College as a way to babysit 18-year-olds is not very efficient for anyone involved

Quote of the Day for Sunday, June 5th, 2011: Naomi Schaefer Riley, writing in the June 3rd Washington Post, on the value of a modern college education, and the disconnect exposed by PayPal’s Peter Thiel when he recently thumbed his nose at the university system: Executives at U.S. companies routinely complain about the lack of reading, writing and math skills in the recent graduates they hire. Maybe they too will get tired of using higher education as a credentialing system. Maybe it will be easier to recruit if they don’t have to be concerned about the ...

No Child Left Unbooted in Natick

Natick, MA Superintendent of Schools Dr. Peter Sanchioni, putting a whole lot of clever lipstick earlier this month on a “looky what I found!” decision to raid a high school construction project’s (borrowed) contingency fund to underwrite – with tax dollars – a newly discovered necessity for educating teenagers: personal laptops for everyone: "What we feel, and the case we’re going to make to the MSBA, is that they’ve totally underestimated what a technology budget should be in a 21st century school," Sanchioni said. "We don&#...

Mandating Two More Years of Vapid Futility?

Quote of the Day for Sunday, December 12th, 2010: Boston Globe staff writer James Vaznis reporting on the latest round of hand-wringing concerning the performance of urban public school districts in the state: Within Boston, the state identified 40 percent of eighth-graders at risk of not earning a high school diploma with their classmates in 2014. But that estimate may be low, Boston public school officials said. The district’s graduation-tracking system, which, unlike the state’s, examines several years of data and grades, indicated that just 19 perce...

Only If Liberty Is Beautiful… Can It Really Be Worth the Courageous Risk of Life

Quote of the Day for Monday, December 6th, 2010: With the Thanksgiving holiday still lingering in the air, I found this excellent article on the continuing value of America’s Puritan forebears over at the always worthwhile First Principles Journal site. Written by Peter Augustine Lawler, it is entitled: Praising the Puritans: Because the Puritan conception of political freedom wasn’t based on the apolitical, selfish, rights-obsessed, and duty negligent Lockean individual, it both not only demanded virtuous civic participation but also connected politica...

One of the Deadliest Enemies to Liberty that Has Ever Been Devised

Quote of the Day for Monday, Nov. 22nd, 2010: A double-quote day. First, in honor of John F. Kennedy on the 47th anniversary of his assassination: A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people. Second, J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937) testifying before the joint Senate Committee on Education and Labor, and House Committee on Education, February 25, 1926, on the proposed establishment of a Department of Education, specifically here addressing the alleged benefits of nati...

The Error of Permitting Religious Practice

A local furor erupted a couple days ago over a Wellesley Middle School class’ visit to an area mosque, a story which has subsequently gone national. This whole story is just so wrong, on so many levels, that it approaches (?) the absurd. It is a microcosm of everything wrong with the deracinated public life that has banished religious faith to the margins, and adopted a functional atheism as public policy (despite the lingering religiosity of much of the unwashed masses). The 6th grade class found itself at the mosque as part of a social studies unit cal...