A Program That Is Getting Results

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article today about the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, the oldest voucher program in the United States. This program began in 1990. The program offers private school vouchers to low-income Milwaukee kids using a lottery system. The article reports that just 341 students participated in the program’s first year. Today, that figure is nearly 30,000 across 126 public schools.

The article reports:

Because it has been running for so long, the MPCP has been widely studied. Past analyses have found that it increases math scores (although not reading), as well as high-school graduation and college enrollment rates. Other voucher experiments have also shown encouraging results: A 2013 study found that Washington, D.C.’s voucher program increased graduation rates by 21 percentage points, while a 2015 analysis of New York’s voucher system saw an increase in college enrollment among students with black mothers.

The authors of the new paper looked at data on students from elementary school through ninth grade who were enrolled in Milwaukee private schools in 2006. They identified 2,727 MPCP students, then used a detailed methodology to “match” them to comparable students in the Milwaukee Public School (MPS) system based on where they lived, their demographic information, their parents’ educational backgrounds, and other controls.

Having constructed their “treatment” and “control” groups, the researchers then looked at how each group faired in relation to pivotal achievement milestones: completing high school, ever enrolling in college, completing at least a year of college, and graduating from college.

The article concludes:

“MPCP students are more likely to enroll, persist, and have more total years in a four-year college than their MPS peers,” the authors write. “We also find evidence that MPCP students are significantly more likely to graduate from college, although that college completion finding is only statistically significant in our sample of students who entered the program in third through eighth grade.”

Specifically, MPCP students who were in ninth grade in 2006 were 6 percentage points more likely than their MPS peers to enroll in a four-year college—46 percent versus 40 percent. MPCP students who were in third through eighth grades were 4 percentage points more likely to enroll in a four-year college, and 3 percentage points more likely to graduate (all effects statistically significant).

These results contribute to what the authors call “a growing body of evaluation results indicating that private school voucher programs positively affect student educational attainment.” They point in particular to a Florida program, the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, the effects of which on graduation are “nearly identical.”

“The collective evidence in this paper indicates that students in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program tend to have higher levels of educational attainment than a carefully matched comparison group of Milwaukee Public School students,” the authors conclude. “The MPCP students are more likely to enroll, persist, and experience more total years in a four-year college.”

Obviously the children using the vouchers to attend private schools are getting a better education than the students in public schools. I would guess that children involved in the voucher program also have a higher level of parental involvement–one of the keys to success for students. The children involved in the voucher program probably also know that there may be penalties for not doing the work required. I suspect that discipline in the private schools is probably more prevalent than in public schools. Our public schools have become places where children are not held to an academic or behavior standard. The success of the children in the voucher programs is an indication of problems in our public schools.

Maybe Extreme Vetting Was A Good Idea

Yesterday Fox News reported that the FBI arrested a Syrian refugee on Wednesday who allegedly planned to bomb a church in Pittsburgh in the name of the Islamic State.

The article reports:

Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, a 21-year-old Pittsburgh resident who was born in Daraa, Syria, and came to the U.S. as a refugee in 2016, met with an undercover FBI agent and an FBI source posing as ISIS sympathizers several times between April and June, according to the criminal complaint.

…During these meetings, he allegedly provided details to bomb an unidentified Christian church on the north side of Pittsburgh, producing plot details and bomb materials he purchased along with copies of Google satellite maps that showed the details about the church including its location and various routes for arriving and escaping the premise.

He planned to carry out the attacks in July by setting off the explosives around 3 or 4 a.m., according to the complaint.

Alowemer has been charged with one count of attempting to provide material support to ISIS and two counts of distributing information relating to an explosive device or weapon of mass destruction, activities that the Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers called “beyond the pale.”

This is Alowemar’s high school yearbook picture:

We let this person into the country and sent him to high school and treated him well. Obviously he was not willing to return the favor.

There is one thing to remember if you are ever in a situation where a terrorist has planted a bomb. There is probably a second bomb timed to go off when the police arrive or when people are fleeing after the first bomb has exploded. The best thing to do in that situation is to stay low. The second bomb is usually aimed at waist level and generally contains large amounts of shrapnel. From the reports I have seen, this was going to be a two-bomb attack.

 

What Are We Teaching Our Children?

Breitbart reported today that a  student at Park City High School in Park City, Utah, has admitted to releasing pepper spray inside a lecture hall last month in an attempt to prevent the school’s Turning Point USA student group from hosting an event. The student said that he did not feel that the Turning Point USA event would be a safe thing to have at his school (so he made it unsafe by using pepper spray? Logic, anyone?).

The article reports:

“I didn’t feel as though [the TPUSA event] was a very safe thing for a lot of our students to really have in our school, so I decided I wanted to disrupt it,” said the student during his hearing in 3rd District Juvenile Court on Friday, elaborating on his reasons for releasing the dangerous chemicals inside the lecture hall.

…Judge Knight reportedly told the student that he had been shutting down speech because he did not agree with it, and suggested that he find less harmful means for protesting, if he chooses to do so again in the future.

The student, who had been facing 18 criminal charges, admitted in court to four class B misdemeanors, which included one count of criminal mischief, a third-degree felony, two counts of assault and one count of disrupting a meeting.

Judge Knight dismissed the remaining 14 charges and sentenced the student to 100 hours of community service.

Additionally, the student was ordered to write an essay about civility, write a letter of apology to the school’s resource officer who entered the school seeking to identify the substance, pay restitution to the school for clean-up costs, and pay the co-pay of the individual who was hospitalized as a result of the incident, according to The Park Record.

We need to start teaching our children about the First Amendment. Evidently they are not learning about it in school.

Racism In School Admissions Policies

There was a time in America when schools were segregated and black children did not have the educational opportunities that white children had. Now schools are integrated, and generally opportunities are more equal. Cultural differences impact the education that children receive, but generally speaking, opportunities are equal. Some cultures put a greater emphasis on academic achievement than others, and that has become obvious to our college admissions boards and to some of our specialty high schools. Those among us who care more about equal outcome than equal opportunity have tried to change their admissions policies to compensate for those cultural differences. New York City Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Richard Carranza have attempted to change the admissions policies for New York City’s specialized high schools.

The New York Post posted an article about the changes on March 2.

The article reports:

Last December, the Chinese American Citizens Alliance Greater New York (CACAGNY) filed a racial-discrimination lawsuit against the city after Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Richard Carranza announced changes to admissions to New York’s specialized high schools, eight of which measure academic ability only through the SHSAT, an objective, competitive test open to every student in the city. Wai Wah Chin, the president of CACAGNY, explains why she’s determined to fight their moves, which she says discriminate against Asians …

The article reminds us of the results of this testing program:

In 1971, New York state mandated an admissions test to the city’s specialized high schools to ensure meritocratic admission. Called the SHSAT, the test knows no race or ethnicity; privilege and wealth count for nothing. All that matters is each student’s own ability.

Because of this, a Holocaust refugee who arrived in America with no English, no wealth and no privilege could take the test two years later, enter Stuyvesant and go on to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1981. His name: Roald Hoffmann.

Chancellor Carranza says no other high-school admission system in the country relies on a single test. Well, no other admission system produced 14 Nobel Prize winners in science either.

The article lists the Mayor’s solution to bringing diversity to the specialized high schools:

But de Blasio holds that meritocracy must have a predetermined, racially balanced outcome. So when East and South Asians get 50 percent of the offers to the specialized high schools while making up 16 percent of the students, he cries “Stuyvesant doesn’t look like New York City” and devises schemes to exclude them, his Asian Exclusion Act of the 21st century.

In one scheme, he arbitrarily takes 20 percent of the seats away from each Specialized High School to limit seats available to Asians. Then, he sets aside that 20 percent for students who took the SHSAT but failed to get into any of the eight schools, and applies eligibility criteria carefully crafted to exclude as many Asians as he can.

In another scheme, he brings back Harvard’s odious “geographic diversity,” limiting admission from each middle school to just 7 percent of its students, knowing full well that Asians are concentrated in a few middle schools.

These schemes impose a targeted racial balance. What’s more, they would lead to a significant portion of the student body being unprepared for the pace and levels at which the Specialized High Schools currently operate. Such social reverse engineering is the opposite of meritocracy.

If Mayor de Blasio is able to implement his ideas, it is a pretty safe bet that the number of Nobel Prize winning scientists coming out of these schools in the future will decrease drastically. I hope the CACAGNY wins their lawsuit.

Natural Consequences Of Stupid Policies

Yesterday The Daily Caller posted an article about a recent high school girls’ track meet in Connecticut.

The article reports:

High school juniors Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood took first and second place in the state open indoor track championships Feb. 16, The Associated Press noted in a report Sunday. Both Miller and Yearwood are biological males who identify as transgender girls.

One of their competitors, high school junior Selina Soule, told the AP it was unfair to force female runners to compete against male runners.

“We all know the outcome of the race before it even starts; it’s demoralizing,” said Soule. “I fully support and am happy for these athletes for being true to themselves. They should have the right to express themselves in school, but athletics have always had extra rules to keep the competition fair.”

Miller is the third-faster runner in the country in the girls’ 55-meter dash. Yearwood is close behind, tied for seventh nationally.

Along with the transgender movement is the idiotic idea that there is no difference between boys and girls. As unfortunate as what is happening in high school sports because of the transgender movement, the results of the various athletic contests illustrate the fact that boys are different than girls. Any woman who has gone on a diet with her husband could have told you that–she eats salads and green things and loses two pounds–he has steak and beer and loses ten pounds. We are made differently. It has to do with muscle mass and hormones. Selina Soule is right–it is unfair to force female runners to compete against male runners.

Hopefully the women who have had to put up with competing against men claiming to be women will learn from this experience. Men and women are different and need to be reminded to rejoice in their differences. I understand that there are some people who are confused about their gender, but what is happening now is the result of making something that is the exception rather than the rule fashionable. Hopefully the young people who are caught up in this current transgender fad will come to their senses before they do something irreversible.

Today Is A Holiday

Today is a holiday because we are celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was not a perfect person, but he was a visionary who did some things that needed to be done–and he did them peacefully.

LiveLeak has posted a transcript of the speech Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave in Memphis, Tennessee, the day before he was assassinated. My husband and I were in Memphis at that time, and it was a very tense place before and after Dr. King’s assassination.

Here are a few highlights from that speech:

Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation. And I want to thank God, once more, for allowing me to be here with you.

You know, several years ago, I was in New York City autographing the first book that I had written. And while sitting there autographing books, a demented black woman came up. The only question I heard from her was, “Are you Martin Luther King?”

And I was looking down writing, and I said yes. And the next minute I felt something beating on my chest. Before I knew it I had been stabbed by this demented woman. I was rushed to Harlem Hospital. It was a dark Saturday afternoon. And that blade had gone through, and the X-rays revealed that the tip of the blade was on the edge of my aorta, the main artery. And once that’s punctured, you drown in your own blood?that’s the end of you.

It came out in the New York Times the next morning, that if I had sneezed, I would have died. Well, about four days later, they allowed me, after the operation, after my chest had been opened, and the blade had been taken out, to move around in the wheel chair in the hospital. They allowed me to read some of the mail that came in, and from all over the states, and the world, kind letters came in. I read a few, but one of them I will never forget. I had received one from the President and the Vice-President. I’ve forgotten what those telegrams said. I’d received a visit and a letter from the Governor of New York, but I’ve forgotten what the letter said. But there was another letter that came from a little girl, a young girl who was a student at the White Plains High School. And I looked at that letter, and I’ll never forget it. It said simply, “Dear Dr. King: I am a ninth-grade student at the White Plains High School.” She said, “While it should not matter, I would like to mention that I am a white girl. I read in the paper of your misfortune, and of your suffering. And I read that if you had sneezed, you would have died. And I’m simply writing you to say that I’m so happy that you didn’t sneeze.”

And I want to say tonight, I want to say that I am happy that I didn’t sneeze. Because if I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been around here in 1960, when students all over the South started sitting-in at lunch counters. And I knew that as they were sitting in, they were really standing up for the best in the American dream. And taking the whole nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been around in 1962, when Negroes in Albany, Georgia, decided to straighten their backs up. And whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere, because a man can’t ride your back unless it is bent. If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been here in 1963, when the black people of Birmingham, Alabama, aroused the conscience of this nation, and brought into being the Civil Rights Bill. If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have had a chance later that year, in August, to try to tell America about a dream that I had had. If I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been down in Selma, Alabama, been in Memphis to see the community rally around those brothers and sisters who are suffering. I’m so happy that I didn’t sneeze.

And they were telling me, now it doesn’t matter now. It really doesn’t matter what happens now. I left Atlanta this morning, and as we got started on the plane, there were six of us, the pilot said over the public address system, “We are sorry for the delay, but we have Dr. Martin Luther King on the plane. And to be sure that all of the bags were checked, and to be sure that nothing would be wrong with the plane, we had to check out everything carefully. And we’ve had the plane protected and guarded all night.”

And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

This is the man that we are celebrating today.

Is This The Most Important Thing They Have To Worry About?

The Daily Wire posted an article today about Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine. The school was named after the accomplished surgeon, and Housing and Urban Development director, Dr. Ben Carson.

The article reports:

The Detroit School Board voted Wednesday to open consideration into whether a handful of DPS schools should have their “offensive” names changed — including Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine, named for former presidential candidate, accomplished surgeon, and Housing and Urban Development director, Dr. Ben Carson.

The board will seek comment over the next several months on whether to change Carson High, which was named for Dr. Ben Carson before he became active in politics, and well before he became an ally of President Donald Trump, something the Detroit School Board apparently doesn’t appreciate.

The Detroit News reports that at least one school board member has been campaigning to have Carson stripped of the honor, and that the proposed name change has everything to do with how the Detroit School Board feels about Republicans.

A Fox News article posted in September 2017 reminds us of the accomplishments of Dr. Ben Carson.

Fox News reported:

On Sept. 6, 1987, Dr. Ben Carson completed a 22-hour pioneering operation that separated 7-month-old West German Siamese twins, who were joined at the back of the head.

Carson led a 70-person team as director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and used a first-of-its-kind strategy that involved dropping the twins’ temperatures down to 68 degrees to stop their hearts and bloodflow.

Even if you ignore the above accomplishment, Ben Carson’s story is one that should be frequently shared with Detroit’s students. Ben Carson grew up in poverty with a single mother who was determined that he would succeed. She required her sons to read books and do book reports. She encouraged a strong work ethic and raised successful children.

It is foolish to rename a school because of temporary politics–the example of Ben Carson as a role model has nothing to do with his politics–the man achieved great things because he worked hard to overcome difficult beginnings. What better example to set before the children of Detroit?

Underneath The Borking

What is being done to Judge Kavanaugh is a borking. It’s an eleventh-hour attempt to make sure he never sits on the Supreme Court. It is based on a thirty-some-year-old charge that cannot be substantiated or disproved. On an interesting side note, a classmate at one point posted on Facebook that the incident happened and was the talk of the school for days. Unfortunately, the incident evidently happened in the summer when school was not in session. One thing everyone needs to consider is whether or not they want to live in a country where when you are up for a promotion a person can come out of the woodwork and deny you that promotion based on an unsubstantiated claim that you did something inappropriate in high school. The other thing to consider is patterns. Is there a pattern of abuse in Judge Kavanaugh’s life? Is the pattern there that was there with Ted Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and some other public figures? If there is a pattern, this charge needs to be examined more closely. If not, it is time to move on and understand that the charge can be neither proven or disproven and therefore must be dismissed.

Yesterday The New York Post posted an editorial about the circus this nomination process has become.

The editorial states:

It didn’t have to be this way.

Feinstein didn’t have to leak the anonymous accusation to the press, contrary to Ford’s wishes. Or she could have urged Ford to go public early, giving both parties enough time to be heard.

Even now, Feinstein and her colleagues could back a committee hearing, without which Kavan­augh has no realistic opportunity for mounting a defense. Kavan­augh is a judge and a political operator. But he ‘s also a father and husband.

But no. Senate Dems have settled on the ugliest means available, even by the standards of the body that added the verb “Borking” to our political vocabulary. The question is: Why have Republican high-court nominations brought out the worst from the left, going back to the Ronald Reagan era?

The short answer is that liberals fear their major cultural victories of the past half-century are democratically illegitimate. Not a single one was won at the ballot box, going back to the Supreme Court’s 1965 Griswold decision, which recognized a constitutional right to contraceptives. From abortion to gay marriage, plus a host of less titillating issues, modern liberalism has lived by the Court. And liberals fear their cause will die by the Court.

Unless, that is, they block conservative encroachments into the judiciary by all means necessary. Hence, Borking and Clarence Thomas-ing. And hence, too, the naked slandering of Mitt Romney in the course of the 2012 presidential campaign, to forestall his shifting the Court to the right.

I wish I could say that the way out of this impasse is for the right to double down on the gentle conservatism represented by Romney, the Bush dynasty, and the late John McCain. Perhaps that is the right course in the long term. But for now, it is imperative for the health of American democracy to resist the liberal ruthlessness that is on display in the halls of the Senate.

The verb “to Kavanaugh” must not be permitted to enter our lexicon, lest the step to unfreedom become irrevocable.

This is where we are. The only way out is to confirm Judge Kavanaugh so that this does not happen again. The last-minute sex accusation did not work on Clarence Thomas and it should not work on Brett Kavanaugh. Maybe after two strike outs, the Democrats will stop using this technique.

Reinventing The Wheel

On Monday, I attended the monthly meeting of the Academic Standards Review Commission (ASRC).

The Academic Standards Review Commission was established by General Assembly of North Carolina Session 2013 Session Law 2014-78 Senate Bill 812.

SECTION 2.(c) The Commission shall:

(1)    Conduct a comprehensive review of all English Language Arts and Mathematics standards that were adopted by the State Board of Education under G.S. 115C-12(9c) and propose modifications to ensure that those standards meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Increase students’ level of academic achievement.
  2. Meet and reflect North Carolina’s priorities.
  3. Are age-level and developmentally appropriate.
  4. Are understandable to parents and teachers.
  5. Are among the highest standards in the nation.

(2)   As soon as practicable upon convening, and at any time prior to termination, recommend changes and modifications to these academic standards to the State Board of Education.

(3)   Recommend to the State Board of Education assessments aligned to proposed changes and modifications that would also reduce the number of high-stakes assessments administered to public schools.

(4)   Consider the impact on educators, including the need for professional development, when making any of the recommendations required in this section.

The Commission shall assemble content experts to assist it in evaluating the rigor ofacademic standards. The Commission shall also involve interested stakeholders in this processand otherwise ensure that the process is transparent.

 

The Commission has worked hard, but unfortunately, the Commission has been trying to re-invent the wheel rather than draw on what has already been successful in North Carolina and other states. A group of educators has put together the North Carolina Education Plan, which is based on standards that were successful in other places. Minnesota (pre-Common Core) math standards have proven to be successful and Massachusetts (pre-Common Core) English standards have proven to be successful. The North Carolina Education Plan builds on these successes. Parents have expressed their dissatisfaction with Common Core–the excessive testing have created unnecessary stress in young children and children who loved going to school now dread going. There is also the issue of data mining, privacy violations and unfunded mandates in terms of electronic equipment in future years.

Common Core is a horrible program backed by some people with very large sums of money. It is time for parents to get together and make their voices heard.

Lady Liberty also attended the ASRC meeting. These are a few of her comments:

An initial draft of the ASRC’s recommendations for both ELA and Math was presented. There were 8 ELA and 11 math draft recommendations.

Of note in the draft ELA recommendations was recognition that the Common Core as it stands is not age/developmentally appropriate, “ELA standards need to be revised or rewritten to be developmentally appropriate for the students“.

Of note in the Math recommendations had several items of note, with quite a few centering on the Common Core’s inability to provide a decent math experience for high schoolers:

“A return to the sequence of studying Algebra I, Geometry and Algebra II is strongly recommended.”

“High school math standards in their current form appear to be not only repetitive but also give no clear set of standards or curriculum for each of the three courses.”

Overall, the consensus has been that the integrated math under Common core is not only confusing but insufficient for students wishing to advance to a four year school.

For the K-8, the recommendation is to totally chuck Common Core.

“For K-8 Math, it is recommended that the Minnesota standards be adopted. These standards meet the benchmarks of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel whose findings were released in 2008; Common Core does not meet these benchmarks, nor does any other state’s standards. NMAP was specifically created to study how mathematics instruction in the U.S. could be made world competitive again.”

The ASRC would do well to take a good look at the North Carolina Education Plan. It would save the state a lot of money and the parents in the state a lot of aggravation.

 

Feelings Are Different Than Facts

 

Last week The National Review posted an article about 150 students who walked out of Missouri’s Hillsboro High School. The students were protesting Lila Perry’s request to use the girl’s locker room. Lila Perry is a male student stating that he feels like a girl. He still has all the basic male parts, and the controversy began because he was in the girl’s locker room with his male part exposed.

The article reports:

Perry told News 4 school officials have been accommodating, understanding, and compliant with Title IX. The school offered her a private gender-neutral restroom, which she turned down.

I would like to know on whose advice the gender-neutral restroom was turned down. I would also like to know when exposing male body parts in a girls’ locker room became a right rather than a punishable offense.

Thank God the students had the common sense to walk out.

 

Teaching Islam Under The Guise Of Common Core

Yesterday Todd Starnes at Fox News posted an article about a Common Core vocabulary assignment given in English class in Farmville, North Carolina.

The article details the assignment:

“In the following exercises, you will have the opportunity to expand your vocabulary by reading about Muhammad and the Islamic word,” the worksheet read.

The lesson used words like astute, conducive, erratic, mosque, pastoral, and zenith in sentences about the Islamic faith.

“The zenith of any Muslim’s life is a trip to Mecca,” one sentence read. For “erratic,” the lesson included this statement: “The responses to Muhammad’s teachings were at first erratic. Some people responded favorably, while other resisted his claim that ‘there is no God but Allah and Muhammad his Prophet.”

Another section required students to complete a sentence:

“There are such vast numbers of people who are anxious to spread the Muslim faith that it would be impossible to give a(n)___ amount.”

The writer of the article at Fox asked the school district to provide me with a copy of vocabulary worksheets that promoted the Jewish, Hindu and Christian faiths. The school district did not reply.

The article concludes:

The student I spoke with told me they have not had any other assignments dealing with religion – other than the one about Islam.

Why is that not surprising?

Based on its official statement, Pitt County Schools seems confident that the vocabulary lessons are in compliance with three Common Core standards related to literary. If you want to look up those standards, reference CCSSELA-Literary L11-12.4.A, 12.4.D and 12.6.

Since the Common Core folks seem to be infatuated with sentence completion – let me try one out on them.

Use “Islamic” and “proselytizing” in the following sentence: Somebody got their ____ hand caught in the ____ cookie jar.

Where are the protests from the ‘Freedom From Religion’ people?

The Education Our Children Are Not Getting

Yesterday the Independent Journal Review posted an article about a high school student using the internet to prepare for a debate. Student debates are a really good thing–I think they give students a chance to evaluate issues and form opinions based on both sides of the argument. But wait, about that both sides of the argument part.

The article reports:

Andrew Lampart, a senior at Nonnewaug High School in Connecticut, made an unsettling discovery while doing research for a class debate on gun control.

When he couldn’t access the NRA’s homepage, he decided to check what other sites the school had blocked. Lampart said, “I went over on sites such as Moms Demand Action or Newtown Action Alliance and I could get on these Web sites but not the others.”

He also found that pro-life sites were blocked by the school’s firewall while pro-choice websites like Plannned Parenthood were not. He even found that Christianity.com couldn’t be accessed, but Islam-guide.com was readily available.

Please follow the link above to the Independent Journal Review to see the list of websites the school allowed and those it blocked.

The Board of Education commented:

The Board of Education Chairman, John Chapman, emailed Fox CT to say, “the Board appreciated hearing the comments from Andrew and agree that he has raised an important issue that warrants further investigation.”

Meanwhile, I wonder how the student is supposed to prepare for the debate.

Punished For Doing The Right Thing

Yesterday the Boston Herald posted an article about Erin Cox, former captain of North Andover High School‘s volleyball team. Erin got a phone call from a friend who had been drinking at a party. The friend asked Erin to come get her and drive her home. Erin went to the party to pick up her friend. Unfortunately, at that same time,  police from Boxford, Haverhill, Georgetown and North Andover showed up.

The article reports:

They arrested a dozen underage drinkers and warned another 15 underage youths that they’d be summoned to court for drinking.

Erin Cox was one of those told she’d be summoned for drinking — even though she wasn’t, even though Boxford police Officer Brian Neeley vouched for her sobriety in writing in a statement Erin’s mother, Eleanor, took to court Friday. She filed a lawsuit hoping to reverse the high school’s punishment: Erin was stripped of her captain’s position and suspended, mid-season, for five games.

“Don’t drink,” we tell our high school kids. “And don’t go to a party where kids are drinking,” we tell high school athletes, or you, too, could get suspended from the team.

Erin Cox understood all this, as well.

“But I wasn’t drinking,” she told me. “And I felt like going to get her was the right thing to do. Saving her from getting in the car when she was intoxicated and hurt herself or getting in the car with someone else who was drinking. I’d give her a ride home.”

Erin did the right thing. She may have saved someone’s life that night. The school needs to rethink the punishment–it doesn’t fit the crime.

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Do Parents Have The Right To Know That The School Is Giving Their Children Drugs ?

The New York Post posted an article on Saturday (updated today) about a program in the New York City schools that provides high school girls with birth control pills–including Plan B (the morning-after pill).

The article reports:

Last September, the city revealed it had started giving out Plan B and other birth control in the nurses’ offices of 13 high schools. At the time, officials said 567 girls had gotten Plan B.

But the birth-control blitz was much bigger than the city had acknowledged. About 40 separate “school-based health centers” doled out 12,721 doses of Plan B in 2011-12, up from 10,720 in 2010-11 and 5,039 in 2009-10, according to the newly released data.

 About 22,400 students sought reproductive care from January 2009 through last school year, records show. Under state law, minors don’t need parental OKs to get contraceptives.

The article further reports:

The city says about 6,300 NYC girls under age 17 had unplanned pregnancies last year, and more than half had abortions. Of those who give birth, the city says, about 70 percent drop out of school, making their futures bleak.

Just for the record, the age of consent for sex in New York is seventeen. That means that the schools are giving out birth control to children who are not legally supposed to be having sex. So let me get this straight. There won’t be salt on my table at a restaurant in New York City because Mayor Bloomberg says it is bad for me. No restaurant can use transfat to fry food in New York City, and ‘big gulp’ sodas are illegal in New York City because Mayor Bloomberg says they are bad for me, but my daughter can obtain birth control or the morning after pill without my consent our without consulting me about any medical conditions that she may have.

The world has truly turned upside down.

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