Category Archives: Education

All the little snowflakes get an A…

University of Wisconsin Faculty Votes to Apportion Grades by Race

Earlier this year, the University of Wisconsin–Madison faculty senate adopted a new Framework for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence, which, according to the campus’s Board of Regents, “places the mission of diversity at the center of institutional life so that it becomes a core organizing principle.” Nothing new under the sun there.

But UW economics professor W. Lee Hansen notes something profoundly disturbing in the framework, which apparently went unnoticed by the faculty and the administration:

To achieve the plan’s vague aims, the Ad Hoc Diversity Planning Committee formulated five goals and thirty detailed recommendations. Unbeknownst to faculty senators, these goals and recommendations are based on the “Inclusive Excellence” framework adopted earlier by the Board of Regents. (See Agenda Item II.6 for the March 5, 2009, meeting of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents.)

That framework includes eight essential “working definitions,” among them the already-discussed diversity, as well as others: “compositional diversity,” “critical mass,” “inclusion,” “equity mindedness,” “deficit-mindedness,” “representational equity,” and “excellence.”

Let us take a closer look at one of these working definitions included, namely “representational equity.”

It calls for “proportional participation of historically underrepresented racial-ethnic groups at all levels of an institution, including high status special programs, high-demand majors, and in the distribution of grades.”

Political correctness has for some time mandated that everyone get an A, so it was only a matter of time before the coercive forces seeking “Diversity and Inclusive Excellence” rendered grades utterly meaningless. But to commandeer grades as a vehicle for reparations? That level of brainlessness deserves an F — no matter what color you are.

Coming to a town near you…

What’s Happening To Gordon College Is Just The Beginning

A Christian college in Massachusetts requested the freedom to live out its ideals, and since some powerful people don’t share those ideals they’re set to destroy Gordon College—unless it agrees to retreat to the closet.

In June, Gordon’s president added his name to a public letter asking President Obama to not force religious organizations into hypocrisy. Obama plans an executive order that would be the equivalent to many organizations of forcing Human Rights Campaign to hire adherents of Westboro Baptist Church. It would force anyone who receives federal funds to hire people whose sexual conduct disgraces all the world’s major religions.

Gordon, like every other observant religious institution in the world, does not want to be forced to hire people that represent the opposite of what it stands for. For that, it’s been pilloried in the press and persecuted by apparently every local public official who gets morally high from judging Gordon’s beliefs. It has already lost a contract with a local town to manage its historic town hall, and its accreditation will soon be under review—all for merely signing a letter. Gordon is only the vanguard. There is far more of this ahead, for every religious school, charity, parachurch organization, and even churches. So it’s time to pay attention to the tenderhooks of tyranny.

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North Carolina Governor To Sign Bill Replacing Common Core Standards

Brietbart

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) issued a statement Wednesday that he will sign a bill passed by his state’s legislature to review and replace the Common Core standards.

As wral.com reports, grassroots groups of parents have pressed North Carolina lawmakers to repeal the Common Core standards. The state House voted 71-34, however, to approve a compromise measure that creates a new state commission to review educational standards and recommend the replacement of defective Common Core standards or those that are inappropriate.While an earlier state House version of the bill would have outright banned the commission from retaining any of the Common Core standards, the compromise follows the state Senate’s version, which permits the commission to choose the best standards, whether from Common Core or another set of standards.

The Common Core standards will remain in place in North Carolina for the next school year while the commission, which will be appointed by the governor and legislative leaders, reviews the standards.

State Rep. Craig Horn (R) said it is the state’s “right and obligation” to set its own educational standards, rather than adopt a nationalized system.

Journolist for the smarmy Brandeis tenured…

The college bubble bursts at Brandeis…

Brandeis University was founded to “embody its highest ethical and cultural values and to express its gratitude to the United States through the traditional Jewish commitment to education,” according to its mission statement. But recently uncovered e-mails between faculty members expressing their express their disdain for the United States and Israel cast doubt on its commitment to that mission.

Brandeis student Daniel Mael uncovered an internal faculty listserv that contains e-mails with hateful anti-Israel language and attacks on the school’s Jewish leadership. Mael exposed portions of the listserv on Tuesday, and the Washington Free Beacon has since gotten ahold of more of the e-mails from tenured faculty members.

The secret Brandeis faculty listserv, entitled “Concerned,” was started in 2002 “out of concern about possible war with Iraq, and it now has 92 subscribers. When women’s-rights activist AyaanHirsi Ali was to receive an honorary degree from the university, 87 Brandeis professors signed a petition in protest. On the listserv, they expressed their outrage. “She’s an ignorant, ultra-right-wing extremist, abusively, shockingly vocal in her hatred for Muslim culture and Muslims, a purveyor of the dangerous and imaginary concept, born of European distaste for the influx of immigrants from its former colonies, ‘Islamofascism’ — which has died on the vine even of the new European right wing,” Brandeis English professor Mary Baine Campbell wrote. 

The listserv has also been host to anti-Israel rhetoric, especially recently with the Israel–Gaza conflict.

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Adjuncts Urge Labor Dept. Inquiry Into Working Conditions

InsideHigherEd

More than 500 adjunct professors and their advocates have signed a petition calling for the U.S. Department of Labor to investigate their working conditions. The petition’s authors, all current or former adjuncts at various colleges and universities, allege that they are being paid for only part of the work they do, and that that amounts to wage theft. The petition is addressed to David Weil, director of the agency’s Wage and Hour Division, and urges him to “open an investigation into the labor practices of our colleges and universities in the employment of contingent faculty, including adjunct instructors and full-time contract faculty outside the tenure track.” The investigation should be conducted at the “sector” level, they say, rather than individually.

The petition says that average yearly income for adjunct professors “hovers in the same range as minimum-wage fast food and retail workers,” since adjuncts typically are paid only for the time they spend teaching — not the time they spend preparing or meeting individually with students. Ann Kottner, an adjunct professor of English at three New York City-area colleges, says in a photo posted with the petition that she works 66 hours per week but is compensated for only 26 hours, for example. Kottner and her co-authors say faculty unions have helped alleviate the problem in some cases, but that more needs to be done to protect the rights of adjuncts who can’t or won’t form unions. Many adjuncts lack basic job security and fear getting “blacklisted” for speaking out or organizing, they say.

Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules State Legislature Has Authority to Repeal Common Core Standards

Breitbart

In a case that has drawn attention to the level of power attained by largely unelected state boards of education over the elected representatives of the people in a state legislature, the Oklahoma Supreme Court upheld Tuesday the state’s repeal of the Common Core standards, ruling that the Oklahoma legislature had the authority to repeal the controversial standards in the state’s public schools.

In early June, Gov. Mary Fallin (R) signed into law a bill, passed with overwhelming bipartisan support, that repealed the Common Core standards in her state and replaced them with standards to be developed by the state of Oklahoma. The new standards must be proven to be sufficiently unlike the Common Core standards. Until the new standards are developed, Oklahoma is reverting to its former PASS standards.

Former Oklahoma state attorney general Robert McCampbell, however, represented some parents, teachers, and four of seven members of the Oklahoma Board of Education, who argued against the “excessive involvement” of the state legislature with standards for Oklahoma’s public schools.

McCampbell said Oklahoma’s Common Core repeal bill was unconstitutional because involvement by the state legislature with new standards would encroach upon the state board of education’s constitutional authority and would violate the separation of powers.

Teachers Union Abruptly Breaks Rank On Common Core

Good.

In a major surprise, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the country’s second-largest teachers union, opened its biannual convention Friday by announcing a step back from its support for Common Core education standards.

The group, gathering in Los Angeles, announced that it will now provide monetary grants from its Innovation Fund for teachers who want to critique the standards or even write entirely new ones themselves.

The AFT’s executive council is also introducing a resolution, to be voted on at the convention, which would declare that the standards had noble intentions but have fallen short due to outside meddling and an inordinate focus on standardized tests.

The announcement came as part of a general opening address by AFT President Randi Weingarten.

“Some of you in this room think the standards should be jettisoned,” told thousands of assembled teachers. “Some of you, myself included, think they hold great promise, but they’ve been implemented terribly.”

With that in mind, Weingarten said, the AFT was willing to offer support funds for teachers who want to improve, modify, or otherwise change the content or implementation of Common Core.

Adult Illegal Immigrants Posing as Children To Enroll in High School

A Massachusetts city‘s packed school system is being forced to accept illegal-alien adults.

Adult illegal immigrants posing as unaccompanied alien children appear to be attempting to enroll at public high schools, city officials in Lynn, Mass., tell National Review Online.

“Some of them have had gray hair and they’re telling you that they’re 17 years old and they have no documentation,” Jamie Cerulli, the Lynn mayor’s chief of staff, tells NRO. “If my children went to the public schools, I’d be very uncomfortable with all of these unaccompanied minors [that] are placed in the ninth grade.”

Admission of all foreign students — illegal immigrants, refugees, and foreign nationals — has increased by more than 500 students since the 2010–2011 school year, Catherine Latham, the city’s superintendent of schools, tells NRO. Last school year, nearly 250 students arrived from Guatemala, including 126 enrolled in the ninth grade.

The majority of unaccompanied Guatemalan children arriving in the city hail from the city of San Marcos, Latham says, and are drawn by Lynn’s large Guatemalan population.

NRO has obtained Department of Health and Human Services documents and images of two unaccompanied aliens living in Lynn that appear to challenge the notion that the age information listened for these “children” on their documents is accurate.

Isai, pictured above (his full name has been withheld), was released from an HHS shelter to a person identified as a “family friend,” living in Lynn, according to his “Verification of Release Form” from HHS’s Office of Refugee Resettlement. According to the information provided on the form, HHS approved Isai’s release less than a month before the date of his 18th birthday.

Isai and Candelaria are enrolled in the ninth grade and are expected to arrive in class this fall, Latham confirmed to NRO. When potential age discrepancies arise, Latham says city officials visit the residences of the “minors” to attempt to verify the age of the individuals in question. On one occasion that she’s aware of, Latham says a relative at one such residence identified an illegal immigrant “child” as between the ages of 30 and 35.

Candelaria (full name also withheld), pictured above, was released from a shelter in El Paso, Texas, to her sister Amelia who lives in Lynn, according to her Verification of Release Form. Candelaria’s record also claims she was 17 years old at the time of her release.

Will Bobby Jindal Have to Fight Common Core in Court?

NationalReview

Jindal’s decision has sparked an internecine war among Republicans in Louisiana, putting him at odds with his handpicked superintendent of education, John White, and his Republican-dominated legislature. White has said the governor doesn’t have the right to unilaterally prevent the state from adopting the standards and that the move is less about the nature and quality of the education Louisiana children receive and more about “presidential politics.”

The great lengths to which Jindal has gone to pull Louisiana out of Common Core are one indication of the standards’ toxicity among conservative Republicans. His executive orders overrode not only the decisions of the state board of education but also the legislature. That GOP-controlled body rejected several bills that would have removed the state from Common Core and, in fact, passed a bill sponsored by a Democratic legislator in mid June — Jindal vetoed it — that endorsed the standards.

The Jindal administration has not budged, nor has it ruled out its own lawsuit against the board of education. Expect to hear more about it on a Republican presidential debate stage sometime in 2015.

University to decrease jobs after state increases minimum wage

CampusReform

Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU) is anticipating major cuts in student employment opportunities after budgeting for state mandated increases in Michigan’s minimum wage.

In an interview with The Valley Vanguard, Jim Muladore, SVSU executive vice president of administration and business affairs, estimated that Michigan’s minimum wage increase will cost the university approximately $760,000 annually by 2018.

The problem is that the university, which is facing depressed fall enrollment numbers and diminishing housing and dining revenue, cannot fund these additional costs within departments.

“In order to maintain their budgets, departments will likely be pressed to hire less students or decrease the amount of hours student employees are able to work,” the Vanguard reports.

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