How Education Has Changed: A Professor’s Perspective

Back in school for the spring, the holidays behind us, my classmates and I met with unwelcome news: Miss Carpenter, our teacher, had made an assessment over the break and decided that, to this point, she hadn’t prepared us well enough to move forward.

“Forward” — seventh grade, to the large new high school the county had just opened, Wakefield High, four miles from the Pentagon, which was to be our academic home for the next half-dozen years.

It was 1954, and we, as sixth graders, were facing the fateful passage from being elementary children to junior-high students, from

Read more

Updating Antitrust for a Free People

The past has its charms, but it’s still the past. Andy Kessler of the Wall Street Journal (and no doubt thousands of others) seems mesmerized by an antitrust theory developed in the 1960s. In case you haven’t been paying attention, a lot has changed since then.

In a recent column, Kessler decried a return of the “Big is bad” theory of antitrust. That theory, he says, was developed by Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis (1916–39) “who disliked big business, especially railroads.” The Brandeis understanding of antitrust was superseded by Judge Bork’s thinking, compellingly set forth in his brilliant book

Read more

Hunter Biden’s Midas Touch

President Joe Biden clearly has no problem with his son Hunter Biden cashing in on the family name. It’s something Biden has in common with former President Donald Trump.

According to Forbes, Trump’s estimated wealth dropped from an estimated $3.6 billion in 2016 to $2.4 billion in April — which means he lost a fortune while in office. Conflicts nonetheless existed as Trump made it known that he kept track of which foreign dignitaries and political interests spent money at his properties.

While Trump bled millions those four years, Biden far surpassed the limits of a public servant’s

Read more

Didion and Dunne, Hollywood Hacks?

Recently, confronted with the prospect of a day trip to a remote hamlet to file some official papers, I decided that the journey would pass more painlessly if I had something light to read. I’d just run across a reference to a 1997 book by the late John Gregory Dunne entitled Monster: Living Off the Big Screen, and, thinking it might fit the bill, I downloaded the Kindle.

As you may know, Dunne (1932–2003), was married to Joan Didion (b. 1934). Each of them wrote several books, mostly works of reportage or collections of essays. Both also

Read more

Academia’s Anti-Israel Propaganda Brainwashes Students

Proof that groupthink reigns supreme in academia came last month as hundreds of academic departments released statements and thousands of individual professors signed open letters “in solidarity with the Palestinian people.”

Following 11 days of war between Hamas and Israel, these shockingly unoriginal statements, which read like carbon copies of each other, do more than express support for Palestinians; they accuse Israel of being a “colonial settler state” and oppressing millions of peaceful people through a system of apartheid equally insidious as the original South African version.

They also demonstrate the extent to which yesterday’s radical, fringe ideas are

Read more

Corruption of Justice: The Attack on Rudy Giuliani

The headline in the New York Post read this way:

Rudy Giuliani’s law license suspended in NY over statements on voter fraud

The story reported this:

Rudy Giuliani’s law license was temporarily suspended on Thursday by a panel of New York judges who found he made “false and misleading statements” related to voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

The ruling from the appeals court said there was “uncontroverted evidence” Giuliani made false statements while he was acting as legal counsel for former President Donald Trump.

In fact, Giuliani has said repeatedly that he had hundreds of sworn affidavits

Read more

Amateur Sports on the Brink

It looks like the long-held dream of college athletes and the sports punditry business at large may finally become reality: college jocks may soon be paid for playing their sports.

You’ve heard the questions for years now, even decades. Is it fair for universities to rake in hundreds of millions in media rights and ticket prices and game-day concessions while the athletes who make the games happen get nothing but a scholarship? Is it possible to justify head coaches in football and men’s basketball reaping salaries upwards of $8 or $9 million a year while the players on whose

Read more

Trumpism: The Elite’s Favorite Bogeyman

What is Trumpism?

A political philosophy?

Love of America and the Constitution that has served to govern it?

An economic program?

Or is it, as it is often alleged, worship of the former president of this country and a movement so insidious that it threatens our democracy?

I suggest that Trumpism is no more than a people who have, in Dee Snider and Twisted Sister fashion, decided they aren’t gonna take it anymore.

Consider my father-in-law as an example of this phenomenon. A reserved man, prior to his retirement he worked an assembly line in a meat-packing plant for

Read more

K-12 Redesign: Retooling Testing

Our K-12 schools are organized more like a swim meet than a swim lesson. The emphasis is on student placement results rather than on ensuring all students learn. Students move on to the next lesson, concept, or skill regardless of whether mastery was achieved at the previous level.

Donald P. Nielsen explains this analogy in Every School: One Citizen’s Guide to Transforming Education:

In a swimming meet, the purpose is to determine who is the fastest swimmer. In public schools we spend a lot of time grading students on what they have learned and then ranking them, rather

Read more

Students Speak Out Against Virginia Tech Vaccine Mandate

At a Tuesday town hall event at Virginia Tech University, President Tim Sands confirmed that there will be a vaccine mandate for returning university students, reaffirming an announcement he made on June 8 that has since prompted backlash from student groups. 

In the initial letter sent to students and faculty announcing the decision, Sands described his excitement at bringing back an in-person “Hokie experience” in the fall without masks or social distancing, but stated that in order to do so, vaccinations will be required for all students, “with exemptions for medical reasons and sincerely held religious beliefs.”

With the

Read more