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“Where I’ve come out pretty clearly on higher education is that it cannot be reformed from within”

“Where I’ve come out pretty clearly on higher education is that it cannot be reformed from within”

My speech at the Parents Unite Conference in Boston: “academia is pretty much gone, and now the question is how do we protect society from academia, because it can’t be changed. The systems are there, the bureaucrats are there, the DEI statement requirements are there, and they are spreading.”

On October 28, 2022, I spoke at the Parents Unite Conference in Boston.

You may recall that I spoke at the Parents Unite 2021 conference as well where my topic was How Parents Can Frame The Media Narrative And Counter False Messaging.

I’ve already written about the speaker who immediately preceded me this year, High School teacher Jeremy Adams, whose speech on the Hollowed Out Youth Crisis was startling and fascinating.

Jeremy was a hard act to follow, but I did my best. My own speech was on An Inflection Point In The Fight Against The Racialization Of Education.

My entire speech was almost 30 minutes, so I didn’t try a full transcription.

The first half of the speech summarized how we got to this point in the educational and societal crisis. I then turned to what I mean by “an inflection point” (11:45):

So  this is very much a fight for national survival. I think we are at an inflection point, and I think in many ways we have won the public relations battle, not everywhere and not with a hundred percent of the people, but what is commonly referred to or loosely referred to as CRT, Critical Race theory, is a toxic term.

Now they run from it like it’s the plague. That is a major achievement. And then we get into these stupid arguments. Well, it is CRT, it’s not CRT, but very few people are actually defending it. I mean, we do see activists who will defend it, and we do see that. But at a macro public level, it’s not being defended. The question is can they kind of surreptitiously work it, work it in…. The public relations battle there has been won. And I think that what we saw last year, so 2021 was the year of CRT in many ways…

So we’ve won in many ways the public relations battle. But that’s not enough. And that’s really where I come into the notion of an inflection point. Now that we’ve addressed the narrative, we need to address the infrastructure that perpetuates these things because you can win the news narrative, but if the same administrators are there, if the same book publishers are there, if the same funders are there, if all of that stuff is still there, and for the most part it is, nothing’s going to change.

Starting around the 14:17 mark) turned to how we cannot lose focus on the destructive racialization of education, that it is much more deeply embedded than the radical gender ideology recently dominating the headines. Here are key excerpts:

And so the inflection point, I think people who care about children, who care about education need to now be making is to address the systemic problems that we have. Andthat’s a lot more difficult. I think the systemic problems in some ways, at least at the higher ed level, are getting worse. At Cornell, they now require DEI statements from all new hires, faculty hires, and all faculty promotions. So as warped as the ideological outlook is among faculty in universities, it’s going to get worse.

***

(15:50): …. So this is going to get worse. Where I’ve come out pretty clearly on higher education is that it cannot be reformed from within.

There are a lot of groups who are doing a lot of good work, and I respect it to try to bring viewpoint diversity to campuses. And I’m not saying we shouldn’t be doing that, but ultimately it’s not going to succeed.

I don’t know what the answer is in higher ed, but it cannot be reformed internally. It’s going have to be external forces, and it’s going to have to be legislation, it’s going to have to be funding, it’s going to have to be other things. What they look like remains to be seen. But I do believe academia is pretty much gone, and now the question is how do we protect society from academia, because it can’t be changed. The systems are there, the bureaucrats are there, the DEI statement requirements are there, and they are spreading. And if you see what’s happening in professional schools, law schools and medical schools and elsewhere, it’s just as bad.

There is a new issue, like I mentioned, the gender ideology. I view that as more of a passing phase than the CRT stuff. Because it’s so horrific, the stories that we’re seeing, it cannot last. It just cannot last… [That’s] not to say there aren’t real issues there, but in terms of it sweeping the nation, I think that’s gonna burn itself out. I don’t think the CRT stuff is going to burn itself out. And I think that’s why we need to keep the focus. We cannot take the fact that this year there is massive pushback about the violation of women’s spaces, the violation of women’s rights, all critically important issues, but it’s going to burn itself out. The CRT stuff, though, has been there for 30, 40 years. The trajectory that we’ve seen, it is so deeply embedded. The racialization of education at every level is so deeply embedded that it’s going be harder to get out…

***

(28:35): [After discussing CriticalRace.org] So we are gonna keep the focus on CRT. Our databases have been used by legislators, to document what’s going on by other researchers, by other authors, by media. And so we’re not gonna lose the focus on that. Other issues are very important, certainly important. We each need to find out what we can do. But in this inflection point of moving from public relations to actually finding out where the problems are and giving people the information they need to actually implement changes in those locations, that’s what we do. It’s what I think is our strength and we’re gonna keep doing that. And so I would urge you all to now focus … on solutions and how do you get those solutions to this problem enacted and change.

Certainly school board elections are very important and I think we may see some interesting results in 2022 school board elections, but there’s really the infrastructure that supports this, the budgets, the book publishers, the foundations, all need to be addressed. And we need to move from public relations to actually implementing changes on the ground. Thank you very much.

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Comments

My school board in Round Rock got national
Attention because they were so God awful and abusive to the parents
The conservatives had a good slate of people running amd indeed there were 3 new school
Board members, all more radical left than the previous ones
I actually had a hard time finding out who was running on the conservative side,
I think possibly money was an issue but Rounr around, once a redder than red county is now blue.I
Noticed all the “zones” residents I. My
Neighborhood has Democrat signs up amd some had like 20, really nuts.thisnis when the housing shot up by hundreds of thousands, including mine. But all I get for it is bigger taxes. Our school taxes are insane and we are turning out little communists

Next school board election I will give money and I will
Door to door

    I see a problem with the larger community having the right to vote for the school board.

    Those elections should be reserved for ONLY parents of kids attending schools or 1 year away from attending.

      nordic prince in reply to Andy. | December 27, 2022 at 1:44 pm

      What about the property owners, whose taxes fund the schools? If a parent is a renter, they could be in favor of all kinds of crazy stuff, then walk away after five years and leave the townies to clean up after their mess.

        inspectorudy in reply to nordic prince. | December 27, 2022 at 5:32 pm

        How about all taxpayers? If you don’t pay taxes then you don’t have a say. If you are not a taxpayer then making demands on the board is like a homeless person complaining about free food.

      Sanddog in reply to Andy. | December 30, 2022 at 12:22 am

      Actually, it would be better if only the people taxed to fund the schools have a right to vote for the school board.

It your right , amd I fear for my grandkids, they are in a Christian school, cost anprettt penny but my husband and I feel it’s money well
Spent

I Loved my public school in Milwaukee in the 50,60,s, I can’t believe what we have let them do to our education

    Steven Brizel in reply to gonzotx. | December 26, 2022 at 9:36 pm

    What Mark Levin calls American Marxism took a long march through academia and public education and the expensive private schools that began in the late 1960s .If you have traditional mores and conservative views you can fight the good fight on the local level but be prepared to consider home schooling or choices offered by religiously based schools

      jimincalif in reply to Steven Brizel. | December 27, 2022 at 12:34 am

      I don’t know, my niece graduated from a Catholic high school in California last year and came out thinking she’s “pansexual”. She’s getting past this now, Lord only know what they taught about race issues. Thankfully one of my sons is going to homeschool. My daughter unfortunately plans to send her kids to public school. Even in Boise the educational rot is present, and I think a lot of parents here are not paying attention to this. As Prof Jacobson says, the school personnel just do what they are going to do anyway.

        Dathurtz in reply to jimincalif. | December 27, 2022 at 8:45 am

        A big chunk of that is social media nonsense. Take the phones out of their hands and that nonsense will drop by 99%.

          jimincalif in reply to Dathurtz. | December 27, 2022 at 9:38 am

          Good point.

          artichoke in reply to Dathurtz. | December 27, 2022 at 5:53 pm

          Not sure at all about that. The new teacher college graduates are lefties, and they know they have to be subtle to bypass the desires of those horrible fascist parents and make the next generation better.

          This is how they see it. And you can’t even fire them. They get “tenure” just as good as academic tenure, for 3 years of not-terrible (or agenda-serving) performance. No reason for them to have tenure at all; they are not creating new knowledge, their proper role is to transmit well established knowledge and manage the classroom.

          In my opinion better-educated parents should be able to slap them down hard when they go beyond that role. But realistically it is not possible, and then there’s the DOJ that might call you a terrorist. That guidance, as far as I know, was never explicitly revoked.

        nordic prince in reply to jimincalif. | December 27, 2022 at 1:46 pm

        Religious/church-affiliated schools are a good start, but due diligence is still required.

      Indeed, you refer to Leftists’/Dumb-o-crats’ “long march through the institutions,” a strategy that has been hugely successful, across all spheres of American society.

Just stop cancelling people for what they say. In a university particularly, the whole point is anybody can say anything that they think is true.

CRT would die quickly if people could safely say what they thought. Bureaucrats can’t survive ridicule.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to rhhardin. | December 26, 2022 at 11:17 pm

    K-12 and universities are in my opinion unsalvageable, fix them would require what Musk did in Twitter. They would all need to be fired. With K-12 mandated teaching certificates would have to be waived, in fact those would be a liability. For college, where could they get untainted professors?

      henrybowman in reply to JohnSmith100. | December 27, 2022 at 8:49 am

      That one’s dead easy. Make up a list of the cancelled.

      artichoke in reply to JohnSmith100. | December 27, 2022 at 5:58 pm

      Use retired people from the various fields being taught. Engineers and scientists could teach the math and science. Newspaper editors or writers or novelists could teach English. I don’t know who I’d trust with history, all the stuff is online and it’s not clear we need it in the curriculum. Certainly “social studies” just tells you it’s pro-socialism if people would read the words; why do we have that.

      And athletic trainers could teach gym. Members of the city or better orchestra to teach orchestral music. And so on.

      Such a school would work for the able students. The non-able would find lots to complain about, but I think they would be better served learning a trade. Pretending they’re going to be nuclear physicists just wastes everyone’s time. If they want to stay in that track, there’s the work required, no discrimination.

        Dathurtz in reply to artichoke. | December 28, 2022 at 7:13 am

        Your last paragraph is great. I teach a lot of kids who are going to be fantastic tradesmen and they simply do not need to know a lot of the required material. That creates a lack of interest, a hate of school, and discipline problems.

It may require corporations and the public realizing that private colleges do not provide value for the amounts charged and them going under at a rapid pace.

You can make a decent living today without a college degree at places like the supermarket industry or FedEx, if you work hard and have some smarts. That is because those places employ a lot of people and such a person will stand out against the average employee and move ahead.

    JohnSmith100 in reply to jb4. | December 26, 2022 at 11:20 pm

    I have hired engineers who were self taught, they outperformed college graduates in many cases, The reason being that they had an innate grasp of what worked and how it worked.

      OwenKellogg-Engineer in reply to JohnSmith100. | December 27, 2022 at 10:55 am

      My dad had only an eighth grade education, but one the best self taught engineers that I know. He encouraged me to get my PE because he respected the effort that it took to be an engineer.

      OwenKellogg-Engineer in reply to JohnSmith100. | December 27, 2022 at 10:59 am

      I have the utmost respect for the crafts and trades that don’t require a college degree. The infection in academia today runs too deep to make most any degree of value. Even the STEM degrees are becoming inundated with this garbage.

        Son is finishing a STEM degree, and no the physics is not infected with wokeness. Some of the distribution requirements require contact with that stuff. Generally college students want the old stuff, and it’s the adults pushing the new wokeness. Some of the students are disappointed that they’re getting “climate science” instead of real science, for example. But the adults are telling them that’s what is important now and the world has changed. Or just not telling them and letting them keep paying and hope the next semester is better.

The situation is tragic, but at least the understanding that we’ve lost our schools to the radical left (meaning, ultimately, Communist China) is “mainstream” (at least here, anyway).

That said, I’m waiting until the idea that we’ve lost our country is ‘mainstream’ around here, so we can start discussing “America, Act II” – which will involve some sort of weakened federalism, if not secession, and hopefully before any civil war starts.

Secession is coming, and it’s our only way out. Accept it now, or bleed over it later.

    There is no equitable (sorry to use the word, it is seldom used correctly anymore, but for once, it is the right word) way for any part of the “union” to suceed. When it was much smaller, more manageable, and far less complex, a war was fought to ensure it “stayed together.” And, it is a complex process to bring together and execute the Constitutional machinations to achieve that kind of outcome.

    We cannot trust half the country now to have a real, civil election. We certainly cannot trust them to split the country fairly.

    It will never happen.

      What if there were some thoughtful philanthropists who valued objective standards of excellence.

      What if they bought some land and a few buildings in, say, Bermuda, or Greenland, or ???

      And started a new educational institution — call it MERITOCRACY U.

      Idk but it seems to me it might could be a start.

I believe the Professor is right about trans garbage burning out because it is simply soooo destructive to kids especially, surgeries, etc.

The plaintiffs’ lawyers are going to make billions off those suits.

    artichoke in reply to Close The Fed. | December 27, 2022 at 6:05 pm

    Also because the soccer moms, a potent political force, wants to keep trans-girls out of girls’ sports. However the soccer moms have been fine with CRT and its precursors . Without their acquiescence and preening white guilt, we never would have gotten to this disastrous state. I blame them.

Ad government to the list of ‘what can’t be reformed from within’.

God bless the work that Professor Jacobson and the great team at LI do everyday, in the trenches.

“At Cornell, they now require DEI statements from all new hires, faculty hires, and all faculty promotions.”

This has been standard in every American college for at least the past thirty years, from the community colleges to the Ivies, though it hasn’t always been given the DIE (Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity) label, but simply “equity.”

So, yes, the university is moribund as an institution, but it still has a stranglehold on credentialing scientists and engineers, and is the neo-Marxist ideological sewer-pipeline into the public schools.

The creation of private academies outside of the existing institutions seems to be the best solution, but the sheer waste of formerly brilliant scholarship and teaching is horrifying when you look at places like Stanford and MIT. They are sacrificing knowledge to ideology, and a pernicious, morally and intellectually bankrupt ideology at that.

    Ann in L.A. in reply to bullhubbard. | December 27, 2022 at 10:54 am

    In Los Angeles, private ($35,000+/year) high schools are now requiring families to write DEI statements along with their applications.

    artichoke in reply to bullhubbard. | December 27, 2022 at 6:10 pm

    It’s been years since we learned that Rafael Reif not only accepted money from Jeffrey Epstein after his (Epstein’s) conviction, but hid the fact and didn’t bother to mention it when Epstein was arrested again and the issue broke into the public. Amazingly he hired the law firm to investigate that found that he had received those contributions i.e. nailed him for his very misleading omission.

    MIT has announced a search for a new president, but Reif is still in the chair today.

    This agenda is very intentional, and its agents are scrupulously protected. And the money source SBF is at his parents’ home. His bail wasn’t really 250 million, but just the several million dollar value of that home that was pledged as the only collateral for the 250 million bail.

We need to remove ed schools from their role as gatekeepers of the schoolhouse door. Education schools are where many old 60’s radicals ended up, and where they continue to push Gramcian damage through our teachers and our schools.

Ed certificates and advanced degrees have not been shown to make someone a better teacher. Teachers who get into the profession through alternate means, have been shown to be just as capable as ed-school approved teachers. Talk to good teachers, and they will overwhelmingly tell you that they learned on the job and from workplace mentors, not from their schooling.

Many ed schools teach little that is actually about the practice of teaching, and teach much about being woke and “social justice”. Meanwhile, topics like best practices for teaching reading and math, classroom management, and syllabus development, etc are left out of the curriculum.

Parents groups, legislatures, and governors can have a tremendous impact on education by completely rethinking the “teaching certificate” and its requirement as a key to the classroom.

    nordic prince in reply to Ann in L.A.. | December 27, 2022 at 1:56 pm

    Indeed. Too many conflate “certified” with “qualified.”

    The ed school nonsense is a primary reason why I didn’t even consider teaching at the high school level. I wouldn’t have been able to stomach the horseshit for 2 years to get the stupid certification.

    BierceAmbrose in reply to Ann in L.A.. | December 27, 2022 at 5:44 pm

    “We need to remove ed schools from their role as gatekeepers of the schoolhouse door. Education schools are where many old 60’s radicals ended up, and where they continue to push Gramcian damage through our teachers and our schools.”

    So much this.

    They’re not even good at learning theory or course design — desperately needed as anyone who’s had a course with an academic-only professor knows.

    Dathurtz in reply to Ann in L.A.. | December 28, 2022 at 7:23 am

    Yes. A thousand times.

    My scientific methods class was hot garbage that mostly taught teachers middle school level science concepts because the Ed. majors didn’t know it.

    The classroom management class was good. I particularly benefitted from a class on how to create assessments.

    It is important to realize that our system is formed around ideas like Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences and the idea of Learning Styles that have zero experimental support. That is scary.

My wife and I have paid, and continue to pay, a fortune to send our children to traditional Catholic schools.

Author Russel Jacoby says that academia is responsible for most of this mess. He actually called out conservatives who worried about the universities going liberal in the ’60s. Now he has admitted that he was wrong and they were right. He basically says that almost everything in academia is far left from the administrations through all of the professors and courses. He doesn’t see a quick fix for it and says because of a lot of leftist degrees that offer no future employment, these newly minted leftists are now invading normal employment bringing along their outrageous culture with them. CRT is one of their worst beliefs.

Yet, where does the church in spirit go to live among us, as the institution collapses.

The Protestand Reformation was not a fun time for most folks.

I think you’re mistaken about gender identity madness burning out. It is fundamental to the leftist mindset.

This article explains it.
https://www.firstthings.com/article/2023/01/that-haunting-nihilism

The late 60’s and earl 70’s demonstrated that a small number of radical leftist students and faculty could radicalize a sufficient number of students to make it dangerous to career and safety for university administrators to deny the radical’s demands. They realized that BAMN means all the way to bloodshed.

I don’t know how this can be resolved other than by making the modern university irrelevant. Too many fools concentrated in a small area.

Taking control of government school boards is a strategy doomed to failure. Government school boards have very limited control, and the next election may result in a leftist takeover.

School choice is a better strategy.

Removing children from government schools is a very effective tactic.

Prof J – We don’t need legislative half-measures to address CRT, but I think that is what will result if crafted by some headline-chasing elected official. Are you working with someone to draft proposed legislation?

Home school your kids. Teach them to read, do math .. to start.

Things are not hopeless. I offer two points of attack:
1) Most Schools of Education are housed in public universities. If the state legislatures could clean out the Schools of Education (whose formulaic approach is the fountain of the ever-spreading “woke” mis-education) the we could start a meaningful reform of K-12 education. Schools of Education also credential most of the “student life” administrators which enforce “woke” higher education best practices.
2) To be eligible for federal financial aid, both private and public colleges must be accredited. The accrediting standards have been captured by the “woke.” If sensible people work hard, we can capture them back and with new accreditation standards, hold colleges accountable to our sensible expectations.

At this gloomy time, some good news! MIT just changed presidents, and immediately they issue an anti-woke statement about free speech! https://www.zerohedge.com/political/mit-adopts-free-speech-resolution-we-cannot-prohibit-speech-offensive-or-injurious