Join a Student Group

If you're not happy with the direction of the country and you want to take back your future, at some point you will have to do something. It's not enough to just know that we're going in the wrong direction. You actually have to step out and get involved.

Most college campuses have conservative and libertarian student groups. Find one of them to join.

Below is a list of some of the larger non-profit groups out there fighting for freedom on campuses across the country. These groups help students in a variety of ways, such as through training, by bringing in speakers, offering activism tools, scholarships, and more.

Click for more details:
Bureaucrash
CampusReform.org

Collegiate Network
Institute for Humane Studies
Intercollegiate Studies Institute
Leadership Institute
Network of enlightened Women (NeW)
Students for Liberty (SFL)

Bureaucrash - "Bureaucrash is an international network of activists, called crashers, who share the goal of increasing individual freedom and decreasing the scope of government. Through Bureaucrash Social, crashers connect and collaborate on ways to use guerrilla marketing and new media to introduce others to the ideas of individual liberty, personal responsibility, and free markets. In short, we fight for freedom."

CampusReform.org - "CampusReform.org is designed to provide conservative activists with the resources, networking capabilities, and skills they need to revolutionize the struggle against leftist bias and abuse on college campuses.

Created to give conservatives powerful new weapons in their fight for the hearts and minds of the next generation of citizens, politicians, and members of the media, CampusReform.org facilitates the establishment of conservative student networks and supports their development as a powerful voice of activism on their campuses. It makes available new opportunities for groups’ interaction with alumni, parents, faculty, and other members of the broader community interested in taking a stand for conservative principles on America’s college campuses.

Connecting up-to-date communications technologies to a principled stand for limited government, the free market, national defense, and traditional values, CampusReform.org makes possible a new generation of student activism to identify, expose, and combat the radical left now."

Collegiate Network - "For more than 25 years, the Collegiate Network has supported independent college newspapers that serve to focus public awareness on the politicization of American college and university classrooms, curricula, student life, and the resulting decline of educational standards. Each year over 100 papers across the country enjoy the benefits of a membership with the Collegiate Network, and the number continues to grow. CN member papers have earned reputations for both in-depth reporting and witty commentary. They serve to raise the level of discourse on the campus and provide an outlet for students to keep university faculty and administrations honest. Many prominent journalists have got their start by working for a CN paper."

Institute for Humane Studies (IHS) - "Today, with a primary focus on students, the Institute continues the work begun by Baldy Harper. The mission of IHS is to support the achievement of a freer society by discovering and facilitating the development of talented, productive students, scholars, and other intellectuals who share an interest in liberty and who demonstrate the potential to help change the current climate of opinion to one more congenial to the principles and practice of freedom.

Each year IHS awards over $600,000 in scholarships to students from universities around the world. IHS also sponsors the attendance of hundreds of students at its summer seminars and provides various forms of career assistance. Through these and other programs, the Institute promotes the study of liberty across a broad range of disciplines, encouraging understanding, open inquiry, rigorous scholarship, and creative problem-solving."

Intercollegiate Studies Institute - "The Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) is a non-profit, non-partisan, tax-exempt educational organization whose purpose is to further in successive generations of college youth a better understanding of the values and institutions that sustain a free and humane society.

Founded in 1953, ISI works 'to educate for liberty' — to identify the best and the brightest college students and to nurture in these future leaders the American ideal of ordered liberty. To accomplish this goal, ISI seeks to enhance the rising generation's knowledge of our nation's founding principles — limited government, individual liberty, personal responsibility, the rule of law, market economy, and moral norms.

Leadership Institute - "The Leadership Institute’s mission is to increase the number and effectiveness of conservative activists and leaders in the public policy process. To accomplish this mission, the Institute identifies, recruits, trains, and places conservatives in government, politics, and the media.

Founded in 1979 by its president, Morton C. Blackwell, the Leadership Institute (LI) teaches conservatives the nuts and bolts of how to succeed in the public policy process.

The Institute strives to produce a new generation of public policy leaders unwavering in their commitment to free enterprise, limited government, strong national defense, and traditional values. Institute graduates are equipped with practical skills and professional training to implement sound principles through effective public policy."

Network of enlightened Women (NeW) - "NeW is the nation's premier club for conservative university women. Started as a book club at the University of Virginia in 2004, NeW aims to cultivate a community of conservative women and expand intellectual diversity on university campuses through its focus on education. NeW members meet regularly to discuss issues relating to politics, gender and conservative principles. NeW has expanded to over  twenty colleges nationwide.

NeW has chapters on the following campuses: Arizona College of Law, Arizona State University, College of William and Mary, Emory College of Law, Florida State University, Indiana University, Meredith College, North Carolina State University, Ohio State University, Purdue University, Smith College, The King’s College, University of Central Florida, University of Dallas, University of Florida, University of Idaho, University of Kentucky, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Tampa (MBA Program), University of Virginia, and the University of Virginia Law."

Students for Liberty (SFL) - "The philosophy of liberty is in jeopardy today. The older generations have let us down, and there seem to be few short-term solutions. Our hope for a free society lies in the future. The best investment one can make to promote liberty today is in the youth, particularly in students.

Students are in a unique position that makes them open to the ideas of liberty. Academia is an environment premised on a belief in debate and inquiry where all ideas are welcome to be presented and inspected by each individual. Students have not fully formulated their beliefs and so are interested in inquiring into different world views. But without support from their academic or peer groups, there is no hope for students to consider the ideas of liberty as viable alternatives to authoritarianism.

There are two types of students who enter college: those who are unfamiliar with the ideas of liberty and those who already believe in liberty. Many students have never read Locke’s Second Treatise, Bastiat’s The Law, or even the Declaration of Independence beyond the quote 'Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness'. What these students need is exposure to the principles of liberty that underscore a prosperous society. The second group of students enter academia with the hope of developing a greater understanding of their beliefs, yet that they so often are beaten down to the point where they give up on their belief in liberty and never develop their potential to further the cause or support the philosophy.

The problem is significant, but the solution is clear: There is a need for an organization to counter the climate of authoritarianism on campus by directly supporting students dedicated to liberty.  

SFL provides a year-round forum of support with consulting services, networking, and various resources to students and student organizations."

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Commentary or Blog Post

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Here is their combined effort....

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"Between 2001-02 and 2010-11, average salaries in Park School District had the highest percentage increase (26.3%) followed by Poudre (17.9%) and Thompson (14.0%). The large increase in salaries seen in Park School District between 2005-06 and 2006-07 was due to an effort by the Park superintendent to recruit and retain educators in that district.

Teachers' base salaries are tied to two...

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"Over skits and snacks Wednesday, hundreds of teachers from around the country got a soft sell from the U.S. Department of Education to become more open-minded about new pay and evaluation systems.

Wrapping up the first national summit among teachers' unions, school administrators and board members representing some 150 districts from 40 states heard glowing reports from districts that...

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While many think that performance pay is a good idea for teachers, teachers unions like the NEA and AFT are slow to accept it. This article reports the NEA’s hesitant approval of the Obama administration’s experimentation with the idea. In general, this piece seems to imply that teachers unions will try ideas they are not in favor of, as long they are in favor of...

Given the seemingly low rate of pay that Oklahoma teachers receive, Neal McCluskey seeks to discover the true standing of Oklahoma teacher salaries in comparison to other states and also to other professions. His research on this topic led him to conclude that not only do Oklahoma teachers do as well, if not better, than teachers in many other states, but they also...

In the midst of hard economic times, Bill Zettler notes that the Illinois education system could help the financial situation by getting rid of the exorbitant salaries of some of its teachers. The author states that Illinois could save money by getting other professionals to do the job of its teachers for much less. According to Zettler, the idea of tenure and the...

In this article, Marie Gryphon applauds Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposal to provide merit pay for teachers, but she also raises several serious pitfalls that come when merit pay is not carefully thought out and evaluated. According to Gryphon, unless merit pay is paired with more school choice options, rewarding teachers on the basis of their performance could...

In addressing the issue of teacher tenure, Jonah Goldberg offers several anecdotes to describe the extreme waste of public tax dollars that go into protecting and paying tenured school teachers. Goldberg suggests that tenure protects teachers from issues that have long since been resolved through other legislation, and hence, tenure is prohibiting rather than...

Reporting on a teachers’ survey that discusses a variety of education issues, Clowes notes that many teachers realize that tenure helps protect bad teachers who should not be in the classroom. This article also notes that a majority of teachers are against the idea of merit pay, but more out of concern that their ability to achieve it would be out of their control...

This article reports on the Michigan legislature’s attempts to change teacher tenure laws in order to more efficiently dispose of bad teachers. The reform attempt was made due to the many instances in which tenured teachers have been able to remain in their jobs even after committing acts of pornography and alcoholism while on the job.

Chart or Graph

This chart lists the National Council on Teacher Quality's state by state teacher grade.

"Teachers' base salaries are tied to two factors: years of experience and additional education."

In many cases, the hourly average wage of teachers was much higher than the hourly average wage of other professional workers.

The above chart demonstrates the pay raise schedule for North Carolina Teachers in the 2001-2002 school year.

This chart compares the current salary plan for North Carolina teachers to a plan designed to provide more salary increases earlier in a teacher’s career.

This chart traces the rise of starting teacher salaries from 1972 to 1997 and compares them to the starting salaries of other common professions.

"For 2011, Florida received the highest overall teacher policy grade with a B, and three other states – Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Tennessee – earned B minuses."

Analysis Report White Paper

This fifth annual edition of the Yearbook documents more changes in state teacher policy than NCTQ has seen in any of its previous top-to-bottom reviews of the laws and regulations governing the teaching profession in the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Although Hassel takes the more progressive view that teachers are underpaid and in need of a salary increase, he also acknowledges that a variety of reforms should be tied to their raises.

This article explores the idea of teacher tenure and its relation to the effective instruction of children. The author opines that the idea of tenure is often misunderstood. In an effort to correct this, this paper describes what tenure actually involves and the process that teachers generally have to go through to get it.

Greene and Winters note that the subject of teacher pay is often emotionally charged, and as such, they attempt to create a detached, factual analysis of the true nature of teacher pay in America. Their findings demonstrate that teachers are often paid as well, if not better, than their white-collar professional counterparts.

This piece compiles research on major pay-for-performance programs in the United States.

Vigdor compares the current teacher payment method to that of doctors and lawyers. He suggests that teachers must endure many more years of practice before seeing significant wage increase, whereas doctors and lawyers enjoy a much faster rise in income levels.

Hess and Castle provide a comprehensive overview of the many issues surrounding teacher pay. Some of the issues that these authors take on include teacher pensions, performance pay, tenure, and the correlations between teacher quality and compensation.

Podgursky and Springer trace the history of teacher pay in the United States in order to discover why many teachers today are being paid through the “single salary schedule.”

According to Hess, changes in teacher salary options would go far in helping to get schools on the path to reform. In light of this, Hess discusses a variety of issues including teacher salaries, pensions, merit pay, and tenure.

"This volume includes one of the first systematic analyses of pay-for-performance practices in the private sector, and finds that although periodic 'bonus' payments are not uncommon in private firms, formulaic payments based on individual productivity are rare, particularly among professional workers outside of banking and finance...."

"The ability to effectively educate the nation's children hinges on the quality of our teachers. And to recruit and retain quality teachers requires that they receive pay commensurate with that offered in other career opportunities available to them."

This study covers information on what teachers actually get paid in comparison to other professions, and also seeks to dispel the myth that a first-year teacher does not have a sufficient salary to pay back college loans.

Video/Podcast/Media

This video describes Colorado’s implementation of the “Teacher Incentive Fund Program.” The program seeks to recruit and retain good teachers by offering bonuses for excellent performance in the classroom. According to this clip, the program is working well and teachers have more incentive to work harder and produce high quality students.

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Researcher Robin Chait explains what the federal "Teacher Incentive Fund" is. This program incorporates pay for performance ideas in order to incentivize teachers to become more effective in the classroom, and thus raise student achievement scores in the process.

Primary Document

A FEW YEARS AGO, the question which required to be argued on the subject of endowments, was the right of the State to interfere with them....

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Dan Goldhaber traces some of the ups and downs of teacher salaries throughout the years in this report prepared for the government. This article includes information on how teachers are generally paid, what starting salaries commonly are for teachers, as well as other benefits that teachers receive from their choice of employment. Goldhaber also studies some of the...

Burroughs argues on behalf of the NEA in this testimony concerning the standards of NCLB. Among other education issues, Burroughs addresses the problem of teacher quality and its relational issue of salaries. Burroughs asks Congress to raise the starting salaries of teachers and also provide other monetary benefits to teachers such as “financial bonuses, college...

This act seeks to spend federal funds for the use of teacher and principal merit pay. According to this document, these federal funds are to be linked to the rise of student academic performance. The act also specifies that this program is to be frequently assessed and used as a type of study to measure how well the idea of merit pay really works.

This document describes the Michigan legislation on teacher tenure. Some of the issues that are covered in this law include how a teacher can gain tenure and how a teacher can lose tenure, as well as the time line and legal process of both.

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Mayor Bloomberg describes what his city has done to improve student achievement in this congressional testimony. Bloomberg attributes much of their success to the city’s commitment to provide better salaries for teachers, improve tenure laws, and implement a pay for performance plan. The Mayor also proudly notes how these steps have been negotiated with the New...

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