PODCAST: Why This East Coast State Is Becoming a Hub of Education Entrepreneurship

New Jersey education entrepreneurs are embracing an ethos of permission less innovation, creating new learning solutions that work well for children and others in their communities rather than trying to change an entrenched traditional school system.


When Ben Ashfield and Tammy Tiranasar couldn’t find their preferred educational environment for their two younger children, they decided to build it. Ben works in advertising and Tammy is an artist, but first and foremost they are entrepreneurial parents who want the best for their children. Last fall, the couple took over a vacated classroom space in Mountainside, New Jersey, and created The Village Electric as a full-day, co-learning center for local children ages two to twelve, open five days a week. They launched with 45 kids and several teachers.

This year, their program continues to thrive, but Ben and Tammy aren’t content with creating just one alternative learning model that satisfies their family’s needs. They want their space to become an incubator for many other entrepreneurial parents and teachers who wish to build microschools and co-learning communities of their own.

“The benefit of The Village Electric is making it easier to get involved in education and to innovate in education,” said Ben, likening his vision to that of WeWork and related coworking spaces that help to foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing. I talked with Ben and Tammy on this week’s episode of the LiberatED podcast.

“We felt we could benefit from creating a community for kids where we are working together, but it’s also a place for entrepreneurial teachers to start their vision of what school can be,” Ben continued. “It’s a place for people to start co-ops if they’re homeschoolers. It’s a place where homeschoolers can find community on their schedule. It’s a place where people can do their online learning except do it in a community of people learning other things. I would love to see an explosion of innovation happening like what you saw in Silicon Valley 15 years ago where people are trying lots of different things.”

Over the past two years, the Garden State has emerged as an ideal spot to pursue education entrepreneurship and invent a variety of schooling alternatives. You may recall my conversation earlier this year with Jill Perez, a long-time teacher and supervisor of student-teachers at the university level, who created a “pandemic pod” in 2020 with other New Jersey families. She then shifted that into a full-fledged microschool last fall, opening with more than 40 students, along with teachers she recruited from the New York City public schools. She recently purchased a building for her microschool and her program continues to grow.

Similarly, last spring I spoke with Lorianne Bolotin, an immigrant physician and midwife who never thought she would be in the education business until school closures prompted her to homeschool her children. Like Jill, she created a pod with local families and turned that into an established microschool in leased commercial space in a New Jersey office park. Her program also continues to expand and evolve, including her efforts to support a network of similar microschools across the country.

What is it about New Jersey that is making it a developing hub of education entrepreneurship and creative learning options? Certainly prolonged school closures and related pandemic policies contributed to more families exiting district schools for private education options, including homeschooling. New Jersey public schools experienced lengthy closures and reopened with mask mandates and other policies that frustrated some parents. The New Jersey Department of Education reported that the state’s traditional public schools lost a record 18,000 students during the 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 school years, reflecting a larger trend in declining public school enrollment nationwide since 2020. Enrollment declines were steepest in school districts that remained closed longer and relied more on remote learning, as well as those that kept mask mandates, according to data from the American Enterprise Institute.

New Jersey is also one of the least restrictive states for homeschooling, with no notification requirement for parents who want to homeschool their children, and few regulations. This ease of homeschooling has contributed to the proliferation of microschools, learning centers, and similar schooling alternatives, and all of the New Jersey microschools I have spotlighted this year operate as full-time, drop-off programs for homeschoolers. Some also offer part-time options as well. This enables families to be integrally involved with their children’s education while providing the flexibility for parents to continue working full-time and allowing their children to have a consistent peer group and ongoing academic enrichment.

These New Jersey microschools also tend to be less costly than other private schools in the state. For example, The Village Electric’s annual tuition is $10,500 for a full-day, Monday through Friday program, while the average New Jersey private school tuition is 42 percent higher than that. If New Jersey adopted school choice policies like those in Arizona and West Virginia that enable education funding to follow students instead of going to school districts, then microschools and similar learning communities would be accessible to even more families.

Some New Jersey microschools, including The Village Electric, are recipients of microgrants from VELA Education Fund, a non-profit organization that provides funding to non-traditional education organizations and schooling alternatives. VELA grant recipients frequently use their funds to help provide scholarships and tuition assistance to families who need it.

New Jersey education entrepreneurs are embracing an ethos of permissionless innovation, creating new learning solutions that work well for their children and others in their communities rather than trying to change an entrenched traditional school system. “As parents, we need to exercise our right to educate our children in the way that we think they need to be educated, and not ask for permission for that,” said Ben. “If you’re going to your school board and fighting with your public school, while I so appreciate that and understand that, we also need to just exercise our right to educate our children. That’s what inspired Tammy and me. We asked: How can we do something productive where we don’t feel like we’re wasting our energy trying to change something that really has no interest in changing?”

More entrepreneurial parents and educators in New Jersey and beyond are asking, and answering, that question.

AUTHOR

Kerry McDonald

Kerry McDonald is a Senior Education Fellow at FEE and host of the weekly LiberatED podcast. She is also the author of Unschooled: Raising Curious, Well-Educated Children Outside the Conventional Classroom (Chicago Review Press, 2019), an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, education policy fellow at State Policy Network, and a regular Forbes contributor. Kerry has a B.A. in economics from Bowdoin College and an M.Ed. in education policy from Harvard University. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband and four children. You can sign up for her weekly email newsletter here.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Documentary ‘Keep This Between Us’ exposes sexual predators and ‘widespread grooming’ in our public schools

On August 9th of 2017 we wrote about Jason Edward Meyers a teacher at Palmetto High School in Miami-Dade, Florida who is a pedophile who stalked his underaged students for sex for a decade. We wrote,

As Florida’s public school students are heading back to school, parents should be aware that Miami-Dade County Public Schools have been plagued by numerous sexual assault cases by teachers and administrators over the past five years, the most recent being the “Jason’s Girls” episode.

According to a legal complaint filed in federal court in Miami, Jason Meyers had molested numerous girls since 2004. When his principal at the time was told of a particular offense in 2008, the complaint alleges, he was transferred to another school. The complaint reads in part:

This action concerns the repeated sexual abuse and harassment of Plaintiff by her English and Creative Writing teacher, Jason Edward Meyers (“Meyers”), during Plaintiff’s junior and senior years at Miami Palmetto Senior High School (“Palmetto High School”), while she was 16 and 17 years oldPlaintiff is one of many underage female students that Meyers recruited, groomed, and exploited in a systematic fashion during his near decade-long tenure as a known sexual predator employed by Defendant. [Emphasis added]

Now there is a documentary titled Keep This Between Us about Jason Meyers and other predators in our public school classrooms.

In this documentary a woman re-examines her past relationship with a teacher, exposing the shocking statistics of widespread grooming in U.S. high schools.

On August 4th, 2022 we published an article titled It Took Over 6-Years and 9 Months to Bring to Trial a Teacher Accused of Being a Sexual Predator. Why?

The article was about Jason Edward Meyers and that he is still walking the streets of Miami, Florida, even though he is facing three felony charges of sexual battery. We wrote,

Many are questioning if our criminal justice systems are working properly and we are insuring that those accused of a crime are brought to trial quickly.  One Florida case caught our attention after a reader contacted us.

We were recently made aware of the criminal trial of Jason Edward Meyers in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Meyers is a former Palmetto High School teacher who is accused of 3 counts of felony sexual battery upon young girls, who were his students, in April of 2014.

Meyers is still walking the streets of Miami-Dade County on his own recognizance. To date there have been 572 docket hearings on the Meyers case. Unbelievable. If we can’t bring someone accused of sexual battery to trial what does that say about our criminal justice system?

We thought that justice must be swift in order to be effective in deterring crime.

We were wrong when it comes to Miami-Dade County. It seems justice is slow and favors the alleged perpetrator rather than his victim or victims

Jason Edward Meyers originally appeared in court on a bond hearing on February 19th, 2016 (read the details of State Case here: No. 132016CF0034080001XX.)

According to the Miami-Dade County Clerk of the Courts Meyers is now scheduled for a trial hearing on November 28th, 2022 at 9:30 a.m. (see Meyers, Jason Edward case file). That is 6 years and 9 months after the alleged crime of sexual battery upon a young girls.

Soviet Union prisoner Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn in his biography The Gulag Archipelago wrote, “When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.

We agree. Not punish sexual predators, pederasts, pedophiles and perverts rips apart the very foundation of our justice system. These criminals prey upon our most vulnerable children!


Keep This Between Us” premiered on August 29th and is now streaming on Hulu.


©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

CHILD ABUSE: Reading, Math Scores PLUNGE for 9-year olds, Data Shows

Epic fail on every level. Once we led the world, now we barely bring up the rear. The left has destroyed every great American achievement.

Get your children out of government schools. They are abusing your children.

Reading, math scores fell sharply during pandemic, data show

By: Colin Binkley, AP, Sep 1, 2022

WASHINGTON (AP) — Math and reading scores for America’s 9-year-olds fell dramatically during the first two years of the pandemic, according to a new federal study — offering an early glimpse of the sheer magnitude of the learning setbacks dealt to the nation’s children.

Reading scores saw their largest decrease in 30 years, while math scores had their first decrease in the history of the testing regimen behind the study, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, a branch of the U.S. Education Department.

The dramatic setbacks, which erased two decades of progress in American test scores, reflect years of upheaval for the country’s education system. Schools shut down for months at a time amid COVID-19 outbreaks. Many children spent a year or more learning from home. Virus outbreaks among staff and students continued the disruption even after kids returned to the classroom.

The declines hit all regions of the country and affected students of most races. But they were most dramatic for the country’s most vulnerable kids. Students of color saw some of the steepest decreases, widening the racial achievement gap.

Much of the nation’s standardized testing didn’t happen during the early days of the pandemic, so the findings released Thursday gave an early look at the impact of pandemic learning disruptions. Broader data is expected to be released later this year as part of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the Nation’s Report Card.

“These are some of the largest declines we have observed in a single assessment cycle in 50 years of the NAEP program,” said Daniel McGrath, the acting associate commissioner of NCES. “Students in 2022 are performing at a level last seen two decades ago.”

In math, the average score for 9-year-old students fell 7 percentage points between 2020 and 2022, according to the study. The average reading score fell 5 points.

The pandemic’s upheaval especially hurt students of color. Math scores dropped by 5 percentage points for white students, compared with 13 points for Black students and 8 points for Hispanic students. The divide between Black and white students widened by 8 percentage points during the pandemic.

Decreases were more uniform in reading: Scores dropped 6 points for white, Black and Hispanic students.

For Asian American students, Native American students and students of two or more races, there was little change in reading or math between 2020 and 2022, the study found.

The setbacks, especially among underprivileged kids, raised alarms in the education world. Denise Forte, interim CEO of the Education Trust think tank, called it “deeply disturbing.”

“Due to inequitable and unjust school systems, students who are the most underserved continue to struggle academically both before and during the pandemic,” Forte said. “Decision-makers at all levels have not done nearly enough to address the long-standing resource inequities that prohibit Black, Latino and students from low-income backgrounds from reaching their full academic potential.”

Read full article.

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Watch Prestigious NYC School Director Touts ‘Sneaking’ Her Political ‘Agenda’ into Classrooms

‘Disrupt Wherever I Can’ … ‘I Felt Like a Double Agent’ … ‘Huge Contingent’ of White Boys ‘Are Just Horrible’.


*CLICK HERE TO TWEET THE VIDEO*


Project Veritas released a second video in its newly launched Education Series today exposing a senior administrator at a prestigious New York City private school.

Jennifer Norris, who is employed by Trinity School NYC as its Director of Student Activities, was recorded admitting how her current leadership role facilitates her goal of promoting politics in the classroom.

Here are some of the highlights from today’s video:

  • Jennifer Norris, Director of Student Activities, Trinity School NYC: “I just keep trying to disrupt wherever I can. And now that I’m in this position, I have so many opportunities to do that.”
  • Norris: “I don’t hide how I feel, but I can’t pretend I’m [not] promoting an agenda even though I clearly am with all the stuff I’m doing.”
  • Norris: “There’s always groups of teachers who want to do these [activist] things, but the administration just wouldn’t let us. So, we’ve been just sneaking things in [through] the cracks.”
  • Norris: “When I first started there [at Trinity School NYC], I hid my whole life. I felt like a double agent or something.”
  • Norris: Trinity School NYC is “definitely a school where conservatives would not feel comfortable.”

You can watch the full video HERE.

This is the second educator that Project Veritas has exposed just this week.

How many more people like Jennifer Norris and Jeremy Boland are out there?

Stay tuned for more Secret Curriculum videos coming soon…


*CLICK HERE TO TWEET THE VIDEO*


RELATED VIDEO: Former KGB Agent Explains how Communist Regimes Control Your Kids

EDITORS NOTE: This Project Veritas expose is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

POLK COUNTY, FLORIDA: Citizens Defending Freedom Files Complaint RE: Pornographic/Age Inappropriate Books in Public Schools

Apparently, No law enforcement agencies in Polk County, Florida have taken any action concerning pornographic/age inappropriate books currently available in Polk County Public School Media Centers. It is difficult for me to explain their seemingly lack of concern about this issue by refusing to even conduct an investigation nor even to openly support an Opt-In option for parents.

We owe our appreciation to Polk County Citizens Defending Freedom (CCDF) and Polk Executive Director Robert Goodman for having the courage and integrity to take this action which 42 Winter Haven 912ers and 48+ County Citizens Defending Freedom members participated in. It seems very reasonable to ask for an OPT-IN policy which will require parents to actually approve access of these books to their children. We are hopeful the State DOE or other agency will weigh in on this issue.

As stated below, Lisa Miller, Sarah Fortney, Sara Beth Wyatt and Kay Fields opposed Superintendent Heid’s initial plan for an Opt-In, Opt-Out policy and convinced him to change it to only an Opt-Out policy which few parents will even know about. In evidence of this, the Aug deadline has already passed with only 42 parents of over 100,000 PCPS students completing the Opt-Out form online. So much for supporting Parent’s Rights.

Lisa Miller expressed concern below about a law suit and that the left would come after the Bible which are both faux reasons in my opinion.

Remember this when voting in General Election in Nov. and vote for Jill Sessions to replace Lisa Miller in the SB run off.

Leader of group targeting Polk school library books asks police agencies to take action

Paul Nutcher The Ledger  09/30/22

The leader of the County Citizens Defending Freedom has tried to get law enforcement, state prosecutors and lawmakers, including the governor’s office, to respond to the group’s complaint that parents should be required to opt-in to let their children checkout books the group says are offensive and harmful to students.

The district has chosen instead to maintain its opt-out policy that allows parents to restrict their students from reading any book at school libraries, but keeps the challenged books in Polk schools.

Robert Goodman followed through with his pledge at the last Polk County School Board meeting to file police reports if the district kept distributing at least 12 of 16 controversial library books the group challenged late last year.

Polk books: Polk schools superintendent defends library book policy as activist threatens to file police reports

‘Opt-out’ policy: Polk County schools switch to ‘opt-out-only’ process for restricting library books. Here’s what that means

Florida’s book bans: Which titles are being pulled from school media centers?

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office and several police departments in the county have been in contact with Goodman, the leader of the Polk County CCDF.

Goodman filed reports with Lake Alfred, Winter Haven, Haines City and the Mulberry substation of the Sheriff’s Office as well as its main office to inform law enforcement of the board policy. As of Tuesday, he had not visited the Lakeland or Bartow police departments.

When none of the law enforcement agencies took action, he cast a wider net, writing an email to Gov. Ron DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody, State Attorney Brian Haas of the 10th Judicial Circuit based in Bartow, members of the Florida legislature, county commissioners and the Polk School Board.

Goodman said Tuesday he had received a reply from at least one of the state officials but would not say who it was. None of the state officials contacted by The Ledger responded to requests for comment.

Read more.

©Royal A. Brown III. All rights reserved.

CONNECTICUT: School Hiring Discrimination Ensures ‘Subtle’ Child Indoctrination—The Secret Curriculum


*CLICK HERE TO TWEET THE VIDEO*


Project Veritas released the first video in its newly launched Education Series today exposing a senior official at a prominent public school.

Jeremy Boland, who serves as Cos Cob Elementary School’s Assistant Principal, was recorded bragging about how he oversees the hiring of teachers who will disseminate “progressive” political ideas in the classrooms.

Here are some of the highlights from today’s video:

  • Jeremy Boland, Assistant Principal of Cos Cob Elementary School: “Believe it or not, the open-minded, more progressive teachers are actually more savvy about delivering a Democratic message without really ever having to mention politics.”
  • Boland: “So, it’s subtle. They [teachers I hire] will never say, ‘Oh, this is [a] liberal or a Democratic way of doing this.’ They’ll just make that the norm — and this is how we handle things, it’s subtle…That’s how you get away with it.”
  • Boland: “The conservative [teacher], who is stuck in her ways. I’ll never be able to fire her, and I’ll never be able to change her. So, I make an impact with the next teacher I hire.”
  • Boland: “Protestants in this area [of Connecticut] are probably the most liberal. But if they’re Catholic — conservative…You don’t hire them.”
  • Boland: “If someone is raised hardcore Catholic, it’s like, they’re brainwashed — you can never change their mindset.”
  • Boland: “For one position, I think we had 30 applicants. So out of all those applicants, I don’t think I interviewed anybody over the [age] of 30…the older you get, the more set in your ways — the more conservative you get.”
  • Connecticut Law, Section 46A-60B1, specifically bars discriminatory employment practices. A violation occurs if anyone refuses to hire or employ people “because of the individual’s race, color, religious creed, age, sex, gender identity or expression.”

You can watch the full video HERE.

The question remains: how many students have been adversely affected by Boland’s hiring practices?

Further, how many schools across the country have administrators just like Boland?


*CLICK HERE TO TWEET THE VIDEO*


EDITORS NOTE: This Project Veritas exposé is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Governor Ron DeSantis on the Recommendation of a Grand Jury Removes 4 Broward County School Board Members

The gross negligence surrounding the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shootings in March 2018 was astounding including failures by the School District, the local FBI, the Broward Cowards in the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, including Sheriff Israel, and even the Administrator’s of the High School itself.

Parents of children murdered sued the School District for negligence and received $130 million after settling with the Department of Justice.

Remember that the School District had taken a large Grant from Obama/Holder called the “Promises Program” to suppress the criminal activity of minority students including the killer Cruz.  Also both the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and FBI had numerous reports on social media warning about Cruz that they failed to follow up on.  Sheriff Israel had a terrible policy in regard to response to active shootings; his Deputy stationed at the school was a coward hiding behind those policies and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Administration failed in many ways.

These terrible mass murders were preventable.

This was outlined in the Special Commission’s Report on the shootings.

Sadly, the result was a knee jerk reaction by Republicans under pressure in the Legislature to quickly drum up a Red Flag Law modeled after existing Blue State Laws which reduced the rights of law abiding gun owners.

DeSantis removes more local elected officials from office. This time, it’s school board members

Zac Anderson Tallahassee Democrat:

Gov. Ron DeSantis is removing more local elected officials from office, this time on the recommendation of a grand jury.

DeSantis announced Friday he is removing Broward County School Board members Patricia Good, Donna Korn, Ann Murray and Laurie Rich Levinson. They serve the nation’s sixth-largest school district and second-largest in Florida.

A grand jury investigating school safety issues in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County recommended that the school board members be removed. The grand jury accused the elected officials of “incompetence and neglect of duty.”

“We recommend that the Governor remove them from their elected offices,” the grand jury report states.

DeSantis immediately appointed four people to replace the suspended school board members:

  • Torey Alston, a former Broward County commissioner and president of Indelible Solutions;
  • Manual “Nandy” A. Serrano, a member of the Florida Sports Foundation Board of Directors, and CEO and Founder of Clubhouse Private Wealth;
  • Ryan Reiter, a U.S. Marine veteran and Director of Government Relations for Kaufman Lynn Construction;
  • Kevin Tynan, an attorney who previously served on the Broward County School Board and South Broward Hospital District.

©Royal A. Brown III. All rights reserved.

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Federal Court Strikes Down Biden Regime’s Transgender Medical Mandate

The demented pervert and his depraved party must be stopped. Save the children!

Federal Court Strikes Down Biden Administration’s Transgender Medical Mandate

A federal appeals court on Friday struck down a Biden administration statute that forced doctors to perform medical procedures, including gender-transition procedures, against their religious beliefs.

By: Caden Pearson, The Epoch Times, August 27, 202:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit unanimously upheld a lower court’s ruling in Franciscan Alliance v. Becerra which protected around 19,000 health care professionals in Franciscan Alliance, a Catholic health care network, from performing medical procedures against their conscience.

The lower court’s ruling had permanently prohibited the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) “from requiring Franciscan Alliance to perform gender-transition surgeries or abortions in violation of its sincerely held religious beliefs.”

Becket, the legal counsel representing Franciscan Alliance, said the court explained that permanent protection from the statute was appropriate for health care workers.

“This ruling is a major victory for conscience rights and compassionate medical care in America,” said Joseph Davis, counsel at Becket, in a statement. “Doctors cannot do their jobs and comply with the Hippocratic Oath if the government requires them to perform harmful, irreversible procedures against their conscience and medical expertise.”

The court noted that the Biden administration argued for more chances to show why it needed religious health care providers to participate in gender-transition surgeries, but that the ACLU, a co-appellant, cited a previous case that worked against their argument, according to court documents (pdf).

“For years, our clients have provided excellent medical care to all patients who need it,” Davis said. “Today’s ruling ensures that these doctors and hospitals may continue to do this critical work in accordance with their conscience and professional medical judgment.”
Mandate

The mandate was first issued six years ago as part of the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare. Becket noted that this applied to “virtually every doctor nationwide.”

Section 1557 of Obamacare prohibits health care programs that receive federal funds from discriminating against patients on the basis of sex.

In May 2016, HHS issued a rule interpreting Section 1557’s prohibition of “discrimination on the basis of sex.” It defined sex discrimination to include discrimination on the basis of “termination of pregnancy” and the disputed concept of “gender identity.”

Franciscan Alliance claimed the 2016 rule violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) by defining “sex discrimination” inconsistently with Title IX, which protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance.

This rule was swiftly challenged by nine states and a group of religious organizations and received protection from federal courts in North Dakota and in Texas.

Franciscan Alliance also claimed that the 2016 rule violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) by forcing it to perform abortions and gender-reassignment surgeries inconsistent with its sincerely held religious beliefs.

Becket says on its website that the Biden administration and the ACLU were “dissatisfied with not being able to force religious health care providers to violate their faith” and appealed the decision back to the Fifth Circuit.

The Biden administration has been accused of weaponizing Title IX to push “woke insanity” on Americans.

AUTHOR

EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

A Tale of Two American Women: Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton and Feminist Betty Friedan

This is a tale of two very American women who had a great and lasting impact on America and its women.


Their stories are similar in that they both embraced their faith in God.

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seaton was a Catholic and Betty Friedan was Jewish.

It is important to understand both of these women to grasp what it means to be a real woman.

Sadly, today far to many refuse to even define the term “woman”, including recently appointed Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who is a woman.

The two women we are presenting are real American women.

Both dealt with family versus working issues. Both faced challenges that cut to the core of their womanhood, personal strength and faith. Both were mothers and wives.

Both were uniquely successful in their work to further women’s rights and act to better women in general.

Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton

Catholic Online has this biography of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seaton, the first American woman to be canonized by the Catholic Church. Catholic Online wrote this about Saint Elizabeth,

Born two years before the American Revolution, Elizabeth grew up in the upper class of New York society. She was a prolific reader, and read everything from the Bible to contemporary novels.

In spite of her high society background, Elizabeth’s early life was quiet, simple, and often lonely. As she grew a little older, the Bible was to become her continual instruction, support and comfort -and she would continue to love the Scriptures for the rest of her life.

In 1794, Elizabeth married the wealthy young William Seton, with whom she was deeply in love. The first years of their marriage were happy and prosperous. Elizabeth wrote in her diary at first autumn, “My own home at twenty-the world-that and heaven too-quite impossible.”

This time of Elizabeth’s life was to be a brief moment of earthly happiness before the many deaths and partings she was to suffer. Within four years, William’s father died, leaving the young couple in charge of William’s seven half brothers and sisters, as well as the family’s importing business.

Events moved quickly from there with devastating effect. Both William’s business and health failed. He was finally forced to file a petition of bankruptcy and, in a final attempt to save William’s health, the Setons sailed for Italy, where William had business friends.

Unfortunately, William died of tuberculosis while in Italy. Elizabeth’s one consolation was that he had recently awakened to the things of God.

The many enforced separations from dear ones by death and distance served to draw Elizabeth’s heart to God and eternity. The accepting and embracing of God’s will – “The Will,” as she called it – would be a keynote in her spiritual life.

Elizabeth’s deep concern for the spiritual welfare of her family and friends eventually led her into the Catholic Church.

In Italy, Elizabeth captivated everyone by her kindness, patience, good sense, wit, and courtesy. During this time Elizabeth became interested in the Catholic Faith and, over a period of months, her Italian friends guided her in Catholic instruction.

Elizabeth’s desire for the Bread of Life was to be a strong force leading her to the Catholic Church.

Having lost her mother at an early age, Elizabeth felt great comfort in the idea that the Blessed Virgin was truly her mother. She asked the Blessed Virgin to guide her to the True Faith and officially joined the Catholic Church in 1805.

At the suggestion of the president of St. Mary’s College in Baltimore, Maryland, Elizabeth started a school in that city. The school had originally been secular but once news of her entrance to Catholicism spread, several girls were removed from her school. It was then Seton, and two other young women who helped her in her work, began plans for a Sisterhood. They established the first free Catholic school in America. When the young community adopted their rule, they made provisions for Elizabeth to continue raising her children.

On March 25, 1809, Elizabeth Seton pronounced her vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, binding for one year. From that time she was called Mother Seton.

Although Mother Seton became afflicted with tuberculosis, she continued to guide her children. The Rule of the Sisterhood was formally ratified in 1812. It was based upon the Rule St. Vincent de Paul had written for his Daughters of Charity in France. By 1818, in addition to their first school, the sisters had established two orphanages and another school. Today, six groups of sisters can trace their origins to Mother Seton’s initial foundation.

Seton’s favorite prayer was the 23rd Psalm and she developed a deep devotion to the Eucharist, Sacred Scripture, and the Virgin Mary.

For the last three years of her life, Elizabeth felt that God was getting ready to call her, and this gave her great joy. Mother Seton died in 1821 at the age of 46, only sixteen years after becoming a Catholic. She was beatified by Pope John XXIII on March 17, 1963 and was canonized on September 14, 1975 by Pope Paul VI.

Feminist Betty Friedan

According to the Jewish Women’s Archives, Betty Friedan, 1921 – 2006, was a writer, activist, and pioneer in the American Feminist Movement. Joyce Antler writes this about Friedan,

If there was any one woman who could be called the mother of feminism, it was Betty Friedan. Though “second-wave” feminism was a collective endeavor that had many founders, Friedan was the spark plug whose furious indictment of “the problem that had no name”—the false consciousness of “happy housewifery”—set off a revolution more potent than many of the other social and cultural upheavals of the 1960s. The impact of this social movement is still being felt around the world.

[ … ]

“Was the feminine mystique” a mistake, she was asked; at that point in her life, worrying whether her daughter in medical school could combine her future career with motherhood, she felt it might have been. Some feminists accused Friedan of abandoning the feminist vision she had done so much to promulgate, but she argued in new work, like The Second Stage, that her vision required the participation of men and needed to incorporate the desires of women for family as well as work. Though the issue of career-vs. stay-at-home motherhood has been framed in more complex fashion by economists, sociologists, and others who look carefully at workplace inequities as well as unequal burdens of parenting, the dilemma Friedan raised as she acknowledged her “mistake” remains deeply relevant to contemporary women.

Friedan admitted that she made another mistake in regard to her Jewish identity. Early in life, she rejected religion almost entirely, but feminism brought her back to reclaim her Jewish roots and she did so proudly.

It is time to look back and remember what French lawyer Alexis de Tocqueville wrote in his opus work Democracy in America about American women,

“[N]ow that I am drawing to the close of this work, in which I have spoken of so many important things done by the Americans, to what the singular prosperity and growing strength of that people ought mainly to be attributed, I should reply: To the superiority of their women.

Neither Elizabeth or Betty cared about being politically correct and they certainly didn’t give a hoot about offending someone by not using their personal pronouns. They didn’t care about the color of a woman’s skin, they focused of the content of the woman’s character and the well being of every woman.

These were women making a mark on our culture, society and American persona. They were of the gender female (XX) and everyone who knew them respected them for their intellects, audacity, faith and devotion to the God of Abraham.

It is time to restore women to their proper roles in America, that of the creators of our next generations of Americans and the mothers of our nation.

Our uniquely American women in whose hands truly lays the future of our Constitutional Republic.

©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.

D.C. Mayor: All Students Must Get Vaxxed, Unvaxxed Students Banned from Virtual Instruction, including 40% of Black Students

This is a crime against humanity. If this mayor was white, they’d be vilified as a vile Klansmen.

D.C. Mayor says unvaccinated students will have no virtual instruction, leaving out 40% of black students

By: Carlos Garcia, The Blaze, August 25, 2022:

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, confirmed Thursday that there were no virtual instruction options for unvaccinated students which would leave about 40% of black students without any schooling at all.

Bowser was speaking to reporters in a media briefing when she made the comments.

“They can go to school on Monday. But they need to get their vaccinations,” she said, “and their families will be alerted as to the dates.”

When pressed about online instruction being available to unvaccinated students, Bowser admitted there would be no such opportunity.

“We’re not offering remote learning for children, and families will need to comply with what is necessary to come to school,” said Bowser.

Bowser had been previously confronted by a reporter about the large numbers of black students who remain unvaccinated, and she claimed that the numbers were inaccurate.

“Around 40% of black students in the district are unvaccinated and, therefore, under the district’s current policy regarding schools, will be unable to attend school,” said Daily Signal reporter Douglas Blair. “Why is the district continuing with this policy when it seems to disproportionately impact black students?”

“I don’t think that number is correct,” replied the mayor. “We have substantially fewer number of kids that we have to engage with vaccination. And I explained why it’s important. It’s important for the public health of our students and that we can maintain safe environments.”

However, those statistics came directly from Bowser’s office.

Earlier in August, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased the social distancing guidance for schools by saying that children exposed to the virus no longer had to test positive before returning to in-person instruction. They also said that they would no longer recommend schools avoid mixing groups of children.

Keep reading……

AUTHOR

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EDITORS NOTE: This Geller Report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Teachers Union President Defends School District That Will Lay Off White Teachers First

American Federation of Teachers (AFT) president Randi Weingarten defended a contract between Minneapolis Public Schools and the union which will fire white teachers over minority teachers.

The March contract between Minneapolis Public Schools and the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers (MFT) includes a deal that fires teachers who are not a part of underrepresented populations first, instead of basing termination on seniority. Weingarten tweeted an article by the Associated Press with a quote from Greta Callahan, the president of the teachers chapter of Minneapolis Federation of Teachers.

“This,” Weingarten tweeted, followed by a quote from Callahan.

“The same people who want to take down teachers unions and blame seniority are now defending it for white people. This is all made up by the right wing now,” Callahan said.

Callahan said that the new contract does not threaten any job because there are vacancies in the school district, according to the AP. She also added that the contract will help account for the minority teachers who have quit in the past few years.

The contract that ended a 14-day union strike keeps minority teachers “exempted from district-wide layoff[s] outside seniority order.” The new policy is intended to reverse “past discrimination” due to “disproportionate hiring.”

Weingarten, AFT, MFT and Minneapolis Public Schools did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

AUTHOR

REAGAN REESE

Contributor.

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Biden’s Student Loan Dilemma and the Political Business Cycle

Political incentives shape policy decisions, which is why the freeze on student loan payments is unlikely to be rescinded without some forgiveness this close to midterms.


The White House recently announced that President Biden’s decision on whether to continue the freeze on student loan payments would come sometime in the next week.

“We’ve been talking daily about this and I can tell you that the American people will hear within the next week or so,” Education Secretary Miguel Cardona told Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press” on Sunday.

The payment freeze is set to expire at the end of the month, which means payments will resume in September if no new action is taken.

The freeze on payments was initially put in place by President Trump during the Covid-19 lockdowns. However, the freeze has been extended for the last two years. This is perplexing given that the lockdowns, which were used as justification for the policy, are no longer in place.

What’s more, each month payments and interest are frozen, the government gives up revenue which could be used to pay for spending. Without this revenue, the government must take on more debt, which will ultimately be paid for by taxpayers in the future.

The downsides of the freeze are leading many, including former Clinton Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, to call for the payment freeze to finally end.

Summers, along with 59 percent of Americans, are worried that a move to forgive these paused loans will lead to more inflation. While most people recognize that indefinitely suspending payments makes for an unsuccessful loan program, ending the freeze on payments will be difficult for Biden.

To see why, consider the incentives at hand.

First, we should think about who is benefitting from the student loan freeze. This is the easy part. Around 45 million Americans have outstanding Federal Student loans.

Those with the largest student loans are saving the most in payments and frozen interest each month. For these borrowers, the benefit of keeping their money each month is what they lose if the freeze is allowed to expire. When this happens many of these borrowers will resume paying thousands of dollars a year.

On the other hand, who would benefit from the resumption of student loan payments? In short, taxpayers—present and future. (As previously explained, Taxpayers foot the bill for paused student loan payments.)

This is a problem, because the benefits to all taxpayers present and future are much harder to see. It will be clear to borrowers when their payments resume. It won’t be as clear to taxpayers when their taxes don’t increase as much 10, 20, or 30 years in the future because the payments were allowed to continue.

This is a textbook example of what economists would call a situation of concentrated benefits and dispersed costs.

Because the benefits of the student loan freeze are clear and concentrated, there is a comparatively large incentive to defend them. The incentive by the taxpayers who foot the bill is weaker because the costs they experience are vague and far from immediate.

The logic of concentrated benefits and dispersed costs creates an incentive for politicians. As elections (such as the upcoming midterm elections in November) approach, politicians who want to get re-elected must convince voters and donors that voting and donating are in their best interests.

So politicians promise groups of voters and special interest groups taxpayer dollars or special privileges, which is what prompted twentieth century journalist H.L. Mencken to quip that “[e]very election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.”

So long as the benefits promised to these groups are clear and present, and the costs to others are vague and far-off, the politician can improve electoral outcomes by promoting these kinds of policies.

In fact, these institutional incentives are so systemic that some theorize that the economy will appear to boom near elections. As politicians work to provide benefits and kick the costs down the road into the future, the present economy may improve at the expense of the future.

This isn’t real economic improvement, of course, as the seeming growth comes at the cost of lower future growth. But, nonetheless, it may appear like the economy booms before elections for this reason.

The name of this theory is the political business cycle theory. And although it by no means explains every economic boom and bust, it certainly appears to be true in some fundamental sense—and it creates difficult decisions for politicians.

Biden’s decision with student loans is a case in point. If the president allows the student loan freeze to expire, it’s possible he’ll alienate progressive voters prior to the midterms. This would spell doom for Biden’s ability to get things done in the last two years of his term.

As a result, I’d be surprised if Biden allowed the freeze to expire at this point without some sort of bribe to borrowers. In this case, the bribe would likely take the form of some amount of student loan forgiveness.

By delaying payments or forgiving some amount of student loans, Biden may be able to improve the economic fortunes of some, leading to a small “boom.” But like any manufactured boom, the day of reckoning will eventually come.

If Biden takes this road, the political business cycle is alive and well.

So, while many recognize the payment freeze has overstayed its welcome (not that it was welcome in the first place), I think it’s unlikely Biden will rescind it without some forgiveness option this close to midterms.

Politicians have incentives to bribe voters and interest groups insofar as it helps their chances at elections, and Biden is no different. But, I’d be happy to be wrong here.

AUTHOR

Peter Jacobsen

Peter Jacobsen teaches economics and holds the position of Gwartney Professor of Economics. He received his graduate education George Mason University. His research interest is at the intersection of political economy, development economics, and population economics.

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EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

The Comeback of God in Some Texas Schools?

Is God making a comeback in some of the public schools of Texas? A news item last week gives a glimmer of hope that it may be so.

60 years ago this summer, the Supreme Court effectively banished God from the public schools. They did this in the first anti-school prayer case.

On June 17, 1962, in Engel v. Vitale, the Supreme Court ruled this harmless prayer as supposedly being unconstitutional: “Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessing upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country.”

At that time, only one Supreme Court Justice, Potter Steward, dissented. He said: “I think this decision is wrong….[I don’t see how] an official religion is established by letting those who want to say a prayer to say it.”

Stewart pointed out that even the Supreme Court opens with a type of invocation: “God save the United States and this honorable Court.” He also quoted a decision from the 1950s, Zorach v. Clauson, in which the Supreme Court declared, “We are a religious people whose institutions presuppose a Supreme Being.”

As the executive director of Providence Forum, I have been working on a series of films called the Foundation of American Liberty, which is our nation’s Judeo-Christian roots.  I was privileged to interview Dennis Prager, founder of PragerU, for these documentaries.

Prager told our viewers, “The Supreme Court changed America… with the 1962 decision that prayer in school was unconstitutional. That was the decision that began the end of America as we knew it….And as I often point out, within one generation, kids went from blessing their teachers to cursing their teachers.”

And then came school shootings. Liberty Counsel’s Mat Staver observes, “We should not be surprised when we see violence and suicides in public schools.…because once we have removed transcendent moral principles… then we see the destructive behavior that we, unfortunately, experience today.”

But perhaps God is making a comeback, even in some public schools in Texas. There is a new “In God We Trust” law.

The Texas Tribune notes (8/18/22):  “The ‘In God We Trust’ law was authored by state Sen. Bryan Hughes….Texas public schools or colleges must display the national motto in a ‘conspicuous place’ but only if the poster is ‘donated’ or ‘purchased by private donations.’”

Hughes spoke to the Northwest Austin Republican Women’s Club last week and tweeted, “The national motto, In God We Trust, asserts our collective trust in a sovereign God…I’m encouraged to see groups like the Northwest [Austin] Republican Women and many individuals coming forward to donate these framed prints to remind future generations of the national motto.”

The motto is derived from the last stanza of Francis Scott Key’s Star-Spangled Banner (our national anthem), written in 1814 when the British unsuccessfully tried to invade Baltimore. It says: “Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation! / Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, / And this be our motto – “In God is our trust.”

During the Civil War, the Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase directed his department that: “No nation can be strong except in the strength of God or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins. You will cause a device to be prepared without unnecessary delay with a motto expressing in the fewest and tersest words possible this national recognition.”

On March 3, 1865, the U. S. Congress agreed with Secretary Chase’s suggestion to have our coins inscribed with the motto, “In God We Trust.”

In fact, the last official act that President Lincoln signed into law before he was killed was this one—that our coins would say “In God We Trust.”

It would not be until the 1950s that these words would then grace our paper money.

And in 1956, during the height of the Communist threat, which was atheistic to the core, our national government adopted “In God We Trust” as our national motto. It still is to this day.

But why does this matter? God is not a magic panacea. But people live differently when they recognize that the Almighty will hold us all accountable.

I read recently about a robber who held up the great preacher John Wesley 200 years ago. Wesley gave him his money, paltry as it was, but he also sowed seeds in the man’s heart to turn his life over to Christ. Eventually, the thief did and, by God’s grace, made something of his life.

We took God out of our schools and reaped chaos, but perhaps now we can restore Him to His rightful place and bring peace. This Texas law seems to be a step in their right direction.

©Jerry Newcombe. All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Unmaking of American History by the Woke Mob

Taxpayer Lawsuit Filed over Racially Discriminatory Minneapolis Teachers’ Contract

(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today it filed a lawsuit on behalf of a Minneapolis taxpayer over a teachers’ contract that provides discriminatory job protections to certain racial minorities. The lawsuit was filed against the superintendent of the Minneapolis Public Schools, the Minneapolis Public Schools, and the Minneapolis Board of Education for violating the Equal Protection Guarantee of the Minnesota Constitution (Clapp v Cox et al. (No. 27-CV-22-12454))

The controversial contract was agreed to in March 2022 to end a 14-day teacher strike. The Minneapolis Federation of Teachers ratified the contract shortly after the agreement was reached. The Minneapolis Board of Education ratified it in May of this year.

The Judicial Watch lawsuit states:

Among other things, the contract provides preferences, protections, and privileges for MPS teachers of certain races and ethnicities under a section entitled “ARTICLE 15. PROTECTIONS FOR EDUCATORS OF COLOR.” There is no similar provision covering educators who are not “of color.”

Under the contract, teachers of color are exempt from Defendant MPS’s seniority-based layoffs and reassignments, which means, when layoffs or reassignments occur, the next senior teacher who is not “of color” would be laid off or reassigned. In addition, the contract mandates that Defendants reinstate teachers of color over more senior teachers who are not “of color.”

Upon information and belief, prior to the contract, teachers were laid off or reassigned in order of seniority, with the least senior teachers laid off or reassigned first, without regard to race or ethnicity. Similarly, teachers were reinstated in order of seniority, with the more senior teachers reinstated first, without regard to race or ethnicity.

Article 15’s preferences, protections, and privileges for certain public-school teachers on the basis of race and ethnicity violates Minnesota’s Equal Protection Guarantee, which states that “no member of this state shall be disenfranchised or deprived of any of the rights or privileges secured to any citizen thereof, unless by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers.” Minn. Const. art. 1, § 2. The Equal Protection Guarantee is analyzed under the same principles and mandate as the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

The lawsuit asks the court to enter a judgement that will declare that all actions taken to implement the racial and ethnic preference provisions of Article 15 of the contract to be illegal. They are also asking that the court declare it illegal to use any taxpayer dollars to implement these provisions of the contract, and the defendants be prohibited from taking any actions to implement these racial and ethnic provisions.

“It is incredible that in this day and age a school system would engage in blatant racial discrimination in employing teachers,” stated Judicial Watch Tom Fitton. “The courts can’t move soon enough to shut down this extreme leftist attack on the bedrock constitutional principle that no one can be denied equal treatment under law on account of race.”

Judicial Watch is being assisted in the lawsuit by Daniel N. Rosen of Rosen LLC in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

In a separate case, the city of Asheville, NC, in January 2022 settled a Judicial Watch federal civil rights lawsuit after agreeing to remove all racially discriminatory provisions in a city-funded scholarship program. Additionally, the city also agreed to remove racially discriminatory eligibility provisions in a related program that provides grants to educators.

In May 2022, Judicial Watch won a court battle against California’s gender quota law for corporate boards. The verdict came after a 28-day trial. The verdict followed a similar ruling in Judicial Watch’s favor in April finding California’s diversity mandate for corporate boards unconstitutional.

RELATED ARTICLE: Teachers Union President Defends School District That Will Lay Off White Teachers First

EDITORS NOTE: This Judicial Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Equity: Nice Smile, Teeth of Iron

The Minneapolis Public Schools and school board just got sued over a teacher contract exempting minority teachers from seniority-based layoffs and favoring them in reinstatement.  The lawsuit cites the Equal Protection clause of the Minnesota state constitution which is analyzed the same way as the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The teacher contract is a perfect summary of the shift in civil rights thinking from ‘equality’ to ‘equity’.  Under equality, an objective standard like seniority would generally carry the day. But under ‘equity’, disadvantaged groups always win, objective standards be damned, no matter who gets hurt in the process.  This is basically communist thinking.  Declare certain groups to be class enemies who always lose, henceforth, and other groups who automatically win, regardless of the merits of the case.  Under Lenin, the Soviet Union confiscated houses from class enemies and gave them to the hero worker class.  Maybe you like that idea, but Lenin also killed peasant land owners by the thousands just because they were land owners, class enemies.  If you can’t see the injustice in that, you are very far gone and there’s no hope for you.   Lenin called them bloodsuckers, vampires, and plunderers.  Today, class enemies are called racists, bigots, and homophobes in a similar effort to justify injustice.

Hopefully, you can see the shift in civil rights thinking to ‘equity’ is poisonous and manifestly unjust.  The lawsuit against Minneapolis schools is new, so we’ll have to wait awhile to see what happens, but Judicial Watch – the group that brought the suit – has prevailed in Equal Protection cases in the past.  Asheville, North Carolina settled one case by removing racial favoritism from scholarships and teacher grants.  Judicial Watch also won in California, knocking down gender quotas for corporate boards.

I’ve commented on other situations where the poisonous diversity narrative ran smack-dab into Equal Protection principles.  Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot only gave interviews to “black and brown” journalists and doubled down when criticized, but eventually backed down entirely.  A U.S. civil rights official warned two colleges that segregated graduation ceremonies for Black, LGBTQ, and other minority students violate federal anti-discrimination laws.  A Texas law requiring out-of-state students to pay higher tuition than illegal aliens was knocked down.  But justice doesn’t always prevail in these situations.  Utah public health officials were warned dispensing COVID drugs based on race was illegal, but did it anyway with the Biden administration cheering them on.

Other instances where equality under law is threatened have come up, recently.  Another watchdog group that opposes “radical, divisive, and discriminatory ideology” in healthcare brought a civil rights complaint against the Emory University med school for granting scholarships to students who “self-identify as an under-represented minority.”

The American Bar Association abandoned a plan to yank accreditations from law schools that failed to boost enrollment of ‘underrepresented groups’ to the ABA’s satisfaction, that is, schools that failed to meet the ABA’s totally subjective diversity standards.

A New Jersey parent took dead aim at the Woke policies at her son’s school and sued the school for creating a hostile environment for whites with its programs to indoctrinate students about institutional racism and white privilege.  The suit argues such indoctrination is straight out of totalitarian reeducation camps, which reinforces my point about all of this going back to communist thinking.

Unfortunately, the Biden administration is institutionalizing racism, racial payback, and so-called ‘equity’ in every corner of the government.  It is favoring racial and LGBT groups with quotas and other goodies in contracts, grants, benefits, hiring, apprenticeships, and in a dozen other ways, regardless of individual qualification or merit.  All this is being done on the sly to avoid legal challenges.

Whatever you call this, you can’t call it equal protection of the laws.  Class enemies everywhere, beware, Lenin lives.  Kill the Kulaks!  But before you sign up to pull the trigger, you should know Lenin had to reverse himself and let peasants own land again after communism wrecked the economy.  Poisonous policies have a way of self-destructing, so can we get through the Wokism phase quickly, please?  We need to get back to the thinking that made the Civil Rights Era great – true equality before the law – before civil rights thinking went off the rails.

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©Christopher Wright. All rights reserved.