Academic Malpractice

The post at Legal Insurrection (link) says in part, that the goal is to “…to equalize test scores among racial groups, OPRF will order its teachers to exclude from their grading assessments variables it says disproportionally hurt the grades of black students. They can no longer be docked for missing class, misbehaving in school or failing to turn in their assignments, according to the plan.”
So basically, this is an administrative rubber-stamping a passing grade on the report cards of black students who can’t be arsed to attend class, behave properly as students when they do, or turn in required assignments. Frankly, one wonders why such students even bother with school anyway, if they are so vehemently disinclined towards the life intellectual, but truant law and free daycare for such parental units as they have probably account for it, as well as money for butts in seats on the part of the school itself. At this rate of scholastic malpractice, urban schools might just as well hand out high school graduation certificates as if they were Pokemon cards, one to a customer and save themselves time and effort in the classroom. Any serious education of pupils appears as merely a happy afterthought to a means of employing large numbers of administrators, assistant principals and teachers whose union membership is vastly more important to the powers that be than imparting knowledge to that handful of rare-as-hen’s-teeth pupils who seriously want to learn.

This particularly unfortunate notion to enforce the mystical quality of “equity” on students of color will backfire of course. Future employers, associates, neighbors and professional will regard those students of color who hold such useless bits of paper as worthless, illiterate, and dumber than dirt, which will no doubt make those public-school products feel even more disrespected, resentful, and inclined to casual criminality and general uselessness as citizens than they already are. Just call me Cassandra, if you please.

Honestly, home school looks better and better all the time, as many otherwise well-intentioned, well-paid and ambitious-for-the-children parents discovered during sessions of remote learning and home lockdown, exactly and to their vast disgust what kind of sex-ed and racial-theory lunacies were romping untrammeled through the classrooms.

Which brings me to higher education – and wondering why the heck any intelligent eighteen year old with a strong grasp of cost-to-benefit ratio even bothers, especially if they are not of color, are male, straight, and genuinely interested in the great intellects and events of the Western canon. What with dropping a requirement for scholars of the classical ancient world to be conversant in Greek or Latin, to consider the poetical sonnet form, and practically every other great writer in the English language to be tainted with a pollutant called white supremacy … well, really. Why go to college at all, if one is imbued with a love of language and literature along that line? Why not just spare all the lectures by overpaid and resentful woke academics, (pissed that they haven’t been able to create something just as transcendent and enduring) and simply take the autodidact path on your own time? It would certainly be cheaper and a lot less stressful. (And there are always the Great Course series and others of that ilk.)
Discuss as you wish.

45 thoughts on “Academic Malpractice”

  1. We are seeing the beginnings of the dissolution of the university and public school system.

  2. The more perverse behaviors are tolerated, the lower their learning will be, not to forget these behaviors can and do effect the other students’ learning. Sometimes you need to keep them engaged with drag queen story hour.


  3. My two children are now in the vicinity of 40, but even when they were children, the spiraling cost of higher education was much discussed. I thought then that what cannot continue will not continue. True, though only now are cracks in the system beginning to show. Ready availability of student loans delayed rhe reckoning, making it worse. As I learned in connection with the collapse of the savings and loan industry, that which cannot continue can nevertheless do so for longer than you might think. How many generations of children must suffer while our elementary and secondary education systems unravel? Whither our youth and our country?

  4. Good colleges, if they really value their reputation, will quietly start building lists of high schools from which they will not accept applications. These devalued high school diplomas are insufficient proof of readiness for college. (Heck, I think all California public school diplomas are already worthless.)

  5. Heartbreaking for minority students who do the work and meet the expectations. They will be suspected of being slackers even if their work has been excellent.

  6. If the roads were in the same condition as the schools… I tried to think of some apposite and witty comparison but failed. Well, more people would notice. Considering road conditions I’ve seen in places like California and the Northeast, I wouldn’t be willing to bet it would make a difference.

    It won’t just be minority students, I don’t see how engaged parents can make up the deficit without withdrawing their children and placing them in another venue. The unengaged will never notice a problem outside a courtroom or funeral home. Those without close ties to school age children won’t have a clue.

    The educational establishment has so completely suppressed any sort of objective accountability for so long, I doubt there is any remedy, short of simply shutting off the money completely. I doubt there is anything left to salvage.

  7. I think the collapse of the American educational system is a lot further along than might be suspected.

    I recall reading of the lily pad problem, long ago. If the number of lily pads doubles every day, and your pond will be completely covered at day thirty, what day will it be half covered? Day twenty nine. I don’t know why lily pads are bad for ponds and not owning one I don’t care. But the point is that presumably every thing looks fine until just before the final catastrophe.

    If the education system will be completely destroyed when the left completely takes over, at what point are we now? When is the system half useless? Pretty near the end.

    I think we’re at least to the point of half uselessness.

    The end won’t be long now.

  8. I would be giving a test in 5 classes with, say, 5 black students among the five classes. 5 would have a hazy reason for not taking the test (or handing the paper in on time or. . . ); 4 of the 5 would be black. Anecdotal evidence but the numbers from those classes was well over a hundred and this would happen semester after semester. Tending to generalize myself, I was probably not expecting as much or doubting the work of that 5th black student who was really trying to meet the demands of the course. The white students noticed – do we want students to be such idiots they don’t notice? It was totally unhealthy. Just saying, one anecdotal evidence over twenty or so years from one fairly competitive university when I was a grad student and one open admissions junior college (but with one of the highest rates of graduation from a 4-year school in 7 years from admission to the jr college).
    And I just don’t want to deal with comments, coward that I am, so its anonymous.

  9. Something like this has occurred in Minnesota. Powerline has written about it.

    Here is one post.

    This policy has, of course, produced rampant and serious misbehavior. According to Kersten, “increasingly, some St. Paul Public Schools resemble a war zone” to the point that Ramsey County Attorney John Choi has branded the trend of violence “a public health crisis.” Teachers have threatened to strike over the dangers they face, and their safety was a pivotal issue in recently concluded contract negotiations. “We are afraid,” one told the Pioneer Press.

    Aaron Benner, a veteran elementary school teacher who happens to be black, described the breakdown:

    In October 2015, Benner — writing in the Pioneer Press — stated that he witnessed “far worse” behaviors during the 2014-15 school year. “On a daily basis, I saw students cussing at their teachers, running out of class, yelling and screaming in the halls, and fighting.” School officials often failed to follow up when he referred kids for misbehavior, he said. “I have since learned that this tactic is widely used throughout the district to keep the numbers of referrals and suspensions low,” he added.

    Benner now works at a charter school.

  10. What happens when every student just checks the Black/African-American box automatically? Are we going to require some sort of genetic testing? How ironic to rebuild a society rigidly classified by race and rife with racial preference in the name of “equality”.

    Do you really believe that employers will be able to deny employment and promotion based on anything as trivial as competence?

  11. I don’t understand how anyone can be unaware that this kind of crap is harmful to black students. How is someone who has been passed without learning the material supposed to learn anything in higher classes where they don’t have the required background knowledge? How can someone who has been allowed to misbehave without consequences as a child be expected to behave responsibly as an adult?

  12. “I don’t understand how anyone can be unaware that this kind of crap is harmful to black students.”

    Exactly, George. Exactly. It has been doing and will go on doing irreparable harm – and the so-called “educators” responsible for it are merrily ignoring all suggestions that it does the black students no favors at all.

  13. This was apparent all the way back to the late 1960’s early 1970’s. I went to the University of Colorado Boulder for my first two years. We had just started “Educational Opportunity Programs” for Blacks [called “Black EOP”], Hispanics [called “United Mexican American Students”], Native Americans [called “Native American EOP”], and for some reason they tossed in us slant-eyes [called “Asian-American EOP”]. The concept was scholarships for capable and deserving, but poor, of each group. I volunteered as a tutor and counselor for Asian-American EOP.

    We took the capable and deserving part seriously. We went out to the high schools, interviewed student applicants and families, looked at standardized test scores, grades, and made sure that they [and their families] knew that if they were accepted into the program that in return for the scholarships we expected them to work their tails off. And, as noted, we furnished tutors and counselors as needed.

    UMAS and Black EOP would go to the high schools, say the equivalent of “Hey man, do you want to go to college for free?”, and sign people up there with no testing, grades, or standards. They had no tutoring or counseling.

    By the way, the Native American program did not have any real core of Native American college students already there to help them set up their program, so we basically took them under our wing for the first couple of years till they could run themselves. Note that their students had to deal with active opposition and threats to their families on the reservations from the BIA.

    The Black and UMAS programs had political rallies instead of tutorials. Every semester they would have a bunch of them flunk out and would have a low-grade riot outside Regent’s Hall. The Asian-American EOP lost exactly one student while I was there. He was a hard sciences major full time student trying to also work full time. We told him not to, but he did it anyway. The rest of our students did very well. We lost part of the Native-American students, but we got a bunch through too. Since we were starting them from zero, it was a good thing.

    That pretty much epitomizes where we are and where we are going. As the Social Contract and the Political Contract breaks down, it seems that what my ancestors would have called the Mandate of Heaven is being withdrawn.

    Subotai Bahadur

  14. George,
    You must rid yourself of the notion that American public schools have the welfare of the students, whatever color they are, as an even distant goal. They are run exclusively for the benefit of the organizations professing to be teachers unions wielding their membership to keep various politicians in power and securing their place at the public trough.

  15. There is an increasing number of black parents homeschooling their children. Of course, this does not include those seeking charter schools.

    among households with school-age children, the percentage who reported homeschooling them rose from 5.4% in April 2020 to 11.1% in October 2020, the last week for which those figures are available, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey. The increase was most significant among Black families, about 3.3% of whom were homeschooling in spring 2020. By fall 2020, 16.1% were homeschooling, according to the survey. That’s a 500% increase.

    The Times has a “woke” excuse for this trend but I assume it is a search for standards. In education and deportment.

  16. Of course, this is not lost on African American teachers; one of the most eloquent is John McWhorter. In 2001 he did “Losing the Race,” in 2005 “Winning the Race”, and in 2021 Woke Racism: How a New Religion Has Betrayed Black America. His specialties are Creole and the history of English (he did the Teaching Series on that). I’ve head him more than read him, but he was bitterly criticized and some of the post-book talk questioning was somewhat nasty. His teaching experience was that too many of his minority students didn’t show up and didn’t take seriously what he loved and took quite seriously. Of course that isn’t true of all minority students and more and more majority students take the same attitude but twenty years ago he rang that alarm, as did people, in the 70’s and 80’s. For one thing, some skin in the game helps people take things seriously (Germany seems to take NATO somewhat seriously after the invasion of Ukraine) and dropping student loans or making free schooling last for another two yeas isn’t likely to improve anyone’s attitudes.

  17. Roland Fryer was punished for doubting the narrative.

    The committee that decided his fate was made up of his black faculty enemies.

    Black ‘genius’ Harvard professor on $600,000 was suspended for his ‘anti-woke’ views and NOT for sexually harassing female staff, new documentary claims

    In March Brown University grad Rob Montz released 25-minute documentary entitled ‘Harvard Canceled Its Best Black Professor. Why?’
    The doc explores the suspension of tenured Harvard professor Roland Fryer, a prominent economist who was considered one of the rising stars of his field
    Montz argues that Fryer was cancelled’ because he challenged norms and that while some of his behavior was unprofessional, it did not warrant suspension
    Some of the allegations include a joke about how a senior administrator hadn’t had sex since black people were slaves
    A second personal assistant then came forward with messages where he texted her from a fundraiser and told her if she were with him he’d bite her

    By Gina Martinez For Dailymail.Com

    Published: 14:07 EDT, 31 March 2022 | Updated: 18:02 EDT, 31 March 2022




    View comments

    A ‘genius’ black Harvard professor was forced out of his $600,000-a-year job after colleagues angered by his anti-woke views trumped up sexual harassment claims against him, a new documentary claims.

    Roland Fryer, 44, came under fire after it emerged in 2018 that he’d made inappropriate comments to two former assistants, with six of their complaints against him upheld, Rob Montz’s documentary claims.

    And his refusal to kowtow to common woke doctrines put him in the sights of Harvard’s social studies dean Larry Bobo and African-American studies scholar Claudine Gay.

    They ignored recommendations that Fryer be given workplace sensitivity training following a 2019 investigation into his behavior, and effectively ended his career.

    Fryer’s career was trashed after he escaped an impoverished and abusive childhood to become Harvard’s youngest tenured professor ever in 2007, aged just 30.

    His writings were wildly-popular, and credited with attracting $33.6m in grants to the money-hungry Ivy League college – but even that wasn’t enough to save him.

    Recalling the allegations of the first assistant, Montz said: ‘And this woman, the overwhelming impression you get is not sexual tyranny.

    ‘It’s like just, straight up camaraderie. Roland is talking to this woman about how much he wants to be a great dad and how he absolutely hates all the attention.

  18. I am proud of what I did for most of my adult life, on a middling state u campus. The things that are wrong now were in larval stage way back in the early ’70s already, and nothing could surprise me. (I’m retired as an emeritus, and recipient of my state professional organization’s highest award, so no stranger to the beast.)

    I told my own, high-scoring and artistically talented only child, after three or four unproductive semesters at my place and the other u at the far end of the state, that if he wasn’t getting anything out of the experience he could stop pretending to be serious about it and quit. He’s working in carpentry and cabinetry now.

    The present structure is indeed at the point of utter collapse, which wouldn’t be so bad if its collapse wasn’t coincident with the collapse of everything else.

    Enjoy this time, which we will see in retrospect as a golden age . . .

  19. Lorraine Hansberry was the first African-American dramatist, the fifth woman, and the youngest playwright to win the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award. Her autobiographical play “To Be Young, Gifted, and Black” portrays her own experiences in a class led by a witch-of-a-teacher, an Irish woman cursed to teach American children the use of the English language. “(ay, though little enough the English themselves have done with it…” ) Hansberry was enraged when the teacher awarded her essays or stories “C” grades when the work was clearly superior to the work being done (or not done) by classmates reporting identical grades.

    This was NOT about racism. This was a teacher requiring, insisting, demanding, that a brilliant, gifted, student live up to her own potential. Quite obviously the student-aged Hansberry felt differently about that teacher than the adult playwright telling the story years later.

    Today, setting aside race, or gender, or subject matter… in an environment where the syllabus and rubrics must be published in advance and “mastery” consists of checking off tasks from the list, and conformity with expectations results in the “A” grade… how are the young and gifted to be coached and challenged and prepared to develop their best selves and compete for any prize?

  20. On the it’s-not-so-bad side, the schools have always sucked and this will not be that noticeable in the long run. Genetics dominate the school results, not the knuckleheaded ideas of 200, 100, or 20 years ago. Neither liberals nor conservatives want to believe that, but the numbers are overwhelming.

  21. Pouncer. sometime in late Junior HS, maybe early HS – we had to read and even act out in English class, Raisin in the Sun – and it left us all baffled. This was a working-class to no-class neighborhood of basically white kids who really couldn’t figure at all what the conflict was. It was alien to the nth degree, so far out of our personal experience. This was California, which had never been afflicted with Jim Crow or the aftermath of slavery. But the school felt it was all Enormously Significant, so we went along with it … still puzzled.

  22. I no longer have school age children but I do have grandchildren who still are in school. One granddaughter is at U of Alabama, which she likes and she joined a sorority so it seems normal. My grandson will be a senior in high school next fall and is a jock and 6 foot 5. Should he look for an athletic scholarship? His younger sister is a freshman in high school and a competitive swimmer. What should they do? I don’t know. My grandson was interested in the Army but I don’t know how poisonous that institution has become. A brother-in-law of my DIL just retired from the Navy and was happy to do so. He is angry at the crap he encountered the last few years.

  23. I remain dubious of the proposition that capital-E “Education” is of real benefit to anyone.

    It’s become a credential-driven system, and the sad fact is, the credentials are becoming meaningless. How many times do you hear “Well, I’ve used nothing they taught me in school…” and “We have to train everyone we hire…” before you start to figure out the fact that they’re not doing the job everyone expects of them?

    Hell, I was forced to take witness statements from officers and re-write them when I was in the Army; theoretically college-educated men and women who could not write a coherent paragraph outlining a sequence of events that they’d witnessed and participated in. I’ll grant you that wasn’t commonplace, but the fact that I had to deal with it at all is telling.

    I think the system is indeed collapsing. Mostly under the weight of self-imposed stupidities. The question is, how to move forward?

    What I believe we need, more than anything else, is outside verification. Fine; you have a meaningless degree and no experience. Why should that count for more than my high school diploma and ten years of experience in the field, when it comes time to hire someone? When my English skills are far and away superior to the college graduate, and they can’t solve basic problems of any sort?

    Degrees are meaningless, thanks to the devaluation of them by the very people that issue them. AOC is a proud Economics graduate of a supposed institution of higher learning, and yet she’s demonstrably economically illiterate. What does that do for the value of other people’s degrees in economics from that institution? Shouldn’t they be concerned, and suing the ever-loving crap out of them for that fact?

    You need external, third-party verification of skills and knowledge. Something needs to be set up, in order to route around the current mess in certification and credentialing, because the value of what they’re doing in both regards is steadily being destroyed. I don’t think it will be very long before a Harvard diploma is seen as an actual detractor, rather than a career guarantee.

    The institutions have done this to themselves. I feel no pity.

  24. AVI…surely, though, there is a level of school badness that can overcome genetic goodness…not only bad academics, but stressful and disruptive climate.

    There’s a 2016 study claiming to show that a single disruptive student can reduce the future earnings of the entire class:

    Not thrilled with the methodology, but it does make sense that disruptive environments both inhibit learning and increase demoralization.

  25. One obvious problem is that degrees in some disciplines (using the term loosely) are not worth the paper they are written on. Stem degrees are in danger but are more reliable than Humanities or “studies.” I don’t know how much business degrees have been degraded. The example of AOC is not reassuring.

  26. To be fair, these grading changes apply to all students, not just black students. The theory is that grades should measure mastery rather than behavior. If you can learn the material without doing homework or showing up in class, then that’s all that counts.

    Of course, few students can do well without doing any work, so there will be pressure to come up with “alternative ways to show mastery” that don’t require actual mastery.

  27. Long term the answer is to defund the current public education “industry”, redirect tax monies via vouchers to empower parents to choose the education they believe most appropriate for their kids including, profit and nonprofit private schools, homeschooling and public charter schools. Eventually market forces will greatly improve the overall quality of education while freeing up resources from no longer needed bureau including DOE, State Departments of Education, County school boards and (most) administrators. Need to get started.

  28. The whole purpose of this nonsense is the perpetuation of a permanent dependent class of fatherless losers. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of NY and a Democrat who grew in Hell’s Kitchen in NYC blew the whistle on this in 1965.

    As Democrat President Lyndon Johnson said after the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and his implementation on his disastrous War on Poverty, ” We’ll now have the Negro (not the word he used) vote for the next 200 years.”

  29. “They can no longer be docked for missing class, misbehaving in school or failing to turn in their assignments, according to the plan.”

    So, in addition to failing to measure and improve academic performance, this plan will disincentivize students from gaining basic work skills like showing up, doing things on schedule, and getting along with people.

  30. The communists have turned our public education institutions into cesspools of indoctrination.
    They have driven a stake between children and their parents making the children great little subjects for government use and driving the parents to distraction for the loss of their children.

    It is a win for our communist enemies and America is standing on the precipice with no way to get back its culture, Constitution, law and order and way of life.

  31. In my kid’s high school last week a couple kids were apparently running through the hallways and yelling and being generally knuckleheads. They called the cops.
    A guy I know has his kids in a relatively nearby school and said that sort of thing went on basically daily and no one did a thing, they just pretended it was normal.
    I bet you can guess the rough demographics of the two schools. Both show the total abdication of adult responsibility that characterizes our age though…

  32. I’ll just leave this right here…

    Handwriting has been on the wall for years. It is only now being noticed, and like the Fall of the House of Evergreen (State College), it’ll be making a big noise in the near- and mid-term as the reality starts to sink in. The educrats only have themselves to blame; they corrupted the system, and the system is now doing what all corrupt systems do: Collapse dramatically.

  33. As a fourth generation cum laud Humanities graduate of an iconic IV (“Ivy”) League school, then non-coed and banning cars (!), we realized early-on that status-anxiety gentry cohorts assembled there not to learn anything (“read Latin” as ’twas said) but for peer-group networking. Over centuries, baccalaureate establishments formed O-so-social clubs of men-and-manners, a credentialed class ritually tribal to the core.

    How awful! And yet, for some 350 years (in fact, Medieval times) this elite corps of public-spirited Christian Gentlemen provided amateur patrons, sponsors of arts-and-letters, “equal justice under law,” that inspired 17th through mid-20th century innovators to transform not just America but the global human enterprise. Absent anyone from Morse and Bell to Eastman, Edison and the Wright brothers, then Henry Ford, Claude Shannon, Watson and Crick et al., the world would be a poorer place.

    Now after the requisite three 24-year generations, 72+ years from World War II (1945 – 2017), Pareto’s upper “sparsity quintile” –the top 20% of any population that historically drives productive growth-and-change– has come socially-culturally unglued. Once polities descend to “playing personalities” the game is up… as’t was from AD 1453 to 1492 (the fall of Constantinople to Columbus), then 1517 (Luther’s Reformation), when New Worlds opened “to redress the balance of the old.”

    A prediction: Today’s World Economic Forum (WEF) allied with crypto-fascist Luddites’ metastasizing Great Reset or New World Order (sic) will go the way of Byzantine schlamperei following Ankara’s sorry overthrow of Constantine XI Paleologos’ (“First Word”) capital athwart the Golden Horn. What follows, from c. AD 2040 – 2148+, will be humanity’s transition to off-planet City-State refugia thronging the habitable zone of Sol’s ecliptic.

    No-one is “expert on the future.” But we project that autonomous and socio-culturally cohesive rather than “diverse,” free-floating and self-sustaining micro-polities analogous to Italy’s competing medieval City-States, will have precisely zero tolerance for dumbed down cohorts’ raucous dependency entitlement.

    How now, Klaus Schwab and Luciferian (one-eye/hidden-hand) brethren assembled– from c. AD 2040 on, “escaping Earth” amidst a recurrent 102-kiloyear Early Pleistocene ice age will prove a grim necessity. Due to cover 60% of Earth’s habitable landmasses with glaciers two miles deep in plate-tectonic patterns lasting another 16 – 20 million years, over evolutionary epochs Gaia’s astro-geophysical profile will alternate short-term warm-and-wet with killing Arctic chill and prolonged drought. Tamam.

  34. }}} If you can learn the material without doing homework or showing up in class, then that’s all that counts.

    Should be, but this doesn’t always work with some “teachers”…

    I had a class in Abstract Algebra (the theory behind algebras), and the teacher selected what is easily the best damned book on ANY mathematical theory course I ever had. I read it, understood it, and rarely wound up making it to class (it was earlier in the morning and I’ve never been a morning type). The class only had two tests, a midterm and a final.

    I took the midterm, and wound up with the second best grade in the class, which “mystified” the teacher… as the only person who did better was the current “math whiz” for the entire 4y class. When the final came around, he nitpicked the hell out of the final just to make certain I did not get an “A” in the class.

    Another case, the final exam, there was a few points of difference between an A and a B for the whole class. I approached the teacher, called attention to points he’d removed as things he KNEW that I knew from discussions that took place in class… it would have given me the “A”. He refused to give me the points because — he tap danced around it, but it was clear what he meant — he didn’t like me. >:-/

    There are good teachers and teachers who have no business teaching. And the latter outnumber the former by a large margin.

  35. New to this site, two degrees from Chicago, live in Oak Park, kids went to the high school named in the story.

    I presume the comments have tailed off because the story was fraudulent?

    The source for the article is one of those weird little rags that presents itself as a local newspaper, but it mostly exists to publish far right-wing content. I have read that some of them are written by algorithms.

  36. No, I think comments have tailed off because this is last week’s post. Chicagoboyz does publish new content on a fairly regular basis.
    Was the story itself fraudulent? Whether or not, it’s becoming very clear through other sources that teachers in urban schools are reluctant to discipline students of color, no matter how egregious the offence against class order.
    New to the site, anonymous, flinging around terms like ‘right-wing’ and arguing from authorty of two degrees…

  37. Pyrthroes….”And yet, for some 350 years (in fact, Medieval times) this elite corps of public-spirited Christian Gentlemen provided amateur patrons, sponsors of arts-and-letters, “equal justice under law,” that inspired 17th through mid-20th century innovators to transform not just America but the global human enterprise. Absent anyone from Morse and Bell to Eastman, Edison and the Wright brothers, then Henry Ford, Claude Shannon, Watson and Crick et al., the world would be a poorer place.”

    Henry Ford was an Ivy League graduate? Edison? Okay, Samuel Morse did go to Yale, but I don’t think that background is generally applicable to American innovators.

  38. Wright Brothers? Important inventors who also didn’t go to college include Westinghouse, Colt, Singer, and Maxim, to name a few. Intriguing thesis, but the argument needs work.

    As for Anglo-American universities in say, 1780-1870, they were hotbeds of stodgy classicism and pedantry, meant mostly to polish clergymen and lawyers.

    The modern scientific university from which many good and useful new ideas and approaches emerged around 1890-2000 was a German innovation originally. The land-grant colleges used that model, not the Ivy one.

  39. New to this site, two degrees from Chicago, live in Oak Park, kids went to the high school named in the story.

    I presume the comments have tailed off because the story was fraudulent?

    I have three degrees including one from Dartmouth. No, the story wasn’t fraudulent. It is amusing to see someone boasting that his kids go to a “Woke” School. What a shame.

  40. Nah, I was just trying to say that I enjoy a lot of the content on the site (Trent Telenko is a gem), I have local knowledge of the situation, I’d hope to fit in on a site called ChicagoBoyz because I know how the U of C works. One thing that gets beat into you there is inquiry based on truth. Kindly go easy on the “boasting about his children going to a ‘Woke’ school,” Michael. I don’t know you, you don’t know me, and willful ignorance is not a good look.

    Yes, the school even had to issue a public statement on the story. Here’s an article from Reuters fact-checking it. It does point to the basis of what the fake news was based on, which sounded like a complete abandonment of Oak Park’s traditional “tracked” approach to curricula, caused considerable local consternation, and which I predict will eventually amount to jack-diddley.

    I’m not saying Oak Park River Forest high School (OPRFHS) doesn’t have its problems with race. It might as well be two different high schools, one for Black kids and one for everyone else. Kids get shunted onto separate academic tracks, there are two separate cheer squads, yadda yadda. The administration knows it, they get beat up for it, they try all sorts of fancy-sounding solutions written in the latest progressive pedagoguese over and over, and nothing has ever worked. This is why I predict the latest policy will also amount to jack-diddley.

    You may have seen a documentary called “America to Me.” It was shot at OPRFHS. The filmmaker is uproariously biased and grinds his point over and over, but you can at least watch it and make your own judgments based on what he lets you see.

    Moreover, Oak Park as a city has a severe income gradient from northwest to southeast, and there’s a constant battle between the richer side and the poorer side of town. Property taxes are murder because the left-wing village government taxed all the local businesses into the next towns over, and there’s only so much school budget to go around. The richer folks live in snazzier houses and thus contribute the most money. They want it spent on their own kids, which means AP classes, computer labs, and whatever else will help their little darlings get into good colleges. The poorer folks say that isn’t fair because it leaves theirs out in the cold. It’s an endless tug of war. The rich/poor gap correlates with race, which doesn’t help matters any.

    There’s no doubt that Oak Park is painfully liberal on its face. It holds its diversity parades. It held a halfhearted BLM protest. It’s full of virtue signallers who are fervently progressive as long as it doesn’t threaten their property values. There’s plenty of racism, but most people have the good taste to keep it to themselves. The local politicians are like the Keystone Kops. I read the local papers for laughs.

    Aside from that, it’s not a bad place to live but for the property taxes. Close to the city, easy public transportation, mean cops who enforce the border with Chicago. Nice place to raise a family. Some crime, but nothing like Hyde Park. First week I moved here, some lady tried to steal a kielbasa from the grocery store and the clerk tossed her through a window. You can call Oak Park “woke” all you want, but don’t mess with our kielbasa.

  41. there’s only so much school budget to go around. The richer folks live in snazzier houses and thus contribute the most money. They want it spent on their own kids, which means AP classes, computer labs, and whatever else will help their little darlings get into good colleges. The poorer folks say that isn’t fair because it leaves theirs out in the cold. It’s an endless tug of war.</i

    So, AP classes are only for the rich kids? We used to have a thing called Merit in this country. That’s why the SAT was invented. So poor kids who had merit could get into those “good colleges.”

  42. Exactly. I’d never have gotten into college if it hadn’t been for my SAT scores. We weren’t poor, but I was… unruly… and my grades weren’t all that hot. Good thing I was good at standardized tests!

    I read a piece a long time ago that claimed the SAT was created to break up the limited set of folks the Ivies recruited from. It cited a story about some guy who went on to become a Nobel-winning scientist but who was rejected by Columbia, which told him “we’ve already admitted the two Jews for your class.”

    Dunno if that anecdote is true or not, but it makes for a lively story, doesn’t it?

    And like I say, in Oak Park it’s an endless tug of war about where the money gets spent, and race is irretrievably tangled up in it. Go into the AP classrooms at OPRFHS. You won’t see many Black students, if any. Them’s the facts on the ground. All other things being equal, you’d expect more.

    So why not? Is it because of budgetary allocation? Race? Politics? Income? Culture? Maladaptive pedagogy? “Systemic racism,” or whatever people are calling it lately? Some of the above? All of the above?

    I don’t know. Life is complicated, and it beats me how you untangle that mess. I’m sure there’s a very simple solution based on a single proposition, and I’m sure it is utterly and entirely wrong.

    The school can only change what the school has control over. It can’t make parents instill a love of reading in early childhood. It can’t develop their little minds by taking them all over the city to museums, plays, musicals, or the symphony if the parents can’t afford them. It can’t overcome a culture among teenage boys that learning is wildly uncool.

    Bless their hearts, the school does keep trying to change what it can. Program after program, new idea after new idea. They all achieve nothing. Puts me in mind of Canute trying to hold back the tide.

    But what else can they do? The administrators and educators didn’t get into their field to not help children. Were I in their shoes, I’d try just about anything, too, because the evidence is that they’re doing great by most kids and utterly failing most Black kids. I wouldn’t volunteer for their jobs, and I bet you wouldn’t, either. Sisyphean tasks don’t feel very rewarding to me.

    And then you get these weird little political rags that pretend to be local newspapers – they’re all over the place – and they publish fake news about OPRFHS going to a race-based grading system, and people actually believe it because it fits their priors. Oak Park? Bright Blue Bubble town. OPRFHS? Always has some racially-involved controversy. Underachieving Black folks demanding special accommodations? Fire up the Indignity Calliope!

    I’m not immune. None of us are. It’s good to have priors. We call that “learning from past experience.” One of my priors is to be cautious around hot stoves. Guess how I learned that one?

    I suppose this entire thread has emphasized to me the need to take a breath and calm down when I read something that inflames my emotions, for it was probably written to do precisely that. I don’t like having my emotions manipulated. I don’t want some character controlling me with rhetoric. History is replete with horrors of such outcomes.

    I gotta be a little more chill. Sorry for the shot about willful ignorance, Mike K, and thanks for engaging in dialogue.

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