Interesting BYU Admission Statistics

Hey, I was an Eagle Scout, attended seminary and got my Duty to God.

Statistics on BYU’s Incoming 2009 Freshman

  • 96% participated in seminary
  • 83.6% received their Duty to God or Young Womanhood Recognition Award
  • 69.6% of males received Eagle Awards
  • 84% received some advanced placement high school credit
  • 83% participated in performing arts in high school
  • 69.3% were involved in high school sports
  • 31.6% won math or science awards
  • 27.6% served as student body officers or team captains
  • 10,081 students applied
  • 141 were elected student body president
  • 77% of their fathers and 51% of their mothers received a bachelor’s degree
  • Average high school GPA 3.83
  • Average ACT score 28.0

Source: BYU Magazine Summer 2009

Obama is right!!!

“If a school continues to fail its students year after year after year, if it doesn’t show any sign of improvement, then there’s got to be a sense of accountability.” President Obama, March 8, 2010

Unfortunately he also said it should be a last resort. I think bad teachers should be called out on a regular basis. But hey, it’s a start.

Hum, what a surprise

It seems today that the most unbelievable stories come out of the educational system. The 4 year old who brings a tic tac to school and get’s suspended until he’s 17. You know–those stories.

Well here is a post that unfortunately isn’t shocking. It’s not shocking because the teachers unions have the states tied up just like the UAW has the big three automakers.

This story is important for a lot of reasons. It shows a pattern. It’s not just my own beloved State of Utah that is getting shellacked. It’s lots, if not all states. Teachers right now are fighting for money. States are in the red and need to cut operating costs. Teachers are actually picketing against cut backs. They think EVERY teacher is valuable.

This report shows that every teacher is not valuable. You don’t have to be a molester to not be valuable. The real point of this story is that it is almost impossible to get laid off as a teacher. Teachers that are just not that good need to be let go. Not just the really blatant ones.

These are our kids. They deserve the best. They don’t deserve a situation where the unqualified can’t get let go.

Think about it. Do you want to eat at a Burger King that absolutely won’t let go of its employees? Do you want to go to a doctors office that won’t let go of its employees? Do you want to take your care to a brake shop that won’t let go of its employees? Then why do you want your 5 year old spending 35 hours a week with a teacher who can’t be let go?

Read this….

Jordan School District Teachers—Sit Down

A colossal example of government waste was recently uncovered. The Pentagon paid $998,798 to ship two 19-cent washers from North Carolina to Texas.

Yes that is extreme but government waste is historic. With the government tripling the deficit in a single year, it’s expected that waste will triple as well.

Yet during this period where Federal, State and Local governments are cash strapped; Jordan School District teachers are picketing to keep their jobs. I personally find this extremely offensive. The rest of the world doesn’t get to picket share holders when a company has layoffs. Why do they feel such a sense of entitlement?

Sit down teachers! A job is not a right. It’s a privilege.

Alpine School District

My boy Hunter is in 7th grade. It’s his first year of junior high and this semester he is taking health class. Based on the subject matter it sounds more like sociology than health. Recently they have been talking about drugs, mental problems and blended families. So in order to learn about these topics they watch television shows and movies. They watched ten minutes a day of the movie “What about Bob” and “Man of the House”. They even watched the show “Full House.”

Unfortunately that is the best Alpine School District can do. But I guess I would rather him watching Full House than leaning investigations math. 

Liberal Educators – “Gay, Lesbian Pledge Cards”

A California school system refuses to say what action, if any, it will take after it received complaints about a kindergarten teacher who encouraged her students to sign “pledge cards” in support of gays.

During a celebration of National Ally Week, Tara Miller, a teacher at the Faith Ringgold School of Arts and Science in Hayward, Calif., passed out cards produced by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network to her class of kindergartners.

The cards asked signers to be “an ally” and to pledge to “not use anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) language or slurs; intervene, when I feel I can, in situations where others are using anti-LGBT language or harassing other students and actively support safer schools efforts.”

The school has acknowledged that the exercise was not appropriate for kindergartners.

Parent Adela Voelker, who declined to be interviewed in depth for this report, said she was furious when she found her child’s signature on one of the cards. She said she contacted a non-profit legal defense organization specializing in parents’ rights.

Meanwhile, a school board member, Jeff Cook, says some type of action should be taken.

“We have a general rule that all instruction should be age appropriate, and this clearly was not,” said Cook, who has served on the school board for five years.

Val Joyner, a school district spokeswoman, told in an e-mail that when deciding what to teach on this subject matter, educators “gather materials from community agencies and other education groups” and that “the materials have grade level indicators which help determine what is age-appropriate.”

The district said the pledge cards were intended for middle school and high school students.

Asked last week if the district planned to take action against Miller, Joyner said she would have to look into the incident. On Thursday she told that she did not have an answer for the question and that she would no longer be doing any media interviews.

Joyner said in an e-mail that Miller, the teacher, “planned to teach students how to become an ally and conflict-mediation through various activities.” She added that the district doesn’t advocate for a specific cause and/or lifestyle, and it has “no curriculum for gay, lesbian and transgender lifestyles.”,2933,445865,00.html

K-12 Educators are Predominantly Liberal

It’s a well known fact that college educators are predominantly liberal. For years I ignorantly assumed that this didn’t apply to K-12 educators. I thought they were “normal” meaning they were just as likely to be liberal or conservative as other citizens. I no longer hold that opinion. Educators tend to be liberal.

I think my previous assumption came from the fact that K-12 educators are not as personally vocal on liberal causes. University professors use television and publishing to champion their beliefs. Even those working for state schools are given tenure which allows them to champion personal beliefs while at work. Since K-12 educators are working with children I think there is an unspoken pressure stay silent to avoid the appearance of indoctrinating children.

For the last eight years I have had children in elementary and junior high schools. In dealing with teachers, teachers unions, principals, school districts and organizations such as the PTA; I have realized that they are fierce liberal organizations. They believe in the tenants of liberalism. They agree with the platform of the Democratic National Committee. They are outspoken on issues that have nothing to do with education.

The California Teachers Association is the #1 contributor in the fight against California’s Proposition 8 marriage amendment. They have donated over $1.3 million dollars to that cause. Don’t be fooled. They are not doing it to defend the interests of a few gay and lesbian teachers. They are doing it because as an organization they are liberal to the core. There are definitely thousands of teachers around the country who are conservative or even non-political but the organizations that represent them are liberal. 

We must stop thinking of teaching as a high and noble calling. It is a job. Teachers teach because they want a paycheck and they believe teaching will be an enjoyable way of earning the money. That’s not a put down. That is why mechanics fix cars. They want a paycheck and they believe working on cars will be an enjoyable way of earning the money. 

Every teacher should be treated individually and with the respect owed to any human being but teachers unions, school boards, school districts and the PTA are liberal bastions. They fight for liberal ideas and values. They are not centrists. They should be treated like the NAACP, NOW, ACLU, MoveOn, Sierra Club etc. Those organizations are recognized for being liberal and when they speak you know what is going to come out of their mouth. 

Liberal organizations have a right to exist and be respected but they should be known for what they are. Educational organizations have not been categorized with other liberal organizations because they want to work both sides of the fence. They want to be free to push a liberal agenda but be considered mainstream and centrist. They want to hide behind the facade of being, “for the children”. They are not “for the children”. They are for liberalism.

These organizations are always run by former educators and they are supported by educators. Educators are wholly responsible for their liberal message.

One Mad Hombre

I’ve been dreading this for years. My boy is in sixth grade and is preparing for a three day school excursion. Sixth graders go to a place called “Clear Creek”. It is up in the mountains at a school district camp. The activity lasts three days and two nights. The camp is staffed with teenagers.

What am I so mad about? Well, I don’t believe in sleepovers. My wife and I don’t let our children go to friends houses to stay overnight. There is plenty of evidence that sleepovers lead to bad things. Issues range from inappropriate discussions to sexual molestation. Molestation can come from parents or older kids in the house. Frequently families allow their kids of different ages to have sleepovers on the same night. So you can have a 12 year old boy having his friend over the same night as the six year old girl with her friend. Even if I trust the family I may not trust their kid’s friend. You’re basically sending your kid over to someone’s house where you don’t know how the situation is going to change. Studies show that sleepovers at cousin’s homes are the worst.

I had sleepovers as a kid; probably hundreds of them. I personally didn’t see anything horrendous but I saw enough to make me wary. My wife had similar experiences. It is just not something we do in our family. My boys will go to Boy Scout campouts and other overnight activities but they will be older and there will be better security measures in place and if not, I will attend.

The school pushes this Clear Creek thing very hard. Yes there are some security measures in place but guess what, if I don’t send my children to our friends homes around the neighborhood, I sure don’t trust the government to have them overnight. Remember and never forget, PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE PART OF THE GOVERNMENT. They are no different than the IRS or the DMV.

You may be thinking, “Just don’t send your kid”. Well it sure doesn’t seem that simple to me. There is enormous pressure to attend. Pressure from other adults, teachers, classmates and of course my own kids. I’m just ticked that the school district puts me in this position. They could be driven up each day without doing this overnight bologna.

I am mad that I have been put in this situation.

Dumbing Down our Children

“In my daughters parent teacher conference we expressed our concern about the lack of spelling words and tests. And that my daughter really struggled with spelling.  Her teacher’s response was, ‘all she needs to know is how to click the spell check button on her computer. No one needs to know how to spell anymore.'” Teacher in Jordan Utah School District

“I want my boys to be able to add up their groceries as they shop. ‘Now everyone has a calculator on their cell phone. We don’t need to be able to add up numbers in our head anymore.’” Principal in Alpine Utah School District

I have zero confidence in the Utah educational system, but I assume this is common around the country.

Though we all need to express outrage over these responses, I believe this trend will continue. It is easy to relax standards and difficult to get them increased. That is especially true of government programs and departments.

I recently took a test from a career recruiter. It was a one hour test and had a section on math. Calculators were NOT allowed. Here are a few samples from the three page math section:

5.5 / 2 =

3.06 – 1.25 =

.19 * 1.2 = 4(-2)² + 8(-2) + 3(-2) + 5 = 

30 + (.0835 x 30) + (15% x 30) = 

548% / 26% =

4/5 x 1 1/6 =  

Now I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed but it’s been fifteen years since college; I found working these problems by hand was a little awkward. In high school and college I did untold pages of these types of problems. Doing them without knowing how to carry, borrow, use long division or having my times tables memorized would be extremely difficult.

My point is this; children need to be taught the basics. They need to be able to work out problems on a piece of paper and not have to rely on a calculator. They need to be able to write a note on a Post-it and stick it to someone’s door without having to use a spell checker.

Bottom Line: We need to push for vouchers so we can select the school that will most benefit our children.

School Vouchers

I believe in school vouchers. I believe in vouchers for the rich and poor. I believe in choice, competition and the free market. I believe school teachers and administrators are government employees. While many are good and hard working they suffer as employees of a huge, monolithic system.

Vouchers are good for everyone.

  • Children with specific interests
  • Children with special needs
  • The little boy getting picked on
  • The teenage girl who has an eating disorder
  • Parents who don’t want their kid reciting the pledge of allegiance
  • Parents who believe in prayer in school
  • Parents who can’t stand “Investigations Math”
  • Anyone who feels public schools are not serving their children
  • People who believe in school uniforms
  • People who love public schools and want smaller class sizes
  • Arguments against vouchers:

    Public money shouldn’t be used for religious schools

    I don’t hear arguments against pale grants going to students of Notre Dame, BYU, Pepperdine, TCU, Baylor, Duke or any of the other hundreds of religious colleges and universities.

    The Rich

    I’ve been debating vouchers on blogs for months. Those against vouchers always return to the rich vs. poor. The crux of the argument seems to be that people who want to put their children in public schools are rich snobs. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve only known four people with kids in private school. None of them were rich. I know one guy who makes decent money but he has 5 children in private school. He is paying $25,000 out of pocket a year. That’s just for tuition. That expenditure cuts extremely deep. That is after tax money. He does it because his children are #1 in his life. He worked with the system in two different districts and was dissatisfied.

    Accredited Schools

    Accreditation is important on a university level because you want your credits to transfer. But on the elementary level it means nothing! The same is true for junior high and high schools. There are hundreds of organizations that accredit public schools. They all have different standards and they are all run by teaching organizations.

    Accredited Teachers

    My local elementary school is loaded with student teachers, teacher’s assistance, volunteers, etc. I don’t hear the UEA squealing about that.


    The UEA complains about bureaucracy yet they want the money to go to the biggest bureaucracy in the state. They give an example of wasted money on vouchers–do they really want to get into a debate on wasted money in public schools?

    Vouchers Take Money from Public Schools

    Not true. They don’t take money from public schools anymore than building a new road. Voucher money is coming from the general fund. The problem is that UEA thinks the general fund should be the education fund.

    Competition is Not Necessary in Education

    Try an experiment. Some Saturday wake up, read the paper, pay your bills, going to the grocery store, eat out and perhaps finish the day with a movie. At the end of the day, write down all the goods and services you consumed and write down which one’s you which didn’t have competition. Send me your list.