Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob


Pop Tart Criminal

Pop Gun Tart

America is often said to be a land of second chances. Just not for 7-year-olds. At least, not when they’re in the public school system. Back in 2013, a boy then in second grade in Anne Arundel, Maryland, was suspended for two days for what was deemed a “gun-related” offense.

Well-Substantiated Insanity

Well-Substantiated Insanity

In what sort of place are children taken from their parents, or parents investigated by the authorities with that in mind, because they allowed their 10- and 6-year-olds to walk to a park to play? Not a forced 20-mile march across Death Valley, mind you, but a Saturday stroll of

The Education Nightmare

Ever have a nightmare . . . about school? I can’t remember enduring a “dog ate my homework” or “naked in front of the class” dream recently — it’s been a long time since graduation — but economist Bryan Caplan discusses a different variety on EconLog: those nightmares in which one “realizes” that

Play Gun Theater

Stop me if I repeat myself . . . but maybe we don’t need elaborate explanations for poor performance in America’s public schools. Maybe it comes down to this: they are run by people as unhinged as the administrators of the Stacy Middle School in Middleford, Massachusetts. Yes, it’s time

Sack Lunch

On the face of it, the idea that the federal government should be involved in school lunches is . . . weird. And yet Congress and a long line of presidents have pushed the notion of federally funded and controlled lunches; recently the First Lady, Michelle Obama, made a big


When Bill Nye “The Science Guy” spoke out in defense of Common Core, he succumbed to the urge to carry baggage from other disputes. He laid much of the blame for opposition to Common Core on the creation/evolution debate, basically just blurting out that people who objected were objecting to

Nothing to Sneeze At

I don’t believe everything I read. If I did, I’d believe seven incompatible things before breakfast, and by lunch I’d suffer a nervous breakdown. From a cognitive dissonance overload. There’s a story just out: A Tennessee teen was allegedly suspended from school for saying “Bless you.” Un-sneezin’-believable. I don’t want

Grading on the Progressive Curve

It used to be a joke. Tom Lehrer made it about his military experience. “One of the many fine things (one has to admit) is the way that the Army has carried the American democratic ideal to its logical conclusion … not only do they prohibit discrimination on the grounds

Why Homeschoolers Make Good Citizens

Horace Mann promoted the “common school” not primarily to increase literacy or prepare kids for college. No, the movement that gave birth to the modern public school system in America was designed to inculcate good citizenship by putting all kids through a “shared experience.” A few years ago, Mann’s notion

Nixing Success

Newly elected New York Mayor Bill de Blasio made waves, recently. He nixed the establishment of two new charter schools and halted the expansion of another. Widespread protest followed, with over ten thousand people showing up to express their frustration and ire. The charter chain under de Blasio attack, Success

Cold Contempt for Common Sense

It began when a science experiment at a Minnesota high school set off a fire alarm. One of the students, Kayona Tietz, was swimming at the time. Her clothes were in her locker. Because the alarm was unplanned, a teacher ushered Kayona outside without letting her retrieve her clothes. All

Just What We Need

Why is schooling so expensive? Government makes it so. Take the recent example, in California, of “coder boot camps.” These are “schools” where computer coders receive training. We now learn that the Golden State’s education bureaucrats are cracking down on this unlicensed and unregulated form of learning. Unless they comply,

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