Archive for the ‘Education’ Category
Here’s an actual, for-credit homework quiz in an undergraduate class called Psychology 1100 at Ohio State University:
Theo has an IQ of 100 and Aine has an IQ of 125. Which of the following statements would you expect to be true?
• Aine is an atheist, while Theo is a Christian.
• Aine earns less money than Theo.
• Theo is more liberal than Aine.
• Theo is an atheist, while Aine is a Christian.
The bolded statement, suggesting that atheists are — demonstrably and as a group — smarter than Christians, is the credited answer on the quiz.
A student currently enrolled in the class who wishes to remain anonymous tipped off Campus Reform about the questionable quiz at the taxpayer-funded school.
“Colleges will tolerate pretty much any religion other than Christianity,” the student told Campus Reform. “If colleges really want to give everyone a fair shot, they should stay away from making comments about any religion.”
“How can you really measure which religion has a higher IQ?” the student added.
“Techno-progressives” at the local and federal levels are gathering more and more information on students in public and private schools — and many parents don’t realize it, says Jane Robbins, an attorney and senior fellow at the American Principles Project.
According to Robbins, “techno-progressives” hope to guide workers from birth to the workplace with their social engineering in a planned economy, which benefits vendors hoping to grow rich from big data.
Whereas self-determination and families used to guide students in choosing their career path, proponents of Common Core think they know better when it comes to jobs that communities supposedly need. Privacy safeguards for concerned parents — much less for the students themselves — have been eviscerated over the last two-and-a-half years by agreements, regulations and the allure of federal funding to school districts for extensive, non-academic information being collected on students.
“Common Core is not a political issue. It’s an issue of their children,” Robbins told The Daily Caller. “You can mess with a lot of things. You can have the IRS going after people. You can have the NSA spying on people, but when you start to mess with people’s children, they start to pay attention.”
The principal of an international school in Chicago was reassigned after an anti-Semitic bullying incident in which Jewish children were shown pictures of ovens and told to get in.
Principal Joshua VanderJagt asked to be moved after outrage grew, leading to the students involved in the bullying to be banned from graduation.
“Mr. VanderJagt has asked to be reassigned within the District and I have granted this request,” Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said in a statement on Friday. “I agree with Mr. VanderJagt that the students, parents and the school community will be best served by a new principal of their choosing.”
The allegations came from Ogden parent Lisa Wolf Clemente, who said that her two sons, 14 and 8, were bullied. “The Gold Coast resident said her teen son was shown photos of ovens and told to get in during lunch periods, intended as a reference to the Holocaust,” according to the website DNAinfo.com, which covers Chicago.
At the Streeterville campus, Wolf Clemente said her 8-year-old was invited to join a team called ‘Jew Incinerator’ on the popular game app Clash of Clans. The team was allegedly created by Ogden eighth-graders.
In a screenshot provided by parents, the team description reads: ‘We are a friendly group of racists with one goal — put all Jews into an army camp until disposed of. Sieg! Heil!’
According to CPS, VanderJagt launched an investigation after Wolf Clemente reported that her children were being bullied for being Jewish.
A petition calling for VanderJagt to resign or be terminated circulated online at the time, gathering 414 signatures, though a several dozen were recorded from outside the Chicago area, including one from Germany and another from the U.K.
Ultimately, three eighth-grade students received one day of out-of-school suspension and one day of in-school suspension, while others were given one day suspensions. The students were also barred from participating in eighth grade graduation ceremonies. A CPS spokesman said that was VanderJagt’s decision, which was supported by the district.
It might surprise some readers to hear that in Wenham, Massachusetts, a little north of Salem, is a theologically conservative Christian institution of higher learning: Gordon College. You might think having a conservative college like this in true blue Massachusetts would make it a perpetual vortex of the culture wars, but Gordon is conservative in an old-style New England way, concentrating on making their community one of virtue in following Christ and essentially staying out of everyone else’s business; in particular, staying out of politics. The Gordon administration and their alumni, spread out over the area, are known for being mild-mannered and compassionate; basically just good people, as this editorial in the Salem Evening News points out (while insisting that Gordon is getting what it deserves.)
So what happened? Gordon President D. Michael Lindsay sent a letter to President Obama asking to be exempted from the executive order banning discrimination against gays and lesbians. Salem mayor Kim Driscoll got wind of it and immediately severed ties with the college, ending Gordon’s contract to manage Old Town Hall, where productions of “Cry Innocent” (about the Salem Witch Trials) are regularly performed. The President of Salem State University decided to pile on, local columnists compared Gordon to everything from witch hunters (of course) to the Klan, from slave owners to the Taliban. Inevitably, the bureaucrats got involved, with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges offering that Gordon’s accreditation needed to be “reviewed.”
Which all goes to show that it is possible to remain ignorant of the nature of witch hunts even in a region that is constantly revisiting and rehashing the Salem Witch Trials. Witch hunts happen when someone, doing what they have always been doing, is picked out by the mob as a victim to its own self-righteousness. In this case, Gordon College is merely asking to go on as it has these many years, when the North Shore community had no problem with it. It is only because His Highness Obama in Washington has decided that Gordon must change its ways that this has become an issue at all. The local media, politicians, academics and bureaucrats have all united against the school, using the old Puritan punishment of shunning (the Salem News invites Gordon to “…rejoin its counterparts as an important leader on the North Shore”—i.e. get with the program or get the hell out.)
Salem State University’s President notes that Gordon has “received scant support, at least publicly.” Of course. The witch never does.
A 2012 study conducted by the Heritage Foundation found that workers who switched from private employment to teaching most often took an hourly pay increase, while most of those who left teaching for the private sector took pay decreases. More specifically, a few years back, using the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Compensation Survey numbers, the Manhattan Institute looked at the hourly pay of public school teachers in the top 66 metropolitan areas in the country. It found that teachers pulled in around $34.06 per hour. Journalists, who have vital job of protecting American democracy, earned 24 percent less. Architects, 11 percent less. Psychologists, 9 percent. Chemists, 5 percent.
If teachers believe they aren’t making what they’re worth, and they may well be right about that, let’s free them from union constraints and let them find out what the job market has to offer. Until then we can’t really know. Because a bachelor’s degree isn’t a dispensation from the vagaries of economic reality. And teaching isn’t the first step towards sainthood. Regardless of what you’ve heard.
A controversial treaty on the rights of the disabled has reappeared in the Senate two years after it was defeated, with Democrats believing this time around they can muster the votes needed for ratification.
Fierce opposition, however, is once again emanating from a surprising source: the American homeschooling community.
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) was negotiated under President George W. Bush, signed by President Barack Obama in 2009, and has been ratified by 146 countries thus far, but in December 2012 it fell several votes short of the 67 needed for full ratification in the U.S. Senate.
On Tuesday, the treaty appeared once more before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which approved it 12 to 6. All ten Democrats voted in favor, as did two Republicans, John McCain of Arizona and John Barasso of Wyoming.
The measure is strongly backed by hundreds of disability organizations, as well as many veterans groups such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. However, strident opposition has arisen from the American homeschooling community, spearheaded by conservative activist and homeschooling pioneer Michael Farris.
Farris’s organization, the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), maintains that components of UNCRPD offer a backdoor opportunity to undermine the rights of homeschooling parents, and could also have sundry effects such as compelling government funding of abortions.
Will Estrada, HSLDA’s Director of Federal Relations, told The Daily Caller News Foundation that the group’s major concern is with Article 7 of the Convention, which says that the “best interests of the child” are the paramount concern in any issue dealing with disabled children. The “best interests of the child,” he said, is a legal term currently only applied to custody and child abuse cases, and that opens the door for government interventions.
“We are very concerned that activist judges could use this to, down the road, restrict parents from being able to homeschool,” said Estrada, who pointed out that many parents homeschool out of frustration with the educational resources offered to their disabled children. The risk to homeschooling is even greater, he said, because the Convention never defines what a “disabled” person is, therefore leaving a great deal of leeway to individual judges.
Montana Democratic Sen. John Walsh is in deep water after revelations surfaced that he copied the work of others for his U.S. Army War College thesis without proper attribution — a practice otherwise known as plagiarism.
The New York Times reports that the former National Guard general’s thesis contained at least a quarter of work that was not attributed to the original authors.
Additionally, all six of the recommendations he places at the conclusion of his paper were lifted entirely from another article published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The Times points out that the entirety of one recommendation was exactly the same as it was printed in the original source. He did not cite the article at all in his thesis.
Walsh also extensively copied material from a paper published by a Harvard research institute without citing or footnoting it. Both papers are easily accessible through the internet.
Walsh’s paper, entitled “The Case for Democracy as a Long Term Strategy,” dealt with America’s Middle East policy and was conducted as a “strategy research project.”
Walsh responded to The Times’ accusations with assertions that he did nothing intentionally wrong.
“I didn’t do anything intentional here,” he told The Times, adding that he did not believe he had plagiarized anything in this case.
A Senate aide further clarified that Walsh was going through a difficult time while at the War College and did not deny that he may have plagiarized his work.
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.
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.
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.