The U.S. Department of Education has just released it’s latest ranking of international education systems (Program for International Student Assessment – “PISA”) and performance of U.S. students just continues to deteriorate on both absolute and relative terms.
Perhaps it’s time to have a real conversation about the complete failure of “Common Core” and the idiocy of allowing teachers’ unions to hold our children hostage while hiding behind ridiculous contracts that grant tenure after 6 months and make it impossible to fire underperformers. Just a thought for the incoming Trump administration.
The Washington Post’s Valerie Strauss summed up the problems nicely:
Writing for Yahoo News, National Political Columnist Matt Bai provides a suggestion to combat the so-called “fake news” epidemic that has become a major talking point of the mainstream media since Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election. According to Bai, we should be “teaching our kids how to consume” information in an age where the internet has provided a press to anyone with a computer and a router.
Within his article, titled “The real problem behind fake news“, Bai calls fake news a “searing hot topic these days” and mentions the infamous WaPo article which cites a shadowy, anonymous organization known as PropOrNot (Propaganda or Not) that smears many legitimate conservative and libertarian news sources like Zero Hedge, Infowars, Breitbart, World Net Daily and The Ron Paul Institute as Russian propaganda.
The prominent Michigan philanthropist is an ardent supporter of charter schools.
President-Elect Donald Trump on Wednesday said he will nominate the Michigan philanthropist and prominent Republican donor Betsy DeVos to be U.S. Education Secretary. The announcement signals that big changes could be on the way for schools and students around the country. Here are five things to know:
H/t reader squodgy:
“It is disappointing, to say the least, how the BBC, like the NHS, once jewels of pride as National icons of high standards and principles, have both been ‘occupied’ by interests set on gaining financial and influential control for minority interests.
In the NHS case it is BigPharma Drug & Equipment manufacturers, in the case of the BBC it is the perverts and paedophiles lurking in the sewers of political correct brainwashing.”
The brainwashing is so unnatural that for it to take, it has to be directed at the very young, who have not had time to figure out either themselves or the world around them:
The BBC has been accused of acting recklessly after targeting children as young as six with a programme about a schoolboy who takes sex-change drugs.
Parents are angry that the show, available on the CBBC website, features a transgender storyline inappropriate for their children.
The father of the pupil at the girl’s primary school in German ski resort Garmisch-Partenkirchen discovered that his daughter had been forced to learn the Islamic prayer when he discovered a handout she had been given. He claimed she had been “forced” by teachers to memorize the Islamic chants and forwarded the handout to Austrian news service unsertirol24.
It is no great secret that educators in our country tend to skew toward the left side of the political spectrum. One can barely pick up a newspaper these days without having to read some outrageous story about University administrators caving to the whims of pampered millennials who suffer panic attacks as a result of exposure to the latest “micro-aggressions” or “trigger words.” In fact, just a few weeks back, we wrote about how San Francisco State was building separate campus housing for African American students because the Black Student Union thought students of color needed a special place where they could “safely live and talk about issues affecting African-Americans” (see “San Francisco State Builds Segregated Dorms Where African-Americans Can “Safely Live And Talk”“). Who knew that segregation was making a come back as a “progressive” policy?
But the latest case of liberal educator lunacy, according to EAG News, comes from Norman North High School, in Oklahoma, where a teacher is apparently “teaching” students that “to be white is to be racist, period.” Since when did pushing extreme progressive rhetoric become part of the high school curriculum? In the good ole days this kind of insanity was reserved for the liberal elite professors at the university level but we guess those days are over.
What’s so uniquely tragic about the the intrusion of the police state into America’s schools, is it appears the parents themselves are the ones demanding it. This is in contrast to an overbearing surveillance state implemented by government in secret, as well as by private corporations via lengthy terms of service agreements nobody actually reads.
What follows are excerpts from a very important article published at The Nation, The School-Security Industry Is Cashing In Big on Public Fears of Mass Shootings:
DENVER — The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs is coming under fire after three professors warned their class that there would be no debate on human-caused climate change and that any students who disagree should drop the course.
H/t reader kevin a.
* * *
H/t reader squodgy:
Common Sense Prevails.
Wonder for how long? The point is, educating anybody with the truth about Palestine will always provoke yiddishe aggression and accompanying bullshit.”
UC Berkeley senior Paul Hadweh designed a course on the history of Palestine in order to spark discussion about his family’s homeland under Israeli occupation.
“I wanted to create a space where we can read, think and speak critically about the question of Palestine,” Hadweh said.
But the one-credit, student-led offering — which aimed to analyze Palestine through “the lens of settler colonialism” — was suspended last week after just one class following a storm of criticism that it fostered anti-Semitism and indoctrinated students against the Jewish state.
A top-ranking university in the United States has suspended an academic course on Palestinian history midway through the semester, following accusations that it propagated anti-Semitic viewpoints and indoctrinated students against Israel.
The University of California at Berkeley cancelled the course “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis” after it received complaints from 43 pro-Israel and Jewish groups alleging that the one-credit course was politically bent and encouraged students to hate the Tel Aviv regime and “take action to eliminate it.”
The advocacy groups had expressed concern that the course aimed to teach the idea “that Israel is an illegitimate settler colonial state” and that the readings in its syllabus had “a blatantly anti-Israel bias.”
Berkeley’s Chancellor Nicholas Dirks confirmed the suspension, claiming that the class “did not receive a sufficient degree of scrutiny to ensure that the syllabus met Berkeley’s academic standards.”
NORTH CAROLINA (INTELLIHUB) — Well, I hate to say it — but America is just not America anymore. I can’t believe this!
Tavelers Rest High School principle Lou Lavely has banned participants of football games with Berega High School from bringing or waving American Flags as America is being transformed into a wasteland by design.
And can you believe it? Lavely responded to the backlash after banning the flag from games and responded on Facebook by posting:
“Some events at last evening’s football game have resulted in concerns being raised in our community. I am writing to assure that any decisions made regarding American flags being permitted into the game were made in the best interests of all attending the game and in the spirit of patriotism and respect for our flag.”
So essentially the principle is catering to Hispanics — the ones who don’t respect this country or its flag rather than true American’s with pride.
Does this anger you?
In a refreshing and stark contrast to other universities that have seemingly tripped over themselves to accommodate every silly request from America’s pampered Millennials in their never ending quest for “safe spaces,” the University of Chicago has sent the incoming class of 2020 a letter making very clear that they will find no “safe spaces” in their intellectual journey at Chicago. The full letter is presented below but here are a couple of the best comments for your reading pleasure:
You will find that we expect members of our community to be engaged in rigorous debate, discussion, and even disagreement. At times this may challenge you and even cause discomfort.
Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called “trigger warnings,” we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual “safe spaces” where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.
Just when we thought all hope had been lost, an establishment of higher learning finally steps up to interject some rational thoughts into the public discourse surrounding freedom of expression.
.@UChicago does not:
???? “support so-called ‘trigger warnings'”
???? “cancel invited speakers”
???? condone “safe spaces” pic.twitter.com/DH7IVfYZ4U
— Justice Don Willett (@JusticeWillett) August 25, 2016
The letter also directs students to a note it had previously written on freedom of expression…
We understand that a teacher’s job is difficult and often thankless. But so are a lot of jobs. We also understand that private labor markets are fairly efficient and don’t award workers in the private workforce nearly the same “perks” received by California’s unionized teachers. So when the State of California denies school administrators the basic rights afforded to every private employer in the State, like the ability to dismiss “grossly ineffective” employees, we have a little difficultly sympathizing with the “victorious” teachers.
Yesterday, California’s teachers won a huge “victory” that we fear will ultimately only serve to undermine the education of their students. California’s Supreme Court struck down a lawsuit filed by 9 public school students against the State of California alleging that overly generous legal protections afforded teachers directly disadvantaged students by keeping teachers in the classroom that had proven themselves to be “grossly ineffective.” The lawsuit alleged such protections violated the State’s constitution as they, by definition, created legal impediments that prevent California’s schools from providing an effective education to all of their students. The lawsuit focused on three specific teacher protections including the requirement to provide tenure after just 18 months on the job, onerous dismissal statutes that make it nearly impossible for administrators to fire a teacher for bad performance and the LIFO statutes that requires teachers be laid off in accordance with seniority rather than effectiveness. Per the lawsuit filed in 2012 (presented in its entirety at the end of this post):
Bristol University has unveiled a range of scholarships for what they identify as “refugees and asylum seekers”, allowing them to attend the Russell Group institution for free.
The announcement comes as a record number of pupils across British VI forms and colleges received their A-level results and found they had a place in one of the over 100 universities in the country. The majority of these students will take out loans to cover the £9,000 a year tuition fees — a fact that the University of Bristol will conspire to put off new arrivals to the country from applying for a place themselves.
After borrowing for living costs is considered, many students now leave university with £40,000 of debts.