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Editor’s NotebookEditor’s Notebook: An example of Virginia’s ‘new math’?

Editor’s Notebook: An example of Virginia’s ‘new math’?

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With the Northam administration seemingly hell-bent, before the governor hits the road next January, on completely dumbing down public education – “equity” apparently meaning to them that all kids have to come out of high school as ignoramuses – we’re already beginning to see instances of the “new math” take hold across the Old Dominion.

Consider the results of an online poll conducted by the Falls Church News-Press and reported by that esteemed publication last week, asking residents of the city if they liked the new names given to two Falls Church schools, after the school system sent the previous names packing for not being PC enough for current sensibilities.

The options on the ballot were: I like neither; I like both; I like the new elementary-school name only; and I like the new high-school name only. Seems perfectly rational so far.


According to the newspaper, “I like neither” led with 68 percent, followed by “I like both” at 26 percent, “Only the elementary-school name” at 25 percent and “Only the high-school name” at 1 percent.

Now, to be fair, I went to Fairfax County Public Schools some years back, so my math is a little iffy even on a good day. But 68+26+25+1=120, right? How’s it possible for the total to add up to more than 100 percent? Is it the vanguard of the coming-soon “close-enough” theory of mathematics?

My guess is that there is a typo somewhere in those numbers as printed in the paper (it happens). So perhaps this coming week’s edition will bring clarification. Or maybe I’m just missing something (that happens, too).

But to those 68 percent of the respondents who say they hate both names, try this out: Start kicking out those School Board members who foisted them on you. One by one by one, knock them off at election time. You’d be amazed how soon elected officials fall into line when the public starts grabbing them by what our British friends delightfully call the “short and curlies.”

MORE PROOF THERE IS NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN: “Students at James Madison High School are taking the lead in addressing racial tensions in the school,” reports an article from Vienna I stumbled recently upon.

Sounds like it could come from 2021. But it comes from the May 23, 1967, edition of the Northern Virginia Sun.

Nearly 54 years later and we’re still treading water as a society on that particular issue. As we likely will be 54 years from now. If there is a “54 years from now.” (It is a pretty safe bet I will not be around, in any event.)

AND MORE, MORE PROOF THERE IS NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN: Currently I am reading (or perhaps re-reading) Theodore White’s “Making of the President 1968.”

Amazing the number of similarities, political and societal, between 1967-68 and 2020-21. Some of White’s conclusions in the book could be lifted verbatim and be equally valid today.

TO END ON AN UP NOTE: Lots of crankiness in our blog today, so can we have some fun with the video below of the Coasters doing their thing back in the 1950s? And yep, that is a very young Dick Clark doing the intro.

– Scott McCaffrey

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