Tag Archives: education

The 10 worst colleges for free speech: 2018

Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by staff

“Every year, FIRE chooses the 10 worst colleges for free speech — and unfortunately, 2017 left us with plenty of options: Campuses were rocked by violent mob censorship, monitored by bias response teams, plagued by free speech zones, and beset by far too many disinvitation attempts. Although the number of colleges with the most restrictive speech codes has continued to decline, 90 percent of schools still maintain codes that either clearly restrict or could too easily be used to restrict free speech. Today, we present our 2018 list of the 10 worst colleges for free speech. As always, our list is presented in no particular order, and it includes both public and private institutions.” (02/12/18)


Puerto Rico braces for a wave of school privatization

Source: Our Future
by Jeff Bryant

“The warnings came right after the storm: Hurricane Maria’s devastation of Puerto Rico would be used as an opportunity to transfer management of the island’s schools to private operators of charter schools, and introduce voucher programs that would redirect public education funds to private schools. Sure enough, with nearly a third of Puerto Rico’s 1,100 schools still without power and hundreds more plagued with crumbling walls, leaky rooves, and spotty Internet, Governor Ricardo Rossello recently announced he will propose to create charter schools and voucher programs as a recovery strategy for the island’s education system.” [editor’s note: In other words, not real privatization — separation of school and state — but faux “privatization” (extending the reach of government into private schools with the strings attached to vouchers, and handing out taxpayer funded “charters” to the companies that make the biggest campaign contributions – TLK] (02/08/18)


For preventing abuse, public schools are not a good model for homeschooling

Kerry McDonald

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Kerry McDonald

“The vast majority of the more than two million homeschoolers in the United States live in nurturing homes with caring parents who are overly attentive to their education and well-being. Most children thrive in a homeschooled environment that allows for flexible instruction, tailored curriculum, community immersion, and interest-based learning. Data shows that homeschoolers excel in academics and in adulthood. U.S. News & World Report reports that a majority of homeschoolers ‘who go on to college will outperform their peers.’ Examples of child abuse should bother us, but we should not target an entire population of families because we are worried about a few bad apples. Crimes against children by public schoolteachers are appallingly common throughout the United States; yet, we don’t stereotype all teachers as potential predators.” (02/08/18)


One Free Family, episode 4

One Free Family

Source: Pax Libertas Productions

“This episode, Letting Go of Expectations, is based on an email James received in response to a blog post he wrote elsewhere. The email brought up some great questions on expectations we set for our children that we dive into on this episode. The emailer wonders how she would have picked up being such a great writer had she not been required to learning how to write as a child. In self-directed learning, we allow our children to choose what is meaningful to them and what they want to spend their time investing in. This allows them to develop the skills that are most desirable to them as they see fit.” [various formats] (02/05/18)


Public school was the worst — luckily I had options

Source: Foundation for Economic Education
by Clara M Brashear

“Having the choice of where and how to get my education has been a fantastic journey for me so far. Even though I’ve never been technically homeschooled, I started schooling at home when I was in 6th grade. My experience in traditional public school taught me that overall, my natural curiosity and desire to learn was deteriorating due to many reasons, including early start times and a lack of sleep, lack of free time due to excess busy work, negative peer influences, and other environmental factors not conducive to learning.” (01/22/18)


On charter schools, let families — not politicians — decide

Source: Show-Me Institute
by Emily Stahly

“This year marks 20 years since Missouri enacted the law that allowed charter schools to open in St. Louis and Kansas City. Currently enrolling 22,000 students, charter schools have given much-needed options to families in these districts that have struggled historically. Unfortunately, families in the rest of Missouri are denied the same opportunity to send their children to schools that better fit their needs.” [editor’s note: No, they’re denied the opportunity to send their children to schools that better fit their needs AT OTHER PEOPLE’S EXPENSE. There’s a difference – TLK] (01/21/18)


How will expanded use of 529 accounts affect Missouri’s budget?

Source: Show-Me Institute
by Joseph Haslag & Susan Pendergrass

“The federal tax reform bill is likely to have many consequences, intended and unintended. One intended consequence is that it expands the use of funds in 529 education savings accounts beyond college expenses to K-12 expenses. If parents open these accounts for their children and add money to them, they can withdraw those funds when needed for education expenses without paying taxes on what the savings have earned. In addition, in states that allow it, deposits to these accounts can be deducted from income on state forms, thereby lowering the tax bills of savers.” (01/19/18)


The unhidden front door to state overreach: School vouchers

Source: Free Keene
by Melanie Johnson

“[SB 913] is being lauded in my community as a ‘school choice bill.’ But as of today in New Hampshire parents already have all those choices — private school is legal, and homeschool is both legal and unregulated. What this bill does is subsidize those choices. I have yet to get a response as to how subsidizing private and homeschool is anymore ‘school choice’ than food stamps is ‘food choice,’ Section 8 is ‘housing choice,’ and grants and other subsidization to oil companies is ‘drilling choice.’ When you invite the State, or anyone else for that matter, to fund your choices you invite control into your life. And if you are reading this from land occupied by the US then you have already seen what subsidization has done to the college system.” (01/18/18)


How the civil rights movement brought us free speech on campus

Souce: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

“As our nation takes the day to celebrate the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for those of us at FIRE it’s worth pausing once again to consider the contributions of the movement King came to represent to the conception of First Amendment and due process rights FIRE continues to defend today. The reality is that FIRE would not and could not exist if not for two movements. First is the Enlightenment, which brought us (among many other things) the United States, the Bill of Rights, and the idea — enshrined in our founding documents, if not in practice — that ‘all men are created equal.’ Second is the African-American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, which set the modern template for successful and peaceful activism.” (01/15/18)


Tenth Circuit finds administrator not liable for expelling student over tweets

Source: Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Zach Greenberg

“In a recent decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that expelling a student for his off-campus tweets did not violate clearly established law under the First Amendment. The court’s flawed analysis unduly shields colleges from the consequences of violating students’ speech rights. … The Tenth Circuit’s distorted analysis allows administrators to violate students’ free speech rights with impunity. Instead of properly denying qualified immunity to ‘the plainly incompetent or those who knowingly violate the law,’ the court paves the way for more college administrators to escape liability for flagrant First Amendment transgressions.” (01/09/18)