Thursday, July 12, 2007

Pittsburgh Schools Hold That Education Is All in A Name

Larwyn has just forwarded this one. Tom Elia of the New Editor blogs a story by Joe Smydo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

"The Pittsburgh Public Schools will drop 'public' from its name and adopt a new, standardized way of referring to its schools as part of a campaign to brighten and strengthen the district's image.

"... the district also will begin using 'Excellence for All,' the name of its sweeping academic-improvement plan, on all stationery and other written materials. 'Excellence for All' has its own logo with a gold swirl and star.

"Also, the district last night announced plans to upgrade its parent hotline into a 'customer service center,' another initiative aimed at boosting the district's image."

This follows a century of Democratic Party rule in Pittsburgh.

At the same time that Michael Moore agitates for public health insurance in Sicko, using public education as a rationale, Pittsburgh is so embarrassed about its public education system that it tries to pretend that it is not public. This says something not only about the failure of public education, but also about the likelihood of the success of public health inusurance.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Education and Tolerance at Warren Wilson College

I complain alot about the state of education, but there is certainly a heritage of excellence and many pockets still remain. Kevin E. Frederick, a 1977 Warrem Wilson alum, has written a brief history of Warren Wilson College, which I find inspiring.

Frederick writes:

"...A far-reaching sense of principled vision and pragmatic leadership has played key roles in the heritage of the school throughout its history. This vision sprang out of the college’s roots in the Presbyterian Church in both obvious and not so obvious ways. The school was founded in the late 1800’s by Presbyterian missionaries with a deep commitment to provide a good education to rural Appalachian boys...Each boy not only earned a high school diploma, he also learned trade skills by working twenty hours a week on the farm or on a number of other work crews of the school...As early as the mid 1930’s a few students from other nations began to arrive at the Asheville Farm School, but by the end of World War II, Warren Wilson Junior College increasingly looked to the Presbyterian Board of International Missions and to church connections around the world for recruitment of students. In a span of a few short years the enrollment of international students rose dramatically. In 1951, the first president of Warren Wilson, Dr. Arthur Bannerman, became aware of an African-American friend of some of the students, Alma Shippey, who expressed an interest in enrolling at Warren Wilson. One evening, Dr. Bannerman and the Academic Dean, Dr. Henry Jensen, met with the boys of Sunderland Dorm where Shippey, if accepted, would be housed. They left the final decision to the students, who voted 54 to 1 to welcome Alma Shippey to the school. He was enrolled in 1952, two years before the monumental 1954 Supreme Court ruling of Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education. In a day and time when racial integration in the south spurred widespread violence, Jensen and Bannerman opened the school to a profound vision of change, providing an educational opportunity to all academically qualified individuals who desired enrollment. This vision of racial and international harmony provided Warren Wilson students with an exposure to a widening variety of cultures from around the world in an era when diversity and creativity were often branded as suspect..."

Practical education, basic skills, tolerance, literacy. Why have these simple principles been replaced by lack of skills, political correctness, identity politics, innumeracy and illiteracy in so many universities today?

MSM Covers Up Story of Murder by Anti-War Protestor

Patrick Poole of American Thinker notes that the mainstream media has ignored this story, although it has been made public by Little Green Footballs and Phillyburbs.Poole notes that:

"An Air Force airman was shot by antiwar protestor on July 4th, but the establishment media and liberal blogs yawn. Airman Jonathan Schrieken, 22, is fighting for his life after being shot in the heart by a gunman intending to make an antiwar statement...The antiwar gunman, Matthew J. Marren, killed himself after shooting Schrieken and left two suicide notes explaining that he was "mad at the government".

The incident suggests the violent, murderous hatred that motivates the anti-war left.