Archive for the ‘Academia’ Category

“Do It for the Kids”
By Ramblin’ Rose

That statement alone triggers such emotional reactions that sensible people often lose all sense of reason, especially in the current panic and mania of youth worldwide. This world is full of conservationists (or “good stewards” in Biblical terms), but their statements are not heard because they do not label themselves environmentalists.

Hundreds of thousands of youth around the world left classes to protest “climate change” on September 20, 2019, and activists, including their acclaimed leader Greta Thunberg from Sweden. Thunberg and some 700 youth activists continued the protest at the United Nations on Saturday, complete with demands for financial commitments and threats against the leaders if their agenda is not met. Komal Karishma Kumar from Fuji told UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, “we will hold you accountable, and if you do not, remember we will mobilize to vote you out.” (Intimidation strategy from indoctrination—learned from adults or inherent in human DNA?)

Let’s try to follow this historically and logically.

First, what is the difference between weather and climate? According to the NASA:
“The difference between weather and climate is a measure of time. Weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere “behaves” over relatively long periods of time.
“Weather is basically the way the atmosphere is behaving, mainly with respect to its effects upon life and human activities. The difference between weather and climate is that weather consists of the short-term (minutes to months) changes in the atmosphere. Most people think of weather in terms of temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, brightness, visibility, wind, and atmospheric pressure, as in high and low pressure.
“In short, climate is the description of the long-term pattern of weather in a particular area.” [Editorial question: If climate relates to a long-term pattern of weather in a particular area, how can the environmentalists call it global?]
“Some scientists define climate as the average weather for a particular region and time period, usually taken over 30-years. It’s really an average pattern of weather for a particular region.” [Another question: Did the study of climate change only begin in 1989?]

NO!! NASA attributes interest in the topic to Thomas Jefferson in the late 1700s.

In mid-September, Breitbart published a chronology of the sensational predictions about ice ages, global warming, climate change. Please remember the definitions above—a particular area for a period of 30 years:

  1. 1967: Dire Famine Forecast By 1975.
  2. 1969: Everyone Will Disappear in a Cloud of Blue Steam By 1989 (1969)
  3. 1970: Ice Age By 2000
  4. 1970: America Subject to Water Rationing By 1974 and Food Rationing By 1980
  5. 1971: New Ice Age Coming By 2020 or 2030
  6. 1972: New Ice Age By 2070
  7. 1974: Space Satellites Show New Ice Age Coming Fast
  8. 1974: Another Ice Age?
  9. 1974: Ozone Depletion a ‘Great Peril to Life
  10. 1976: Scientific Consensus Planet Cooling, Famines imminent
  11. 1980: Acid Rain Kills Life in Lakes
  12. 1978: No End in Sight to 30-Year Cooling Trend
  13. 1988: Regional Droughts (that never happened) in 1990s
  14. 1988: Temperatures in DC Will Hit Record Highs
  15. 1988: Maldives Islands will Be Underwater by 2018 (they’re not)
  16. 1989: Rising Sea Levels Will Obliterate Nations if Nothing Done by 2000
  17. 1989: New York City’s West Side Highway Underwater by 2019 (it’s not)
  18. 2000: Children Won’t Know What Snow Is
  19. 2002: Famine In 10 Years If We Don’t Give Up Eating Fish, Meat, and Dairy
  20. 2004: Britain will Be Siberia by 2024
  21. 2008: Arctic will Be Ice Free by 2018
  22. 2008: Climate Genius Al Gore Predicts Ice-Free Arctic by 2013
  23. 2009: Climate Genius Prince Charles Says we Have 96 Months to Save World
  24. 2009: UK Prime Minister Says 50 Days to ‘Save The Planet from Catastrophe’
  25. 2009: Climate Genius Al Gore Moves 2013 Prediction of Ice-Free Arctic to 2014
  26. 2013: Arctic Ice-Free by 2015
  27. 2014: Only 500 Days Before ‘Climate Chaos’
  28. 1968: Overpopulation Will Spread Worldwide
  29. 1970: World Will Use Up All its Natural Resources
  30. 1966: Oil Gone in Ten Years
  31. 1972: Oil Depleted in 20 Years
  32. 1977: Department of Energy Says Oil Will Peak in 90s
  33. 1980: Peak Oil In 2000
  34. 1996: Peak Oil in 2020
  35. 2002: Peak Oil in 2010
  36. 2006: Super Hurricanes!
  37. 2005: Manhattan Underwater by 2015
  38. 1970: Urban Citizens Will Require Gas Masks by 1985
  39. 1970: Nitrogen buildup Will Make All Land Unusable
  40. 1970: Decaying Pollution Will Kill all the Fish
  41. 1970s: Killer Bees!”

It appears that the dates listed cover more than 30 years and no particular area is listed in all 41 articles. Hmmm.

This link provides photocopies of many of the predictions when published, all filled with doom and gloom and not a single prediction came to fruition. There is certainly a divide between the environmentalists and the skeptics. Both sides agree that it is probably driven by financial greed and politicians seeking fame, fortune and power at a global level. However, the guilty parties are distinct for each side.

On the “green” side, we read: “Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, or IPBES, which contends nature “is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely.”

While on the other side that notes the lengthy list of failed predictions, we read:

“Scientist Art Robinson’s The Petition Project gathered the signatures of 31,487 scientists who agree that there is ‘no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.'”

Al Gore still maintains that 99%+ of the scientists agree with him about the urgency of dealing with “an ice age,” and later it was “global warming” that transformed itself into “climate change.” [the power of linguists to transform scientific issues to fit the current set of selected data]

Many of the 2020 presidential candidates on the extreme left have embraced some very radical solutions to addressing this issue: having no children (and the birth rate is drastically lower across the world—and then abortion lowers the numbers even more), cannibalism, elimination of all fossil fuels. How do those politicians expect to travel or transport goods? Or will they have an exemption for personal travel in private jets? How will the environmentalists deal with the toxic/hazardous wastes in solar panels as they fail/break/deteriorate/age? How can the environmentalists justify solar panels that create 300 times more waste per energy unit than nuclear energy?

After the recent hurricane Dorian and the massive devastation that it caused, how did it rank among the deadliest hurricanes in US history?
These are the five deadliest hurricanes in American history:

  1. The Great Galveston Storm (1900) The deadliest storm in American history, the Galveston hurricane killed 8,000 to 12,000 people.
  2. Hurricane Maria (2017)
  3. The Okeechobee Hurricane (1928)
  4. Hurricane Katrina (2005)
  5. The Chenière Caminada Hurricane (1893)

Dorian did not make the list. Notice that only two occurred within the last 30 years. That magic 30-year window for climate change was not met with historical data and the scientific guidelines. However, the media acted as if Dorian was the ultimate proof positive of climate change caused by humans, portending the apocalypse of the world. Hurricanes have ravaged the USA long before fossil fuels were ever used for transportation or industry.

A similar claim could be made to refute the alarms and panic about the eruptions of volcanoes. They are not a novelty after the globalists claims of the last 60 years. What about some of the startling predictions?

In early May of this year, an IPBES from the UN predicted the potential loss of 1 million species since the extinction rate has accelerated in the last 10 million years. This is not the first prediction for the loss of species. In fact, in 1970, S. Dillon Ripley of the Smithsonian Institution predicted a loss of 75%-80% of all animal species before 1995. It did not happen. In 1979, Norman Myers, a biologist at Oxford University, predicted a loss of 25% of all species by 2000. It did not happen.

Some people are holding funerals for the glaciers that are disappearing. Swiss dressed in mourning black held a funeral complete with speeches and a wreath-laying ceremony for The Pizol in the Glarus Alps of northeastern Switzerland. Ironically, according to Matthias Huss, a glaciologist, since 1850, more than 500 glaciers have disappeared in Switzerland. Iceland also held a funeral for a lost glacier in August, 2019.

But, in 2016, a NASA study reported that 90% of the world’s glaciers are growing. The Danish Meteorological Institute (DMI) reported that since 2010, the sea ice areas of the Arctic have been growing. Despite the evidence of greater ice masses, since 2017, at least six polar research ships have had to abandon their expeditions at both poles due to thick ice impeding their travel. Some call this stupidity—repeating the same practice with different results expected. Others would call it Karma.

Apparently, the data have not been able to provide a definitive answer for scientists and glaciologists. Lunacy does seem to be an apropos term to describe the manifestations of 21st century alarmists. Let’s concern a couple of examples.

In mid-September of this year, an allegedly Christian seminary, the Union Theological Seminary, held a chapel service for Christians to confess their climate sins to plants. The hysteria of paganism and syncretism has entered religious institutions, calling traditional Christian theology “deplorable.” Even Pope Francis instructed the masses to “obey the United Nations.” The UN’s adherence to the climate change agenda is celebrated in late September in New York.

At Creation, God (Genesis 1:28) directed mankind to dominate the world and all that He created. “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Good stewards believe that God created everything for good and as elements for mankind to employ in daily life. That would also include fossil fuels. Recently, the alarmists held a protest in Washington, D.C. While the protestors may consider their event successful, just consider how ridiculous it was to cause gridlock and increased carbon emissions.

Another progressive environmentalist solution is to “Don’t eat cows; Eat the Rich!” Yes, cannibalism is part of the green deal’s remedy for climate change. Yet, at the Iowa Polk County Steak Fry in mid-September, 17 Democrat presidential candidates grilled 10,500 steaks/burgers and 1000 vegan burgers.

At the UN, Greta Thunberg and 15 kids filed a lawsuit against 5 countries (Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, and Turkey) for excessive carbon emissions. They did not include China in the lawsuit even though China is responsible for approximately a third of the carbon emissions in the world. These young people are telling the world leaders that they are more informed than scientists and world leaders and that they will hold the world leaders accountable for their future. It is more likely that they have been indoctrinated more than educated about nature.

I agree. “Instead of frightening young people with alarmist hyperbole that the world is ending, it would be better to offer them something truly constructive, such as an education.” If their interest in the future is genuine, then an informed mentor and classroom teacher could provide the accurate information—even from both extremes—and allow these kids to study and investigate and search for a real answer for becoming good stewards of the world instead of making unfounded claims and outrageous threats for actions that do not fit into their prescription for curing all the ills of the world through taxation and restriction of thought.

If the concerns were really about climate change and pollution, the countries under attack would be China, Mongolia, Botswana, Russia, Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Pakistan, Iran, Kuwait, and the UAE because they are the nations that are producing the man-made pollution. However, the activists are attacking the USA. The goal is to destroy this civilization and turn all control over to the globalists. The real story is about politics, power, control, social engineering, lies and deceit.

God help us all!

God help the young to learn and to not fall as innocent victims to the lies of those who seek to destroy those who seek to follow God’s commands to care for His Creation and know that they will be accountable to Him alone at the End of Time.

Friday night on Almanac, Larry Jacobs of the U of M’s Center for the Study of Politics and Governance in the Hubert H. Humphrey School was interviewed about the impeachment process. Early in the interview, Jacobs said that “these folks are new to the process. We’ve already seen Congressman Schiff make some mistakes. Washington Post already called him out for a Pinocchio because he wasn’t fully forthcoming about his relationships and his conversations with the whistleblower.”

Adam Schiff didn’t lie because he was “new to the process.” Schiff lied because he’s a dishonest political hack. Further, that isn’t the only lie Rep. Schiff told. His opening statement at the Maguire hearing was a complete fabrication. Why Speaker Pelosi picked Schiff to be her point person on this is puzzling.

Later, Jacobs said that we’ll start seeing subpoenas getting sent out to the White House. That’s wrong, too, because they aren’t considered by judges to be subpoenas until you have a vote of the Committee of the Whole, which is as it sounds. That’s where all 435 representatives vote, in this case to open an impeachment inquiry. Because Ms. Pelosi hasn’t held that vote, we don’t have an official inquiry.

That’s an important distinction because courts look at those so-called subpoenas as “requests for information” if they aren’t issued for “legislative purposes.” It’s an issue of separation of powers. If Congress wants to impeach a president, then it’s given limited law enforcement authorities. Otherwise, their subpoenas must be done for legislative purposes.

Later in the interview, Jacobs said “These are sacred values and law. The president has been, both openly and behind the scenes, talking to foreign powers about contributing to his domestic political campaign.” That’s false. Further, Jacobs doesn’t have proof that verifies his allegations. At the top of page 3 of the Trump-Zelensky phone call transcript, President Trump said “I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike — I guess you have one of your weal thy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation.”

There’s no way that can be construed as President Trump asking foreign powers to contribute to his re-election campaign. This can’t be construed that way either:

The other thing, there’s a lot talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it — It sounds horrible to me.

You’d have to find a thoroughly liberal judge to rule that as a campaign finance violation. I’m talking about a judge to the left of the judges on the Ninth Circuit. I don’t know if such a critter exists. But I digress.

Let’s stipulate for this conversation that it is a campaign finance violation. Even if that’s true, that’s usually handled by the candidate writing a check to the FEC. I’ve yet to see that type of dispute resolved through impeachment.

It’s indisputable that Richard Nixon would’ve been impeached and convicted if he hadn’t resigned his office. Kenneth Starr cited multiple felonies that he accused Bill Clinton of committing. In the end, Clinton surrendered his Arkansas law license and pay the plaintiff almost $1,000,000. Both of those impeachment inquiries started by investigating charged crimes.

Can Professor Jacobs seriously insist that the Trump impeachment semi-inquiry is even close in terms of a constitutional crisis as Nixon telling staff to destroy documents and wiretap phone conversations without a warrant? That’s what a legitimate constitutional crisis looks like. What’s happening now is a farce. To mention the 2 things together is silly.

It’s difficult figuring out whether DFL operative Mark Jaede, who moonlights as a non-teaching professor at St. Cloud State when he isn’t an activist, is dishonest or if he’s just stupid. It could go either direction. Both options have significant proof that would prove that option correct. I’m sitting at this point because Prof. Jaede’s comment seems more along the lines of DFL talking points than outright stupidity.

The situation starts with Dan Johnson’s monthly column in the SC Times. Johnson is the chairman of the Benton County Republican Party. This month, Johnson’s column was about the Democrats’ impeachment “witch hunt.” Johnson’s column was well-researched, which meant that comments needed to be either condescending or snarky. Here’s the comment that Prof. Jaede left:

Trump asked a foreign leader for a “favor” – going after a political rival. Despite all the Republican attempts at denial, that is corruption. We should hardly be surprised that Trump cannot recognize his own corruption and thinks the call was “perfect.”

I wrote about the transcript in this post. The word “favor” is only used once in the transcript. Here’s how it was used:

The President: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say Crowdstrike … I guess you have one of your weal thy people… The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation .. I think you’re surrounding yourself with some of the same people.

That’s the transcript published on the White House’s website. As any student would notice, the favor wasn’t to go after one of President Trump’s political rivals, least of all Joe Biden. If Jaede thinks Trump needs foreign dirt to take down Biden (or any potential Democrat rival, then he’s employing wishful thinking. There isn’t a Democrat who can beat Trump this year.)

The Democrats’ spin notwithstanding, the truth is that asking a foreign leader to help get to the bottom of the hacking of the DNC’s server is anything except corruption. If it’s anything, it’s President Trump taking election security seriously. It’s getting difficult to take Prof. Jaede seriously. He’s a professor who, at least until this year, didn’t teach. His time was mostly spent being an activist. Then again, SCSU isn’t that bright if they’re paying him not to teach.

Indoctrination’s Impact on Schools
By Ramblin’ Rose

How long has it been since this country had the best educational system in the world as measured by instruments recognized internationally? How long has it been since Minnesota was a leader in education?

The test results for 2018 became public a few weeks ago. On August 29th, the Times reported “The North Star system, introduced last year, focuses less on assigning punitive labels for schools based on how students scored on one single test — the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments — and more on the nuances of education to create more equitable and well-rounded learning opportunities for all students across the state.”

A punitive label? A single test? Students take multiple tests annually in MN schools—even 5 times a year in Kindergarten and the test is delivered via a computer—those victims are 5 or 6 years old. But the computer testing is a part of the Common Core (CC) that supposedly died. It seems alive and punitive.
(an aside: Did you know that parents have the right to opt out of the mandated tests in MN? Just visit the Department of Education website for the forms and the warnings of possible consequences for the child’s future with such a decision.)

So how did students do in central Minnesota?

The words from Marsha Baisch, assistant superintendeAnt of elementary education at St. Cloud school district, set a tone of gloom: “The first blush doesn’t always tell the whole story.” She continued with five factors to evaluate “the whole child.” The test scores are only one facet of the new (one year old) reporting system.

As one continued to read the article, the tone was gloomy and seemed to celebrate mediocrity—as long as others also have lowered scores, it must be interpreted as “OK.”

“The patterns of our scores mirror the state,” said Sylvia Huff, executive director of research, assessments and enrollment for St. Cloud school district. “So both the state as well as our district saw a slight drop in math proficiency and in reading, it was basically relatively unchanged.”

The data found on the MN Department of Education website shows that MN students do score at a level “slightly” higher than national average. That is still far from the #1 status that many stakeholders espouse.

Back to central MN…

In St. Cloud schools in math proficiency, students dropped from 40% proficient (i.e., meeting or exceeding the standards) in 2018 to 37% in 2019. The statewide average was 54%, also a decline of 2.4% points. In reading, the drop was less—46% proficient to 45% proficient. Across MN, the score was 59% proficient or above.

Other area schools also reported declines.

Sartell-St. Stephen school district:
Math—77% to 75%
Reading—76% to 72%
Sauk Rapids-Rice school district
Math—54% to 52%
Reading—58% to 56%
ROCORI school district
Math—64% to 62%
Reading—66% to 65%
STRIDE Academy
Math—49% to 48%
Reading—49% to 48%
St. Cloud Math and Science Academy – increased scores noted
Math—13% to 21%
Reading—22% to 27%
Athlos Academy – increased scores noted
Math—25% to 31%
Reading—36% to 40%

And the international comparison is a little more dubious. The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) was first administered in 2000 but only to 15-year-old students in 70 countries. Thus, the results do not correlate to the MN results. However, the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Assessment (TIMSS) dates from 1995 in the areas of math and science and tests fourth and eighth graders in approximately 60 countries. In the latest reported data, American fourth graders in math tied for 13th place behind 10 systems, statistically indistinguishable from 9 systems and higher than 34 countries.

In any case, the USA does not score as the leading country in education even though it claims to want to have a leading role on the international scene, as do I. However, unless students have greater academic achievements, they will be followers and not leaders in discussions and decisions based upon information, facts and logic.

It seems that the right answers do count when it comes to international assessments. Maybe the politicians should try to sell Common Core to the educational institutions in order to regain their assumed leadership position.

So, what do parents do in order to attempt to enroll their children in the best schools? They often vote with their feet and the ascribed tuition dollars.

Three obvious alternatives for families are private schools (costly tuition and fees) and charter schools and open enrollments with neighboring districts. We know that Sauk Rapids froze that option recently.

Let’s use one large diverse district as the example of what is undoubtedly reflected in other districts. In the Minneapolis district, there were 45,443 students in a local school and 4,669 attending a school outside the district in 2003. In 2018, the students in a local school numbered 35,141 while those in non-district schools jumped to 18, 044. In this district, 80% of the students leaving the failing district for a chance at a better education were students of color.

The same exodus is occurring across the state. The demographics may vary, but the percentages are probably quite similar. Parents are hoping for better than the government-funded and government-driven schools with the government-dictated curriculum.

Political does not refer to the party of the President; it refers to the ideology of those who control the indoctrination of the system; those committed to the conversion of free thinkers into obedient lemmings who follow their mandates.

Do our schools teach to the strengths of each individual (meet the students where they are and challenge them to do better), or do they embrace CC that mandates teaching to the “lowest common denominator?”

In Part I of this mini-series, I highlighted the things that weren’t happening in Minnesota schools. In truth, I couldn’t have written that post without the information in Rep. Dean Urdahl’s op-ed. In Part II, let’s dig in further into other things that the MSBA is pushing.

Rep. Urdahl is exactly right to highlight the fact “that one of the MSBA’s top agenda items is to gain the ability to continue levy referenda by a majority vote of the local school board, instead of putting that vote before the people. While crying for local control, the MSBA is asking to remove the ultimate local control, that vote, from residents statewide.” Talk about talking out of both sides of their mouths. Apparently, the MSBA wants parental control except when they want school board control of finances. If you think that doesn’t sound consistent or principled, leave a comment below.

Honestly, that’s the type of duplicitousness that should fire up parents to throw these bums off their school boards. Shame on these parents if they don’t take action. This is the opportunity to not get ripped off with their property taxes and to provide the education that their children need. Would these parents prefer that their children get trained in activism or get indoctrinated rather than get an education that will make them indispensable leaders of their communities?

Thanks to Rep. Urdahl, we’re getting this early warning:

Next session, the MSBA plans to double down on its campaign against civic education. MSBA officials want to no longer have to offer the civics test. This crosses the line from passivity to enmity regarding civics. Testing conveys a message; we care about what we test. Eliminating the test implies MSBA doesn’t think civics is important. In Minnesota, it should not be about the number of tests, but rather, are we testing the right things.

The foundation of Minnesota’s success in the 1970s was that students were taught the important things that would make them leaders. Based on this information from Rep. Urdahl’s op-ed, it isn’t a stretch to think that this generation of students will be taught how to be activists instead of being taught how to be chemists, journalists and other CEOs.

I cannot overemphasize the fact this is a crisis with dire consequences for the future if we continue to diminish the building blocks of our nation. Some of our school districts do a fine job with civics. It should be consistent across our state. Civics should be taught in some form in all grades, but especially to high school juniors and seniors who will soon be voters and are ready to learn the subject.

Amen, Rep. Urdahl. Right now, we have a U.S. Senator who thinks that the legislative branch gives orders to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. HINT: She’s currently running for president as a moderate from Minnesota.

Let’s get on the phone with our legislators. Let’s tell them that we want students to be taught about the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Civil War and the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. Let’s teach our students the things that’ve helped make America the greatest nation in the history of this planet. Let’s spoil the MSBA’s activist agenda. It’s time students were taught important things before they got to college.

Dean Urdahl’s op-ed is must-reading for every Minnesota parent, in my estimation. In his opening paragraph, Rep. Urdahl writes “Our Republic faces crisis after crisis: Our government is crippled by polarization, Congress can’t seem to get anything done, Supreme Court appointments have become a three-ring circus, no agreement can be reached on immigration and our borders, health care solutions can’t be reached, our infrastructure is decaying and the national debt is out of control.”

Then he highlights what he sees as the underlying problem, writing “It’s easy to identify the problems. Digging deeper shows that these are the results of a more pervasive root cause: the diminishing of civic education nationally and in Minnesota. The foundation of our understanding of how our government works is withering. The outcomes include confusion, misunderstanding and decay in our system. A district court judge has told me that every day he sees the repercussions of citizens not understanding how our system works.”

Junior high schools and high schools that don’t teach in-depth history lessons about the writing of the Constitution, including principles like federalism, the Bill of Rights, separation of powers, the 3 branches of government, due process and the presumption of innocence, are cheating students. How many schools teach in-depth lessons on the men who signed the Declaration of Independence, the Civil War, where the Jim Crow laws came from and who started the Civil Rights Movement? Apparently, our schools are failing on these fronts. Badly:

The failure is measurable. The National Assessment of Educational Progress, the highly respected “Nation’s Report Card,” reports that 75% of our graduates leave high school not proficient in civics. They are failing. A nationwide poll found that two-thirds of Americans can name an American Idol judge, but only 15% can name the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. One-third of our graduates can’t name a single branch of our government. The Annenberg Study revealed that 37% cannot name one right guaranteed in the First Amendment. There are students who think Judge Judy is on the Supreme Court.

Fortunately, Rep. Urdahl isn’t one to just complain about a problem. He’s willing to fight to fix the problems he’s highlighted:

A study by the Woodrow Wilson National Foundation found that only 36% of Americans could pass a test that immigrants pass at a 97.5% rate. Last session, I tried to pass a bill that required a course be offered for credit to juniors or seniors in high school. Facing stiff opposition to that from the Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA), I compromised to change the requirement to “encourage.”

In its recent wrap-up of the legislative session, MSBA touted its success in weakening my bill by claiming that it would reduce the number of electives and reduce local control. These claims mystify me. I compromised and amended the bill to allow for more electives. Honors programs, PSEO and other accelerated options were exempted. Frankly, it comes down to teaching what is wanted versus what is needed.

It’s shameful that a lobbying organization would attempt to water down students’ curriculum. And yes, it’s indisputable that MSBA is a lobbying organization:

MSBA represents every school board member in the state along with more than 837,000 public school students. MSBA is the leading advocate for public education by supporting, promoting and strengthening the work of public school boards.

Here’s what MSBA believes:

  1. An investment in a student is a smart investment in our state’s future.
  2. Providing school districts maximum flexibility and control provides benefits to students.
  3. State policies should ensure every student has the opportunity to graduate prepared to be successful in the postsecondary path of their choice.

That middle bullet point sounds great until you think of who’s running the schools. Parents, have you heard that students have been trained to be activists? Why weren’t they being taught important things like the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, how the federal government was formed or why the Founders decided that the Electoral College was best system for electing presidents?

Editor’s note: This is part of LFR’s special focusing on the difference between education and indoctrination. Without further adieu, here’s Ramblin’ Rose’s first in the series:

Schools’ Imprint on Society
By Ramblin’ Rose

Under the guise of “education,” students are facing “indoctrination.” What is the difference? Education opens the mind to ideas and knowledge of the world and encourages learners to evaluate the information and form their own opinions based upon facts and logic. Indoctrination discourages thought, and through repeated exposure to someone else’s view, learners are guided to accept another’s belief as truth without even thinking.

Before we consider current trends in the field of education, let’s take a look at history. (Yes, leftists are attempting to rewrite history to fit their own agendas…why is that possible? In a bit…)

Homeschooling is not a new concept. The first colonists in this nation taught their own children at home. In the 17th century before the American Revolution as the communities grew larger, the Puritans established schools to teach the essential basic academic skills and to reinforce their core moral values. Almost always, the textbook was the Bible.

After becoming a free and independent country, Thomas Jefferson was a strong advocate for public education because he believed that “no other sure foundation can be devised for the preservation of freedom and happiness.” To him, it was the means to guarantee that the individual would understand duties and rights in the new nation. He also feared that without education for all, the result would be to “leave the people in ignorance.” He even suggested that the system be funded with tax dollars.

While Jefferson held that resources would come from the taxpayers, the supervision of each school would be directed by the parents. That is still the belief of many citizens, but unfortunately not the reality. Our continued freedom depends upon quality education of the “next generation.”

The title of the “father of public education” in our country, sadly, goes to Horace Mann, who established the first state board of education in Massachusetts and advanced a school system based on the Prussian school system of the early 19th century. Instead of a curriculum based upon Biblical teachings and the moral standards of God’s Word, educational reform moved to obey the dictates of the state, mandatory attendance, taxpayer funding, and a state curriculum taught by teachers who had training from the state and certification from the state. Mann convinced the Massachusetts legislature in 1852 to adopt this model that became the archetype for public schools across the land.

That might be the point at which education moved to indoctrination for many learners. The government, not parents, directed the curriculum, and the curriculum became the program for the teachers to “follow” in classroom instruction. While some have tried to teach facts and solid information from history and research, others have used the classroom as the platform from which to advance a political agenda that they embrace.

In the 1960’s God was driven from the classroom; many parents, as flower children themselves, sought to “feel good” and abandoned their moral compass; welfare benefits became more abundant and easily accessible for more citizens (and even non-citizens). Mothers could abort babies; fathers abandoned families and their responsibilities. Everything was “free.”

The children suffered -— neglect, abuse, abandonment. Naturally, the school became the “family figure” for many. Parents became passive and relinquished “education” to others. Some parents viewed the schools and teachers as the “experts” to be followed and not challenged; others were relieved that they were not responsible for “those bothersome kids” any longer.

One of the more recent bandwagons was the program known as Common Core that was developed without input from classroom teachers. With Common Core (CC), students do not learn to think because an acquired skill outweighs the content knowledge, the process counts more than the product, and relative standards carry more value than absolute ones. Some celebrated it as the salvation from the incessant testing of No Child Left Behind. Many teachers cheered because the textbooks came complete with the transcript of the lesson plan for each day of the year—no one could violate and deviate the lesson or the schedule.

Some claim that CC was defeated with the passage of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) in December, 2015.

No, it was just transferred to the states, where the governors assigned it to the commissioner/director of education in each state. It is alive and well in the schools. So is testing—multiple times per year in all grade levels. What is tested? Dogma…students must respond to fit the curriculum that has been set by politicians and not parents.

While many contend that the new curriculum teaches students how to learn and rewards the process, the reality is that countless learners are completely frustrated; there is no right answer. They are unable to evaluate their progress; their parents don’t know the material and can’t help. The learners give up in frustration. They become willing sponges for whatever the teachers say. They have not learned metacognition—they have learned submission.

Auguste Meyrat, an English teacher in the Dallas area and contributor to The Federalist, summarized the impact of CC on modern society in an essay published in October last year:

“In such a system, thinking is only the articulation of opinion; it has no bearing on truth. This means that people don’t really need to think critically and understand why they believe what they do. They just need to have the right viewpoint and force others to conform like they’ve been forced to conform. They engage in arguments where the loudest voice wins because no one’s points are better than another. They pressure instead of persuade.”

Some parents have sought an alternative for their children with charter schools, private schools, open-enrollment options, and homeschooling. Yes, that is an avenue, but there is a potentially large boulder in the road for higher education. The authors and proponents of CC are also the authors and evaluators on the college entrance exams where regurgitation of dogma earns points (without attention to argumentation, clarity of expression, spelling or grammar). So what do the parents tell their young people who want to attend institutions beyond high school: “Do your best, stay true to your values and fail” or “Lie so that you may go to college”?

Auguste Meyrat continues, writing:

“This, in turn, leads to tribalism—groups of people united in feeling and opinion, but not in reason and truth. The lack of thought makes all these groups vulnerable to mass media and prevents any organized resistance to an encroaching state or lawless ideologue in power. Indoctrination is complete when perception (i.e., whatever is on the screen, whatever an “expert” says, whatever is popular) really does become reality for most people because they’re too stupid or apathetic to respond rationally.”

Tribalism? Yes, think Antifa, Black Lives Matter, #MeToo, and any other number of movements advocated by the media and acted out by young people. Yet this month, students are being encouraged to leave classes in droves to “save the planet” because apparently adults have not embraced the rhetoric from the environmentalists as readily as the sponges in the classrooms around the globe.

That does reflect the news media and the topics addressed via social media, digital media and print media. All coverage pits one group against another, one belief against another. There is no discussion, no exchange of ideas logically debated. Rather, one group is right and their ideas MUST be embraced. Others are all labeled in derogatory terms for whatever ideas they have and values they hold.

In science, it was a “new ice age,” “global warming,” “climate change,” “green new deal” and any other terms that seek to alter life and living out of fear. The NOAA has not documented any evidence of warming since 2005, but that is not the indoctrination being promoted by the radicals. Of course, there is still Darwinian ideas taught as truth. Creationists are driven from education if they do not espouse evolution or the big bang theory.

In literature, it means removing the classics for any number of reasons and the substitution of popular media selected by the “progressives.” Often reading and analysis is sacrificed to the viewing of a film or a video clip.

In reading, it means inviting drag queens (performers from adult clubs) to read to children during library time. In an elementary class in Virginia, kindergarteners learn about transgender rights as the teacher reads them a book.

In biology, it means that anyone of any age may select his/her/its own identity. It is a mandatory program in Oak Park, California. Even after the Trump administration reversed the Obama-era of open bathrooms and locker rooms, schools enforce the “open door” policy.

In religion, it means that each may choose their own deity. There is no morality…free love, abortion (even after birth), legalization of any and all drugs, legalized suicide and assisted-suicide—even for youth, as noted in the Netherlands. How many students, besides those in Virginia and Tennessee, have been forced to bow, pray and write a conversion prayer to Allah?

In sex education, it means the implementation of a K-12 curriculum recommended by Planned Parenthood. In Minnesota, it was passed by the liberal majority in the House and stopped in the Senate but it is promised to be addressed again next session. Parents have described the program as “pornographic” and certainly not appropriate for the ages or the topics. Additionally, four states (California, New Jersey, and Colorado, and Illinois) require the inclusion of LGBT(Q) history. I propose that those courses start with their history dating from Sodom and Gomorrah (circa 2070 B.C.)

In economics, it means students do not understand why the United States, Great Britain, Germany and Japan are wealthy and stable because they embraced capitalism and constitutional governments while Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela, Central America, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia suffer under socialism and communism.

In history, it means that not only Hitler was a monster but also Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong, Che Guevara and the Castros killed millions of their own citizens in the name of communism. In CC, the new textbooks indicate that the Pilgrims came to America with families to kill the Indians and to teach their children how to do it. In CC, one paragraph explains the atrocities of World War II—the bombing of Japan by the USA.

In politics, it means sanctuary cities, counties, states, churches. Illegals “deserve” rights that are designated for citizens according to our laws and the Constitution. How many teachers cried in their classes when Trump won? Were there any consequences when teachers have promoted violence, even death to our President?

In school discipline, it means the implementation of “restorative justice,” as embraced by local school districts and the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

There are certainly other fields that I have not mentioned…but this indicates how indoctrination and socialist/atheist agendas have established a giant hold (strangle hold) on education.

Parents must become aware of what their children are facing/learning in school, support good teachers and challenge those indoctrinate and abandon core values of this nation. Parents must become active learners with their children. Parents must challenge politicians who do not embrace the Constitution and/or who refuse to honor their own Oath of Office.

Meyrat seems more optimistic than I. I hope that he is right:

At some point, indoctrination will always collapse on itself and leave mediocrity in it[s] wake. Teaching, by contrast, is what will sustain our culture and bring out its virtues. It fosters the presence of active thought––not uniform thought––and it is what will ultimately mend and civilize our sorely divided country.” [emphasis added]

This Our View Editorial highlights the short-sightedness of the St. Cloud Times. The subject of the Our View editorial is the new Tech HS that will officially open Tuesday. One of the lessons we supposedly learned is that “If Central Minnesotans have learned anything in the past decade, it’s that investments in school facilities are rarely quickly decided. It can take several years and several rounds of proposals to find out the will of the people.”

Actually, what I’d learn from that statement is that the school board could get things done faster if they listened to their constituents instead of making a proposal, then putting the school board’s proposal up for a vote. I know it’s a revolutionary concept but I’m betting that listening to the people who will be asked to foot the bill for projects might improve the ideas the board votes on.

That concept is rooted in William F. Buckley’s that he’d rather be governed by people randomly picked out of a phone book than by a bunch of elitists. I’m wholeheartedly with Mr. Buckley on that.

For all intents and purposes, I was the No Vote organizer on the first Tech building referendum that got defeated. The St. Cloud Times ruined the ISD 742 strategy when it wrote that they were “disappointed” that they hadn’t seen more yard signs promoting the Tech building referendum. The minute I read that, I knew that Willie Jett and the ISD 742 school board were trying to silently pass the referendum without telling the community at large.

In other words, the education elitists didn’t want the hoi polloi finding out about the referendum. The school board knew that their proposal was, at minimum, controversial. They wanted to keep turnout down. As the Vote No coordinator, I wanted to whip voters into a frenzied mob. On November 3, 2015, the referendum lost by a wide margin. (I guess I did my job pretty well.)

My next goal is to get people to understand why it’s important to flush the establishment critters off the school board ASAP. People hear about universities being centers of indoctrination. It’s indisputable that they tilt heavily to the left but it’s equally indisputable that indoctrination doesn’t start on university campuses. It starts in Kindergarten, grade schools and high schools.

If people don’t start asserting themselves, we’ll have students who are heavily indoctrinated before they’re junior high students. As an activist/leader, LFR will publish something on this topic soon.

Let’s be blunt about something. Today’s collegiate-aged socialists aren’t too bright. Let me rephrase. A high percentage of them are downright stupid. Even more are historically ignorant. Victor Davis Hanson’s latest article offers proof of that accusation.

Progressive elitism is best seen on college campuses, where tuition costs rise at higher rates than everything except health insurance premiums after passage of the ACA. Meanwhile, the students’ bang-for-their-buck-ratio hasn’t positively increased in ages. That’s directly attributable to the ratio of junk degrees to worthwhile degrees. That, in turn, has led to mountains of student loan debt. Let’s pick up Prof. Hanson’s article at that point:

College-educated Americans collectively owe an estimated $1.5 trillion in unpaid student loans. Many of these debtors despair of ever paying the huge sums back. Canceling debt is an ancient socialist rallying cry. Starting over with a clean slate appeals to those “oppressed” with college loans.

A force multiplier of debt is the realization that many students borrowed to focus on mostly irrelevant college majors. Such degrees usually offer few opportunities to find jobs high-paying enough to pay back staggering obligations.

In other words, the federal government spent too many advertising dollars insisting that students would face desolation with degrees from 4-year universities. As a direct result of that dishonesty, students took out billions of dollars in student loans for Masters Degrees in Social Responsibility or one of the complaint degrees. (Think anything with the word Studies behind it.)

There’s a way to eliminate these degrees but it requires a spine, either from politicians or administrators or both. In other words, what’s required falls on the shoulders of students and parents because relying on politicians and pointy-headed academicians is foolish. The best way to prevent the elimination of $1,500,000,000,000 in student loan debt is by telling high school students that there are tons of great jobs paying lots of money that a) don’t require college degrees and that b) won’t require taking out $100,000 in student loans.

Just to stick the shiv in a little deeper, remind them of Cousin Alan, who graduated with a degree in Social Justice, has $75,000 in outstanding student loans and who now flips burgers at McDonalds for $8.50/hr.

Thanks to this strong Trump economy, lots of students with tons of student loan debt can find jobs that will pay off their loans faster. I’m serious when I say “Good for them.” I literally want everyone prospering. The difference between me and Democrat elitists like Elizabeth Warren is that I don’t care if there’s a disparity between what they make & what I make. Income inequality isn’t that big of a deal as long as I have a roof over my head, food to eat and enough to enjoy life a little.

Socialists haven’t figured out that socialism is a con. It sounds good but it fails every time it’s tried. At some point, shouldn’t socialists realize that they’re playing a rigged game? The game is rigged because, with socialism, there isn’t a middle class, which means there isn’t upward mobility. Whether you’re talking about the Iron Range in northeastern Minnesota or the former Soviet Union, socialism requires a system where there are oligarchs and there are poor people and nobody in between. Put differently, with socialism, you have 2 classes: the haves and the have nothings.

Finally, voting for Democrats isn’t the solution, as shown in this interview:

Voting Democrat to solve the problem is like hiring an arsonist as a consultant to the fire department. It’s outright stupidity.

Monday night on Hannity, Hannity interviewed Lawrence Jones and Allie Beth Stuckey about why young people aren’t as patriotic as they used to be. Lawrence immediately and without hesitation said that it’s the result of indoctrination on college campuses:

There’s little doubt that college professors push their political beliefs onto students on a daily basis. Still, I’d like to see Republicans master the art of pushing the Democrats’ buttons in communications.

Indoctrination is too soft of a word for what happens altogether too often in college classrooms. What happens altogether too often there is Democrat activists bully their students, then threaten those students into giving the answers that their professors instruct them to give — even if it’s the wrong answer. Further, the other thing that happens in those classrooms is full-throated intimidation.

There’s a simple way of stopping these threats, intimidation and bullying. Some of these students need to capture on film forever their professors in the act, then use that video to threaten lawsuits against these hostile, partisan professors. The best part is that these students don’t need to win their lawsuits, though that’d be fantastic.

From an administrator’s standpoint, just the thought of a lawsuit is enough to inject fear in these universities’ administrators hearts, if they still have hearts. The thought of word getting out that their university is intimidating students is enough to tell prospective students’ parents that their son or daughter can find a better university.

Nothing pushes positive change as quickly as the possibility of a major lawsuit hanging over a university’s head and ruining that university’s reputation. Universities understand that lawsuits push enrollment down. They also ruin universities’ credibility. Once those universities lose their credibility, it’s virtually impossible to get it back.

Indoctrination is too gentle of a word to use in these situations. Using edgier words like bullying, intimidation and threats are the right words to effect positive change in campuses’ environment.

Finally, when dealing with bullies, the best weapons are sharp words and threats of lawsuits. Bullies back down when they understand that they’ve got skin in the game.