Teaching hunting as a class in school?

Given all the benefits from hunting, this seems like an idea whose time has come:

CHARLESTON, W.VA. --A significant drop in the number of hunters in West Virginia has left a hole in the state's budget, and one lawmaker thinks he has a solution: allow children to receive hunter training in school.
Seventh- through ninth-graders could opt for instruction in topics ranging from survival skills to gun safety, but the weapons would have dummy ammunition or be disabled. Sen. Billy Wayne Bailey, who introduced the bill this month, doesn't envision students firing real guns during class time. . . .

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Armed Teachers stop Terrorist Attack in Israel

A dramatic story can be found here:

Two Palestinian terrorists disguised in Israel Defense Forces (IDF) uniforms entered the study hall at Makor Haim High School in Kibbutz Kfar Etzion southeast of Jerusalem.

Al-Aksa Brigades: Assassinate Fayyad Armed with guns and knives, the terrorists managed to stab several students before armed school counselors arrived and shot them dead.

"The terrorists came inside and began stabbing the students," a defense official said.

"This could have ended much worse," said another in Central Command. . . .

Another version of the story is here:

In Gush Etzion, southeast of Jerusalem, two Palestinian gunmen wearing IDF uniforms burst into the Makor Haim yeshiva high school. Wielding guns and knives, they lightly injured two Israeli counselors before being shot dead.

The terrorists infiltrated Makor Haim, a kibbutz, sneaking into the main building of its high school seminary, run by world-renowned Talmudist, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz. The terrorists entered a library room where seven of the boarding school's counselors were meeting. Dressed as security guards, and armed with a knife and what appeared to be a gun -- it later turned out to be a toy -- ordered the seven to line up on one side of the room. A counselor, realizing they were terrorists, drew his personal firearm and opened fire. Another grabbed the fake gun from the other terrorist, wrestled him to the floor, while the first counselor shot him. The terrorists managed to stab two of the counselors before falling dead.

At the same time, the Beit Medrash (study hall) -- adjacent to the library -- was packed with students taking part in the weekly Thursday night "mishmar" all-night Torah study session, Israel National News reported.

An army official praised the quick response of the students and their counselors. "This could have ended much worse," a source in the Central Command said.

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Should students be able to have a BB gun club?

A school in State College, Pennsylvania has denied students the right to set up a club for BB guns.

The idea alone has already divided the school board, with some members saying they are worried about sending mixed messages to kids about bringing BB guns to school.

You can vote on what you think about that at this link.

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Privatizing Education in the UK?

This is pretty amazing. In Britain, these companies don't just have the power to award some credits towards a degree, they have the "power" to award the degree:

McDonald's employees trained in skills needed to run outlets for the fast-food chain can get credit toward high school diplomas, the British government announced Monday.

Along with two other large companies, McDonald's Corp. was given the power to award the equivalent of advanced high-school qualifications as part of a plan to improve young people's skills, said the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, a government education regulator. . . .

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So how will they catch cheating on tests now?

Has it just become nearly impossible to catch cheaters on tests? Will students have to have their eyes examined before taking the SATs? Foxnews has the following:

Scientists have taken the first step toward creating digital contact lenses that can zoom in on distant objects and display useful facts. For the first time, engineers have installed an electronic circuit and lights on a regular contact lens.

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School Tries to Hide Crime by Banning 911 Calls, Student suffers brain damage from stroke because no one could call 911 for help

Sometimes trying to cover up crime numbers has some serious unintended consequences:

The typed words on the school memo are as direct as they are stunning: "No Deans are permitted to call 911 for any reason."
An assistant principal at Jamaica High School wrote the order just two weeks before ninth-grader Mariya Fatima suffered a stroke at the Queens school in April.
Employees waited more than an hour before calling 911, according to court records, costing Mariya crucial minutes of medical treatment, a delay that may have made her paralysis worse.
A month after Mariya collapsed, the same assistant principal sent out another memo, flip-flopping and telling the deans it was okay to call 911, but instructing them to downplay assaults.
The author of the memo and the school's principal have both since left Jamaica High School, but that's little comfort to Mariya's family.
"You take it for granted that your child is going to be safe, but if they don't want to call 911, no matter what the circumstances, your child is not protected," family lawyer Gary Carlton said.
Mariya, who lost use of her right hand and leg, has had to relearn how to speak and walk since the stroke.
She's receiving home instruction, but her reading skills have dropped to a fifth-grade level.
"I want to go back [to school]," she recently told the Daily News. "I feel lonely."
The memos, obtained by The News, shed light on the lengths some educators will go in order to improve crime statistics and avoid harsh penalties.

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The liberal imbalance in Academia

Seventy-six percent of the education industry's total federal contributions for '08 has gone to Democrats, on par with the industry's partisanship in the last two election cycles. Perhaps more surprising than the industry’s party split is its sheer size: Education was the eighth-largest industry in terms of all federal campaign contributions in 2004 and the 13th largest in 2006, meaning that in the last two election cycles, college employees contributed more to politicians than the oil and gas industry, which ranked 16th in both cycles. For 2008, CRP ranks the education industry as No. 14, still ahead of big-givers such as oil and gas, general contractors, the computer and Internet industry, electric utilities and the pharmaceutical industry.

My new book, Freedomnomics, tries to explain why academia is as heavily liberal as it is and, more importantly, how the tenure process works to keep it that way.

Thanks to Butch Browning for sending me the link to this study.

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Hillary seeks to set up Public Service Academy

U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton said Saturday that, if elected president, she will call on "a new generation of Americans to serve." . . .

Clinton, who has been elected to the U.S. Senate twice from New York, said she wants to create a public service academy designed to inspire young Americans to serve others. . . . .

Has she heard of public policy schools? The Harris School at the University of Chicago, the Kennedy School at Harvard, Wharton's Public Policy and Management Department, etc. What does she think universities in general do regarding social science or public policy studies? What is her concern over the content of the classes at these places? Obviously the vast majority of faculty are liberals, but does she think that the Federal government needs more direct control over what is taught in these schools? This seems like an attempt by Clinton to have even more control over what is taught to students who are planning on making a career of working in government.

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Charles Murray: Get rid of the SATs

Can I believe that the SAT scores correlate very highly with the achievement tests? Sure. The correlation though isn't perfect (.83 is high, but it isn't that high and there will surely be cases where the SATs add critical information). The question how big that benefit is relative to the cost and I don't think that Murray really answers that question.

There is good reason to think that a world in which achievement tests have replaced the SAT is not going to be a world in which motivated high-ability students from bad or mediocre schools have less opportunity to get into the college where they belong. It may be a marginally worse world for a small number of unmotivated high-ability students who want to attend selective colleges, but that outcome is not necessarily undesirable.

But why get rid of the SAT? If it works just about as well as the achievement tests in predicting college success, what’s the harm in keeping it?

The short answer is that the image of the SAT has done a 180-degree turn. No longer seen as a compensating resource for the unprivileged, it has become a corrosive symbol of privilege. “Back when kids just got a good night’s sleep and took the SAT, it was a leveler that helped you find the diamond in the rough,” Lawrence University’s dean of admissions told The New York Times recently. “Now that most of the great scores are affluent kids with lots of preparation, it just increases the gap between the haves and the have-nots.”
Almost every parent with whom I discuss the SAT believes these charges. In fact, the claims range from simply false, in the case of cultural bias, to not-nearly-as-true-as-you-think, in the case of the others. Take coaching as an example, since it seems to be so universally accepted by parents and has been studied so extensively. . . . .

UPDATE: From a reader:


My response: The question is why the top schools make this requirement. Apparently, they must believe that they get enough new information that they can separate out what must be a lot of pretty close calls on who to admit.


My response: I agree on both points. I think that the reason that Penn State and some other public universities put little weight on standardized tests is for affirmative action reasons. If you use GPAs, you end up with a more racially diverse student body with respect to African-Americans. There are a number of high schools where most of the students are African-Americans so if you take the top 10 percent of the class you know that you will pick up some African-Americans. Unfortunately, if you purely use the SAT African-Americans don't do as well.



Government indoctrination of kids here

An example of government indoctrination can be seen here.

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Extreme political correctness in teaching

Apparently, teachers in the UK are dropping discussion of the Holocaust because of fear of offending Muslim students. It is not clear to me why Muslim's should be offended by this fact.

Schools are dropping the Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils, a Government backed study has revealed. It found some teachers are reluctant to cover the atrocity for fear of upsetting students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial. . . .

From Fox News:

Teachers are dropping controversial subjects such as the Holocaust and the Crusades from history lessons because they do not want to offend children from certain races or religions, a report claims. . . .

From Daily Telegraph:

Some teachers dropped the Holocaust completely from lessons because of fears that Muslim pupils might express anti-semitic reactions. One school avoided teaching the Crusades because its "balanced" handling of the topic would directly contradict what was taught in local mosques. . . .

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Teacher's union is trying stop Utah Voucher Law

Surprise, the Utah teacher's union is trying stop the recently enacted voucher system in the state. It is understandable that the teacher's union dislikes competition. One positive note is that the teacher's union has tried petitions before on gun issues and they have failed (Utah's petition rules require that petitioners get signatures from across the state and not just liberal Salt Lake City and that lowers the chances of getting something on the ballot). Given that the union is probably more motivated this time, the odds are higher, but they still might fail. My guess is that once vouchers are in place for a while, it will be a lot like concealed handgun laws. People will wonder what all the concern was about.

Less than 24 hours after the Legislature adjourned, opponents of the school voucher program applied for a referendum petition that could land a final decision in the hands of voters in the next general election.
Utahns for Public Schools, a group formed to head up the task of gathering nearly 100,000 signatures — 91,998 to be exact — in the next 40 days, filed the application asking Lt. Gov. Gary Herbert to consider their cause.
"This is so important that the people in this state should get to vote on it," said Pat Rusk, former president of the Utah Education Association. "We are going to make sure that the citizens of Utah get to decide if they want their tax dollars going to private schools." . . . .

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New Harvard President former Director of Penn's Women's Studies Department

Drew Gilpin Faust was director of the Women's Studies Program. Despite the fact that women out number men by about 60 to 40 percent in college, it is not surprising that she had this exchange:

Asked Sunday whether her appointment signified the end of sex inequities at the university, Dr. Faust said: "Of course not. There is a lot of work still to be done, especially in the sciences."



Utah House Passes Universal Voucher Bill

It is too bad that this passed only after Milton Friedman had died, but it is still quite a testiment to the influence that he had on the nation's public debate. This will have a bigger impact on schooling in big cities. The shame is that competition is still not occurring in the biggest cities in the US with horrible public school systems.

School voucher opponents, dejected after the House voted 38-37 Friday in favor of a school voucher bill, predicted supporters will one day regret their votes.
They fully expect HB148 to sail through the Senate and win Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.'s signature, but rather than calling for a constitutional challenge or a repeal effort, they spoke only of "bad policy" and escalating costs.
"I'm terribly disappointed. I think people sold out from fear of special interest groups," said Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, D-Holladay, a retired teacher.
If the bill is signed and becomes law, the heavy lifting would fall to the Utah Office of Education, which would have to get the program up and running by summer so parents can use their vouchers by fall.
"It's a huge assignment and [the bill is] very prescriptive," said Carol Lear, attorney for the Utah Office of Education.
Voucher supporters embraced each other in the halls after the vote.
"We've been chewing on this issue for seven years," said Rep. Stephen Urquhart, R-St. George, who sponsored this year's bill. "We learned from the dialogue, and we have passed something that will be beneficial to some families and it will be beneficial to the system overall."
HB148 would let parents spend public money on private school tuition. Families whose children already attend private schools would be exempt unless they are low-income, but every family with children in public schools would be eligible for vouchers ranging from $500 to $3,000. Public schools would lose some but not all state money for every voucher student who leaves. . . . .

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