Monday Miscellany, 6/5/23

Monday Miscellany, 6/5/23 June 5, 2023

Scientists who hide their science; debate judges who won’t allow debate; and teachers who give higher grades as their students’ test scores plummet.

Group Behind Transgender “Science” Won’t Release Its Research

The allegedly science-based guidelines that many hospitals and clinics use to give “gender-affirming care” to children come from the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH).  In Alabama, a lawsuit against that state’s refusal to allow sex change procedures for minors invokes WPATH’s findings.  So a federal judge has subpoenaed the documents that are the basis of those guidelines.

Strangely, WPATH is fighting the subpoena.  But the scientific method requires transparency and the sharing of data, so as to allow for replicability and peer review!  What is WPATH afraid of the public and the medical profession learning?  Could it be that the research the guidelines are based upon is bogus and shaped by transgender ideology?

An article on the subject includes this about WPATH:

WPATH recently pushed to remove any minimum age requirement to undergo sex change surgeries or cross-sex hormone therapy. Amy Tishelman, one of the authors of the 8th edition of WPATH’s guidelines, said WPATH changed the guidelines so doctors wouldn’t “be sued because they weren’t following exactly what we said.” . . .

In 2022, WPATH set standards of care for those with a “eunuch” gender identity, recommending hormone suppression, orchiectomy (removal of the testicles) to stop production of testosterone, orchiectomy with or without penectomy to alter the body to match their self-image and orchiectomy followed by hormone replacement with testosterone or estrogen. WPATH even cited information from the Eunuch Archive, an online forum which contains stories of child castration, pedophilia and sexual torture.

Debate Judges Who Won’t Allow Debate

High school debate is a sort of intellectual sport, teaching young people how to make effective arguments from different points of view.  As part of their preparation for competition, debaters can check out their judges, who post a “paradigm” on a website in which they tell a little about themselves and explain what they look for in a winning debate.  For example, whether they don’t like it if you talk too fast and if they are open to emotional appeals.

But today, some debate judges are dictating the views that the debaters must hold.  Never mind that debaters are supposed to prepare to speak to either side of the issue.  They don’t even know what position they will be assigned to take until the tournament.

But here are some of the judges’ paradigms as reported by James Fishback in his Free Press article At High School Debates, Debate Is No Longer Allowed, with the deck “At national tournaments, judges are making their stances clear: students who argue ‘capitalism can reduce poverty’ or ‘Israel has a right to defend itself’ will lose—no questions asked.”  The links will go to the actual paradigms, so you can see for yourself:

“Before anything else, including being a debate judge, I am a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist. . . . I cannot check the revolutionary proletarian science at the door when I’m judging. . . . I will no longer evaluate and thus never vote for rightest capitalist-imperialist positions/arguments. . . . Examples of arguments of this nature are as follows: fascism good, capitalism good, imperialist war good, neoliberalism good, defenses of US or otherwise bourgeois nationalism, Zionism or normalizing Israel, colonialism good, US white fascist policing good, etc.”  Lila Lavender

“If you are discussing immigrants in a round and describe the person as ‘illegal,’ I will immediately stop the round, give you the loss with low speaks”—low speaker points—“give you a stern lecture, and then talk to your coach. . . . I will not have you making the debate space unsafe.” Shubham Gupta

To be sure, such bias goes against the rules of the National Speech & Debate Association (NSDA), most debate judges are not like this, and the organization says that the posted information can be used to weed out inappropriate judges.  But these and others cited in the article have a lot of experience judging debates.  That is, judging that debate must not occur.

Grades Are Up As Test Scores Fall

The good news is that student grades are up.  The bad news is that test scores are falling.

In a Federalist article entitled America’s Hatred For Merit Is Leading Us To Total Incompetence, Alexander Zubatov includes the following facts:

Grades have been rising, while SAT scores have been falling. Average performance is supposed to earn C’s, not A’s. Even as recently as 1990, it was still in reasonable C+/B- territory. But the percentage of high schoolers with an A average went up from an already absurd 38.9 percent in 1998 to a still more absurd 47 percent in 2016. And this is not because kids today are wowing teachers with their stellar performance. Average SAT scores, which reveal the ignorance and incompetence that inflated grades conceal, fell from 1026 to 1002 on a 1600-point scale over the same period.

Some 80% of colleges and universities no longer require the SAT or ACT for admission, choosing to rely instead on grade point averages.

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