New National Test Scores Show Betsy DeVos Was Right About Public Schools

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ recent interview with Lesley Stahl on “60 Minutes” caused quite a bit of backlash from critics.

As my colleague Jonathan Butcher has written, “60 Minutes” ignored many of the facts about the state of education in America. Response to the interview drew quite a bit of criticism of DeVos and her policy solutions.

Perhaps one of the most pivotal moments came when she suggested that the United States’ heavy federal investment in education has not yielded any results. Stahl hit back, asserting that school performance has been on the rise.

But the latest government data show otherwise. According to the recently released 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the nation’s “report card,” we now have more evidence that DeVos was correct.

In fact, recent scores show virtually no improvement over 2015 scores. Eighth-grade reading saw a single point improvement over 2015 scores (10 points is considered equivalent to a grade level), while all other categories saw no improvement.

These lackluster results come on the heels of declines on the 2015 assessment, suggesting the beginning of a trend in the wrong direction for academic outcomes.

Indeed, Stahl’s claim that the state of public schools has gotten better simply doesn’t hold up to the data. It fact, DeVos is entirely correct to point out that public school outcomes have not meaningfully improved, and that our nation’s heavy federal intervention in K-12 education has failed to help the problem.

As Heritage Foundation education fellow Lindsey Burke writes:

Forty-nine out of 50 states were stagnant on the 2017 report card, and achievement gaps persist. Historically, federal education spending has been appropriated to close gaps, yet this spending—more than $2 trillion in inflation-adjusted spending at the federal level alone since 1965—has utterly failed to achieve that goal.

Increasing federal intervention over the past half-century, and the resulting burden of complying with federal programs, rules, and regulations, have created a parasitic relationship with federal education programs and states, and is straining the time and resources of local schools.

Indeed, for decades, Washington has poured billions of dollars into the public education system under the assumption that more federal spending will close achievement caps and improve the academic outcomes of students. With mounting evidence that more federal spending is not the answer, it may be time to consider other policy approaches.

DeVos is correct to suggest school choice as a solution to lackluster school performance. Parents who cannot afford to send their child to a school that is the right fit deserve to have options. As DeVos told Stahl:

Any family that has the economic means and the power to make choices is doing so for their children. Families that don’t have the power, that can’t decide, ‘I’m gonna move from this apartment in downtown whatever to the suburb where I think the school is gonna be better for my child.’ If they don’t have that choice, and they are assigned to that school, they are stuck there. I am fighting for the parents who don’t have those choices. We need all parents to have those choices.

In light of recent evidence from the nation’s report card, “60 Minutes” and other school choice critics should consider that DeVos was correct in her framing of problems facing the nation’s schools and is on the right track with possible solutions—namely, that empowering parents is the right approach to improving American education.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Mary Clare Amselem

Mary Clare Amselem is a policy analyst in education policy at The Heritage Foundation. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLE:  Nation’s ‘Report Card’ Shows Federal Intervention Has Not Helped Students

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is by Amy Beth Bennett/TNS/Newscom.

Thomas More Law Center Will Provide Legal Assistance To Students On National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day

ANN ARBOR, MI – The Thomas More Law Center (“TMLC”), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is again collaborating with American Life League’s annual National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day which will take place this Friday, April 20, 2018. TMLC lawyers will defend, without charge, the right for students to wear their pro-life t-shirts. Students requiring legal assistance from TMLC should contact Margaret at Life Defenders via email at mhaislmaier@all.org or by phone at 571-398-9904.

American Life League has spearheaded National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day (“NPLTD”) for over two decades. The goal of NPLTD is to empower young people to witness to the dignity of all human beings by wearing their favorite t-shirt with a pro-life message. Students are encouraged to post pictures on social media wearing their t-shirts and use the hashtag #NPLTD18.

This year’s featured t-shirt, pictured above, was designed by two teenage brothers, who created the shirt to resemble a nutrition label found on most packaged food products. The purpose of the design is to show the value of the preborn, the elderly and people of all abilities as being worthy of the right to life. The design features the “ingredients” as virtues needed to be pro-life: courage, compassion, charity, hope, understanding, and perseverance.

TMLC proudly stands with American Life League to support the students choosing to participate in the National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day.

VIDEO: 3 Student Journalists Sue University for Covering Up Teacher’s Role in Anti-Trump Campus Rally

Three student journalists have filed a lawsuit against their Illinois university and an instructor, alleging that the teacher grabbed and broke a smartphone as they tried to report on an anti-Trump rally.

The three students’ federal suit against the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and instructor Tariq Khan says that the university got a restraining order preventing them from reporting on Khan’s involvement in the November protest against President Donald Trump.

Khan, 39, was charged with destruction of property after taking and smashing a student’s smartphone on the pavement, an action caught on video.

The suit contends that the instructor and university officials violated the students’ constitutional rights to free press, free speech, and due process, according to the law firm representing the students, Mauck & Baker, LLC.

Transform “Tax Day” into “Freedom Day.” Support the campaign to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent >>

“The First Amendment should not be a partisan issue or something only conservatives are willing to defend,” the law firm said in a formal statement.

The suit claims that the school punished freshmen Joel Valdez and Blair Nelson and senior Andrew Minik for reporting on the anti-Trump rally, the organizers of which included the Black Rose Anarchist Federation.

The university’s restraining order on Valdez and Nelson was “to prevent them from reporting on Tariq Khan,” their lawyers said in a press release.

A video of the incident appears to show Khan, a doctoral candidate and graduate instructor of history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, yelling at students, physically assaulting one, and taking and throwing the phone to the pavement.

“Our attorneys are reviewing this,” a university spokesman said Friday, declining further comment to The Daily Signal on the lawsuit.

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Khan is seen in the video saying “f— Donald Trump” and telling Valdez and other members of Turning Point USA, a conservative student organization present during the demonstration, that he will “go tear down one of your flyers right now.”

The video shows Valdez appearing to anger Khan by suggesting the instructor had nothing better to do than protest Trump and asking, “Don’t you have kids to look after?”

Khan then accuses students of threatening his children at least 25 times in a span of about three minutes. He is seen raising his hand and apparently attempting to hit Nelson, who is recording him with a phone.

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The video shows Khan shouting at students when they ask him how they have made a threat, accusing them of threatening his children.

Other times he chooses not to reply, as shown in this six-minute video, which contains language many viewers may find offensive:

“Say something about my kids again,” Khan yells at Valdez. “Say one more thing about my kids, bitch.”

The university instructor is seen saying to students: “You’d better check yourself, OK? Check yourself. I’ll f— you up.”

The broken phone reportedly had an estimated value of $700.

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University police charged Khan with criminal destruction of property. His case is pending.

According to the lawsuit, the university secured a restraining order on the three students at the request of Khan after Minik, a senior, reported on the incident for Campus Reform.

“I was told that if I wanted the ‘situation to improve,’ that I should stop writing about Khan,” Minik told lawyers, according to the law firm.

The Daily Signal was not able to reach Khan, whose contact information was removed from the university’s website after the incident, and Campus Reform has said he has not responded to its requests for comment.

In February, the university’s Campus Faculty Association issued a statement supporting Khan, describing him as an Air Force veteran who is “an engaged, thoughtful, and committed scholar and a wonderful and effective teacher.”

The lawsuit alleges that Khan is “affiliated with a number of extreme left-wing groups including the Black Rose Anarchist Federation, an ‘Antifa’ group advocating revolution and expressly justifying political violence.”

Khan also is backed by Campus Antifascist Network, a far-left group that organizes protests against conservatives on campus, The Daily Signal has learned.

Campus Antifascist Network released a statement in support of Khan in January that accused Turning Point USA of instigating his actions.

The statement sought to link Turning Point USA to Campus Reform, saying the news organization is its “associated media arm.”

In fact, TurningPoint.News, not Campus Reform, is the group’s media arm.

Editor’s note: Kyle Perisic, an intern at The Daily Signal, is a former reporter for Campus Reform.

COMMENTARY BY

Kyle Perisic

Kyle Perisic is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of college instructor Tariq Khan, right, confronting student Joel Valdez. (Photo: YouTube video screenshot)

Broward County School Board Shuts Down Student Critic of Safety Standards

While the media continues to focus on gun control in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, one area student has dug into his school’s policies and found them wanting.

Kenneth Preston, a 19-year-old student journalist who attends high school in Broward County, Florida, has done an in-depth investigation of the superintendent and school board.

Preston’s thorough report, released on Tuesday, says that Broward Superintendent Robert Runcie and the school district failed to spend over $100 million of federal money intended for school safety upgrades.

Runcie once worked under former Obama Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in the Chicago Public Schools system.

Preston’s report says that the school had been sitting on this money since 2014, and that only about 5 percent of it had been spent.

“The findings of our investigation is [sic] two-fold. First off, a $100 million which superintendent and the school board had access to. Since 2014, roughly 5 percent of that money has been spent,” Preston said in an in-depth interview with Sirius XM host David Webb.

Preston said that Runcie gave him a “long-winded runaround” about what happened to the money.

In addition, Preston has called into question the school district’s use of the PROMISE program.

This program was aligned with a 2014 Obama-era federal initiative, which aimed at ending the “school to prison pipeline” as well as racial disparities in discipline by focusing on counseling and “restorative justice” instead of using law enforcement to correct on-campus misbehavior.

Preston spoke at a Broward County School Board meeting on Tuesday, but said during his remarks that just before the meeting started, his allotted time to speak was cut to three minutes.

The seven panelists Preston had lined up were removed from the schedule.

On the day before the hearing, Preston said he was forced to attend a two-hour meeting with the superintendent and the families of the victims to discuss his report.

“I was denied the right to have an attorney present. I was refused the opportunity to record the meeting, and I was told this was because the superintendent wouldn’t have any representation of his own,” Preston said.

He said that when he arrived at the meeting, it was “stacked with 10 district officials in addition to the superintendent.”

Preston continued: “It makes me wonder how committed to transparency and truth you are when I was denied the right to have an attorney present as well as the opportunity to record the meeting while the superintendent was allowed to bring 10 district officials who work for him and attempt to re-educate me.”

“Something doesn’t smell quite right in Broward, and this school district is the epicenter,” Preston said.

The Obama administration had touted the Broward school discipline program as a model of success.

But after a Parkland student went on a murderous rampage at the school, many wonder how an individual expressing so many red flags could have fallen through the cracks.

As the Manhattan Institute’s Max Eden wrote, Broward County’s discipline policies pressured Parkland officials “to post lower statistics on school-safety problems. This climate of disengagement could have allowed [Nikolas] Cruz to slip through the cracks in the system.”

Runcie, who was also at the school board hearing, reiterated previous statements from the school district, saying, “Contrary to what people believe or may have heard, Nikolas Cruz was never a part of the PROMISE program, he never had any infractions that would have made him eligible for the PROMISE program.”

However, a recent report in RealClearInvestigations noted that the school’s official discipline policy lists “‘assault without the use of a weapon’ and ‘battery without serious bodily injury,’ as well as ‘disorderly conduct,’ as misdemeanors that ‘should not be reported to Law Enforcement Agencies or Broward District Schools Police.’”

The RealClearInvestigations report also said:

A repeat offender, Cruz benefited from the lax discipline policy, if not the counseling. Although he was disciplined for a string of offenses—including assault, threatening teachers, and carrying bullets in his backpack—he was never taken into custody or even expelled. Instead, school authorities referred him to mandatory counseling or transferred him to alternative schools.

The lack of criminal record allowed Cruz to purchase an AR-15, according to the report.

At the hearing, Runcie essentially called criticism of the school’s discipline policies fake news.

“Connecting PROMISE to this horrific tragedy is truly unfortunate, I think it’s reprehensible, and we’re not going to dismantle a program in this district that is serving and helping kids appropriately because of news that is not fact-based,” Runcie said.

Runcie worked closely with the Obama administration on its school discipline policy, according to the Washington Examiner.

“Runcie was invited to the White House in 2015 for a Rethink Discipline summit, while the district received a $54 million federal Teacher Incentive Fund grant in October 2016 that was based in part on its efforts to keep high-risk students in school,” the Examiner reported.

While the school district maintains support of the controversial program, it has a growing list of detractors, including the deputy sheriff and president of the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association, Jeff Bell.

“If I have a weapon or even ammunition on school grounds, and I have certain things in my past, I could be arrested for that, but Mr. Cruz just gets off scot-free,” Bell said, according to the Examiner. “And that’s the thing. If he had gotten arrested just once for disorderly conduct or trespassing or something like that, that would have shown up on his criminal record, and could have sent up some red flags before he was ever allowed to buy a firearm.”

There have also been calls for the Department of Education to rescind the Obama-era school discipline guideline, which is being reviewed by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Jarrett Stepman

Jarrett Stepman is an editor and commentary writer for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Send an email to Jarrett. Twitter: .

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

We are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associated benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Broward County student Kenneth Preston addressing the Broward County School Board about the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. (Photo: Emilee Mcgovern/Zuma Press/Newscom)

Bra-Less Florida High School Girl Goes Full Protest Over Gender ‘Discrimination’

A Florida high school student is charging that she was wrongly humiliated by school administrators over going bra-less to class, just because she is a girl, going the full discrimination protest route. And she’s getting a lot of help in her gender-ized victimhood from her mother.

The incident came about when the 17-year-old female Braden River High School student, in Bradenton, Fla., went to school in a loose top without a bra. Her teacher notified school administrators that the revealing outfit was being a distraction in class and administrators told her to put a T-shirt on under her loose shirt. But the female administrator thought the girl’s nipples remained too prominent. The administrator sent the girl to the nurse’s office to put four band-aids on to “X out her nipples.”

This was a moment of understandable humiliation and consternation for the student, but did not result in a self-reflection on personal choices. It quickly turned to self-righteous indignation and, of course, victimhood. She was trained well along the way that her actions did not result in consequences, but that she was the victim of the patriarchy.

“I felt very attacked because of my gender,” the girl told the local newspaper.

Naturally.

It’s not like she was a teen girl in a class with hormone-raging teen boys making a clear display of herself in a way guaranteed to…distract boys in the class. At that age, she probably distracted girls, too, albeit in a different way.

The girl comes by her gender victimhood honestly. A lot of the response seems driven by her mother, who has been all over school officials for their actions, rather than helping her daughter learn how to function in society.

Her mother told the local newspaper that the district’s policy is sexist and administrators need to prove intent when determining if a student’s outfit is vulgar. Intent? So if a student showed up naked to school but with no intent to be vulgar — maybe it’s art or maybe its a protest — then they should not be in violation of dress code?

“We should not treat a girl like this because of where her fat cells decided to distribute genetically,” the mother said. Fat cells have decision-making powers?

There’s not a lot of clear thinking going on here. But don’t think the district is not worried. Because these are the times in which we live.

The school district’s lawyer, Mitch Teitelbaum, said the incident should have been handled better — without saying how exactly — but that the decision to ask the girl to adjust her clothing was correct. “It is undisputed that this matter should have been handled differently at the school level, and corrective measures have been taken to prevent a re-occurrence in the way these matters will be addressed in the future,” Teitelbaum said.

Teitelbaum said the girl was in violation of the dress code in the student code of conduct prohibiting students from “wearing clothes that expose underwear or body parts in an indecent or vulgar manner or attire that disrupts the orderly learning environment.”

There is nothing specific about girls wearing bras. But then, it was probably written at a time when a certain amount of common sense and decency prevailed. Again, not these times.

“You would not ask this kind of stuff of a male,” the girl’s mother protested. “If a male was wearing basketball shorts, and somebody thought they could see his package, you would never ask him to stand up and move around.”

Actually, I seriously doubt that. Quite sure that student would be asked to adjust his clothing. That’s actually indecent exposure, which is against the law. But again, thoughtful common sense is not at the forefront here.

The aggrieved girl is now going full-scale protest by — you guessed — not wearing bras to school anymore. She tweeted out her intent with “Stop sexualizing my body @piratenationhs.” That was after she tweeted “…My school basically told me that boys’ education is far more important than mine and I should be ashamed of my body.” And, importantly, that was after she re-tweeted in March a tweet stating: “i f**king hate this country.”

Sigh.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act. The featured image is of the 17-year old Braden River High student Lizzy Martinez, 17, in the top she wore to school, that saw her get in trouble for ‘distracting boys and a teacher’ with her protruding nipples (Picture: Lizzy Martinez). Please like The Revolutionary Act on FacebookJoin Our Revolutionary YouTube Channel.

What’s in our schools? What is Choice?

Would you be surprised if I started this article by saying that every problem we have in America today can be traced back to what kids learn in school?  To be perfectly clear I mean any and every type of school. Due to Common Core and ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) all students will answer to exactly the same curricula, standards and data manipulation. Once vouchers are initiated or any other type of Federal Funds), private schools and home schools will be forced to follow along.  Schools are the lowest common denominator (the one thing that every American attends in some shape or form.) Every American gets their basic information from something they learned in school.

In the ’50s and ’60s, when I went to school, America was in the top ten worldwide.  Americans held our heads high and took pride in ourselves and our country. We invented more energy saving devices, helped humanity and produced millions of patents (by then) for American innovators. We created more millionaires than any other country. Americans had real heroes to follow—today the heroes are comic book versions. Our students followed wonderful examples and became heroes themselves creating the best military, the best industry, the best and most successful country worldwide. But as a teacher, I began to feel the seed of socialism beginning to grow as my texts and supplemental materials began to morph into “Modern Education”.  I noticed the math books no longer taught budgeting, financing and had little or no economic references.

I went to a “Teachers College”, a college devoted to actually training teachers how to teach, not the five-week course given today by Teach for America.

I attended continuing education classes every year I taught. While I was in those classes, I began to notice a change taking place.  Phonics was out and whole word reading.

(a failed program) was in.  Learning math facts were out and feeling good about math was in.  We, teachers, were ever so slowly being told that facts were not important; the emphasis should be placed on values. “But whose values?” I thought. The New School of Social Research, NYC, was a John Dewey incubator. It was there I learned John Dewey’s theories. I learned the truth about the shift from Traditional Education—fact based—to Modern Education—value based—and its father, John Dewey).

The prime objective, the goal, the underlying principal, the original intent of “Modern Education” school was to dumb down the kids. The heroes of Modern Education told us continually that the populace should not be educated, because they are incapable of thinking for themselves.  People are basically dumb, they said, they are nothing more than animals with two legs.   Therefore, it was their job to keep the dumb people happy so their brilliant leaders should tell the people what to think. Following Edward Louis Bernays,  (Sigmund Freud’s nephew), of combining psychology and propaganda, multiple and proven faulty programs were instituted in public schools to make America dumb.  Bernays knew he could combine the message and turn the heads of Americans into buying anything he promoted. In one campaign, Bernays decided that bacon and eggs was the true American breakfast. He also promoted the idea of thinness so more women would smoke, not eat. Bernays knew and understood the power of words and used them to promote emotional responses forcing action. The socialist message was then pushed through the media and Hollywood, supporting what was taught in school.

Psychological manipulation replaced independent thought as most educational programs followed the academia of socialists from pre- war Germany, demanding the acceptance of the theory of Evolution (Secular Humanism) and making sure this theory was paramount in schools. The immediate push was to get G-d and morality out of schools. When children are taught that they can do whatever they want without consequences, you would be shocked at some of the things they do.

Finally, in 1963, the Supreme Court eliminated prayer in schools. As the Ten Commandments came down, perversion and acceptance of perversion went up. Secular Humanism teaches that there is nothing else outside the universe. Man is supreme, no heaven or hell, nothing to be accountable for; therefore anything goes. Man is accountable only to himself.  Man becomes God. (The Jesuit, communist Pope Francis just proclaimed that there is no Hell.)

Because of the lack of history and references, the founders of Modern Education and their theories were often omitted. Today most Americans have no idea whose theories they follow. People educated in the ’50s-’70s have no idea of the change in school curricula.  Modern Education was drawing conclusions from the manipulative academia theories promoted by people like:

Georg Friedrich Hegel—in his universe, there is no real G-d handing down His law to His creatures, therefore the only law that exists is man’s law. Man becomes G-d. His psychological dialectic is taught as gospel today.

Karl Marx—Man is just matter in the universe.  The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother’s care, shall be in state institutions at state expense. Democracy will not survive…people will vote themselves all the money in the treasury and bankrupt the nation. He believed that promoting the call for class warfare—dividing the people—will lead to their demise making them easier to control. Recognize “cradle to grave education”?  “It Takes a Village”?

Vladimir Lenin—He believed that an educated populace demands more from their government, therefore it is the duty of government to dumb down the populace.

Sigmund Freud—Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility. He believed that people were victims of their experiences.  The constant lying is a perfect example of Psychological Projection, one of Freud’s theories (and one of Hillary’s favorites).  Freud loved and promoted blame shifting.  In order to be a good liar, you have to have inside knowledge of the deed and the steps involved.  (That is why Dems can run around yelling Russian Collusion.  They were involved in Russian collusion so they know what to expect. You project your trait on your opponent and build a case against them because you know how it works.)

John Dewey, Father of Modern Education—Progressive education is essentially a view of education that emphasizes the need to learn by doing. Dewey believed that human beings learn through a “hands-on” approach. This places Dewey in the educational philosophy of pragmatism (theories are measured by their success). As a philosopher, social reformer and educator, he changed fundamental approaches to teaching and learning. His ideas about education sprang from a philosophy of pragmatism and were central to the Progressive Movement in schooling. To Dewey, the central ethical imperative in education was democracy—a democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49% (Teaching democracy in school is why Americans think America is a democracy). Look at the texts today promoting a democracy. America is NOT a Democracy. How many students know that?

Traditional education relies on teachers’ authority and rote learning of life skills. Progressive Education relies on “teaching” what the students are interested in. Learning by doing will give the student life skills. Dewey critics feel that students will fail to acquire basic academic skills and knowledge while classroom order and teachers authority would disappear. Oops.

School democracy is paramount as the school community and work would be merged (School to Work).  It is the job of the school to train the student in community service to gain a feeling of accomplishment; only then will we achieve Utopia.

Margaret Sanger,  and William Gates Sr,  (Yes, Bill’s father)—started Planned Parenthood with the intent of survival of the fittest, population control, elimination of inferior races (like Negroes) and eliminating the handicapped. Wonder why Bill Jr. is so big on abortions and vaccines to control population? William had close ties to Hitler. No surprise here.

Skinner/Pavlov – People are no more than animals and should be trained as such.  Stimulus/Response learning.  This is perfect theory for that computer will continually feed the student questions until the student answers are perfect as required.  No free thought here.

By eliminating history, who knows the theories and roots of Modern Education? Yet their failed programs like Eureka Math, https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/22What-Parents-Rail-Against-Common-Core-Math-259363861.html, Whole Word Reading,  and failed Common Core, are forced on our students. It should be no surprise that Millennials prefer socialism. That is what they are learning. They have no idea what America stands for. If there is no truth, then lies are accepted. Compliance, apathy, blind acceptance of any government program is demanded. Disagreement will not be tolerated. They (globalists, socialists, progressives) are good, conservatives or anyone who disagrees is EVIL. End of discussion.

Once lying becomes accepted, lies become the new normal. To learn the truth, one must know that leaders lie; then research to find the opposite of what lying leaders report. Leaders practice newspeak—whatever they say, the opposite is usually true. A recent example of newspeak was CNN host Brian Stelter, who admits that CNN often includes sharing lies and misinformation with the American public.  Why?  For Ratings—which equals Money! After all, one of their icons, Karl Marx said:  “The last capitalist we hang shall be the one who sold us the rope.” Here we have capitalists who made fortunes, telling you the door to prosperity is closed by convincing students to be children until age 27 (Obamacare), become renters (slaves of landlords), the one with the biggest debt wins, an entry level job is all you can hope for, you are a victim of your life circumstances. Only the government can help.

When we keep our youth as children, refusing to allow them to grow up and have free thought, we see the results. David Hogg (age 17),  Parkland survivor, constantly refers to himself and his peers as children.  Using Bernays’ approach, calling everyone children, Hogg will elicit the desired response. After all, no one wants to “harm the children.”  How will America’s youth be prepared for the perils of life and the dangers? Do they know that other countries teach their youth to be warriors?

Recently many talk show and media hosts kept asking the same question, How does Hogg know what to say? He is using the talking points as the DNC and he is only 17. People were amazed at his mastery of talking points.  Does anyone realize that David and class of Millenials are being taught Saul Alinsky strategy?  David knows Alinsky’s, “Rules for Radicals” and exercised it brilliantly on Laura Ingram.  You have to be taught to be an activist, to hate, to accuse, to lie. We are living the results. When students are taught to hate America, whites, Jews, guess what, they hate. Tucker, Rush, you want the answer to “Why” and “How”, the answer is “What’s in your school?”

Class warfare and victimization are high priority in schools. Students are trained that there is only one side of an argument because if what you believe is for the common good, then any opposing point of view is evil. Evil must be tuned out…or in extreme cases snuffed out. Freedom of speech can only be tolerated if everyone believes the same thing. If you are a victim, you cannot be successful; because if you are successful, you are not a victim. School perpetuates a society of lifelong dependents on government assistance.

By giving a trophy to everyone so no student will feel bad creates an abnormal view of life. Students believe that everyone must have the same and equal outcome of life. Social justice means equal outcome. This theory never takes into consideration that life circumstances are different and unpredictable and humans have different thoughts and experiences. Therefore, when disappointment comes, it becomes extreme: making life not worth living. More teens today turn to suicide, drugs, liquor. Criticism is unacceptable—it may hurt your feelings. Competition is out—no one can be better than another. Innovation is out—if you can’t be different, then why create?

Students are taught that G-d is dead, man is the ultimate god, human life is only for the here and now. You are accountable to you, so anything goes. If someone else gets in the way, do whatever you want to feel better; too bad for them. When students read about abuse in school literature, they believe abuse is the norm.

Recommended Summer Reading List for 11 Yr. Olds, FLDOE supplemental reading list—There are over 60 books containing sexually explicit material on the list recommended for young children.  Are these books age appropriate for 11 year olds?

Examples: “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison (graphic depictions of incest between father and daughter, rape, violence) – RATED YOUNG ADULT – Page 181: “The little girls are the only things I’ll miss. Do you know that when I touched their sturdy little t*** and bit them—just a little—I felt I was being friendly?—If I’d been hurting them, would they have come back? . . . They’d eat ice cream with their legs open while I played with them. It was like a party.” Pages 84-85: “He must enter her surreptitiously, lifting the hem of her nightgown only to her navel. He must rest his weight on his elbows when they make love, to avoid hurting her breasts…When she senses some spasm about to grip him, she will make rapid movements with her hips, press her fingernails into his back, suck in her breath, and pretend she is having an orgasm. She might wonder again, for the six hundredth time, what it would be like to have that feeling while her husband’s penis is inside her.Available in media centers at Gulf Coast HS, Naples HS, East Naples HS Golden Gate HS, Lely HS (2 copies) Palmetto Ridge HS (2 copies) and Immokalee HS (18 copies) 

Beloved by Toni Morrison—It contains steamy sex, sex for favors, a white male guard forcing a male black prisoner to perform oral sex on him, calling it “breakfast”; a black slave mother kills her infants, decapitating her daughter with a handsaw and then attempts to kill her three sons). It also includes three references to males sexually molesting animals – RATED YOUNG ADULT. Available in media centers Corkscrew MIDDLE SCHOOL, Gulf Coast HS, Barron Collier HS, Naples HS Lely HS (2 copies), Palmetto Ridge HS, Golden Gate HS (2 copies), Immokalee HS (3 copies) and Lorenzo Walker.

Once you create an atmosphere of hopelessness, vulnerable victims are easy to control. If they kill themselves, there is one less mouth to feed. Unless there is a political reason to make an example, the killing of individuals often goes unreported in cities like Chicago and Baltimore.

“The overwhelming content of these types of stories and victimization, racism and bigotry are not teaching our children to be good citizens, but victims of an oppressive culture and with moral values that ‘anything goes’.”—Deirdre Clemons, educator and mother of 10. 

Even though the individual may be trained, progressives/globalists/socialists must attack the last the last bastion of morality, the family.  The traditional family must be broken, for it is in the way and must be replaced by your school family.  Kids are told that anyone over 30 is stupid, family stands in the way of you doing what you want.  Therefore, it is OK to ignore, run away, to destroy, to kill anyone in your way. The family must be destroyed at all costs.  Welfare, school programs and single parent homes contribute to the welfare and attitude of the individual. When there is “no place to turn because Mom and Dad are stupid and know nothing”, students turn to school.

So where in a textbook can I find this information from public schools to the kids?  You might not. Information is subtle, hardly noticeable, impossible to analyze or describe. In a literature textbook, Voices, you will find passages like :  Mom ______ her daughter to make the bed. Answers: tells or nags.  The correct answer is NAGS.  So when Mary goes home and mom asks for help, Mary says, “Stop nagging me.”  This creates a small wedge between Mom and child.  Do this enough and Mom and child will stop talking. Get the picture?

By commandeering the language, parents will talk to children and children will respond but often the result will be an argument. Why? Because the definitions of word have been changed or eliminated. Diversity is one of those words that come to mind. Diversity simply means variety. Yet today we have diversity training, diversity classes, diversity degrees.  Why? Because the word diversity now has a different meaning.  “…diversity as a representation of fairness and protection to all, regardless of gender, race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Inclusion demanded on? boomers, gen-Xers and employers in the business environment integrates individuals of all of the above demographics into one workplace.” (Notice what is missing: ABILITY.)  Business people know that time is money and the one making the fewest mistakes wins. Yet business are forced to be “diverse”, not excellent.  The globalists went off the rails when Secretary Pruitt said that the EPA does not use the diversity criteria to pick workers; they use ability.

Sustainability is another word with a new definition.  If we follow its author?: Gro Harlem Bruntland, Hillary’s friend, we learn that sustainability is “meeting the demands of the present generations while preserving the rights of future generations to meet their own needs.” In other words NO GROWTH. This is the transformation Obama talked about. He tried. America experienced sustainability throughout his 8 years as President.

Mediocre students focused on feelings, not ability, produced by schools, create a workforce of mediocre workers prone to errors, as common sense is a thing of the past. Many cannot ever read instructions.  Just look at the government (school and Sheriff) in Parkland that allowed a shooting to occur; or the pedestrian bridge in Miami whose engineer said she was more concerned with esthetics than strength and foundation; or the Army Corps of Engineers who let the NOLA? dykes (levees?) decay.  Dumbed-down workers following unproven theories created by mediocre people are recipes for disaster.

When you need repairs in your home from, say, a plumber, do you check to see what race? ethnicity? religion?  Or do you want the best person for the job?  Do you want to buy the best product or the one made by the most diverse company?   Look at Parkland. Here is a perfect example of what happens when you do not choose the best. The mediocre but diverse government (school and Sheriff) took a Promise Grant,

NOT TO REPORT CRIME. So they didn’t. The result is 17 dead for a crime that could have been stopped. But the kids were told, “It’s the gun’s fault”.  So, like little soldiers, they marched against guns.  Mob rule. Where is the common sense?

Mediocre students with no common sense become mediocre adults with no common sense, who work in government and industry creating mediocre government and industry. How many times must we hear “the government failed” before we turn our heads to the cause…mediocre school curricula? “Modern Education” is globalist thinking, forcing the “We are the World” mentality; not “we are proud Americans”. Forgotten are the days when the American Dream meant Pride in Ownership; when competition between nations led to innovation and new ideas flooded the marketplace. Trade, economy, competition and sovereignty were not dirty words to be espoused by those hoping to make America mediocre in order to fit in with the rest of the world. Desire to excel is suppressed by the desire to fit in. In order to “fit in”, students are taught to subordinate America’s leadership role in the world because America is the cause of all world problems. World leaders cannot have America stand out—home ownership, business ownership, gun ownership must be stopped.

While we treat our youth as babies until age 27, the rest of the world scratches its head. America creates gun free zones, while the rest of the world trains for terrorist attacks. In America we give a bucket of rocks for defense while in Israel, the students learn gun safety.  For those of you who still think that the purpose of school is to educate, I strongly recommend Samuel L. Blumenfeld’s book, NEA—Trojan Horse in American Education.

The world can be an ugly place.  Are your children prepared? Notice the flag in the background: this is Israel 2018. Where Teachers Carry CAR-15s. Where it’s mandatory that young people serve in the Military … and be armed 24/7. Where they eat right and don’t over medicate … Where the murder rate for the whole country is a fraction of Nashville’s … Where parents teach respect and values instead of letting Disney and X-Box raise their children … Where people stand for their flag and would defend it with their lives.

WE DON’T HAVE A GUN PROBLEM; WE HAVE A SOCIETY PROBLEM PROMOTED IN SCHOOL

W.A. Johnson’s Daily News Digest summary is the best description of our current school system. “An educational mafia captured the high ground of American public education in the late 1800s by their own words and deeds, their carefully orchestrated, partially hidden agenda has deliberately steered the public schools, its teachers, and children down a disaster road to socialism, secular humanism, radicalism, planned failure of reading, writing and math, suffocation of Christianity, the trashing of basic values and the establishment of one of the most powerful dangerous unions, the National Education Association (NEA).”

Now that you know what is going on, what can you do? America was created to give its citizens a voice in their government. Remaining silent is affirmation. Now you know the truth.  The great thing about the truth is once you know it you can’t unlearn it.  Don’t be fooled by promises of “choice” in schools.  Trust but verify.  Common Core by any other name is still Common Core. What are your students learning? For it does not matter where a child learns, it only matters what they learn.

Will you look at what students in your community read?  Will you expose the errors, blatant lies and misrepresentations?  Will you run for office or support a candidate who believes in America? Will you share the information with others especially those who have different opinions?  You have the power. Will you use it or give it away? We are destroying the minds of America’s future. We cannot expect those in power to “fix” anything.  We know their goal: Illiteracy. The only fix will come from Americans coming together to make a change. I will not participate in the destruction of America, will YOU?

Make America Great Again. Bring back TRADITIONAL EDUCATION!

RELATED ARTICLE: A Third Of Millennials Aren’t Sure The Earth Is Round, Survey Finds

9 Amazing Benefits of Technology in the Classroom (+18 Best Ways to Incorporate Technology)

Have you ever wondered if technology improves learning? Educational technology supporters and researchers tout the amazing benefits of incorporating technology in the classroom. Those who are on the fence about how useful technology is in the modern classroom provide several counterarguments that warrant further discussion about how to find a happy medium between using technology and traditional teaching strategies.

Technology has its place. The trick is using it to enhance learning instead of doing the same thing in a different way. This article presents a balanced perspective on the advantages of using technology in the classroom. Each benefit provides actionable tips you can use to put on your technology A-game in your classroom.

Creates a Better Learning Environment

Think about your primary to tertiary level learning experiences. You probably were educated in an era when technology wasn’t as ubiquitous and the chalk-and-talk approach to teaching was all teachers knew. Ah, the good ol’ days when you were fighting the urge to sleep every five minutes.

Educase indicates that the world has so drastically changed that Maslow’s hierarchy of needs has been updated to include access to Wifi as a fundamental human need. The 21st century student desires to be connected with the world. Finding ways to help your students create this connection in the classroom is necessary. A study conducted by Justin Tosco, a Masters student at Saint Catherine University, shows that students prefer lessons that use technology.

Effectively engaging your students throughout a lesson helps you win half the battle of getting them to learn the content.  In fact, a classroom environment that promotes learning engages students by:

  • Encouraging them to ask meaningful questions
  • Helping them develop the ability to solve real problems
  • Promoting an environment of inclusion where each learner’s needs are met and each learner’s thoughts are valued
  • Using a variety of learning models
  • Providing them with assessments that are done to promote learning instead of meet administrative requirements
  • Having clear standards for excellence

It is true that such an environment can be created without technology. Some teachers have no choice but to find ways to do this because technological resources are limited. This articleemphasises the numerous benefits technology offers to rural school but also discusses the limitations access to technology poses on teachers and students.

Nevertheless, innovative teachers find ways to use technology to create a vibrant learning environment. Two such strategies are described below.

How To Create a Vibrant Learning Environment

  1. Appeal to a Variety of Modalities

A home theatre projector is a worthwhile investment that either a teacher or school administrator can make  for a classroom. Projectors allow you to add audio-visual stimuli to a lesson, even if there is no Wifi access at your school. A study conducted by Rasul, Bukhsh and Batool showed that audio-visual aids make the teaching and learning process more effective.

A variety of apps are available that have audio-visual and kinesthetic elements. For instance, graphs are a common problem for high school students. You can encourage your school’s administration to purchase a class set of graphing calculators if your school is in an area with limited or no internet access. However, if your school is in an area that has internet access and digital tablets, you can consider incorporating the Free Calculator-Pocket CAS lite app in your lessons.

You can also recommend that parents purchase an Osmo Pro Genius Kit for their children. This kit allows children to extend their learning outside of class in a practical way.This review explains how the kit can be used to create tangrams, help children learn new words and develop Physics skills.

2. Develop Problem Solving Skills

One of the arguments against the use of technology in the classroom is that it perpetuates a growing problem amongst generation Y and Z students. They spend so many hours engaging with devices that they lose the ability to think critically and develop motor and social skills.

You, therefore, have a responsibility to ensure that the technological tools you use are meaningful. All technology used in your lesson should help students develop essential skills such as problem solving and team work. They shouldn’t be mindless activities.

Epistemic games offer a solution to this problem. These games essentially help players model real-world skills required to excel in particular professions. A plethora of epistemic games can be found here.

Improves Knowledge Retention

You think you’ve done a good job comprehensively explaining a concept to your students. They’re answering the questions correctly in class and, therefore, should be ready for a test.  However, after administering the test you discover that something went terribly wrong.

Students’ poor performance is closely linked to their ability to retain information. A study conducted by Kamuche and Ledman showed a non-linear relationship between length of time and knowledge retention. Their study explained that the amount that was initially learned plays the most important role in long-term retention.

Technology in the classroom can facilitate an increase in the amount of information retained. However, this can only be effectively accomplished when you carefully plan how technology will be incorporated in your lesson.

Teachers have experienced vast improvements in their students’ performances when they incorporate technology in their lessons. One of the most profound success stories is that of the engineering-technology program at Rochester Institute of Technology.

A study was conducted over a 6 year period. The focus was identifying how to decrease the amount of students who either failed or left the engineering-technology program. Lecturers began using multiple types of technology, such as tablets, collaborative software, and projection screens. The result was an improvement of the retention rate to 71 percent. Students indicated that this success resulted from them being able to retain more information using the technology available.

Another study conducted by Justin Tusco ina Montessori elementary classroom showed a 16 percent increase in test scores when technology was used in instruction. Both sets of results provide substantial evidence in support of the use of technology in the classroom.

How To Promote Knowledge Retention

  1. Utilize the Features of Blended Learning

Blended learning merges the best of both worlds. It combines the benefits of technology with face-to-face instruction. Technology should be used to enhance traditional instruction, not replace it. As futureready.org puts it, “Blended learning models intentionally integrate technology to boost learning and leverage talent; they don’t just layer technology on top of business as usual.”

Key features of blended learning are listed below:

  • Students must be given some control over the content and instruction. This control includes monitoring the pace and timing of instruction. Think of it like an e-learning course on Udemy
  • The online and face-to-face components must work in harmony. They must connect in a way that makes sense
  • The technology used should adapt to each students’ abilities and unique needs
  • The ability to record and report student data. You must be able to track the progress of each student.
  • Appropriate follow-up actions should be recommended based on the data received
  • Online results should be used to inform in-class instruction

2. Use Games to Increase Practice

Consistent practice outside the classroom is important. Many students don’t develop the intrinsic motivation needed to get additional practice and support. For them, it’s more exciting to find ways to have fun.

Feed that excitement by introducing your students to gamification.Top Hat explains four interesting ways to include gamification in your instruction.

Encourages Individual Learning

Teaching for the average student is easier than differentiating instruction. A one-size-fits-all strategy, however, can’t work when your classroom is filled with diverse learners. Some students are slower than others, some process information quicker than others, and some fall somewhere in between.

Differentiated instruction is a useful concept in theory. You would ideally love to create a personalized learning plan for each student. The demands placed on you, however, often make it impossible for you to plan such ideal lessons all the time.

Technology provides solutions that make planning differentiated lessons easier. Activities can be created to match each learner’s unique needs and pace. This is particularly evident in the Math classroom where consistent practice is necessary for mastery. As Kelly Tenkley, a technology teacher, states technology enables struggling students to interact with material suitable for their level and progress at their own pace.

How to Plan a Differentiated Technology Lesson

  1. Differentiate the content.

You can plan tiered lessons. In tiered lessons, learners are divided into 3 groups: upper, middle and lower. The content of the lesson can be adjusted to suit each level of students. Upper-tiered students can handle more advanced content than lower-tiered students. Students can be provided with the opportunity to move from one tier to the other once they have mastered the content of their current tier.

  1. Differentiate the process

The upper-tiered group can work collaboratively on higher-ended tasks related to the content. The middle-tiered group can use videos from websites such as Moby Max, Khan Academy and IXL to guide their activities. The lower-tiered group can receive individual attention from you supported by technology games and resources.

3. Differentiate the product.

Upper-tiered students can be challenged to create presentations using websites such as Prezi, Powtoon and EduBlogs. After you’ve vetted these presentations, these students can be asked to use their presentations to teach the class.  Lower-tiered students can use collaborative tools, such as Google Docs, to share what they learned from the presentations.

Students in each group can also prepare written work for presentation. This written work can be projected for the class to view during the presentation using a document camera. This article highlights some of the best document cameras for your classroom.

Project-based learning can also be differentiated. The students can be placed in homogenous groups and asked to choose a topic. Each group would use some type of technology to make their presentations. For instance, you could provide each group with a camcorder to create a music video depicting the topic. A discussion can be facilitated at the end of each presentation to see how much the students have learned.

4. Provide resources that can be used outside the classroom.

Students should be provided with additional resources that they can access outside of the classroom. This is what truly allows them to work at their own pace. Make videos and practice assignments available to students outside the classroom.

Encourages Collaboration

Students must be provided with opportunities to work together.Working in isolation isn’t the way the world works. Collaborative learning is student-centered and allows students to work together to solve real-world problems.

Carefully planned collaborative instruction allows students to develop crucial skills. These skills include:

  • Critical-thinking
  • Self-management
  • Leadership
  • Learning to work with diverse people

Collaborative learning isn’t merely placing students in groups and giving them practice questions to complete. It is a discussion-rich environment that challenges students to think outside the box. Focusing on recall and lower-level tasks has no place in the collaborative learning environment.

How To Use Technology in Collaborative Learning

  1. Connect with classrooms around the world

Technology allows teachers around the world to provide opportunities for their students to collaborate on projects. Rockingham Middle School in North Carolina collaborated with a classroom in Sweden on a science project. The collaboration made the project more interesting since students were able to share their results and learn more about each other.

2. Create a Google Classroom

Google classroom allows you to create a collaborative online environment for your students.  There are over 50 apps that integrate with Google classroom. You can use a combination of apps that meet the unique needs of your students.

3. Utilize other online learning platforms and digital tools

Other online learning platforms and digital tools also exist. Each platform offers various combinations of features that you can adapt to suit your classroom. Some of these platforms and digital tools include:

  • Blackboard Collaborate
  • Learn Boost
  • Moodle
  • Class Dojo
  • Pixton
  • Voice Thread
  • Socrative
  • Engrade
  • Top Hat
  • Trello
  • Kahoot
  • ReadWriteThink

Creates a System for Managing Learning (a LMS)

A Learning Management System (LMS) is an internet-based software application that allows users to create eLearning courses, monitor these courses, track students’ progress, and provide relevant student-related reports. A LMS is used in a variety of industries to make training more accessible.Some of the software previously mentioned, such as Moodle, are examples of LMSs.

Tertiary-level institutions in particular depend heavily on a LMS for course delivery. The University of Buffalo indicates that approximately 99 percent of tertiary-level institutions use a LMS. Such prominent use of the software can be attributed to the following benefits:

  • The ability to access content anywhere, anytime
  • Reliable tools for monitoring student progress
  • Closer monitoring of assignment submission
  • The creation of a communication pathway between teachers and students

One of the strongest benefits of a LMS is the ability for students to collaborate. However, Steven Lonn, in his research on the use of a LMS for collaboration and knowledge construction, discovered that although the students effectively interacted using the system, there was little knowledge construction. Therefore, you must be very deliberate about helping students acquire new knowledge through critical thinking if you plan to use a LMS.

How to Use a LMS to Develop Critical Thinking

  1. Create student-centered activities

Student-centered teaching is commonly discussed amongst educators. Teachers are often encouraged to become facilitators of learning instead of deliverers of content. The reality, however, is that it’s often difficult to create such an environment.

A question that may be running through your mind is, “How can I ensure that all my students learn the correct concepts if I’m not telling them what to do?” A well-planned lesson that allows you to ask the right questions that guide learning, and effectively incorporates a LMS, is the answer.

Remember that you’re using blended learning as previously discussed. Consequently, there’ll be elements of your lesson that use technology and others that don’t. Both instructional media should incorporate opportunities for collaborative learning, research, and informal assessments.

Collaborative learning helps students learn from enriched discussions. A LMS typically provides opportunities to create group forums and allows participants to leave comments on other’s posts. Some LMSs also allow users to collaborate on documents. Pose the right discussion questions and allow your students to collaborate to find the answers.

Independent research is important for self-paced learning. The video tutorials and material you create for your LMS should encourage students to do further research. It is through extending their learning that they will make the necessary connections to learn new concepts.

Students dread assessments. Watch the reactions on your students’ faces the next time you tell them that they have a graded assessment to complete. A LMS allows you to create fun, interactive informal assessments that students will appreciate. These assessments also help both you and your students have a clear picture of what has been learned.

Prepares Students for the Future

The world has changed. Traditional jobs are gradually becoming obsolete as technology gains prominence. The World Economic Forum states that about 65 percent of primary-school aged children will eventually get jobs that don’t exist today. They further state that there will be about 1.5 million new technology-related jobs by 2020.

Students must be prepared to meet the demands of this changing world. Consequently, the way students are taught must help them develop the skills needed to meet the demands of the IT world.

Technology is improving at a faster rate than our education system. Improvements have been made to the education system over the past decade, but students still don’t have the requisite skills and knowledge they need to truly succeed in this digital world. Dr. William Daggett states supports this point by saying that “society demands a higher level and different skill sets than schools were ever designed to teach.”

He further highlights that although money has been spent to include technology in the classrooms, many teachers aren’t using it effectively. This points to a lack of training about integrating technology into instruction.

This growing need has encouraged discussions about the characteristics of a future-ready school. Such robust discussions resulted in the creation of the futureready.org website. This website provides a plethora of digital resources to help you plan lessons that prepare your students for the future. The organization also offers micro-courses to train teachers, school administrators and district leaders in strategies for creating a future-ready school framework.

How To Create a Future-Ready School

  1. Provide ubiquitous access to technology.

Future-ready schools have internet access and technological resources for all students. You won’t be able to create technologically- enriched lessons without access to the right technology.

The benefits of technology highlighted in this article are based on the assumption that all teachers and students have equal access to technology resources. Sadly, this isn’t the case. There is a huge gap between technology access for low and high income communities.A report published by the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education states that computer ownership, the quality of devices, and internet access is lower for lower-income teens and teens of color than it is for high-income and white teens.

This presents a grave cause for concern since there are more low-income students and students of color in the U.S. education system than there are high-income and white students. Lower-income students often aren’t provided with the quality of technology instruction they need since resources are limited, teachers aren’t adequately trained, and they don’t have access to technology at home. Teachers, school administrators, and other key education stakeholders must find ways to bridge the gap so that these students can experience the enhanced learning experience technology provides.

Adapting technology to suit the context of low income communities is another concern. Michael Trucano, in an article published on the World Bank’s blog, says that “most products, services, usage models, expertise, and research related to ICT use in education come from high-income contexts and environments.” This leads to the conclusion that ICT use in low-income classrooms is useless because the results achieved in high income environments aren’t the same in the more challenging, low-income environments.

These points emphasise the need for careful consideration about the integration of technology in low-income communities and classrooms. Educators and policy-makers must pay attention to the type of technology being implemented and how accessible it is to all stakeholders.

2. Provide training to both school leaders and teachers.

People can’t be thrown into the deep without learning to swim. Dr. Tim Ham cites a source in this article that states that any program that prepares school leaders and teachers to embrace technology in education “should be an adaptive and open system which is dynamic, differentiated and a continued renewal process that leads to continuous learning.” Technology will always be advancing. Training programs must, therefore, offer continuous learning opportunities.

An approach that school districts can use to train teachers is to link technology training with incentives. Madison School District developed 3 types of training initiatives that rewarded teachers with technological resources upon successful completion of each course.

One was differentiated and allowed teachers to choose specific courses that met their teaching needs. The other involved selecting a teacher from each school in the district to be trained on using technology to improve teacher achievement.This teacher was then charge with using what was learned to train others. The final program included coursework that teachers took at their own pace. Successful completion of the coursework resulted in each teacher being rewarded with a laptop.

The program has received resounding success. Teachers have voluntarily participated and received SmartBoards, document cameras, and response pads for their classrooms. A continuous training program that offers such incentives could be useful for encouraging teachers to willingly participate in training opportunities.

However, it must be noted that creating a classroom transformed by technology doesn’t happen overnight. The Shelby County School District encouraged school leaders to make technology integration a mandatory part of their teacher assessments. They also created a series of training sessions on the effective use of technology. True change didn’t occur until 2 years later.

Helps Teachers Reach Students

Technology helps you reach students outside the classroom. It also helps you appeal to students’ interests. Both elements are important in the teaching and learning process.

Students must view themselves as lifelong learners. They must see learning as an extension of what they do in the classroom, not a separate experience.  An article published by the University of Washington states that students have greater autonomy of the learning process when they have access to course material outside of class, do additional reading, watch pre-recorded video lectures, and complete research assignments.

A teacher who gets students excited about learning has won half the battle of having them retain information. You want to be this teacher. Jake Spanberger cites a study in which 70 percent of the students who participated stated that they learn best in a blended learning environment.  Fifty percent of the respondents also stated that they are more engaged in classes that use technology.

How to Use Technology to Reach Students

  1. Plan technology related activities for students to complete outside of class.

Some of the ways technology can be used outside the classroom were mentioned earlier in the article. Some additional strategies that can be used are a webquest, a class webpage, an email exchange, or a class blog.

This article highlights the numerous benefits of WebQuests. A WebQuest is a discovery learning tool that provides students with step-by-step online resources to complete a task. The resources act as the map for the quest.  The quest begins with a challenge question related to a real-world problem.

For instance, the students could be given the following scenario, “Mrs. Lilly wants to build a rectangular garden plot that has an area of 120 ft2 . How many tomato seeds can she plant in this plot? How would she have to plant them?” The students will then be taken through a list of online resources that provide information about how to plant tomato seeds and how to create a garden plot. You could then require the students to collaborate and make presentations that demonstrate their findings.

There are several free website creator tools that can be used to create a class website. The most popular tools are WordPress, Wix, and Weebly. The website  can be used to feature students’ work and classroom activities, provide access to assignments and syllabuses, and communicate with parents.

An email exchange allows students to see themselves as global citizens, develop email writing skills and interact with other students outside of their school. It’s a modern take on the penpal system of the 90s. The email exchange can be further extended to cross-boundary class projects.

A class blog can be a good tool for helping your students develop their writing skills. It’s also good for extending learning outside the classroom. Two of the most popular classroom blog creators are Kidblog.com and Edublog.com.

2.  Provide choices.

Provide students with choices of the technology media to use in the classroom. Larry Ferlazzo states that students can be happier and more willing to learn and accept challenges if they are given choices. Choices can include video creation, animations, 3D printing, creating comics, creating simple apps, online games, app games, or augmented reality. The options you provide depend on the resources available.

Helps Teachers Better Prepare Lessons

Teaching requires constant creativity. It can be extremely difficult and time-consuming to come up with engaging activities to teach concepts. Thankfully, there are numerous online resources available to help you plan creative lessons.

Planning creative lessons isn’t your only task as a teacher. You must become a lifelong learner willing to hone your skills to become the best possible educator. This requires a lot of reading, interaction with other colleagues, and actively pursuing professional development opportunities.

How to Use Technology to Better Prepare Lessons

  1. Collaborate with other teachers.

Technology provides more than just an opportunity to get sample lesson plans. Teachers can collaborate with other teachers from around the world to get ideas for effectively reaching their students.

2. Keep Up-to-Date With Recent Education Developments

Research is ongoing in the education industry. New developments can help you better tailor your lessons to suit your students. There are also a variety of education conferences held throughout the year that can help you keep current.

Helps School Leaders Keep Track of a School’s Progress

School leaders must carefully monitor the progress of their students. Each district sets annual targets which school leaders must either meet or exceed. Achieving such success is only possible if school leaders effectively communicate these goals and expectations to teachers and consistently monitor students’ progress.

How To Keep Track of Students’ Progress as an Administrator

  1. Implement and monitor the effective use of a student data system.

A report published by the U.S. Department of Education underscores the importance of data-driven educational decisions. The report states that these decisions center on “a set of expectations and practices around the ongoing examination of student data to ascertain the effectiveness of educational activities and subsequently refine programs and practices to improve outcomes for students.” Therefore, school administrators must not only find the right student data system for their schools. They must also train teachers on how to use the data obtained from this system to improve results.

Effective use of the data obtained from a student data system makes the possibility of no child being left behind a greater reality.

A student data system can only work if:

  • teachers regularly upload grades, attendance records, and disciplinary data
  • all assessments  are meaningful and free of discrepancies
  • strategies are implemented to address the challenges identified in the data

Encourage your school’s administrator to make this a reality if it isn’t already happening at your school.

Putting It All Together

Our children are a part of the third industrial revolution. The skills they need to succeed in today’s digital world surpass those you needed for your career. Technology must be effectively implemented in instruction so that all students can develop the skills needed to excel in this new era.

Effective use of technology in the classroom focuses on student-centered learning. Students are active participants who develop the critical thinking skills needed to solve real-world problems. It’s more than just piquing their interest.

As an educator, it’s important for you to embrace blended instruction. Technology and teacher facilitated instruction must come together in your classroom. You can only make this happen if you:

  • Take the time to deliberately plan your lessons
  • Plan activities that provide students with the appropriate challenge
  • Provide opportunities for students to collaborate
  • Use technology for individual learning
  • Differentiate instruction
  • Encourage and guide students through the use of various technology media.

The task seems challenging, but the results are ultimately worth every ounce of effort.

There Is No Solid Evidence of Genetic Basis for Trans Identity

A new study into the genes of those who identify as transgender has picked up decent amount of media attention.

The Times in the United Kingdom hailed what it called a genetic “discovery” with the headline “Science pinpoints DNA behind gender identity.” LGBTQ Nation ran a more inconclusive headline: “Scientists discover DNA that could be responsible for gender identity.”

The Times should have paid more attention to Dr. John Theisen, the lead researcher, who said the genes they identified pointed to a “possibility, not a fact.” He cautioned that his research, still in its early stages, used only a small sample size (30 people) and has yet to be peer reviewed—both reasons for exercising major caution when interpreting the results.

In fact, closer examination of the abstract from the research paper reveals that finding a genetic basis for transgender identity wasn’t even the intended purpose of the study. The purpose was much narrower in scope: to identify genes that might point to a potential biological basis so future research could know where to focus its efforts.

In the conclusion, the researchers say, “We identified genetic variants in 20 genes that may play a role in transgender identity.” Words are important, and the word “may” indicates a possibility, not a fact.

Another much larger study is being conducted to explore whether transgender identity has any biological basis. That study, which includes 10,000 participants, is looking to the genome—a person’s complete set of DNA—for clues about whether transgender identity has a biological basis. The findings are years away, though, and completion of the project depends on securing more funding.

In the meantime, no absolute conclusions can be made about a genetic basis for transgender identity.

Some of the difficulty in fashioning a study to find a biological link to transgender identities arises from the definition of the term “transgender.” Medically speaking, a transgender person is defined as someone who has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, a condition where a person experiences discomfort or distress arising from a mismatch between their biological sex and internal sense of gender identity.

The problem is that transgender identity is based solely on subjective criteria. There is no objective, robust physical test to prove whether “transgender persons” exist beyond a person strongly insisting that he or she is a transgender person.

It’s difficult to even discern who truly has gender dysphoria. Those who self-identify as “transgender” represent a challenging cross-section of individuals. They may be simple cross-dressers, transvestites, or drag queens, yet they may or may not have gender dysphoria.

Many transgender persons are suffering emotionally, psychologically, or psychiatrically, sometimes due to early childhood trauma or co-existing mental disorders. Studies have shown that nearly 70 percent of people diagnosed with gender dysphoria also suffer from a wide variety of co-existing disorders that often go undiagnosed and untreated.

With no medical proof to help diagnose gender dysphoria, and with most who identify as transgender having other issues that need treatment, one could argue that too many people are being gathered under the blanket term “transgender” and being inappropriately directed toward cross-gender hormone therapies and surgeries.

The original advocates of gender change started a social experiment in the 1960s that continues today. Alfred Kinsey, Dr. Harry Benjamin, and Dr. John Money fell short in providing proof that cross-gender hormone therapies and surgeries provide long-term, effective results for gender disorders. The 50 years of reported suicides and a suicide attempt rate of 40 percent suggest that treatments have failed the gender distressed population.

As a young person, I was correctly diagnosed with gender dysphoria and then approved for hormones and surgery by Dr. Paul Walker, the original author of the “Harry Benjamin International Standards of Care.” The treatment was not effective.

I discovered firsthand that society wasn’t the cause of transgender suicide and suicide attempts. The cause was an unfulfilled expectation that cross-gender hormones and surgery would effectively resolve gender distress.

I remain open to the possibility that a biological predisposition to transgender identities may be found. Whether it is found or not, my hope is that today’s barbaric, mutilating gender-change procedures will be replaced by an effective treatment that eliminates the high rate of suicide ideation and brings long-lasting relief to those with gender dysphoria.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Walt Heyer

Walt Heyer is an author and public speaker. Through his website, SexChangeRegret.com, and his blog, WaltHeyer.com, Heyer raises public awareness about those who regret gender change and the tragic consequences suffered as a result.

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by Altayb/Getty Images.

This Incident Shows How Heeding Warning Signs of a School Shooter Works Better Than Gun Control

All of the glaring red flags surrounding the Parkland shooter were ignored.

Authorities failed to connect the dots through years of bad behavior, incidents on and off campus, as well as reports from concerned citizens that the shooter was displaying worrisome behavior.

According to a CNN report, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter even used to introduce himself to people by saying, “Hi, I’m Nick. I’m a school shooter.”

He should never have been able to pass a background check when he acquired his weapon if he had any kind of criminal record that seemed to be highly warranted.

Though protests and media coverage have focused almost entirely on the issue of gun control, it’s not hard to see how had other measures been taken the shooter could have been stopped well before he was able to commit mass murder.

A recent case in Kentucky shows how we can sometimes stop these incidents long before violence takes place, and without stripping people of their constitutionally protected rights.

Police arrested a student at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington, Kentucky, in February after they identified a series of warning signs about his behavior.

The case began when the police received an “anonymous tip to a school safety tipline,” according to the Lexington Herald Leader.

The tipster told police that the student, Timothy Felker, had been making threats to shoot himself, specific students, and people at his school more generally.

Sound familiar?

Felker was also otherwise behaving erratically.

After allegedly purchasing a firearm with money his mother gave him for a tattoo, he posted pictures on social media of putting a gun in his mouth.

Police arrested Felker at an airport after getting a mental health petition, and authorities charged him with “terroristic threatening,” WKYT reported.

Unlike with the Parkland shooting, authorities followed up on warning signs, and arrested a clearly troubled teen before an incident took place.

“This is an example of best practices in action,” Fayette County Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk said, according to the Herald Leader. “It’s about connections with students and multi-agency collaboration. The speed at which we’re able to share information is a reflection of the systems we have built to link students, school, and district administrators with law enforcement officers at the school, city, and federal level.”

The laws worked and concerned citizens and authorities intervened.

It was the anti-Parkland.

The Kentucky situation gets to the point that to prevent violence at schools, we need to do better as a society in identifying the warning signs and cultural maladies that are leading people to commit these horrible crimes.

As Amy Swearer, The Heritage Foundation’s visiting legal fellow at the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, wrote, there are three common traits of school shooters.

The first common trait is that they are often people with a serious mental illness.

“It is not uncommon for a school attacker to have acted in increasingly disruptive and violent ways before the shooting,” Swearer wrote. “But for a variety of reasons, these individuals are often not involuntarily committed to a mental health institution or ordered by a court to receive mental health treatment.”

The second trait is fatherlessness and broken homes.

As Emilie Kao, The Heritage Foundation’s director of the Richard and Helen DeVos Center for Religion & Civil Society, wrote:

Among the 25 most-cited school shooters since Columbine, 75 percent were reared in broken homes. Psychologist Dr. Peter Langman, a pre-eminent expert on school shooters, found that most came from incredibly broken homes of not just divorce and separation, but also infidelity, substance abuse, criminal behavior, domestic violence, and child abuse.

The third trait is economic insecurity, as Swearer explained: “A major study by criminologists at Northwestern University looked at the effect of economic conditions on the prevalence of school shootings and concluded that there is a significant correlation between periods of increased economic insecurity and periods of increased gun violence at schools.”

Unfortunately, very little was said about these issues at the March for Our Lives rally. Protesters blamed the National Rifle Association and gun ownership for violence rather than the killers themselves, or the cultural dysfunction that may be feeding their lives of crime.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Jarrett Stepman

Jarrett Stepman is an editor and commentary writer for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast. Send an email to Jarrett. Twitter: .

RELATED ARTICLE: Concealed Carry on Campus Is More Common, and Useful, Than You Thought

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. (Photo: Amy Beth Bennett/TNS/Newscom)

Media Darling David Hogg Ducks Debate With Gun Rights Backer Kyle Kashuv

Kyle Kashuv, a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, emerged as the most prominent pro-Second Amendment voice among students there after the shooting at the school that left 17 dead.

Kashuv, 16, who has been embraced by many conservatives, hopes to debate David Hogg, 17, a Stoneman Douglas senior.

Hogg is one of the most visible liberal voices among the Parkland students in the media spotlight. The son of an FBI agent, he has been lionized by the left as he advocates more gun control.

By contrast, Kashuv does not get nearly as much media exposure as Hogg or other liberal-leaning Parkland students. His appearances typically are limited to Fox News Channel among the larger media outlets.

Charlie Kirk, founder and executive director of Turning Point USA, argues that Kashuv is a worthy opponent for Hogg and other young liberals.

In an email to The Daily Signal, Kirk said:

Kyle is absolutely brilliant and deserves a chance to debate David Hogg in an open forum. David has insulted us gun owners enough, and Kyle deserves a chance to get his ideas out to the most amount of people possible.

CNN recently canceled a segment with Kashuv, apparently after someone there took offense to one of the teen’s retweets on Twitter.

Stoneman Douglas junior Cameron Kasky agreed in an appearance on “Fox News Sunday” to debate Kashuv, but later backed out.

Kasky is credited with being a main organizer of the anti-guns March for Our Lives held March 24 in Washington, D.C.

Kashuv and other conservative voices were not given the opportunity to be heard at the march and rally in the nation’s capital.

These excluded voices included Hunter Pollack, 29, whose sister Meadow, an 18-year-old senior, died in the shooting. Their father, Andrew Pollack, has become a high-profile advocate of improved school safety.

Several organizations and individuals have offered to host and moderate a Kashuv-Hogg debate, including Dave Rubin, host of “The Rubin Report” on YouTube, described as “a talk show about big ideas and free speech.”

So far, Hogg has not agreed to debate Kashuv.

Hogg repeatedly has gone after Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., for accepting contributions from the National Rifle Association, including at a “CNN Town Hall” held Feb. 21 and at the March for Our Lives rally March 24.

“I’m going to start off by putting this price tag right here as a reminder for you guys to know how much Marco Rubio took for every student’s life in Florida: $1.05,” Hogg said onstage at the rally, referring to the Republican senator from Florida who ran for president in 2016.

Kashuv, who has traveled to Washington several times since the massacre, continues to meet with Rubio and other lawmakers and officials on both sides of the aisle.

He promoted the STOP School Violence Act of 2018, which the House passed March 14, a month to the day after the shooting. The Senate has yet to act.

Rep. John Rutherford R-Fla., a co-sponsor of the bill, said in a press release:

This bill invests in early intervention and prevention programs in our local schools, so that our communities and law enforcement can be partners in preventing violent events from happening. We need to give students, teachers, and law enforcement the tools and training they need to identify warning signs and to know who to contact when they see something that is not right.

Besides meeting with lawmakers from both parties at the Capitol, Kashuv has met at the White House with both President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump.

Kashuv is a regular on Twitter, calling balls and strikes and engaging in policy discussions with two mentors, Kirk and Ben Shapiro.

Shapiro, editor-in-chief of The Daily Wire, is a well-known conservative political commentator. His popular podcast, “The Ben Shapiro Show,” is entering the radio arena.

Kirk’s Turning Point USA organization has chapters at over 300 college campuses that aim to “identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of freedom, free markets, and limited government.”

Kirk and Kashuv participated in “man on the street”-style interviews during the March for Our Lives in Washington. Kashuv also provided some commentary on Fox News Channel during the event.

Kirk interviewed Trump at the “Generation Next” forum held March 22 by the White House. The forum, designed to engage millennials, focused on the economy, free speech, and the opioid crisis.

During that forum, Kashuv spoke with The Daily Signal’s Rachel del Guidice about the relative media blackout he faces for defending the Second Amendment. He also gave advice to students with similar beliefs.

“I’ve had a bunch of people reach out to me in Twitter DMs [direct messages], telling me they’re being silenced at their school,” Kashuv said. “My biggest word of advice is to keep on going. Don’t let anyone silence you and don’t give in to the criticism that you get.”

Portrait of Ginny Montalbano

Ginny Montalbano

Ginny Montalbano is a contributor to The Daily Signal. Send an email to Ginny. Twitter: @GinnyMontalbano.

A Note for our Readers:

Trust in the mainstream media is at a historic low—and rightfully so given the behavior of many journalists in Washington, D.C.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected president, it is painfully clear that the mainstream media covers liberals glowingly and conservatives critically.

Now journalists spread false, negative rumors about President Trump before any evidence is even produced.

Americans need an alternative to the mainstream media. That’s why The Daily Signal exists.

The Daily Signal’s mission is to give Americans the real, unvarnished truth about what is happening in Washington and what must be done to save our country.

Our dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts rely on the financial support of patriots like you.

Your donation helps us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.

You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.

Please make a gift to support The Daily Signal.

SUPPORT THE DAILY SIGNAL

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of Kyle Kashuv speaking on March 13 about the STOP School Violence Act is by Douliery Olivier/ABACA/Newscom.

Poll Finds Most Teachers, Students Say They’re Protected From School Shooters

A majority of teachers say they believe they are protected from shooters entering their school, according to a recent poll.

The Gallup poll found that 60 percent of teachers agreed their school is somewhat protected or very protected.

Gallup, however, chose to look at the down side with a headline reading: “Four in 10 Teachers Say Their School Is Not Well Protected.”

The poll also found that a majority of teachers, 64 percent, and a majority of students, 55 percent, said they are not worried about a shooting happening at their school. A total of  36 percent said they are worried, and 9 percent said they are “very worried.”

Fully 60 percent of teachers said they were prepared to protect students and staff from a shooter, while 40 percent said they were “not too prepared” or “not prepared at all.”

Schools remain among the safest places to be, but there is always more elected officials can do to make them safer, Heritage Foundation legal expert John Malcolm told The Daily Signal.

“There is nothing more horrifying than the thought that you might kiss your child goodbye, send him off to school, and then never see him again,” said Malcolm, a Heritage vice president who oversees the Institute for Constitutional Government and directs the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies.

“Fortunately, the reality is that our kids are safer in school than they are in many other areas,” Malcolm said. “That is not to say, though, that school officials and elected representatives should not do more to ensure that our schools are safer from the malevolent acts of disturbed individuals intent on committing mayhem and murder.”

The Gallup poll surveyed teachers from March 5 to March 12, less than a month after the deadly school shooting Feb. 14 in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead and 17 wounded.

Despite heavy media coverage of school shootings, the majority of students say they feel safe, as they did in 2005—when Gallup surveyed students in a similar way.

In 2005, about eight months after a school shooting in Red Lake, Minnesota, that ended in 10 deaths, including the killer, a Gallup survey found that while students said “violence, fighting, and school safety” was the top problem at school, 80 percent said they feel safe in school.

The expressed student concern in 2005 for violence, fighting, and safety was nearly double that of the next biggest concern, a four-way tie among lack of funding/budget cuts, overcrowded classrooms, use of drugs and alcohol, and lack of student effort.

Students polled at 13 percent who said school safety was the biggest problem, compared to 7 percent who said it was lack of funding or budget cuts.

The Daily Signal previously reported that schools are safer now than in the early 1990s, with shooting incidents declining by more than half since then.

The new Gallup poll surveyed 497 teachers of kindergarten through high school across the U.S. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 7 percentage points.

Kyle Perisic

Kyle Perisic is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

RELATED ARTICLES: 

Podcast: What School Shooters Have in Common

School Personnel in These Gun-Control States Are Trained in Firearms Use

Dear Readers:

With the recent conservative victories related to tax cuts, the Supreme Court, and other major issues, it is easy to become complacent.

However, the liberal Left is not backing down. They are rallying supporters to advance their agenda, moving this nation further from the vision of our founding fathers.

If we are to continue to bring this nation back to our founding principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism, we need to come together as a group of likeminded conservatives.

This is the mission of The Heritage Foundation. We want to continue to develop and present conservative solutions to the nation’s toughest problems. And we cannot do this alone.

Before March 31, we are looking for a select few conservatives to become a Heritage Foundation member. With your membership, you’ll qualify for all associates benefits and you’ll help keep our nation great for future generations.

ACTIVATE YOUR MEMBERSHIP TODAY

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of a police cruiser parked in January 2013 near the entrance of Marlboro Early Learning Center in Morganville, New Jersey. (Photo: Eduardo Munoz/Reuters/Newscom)

Replacing Indoctrination in the Classroom with ‘Truth in Textbooks’ — Volunteer Today to Pushback – Deadline to Register is April 1, 2018

Lt Col, U.S. Air Force (Retired) Roy White leads a group of nearly 200 volunteers from around the country that are singularly focused on returning “truth to K-12 social studies textbooks”.

His group, Truth in Textbooks recruits, trains and works with grassroots groups like Florida Citizen Alliance and  Proclaiming Justice to the Nation, to take the errors, omissions of facts, half-truths and “opinions” described as facts their volunteers uncover to influence local and state school boards to purchase the most accurate textbooks.

TNT has reviewed nearly close to 100 textbooks, creating detailed reviews/critiques and with their “Report Cards” (TX here, CA here)  work with local educational advocates to influence the purchasing of textbooks.  Common themes are errors on Islam, Israel, Christianity, climate change, Founding fathers, lack of American exceptionalism and many more topics.  The full reports can be found on the Truth in Textbooks website.

Their 2nd class of 2018, Class 2018-B starts this Monday, April 2nd at 9:00 PM EDT with a conference call.

Write to Truth in Textbooks at tnt.textbooks@gmail.com to start the process and complete a survey each interested person is asked to complete. Upon completion of the survey Roy will interview you and will subsequently receive the conference call information.

You can learn more about the project by clicking on this link also​.

Registration deadline is Sunday, April 1st so please email Roy today by clicking here to start the process.  

Please share with your supporters this important advocacy, action oriented group that is slowly returning “real history” back to our children’s textbooks and classrooms.

ABOUT TRUTH IN TEXTBOOKS

The goal of Truth In Textbooks (TNT) is to be the source for parents, school officials and educational professions for unbiased reviews of social studies textbooks, instructional material and supplemental assignments for students at grade K-12 in the areas of U.S. History, World Geography, World History, World Cultures and U.S. Government.  Think of TNT as an “Angie’s List” rating for social studies textbooks. Learn more by clicking here.

VIDEO: A Message From Parkland You Didn’t Hear at March for Our Lives

Warning: This video contains profanity.

Thousands of people gathered Saturday in Washington, D.C.,  and around the nation for anti-gun rallies spurred by the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. But not everyone from the Parkland community supports the anti-gun rhetoric on display at the March for Our Lives protests.

Kyle Kashuv, a student at the school where a 19-year-old with a rifle killed 17 and wounded 17 others, and Andrew Pollack, whose daughter was among those killed there, are speaking out with another perspective

“They’re all together, it’s great. They’re going to be heard. But I would urge them to focus on school safety,” Pollack, who appears in a video from The Daily Caller, said before the rallies.

“This isn’t just a gun control debate,” Kashuv added. “Making sure schools are safe—not everything has to do with guns.”

COMMENTARY BY

CALIFORNIA: College Campus Police Crack Down on Those Who Question Mohammed’s Words and Islamic Doctrine

This is sharia enforcement on campus. It is increasingly the case that not the slightest critical word about Islam can be spoken on America’s college and university campuses. Imagine what would happen if a speaker about Christianity had police remove critical questioners. There would be an international outcry. But this is increasingly the norm: do not question Islam. It is the one topic that is off-limits to all but the most whitewashed presentations.

“Campus Cops Crack Down on Questions about Islam,” by Gary Fouse, FrontPage, March 19, 2018:

[Editor’s note: To help push back against the enforcement of Islamic blasphemy laws on the American campus, support the Freedom Center’s campaign Stop University Support for Terrorists.]

On March 14, I attended a public presentation entitled Islam 101 at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, California. The presenter was Nicole Bovey, a convert to Islam and public information officer at the Islamic Institute of Orange County in Anaheim. Bovey also works with the Muslim Speakers Bureau in Orange County (an arm of the Islamic Networks Group). The presentation was sponsored by GWC professors Kaine Fini (Anthropology) and Communications Professor Kristine Clancy (most of the audience members were her students, and this was part of her class.) The event had been advertised publicly, hence was open to the public. Altogether, there were approximately 50 people present. I videotaped the entire proceeding. The event was scheduled to run from 6:45-9:30 pm. As it was, it was cut off at about 8:30 by one of the professors (more about that later.) During the event, Professor Clancy called in campus police and she admonished a couple of the people in the audience who had asked pointed questions.

Ms. Bovey’s presentation was a very basic and very vanilla presentation of Islam, explaining what Islam is, what it means, who Muslims are, Muslims’ worldwide demographic breakdown etc. Bovey’s lesson plan, consisting of slides posted on the walls, was about subjects like the 5 pillars of Islam, daily prayers etc. She stated at the outset that she was there to clear up misconceptions about Islam. In fact, the first image on the wall was of a masked man representing a terrorist. Yet, it was clear later into the presentation that she was not going to get into areas like terrorism or Sharia law. She invited the audience members to raise their hands to ask questions at any point.

Bovey was doing fine handling soft, non-controversial questions, but plainly could not handle pointed, uncomfortable questions from a few members of the audience, including myself. One audience member identified himself as a former Muslim from Egypt, who left Islam and became a Christian pastor. When he began to contradict statements by Bovey, she became uncomfortable. Subsequently, he was approached by Prof. Clancy who asked him to step outside. He returned a few minutes later. While Bovey was discussing Zakat (Islamic charity giving), another audience member asked her about the categories of Zakat and whether any of them allowed giving to non-Muslims. She was unable to answer the question. Another man in the audience, a Muslim, stated that there was a separate channel of giving other than Zakat that could be directed to non-Muslims.

During Bovey’s description of Islamic daily prayers, I asked her about Sura 1, verses 1-7, from the Quran, which are recited in those daily prayers. I read verses 6-7 to her from an English language Koran that referred to those who had incurred Allah’s wrath and those who had lost their way. I mentioned that according to a hadith, one of Mohammad’s followers had asked who that referred to and Mohammad’s answer was that the former were the Jews and the latter Christians. Bovey danced all around it stating that she didn’t know about that and that she had her own perception of who those people might be.

At one point, Bovey called for a 15-20 minute break because she and her AV assistant had to pray. At that point I turned my camera off and was looking at my cell phone when Professor Clancy began admonishing a couple of the men in the audience who had asked the above questions stating that this was her class. A campus police officer entered the room and a third staff member, International Student Program Director Melissa Lyon, asked a couple of them to step outside. One of the men had not even asked a question and eventually he was able to avoid going outside to talk to police. I captured most of this on my cell phone both inside the hall and outside. After talking with the police, the men were allowed to return.

Later on, Yet another audience member pointed out that modern archaeological studies had failed to identify Mecca as even existing during the time Mohammad was alive. Again, Bovey was unprepared. Professor Fini identified himself as an anthropological professor and responded that there were historical sites associated with Judaism and Christianity which could not be proven to exist during certain times, but that they were accepted as part of tradition.

I was called on for another question and asked Bovey about Hudud Sharia, the punishment section of Sharia law, specifically about the death penalty for apostates who criticized Islam, adulterers and homosexuals. Again her answer was evasive. She then asked me to stop videotaping saying that she feared I would edit it. I assured her I would not. I politely insisted that this was a public event in a public institution and that I had a right to videotape. This was affirmed by the aforementioned anthropology professor. (During the break I had occasion to talk to a campus police officer, and he affirmed my right to videotape.)

As other questioners steered the topic toward sensitive areas, Professor Lyon came racing to the rescue ending the event one hour before its scheduled time. It was pretty obvious that the conversation was going in a direction that Bovey and the professors did not want it to go.

It is clear that Bovey came prepared to give a “happy face” version of Islam to her audience. She was not prepared to deal with the obvious elephants in the room. Virtually every critical question was met with evasion.

Professors Clancy and Lyon completely overreacted to the questions to the point of calling in the campus copsand asking audience members to step outside. Whatever happened to free speech and the free exchange of ideas? There was absolutely no disruption whatsoever. Yet members of the audience were told that their questions were unacceptable. Since when?

And why did Ms. Lyon stop the event 60 minutes early? Because the speaker and her hosts were unwilling to engage in a discussion of aspects of Islam like Sharia law, draconian punishments, and terrorism.

Though the audience was mostly students and mostly members of Professor Clancy’s class, we (the aforementioned questioners) were not the only non-students in the audience. This event was announced to the public. That some chose to come and ask honest questions about Islam should be part of the protocol. Is that not what colleges are supposed to be engaged in? It was stated that Bovey wanted to explain “misconceptions” about Islam. Yet when asked to do so, she gave us tap dances and evasions while the professors tried to silence some of us — and then called the campus police to shut us down. Again, this was an event open to the public.

It is evident that all of these eerie developments clearly were a perfect lesson in Islam 101 — and in which happens to a free society once Sharia starts taking over.

Will we accept this laying down?

TAKE ACTION FOR FREE SPEECH:

[1] The president of Golden West College is Wes Bryan. Contact him and ask why his institution is submitting to Islamic blasphemy laws:
Email: wbryan@gwc.cccd.edu.
Phone #: 714 895 8101.

[2] Golden West College is part of the Coast Community College District. They have a board of regents whose contact info can be found HERE.

[3] One of the audience members who was escorted out of this event by police and warned by them not to ask any more questions was Steve Amundson, the head of the Counter Jihad Coalition. Contact him if you want to help defend America from Jihad and Sharia:
Email: counterjihadcoalition@gmail.com.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Geller Report. Pamela Geller’s shocking new book, “FATWA: HUNTED IN AMERICA” is now available on Amazon. It’s Geller’s tell all, her story – and it’s every story – it’s what happens when you stand for freedom today. Buy it. Now. Here.

3 Irrefutable Truths The Walkout Kids Need To Hear, And Don’t

It’s time to speak out some hard truths to the children participating in the so-called “student-led” national walkout and the broader “school safety” movement.

Let’s call it speaking truth to power, because there are some very powerful forces blocking most of these young people from hearing these truths — the traditional media, Hollywood and the rest of the culture movers, Democratic leaders, most school leaders and the big activist organizations using the children as pawns for their own agenda.

First, despite all the hot air from the above groups of people, all Americans agree on a few things.

First, students are fearful. Well rightly so, the world is a dangerous place. Second, they want to be in a safe school. Also rightly so.

But what if they were told they already were in a safe place? In their schools. This is where they need some educating in a way they will not get from a fawning media, from manipulative activist organizations such as the Women’s March and Black Lives Matter or, alas, from too many of their schools.

Apologies ahead of time for those who do not want facts to mess with your feelings and political agenda, but here are some truths based in fact that could change the whole discussion — if they ever got past the kids’ gatekeepers.

TRUTH 1:

You’re not in imminent danger in your schools. It feels like it because of the overwhelming media coverage suggesting it, and irresponsible adults twaddling on about how school kids “risk their lives” every day just by showing up at school. But actually they do not. These adults should get an “F.”

The lifetime odds of an American dying in a mass shooting committed in any location is 1 in 11,125 (more on this inflated number in a moment). This is just a fraction of the odds of dying other ways. Dying of accidental drug overdose is 1 in 86; dying from riding in a vehicle (not motorcycle) is 1 in 491; dying from drowning is 1 in 1,133; dying from being assaulted with a sharp object, usually a knife, is 1 in 2,517; dying from choking on food is 1 in 3,461; dying from bicycling is 1 in 4,030.

Let’s do the math a little more. A student is 129 times more likely to die from a drug overdose than of a mass shooting of any kind; nearly 23 times more likely to die from riding in a car than a mass shooting; 10 times more likely to drown; more than four times more likely to die from knife assault and nearly three times more likely to die riding a bike.

All of these are a long ways from dying of mass shootings. But that mass shooting number includes not just non-school mass shootings, but all shootings of more than three fatalities — including gang shootings, which is actually the largest element.

The reality is that criminal victimization in American schools has completely collapsed along with the sharp decline in the crime rate. American classrooms are safer today than at any time in modern history.

So yes, being fearful is understandable. Stay away from drugs! But being fearful of mass shootings actually is not. Being fearful in school actually is not. According to the facts.

TRUTH 2:

Immediately following the Parkland shooting, the media and the progressive organizations seeking to use the tragedy trafficked in the claim that there had been 18 school shootings in the U.S. in the first 45 days of 2018. ABC NewsPoliticoTIMECNBC and other national media reported this as fact, despite being provided by a very biased anti-gun organization called Everytown for Gun Safety. The organization is quoted regularly.

But PolitifactSnopes and others have totally debunked the claim as untrue. Everytown’s numbers include accidental discharges, suicides, college sorority disputes and so on. In fact, if you look at Everytown’s own chart breaking down the 18 shootings, very few even had an injury. Obviously the number is cooked to make it look much worse. But it is now alive forever in social media and many students buy it.

Researchers at Northeastern University report there have been a total of eight mass shootings (killing more than three people) at K-through-12 schools in the United States in the past 22 years. Further, the number of fatal shootings in American schools over the past 20 years has plummeted.

Schools are actually relatively safe.

TRUTH 3:

Outlawing certain types of guns or magazines simply won’t make schools significantly safer in any respect.

Despite all of the red-meat language about “assault rifles”, no one of a serious nature is pushing for the banning of all semi-automatic weapons, which is what would be required by taking this route. Why? Semi-automatics are guns that automatically chamber the next round each time after the trigger is pulled and the gun fires. So this actually includes old western revolvers. What is left is single-shot rifles, shotguns that are not semi-automatic and single shot handguns. These require loading each bullet.

Such laws would mean probably hundreds of millions of guns being confiscated, or at least none allowed to be sold but still owned by Americans.

There are more than 300 million guns in private Americans’ hands in the United States. The majority, it appears, are semi-automatics. There are no overall statistics on types of guns in the U.S., but the most popular rifle purchases are the AR styles, and the most popular handgun purchases are semi-automatics.

Limiting the size of magazines is a marginal impact at best because reloading a clip takes literally seconds.

So what are the “assault weapons” bans being talked about? Generally, guns that look like an AR-15. But a WWII M-1 would also count. Perhaps any semi-automatic .22 would count. And that’s the rub. It’s not practical, even if it were Constitutional.

So this is all just talk for politics and power.

The truth is that Americans have always owned a lot of guns. It’s part of our history and heritage. But mass killings are a relatively new phenomenon. Even when machine guns were legal to own, the only “mass shootings” were gang-related and usually during Prohibition. No one at all was shooting schools, or movie houses or government buildings. Want to get to the core issue? Find out what has changed in our culture.

All of this points to one, simple, overarching truth: Guns are not the problem.

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EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in The Revolutionary Act. Please visit The Revolutionary Act’s YouTube Channel