33 episodes

Sometimes the very strategies meant to help children have the opposite effect. Join AEI’s Naomi Schaefer Riley and Ian Rowe as they look behind the headlines at the public policies and cultural agendas driving child welfare and education. Rowe and Riley bring to light practices that will make you ask, “Are you kidding me?”

Are You Kidding Me‪?‬ American Enterprise Institute

    • Government
    • 5.0 • 7 Ratings

Sometimes the very strategies meant to help children have the opposite effect. Join AEI’s Naomi Schaefer Riley and Ian Rowe as they look behind the headlines at the public policies and cultural agendas driving child welfare and education. Rowe and Riley bring to light practices that will make you ask, “Are you kidding me?”

    Would a child allowance help low-income children?

    Would a child allowance help low-income children?

    Over the past month, US family policy has captivated the attention of policymakers across the ideological spectrum. At the forefront of the family policy conversation: a universal child allowance. In early February 2021, Senator Mitt Romney https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/02/04/romney-child-benefit-stimulus/ (proposed) a sweeping plan to combine several tax credits and the major US cash welfare program into a universal child allowance, paid in cash to families on a monthly basis. Democrats responded with a https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2021/02/07/child-benefit-democrats-biden/ (plan) of their own that would introduce a slightly smaller child allowance, but keep other federal benefits intact. How would a universal child allowance affect child poverty in the US? Does this policy hold fast to the conservative tradition of pursuing “temporary, targeted, and timely” federal supports?
    Joining Naomi and Ian in this episode is AEI Rowe Scholar in poverty studies https://www.aei.org/profile/angela-rachidi/ (Angela Rachidi). She discusses the history of poverty alleviation programs in the US, the potential unintended consequences of a child allowance, and the policy agenda of a new “pro-natalist” movement on the right focused on removing barriers that prevent Americans from having the number of children they desire. Later, Ian, Naomi, and Angela explore means-tested “baby bonds” as a potential alternative to the child allowance.
    Show Notes:
    03:50 | Child allowance proposals on the Left and Right
    04:40 | Key differences between Romney proposal and Democrat’s policy
    06:45 | A return to pre-1996 welfare
    10:30 | Why send cash to high income families?
    14:05 | Pro-natalist case for a child allowance
    16:30 | Ideal fertility vs. actual fertility rates; what are the tradeoffs?
    19:05 | What about means-tested “baby bonds?”
    22:20 | Will a child allowance proposal become law in the near future?
    Resources :
    https://www.aei.org/articles/fix-family-poverty-with-free-markets-for-once/ (Fix family poverty with free markets, for once) | Naomi Schaefer Riley and Angela Rachidi | Reason
    https://www.aei.org/poverty-studies/how-would-a-child-allowance-affect-employment/ (How would a child allowance affect employment?) | Angela Rachidi | AEIdeas
    https://www.aei.org/op-eds/romneys-child-allowance-proposal-would-eliminate-decades-of-anti-poverty-progress/ (Romney’s child allowance proposal would eliminate decades of anti-poverty progress) | Angela Rachidi | RealClearPolicy

    • 21 min
    Mark Perry on Title IX violations and institutionalized discrimination

    Mark Perry on Title IX violations and institutionalized discrimination

    Description:
    Title IX was first implemented in the 1960s to rectify discrimination against women on the basis of sex in institutions receiving federal funding. In what can only be described as one of the quickest shifts in American culture, women began to outperform men in both enrollment and success in higher education. What role should Title IX play in promoting equal opportunity today? Are woke colleges and universities misconstruing the original intent of this rule and unlawfully discriminating against men? How does Title VI — a counterpart to Title IX that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin — fit into the picture?
    In this episode, https://twitter.com/Mark_J_Perry?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor (Mark Perry), a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, joins Naomi and Ian to discuss the history of Title IX and Title VI and to highlight concerning trends that now threaten the original intent of these rules to ensure equal opportunity. Mark has filed 300 Title IX complaints with the office for civil rights, resulting in 144 federal investigations for violations of civil rights laws and more than 30 resolutions in his favor.
    Resources:
    https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/do-our-woke-universities-live-up-to-their-own-values/ (Do our woke universities live up to their own values?) | Mark J. Perry | Carpe Diem
    https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/the-year-in-review-an-update-on-my-efforts-to-challenge-title-ix-violations-in-higher-education-and-advance-civil-rights-for-all/ (The year in review: An update on my efforts to challenge Title IX violations in higher education and advance civil rights for all) | Mark J. Perry | Carpe Diem


    Show Notes:
    01:05 | What are Title IX and Title VI, and how are they supposed to function?
    03:40 | Women outperforming men in higher education
    08:30 | Can you use disparities to justify discrimination at an institutional level?
    10:10 | How will the new Biden-Harris administration respond to Title IX discrimination?
    12:00 | How does Title IX impact single-sex programs?
    19:15 | Is discrimination leaving boys behind in education and job preparedness?

    • 21 min
    Is it racist to hold historically black colleges to the same academic standards as other schools?

    Is it racist to hold historically black colleges to the same academic standards as other schools?

    For decades, the NCAA’s Academic Performance Program has sought to hold colleges across the country accountable to provide a quality education to their student-athletes. Yet, today, this program has come under fire for the way it treats historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Is it racist to hold HBCUs to the same academic standards as other colleges? What role should institutions of higher education play in serving the long-term interests of their athletes? In this episode, https://twitter.com/JohnnyCTaylorJr?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor (Johnny Taylor Jr.)—president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management—joins Naomi and Ian to discuss this issue and more. Johnny is an expert on issues pertaining to HBCUs. He used to lead the Thurgood Marshall College Fund—a non-profit organization supporting more than 300,000 students at HBCUs. Johnny notes that a vast majority of student athletes—even those from top-tier athletic schools—never go on to play professional sports, and academic standards are an essential method of holding colleges accountable to prepare their student-athletes for career success.
    Later, Naomi, Ian and Johnny discuss why HBCUs continue to provide critical pathways to upward mobility for young black men and women who might otherwise miss out on opportunities for higher education. They also examine recent unsolicited donations from Mackenzie Scott and discuss why it will be important for additional support of these institutions to hold colleges accountable to allocate funding toward value-adding improvements.
    Time stamps:
    00:58 | What is the Academic Performance Program and why is it coming under fire? 
    06:22 | How do we understand claims of systemic racism in the NCAA?
    08:55 | Should we be investing more resources into HBCU’s?
    11:00 | What is the ‘Value Proposition’ of HBCU Institutions?
    17:35 | The recent renaissance of HBCUs with notable graduates like Stacey Abrams, Raphael Warnock and Kamala Harris.

    • 21 min
    Free speech and “woke” sensibilities in schools

    Free speech and “woke” sensibilities in schools

    Schools across the country have begun to adopt practices around teaching and enforcing “woke” principles that raise concerns about the rights and wellbeing of children. In some instances, students are required to publically declare their support or opposition to certain ideologies and “corrected” later if their answers are not satisfactory. Are schools overstepping their bounds and infringing on students’ rights? How can educators generate healthy and productive conversations on race?
    Joining Naomi and Ian in this episode is https://www.thefire.org/resources/fire-staff-speakers/bonnie-kerrigan-snyder/ (Bonnie Snyder), the High School Outreach Fellow at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Bonnie shares her efforts with FIRE to produce a manuscript called “Undoctrinate,” which seeks to provide educators the necessary tools to promote free and constructive conversations in schools. Later, they share encouraging news about the success of the “1776 Unites” project’s high school curriculum, which presents a more complete and authentic approach to American history, recognizing both America’s legacy of slavery and the remarkable accomplishments of black Americans in the face of oppression.
    Resources:
    https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/naomi-schaefer-riley/elite-education-racism/ (My kids and their elite education in racism) | Naomi Schaefer Riley | Commentary
    https://1776unites.com/our-work/curriculum/ (1776 Unites Curriculum) | “1776 Unites”
    https://www.dailywire.com/news/elite-private-school-in-la-rolls-out-new-anti-racism-policies-some-students-parents-and-alumni-arent-thrilled (Elite Private School In L.A. Rolls Out New ‘Anti-Racism’ Policies — Some Students, Parents, And Alumni Aren’t Thrilled) | Jon Brown | The Daily Wire
    Show notes:
    00:45 | What is happening in high schools around free speech and the “woke” sensibility?
    02:00 | Concerning incidents of public humiliation
    05:35 | What is FIRE doing to help parents and their students stand up to school overreach?
    09:51 | How these efforts threaten the future of high school students
    13:28 | Why the “1776 Unites” curriculum ican help schools promote free and constructive conservations about race and opportunity in America
    17:40 | Crediting the “1619 Project” for raising an important discussion on the gaps in school curricula on American history
    19:15 | How the legacy of the “Rosenwald schools” can inform an approach to build a brighter future for black Americans

    • 22 min
    The hard bigotry of San Diego’s new grading system

    The hard bigotry of San Diego’s new grading system

    In October 2020, the San Diego Unified School District board unanimously approved sweeping changes to the district’s grading system in an effort to become “anti-racist.” Among these changes: removing the requirement for all students to turn in their homework on time. Does altering the way students are graded really address the root problem of the achievement gap? How do “anti-racist” policies shape the way minority children view themselves? How will parents respond to this policy decision, given that California voters just struck down a state-wide referendum to allow affirmative action policies?
    In this episode, Naomi and Ian are joined by https://www.aei.org/profile/nathaniel-n-malkus/ (Nat Malkus), AEI Resident Scholar and Deputy Director of Education Policy Studies, to discuss the potential effects of San Diego’s new policy. Nat notes that schools are not just vehicles for transferring academic knowledge from teachers to students — they are supposed to prepare children to flourish in all areas of life. Accordingly, schools and teachers should encourage and reward hard work, consistent effort, and self-confidence, among other important character traits.
    Resources:
    https://www.aei.org/op-eds/the-soft-bigotry-of-anti-racist-expectations-is-damaging-to-black-and-white-kids-alike/ (The soft bigotry of anti-racist expectations is damaging to Black and white kids alike) | Ian Rowe | USA Today
    Time stamps:
    01:25 | San Diego’s grading overhaul and growing “anti-racist” efforts in schools across the US.
    03:30 | The importance of rewarding both mastery and character formation in schools.
    06:45 | Studying students’ successes rather than their failures in order to identify ways to reduce disparities.
    07:45 | Will changing a grading system really address the root causes of the achievement gap?
    11:25 | School is about more than just learning academic material and earning a test score.
    12:30 | How do “anti-racist” school policies affect the self-perception of minority students?
    17:00 | California’s referendum on affirmative action and parents’ reaction to “anti-racist” policies.

    • 20 min
    Can the government deny foster parent applications due to religious beliefs?

    Can the government deny foster parent applications due to religious beliefs?

    James and Gail Blais were barred from fostering their one-year-old great-granddaughter due to their religious beliefs. During the foster parent application process, the Washington state government led the Blaises through hypothetical questions assessing how they would respond if their great-granddaughter were to identify as homosexual or transgender at some point in the future. As Seventh-Day Adventists, the Blaises said they would certainly continue to love the child, but they could not support the child’s decision in that circumstance. This raises an important question: can state governments deny foster applications due to the religious beliefs of potential foster parents?
    In this episode, Naomi and Ian are joined by https://twitter.com/VolokhC?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor (Eugene Volokh), an expert in first amendment law and professor of law at UCLA, to explore how state adoption authorities can ensure the well-being of foster children while respecting the religious beliefs of prospective foster parents. Volokh notes that because the Blaises were applying to care for a relative, and the decision to deny their application was based on responses to hypothetical scenarios, this case signals a particularly concerning overreach by the Washington state government.
    Resources:
    https://reason.com/volokh/2020/10/09/coupled-barred-from-fostering-their-1-year-old-great-granddaughter-because-of-their-opposition-to-homosexuality-and-gender-transitioning/ (Couple Barred from Fostering Their 1-Year-Old Great-Granddaughter Because of They Oppose Homosexuality and Gender Transitioning) | Eugene Volokh | Reason
    Show notes:
    01:05 | Why did Washington's child welfare department deny the Blais’ foster application?
    04:05 | How should we think about the boundaries the government places around foster parenting?
    07:10 | Should foster agencies incorporate speculative scenarios in the decision-making process?
    09:20 | Do people with non-religious conscientious objections have rights as well?
    12:40 | How can foster agencies recruit the greatest volume of high-quality foster parents possible?
    18:25 | Should the perspective of children’s biological parents be taken into account?
    21:39 | Regardless of legality, is it prudent for the government to place its “hand on the scale” and emphasize one factor over all others when determining the fit of a foster family?

    • 25 min

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