Education and the Coronavirus: Trying to Look on the Bright Side Reply

By Sean Gabb

Whether the Coronavirus is the Spanish Flu come again I cannot say, and will not try. We shall have some grounds for knowing by Easter, and may have confirmation next year, when the annual mortality figures are published. Something I can say, however, is that the response to the Virus will have large and continuing effects. Many things will return to normal after the lockdown. Much else will not. As ever with those things that change, there will be a new set of winners and losers. And, where education is concerned, I can hope that I shall stand in the queue of the winners – not, I suppose, anywhere near the front, but somewhere in it, modestly and gratefully picking up such additional crumbs as may fall to me in the market where I earn much of my regular income.

As a private tutor, I have been teaching on-line since 2008. I discovered, when I was made redundant from my university, that Deal was a nice place for living and for spending money, but that almost no one in East Kent wanted to learn Greek or Latin. I therefore went on-line. At first, I saw this as an inferior substitute for the “real thing.” Then, as I made the necessary adjustments, and as the technology steadily improved, I realised that it was a liberation from the chore of travelling from home to do what I could do just as easily from home – and that I could often do better from home.

But allow me to set out in a more formal manner some of the benefits of on-line tuition:

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The Radical Possibilities of Not Paying Your Student Loans Reply

By Nick Martin

The New Republic

I left college $25,000 in debt, a fact I’m reminded of every month when an email from Great Lakes Borrowers Services informs me that “Your Automatic Payment Will Be Made Soon.” But relative to most American graduates, I got off easy: The average amount borrowed by an undergraduate in the most recent school year was $29,000, and the national debt burden comes in at a staggering $1.6 trillion, a number that feels impossible to fathom on its own. It’s higher than the nationwide total of credit card debt or car loans and second only to mortgages.

For the millions of former students struggling to make their monthly payments, debt was sold to us as the cost of a better life. And its repayment, we would later learn, was the cost of any kind of life at all. I don’t even really read the emails from my creditors anymore, since I know that the money is scheduled to come straight out of my account. My debt feels permanent in this way, unmovable.

But what if it actually wasn’t? What if we, along with millions of others, just stopped paying? The Debt Collective, part of a debt-cancellation movement born out of Occupy Wall Street, wants you to at least consider the possibility. “The power of ordinary people in the grassroots is something that I just think is undeniable,” Ann Larson, one of the co-founders of the Collective, told The New Republic. “What else could be achieved if we work together and collectivized? That’s really to me the lesson here, that big things can happen.”

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Tucker: What will higher education look like after coronavirus? Reply

Universities, along with the mass media, are what I call the “New Church,” in the sense of being institutions that are the most responsible for establishing and dissemination the ideology and values of the ruling class, and subsequently using their institutional power to inculcate ruling class ideology in the masses (see the Marxist concept of the relationship between the base and the superstructure). Universities (whether they function as “private” corporations or state-owned industries) are profiteering operations whose purpose is to generate institutional wealth through student loan debt thralldom/indentured servitude.

 

Federal student loan payments to be suspended for six months Reply

Jubilee! Jubilee!

By Tal Axelrod

The Hill

A measure that will suspend federal student loan payments for six months is part of the sweeping coronavirus stimulus package that President Trump signed into law Friday afternoon.

As part of the legislation intended to blunt the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, the measure mandates that lenders cease all payments on the loans through the end of September.

Interest will not accrue and non-payment will not impact credit scores in the interim period.

The law also requires lenders to alert borrowers that the payments have been suspended within 15 days of the bill’s signing and resume alerts on August 1 that the payments will resume.

People still can choose to pay down the principal on their loans over the next six months.

Private student loans, which account for roughly 12 percent of all education loans in 2018-2019, according to the College Board, are not impacted by the law.

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COVID-19 Spares Virginia Schoolchildren from Months of Child Abuse Reply

Image may contain: possible text that says 'COVID-19 ALERT from Henrico County Public Schools HCPS SCHOOLS The right to achieve. The support to succeed.'

Monday, 2 pm: Moments ago, Gov. Ralph Northam announced that all public schools in Virginia would be CLOSED FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE SCHOOL YEAR in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19. Like you, I am stunned and saddened to be seeing those words become a reality. However, Henrico County Public Schools fully supports all that is necessary to ensure the long-term health and safety of our community.

A decision of this magnitude creates an entire universe of new questions that we will begin to answer for you. We will be updating any previously communicated information and guidance, and we promise to stay in touch as all of the information that’s important to you becomes more clear. For now, we felt it was important to pass along today’s major announcement as soon as we found out.

Updates will continue to be posted to our COVID-19 page: https://henricoschools.us/covid19/

Thank you for reading, and please know that the Henrico County Public Schools team will be here with you every step of the way. We will continue to get through this together.

Sincerely,

Amy

Amy E. Cashwell, Ed.D.
Superintendent

Many Japanese children refuse to go to school 1

Alessia Cerantola
BBC

In Japan, more and more children are refusing to go to school, a phenomenon called “futoko”. As the numbers keep rising, people are asking if it’s a reflection of the school system, rather than a problem with the pupils themselves.

Ten-year-old Yuta Ito waited until the annual Golden Week holiday last spring to tell his parents how he was feeling – on a family day out he confessed that he no longer wanted to go to school.

For months he had been attending his primary school with great reluctance, often refusing to go at all. He was being bullied and kept fighting with his classmates. More…

What an Audacious Hoax Reveals About Academia 1

By Yascha Mounk

The Atlantic

James A. Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian, the scholars behind the hoaxJames A. Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian, the scholars behind the hoax.

Over the past 12 months, three scholars—James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossian—wrote 20 fake papers using fashionable jargon to argue for ridiculous conclusions, and tried to get them placed in high-profile journals in fields including gender studies, queer studies, and fat studies. Their success rate was remarkable: By the time they took their experiment public late on Tuesday, seven of their articles had been accepted for publication by ostensibly serious peer-reviewed journals. Seven more were still going through various stages of the review process. Only six had been rejected.

We’ve been here before.

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Keith Preston on the State of U.S. Education Reply

This is a recent television interview I did on the condition of American education. Watch here.

It’s been 35 years since President Ronald Reagan lamented that the US education system was plagued by “low standards, lack of purpose and ineffective use of resources.”

Reagan weighed into the debate as a powerful bipartisan study had stoked widespread concerns about the quality of American schools. A Nation At Risk depicted a gloomy future for America because of its declining education system. Does that fear still ring true today?

funny, quote, school, text

Free Speech: What It Is and Why It Matters Reply

 

Aleksey Bashtavenko


Academic Composition

“However unwilling a person who has a strong opinion may be to admit that his opinion might be false, he ought to be moved by this thought: however true it may be, if it isn’t fully, frequently and fearlessly discussed, it will be held as a dead dogma rather than as a living truth. ”

John Stuart Mill

The First Amendment guarantees that the “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of people peaceably to assemble”. This provision clarifies the point that the government cannot pass a law criminalizing the act of free expression. However, certain spoken statements could constitute an act of violence, provided they can be regarded as a root cause of violence against others.

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Peter Tatchell and the Total State 2

Like Sean, I have some level of respect for Peter Tatchell. However, these troubling statements of his indicate what I have always said, i.e. that any ideological system, no matter how much it may seem to represent “good causes,” can be twisted towards state-centric and authoritarian ends. Additionally, the evidence is overwhelmingly clear that when former outgroups become powerful they tend to replicate many of the same authoritarian power systems that they previously opposed. Instead of having school kids salute the flag and read the Bible every morning, Peter Tatchell instead wants kids to pledge allegiance to the new state legitimating ideology of democratic, egalitarian, multicultural diversity.

What is most regrettable is that so many anarchists and libertarians (the majority of whom are cultural leftists) cannot see this for what it is. This is the same problem that early anarchists warned about with regard to Marxism and state-socialism, and the same problem that has generally plagued modern revolutionary movements since at least the time of Jacobin France, i.e. “Meet the new boss. He’s the same as the old boss.” Plenty of people who really ought to know better simply regard anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-homophobia, anti-xenophobia, etc. as such good causes that they cannot see this rising new form of authoritarianism for what it is.

What kind of opposition do anarchists and libertarians think they will be able to offer against the system in a few decades, perhaps sooner, when the old, rural, white people who comprise the Republicans’ constituency die off, and “conservatism” begins to look a lot like today’s Clinton Democrats and “liberalism” begins to look like today’s university administrations? Regrettably, the Left seems to be in a permanent war with the Western culture of the 1950s, a culture that is long since dead. Any serious critique of statism, capitalism, or imperialism in 21st century Western societies must necessarily include a critique of the emerging ideological paradigm of the ruling class, i.e. what I call totalitarian humanism as espoused by what Joel Kotkin calls the New Clerisy.

By Sean Gabb

Ludwig von Mises Centre

I have some respect for Peter Tatchell. He campaigned against the anti-homosexual laws before this was a safe thing to do. He has shown courage on other issues. This being said, I am troubled by his latest set of recommendations. Writing on the 8th January 2018 for The Friends of Europe blog, he declares that “equal rights are not enough.” It is not enough for people to be treated equally before the law. It is also necessary for children to be brainwashed into agreeing with him. He says:

To combat intolerance and bullying, education against all prejudice – including racism, misogyny, disablism, xenophobia, ageism, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia – should be a stand-alone compulsory subject in every school. Equality and diversity lessons should start from the first year of primary level onwards, with no opt-outs for private or faith schools and no right for parents to withdraw their children.

…. These lessons should be subject to annual examination, ensuring that both pupils and teachers take these lessons seriously; otherwise they won’t. A pupil’s equality grades should be recorded and declared when applying for higher education and jobs, as it is in the interests of everyone to have universities and workplaces without prejudice.

To see what Peter means, let us take a number of issues:

  • Whether the various races are of equal intellectual or moral capacity;
  • Whether the sexes are of equal intellectual or moral capacity;
  • Whether sex outside an exclusive relationship with a person of the opposite sex is right or advisable;
  • Whether changing sex, with present levels of technology, is advisable;
  • Whether mass-immigration is good for a host community.

I could mention other issues, but these will do. No side in any of them is self-evidently true. The truth of each side must therefore be a matter of argument. In all cases, argument either way rests on assumptions that are themselves matters of argument. For the authorities to classify one side in any of these issues as “hate” is as much an abuse of power as criminalising particular views about the Nature of Christ or the sources of religious knowledge. Let attacks on life and property be punished according to law. But let any opinion stand or fall by the appropriate evidence.

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Why State Provision of Social Services is a Bad Idea, Even in the Context of Corporate Plutocracy Reply

Some interesting comments from “Dick Moore” on Facebook.

I wanted to write a little bit about the question of ‘social services’ provided by the State as alleged ‘alternatives’ to for-profit systems.

To start with I will admit (as more sophisticated libertarians do) that really-existing capitalism and its major appendages – the international joint-stock corporation – benefit in a myriad of ways from state intervention, both direct (subsidy, tariff and government contracts) as well as indirect (the creation of ‘friendly business environments’ in foreign lands through political pressure by the American state, intellectual property, and so forth). Existing corporations, even if they provide really valuable services, are almost certainly far more profitable and extensive that would be possible in a market of free competition and without State control of access to credit and so forth.

Many liberals and socialists demand, as an antidote, that many social services should be provided by the government rather than left to the whims of the corporate oligarchy.

‘Obamacare’ has resulted in the funneling of money into huge insurance companies and a further disconnection between patients and care providers, with no apparent improvement in the cost or availability of medical care. After the failure of Obamacare (which even some leftists admit) the solution usually offered is a single-payer system, that is full state operation of medical services, or at least a system of free state-run hospitals for those who cannot afford private services.

Yet is this really an antidote? The almost entirely state-operated school system provides billions a year to corporations – through construction contracts, purchase of computers, purchase of Microsoft Windows, purchase of internet access through FCC-regulated-and-connected agencies such as Time-Warner. And because of this these corporations are raking in huge sums of money without being responsible, while schools can draw potentially infinite funds without any reference to outcomes.

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Lindsay Shepherd LIVE: Free Speech Battle with Laurier University Reply

I challenge any politically correct type among our readers to explain how this situation differs from the kind of inquisition one might expect to take place under a communist, fascist, or theocratic regime.

Lindsay Shepherd (Grad Student at Wilfrid Laurier University) joins Dave to discuss her free speech battle after coming under attack by University officials for presenting her class with a video of a Jordan Peterson lecture. *Subscribe to The Rubin Report: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_c… Hear Lindsay’s audio recording of her meeting with university officials in this video.

3 Unique Benefits of Studying an Online Masters in Software Development Reply

If you are looking at furthering your computer skills, cracking codes and enhancing your career, studying a master’s degree in software development could be the choice for you. With many online universities now offering master’s degrees in software development, regardless of whether you have little or a lot of experience, a degree is right at your fingertips.

You Can Complete It in Your Own Time

Studying an online masters in software development through an institution like Maryville University means you don’t have to attend classes in a university and give up your job or your days. Instead you can still work, and in your free time in-between juggling family and social life you can complete your work and watch online lectures. For this reason and many others, online courses are becoming increasingly popular, as you can gain a master’s degree from the comfort of your bed or your favorite café. It really has never been easier.

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