My plan for marriage was to have 4 children with my wife, then homeschool them right through to doctoral degrees. But one thing I knew for sure, I was never going to put my kids into public schools. My impression of public school teachers is that they are the source of moral relativism and cultural relativism. They break down morality and patriotism in children and call it compassion.
Abigal Shrier has noticed that the teachers in public schools are pushing transgenderism pretty hard, because they don’t want anyone making judgments about what is right or wrong, wise or foolish.
‘I often get parents telling me they’re not able to take binders (a cloth which flattens breasts by the use of constrictive materials) away from their children, and I say to them, “Would you give your children cigarettes?”.
‘Because we know binders are really harmful, they can deform breast tissue, cause rib cracking and shortness of breath. They’re quite dangerous for your 14-year-old to be going around with.’
Sharing her experience of parents’ concerns, she said: ‘Parents often say to me “I don’t want to be seen as a transphobe”, and it’s very clear to me that sometimes these parents feel like they can’t speak the truth or go against their own children’s wishes.
[…]’I’ve never seen parents so beaten down and undermined. They send them to school in good faith and now schools are helping them fill out forms with new names as different sexes and hide it from their parents. They turn their kids against their parents.
‘Medicine has become so politicised that parents can’t even rely on honesty from medical professionals even when it comes to transition.’
You might remember that I blogged about a particularly scary case of this from socialist Canada, which doesn’t respect parents’ rights at all. There, the teachers, administrators, counsellors, doctors, layers and judges, all conspired to transition a child from female to male against the parents’ wishes. If you haven’t read that post from March of this year, you should definitely go read it, to find out where our own public schools are trying to go with students.
Anyway, in another article from The College Fix I found an excerpt of her new book, where she offers advice to parents. She talks about not giving them smartphones, not abdicating the leadership role, monitoring the schools for gender ideology, keeping family business private, being open to pulling the children out of their communities, etc.
And there is some pushback against the transgender agenda being promoted by teachers. Some people are regretting their transitions, and blaming the adults who affirmed them on their way to self-harm.
A woman who was treated with hormone blockers to reassign her gender as a teenager is taking the NHS to court, saying she “should have been told to wait”.
Keira Bell said the care she received for gender dysphoria, a condition where a person experiences distress due to a mismatch between their biological sex and their gender identity, steered her towards medical treatment.
Ms Bell, who used to identify as a boy, was 15 when she went to the Tavistock Centre in London. She said after “roughly three sessions” she started receiving hormone blockers.
Eight years later, and after undergoing surgery, Ms Bell is de-transitioning to return to a woman.
[…]She said: “I am angry about the whole situation because of how things have turned out for me based on the medical pathway that I was put on, but I’m now just trying to focus on changing the system for the better and making it better for minors and children.
“I should have been told to wait and not affirmed in my gender identity I was claiming to have and given intensive therapy basically to make sure that I was on the right track for things and investigate the feelings I was having to figure out how I got to that stage.”
Ms Bell said she felt “trapped and alone”, and the Tavistock Centre should have taken into account the “confusion” teenagers experience before offering her treatment.
What I’d like to see is conservative lawmakers craft legislation to allow victims like this to charge the teachers, administrators, doctors, lawyers and judges with criminal negligence. Because I really feel that it is criminal to lie to young people so that you will feel good, and people will like you. That’s all that this focus on feelings and compassion is. The secular leftist adults aren’t capable of moral reasoning. They don’t want to do good for the children, they want to feel good and be popular, even if it harms the children’s long-term well-being and happiness. The adults should be punished.
This week, Democrat candidate for president Joe Biden answered questions from Democrat supporters at a town hall run by a sympathetic Democrat. There was an interesting question from a Democrat mother about transgenderism. Biden was asked what his opinion was of childred aged 8 being able to transition from their birth sex to a different sex. His answer will shock you.
The Daily Wire reports:
Answering a question at the ABC News-hosted townhall on Thursday night, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden stated that an eight-year-old child should be able to decide that they are transgender.
[…]After telling a story about his father, Biden answered, “The idea that an 8-year-old child or a 10-year-old child decides, ‘I decided I want to be transgender. That’s what I think I’d like to be. It’d make my life a lot easier.’ There should be zero discrimination.”
The majority of children outgrow gender identity issues by the time they hit puberty, but that’s not a popular scientific fact to raise with Democrat voters. So, Biden told them what they wanted to hear.
It’s important to understand that the wishes of parents who DO NOT WANT their child to receive drugs or sex-change surgery will not be respected by a government that is beholden to LGBT activists.
Let’s look at an example from a country that pushes transgender ideology from their government-run classrooms, government-run hospitals and government-run courtrooms.
For the past 11 months, Robert Hoogland, a father in Surrey, British Columbia, has been forced to watch as his 14 year-old daughter was “destroyed and sterilized” by court-ordered testosterone injections. After losing his legal appeal to stop the process in January… is making a desperate attempt to bring his case into the courts of public opinion, even though it breaks a court order demanding his silence about the case.
“I had a perfectly healthy child a year ago, and that perfectly healthy child has been altered and destroyed for absolutely no good reason,” Rob said in an exclusive interview. “She can never go back to being a girl in the healthy body that she should have had… She won’t be able to have children…”
[…][T]he courts judged his daughter competent to take testosterone without parental consent… [and] he was convicted of “family violence” by the BC Supreme Court for his “expressions of rejection of [his daughter’s] gender identity.” He was also placed under threat of immediate arrest if he was caught referring to his daughter as a girl again.
[…]Rob remains under a strict gag order forbidding him from speaking about his daughter’s case in public and requiring that he “acknowledge and refer to [his daughter] as male” in private.
The Canadian “Democrats” didn’t want anyone to know what they were doing to this father, so they took action to silence him:
[…]Rob granted two video interviews to Canadian YouTube commentators about his case… [T]he commentators who granted them quickly found themselves under threats of litigation. Rob’s first interview was immediately taken down. Rob’s second interviewer… faced similar threats, but initially refused to take her video (not currently available in Canada) down.
[…]Justice Michael Tammen of the British Columbia Supreme Court ordered that Thompson’s interview and various social media posts be taken down. When Thompson stalled, trying to keep a rapidly sharing copy of her interview available to Canadians on Bitchute, the police were sent to her house to demand she take the video down.
Tammen also harshly reprimanded Rob for speaking about his case to the media, warning him that if he broke his silence again, he would likely be cited for contempt of court.
You can check out this story from Mass Resistance, where they have photos and names of all the people who attacked the father’s right to parent his child.
And by the way, American public school teacher unions want the exact same rules in place as in this Canadian case, as the Daily Signal reports. Which is why you should support school choice.
Lest you think that this is just one rogue province, the Canadian legislature has actually introduced a bill (C-8) that allows the government to jail parents who refuse to approve their child’s gender transition for up to 5 years:
Under C-8, parents could spend up to five years in jail for trying to help their son accept himself as a boy, or for helping their daughter to accept herself as a girl. Bill C-8 also would impose prison terms up to five years for doctors, counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists and other paid professionals whose treatment for gender confusion departs from politically correct orthodoxy. Parents would be punished if they do anything other than encourage a confused child to “transition” to the opposite gender. Transitioning is an extreme form of intervention that includes taking puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and undergoing permanent surgical sterilization, including the removal of healthy organs such as breasts and testicles.
The Democrats have already passed a bill in the House called the “Equality Act”, and you can read about what it does here at the Daily Signal. If the Democrats win the Senate and White House, this will become law.
One of my friends has been having a debate with one of his former teachers about whether spending more money on government-run education improves tests scores. He tried posting some evidence, but she just dismissed that by claiming:
If we hadn’t spent more money, then the student test scores would have gone down instead of staying the same.
Most of the money that government spends on education goes to vouchers and private schools, not public schools
Economists at prestigious think tanks like that Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, and the American Enterprise Institute cannot be trusted to accurately cite the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Center for Education Statistics because of the Koch Brothers
You can’t compare the test scores of American students with the test scores of Asian students who outperform them, (for less government spending), because math is different in Asia compared to America
Let’s look at some data and see if her arguments are correct.
Does more spending mean higher student performance?
Comparing educational achievement with per-pupil spending among states also calls into question the value of increasing expenditures. While high-spending Massachusetts had the nation’s highest proficiency scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, low-spending Idaho did very well, too. South Dakota ranks 42nd in per-pupil expenditures but eighth in math performance and ninth in reading. The District of Columbia, meanwhile, with the nation’s highest per-pupil expenditures ($15,511 in 2007), scores dead last in achievement.
The student test scores are dead last, but National Review notes that “according to the National Center for Education Statistics, Washington, D.C. was spending an average of $27,460 per pupil in 2014, the most recent year for which data are available.” They are spending the most per-pupil, but their test scores are dead last.
CBS News reported on another recent study confirming this:
Decades of increased taxpayer spending per student in U.S. public schools has not improved student or school outcomes from that education, and a new study finds that throwing money at the system is simply not tied to academic improvements.
The study from the CATO Institute shows that American student performance has remained poor, and has actually declined in mathematics and verbal skills, despite per-student spending tripling nationwide over the same 40-year period.
“The takeaway from this study is that what we’ve done over the past 40 years hasn’t worked,” Andrew Coulson, director of the Center For Educational Freedom at the CATO Institute, told Watchdog.org. “The average performance change nationwide has declined 3 percent in mathematical and verbal skills. Moreover, there’s been no relationship, effectively, between spending and academic outcomes.”
The study, “State Education Trends: Academic Performance and Spending over the Past 40 Years,” analyzed how billions of increased taxpayer dollars, combined with the number of school employees nearly doubling since 1970, to produce stagnant or declining academic results.
“The performance of 17-year-olds has been essentially stagnant across all subjects despite a near tripling of the inflation-adjusted cost of putting a child through the K-12 system,” writes Coulson.
Where did the numbers come from? The Koch Brothers? No:
Data from the U.S. Department of Education incorporating public school costs, number of employees, student enrollment and SAT scores was analyzed to explore the disparity between increased spending and decreasing or stagnant academic results.
Well, at least government-run monopoly schools outperform private private schools, right? No:
[…][P]rivate schools, where students excel over public school peers, …manage to operate at budgets about 34 percent lower than taxpayer-funded schools, US Finance Post reports.
Public schools spend, on average, $11,000 per student, per year.
Coulson noted an Arizona study he conducted which showed that the average per-pupil spending at private schools was only about 66 percent of the cost of public schools.
When it comes to math, U.S. high school students are falling further behind their international counterparts, according to results released Tuesday of an ongoing study that compares academic achievement in 73 countries. And the news is not much better in reading and science literacy, where U.S. high schoolers have not gained any ground and continue to trail students in a slew of developed countries around the globe.
In the latest Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) measuring math literacy in 2015, U.S. students ranked 40th in the world. The U.S. average math score of 470 represents the second decline in the past two assessments — down from 482 in 2012 and 488 in 2009. The U.S. score in 2015 was 23 points lower than the average of all of the nations taking part in the survey.
More money is being spent, but the scores are DECREASING.
Now, why is it that increased government spending in the public school monopoly doesn’t improve student performance? Well, one reason is that very little of the money makes it to the classroom.
Where does all the money go?
Let’s look at four places where the money spent on the government-run public school monopoly ends up.
First, a lot of it gets paid to administrations who implement politically correct programs designed to turn the impressionable young people into little secular socialists.
This figure shows we now spend nearly $1,100 per student on retirement benefits. The average public school student teacher ratio is 16 to 1. So we are spending about $17,000 per year per teacher in pension contributions.
[…]The National Council on Teacher Quality writes,
In 2014 teacher pension systems had a total of a half trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities—a debt load that climbed more than $100 billion in just the last two years. Across the states, an average of 70 cents of every dollar contributed to state teacher pension systems goes toward paying off the ever-increasing pension debt, not to future teacher benefits (p. iii).
While we are spending a huge amount to fund teacher pensions, most of that spending doesn’t go to attracting the best teachers. It’s paying off past debts.
We can’t hire good teachers, because all the education spending of today is paying for the gold-plated pensions of yesterday.
That was 2014. The numbers are even worse today. Teachers contribute very, very little to their pensions, but the benefits are enormous compared to what the private sector taxpayers get in Social Security. (Which is going to be bankrupt by 2034, as reported by the far-left PBS)
Third, a lot of it is spent on teacher training, because apparently teaching multiplication, Shakespeare or geography changes every year, so the teachers need tens of thousands of dollars in annual training.
A new study of 10,000 teachers found that professional development — the teacher workshops and training that cost taxpayers billions of dollars each year — is largely a waste.
The study released Tuesday by TNTP, a nonprofit organization, found no evidence that any particular approach or amount of professional development consistently helps teachers improve in the classroom.
[…]The school districts that participated in the study spent an average of $18,000 per teacher annually on professional development. Based on that figure, TNTP estimates that the 50 largest school districts spend an estimated $8 billion on teacher development annually. That is far larger than previous estimates.
And teachers spend a good deal of time in training, the study found. The 10,000 teachers surveyed were in training an average of 19 school days a year, or almost 10 percent of a typical school year, according to TNTP.
Maybe if more of the money spent on education were spent directly on hiring teachers, then we would see an improvement. Unfortunately, a lot of the money meant for teachers goes to the teacher unions. How do they spend that money?
Finally, this is from OpenSecrets.org, concerning political contributions made in the most recent election cycle:
The two largest teacher unions came in at #9 and #11. Most of their donations go to Democrat Party. Democrats believe (against the evidence) that spending more money in the government-run public school monopoly will improve student performance on tests.
So, what’s the solution?
The solution is that we abolish the federal Department of Education, which has done nothing to improve the quality of education for students. We need to push the education of children back down to the state and local levels. We need to empower parents to choose the schools that work best for their children by giving parents vouchers. We need to increase tax-free education savings accounts to help parents with school expenses. We should also give free college tuition to homeschooled students who are admitted to STEM programs at any college or university. We can take the money from the pensions of the union administrators, after we abolish ever single public sector teacher union in the country, and seize all their assets and pensions. If that’s not enough money, then we can seize all the pensions of Department of Education employees – a just punishment for their failure to produce results while still taking taxpayer money.
Finally, we should allow people who already have private sector experience doing things like STEM to become teachers. Let’s face it: the departments that grant Education degrees have the lowest entrance requirements, and produce the least competent adults. People with years of private sector work experience teach better than people with Education degrees. Let’s open up teaching to people who have experience in the private sector doing software engineering, statistics, nursing, etc. and then we’ll have qualified teachers.