. Almost half of those had either completed a bachelor’s degree or higher, or were currently enrolled in such a program; they attended (or had graduated from) a wide range of colleges, from Ivy League universities to state universities and smaller liberal-arts colleges.

Several themes emerged: Getting into college was typically a fairly smooth process for this group; they adjusted to the academics fairly easily, quickly picking up skills such as class note-taking or essay composition; and most felt at a distinct advantage due to their high self-motivation and capacity for self-direction. “The most frequent complaints,” Gray notes on his blog, “were about the lack of motivation and intellectual curiosity among their college classmates, the constricted social life of college, and, in a few cases, constraints imposed by the curriculum or grading system.”

Most of those who went on to college did so without either a high school diploma or general education diploma (GED), and without taking the SAT or ACT. Several credited interviews and portfolios for their acceptance to college, but by far the most common route to a four-year college was to start at a community college (typically begun at age 16, but sometimes even younger).

The takeaway here is that people who didn’t go to school at all did as well as or better than people who did. Considering the huge amounts of money, and other social resources, that we invest in K-12 education, that’s kind of a big deal. Of course, you’d want to do a bigger study before taking this too seriously on a policy level, but it ought to spark at least a bit of rethinking.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Want to Raise Successful Boys? Science Says Do This (but Their Schools Probably Won’t).

News flash: Most boys are rambunctious. Often they seem like they’re in a constant state of motion: running, jumping, fighting, playing, getting hurt–maybe getting upset–and getting right back into the physical action.

Except at school, where they’re required to sit still for long periods of time. (And when they fail to stay still, how are they punished? Often by being forced to skip recess–and thus they sit still longer.)

It’s not just an American issue. Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland recently tried to document whether boys actually achieve less in school when they’re restricted from running around and being physically active.

They studied 153 kids, aged 6 to 8, and tracked how much physical activity and sedentary time they had during the day. Sure enough, according to a report by Belinda Luscombe in Time, the less “moderate to vigorous physical activity” the boys had each day, the harder it was for them to develop good reading skills.

But schools don’t care about raising successful boys. It’s all about grrl power now.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Why heroin and classroom sex aren’t enough to get teachers fired anymore.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE: Why should elite universities get more taxpayer support than regional public colleges?

Public institutions frequently go begging because they are supported by a combination of steadily rising tuition and declining tax revenue. And state legislatures must publicly balance the share of tax revenue allocated to these colleges against competing budget demands, such as highways, health care and public K-12 education.

In contrast, taxpayers, for the most part, unknowingly support private institutions primarily through tax deductions and exemptions. For example, gifts to university endowments are tax deductible and the earnings on these endowments are exempt from taxation, as are the endowments themselves. For elite private institutions, those with endowments in the billions of dollars, the size of these tax breaks can dwarf the direct subsidies that taxpayers send to public institutions.

These tax breaks are rarely debated because they are hidden in the tax code. Meanwhile affluent private universities, claiming their importance to the realization of the American dream, do everything in their power to silence any questioning of their right to enrich themselves through favorable tax treatment. However, it is important to remember that these tax breaks are not divinely ordained.

No, they’re not. Plus: “Few students attend these elite private schools. In contrast, the vast majority of American students enrolled in four year schools attend regional state universities. These unassuming institutions are the workhorses of American higher education. Yet compared to the level of taxpayer subsidies received by their rich private brethren, these regional campuses are grossly disadvantaged.”

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Texas Pre-School Teacher Suspended After Call to ‘Kill Some Jews’ on Social Media.

Anti-Semitic remarks made online by Nancy Salem, a teacher for 2 year-olds at the the Children’s Courtyard in South Arlington, Texas, resurfaced after a secretive campus watchdog group, Canary Mission, exposed her together with other 23 anti-Israel activists at the University of Texas. She’s is now subject to a pending investigation by the pre-school and is suspended from teaching, according to The Algemeiner.

On her now-deleted Twitter account, Salem made numerous derogatory comments about the Jewish people, including replying to a question “How many Jews died in the Holocaust?” with “Not enough…HAHAHAHA.”

In another tweet, she openly suggested murdering Jewish people: “Have a safe trip Lulu. I love you baby girl! See you in 3 weeks! Kiss the Palestine ground for me and kill some jews!”

Charming.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: 11-Year-Old Docked Points for Not Bashing Trump.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Teacher Melts Down in Front of Class, Walks Out—Then Tries to Get Job Back.

AND: Chicago High School Pushes Left-Wing Racist Seminar Despite Parents’ Concerns.

Parents need to remember their position in big city public education, which is to pay their taxes and shut up.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: DeVos Physically Blocked by Protesters From Entering DC School.

Everything old is new again! What is it with Democrats always blocking access to the schoolhouse door?

UPDATE: DC Police tweet that an “Adult male [was] arrested for assaulting a police officer. Report that [Betsy DeVos] was assaulted is under investigation.”

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Rochester School District to Hold ‘Black Lives Matter’ Day.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Caught on Tape: VA Teacher’s Political Rant.

SO LET’S ABOLISH IT: Why Do We Have a Department of Education? Jimmy Carter’s Debt to a Teachers Union. Public education existed well before 1980, but an unpopular President Carter wanted the nation’s largest union on his side before an election.

I say abolish it, but not until it’s had a year or two to ram through reforms on higher ed and K-12.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: The Kids Can’t Write (or Reason). “Nearly 500 people — all college graduates — applied for a communications job at Marc Tucker’s organization. Candidates were asked to write a one-page summary of a report published last year. ‘Only one could produce a satisfactory summary,’ writes Tucker.”

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Paper Airplane Toss Could Land SC High School Student In Jail.

The South Strand News reports that the student, 17-year-old David Michael Elliott, was arrested January 10 by Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office deputies and charged with third degree assault and battery. The teacher, Edward McIver, told deputies he had been struck in the eye by the errant paper airplane.

According to the incident report, McIver contacted the school resource officer to report he had been hit in the eye. He was “very upset” about the incident because he had recently had ocular surgery. The teacher said this was not the first incident with Elliott in the classroom, and “something needs to be done.” Deputy Paul Glover asked if McIver wanted to press charges. The teacher said if Elliot was in fact responsible, he did.

The resource officer then met with Elliott, who admitted to throwing the airplane, and said he had intended to hit McIver in the head, but not the eye. Elliot could not give a “logical reason” for throwing the airplane, and he was cited by resource officer Glover for third degree assault and battery.

My seventh-grade English teacher, facing the blackboard, somehow caught one of my classmates launching a spitwad. We learned this when he took the chalk eraser he was holding and beaned my classmate with it.

We had only the one instance of anything like that, and zero police.

SCOTT SHACKFORD: Hey Progressives: You Can Fight DeVos, but You Can’t Stop School Choice: Ignoring this populist movement does not help the left with families.

It’s telling that a lot of criticism of Betsy DeVos as Donald Trump’s choice to head the Department of Education are about things like the fact that she didn’t send her children to public schools and that she’s not terribly familiar with the vast federal legal bureaucracy overseeing public education.

These are critiques that come also entirely from those who are embedded within the entrenched public education system and who have a stake in maintaining and expanding the status quo. Some senators seem aghast at the idea that DeVos was unfamiliar with all sorts of federal laws about how local schools are required to behave in order to receive federal funding.

But this just puts DeVos on the same footing as everybody outside the education system who have to interact with it and feel little control. While there are indeed parents who are familiar with these federal regulations because they have kids with special needs, this approach on DeVos feels very much like an attempt to keep the Department of Education under the control of insiders.

In reality, many, many parents want to make the same choices for their children as DeVos did, and it has nothing to do with them being rich or overly Christian. School unions and the politicians they bankroll may be able to stop DeVos’ nomination, but they can’t stop the growth of school choice and what it means, because parents love it.

And we’ve got the numbers to show it. The Reason Foundation’s report on school choice and privatization for 2016 shows yet another major increase in the number of families sending their kids into charter school programs.

Progressives depend on teachers’ unions, and giving parents choice will speed up the K-12 Implosion.

SCENES FROM SCOTT WALKER’S WISCONSIN: Wisconsin’s budget picture gets $714 million brighter.

Fiscal bureau director Bob Lang reported tax revenues are expected to be $455 million higher than what the Department of Administration projected in November. Also, spending in the current fiscal year that ends June 30 is expected to be $226 million lower — largely due to lower-than-expected Medicaid enrollment — and other revenues are expected to be $33 million higher.

That turns what was thought to be a $693 million deficit for the upcoming budget into a $21 million surplus, including all departmental budget requests.

It also adds more cushion to the state’s bottom line as it closes out the 2015-2017 budget cycle. Previously the net balance was about $40 million. The latest estimate has the state closing out the year with a $362.2 million ending balance.

The additional revenue helps explain why Gov. Scott Walker has been able to promise several additional spending proposals in his upcoming 2017-2019 budget proposal, such as a “significant increase” for K-12 schools, a University of Wisconsin tuition cut back-filled with state taxpayer dollars and $100 million more for local roads and rural broadband.

Wisconsin Democrats, to borrow a phrase, should be thanking him.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Fourth graders in Michigan banned from watching Trump inauguration speech.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Teachers Protest “Discipline Reform.”

Under pressure to reduce racial disparities in suspensions and expulsions, schools are turning to “restorative justice” programs that encourage offenders to discuss their actions and make amends.

Earlier this year, Indianapolis and New York City teachers complained about poorly implemented “restorative justice” programs, reported Emmanuel Felton in Ed Week. Now, teachers in Fresno and Des Moines are saying new discipline policies are making it harder to teach.

“As Fresno Unified officials were praising McLane High School’s restorative justice program” at a conference, “teachers at the school were circulating a petition that says those same strategies have led to an unsafe campus plagued with fights and disruptions,” reports the Fresno Bee.

You don’t have these problems when you homeschool.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Maryland School District Employee Fired for Correcting Student’s Spelling.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Mediocrity Lobby Angry Because Grades for Schools Expose Their Incompetence. “When do we begin to talk about the fact that poor and minority children are not held down half so much by mean rich people as by glad-handing mediocrats who earn their livings off the bones of failed childhoods?”

Preach it.

CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN: President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for education secretary has had a key role with her husband in creating a public charter school in western Michigan.

The nonprofit charter school has grown from 80 students in rundown office space at Gerald R. Ford International Airport to its own building with 600 students from seven counties. Some kids ride three public buses to get to the suburban airport. One teen stays with friends in the Grand Rapids area and commutes 150 miles to home on weekends. A public lottery is held each spring if applications exceed openings.

The school seems to fit Betsy DeVos’ philosophy about education and what she’s pledging to promote in Washington.

If Washington must have a role in K-12 education, it should be in reinforcing successes like West Michigan Aviation Academy.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Officials could lower bar for passing new NY teacher exam.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Poet: I can’t answer questions on Texas standardized tests about my own poems.

MITT ROMNEY: Trump Has Made A Smart Choice For Education Secretary. “In 1970, it cost $56,903 to educate a child from K-12. By 2010, adjusting for inflation, we had raised that spending to $164,426 — almost three times as much. Further, the number of people employed in our schools had nearly doubled. But despite the enormous investment, the performance of our kids has shown virtually no improvement. The establishment predictably calls for more spending and smaller classrooms — in other words, more teachers and more pay. But more of the same is demonstrably not the answer.” Public schools nowadays are primarily Democratic Party vote farms maintained with taxpayer money. Any actual education that goes on there is purely secondary.

YES: Bureaucratic Bloat is Eating Away at the American Education System.

Americans have been spending more and more on education—both K-12 and higher ed—over the last several decades, but those investments seem to be delivering ever-more measly returns. Over at Brookings, Jonathan Rothwell offers some grim statistics on “the declining productivity of education,” focusing specifically on one source of the decay: bureaucratic bloat, or the steadily increasing share of education expenditures that flow to managers and administrators. . . .

Rothwell’s post helps illustrate the exhaustion of mainstream policy thinking in the West on both sides of the political divide. The Boomer progressive formula of more spending and more borrowing and more subsidies has done more to nourish rapacious and growing bureaucracies than improve educational outcomes or skill acquisition for disadvantaged students.
And while conservative state and local policymakers have the right instinct about the risks of administrative bloat, few have offered a workable program for actually restructuring and rebuilding these institutions while excising the crud that has accumulated over the years, offering instead indiscriminate cuts and starve-the-beast orthodoxy.

One reason voters delivered such a stunning repudiation of the establishment last month is that elites have stopped offering bold or creative thinking—allowing themselves instead to become complacent in the face of mediocrity and decline—and voters sensed this. Now is the time to turn things around.

Someone should write a book on this.

I’M NOT ON TWITTER MUCH ANYMORE, BUT IF YOU SPEAK MY NAME THREE TIMES I MAY JUST SHOW UP:

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Well, when you wonder why people aren’t talking about things that you’re really upset about, maybe it’s because they don’t find them upsetting.

I don’t think that any of Trump’s appointments are “disastrous.” Sessions as AG wouldn’t be my first choice (that would probably be Randy Barnett, which is why I’m not the President-Elect) but for Trump he’s an excellent pick and will do what Trump wants — and do it more honestly than Eric Holder or Loretta Lynch, not that that’s setting the bar very high.

Likewise, I’d have preferred John Allison as Treasury Secretary over Steve Mnuchin. But is Mnuchin “disastrous?”

DeVos as Education Secretary, again, not my first choice — I’d prefer someone who was more focused on higher-ed reform, but that’s just my hobbyhorse — but a fine pick with a strong focus on K-12 reform, which to be honest, hobbyhorse aside, probably needs it more. Who else is “disastrous?” Elaine Chao? Please.

As for “Twitter meltdowns,” where have you been for the past two years? This is what Trump does, and it neither hurts him nor forecasts what he’s actually going to do. You’re being trolled and it’s working. Trump has basically lured Democrats (and a few #NeverTrump Republicans) into defending flag-burning, and reminded people of Hillary’s position in 2005. Sure, the idea is dumb and unconstitutional (as I said yesterday), but it’s a tweet, not a piece of legislation. And it also brings attention to the fact that the Dems haven’t been exactly friendly to people’s First Amendment rights on issues they care about. Now they have to publicly argue that you should go to jail for not baking a gay wedding cake, but not for burning a flag. To the surprise of many Democrats, this turns out not to be the popular position.

So who, exactly, is crazy here?

So there you are. And whatever you do, don’t feed me after midnight.

UPDATE: Hi, Ed!

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Student Suspended For Extra Chicken Nugget. But there’s a happy ending:

Justice has been served for a Farragut High School student after his suspension for buying an extra chicken nugget in the lunch line was overturned.

Carson Koller received the one-day suspension on Monday for buying the extra nugget.

Koller — a senior, Eagle Scout and the captain of the band’s drum line — was suspended for theft of property after he took six chicken nuggets from the lunch line instead of the usual five, to his mother’s outrage.

“How is it theft if he paid for it?” Koller’s mother, Carrie Koller Waller, wrote in a Facebook post. “It’s food. FOOD!!! Not weapons. Not drugs. Not alcohol. Not cheating on a test. … I am shaking my head over this and not sure what to do. Laugh, punish, argue, dress him up as a nugget bandit, or let it go.”

The suspension was rescinded on Tuesday morning after Waller sent a letter to several school administrators and spoke to Farragut Principal Ryan Siebe on the phone.

But who thought suspending someone over a chicken nugget was a good idea to begin with?

GOOD: Washington State Senator Stands Up For Student Due Process.

Colleges and universities seem too quick to want to expel accused students rather than assess the facts and understand that they might not be dealing with incorrigible criminals but rather students who can be saved.

Washington state Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane, seems to understand this. At a press conference about Barber, Baumgartner criticized WSU for the lack of due process afforded to the student athlete before he was expelled.

“This situation is unacceptable. It’s unacceptable to have any students expelled — not just Robert Barber, but any students — with a lack of due process,” Baumgartner said during the event. “WSU’s student conduct board is broken and it has been broken. It lacks the basic tenets of due process, and it’s different from other universities in the state, which are better, and it needs to get fixed and the people of Washington state are going to get it fixed.”

Baumgartner brought up a state bill that banned expulsions and suspensions among students in K-12. Baumgartner said this bill was passed because most of the punishments were affecting minority students. Instead of working with the students, schools were just ending their education and sending them to the streets.

“When you keep someone from getting an education, it’s a great cost to taxpayers,” Baumgartner said. “Higher education should fall on the same lines. It is tremendously costly to all of us to have people like Robert Barber not allowed to graduate from school.”

Baumgartner said that if WSU doesn’t reverse Barber’s suspension, he would hire the student athlete in his Senate office to work on constituent relations and, as a slap in the face to WSU, the overseer of financial requests from universities like WSU.

Heh.

WHY ARE DEMOCRAT MONOPOLY INSTITUTIONS SUCH CESSPITS OF RACIST HATE SPEECH? “Roberto Orci, a producer for ‘Star Trek,’ says he has a special bond with one of the franchise’s most popular characters. Orci, a Mexican-born filmmaker, likens Mr. Spock to an illegal* alien in modern society, and would refer to the fictional character as ‘Mr. Spic’ when developing the ‘Star Trek’ movies and TV series. ‘I always thought of Mr. Spock as a Latino, he’s an alien, an immigrant,’ the Latino producer said at Variety’s #Inclusion Summit on Tuesday. ‘Just between us, and only I can say this, I personally used to call him Mr. Spic.’”

As with the country itself, the Hollywood institution that Gene Rodenberry built a half century ago is in the very best of hands.

* I don’t recall the backstory where Spock entered the Federation illegally, do you?

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: What Politicians Mean When They Ask for More Education Spending.

Per-student spending on K-12 education has risen steadily over the last two decades, but student test scores, and teacher salaries, are stagnant. Why hasn’t this massive increase in investment produced better teachers and better opportunity for students? The short-answer, according to a new Manhattan Institute report by Josh McGee: State and local governments have catastrophically mismanaged their teacher pension systems. The cash infusion to K-12 has been used largely to pay for irresponsible pension promises politicians made to teachers’ unions and justified to the public with shoddy accounting. . . .

In other words, to cover benefits for retirees, states need to dig into education funds that might otherwise be used to attract and retain good teachers or buy better textbooks and build new facilities. So long as state governments are unwilling to reform the blue model pension-for-life civil service system, and so long as teachers unions continue to wield outsized influence in so many state legislatures, this pattern seems likely to continue indefinitely.

Campaigns to increase spending on schools are always popular, and understandably so: Education ought to be a great equalizing force in our society and, in theory, an efficient way to invest in the future. The problem is that in many states, new “K-12 spending” isn’t really an investment so much as a transfer payment to retired employees of the public schools who have been promised untenable lifetime pension benefits.

Well, you can generally figure out which policy elites will favor based on what’s more conducive to graft.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: The Children Have Been Left Behind.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics’ “Nation’s Report Card” program, private and parochial schools have routinely outpaced public schools in math and reading assessments. But the absence of voucher programs puts this education out of the reach of many underprivileged and minority students, who are most in need of better educational opportunities. Charter and magnet schools are often a more realistic option, with an added layer of accountability as staff are easier to replace and there are real consequences for the school administration if they fail to produce results.

But private schools require tuition, and charter schools have such high demand that they select their students through interview processes and lotteries. This results in these higher-quality educational opportunities drawing away students who are already performing well, leaving poor & underperforming students — the ones most in need of an alternate education method — in the lurch.

Read the whole thing.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Chicago Schools Plunge Further Into the Abyss.

The weight of decades of unfunded pension promises made to Chicago’s teachers’ unions is coming crashing down on the city’s public schools, which are subsisting on junk-bond debt even as students flee the district. . . .

While blue model decay is more advanced in Chicago than any other American city, the problems underlying the crisis in the school district—recalcitrant public sector unions, pliant lawmakers, fiscal incompetence, and an acute drought of ideas—are weighing on municipal governments from coast to coast.

In the short run, we are likely to see more pension-induced crises of governance in big blue cities and states. In the long run, this dynamic has the potential to create tectonic political shifts. Democrats in places like Chicago have historically been able to depend on both the unionized producers of government services (strike-happy teachers unions demanding ever-more generous pension contributions) as well as the people who depend most on high-quality service (the parents of low-income students in Chicago public schools). As the cost of bureaucracy continues to increase and the quality continues to deteriorate, the interests of these two constituencies will increasingly diverge. The Blue Civil War has the potential to scramble our political coalitions in big and unpredictable ways.

Indeed.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Lunch Lady Quits, Says School Made Her Shame Poor Kids. Why are lefty-dominated institutions such cesspits of class bias?

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: 12 year old suspended from school for turning in a knife that wasn’t even his.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Amid Growing Debate About Homework, One School Bans It.

WE DON’T NEED NO EDUCATION: ACT Scores Drop as More Take Test.

This year, 38 percent of test takers met the benchmarks in at least three of the four subject areas tested (English, math, reading and science), which according to ACT shows that they have “strong readiness for college course work.” That’s down from 40 percent in 2015. The percentage of test takers who did not meet any of the benchmarks increased to 34 percent from 31 percent.

Many educators have worried about the lingering (and in some cases growing) gaps among different racial and ethnic groups on the ACT and also on the SAT (average scores for which won’t be released until next month).

The Wall Street Journal adds:

Sixty-four percent of 2016 high school graduates sat for the standardized test, up from 49% in 2012. The jump comes as more states—including Mississippi, Nevada and South Carolina—require districts to administer the tests, in the hope of increasing students’ awareness of college pathways.

Yet as the pool of test-takers better reflects the population of high-school students across America, and not just a self-selecting group of driven young adults for whom college is an automatic next step, it reveals significant shortcomings in their educational achievement.

Somebody should write a book about the poor performance of our K-12 schools.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Black Families in Georgia Are Rejecting Public School:

During the 1950s and 60s, America’s black families fought a difficult battle to integrate the public schools, hoping to give their children a better education. Because of this hard-won victory, many black parents have been strong supporters of public schools in the subsequent decades.

But that support may be changing.

According to a recent article in the Christian Science Monitor, an increasing number of black families are leaving public schools for the same reason they once embraced them, and are instead gravitating to homeschooling.

Quoting a former public-school-teacher-turned-homeschool-mom named Nikita Bush, The Monitor explains this movement:

“Despite the promises of the civil rights movement, ‘people are starting to realize that public education in America was designed for the masses of poor, and its intent has been to trap poor people into being workers and servants. If you don’t want that for your children, then you look for something else,’ she says.” . . .

What’s clear is that parents – even traditional public school supporters – are growing tired of their children coming out of the system with subpar educations.

Is it possible that homeschooling – and the higher academic achievement which seems to accompany it – might be more accessible to more families if other states adopted Georgia’s model and enabled parents to band together and lead their children to success and a bright future?

Why yes, yes it is.

K-12 IMPLOSION UPDATE: Court rules for middle school, officer in teen’s burp arrest.