Just in time for the new school year, a federal court has granted an injunction blocking the Obama administration’s decree that public schools must allow children to use whichever bathroom corresponds to their self-chosen gender identity, rather than their biological sex. The injunction will hold until the issue is decided in the courts. [Read more…]
President Obama has commanded all public schools to open their bathrooms and locker rooms to either sex in cases of children who are “transgendered.” Children are generally too young for sex-change operations, so what we are dealing with is the extremely small number of children with “gender dysphoria,” confusion about what gender they are.
Not long ago, feminists and LGBTQ activists were insisting on the distinction between “sex” and “gender,” the former referring to biological anatomy and the latter referring to a social “construction.” Now, though, being “transgender” (constructing a different gender identity) must be counted as actually changing one’s sex.
The President’s authority to impose a transgender mandate on all schools, on threat of losing federal funding, is a new interpretation of the Title IX non-discrimination law, construing the language forbidding discrimination on the basis of “sex” so that it also means not discriminating on the basis of “gender,” or, rather, gender identity.
North Carolina, the target of massive indignation over its law requiring that schools and government facilities segregate their bathrooms according to natural sex rather than self-identified gender, is pushing back in a lawsuit challenging the administration’s use of Title IX and its authority to issue transgender mandates. Read Michael Avramovich on the issues after the jump. [Read more…]
Teachers, who have big clout in the Democratic Party, don’t like standardized testing, a major reason being that it often provides evidence of their ineffectiveness. So Democrats generally support gutting No Child Left Behind, George W. Bush’s education law designed to make sure that children who perform poorly get the help they need. Republicans, who are usually against a federal role in education, are mostly OK with scrapping the law.
But now civil rights groups are arguing that mandatory testing is a matter of civil rights. Poor and minority students have a right to an education, they argue, and mandatory testing identifies the students who need extra help and makes sure school systems don’t ignore them. [Read more…]
Philosopher Justin P. McBrayer investigated why so many college freshmen do not believe in moral facts, that certain ethical principles–such as murder is wrong, or it’s wrong to cheat on tests–are objectively valid. Prof. McBrayer says that this view is actually quite rare among professional philosophers.
He traced this thinking among young people to public school curriculum that teaches over and over again a philosophically confused version of the “fact/value distinction” that incorrectly classifies all moral claims as subjective and thus changeable “values.” (This mixed-up teaching–which I have also seen in Lutheran parochial schools!–is enshrined in the so-called “Common Core.”) Sample Prof. McBrayer’s op-ed piece–in the New York Times, no less–after the jump and then read it all. [Read more…]
Over half of the students in America’s public schools–51% overall, but in many states the number is much higher–are from families below the poverty line.
Some will say that this is because the middle class has abandoned public education, what with homeschooling, parochial and other Christian schools, and other private institutions. But why are so many middle class families not sending their children to public schools anymore? What could public schools do to bring them back? [Read more…]
You may have heard about the little boy who wanted to distribute to his class candy canes with messages about they symbolize Jesus and the Gospel. His teacher wouldn’t let him. So Glenn Beck, Fox News, and many Christian activists have been excoriating that teacher.
But Hillsdale professor Korey Maas says that the teacher first consulted her principal, who told her that the school did not allow that kind of “witnessing” in class. And she is far from being a militant secularist or the worse things she is being called.
In fact, she is herself a pious and confessional Christian, though it would be impossible to discern as much from the coverage of much Christian media.
I know this because I was present at her baptism; I participated in the catechesis leading to her reception into the theologically (and, overwhelmingly, politically) conservative Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod; I preached at her wedding; my wife and I are godparents to her children, as she and her husband (who is himself on the faculty of a Christian university) are to our youngest. Needless to say, I have complete confidence that her far less dramatic version of events is much the more accurate account. [Read more…]