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Kevin Williamson writes on a Florida program that grants $5,700 tax credits to parents who send their children to private schools. Or course the teacher’s union is suing to halt the program.
… This isn’t about religion; it’s about protecting the narrow financial interests of a monopolistic public-sector cartel that produces a whole lot of six-figure salaries, $28-an-hour baby-sitters, and $90,000-a-year shop teachers. You think it’s not about the money? Consider that Florida uses a similar system to provide pre-kindergarten education to 140,000 low-income children, about 40 percent of whom are in religiously affiliated schools. Florida offers college scholarships, too, which students are free to use at religious institutions. (Three of Florida’s historically black colleges are Christian schools — shall we revoke their students’ federal aid?) Nobody is filing any lawsuits about college scholarships — the union goons are not looking out for anything but their own selfish interests.
Which would be more or less fine, if they didn’t stink quite so much when it comes to educating children.
We know they do a terrible job. The data show that they do a terrible job. And, most significant, they know that they do a terrible job, too: That’s why they do not want families to be allowed to choose. Given a choice, 70,000 low-income Florida families are saying “No” to the monopoly. If more families are allowed to choose, more are going to tell the cartel to pound sand, thus putting its members at a higher risk of being forced to work for market wages.
And let’s remember who these families and children are: 100 percent low-income, 75 percent minority, 60 percent single-parent families, heavily immigrant black and brown families earning on average about half of the median income.
Underpaid, you might say.
Ricochet writes on a subversive conspiracy to provide good education. It comes from HillsdaleCollege.
I’ve been reluctant to write about Hillsdale’s conspiracy to educate our K-12 children, for fear of betraying one of the most effective schemes to restore the Republic ever devised by the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy.
But, since public education is a perpetual topic of debate here among the center-right (see here, here, and here), I thought readers might like to know about my kids’ public charter school, which teaches a classical curriculum provided by Hillsdale College. Yes, that Hillsdale. The Hillsdale of Ricochet’s own Paul Rahe, the online courses on The Constitution and The Great Books, Imprimis, and the most excellent Hillsdale Dialogue interviews by Hugh Hewitt of President Larry Arnn and other members of the faculty.
When my daughter began her career at The Vanguard School as a freshman, we didn’t even know the curriculum was provided by Hillsdale. We only knew that Vanguard was the top-performing high school in Colorado as measured by standardized test scores, college attendance by graduates, and scholarship earnings of its graduates. Vanguard’s first graduating class of 22 students earned over two million dollars in scholarships.
We were also unaware that the school appears to be a job-placement program for Hillsdale graduates, who have been, uniformly, some of the best teachers (and most decent people) from whom my daughter has ever had the privilege of learning. And since she’s been educated in charter schools since 3rd grade, that’s saying something.
What does $6,000 per pupil of tax funding (roughly the going rate in Colorado) buy you? Allow me to share just a sampling of the freshman reading list (see a complete listing for all grades here): …
Roger Simon says patriotism is not the last refuge of scoundrels, it is global warming.
Samuel Johnson had it wrong when he famously said that “patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels!”
“Global warming is the last refuge of scoundrels!”
(Or “climate change” or “extreme weather” or “bad storms” or whatever the euphemism du jour happens to be.)
Of course, the good doctor can be excused, opining as he did in the late 18th century, long before Al of Gore emerged from a massage parlor to warn of us of impending ecological doom if we didn’t mend our ways (and start some lucrative carbon offset funds that would net him millions, or is it billions, before they disappeared in a haze of corruption somewhere in the bowels of a Beijing bank, so help me Al Jazeera).
But never fear — climate change is back, this time on the back of our president, who has emerged not from a massage parlor but from the golf course — where else? — to guide us into the promised land of clean energy. According to — where else? — the New York Times: …
Jonathan Tobin has good news for polar bears and bad news for algore.
That some of Al Gore’s global warming predictions turned out to be bogus is no longer much of a surprise. As far back as seven years ago, a British court ruled that Gore’s Oscar-winning environmentalist documentary film, An Inconvenient Truth, contained several errors and exaggerations that illustrated the alarmist spirit that motivated the filmmaker. But the news about nature contradicting another one of the former vice president’s predictions should not so much encourage skeptics about global warming theories as inspire both sides in this controversy to lower their voices and to be a little less sanguine about computer models, whether they predict warming or cooling.
The report in yesterday’s Daily Mail concerns the extent of the ice cap covering the Arctic. Gore had warned in 2007 while accepting the Nobel Peace Prize that within seven years the ice cap would vanish in summer. However, satellite photographs confirm that not only has the ice not vanished, in the last two years it has increased somewhere between 43 and 62 percent since 2012. It turns out that in that time some 1.715 million square kilometers of the Arctic are now covered by ice that were water during the 2012 presidential campaign.
Does this mean that global warning is a myth? Not necessarily. Scientists say 2012 was a year of “freak weather” and that the cooling since then is a regression to the mean rather than a complete reversal of past warming trends that some say remain in place in the long term. But since the evidence shows that the ice cap is larger than at any point since 2006, it’s certainly worth noting. …
Here’s the Daily Mail article.
… The most widely used measurements of Arctic ice extent are the daily satellite readings issued by the US National Snow and IceDataCenter, which is co-funded by Nasa. These reveal that – while the long-term trend still shows a decline – last Monday, August 25, the area of the Arctic Ocean with at least 15 per cent ice cover was 5.62 million square kilometres.
This was the highest level recorded on that date since 2006 (see graph, right), and represents an increase of 1.71 million square kilometres over the past two years – an impressive 43 per cent.
Other figures from the Danish Meteorological Institute suggest that the growth has been even more dramatic. Using a different measure, the area with at least 30 per cent ice cover, these reveal a 63 per cent rise – from 2.7 million to 4.4 million square kilometres.
The satellite images published here are taken from a further authoritative source, the University of Illinois’s Cryosphere project.
They show that as well as becoming more extensive, the ice has grown more concentrated, with the purple areas – denoting regions where the ice pack is most dense – increasing markedly.
Crucially, the ice is also thicker, and therefore more resilient to future melting. Professor Andrew Shepherd, of LeedsUniversity, an expert in climate satellite monitoring, said yesterday: ‘It is clear from the measurements we have collected that the Arctic sea ice has experienced a significant recovery in thickness over the past year.
‘It seems that an unusually cool summer in 2013 allowed more ice to survive through to last winter. This means that the Arctic sea ice pack is thicker and stronger than usual, and this should be taken into account when making predictions of its future extent.’ …