Friday, November 18, 2016
Israel-Bashing Profs At UC Berkeley Play Victim
Are University of California academics who engage in anti-Israel activism subject to “silencing”? Such were the strident cries on October 27, when about one hundred students gathered on a cloudy morning outside of Sproul Hall at the University of California, Berkeley for the 3rd Annual International Day of Action for Palestine.
Organized by Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Bears for Palestine, the rally featured Israel-bashing, BDS-promoting professors Hatem Bazian and Rabab Abdulhadi, who insisted over loudspeakers that they were being repressed by the UC system.
Bazian, director of UC Berkeley’s Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project, announced that “Palestine faces a whole structural silencing on this campus.” Likewise, Abdulhadi, director of San Francisco State University (SFSU)’s Arab and Muslim Ethnicities and Diasporas Initiative and a founding member of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, declared, “We are here for our freedom of speech!”
According to Bazian, the primary example of this alleged suppression was the initial cancellation, due to widespread criticism, of a student-led UC Berkeley course for which he’s the faculty sponsor, “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis.” He didn’t mention that the course, which encourages the elimination of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, was reinstated with minimal alterations.
Meanwhile, Abdulhadi’s grievances were directed at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s (DHFC) recent placement on campus of posters featuring the worst of her anti-Israel activities and its listing SFSU and UC Berkeley in its top five “Top Ten Schools Supporting Terrorists in the United States.” This followed Campus Watch’s recent campaign highlightingAbdulhadi’s role as architect of SFSU’s Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Hamas-dominated, terror-friendly An-Najah University in the West Bank and demanding an end to the MOU.
Although Abdulhadi clearly uses her position at SFSU to encourage hatred and violence toward Israel, she bellowed that critiquing such bigotry is a form of bullying: “They are trying to have a chilling effect—McCarthyism—to silence us, to intimidate us, to bully us, in a very violent, racist, Islamophobic, and vicious campaign in order to silence us!”
She then charged that “They come in the middle of the night. They put up [sic] intimidation and run away, exactly like the Klan does, exactly like the Israeli military does that comes and raids Palestinians in the middle of the night!”
That Abdulhadi would equate DFHC’s poster campaign with Klansmen torching crosses on the lawns of African-Americans, or lynching them for the crime of being black, exposes her intellectual and moral bankruptcy. Anti-Israel activists often equate their “struggle” with that of other minorities, however dissimilar, in order to foster sympathy and excuse violence against Israelis.
Accordingly, both Bazian and Abdulhadi suggested that the “social justice” movements of the 1960s were in spiritual kinship with anti-Zionism. As Bazian asserted, “It is the place where the Vietnam [anti-war] movement was. It is the place where the free speech movement [and] the environmental movement is today—and the time [sic] for us.”
In a dignified response, student groups Bears for Israel, Tikvah, and Hillel quietly formed a line and turned their backs on the speakers while holding aloft Israeli flags. In defiance of the BDS movement’s “anti-normalization” policy, a student with an Israeli flag could be seen politely chatting with a student holding a Palestinian flag on a balcony across from Sproul Hall.
If there is ever to be hope for a peaceful resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict on U.S. college campuses, it will come from such students. It will never come from academic activists like Abdulhadi and Bazian, who want nothing more than to use their taxpayer-funded positions to foment the hatred of Israel. Their vitriol, which is mirrored on campuses nationwide, proves that not only are anti-Israel professors not silenced on campus, but are in fact the loudest voices in academe.
Michael Lumish is an analyst on the Arab-Israeli conflict and the proprietor of Israel Thrives. He holds a Ph.D. in American History from the Pennsylvania State University and has taught at Penn State, San Francisco State University, and City College of San Francisco. He writes for Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.
UCLA Professors Freak Out Over Trump In Department-Wide Emails
Two political science professors at the University of California – Los Angeles have spent the last two days distraught over Donald Trump’s election in political science department-wide emails obtained by The Daily Caller.
TheDC previously reported on a meeting that was called for UCLA political science faculty and graduate students on Monday to discuss way to help students who are distraught over Trump’s victory.
Mark Sawyer, a political science professor, sent an email Tuesday regarding the meeting in which he said he was disappointed that the discussion was lacking “any real way to deal with the real threats that many of our students and us face from a Trump administration.” The professor described himself as “despondent” in the email.
“As political scientists we ought to be discussing Trumpism and what its features are. How does Trumpism democracy [sic], minorities, democratic norms, sexism, racism abelism and lgbtq rights? What is going on with the climate in the United States? Or the fact these kinds of white riot (backlash) politics often come after electing the first person of color to an executive office,” Sawyer wrote in the department-wide email. “Or as described before when blacks engage in civil unrest whites riot in response by cutting immigration, welfare, affirmative action etc. New York elected white nationalist Rudy Guiliani to follow David Dinkins in New York.”
Sawyer said, “You never discuss something as triggering and emotional as racism, Islamaphobia, sexism, abelism, sexual assault and xenophobia without an agenda a lesson plan and a clear set of goals.”
The professor continued to write, “With all do respect to Trump supporter students who may feel surrounded, the state is and has always been on their side.”
UCLA political science professor Michael Chwe wrote back to the whole department agreeing with Sawyer. “For our students, and indeed all of us, the department is our main institutional ‘home’ and it must be a place where everyone can go to feel understood, respected, and valued,” Chwe wrote.
He added, “In my social movements grad class next quarter I plan to spend most or all of the time on readings related to white nationalism, racial resentment, ethnocentrism, authoritarianism, etc.”
One professor, Leslie Jones, responded privately to Sawyer and wrote, “Jeff opened the meeting with a long statement that defined the parameters of the meeting; namely, that the meeting was not for people to express their personal views on the election.”
She added, “I’m sorry that you found the meeting distressing. But I think that you and some of the grad students came in expecting something different from what the stated agenda was.”
Sawyer wrote back to Jones Wednesday and included everyone in the political science department in his response. “Leslie what I wrote is what my students are worried about relative to the election. I guess those issues are not legitimate or proper subjects,” Sawyer said.
Later Wednesday, Sawyer sent three more department-wide emails, one was a guide about how to become an “ally to oppressed people.” The political science professor wrote, “Something productive to read.”
Another one was him relaying fears some of his student have about Trump, “In my course of 120. About a dozen students either fear deportation themselves or of a close family member. One has lost her job because of an anti-trump facebook post.”
Sawyer also forwarded a letter from the president of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists (NCOPS). The letter said, “NCOBPS cannot and does not endorse any political candidate nor directly lobby for any policy; but we see Trump’s election as an ominous turn in the fight for full human equality and economic justice in the United States.”
A source within the UCLA political science department said to TheDC regarding Sawyer, “We have several subfields, and in most of them people are relatively sane. But having a Race, Ethnicity, Politics subfield ensures that we’ll always have a steady stream of crazies like this professor here.”
Sawyer is the director of UCLA’s center for the study of race, ethnicity, and politics. Chwe teaches within that field.
The UCLA political science department source also said: “Probably 40 percent of my students are Hispanic. I have not seen a single one come to me distraught or scared about the elections. But I have seen several administrators send out e-mails or talk to us about being there for students who must be suffering. I tend to think that this PC stuff is more a top-down phenomenon than the opposite.”
CRIMINAL CHARGES Loom For 11-Year-Old Girl Suspended For Cutting Peach With Kid-Proof Knife
In the latest incident of anti-weapon hysteria to erupt in a school setting, officials at a middle school in South Florida have suspended an 11-year-old girl for six days because she brought a child-proof, toddler-size cutlery knife to school and used it to cut a peach in half for a friend.
Astonishingly, local police are now investigating the fact that a little girl cut a piece of fruit with a tiny knife at school. She faces the possibility of criminal charges.
The incident leading to the girl’s fruit-based suspension occurred recently in the cafeteria at Silver Trail Middle School in the Miami suburb of Pembroke Pines, reports Miami ABC affiliate WPLG.
The unidentified girl was preparing to eat the peach. A friend asked her for half of it. The girl then used her harmless toddler knife to cut the peach and share it with her friend.
“She goes to the bathroom and comes back and the guy said, ‘Follow me,'” the girl’s father, Ronald Souto, told WPLG.
“This is a set of a spoon, fork and knife for toddlers — one year old,” the girl’s mother, Andrea Souto, added. “It is made for children to learn how to eat properly. She’s used it since she was baby.”
Ronald Souto said he was confused and outraged at the punishment his daughter received — not to mention the looming possibility of criminal charges.
“There’s no one there trying to educate and to be reasonable to say, ‘Let’s work this out,'” he told the station. “She’s afraid now of the educators. She’s afraid of people at school. They need to change the system,” he said.
The furious father also noted that his daughter is an honor-roll student, and a good kid. “She’s always trying to help someone. She’s always trying to share things.”
School officials say they suspended the girl for six days — and notified police — because she violated a countywide weapons policy when she used the toddler knife to cut a peach in half for her friend.
“The school followed district policy regarding this incident and continues to work with the student and parents involved,” a Broward County school district spokeswoman said in a statement obtained by WPLG. “It is the district’s priority to maintain safe and secure campuses for students and staff at all times.”
The principal of Silver Trail Middle School is Steve Frazier.
The Pembroke Pines Police Department told WPLG it has handed the fruit crime investigation over the to the local Florida State Attorney’s office.
An attorney representing the Souto family, Larry Meltzer, said he was shocked at the suspension and resulting police investigation.
“The school board has abused its discretion to act in this case,” Meltzer told the Miami ABC station. “It is tragic that a school that this little girl loves sees fit to prosecute and suspend her — the epitome of a model and honor roll student — for using a child-proof utensil that could never be construed in any form as a weapon in order to share part of her lunch with a fellow classmate.”
“She should be applauded for her generosity, kindness and for her motivation to be a great student in all senses of that word,” the attorney also said.
The incident in Pembroke Pines is the latest incident in a long trend involving school officials going apoplectic over things that are not weapons but sort of resemble weapons because of zero-tolerance policies.
Posted by jonjayray at 1:43 AM
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Thomas Jefferson Now Politically Incorrect at University He Founded
A group of students and professors at the University of Virginia want to give the founder of their school the shaft. In a letter to university president Theresa Sullivan, they asked her to remove Thomas Jefferson quotes from messages to students, according to the Washington Examiner.
“For many of us, the inclusion of Jefferson quotations in these emails undermines the message of unity, equality, and civility that you are attempting to convey,” the group wrote. Sullivan said in a response that she would not backpedal from quoting Jefferson, according to another report from the Examiner.
The Sage of Monticello—as the author of the Declaration of Independence has often been called in tribute to his home in Charlottesville, Va.—had such high hopes for the school that he wrote of the students toward the end of his life, “they will exhibit their country in a degree of sound respectability it has never known, either in our days, or in the days of our forefathers. I cannot live to see it. My joy must only be that of anticipation.”
Jefferson was so proud of his creation that he put it on his tombstone, and left off the fact that he was President of the United States. Many generations of students and faculty have shown their appreciation for their school’s founder. According to stories told on campus, students rushed into the school’s Rotunda to save a statue of Jefferson in an 1895 fire.
Unfortunately, a few of UVA’s current students are think Jefferson’s legacy is problematic.
This is not the first time Jefferson has come under attack. Local chapters of the Democratic Party, which used to celebrate Jefferson as one of its antecedents, have increasingly removed Jefferson’s name from their annual Jefferson-Jackson Day dinners. Jefferson’s detractors have generally cited his slave ownership as the reason he can no longer be championed.
Though Jefferson was a slave owner, no single document in human history besides maybe the Bible has done more to undermine slavery than the Declaration of Independence. Abraham Lincoln was sometimes privately critical of Jefferson, but he gave enormous credit to the Virginian’s philosophy for sealing the institution’s fate.
Lincoln wrote for a Jefferson Birthday celebration in 1859:
All honor to Jefferson—to the man who, in the concrete pressure of a struggle for national independence, had the coolness, forecast, and capacity to introduce into a merely revolutionary document an abstract truth, applicable to all men at all times, and so to embalm it there, that today, and in all coming days, it should be a rebuke and a stumbling block to the very harbingers of reappearing tyranny and oppression.
It is particularly sad, but not unexpected that Jefferson has come under fire at the university he held out such high hopes for. There has been a concerted effort to remove any mention of symbols or great leaders of America’s past who have fallen out of favor with the current political climate.
In the past year alone, activists have attempted to remove monuments across the country: from more controversial Confederate monuments, to Andrew Jackson’s statue in New Orleans, to even paintings of progressive hero Woodrow Wilson at Princeton University. The justification in most of these cases was that the figures were racist and supported values that are no longer accepted, so they need to be removed from the public sphere entirely.
When does this war on American history stop? If every figure must be held up to the constantly-evolving values of the times, we will eventually find that we’ve purged all of the good along with the bad elements of what made this country what it is. We may even find that tomorrow, we are the ones being erased from history.
Indoctrinated and infantalized kids: Schools bring in therapy dogs and Play — Doh for college kids traumatised by Donald Trump win
Comment from Australia
ACROSS the United States, schools and colleges are offering students traumatised by Donald Trump’s win colouring books, Play-Doh and therapy dogs.
That’s right, you got it, young adults past the voting age are moulding plasticine and petting hounds to cope with an election result in a western democracy.
At the University of Kansas, tutors reminded its 18 and 19-year-olds that therapy dogs were available.
And the girls at an exclusive private school in New York City last week were so stricken the teachers brought in the therapy dogs to soothe them.
This was done for 9/11 rescuers and survivors back in 2001, and the dogs have been used since for tasks such as helping to boost the social and reading skills of children with autism.
Forget about the lunatic idea that Donald Trump really made it to the White House, in its wake the world really has gone mad.
OK, so a bigoted egomaniac who is against minorities and women is the world’s new Commander-in-chief, but is it really cause for an outbreak of mass hysteria?
Students at the University of Michigan have been offered colouring books to calm them.
Cornell University, an Ivy League college in New York state, held a campus-wide “cry-in,” with seniors handing out blankets, tissues and hot chocolate.
Tufts University in Massachusetts staged arts and crafts sessions for its devastated students, and campuses throughout the country cancelled classes because students asked or professors were too distraught to teach.
And in Australia, where we are all meant to be tougher, it was primary schoolers rather than adults who were feeling the heat of post-election disappointment.
Children as young as five have been chanting death threats as the backlash of the Trump presidency was felt across Sydney’s inner west.
The After School Klub at Newtown Public School confirmed it held a special art therapy lesson after students chanted “we hate Trump”, theInner West Courier reported.
The After School Klub supervisor Bek Ames said her students were visibly upset following the election on Thursday. “When I came in the kids were upset and chanting ‘we hate Trump’ and these are kindergarten kids who are five and six years old,” she said.
“Some of the kids were saying we should kill Trump and Trump should kill himself. “I have never seen anything like this before — when we had the (Australian) election some of them talked about it but most didn’t know what was going on.”
While Ms Ames responded appropriately to the clearly disturbed children in her after school class, it is fair to ask from where did they get this trauma. Yep, their parents, who started trumpeting on social media last Wednesday morning the advent of a new world order and wailing when they didn’t get it.
When Hillary Clinton failed to launch, it was like the end of the world for the newly traumatised.
But emotional disturbance among minors doesn’t come from television reports.
Sorry, but the kids got it from their hysterical parents ... proclaiming the end of the world because of, to repeat it, an election result in a western democracy.
“All my dreams are shattered,” posted one woman on Facebook, as if Ms Clinton was likely to fulfil those dreams.
People are allowed to be disappointed, but the carry-on post Donald Trump’s election is ludicrous.
There are holocausts and genocides, reigns of terror and terror attacks which visit great loss and heartache upon families, and have a lasting effect on the communities around them.
Narcissistic tyrants and egotistical bad men were behind them all, and if Pol Pot or Stalin, Hitler or Abu Bakar Bashir had the mass media to broadcast their messages of hate, schoolkids would need more than Play-Doh and therapy dogs.
And in countries between despots and dictators, there is ever present grinding poverty, poor education and health care.
By all means, protest, rise up against him, but stop the emotional catastrophe.
Trump might prove to be the worst bastard ever to grace office, or he just be the Homer Simpson of Capitol Hill — largely useless and desperate to please.
U.S. Hosts More than 1 Million International Students
Seven percent more international students studied at U.S. institutions last year, reaching more than 1 million and focusing on engineering, computer science and STEM.
This data come from the 2016 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs released each year.
“The Open Doors findings show that international students value the quality, diversity and strong reputation of U.S. institutions and recognize that these institutions will give them opportunities that can help them not only in their education but also in their careers,” said IIE President Allan Goodman.
“At the Institute of International Education, we believe American colleges and universities offer a premiere education and valuable training to students from around the globe and that students from other nations also teach us a lot about the world we share. The more we can open doors to other cultures for our students, the better off our country and our world will be.”
Those more than 1 million international students represent 5 percent of the total student population in the U.S. More than a third of these 1 million international students studied engineering, math or computer science: 14 percent engaged in practical training in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) professions.
“The growth in international STEM students is likely connected to the 25 percent increase in students from India, more than three quarters of who study in these fields,” the report said.
Open Doors also reports on U.S. students. More than 313,000 U.S. students received credit last year for study abroad during 2014-2015. That is up nearly 3 percent from the previous year. Approximately a quarter of these students majored in STEM fields.
More U.S. students — over 22,000 in 2014-2015 — participated in work abroad that did not offer school credit or pay, the report said. Many served in internships and volunteered to gain practical skills, IIE said.
“We need to empower more of America’s future leaders to experience the world beyond our borders,” said Evan Ryan, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. “International education helps people develop the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in today’s global economy, and creates networks across borders that improve international understanding and strengthen the national security of the United States.”
While more international students came to the U.S. to study, fewer females were among them, the reports said: Only 43 percent of international students to the U.S. during 2015-2016 were women, down from 45 percent five years ago.
The study attributed this to fewer women studying in STEM fields worldwide.
However, 67 percent of Americans studying abroad were women.
“The racial and ethnic diversity has improved modestly each year since 2004-2005, with 27 percent of U.S. students who studied abroad in 2014-15 identified as racial or ethnic minorities, up from 17 percent a decade ago. Open Doors reports that about 5 percent of those who studied abroad were people with disabilities.
“Studying abroad is one of the best ways to prepare to enter and succeed in the interconnected, globalized workforce, yet 90 percent of American college students do not study or intern outside of the United States. We owe it to the next generation of Americans to find ways to make it more accessible to a wider range of students,” said IIE’s President, Dr. Allan E. Goodman. “Some U.S. students studying in STEM fields had found it challenging to study abroad. But this is changing, and global experience is increasingly crucial to success in all fields.”
While Europe hosts more than half of U.S. students abroad, Cuba, Mexico and Greece experienced the highest rate of growth with an 18 percent increase. “Open Doors data indicate the Ebola crisis likely deterred U.S. students from traveling to sub-Saharan Africa, as the number of U.S. students in that region fell by 20 percent,” the report said.
Other key findings include:
China and India remained the top countries to send students to the U.S. and accounted for 84 percent of the growth in international students in 2015-2016.
Saudi Arabia surpassed South Korea to become the third-largest sender of international students to the United States. Saudi Arabia saw a sharp decline in students to the U.S. after the terror attacks on September 11, 2001.
Brazil sent 18 percent fewer students to the U.S. in 2015-2016, likely because of “a freeze” in the Brazilian government’s Scientific Mobility Program.
California hosted nearly 150,000 international students in 2015-2016, making it the top destination for students from abroad. Four of the top 20 U.S. host institutions for international students were located in California, with the University of Southern California ranking second, just behind New York University.
New York is the second leading host state, and New York City is the leading host metropolitan area.
International students bring nearly $36 billion to the U.S. economy, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Posted by jonjayray at 1:51 AM
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Trump's Education Plan: School Choice for 'Every Single Inner City Child in America'
As presented on the campaign trail and detailed on the Trump-Pence website, President–elect Donald Trump wants to implement school choice programs in all 50 states that will allow students and their parents to pick the school that works best for them, and the money to pay for it will follow the student, not the school bureaucracy.
“If we can put a man on the moon, dig out the Panama Canal, and win two World Wars, then I have no doubt that we, as a nation, can provide school choice to every disadvantaged child in America,” said Trump in a Sept. 8 speech in Cleveland, Ohio.
The proposal calls for using $20 billion in federal funds to incentivize the states to start (or expand their existing) school choice programs.
From there, “if the states collectively contribute $110 billion of their own education budgets toward school choice,” said Trump, “on top of the $20 billion in federal dollars, that could provide $12,000 in school choice funds to every K-12 student who today lives in poverty.”
“The money will follow the student,” he said. “That means the student will be able to attend the public, private, charter, or magnet school of their choice – and each state will develop its own system that works for them.” Trump reportedly has added home schools to the proposal.
There are a some school choice programs in the United States, but they are limited and vary widely in terms of which schools a student may choose; who is eligible to participate; how many students may participate; and how much funding is available for each program.
For example, California does not offer private school choice, but it allows intra-district and inter-district open enrollment at its public schools, reports the Heritage Foundation. Texas offers the same as California. Virginia does not allow private school choice or public school choice and it has “weak charter school laws, reported Heritage.
In his speech, Trump emphasized the need to help American students in the inner cites to be offered the opportunity to pick their school, which will help them to get on the ladder to success.
“We are one nation, and when any part of our country hurts, our whole country hurts,” said Trump. “My goal as president will be to ensure that every child in the nation – African-American, Hispanic-American, all Americans – will be placed on the ladder of success: a great education, a great job.”
“The Democratic Party has trapped millions of African-American and Hispanic youth in failing government schools that deny them the opportunity to join the ladder of American success,” he said. “It is time to break up that monopoly.”
“I want every single inner-city child in America who is today trapped in a failing school to have the freedom – the civil right – to attend the school of their choice,” said Trump. “Our government spends more than enough money to easily pay for this initiative, with billions left over. It’s simply a matter of putting students first, not the education bureaucracy.”
He then explained that the United States, at the state and federal levels, spends approximately $620 billion on K-12 education each year. (The federal government kicks in $64 billion and states provide about $570 billion.) That averages to $12,296 for every student.
Chicago, for instance, spends about $11,976 per student, said Trump, and Los Angeles spends about $10,602. New York City spends $20,226 per student.
By offering $20 billion more in federal funds to encourage states to participate in school choice – to establish (or expand) their own programs for their citizens – “it would create a massive education market that is competitive and produces better outcomes,” said Trump. (Currently, only about $1.9 billion is spent on school choice programs nationwide.)
The $20 billion would be allocated to states that “have private school choice and charter laws, encouraging them to participate,” said Trump.
“These schools would then cater to the needs of the individual student and family, not the needs of the Teachers’ Union,” he said.
“But the $20 billion is only the beginning,” said Trump. “As president, I will establish the national goal of providing school choice to every American child living in poverty…. Each state will develop its own formula, but we want the dollars to follow the student.”
“I will use the pulpit of the presidency to campaign for this in all 50 states,” he said, “and I will call upon the American people to elect officials at the city, state and federal level who support school choice.”
Advantage Britain: ruling the education world post-Brexit
With the right strategies, becoming the leading country for scholarship and science is within the UK’s grasp, says Jamie Martin
Writing just after the Battle of Waterloo, when the UK’s relations with its European neighbours were such as to make Brexit look like a minor lover’s tiff, the English economist David Ricardo first articulated the idea of national comparative advantage.
By specialising in the industry in which it was most efficient, and by being open to trade, Ricardo argued, a nation could increase its own wealth and that of its trading partners. About 150 years later, Harvard University business professor Michael Porter argued that the advent of a globalised knowledge economy has made it increasingly important to develop a focused national advantage.
There is ample recent evidence of where the UK’s advantage lies. At the end of September, the University of Oxford was named the world’s best university in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings. It is one of three British universities in the top 10, and the UK has twice as many top 200 institutions per capita as the US or Germany. And, earlier this month, three British scientists won the Nobel Prize in Physics, further cementing the UK’s place as second only to the US in terms of number of scientific prizes won.
Focusing the UK’s post-European Union economy on education and science will not be to strike out into uncontested territory. Both the Republic of Ireland and Australia have recently made attracting the best international students and researchers a policy priority. Meanwhile, the UK has indicated that they may be less welcome. But while that will have reinforced universities’ nervousness about Theresa May’s premiership (given previous difficult relations when she was home secretary), her desire to champion particular industries creates an opportunity to map out an education strategy in line with her wider policy platform and public opinion.
The mandate given by the EU referendum is clear: unskilled immigration must be controlled. But international students and scientists are among the most popular migrants, according to recent ComRes and Ipsos MORI surveys, and, if anything, are welcome in higher numbers. This offers a platform for prioritising education and science as the UK redefines migration policy, with free movement for any student or academic – from any nation – with a place or job at a UK university. This should allow the UK to remain in the Erasmus student mobility scheme and the Horizon 2020 research programme. A visa regime akin to South Africa’s critical skills programme could also offer a universal right to work in the UK for any science graduate of a world top 500 university, coupled with an automatic two-year post-study visa for all graduates in priority subjects.
For the UK to become the world’s leading country for education and science, funding for research and development will also need to be increased from the current 1.7 per cent of GDP (compared with 2.8 per cent in Germany, 2.7 in the US and more than 4 per cent in Israel and South Korea). The plan by the chancellor, Philip Hammond, to use historically low borrowing costs to invest could encompass a fund that universities can bid for, to finance projects aimed at attracting the best researchers and biggest international collaborations. This could do for high-risk research and science what the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme and the Enterprise Investment Scheme have done for entrepreneurs.
Additionally, Foreign Office and British Council funding should support marketing for universities looking to internationalise, and the Department for International Development should fund UK scholarships for the brightest pupils from its focus countries. As an associate member of Horizon 2020, the UK should accept making a fair budget contribution, but also campaign to reduce bureaucracy and expand membership to make it a global forum for research cooperation.
Universities should seize the government’s recent requirement to help strengthen England’s fast-improving state school system. New freedoms around academic selection may make it easier to follow King’s College London and the University of Exeter in setting up schools focused on priority subjects. Institutions with technical expertise can learn from the University of Derby in offering leading vocational provision. Adult learning should be expanded beyond the traditional mature student: there are few better investments for the government or individuals than courses in coding, for instance.
Finally, UK higher education should follow the example of peers in the US, Finland and Israel in playing the fullest possible part in building a thriving local education technology industry. With a brand that is a byword for quality from Reykjavik to Rundu, UK universities should be at the forefront of the online course revolution. British edtech success stories such as Proversity, Fluency and Memrise should be seen as partners, not rivals, while early and enthusiastic adoption of new innovations will create a virtuous circle in which local start-ups quickly gain the standing and scale to expand internationally, attracting the world’s best edtech entrepreneurs (helped by supportive visas) to the UK.
Ricardo said comparative advantage is established “by stimulating industry, by regarding ingenuity, and by using most efficaciously the peculiar powers bestowed by nature”. It is time to move the UK’s leadership in education from a mixture of historical pre-eminence and individual achievement to a coherent strategy for national advantage.
Australian students mired in mediocrity
A sense of “mediocrity" in Australian education and a “she’ll be right attitude has led to our students losing the hunger for academic success shown by their Asian competitors, a leading education expert says.
The comments by Kevin Donnelly, a senior research fellow at the Australian Catholic University, come after a renewed debate on government-run selective schools.
Academic Christina Ho, a senior lecturer in social and political sciences at the University of Technology Sydney, earlier this month told The Weekend Australian that selective schools had become “ethnically unbalanced and politicians had their “heads in the sand over the intensive commercial coaching often favoured by Asian-Australian families seeking to get their children into selective schools.
Dr Donnelly argues that education in Australia has for many years moved down “a particular path that was anti-meritocracy, anti-competition, anti-elitism.
“We have this idea that all students should do well, we should celebrate all students in terms of their potential and what they can achieve but because we set the bar so low, and because there was this, what I would call, prevailing sense of mediocrity, we really haven’t engendered in our students, Anglo-Australian students, the same willingness to compete, to achieve and to celebrate being academically able, Dr Donnelly said.
“And you need only look at the percentage of Asian and Indian kids getting into selective schools, compared to Anglo-Australian, to see there’s a real imbalance there.
Dr Donnelly, who is also executive director of the Education Standards Institute, said the stereotype of “tiger mums pushing their children to achieve academically had an element of truth because Asian cultures respected education, and believed in hard work and classroom discipline.
“The Australian mentality is more egalitarian; she’ll be right ... So we’re a bit more easygoing when it comes to academic study or academic success, he said.
Chinese-Australian mother of two Anna Yuan, who used to work in family support services in Sydney, is a vocal advocate of giving children a balanced education including sports.
Ms Yuan said during her time working with Chinese-Australian families, it was “horrendous seeing kids develop mental health problems and lacking social skills from being pushed hard academically with extra coaching to get into selective schools.
Ms Yuan still volunteers her expertise to help parents understand the pressure on their children.
“It is part of the culture. In China, many people think that academic is the only pathway for success … many parents want their children to have a good life, she said.
Gary Banks, the principal clinical psychologist and managing director at the Sydney Counselling Centre, is the chairman of two headspace facilities and also provides supervision for several school psychologists. He said he was seeing “an ongoing and potentially increasing quantum of stress among higher school certificate students”.
“There are now national campaigns, such as headspace and ReachOut, to address the problems among young people, but in many cases it is actually the parents placing too great an emphasis on high ATARS (the Australian Tertiary Admission Rank),” Dr Banks said.
Posted by jonjayray at 1:40 AM
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Private school kids earn more, live in better suburbs and are happier on average, Australian analysis discovers
I am myself a strong supporter of private schools. I sent my son to one. But I feel bound to report that the findings below are not as strong as they appear. Parents of private schoolkids tend to be richer. And richer people tend to have other important advantages, such as better health and higher IQ. And such traits have a strong genetic component. So the advantages described below could possibly be entirely due to genetics, not schooling type.
It is just very hard to separate out the two possible factors responsible for the advantage. From other studies, however, both schooling type and genetics are involved in the better results from private schools
The one undoubted advantage of private schooling is social contacts. Your kid will make friends from other better-off families, which will almost certainly be advantageous in various ways. At the risk of being extremely corny, there are many situations where "It's not what you know, it's whom you know".
One aspect of that is that private school graduates tend to meet mainly one-another on occasions where the mating game is afoot. Your schoolfriend's kid sister can often seem very attractive, for instance. So they intermarry, which in turn preserves health and IQ advantages into subsequent generations. You will tend to get smarter, healthier and probably more tractable grandkids, which is very pleasing
PRIVATE school kids grow up to earn more, live in better suburbs and be happier than their public school peers, a new national study has found.
Curtin University analysis of more than 17,000 Australian adults shows independent private school male graduates earn 15 per cent more than those from government schools. The research, by Associate Professor Mike Dockery, also shows female graduates earn 19 per cent more compared to those from government schools.
This higher household income “can be largely attributed to the greater educational attainment achieved by those who went to independent schools, with some contribution also associated with having come from a family background of higher socio-economic status,” Associate Professor Dockery said.
“It seems likely that there is a causal relationship in which attending a private school increases the propensity to enter university, which in turn contributes to higher wages,” he said.
Independent school graduates also live in more wealthy, up-market suburbs. “One way or another, private school graduates sort their way into more prestigious neighbourhoods,” he said.
“This may reflect a number of factors: higher preferences for living in such areas, marrying more affluent partners, or the effect of maintaining geographically close networks with family and peers who disproportionately reside in more prestigious neighbourhoods”.
Catholic private schooling is also beneficial, bringing with it higher average household incomes of around ten per cent, which is mainly due to higher educational attainment.
However, Catholic school graduates have a bonus which is not shared with their independent-school peers: they have higher life satisfaction than those from state schools. “This apparent Catholic school effect on life satisfaction is possibly associated with religiosity,” Associate Professor Dockery said.
The research from the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education found men who went to independent schools did not share this greater life satisfaction compared to those who went to government schools. Women who attended independent schools, on the other hand, were marginally happier.
The Herald Sun reported recently the annual fees of top private schools is more than $30,000 and rising at triple the cost of inflation.
California history teacher suspended for comparing Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler
A Mountain View, Calif., history teacher has been suspended for comparing Republican President-elect Donald Trump to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in a post-election history lesson.
Veteran teacher Frank Navarro, who has taught at Mountain View High School for 40 years, said he was suspended Thursday, after a student’s parent emailed the school to complain about his lecture.
Navarro said the parent accused him of saying, “Donald Trump grabs p---y.”
Navarro, a Holocaust scholar who has three daughters, said he never would have spoken that way. He argued that his lesson was not biased, but fact-based.
Trump, Ryan discuss different plans regarding immigration
“I had a short lesson paralleling Hitler with Trump when Hitler was running from 1930 to 1933,” Navarro told the Daily News.
“Hitler said he would make Germany great again, and Donald Trump said he would make America great again,” Navarro said.
He also noted that both leaders vowed to deport foreigners.
“I told the principal as I told my students, that these are all factually based and that I am not making anything up,” he said.
Swastikas, Trump’s name spray-painted across Philly storefront
Navarro hasn’t worked since Thursday — his classes have temporarily been taken over by a substitute teacher — but he hopes to return to the classroom next week.
In the meantime, he said he’s received a number of emails from parents who support him.
Nearly 10,000 people signed a change.org petition supporting Navarro as of Sunday afternoon. “It is dangerous and disgusting that the administration has decided to punish him for drawing parallels between two similarly dangerous moments in history,” it reads.
Navarro said his aim in comparing Trump to Hitler was to “make the history relevant and show them that these issues have been around for a long time and are probably not going away.”
The school’s administration will meet on Monday to discuss Navarro’s return to the classroom.
Mountain View/Los Altos High School District Superintendent Jeff Harding said he’d like to restore Navarro to his teaching post.
“We are interested in getting Frank back in the classroom ... we’re just trying to maintain our due diligence,” he told The Mercury News. “We have a heightened environment right now with the election. It’s always a challenge to maintain a line in a classroom.”
Navarro thinks he is owed an apology before he returns. “I am feeling a lot of stress on this and my wife is very unhappy about this too. But we’ll get through this. I think it will work itself out,” he said.
UCLA Poli Sci Department Calls For Emergency Meeting In Wake Of Trump Victory
The University of California, Los Angeles political science department has called for an emergency meeting Monday in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s presidential victory, according to an email sent to the entire UCLA political science department by the department chair that was obtained by The Daily Caller.
College campuses around America have struggled to cope with Trump’s victory. Expulsions have been demanded for students at Babson College who celebrated Trump’s victory, and anti-Trump protests have occurred on multiple campuses, including UCLA.
“It is clear that the unexpected election of Donald Trump and events that have occurred since have left many in our community and particularly many of our undergraduate students deeply anxious, fearful, and despondent,” UCLA political science department chair Jeff Lewis wrote in an email Sunday. He added that there have been reports about physical and verbal assaults on minorities, immigrants, Muslims, and members of gay community following Trump’s victory.
“Others less directly imperiled are nevertheless expressing deep anxiety about the resulting uncertainty and overall post-election climate of divisiveness, hostility and recrimination — and what all of this may mean more generally about the country and the future. And, of course, others still may feel relatively removed and are simply wondering what is happening. Particularly as political scientists, our students will look to us for guidance, understanding, and reassurance and, although we might ourselves be struggling, we must be ready,” Lewis continued to say.
The UCLA professor is calling for “an emergency meeting of all faculty and graduate students” Monday morning. Lewis wrote, “At this meeting, we will come together to discuss and inventory the fears and circumstances that students are facing and the resources available to help those in crisis. We will also discuss how best to constructively respond to students’ questions and concerns and develop some talking points that might, in some cases, be useful in providing reassurance.”
“If this all sounds a bit vague to you, we confess that it is. There is no playbook for this situation. It will have to be a collaborative effort. We are asking for your help,” the UCLA political science department chair continued.
The email was sent from Lewis and also signed by four other members of the UCLA political science department’s leadership.
Following Trump’s win announced early Wednesday morning, an email was sent to the UCLA student body that included the number for the school’s counseling and psychological services mental health center. And in another email Wednesday, this one sent to members of UCLA Greek Life, a dean let students know about resources to help deal with the election, which included a “safe and supportive space for undocumented students.”
Posted by jonjayray at 1:42 AM
Monday, November 14, 2016
Race, gender gaps persist in computer science education
If you believe that all men are equal, these findings will be puzzling and disturbing. If you know the facts about IQ, they are exactly as one would expect. The ability subset that most predicts computer programming ability is Math ability. Women are well behind on that and blacks are rarely in the race. And the findings below validate that. Perhaps the most interesting finding below is that blacks are highly motivated. Their lack of success is not for want of trying -- contrary to what some Leftist psychologists claim
New research from Google shows that black students are less likely to have computer science classes in school and are less likely to use computers at home even though they are 1.5 times more interested in studying computer science than their white peers.
The findings are part of a report released Tuesday by Google in partnership with Gallup that puts the spotlight on the racial and gender gap in K-12 computer science education. Google says its aim with the research, which surveyed thousands of students, parents, teachers, principals and superintendents, is to increase the numbers of women, blacks and Latinos in computer science.
Computer science classes are popping up in K-12 schools around the country. The growing effort is coming from many quarters — the National Science Foundation, the College Board, Freada Kapor's SMASH Academy, Black Girls Code, Girls Who Code, Code.org and major tech companies such as Google — all searching for the best way to put computers and computer know-how in the hands of kids from all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. On Monday, a coalition of computer scientists released a framework for what K-12 students should know about computer science.
Parents and educators have joined the call for computer science classes, leading to a big jump in the number of schools reporting they offer at least one computer science class, to 40% up from 25% the year before, says Brandon Busteed, executive director of education and workforce development at Gallup.
But disparities persist in who has access to computer science education. Structural and social barriers still keep girls and underrepresented minorities from studying computer science, says Google's Sepehr Hejazi Moghadam.
"Ultimately we have got to steer away from computer science education being a privilege for some and move towards more broad access to quality computer science learning for all students," Moghadam said.
Silicon Valley's major tech companies are staffed mostly by white and Asian men. Google says it's hiring more black and Hispanic workers: 4% of hires in 2015 were black and 5% were Hispanic in 2015. But the increased hiring has not budged the overall percentage of underrepresented minorities in the Google workforce, with Hispanics making up 3% of the workforce and African Americans 2%. Seven out of 10 employees at Google are men.
That's a pressing problem for Google. Latino and African-American buying power is on the rise and Google has ambitions that now lap the globe. Having women and underrepresented minorities brainstorming and building, not just using, the products dreamed up by Google is quickly becoming a necessity.
"For us, a diversity of perspectives, ideas and cultures within the company and the industry overall lead to the creation of better products and services that meet the needs of all users," Moghadam said.
How classrooms are dealing with a Trump win
As crowds gathered in the streets of American cities to protest the election of Donald Trump, many elementary and high school students are confused at how Mr. Trump edged out an unexpected win and how a divided America can move forward.
“It’s definitely going to be a big change,” Jackson, a sixth grade student at Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Berkeley, Calif., told NPR on Wednesday during a teacher-facilitated discussion. “Not necessarily a good change or a bad one. It’s just going to be big and different.”
The election of Trump – a presidential candidate celebrated by his followers for his hard-line stance on immigration, and disparaged by his opposition for, they say, being a racist, misogynist, and a bully – has posed a dilemma for teachers in the United States and Canada on whether they should lead conversations with their students about the president-elect. But many teachers have found an opportunity to teach their students about tolerance, self-expression, bullying, and democracy.
"I was surprised that students wanted to talk about it," Andrew Campbell, an elementary school teacher in Ontario, Canada, told The Globe and Mail newspaper. "I thought it wouldn’t have a lot of meaning to Grade 5 and 6 students, but I think they got caught up in the media storm and were reacting to that."
Throughout the presidential election, with its racially-charged rhetoric, sexual assault allegations, and undercurrent of violence, teachers have been challenged, wondering how to encourage civic engagement and learning while welcoming all views, as Gretel Kaufmann reported for The Christian Science Monitor when Jericho Elementary School in Centereach, N.Y. canceled a mock presidential election due to the negative vibes it was creating.
"Preparing citizens who are able to engage in civic discourse and have a certain level of political tolerance is an important part of the role of public schools in a democracy, and there are important opportunities for students to learn during critical moments, like now, in US history," Laura May, an associate professor of early childhood and elementary education at Georgia State University, tells the Monitor.
"But in times like now, in the midst of heated and extreme views that are often uncompromising, teachers and schools are vulnerable," she says.
To foster a good environment for conversation, Dr. May says, teachers must make children feel safe, comfortable, and respected among their peers to share personal and, perhaps, unpopular opinions. Once a teacher establishes this environment, students and teachers can develop ground rules for political discussions. For younger students, she adds, it may be best to discuss the election through familiar concepts such as kindness and fairness.
The day after the election, Berkeley Unified School District in the San Francisco Bay Area took a different approach. Teachers and administrators accompanied students as they gathered in the courtyard of Berkeley High School and marched to nearby University of California, Berkeley, to protest the election of Trump.
“It’s not the first time we’ve had a walkout,” said Berkeley Unified spokesman Charles Burress, referring to the city’s history of liberal politics. “We know what to expect, and we know what to do.”
The 1,500-odd students at Berkeley High were among thousands of young Americans in Seattle, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area that marched in opposition to Trump. In Los Angeles, about 300 predominantly Hispanic high school students walked out of classes and walked to the steps of City Hall. A giant Trump head was burned in effigy there, according to the Los Angeles Times, while students chanted in Spanish, “the people united will never be defeated.”
Many of those students were members of the “Dreamers” generation, children whose parents entered the United States with them illegally, school officials told Reuters. These students fear deportation under a Trump administration.
"A child should not live in fear that they will be deported," said Stephanie Hipolito, one of the student organizers of the walkout, and who said her parents are US citizens.
Teachers reported some of their students carried these same fears during the election, according to an online survey by the Southern Poverty Law Center. More than two-thirds of teachers surveyed said some of their students, particularly Mexican-American and Muslim students, are afraid they will be deported or disliked because of their heritage or religion.
Defining his education legacy, Obama touts climbing graduation rates
I wonder whom he thinks he is fooling? It's the steady dumbing down of American education that accounts for higher pass rates
The nation's high school graduation rate reached its highest recorded peak in 2015 — although big disparities remain among African-American, Hispanic and low-income students, the White House said Monday.
President Obama highlighted the 83.2% graduation rate at a speech at a Washington, D.C. high school, an effort to define the eight years of the Obama presidency as a time of steady progress for student achievement across the county.
"We've made a lot of progress," Obama said. "To be honest with you, we’ve still got more work to do."
Obama has touted the climbing graduation rate before, but usually as part of a longer list of domestic policy achievements. In his final State of the Union address in January, he told Congress that "together, we've increased early childhood education, lifted high school graduation rates to new highs, boosted graduates in fields like engineering."
On Monday, Obama encouraged students at Washington's Benjamin Banneker Academic High School not just to graduate, but to apply to college — and to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
The high school wasn't chosen as the venue for Obama's speech just because of its proximity to the White House. The District of Columbia saw the biggest one-year increase in graduation rates in the country last year, from 61.4% to 68.5%. And at Banneker, the graduation rate last year was 100 percent.
"It's been a while since I did math, but 100% is good," Obama said. "You can't do better than that."
According to Department of Education data to be released Monday, the overall graduation rate rose 0.9 percentage points from the 2013-2014 school year to 2014-2015. Since 2011, when the department first started reporting graduation rates in a more reliable way, the increase is 4.2 points.
Minority groups still lagged behind their white peers, but saw bigger gains over the past year: the graduation rate for black students rose to 74.6% (a 2.1 point increase); for Hispanic students to 77.8% (1.5 points), Native Americans to 76.1% (1 point), and low-income students to 76.1% (1.5 points).
Students learning English as a second language saw the biggest gains of any subgroup, a 2.5 point increase to 65.1%.
State-by-state results also show graduations rates rising almost everywhere. The exceptions: Arizona and Wyoming, which were down a fraction of a point, and three states — Idaho, Kentucky and Oklahoma — that only recently began to release high school graduation rates in a way that could be compared to other states.
Posted by jonjayray at 1:32 AM
Sunday, November 13, 2016
That moment when Millennials realized Trump was winning
It was the election result everyone thought was a joke. As I sat in a room with liberal, college age students at George Mason University I realized that it was the first time these students ever took Donald Trump seriously, and ever even heard his message.
For the liberal student, college has been an environment in which liberal ideas are encouraged to thrive and students constantly relate on progressive ideology, liberal students around me all shared the same baffled sentiment as they wondered how this could ever happen.
So, I told them how.
What students don’t learn in their college safe spaces, is that people across the country are struggling economically and have been struggling for years. Outside the protection of university walls and the echo chamber of liberal conversation, Americans have grown weary on the political status quo.
Liberal students I find myself surrounded by have begun their social media assessments of the election claiming that Trump supports were racists, patriarchal, low income and impoverished white people. But they ignore one important reality, Trump won with more than just that vote; Trump won with the backing of females, minorities, and educated workers across the country and proved that a silent majority exists.
As Clinton supporters reminded Republicans to hold out for Pennsylvania and wait for the big cities last night, I reminded them of the rust belt workers who lost their job due to Bill Clinton’s trade policies and Hillary Clinton’s support for them. I reminded students that Trump was the only person who has promised to get their jobs back. The candidate that they believed would have a landslide, monumental victory, suddenly didn’t represent the class that needed a voice.
An analysis of exit polls from the BBC found that 42 percent of women voted for Trump as well as nearly 30 percent of Hispanic voters. Trump spoke to a consistent message which transcended race and gender. By claiming his support was won over only by ignorant racists, liberal advocates ignored the reality that Trump’s goals are relatable to millions of Americans struggling to establish their own American Dream. Last night was the first time, liberal students came to the realization that people are angry with the corruption of our political system and want something new.
As one fellow student asked me, “How can Clinton not win, she is the most qualified and most electable candidate?” I reminded my friend that she might have had the most political experience, but that does not make her the most qualified or the most electable to the entire nation.
These students on campus proudly exclaimed that they are “still with Her” are baffled that the first female presidential candidate could lose and many immediately blamed sexism. The 42 percent of women voting for Trump proved them wrong. Clinton represents the elite more than any average American.
As Politico’s Molly Roberts explained earlier in the election season, Clinton has more elements of privilege than she does minority, and in backing “her husband’s incarceration and welfare reform policies, critics say, and it’s not just that Clinton doesn’t personally embody intersecting identities — it’s that as a politician, she’s been part of the problem.”
With a new president elect this morning, students at universities across the country have begun protesting Americas decision. These are college students who still reject the reality that Americans have struggled for generations and are no longer content with liberal policy that does not induce change. These are college students who cannot accept that Donald Trump is who the American people want to be president.
As I tried to explain to my left leaning classmates, the people who have been silently looking for leadership are now awake and ready to dramatically alter the face of American politics; you have the option to be a part of the change and mold a new American identity. Despite how unpredictable it might have seemed; this was democracy in action.
A Blow to the Snowflakes' Self-Esteem
College students nationwide are having a hard time coping with Trump
On college campuses around the nation, horrified students stayed up into early Wednesday morning and stared in disbelief at the fate that had befallen them: Hillary Clinton would not be the president to make their college free and enforce political correctness on the non-campus “real world.” Many who desperately sought a “safe space,” though, were accommodated in other ways by faculty and administration who shared their angst.
For example, those staring at a Wednesday exam in one Yale introductory microeconomics class were allowed to skip it, with the unnamed instructor noting, “I am getting many heartfelt notes from students who are in shock over the election returns.” University of Maryland astronomy lecturer Alan Peel went even further, cancelling a Wednesday exam. “Given that the nation in which you currently reside decided last night to elect a president whose own words have painted him a moral and possibly physical hazard to many of us,” Peel said, students could not muster “the monumental effort necessary to accept what must be a personally threatening election result.”
“Our class is very diverse,” said one Peel student, who recommended that “a bit of grieving time” would be in order. And many colleges provided the space to grieve, opening up jars of Play-Doh and coloring books to those students who felt the “unspeakable shock at the manifestation of hate and bigotry that is on par with how people felt when Orlando happened, when Charleston happened,” as one director of multi-ethnic student affairs hyperventilated. Another campus hosted “support and community” gatherings in several locations: their American Indian & Indigenous Community Center, Black Cultural Center, Hispanic Latino Cultural Center, LGBTQ+ Center, Multicultural Center, and Intercultural Engagement Center. (That seems to cover all the bases of the aggrieved.)
Taking the prize in the snowflake sweepstakes, though, was the group of Cornell University students distraught enough to hold a “cry-in” despite the cold and rain. A Cornell student who is co-president of the campus group Planned Parenthood Generation Action noted that much of the campus “never seriously contemplated” a Trump presidency. “Two weeks ago,” she said, “the co-president and I jokingly said ‘Oh, we need to do something if Trump wins,’ but never actually thought that would happen.”
But you also had the students who needed the space to destroy stuff, such as those who burned flags at American University, just a few miles from where Trump will be inaugurated in January. While these loud campus protests paled in comparison to larger gatherings led by left-wing groups around the country since the election results became known early Wednesday morning, they’re reminiscent of the anti-Vietnam War protests that rocked colleges nearly 50 years ago.
Naturally, as with any good institution of higher learning, there are others who are skeptical of the whole thing. “I am sure that these support services were never provided after previous elections, and certainly not in 2008 or 2012,” said University of Michigan-Flint economics professor Mark Perry. “And if the outcome of the election had been different, I am confident that either no emails would have been sent out to the campus community, or they would have been announcements for post-election campus celebrations.”
College students between the ages of 18 and 22 have little to no recollection of 9/11, although they likely remember the media-fueled unpopularity of George W. Bush. Clearly, they were hoping to have the same sort of celebration from Hillary Clinton shattering the “glass ceiling” that their older siblings had when Barack Obama was elected to usher in a post-racial America. Instead, they came of age at the other end of what has been a relatively regular eight-year cycle since the end of World War II, as Republicans and Democrats trade places in the Oval Office. Apparently these children are processing a normal electoral transfer of power the in same way they’d cry about getting clothes for Christmas instead of the video console they wanted.
We are reminded, though, that “Donald Trump is going to be our president — we owe him an open mind and a chance to lead.” After pinning their hopes and dreams on her leading up to Tuesday, students don’t seem to be listening to Hillary Clinton’s words now.
Trump Wins, Parents Panic
You can't make this up. From schools convening assemblies to sing "We Shall Overcome" to parents consulting with psychologists for tips on how to reassure their kids that they are safe, one is led to believe either one of two things: Kids are in a complete panic over Trump's win, or their parents are losing their minds. You can't totally blame them. Many parents headed off to bed Tuesday night with the paranoid sentiments of Van Jones ringing in their ears:
It's hard to be a parent tonight for a lot of us. You tell your kids, ‘Don't be a bully.' You tell your kids, ‘Don't be a bigot.' You tell your kids, ‘Do your homework and be prepared. Then you have this outcome, and you have people putting children to bed tonight and they're afraid of breakfast. They're afraid of, ‘How do I explain this to my children?'
Reading between the lines I can't help but wonder if these feel-good sing-alongs and psych sessions weren't designed to ease parental nerves. The reality is that, contrary to Hillary's ad campaign, kids don't sit in front of the television watching stump speeches. Parents do. Therefore, a child's impression of Donald Trump isn't really up to Donald Trump, it's up to their parents. That's right, regardless of current trends in kid tech, parents are supposed to be the gatekeepers between children and the media. Therefore, if parents were truly concerned about the impression Donald Trump might make on their child, they should've simply prevented their child from mass exposure.
I can hear my critics now. "You just don't understand, they see everything nowadays." No, they don't. Not as long as you're the one holding the remote and controlling the Internet access. Media is only as pervasive as you permit it to be. The overwhelming amount of parental fear is nothing short of a testimony to the fact that a gross number of parents have resigned their natural authority over to the almighty iPad.
As much as these parents fear Trump's power over their children, they're incredibly hesitant to claim any of their own. I've seen an endless number of articles discussing the dangers of President Trump becoming a role model. What kid looks to a president to be a role model? Despite eight years of being told to practically worship at Barack Obama's feet, the majority of kids in America still look first to mom and dad. It's the peril and pleasure of parenting: Everything we do is admired and imitated because we are so deeply loved.
If there's one lesson parents should take away from this election, it is that they are the ones in charge of their children's lives. Not the president. Not the government. Not the news anchors, pundits, bloggers, or even experts. When it comes to kids, Mom and Dad are the authority figures and role models in and outside of the home. Everyone else will always be second-best no matter what title they hold.
Posted by jonjayray at 2:01 AM