Friday, December 02, 2016
Hands down! British school warns pupils who try too hard
This is nonsense. Teachers have always been able to choose which student they wanted to answer questions. I recollect teachers saying to me: "Yes, John. We all know you know the answer but I want to hear from someone else"
Generations of children have indicated their eagerness to answer a question by thrusting their hand in the air.
One school has decided to ban the practice, however, as part of a movement which argues that raising a hand does not fit with modern values or educational methods.
Barry Found, principal of Samworth Church Academy in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, angered teachers and parents by saying that the “age-old practice” of children putting up their hand did not help their education.
“We find that the same hands are going up and, as such, the teaching does not challenge and support the learning of all,” he told parents in a letter. “We will use a variety of other techniques to ensure that every student is challenged and developed
US students lag peers in East Asia, Russia in math, science
In a globally competitive world, American students have strides to make when it comes to math and science, where they lag behind a solid block of East Asian countries as well as Russia and Kazakhstan.
Eighth graders in the United States improved their scores in math over the last four years on the global exam. Scores for science, however, were flat. In fourth grade, scores were unchanged in the math and science tests, according to results released Tuesday.
"The results do suggest a leveling out in the most recent cycle," said Ina Mullis, an executive director of the TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center at Boston College, where researchers helped coordinate staff to administer the assessments. "One always prefers to see improvement, but holding ones' own is preferable to declining."
Singapore topped the rankings, taking first place in both grades for math and science on the tests, known as the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, or TIMSS.
The United States placed 10th in fourth-grade science and in eighth-grade math. In eighth-grade science, the U.S. was in 11th place. It ranked 14th for fourth-grade math, just behind Portugal and Kazakhstan.
Globally, results from the 2015 exams showed achievement trends were up — with more countries registering increases than decreases in math and science for both grades. Gender gaps were another highlight. They have narrowed over the last 20 years, especially in science at the eighth-grade level.
"A lot of countries have been working hard to close that achievement gap, and have promoted girls' interest and participation in science," said Michael Martin, who runs the International Study Center with Mullis.
While the short-term trend for American students overall wasn't glowing, scores over the last 20 years have improved considerably. Math and science scores for eighth graders had sharp gains, as did scores for fourth-grade math. Science scores for fourth graders showed more modest gains over the last two decades.
Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, lauded progress by the nation's students. The study "affirms that when there is an alignment between teachers and students, instruction and standards, and resources — giving teachers the flexibility to teach what students need to know and do — we see success," said Weingarten.
The TIMSS exams are administered every four years in dozens of countries worldwide. More than 600,000 students around the world took part in the 2015 exams.
Is going to university a waste of everyone’s time and money?
AUSTRALIANS are more qualified than ever. A record number of Australians now have a bachelor’s degree, masters or PhD. But a dangerous idea is out: Degrees might be a big fat waste of time and money.
Thirty years ago you didn’t need a degree to be a journalist, for example. Now? Most job ads demand a degree and plenty of the people applying have taken a masters degree, so they look even more qualified than the competition.
The same “degree inflation” applies in a huge range of fields.
IS A DEGREE JUST A PIECE OF PAPER?
The idea is this: you don’t actually learn much at university. Under this idea, university is a way of showing off that you’re good. It’s like the peacock’s tail — not useful in itself, just a big signal that you’re hot stuff.
Is university just signalling? If it is, it would explain why it doesn’t seem to matter that you forget a lot of what you learned — and perhaps why employers of graduates are always complaining their recruits don’t have any valuable skills
If the signalling theory is right, we would, as a society, be better off making people spend less time in uni. But the reality is the opposite — we are sending more and more people to uni.
More people are graduating with degrees, but do they really need them?
More people are graduating with degrees, but do they really need them?Source:Supplied
As people work harder and harder for qualifications, a backlash is brewing.
Some very powerful businesses have stopped requiring a degree. Professional services firm EY is one. In the UK it no longer looks at academic qualifications in its entry criteria.
Google is also expanding its ranks of the degree-less, according to its head of hiring. Those firms think they can get good value from people without degrees.
US entrepreneur Peter Thiel is famous for questioning the benefit of higher education. He pays scholarships of $100,000 — called Thiel Fellowhips — to brilliant young people in return for dropping out of uni and becoming entrepreneurs instead.
YOUR USELESS DEGREE ISN’T REALLY USELESS
Now, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go to university. Even if it is a waste of time in some ways, most jobs still require a degree. Going to uni is still very much worthwhile for most people.
The data is very clear — people with a Bachelor’s degree will earn $2.9 million over their lifetime compared to $2.07 million for people who finished year 12 without going to uni.
This can’t be used as proof that uni makes you more productive though.
If university is just signalling these people would have been just as useful in the workplace if they hadn’t gone to uni. (And maybe even more useful, because they’d have extra experience instead of a qualification.)
It also implies that plenty of people who didn’t go to uni would do even better at those jobs than the people with degrees. After all, going to university is still mostly for wealthier people, despite the way the HECS scheme has made access way more widely available. (People who are born to rich and well-educated parents are the ones who tend to end up at uni.)
IS THE DANGEROUS IDEA RIGHT?
But the problem remains this. We don’t know for sure if this big idea is right. Do people really learn at uni or not? I asked the man who invented the HECS/HELP system, Professor Bruce Chapman, what the evidence had to say.
“We just don’t know,” Chapman said. He has trawled through hundreds of studies to try to figure out if university is mostly learning or mostly just signalling. “We don’t have a good measure for it.”
Some degrees are more practical than others, Chapman said, for example, dentistry: “Would you want an accountant pulling out your teeth?”
Philosophy degrees, he said, are different. They may be more of a way of showing that you are able to think clearly and obey the rules and requirements of a university environment for three years.
Ultimately, Chapman reckons uni is most likely to be a mix of learning and signalling. “If I had to guess, I’d say 50:50.”
Other experts, like Professor John Quiggin of the University of Queensland, disagree, saying the proof is out there and university mostly builds skills.
Debate will continue on whether or not sending more and more Australians to university is a good investment. But one thing most experts agree on is that a very different kind of education is a guaranteed winner. The advantages of early childhood education are enormous, and can last for a lifetime.
One American study found the return on early childhood interventions is $10 for every $1 invested. And the benefits go to everyone, not just the people who are lucky enough to go to uni.
So, maybe, as a society we should worry more about whether Australians go to kindergarten, rather than whether they go to uni.
Thursday, December 01, 2016
College Instructors Tell Students: America’s Founding Fathers Ran ‘A Terrorist Organization’
Instructors at the taxpayer-funded University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS) reportedly told students enrolled in their team-taught humanities class that America’s founding fathers ran “a terrorist organization” and used “violence and terror to influence opinions” in their fight for independence from Great Britain.
The course, titled “Resistance and Revolution”, was co-taught by Jared Benson, a history lecturer, and Nicholas Lee, an instructor in UCCS' sociology department.
According to The College Fix, a student who wished to remain anonymous recorded lectures given by Benson and Lee in October and November, telling the website that “what they have been teaching us goes beyond any liberal interpretation of history that I have ever heard.”
The Declaration of Independence lists 27 grievances the colonies had against King George III, including cutting off their trade with other parts of the world, imposing taxes and quartering soldiers in their homes without their consent, and depriving them of a trial by jury.
The document refers to the king’s rule as “a history of repeated injuries and usurpations” of their rights as British citizens.
The Declaration also states that it is the duty of a people oppressed and abused by a government to establish a new form of government for themselves, one that acknowledges their “certain and unalienable rights,” including “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
But Benson and Lee compared the colonists’ revolt to modern-day terrorists.
“As Jared [Benson] pointed out, by any modern definition, this was a terrorist organization. And I don’t say that to be hyperbolic,” Lee reportedly told the class. “Like literally an organization that uses terror to accomplish what they want. That’s exactly what they were doing, right?” he asked students.
“So all these people that we were like, 'Oh they’re our founding fathers.' It’s all relative. At the time, they were using violence and terror to influence opinions,” Lee was heard saying.
According to the audio recording, Benson also told students that because there was no nation at the time, and the founding fathers’ identities were linked to the particular colonies they resided in before the Revolutionary War, they used indoctrination to convince their fellow colonists to revolt against English rule.
“So I think that the wealthy created this idea of suffering and led the colonists to believe that they were suffering as a result of British repression,” Lee added.
Benson also suggested that it was hypocritical of the founding fathers to refer to themselves as being enslaved by the British government when many of them owned actual slaves.
“They argued that forcing them to buy British tea over Dutch tea was again enslaving them and compromising their freedoms. What do you think of that? It was a bold claim to make,” Benson told students.
“For a culture that literally enslaved people, to kind of throw that word around – because they have to buy tea from a certain company – feels… maybe a little bit propagandist. But that’s a key piece to successful social movements,” he said.
Benson also criticized the colonists for dressing as Native Americans during the Boston Tea Party, calling their stated grievances against the British monarchy “child-like gripes.”
“Why’d they dress up like Native Americans? That’s offensive on so many fronts. Maybe keeping their identities secret – except they all wrote about it later. So perhaps as unjustified as the colonists were in their child-like gripes against the Crown, the Crown in and of itself is making it worse.”
CNSNews.com emailed both instructors, asking them to confirm that they compared the founding fathers to terrorists, and asking them to explain the differences, if any, between the Sons of Liberty and jihadist groups such as ISIS.
After receiving no response, CNSNews was contacted by Tom Hutton of the University Communications Office on behalf of Benson.
“The University of Colorado [at] Colorado Springs supports the constitutional principles of free expression and its protection for both faculty and students,” Hutton told CNSNews, adding that “the course was not an American history course or a course on the American Revolution”.
He also stated that The College Fix website distorted the instructors’ comments and “removed the context of the course and its focus on social movements in the United States and across the globe.”
CNSNews also contacted The College Fix and asked if the website had received any pushback from the university.
“The university requested all four lectures be transcribed in full for their review and we agreed to that. That process is underway. That is the extent of our discussions with administration at this time,” The College Fix editor Jennifer Kabbany told CNSNews.
Trumping the ivy walls
After parallel careers in the military and higher education, I believe our recent campus unrest reflects a lethal combination of bad parenting and leftist indoctrination thinly disguised as teaching. Raised on participation trophies rather than real responsibilities, the me-first generation infests campuses miraculously transformed from preserves of higher learning into leftist cactus gardens where every succulent bites, stings or scratches. Our students learn less and less while being programmed more and more, their skyrocketing tuition coaxed from obliging parents or the bottomless coffers of taxpayers.
Recently, some professors canceled exams to assuage the post-election angst of their students. Others discovered the new obligation of the university (Harvard, Yale, Brown, et. al) to serve as a sanctuary. After decades of disinformation, it was a comparatively simple matter to turn campuses that once taught the canons of Western civilization and other conceits of dead white males into sanctuary cities for the indigent or the undocumented. One hand-painted sign at Columbia recently asserted, "No one is illegal!" Wanna bet?
But even faculty club Jacobins may be sensing that the tectonic shifts of recent politics could soon spawn other tsunamis. In their cover story, "A Humbling of Higher Ed" the Nov. 11 Chronicle of Higher Education begins, "The president-elect's resonant skewering of elites, political correctness, and immigration policy resonates with the country's longstanding skepticism of academe." But the recent humiliation of campus pundits, pollsters and prognosticators was so intensely painful that their institutional house organ could barely bring itself to whisper the dread word, "Trump."
For decades, there has been a growing conviction that American academics, like their counterparts in Hollywood and the American media, have abandoned any pretext of objectivity or fair-mindedness. While U.S. education levels were dropping to 17th - well behind Finland, South Korea and Hong Kong - University of Virginia social psychologist Jonathan Haidt surveyed his colleagues at a 2011 professional gathering.
He found that in an audience of over a thousand, more than 80 percent were liberals while only three people haltingly identified themselves as conservatives. According to The New York Times, "Dr. Haidt argued that social psychologists are a "tribal-moral community" united by "sacred values" that hinder research and damage their credibility - and blind them to the hostile climate they've created for non-liberals."
No one seems to have worried that some of those non-liberals might actually be students, still less that they might have naively hoped that their tuition dollars would prepare them for productive careers. Instead, student potential was less important than the one-sided ideologies of their professors. Maybe there should be an academic version of the Hippocratic Oath: "First do no harm."
Even if there were, some would still oppose it. One of them would presumably be professor Donald Lazere, author of, "Why Higher Education Should Have a Leftist Bias." As he explained to the American Association of University Professors, "For many years I have been making the case that the ceaseless conservative attack against bias and political correctness among leftists in both education and media disingenuously stands the truth on its head: the far greater bias pervading American society is conservative, but it is not widely perceived as a bias - just as the normative, natural order of things."
Got that? When the professor at your son's university disses or ignores conservative viewpoints, he does so only because he is a caped crusader, relentlessly exposing the inherent biases of Western society. When the lecturer at your daughter's liberal arts college insists that any religion except Islam is sexist crowd control, then she is merely pointing the next generation toward the sunny uplands of new truths. Ironically, such indoctrination takes place while the professoriat enjoys a cushy lifestyle and protectionist job security. Anywhere else, such "feather-bedding" is either condemned or outlawed. But in academe, those same practices are collectively known as tenure, meaning you can't be fired. Nice work if you can get it.
What is most astounding is that this PC-crazy, Alice-in-Wonderland world of safe spaces, white privilege and micro-aggressions is actually built upon the shifting sands of benign toleration. American colleges and universities are financially supported by an interlocking directorate of parents, alumni groups, generous donors, gullible state legislatures and an eager-to-please federal bureaucracy. Yet the sea change will shortly arrive as an impressive number of these institutions reconvene in January under the adult leadership of Donald Trump, Republican governors or conservative-minded state legislatures.
Among the most urgent questions facing them: Why should we continue to overlook the ongoing scandal of American academe, paid for by private and public dollars? Above all: Why should we continue to finance the subversion of our youth, much less the institutional obliteration of our most cherished Western values?
Australian students are worse at maths and science than children in KAZAKHSTAN
Thanks to "modern" (Leftist) ideas in the classroom
Australian students are worse at maths and science than students in countries such as Kazakhstan, Bulgaria and Serbia.
The latest results from the four-yearly Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), shows Australian students have gone backwards as other countries have improved.
The study looked at how well Year 4 and Year 8 students have mastered maths and science lessons, asking questions like how many legs an insect has, which animals lay eggs and what the angles in a triangle add up to.
The Australian Council for Educational Research, which reports on the study, said it should be a wake-up call.
The council's Sue Thomson said the long tail on results was of particular concern.
Between a quarter and a third of Australian students are still not meeting the proficient standard.
'In terms of children in classrooms, that's probably seven or eight students in your average 25-student classroom,' Dr Thomson told AAP.
'That is a big worry and it's not something that's changed over the last 20 years.'
But Dr Thomson says the results only reveal the problem, not solutions.
It could be that Australia has not set its sights high enough, with the 'proficient' standards here set just above the TIMSS intermediate level.
'Since TIMSS 2011 we haven't really put in much that would lift performance at those lower benchmarks so nothing really has happened,' Dr Thomson said.
She highlighted the huge role socio-economic background - measured by the number of books at home - played in a student's success.
If just the results from the richest students were used, they would be among the top eight countries in the world, whereas those from poorer families are within the bottom quarter.
'I'm not necessarily going to relate it to funding, however we're back at the table insofar as school funding goes and we're still finding that disadvantaged students from disadvantaged schools are those who are not achieving well in these sort of tests,' Dr Thomson said.
'They're the ones we need to be targeting to try and improve their achievement.'
Education Minister Simon Birmingham said the fascination of some with how much money was being spent in schools came at the detriment of examining its distribution and what would actually boost results.
He will use the maths and science results as a key part of his mid-December discussions with state counterparts about a new funding agreement.
But Labor said it was disingenuous to use the TIMSS results to say Gonski funding hadn't made any difference because students were tested in 2014, when less than 10 per cent of the total money had gone to schools.
'(The results) show governments must act immediately to break the link between poor performance and disadvantage,' Labor's education spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek said.
'Both Liberal and Labor state governments know the positive difference extra needs based funding is making in their schools - that's why they have put politics aside to campaign together against Malcolm Turnbull's cuts.'
Posted by jonjayray at 1:58 AM
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Muzzled Professors: An Inside Look at How One College Lets Students Censor Classroom Debate
For many students and professors, one of the great appeals of college life is being exposed to new and different ways of thinking. But that age-old process is now under threat at schools around the country. Take the University of Northern Colorado.
After two of the school’s professors asked their students to discuss controversial topics and consider opposing viewpoints, they received visits from the school’s Bias Response Team to discuss their teaching style. The professors’ students had reported them, claiming the curriculum constituted bias.
These incidents, both in the 2015-2016 academic year, reflect a growing trend in higher education. College students increasingly demand to be shielded from “offensive,” “triggering” or “harmful” language and topics, relying on Bias Response Teams to intervene on their behalf. Such teams are popping up at a growing number of universities.
Heat Street filed a Freedom of Information Act request to get a look at some of the complaints to UNC’s Bias Response Team, and a sense of how the team is handling those petitions. In one report reviewed by Heat Street, a professor, whose name was redacted, had asked students to read an Atlantic article entitled “The Coddling of the American Mind,” about college students’ increasing sensitivity and its impact on their mental health.
The professor then asked his students to come up with difficult topics, including transgender issues, gay marriage, abortion and global warming. He outlined competing positions on these topics, though he did not express his personal opinion.
In a report to the Bias Response Team, a student complained that the professor referenced the opinion that “transgender is not a real thing, and no one can truly feel like they are born in the wrong body.”
“I would just like the professor to be educated about what trans is and how what he said is not okay because as someone who truly identifies as a transwomen I was very offended and hurt by this,” the student wrote.
A member of the Bias Response Team met with the professor, the report says, and “advised him not to revisit transgender issues in his classroom if possible to avoid the students expressed concerns.” The Bias Response Team also “told him to avoid stating opinions (his or theirs) on the topic as he had previously when working from the Atlantic article.”
In a separate incident, a professor, whose name was also redacted, asked his students to choose from a list of debate topics, some of them regarding homosexuality and religion.
The Bias Response Team’s notes summarized: “Specifically there were two topics of debate that triggered them and personally felt like an attack on their identity (GodHatesFags.com: is this harmful? Is this acceptable? Is this Christianity? And Gay Marriage: should it be legal? Is homosexuality immoral as Christians suggest?)”
The student, whose name is redacted and who is referred to as “they” in the report, complained that “other students are required to watch the in-class debate and hear both arguments presented.”
“I do not believe that students should be required to listen to their own rights and personhood debated,” the student wrote. “[This professor] should remove these topics from the list of debate topics. Debating the personhood of an entire minority demographic should not be a classroom exercise, as the classroom should not be an actively hostile space for people with underprivileged identities.”
The Bias Response Team wrote that while this incident “did not reach a level of discrimination,” members still contacted the professor to “have a conversation… [and] listen to his perspective, share the impact created for the student and dialogue about options to strengthen his teaching.”
The Bias Response Team wrote that once the conversation was completed, they wanted a full report of “the outcome of your time together. . . so I can document and share with the student that outreach was completed.”
The University of Northern Colorado did not respond to Heat Street’s request for comment about whether the Bias Response Team is a threat to free speech and academic freedom. We also asked to be put in touch with the professors who had received complaints, but we did not hear back before publication.
Ari Cohn, a free-speech lawyer with the nonprofit Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, said it was “deeply troubling” that UNC professors had been forced to respond to bias reports and to defend exposing their students to a variety of ideas.
“If even challenging a student’s views with a hypothetical opposing opinion is now off-limits, then truly nothing is sacred,” Cohn wrote in an email. “If professors are forced to modify their teaching styles to avoid such exercises, not only does it infringe on their academic freedom rights, but it does a tremendous disservice to students’ intellectual development.”
As Heat Street recently reported, in addition to these bias reports filed against professors, UNC’s Bias Response Team also received complaints about a campus poster that “contained the word ‘crazy’ used in a mocking and flippant way”; after a professor described valence electrons as “retarded”; after an event during Eating Disorder Awareness Week featured a “triggering” healthy-foods competition; and after a Health Center worker asked whether a student needed birth control.
UNC’s Bias Response Team also hung 680 posters on campus last semester as part of a #languagematters campaign warning students against offensive language. Off-limits words included “crazy,” “poor college student” and “hey, guys.”
To date, more than 100 U.S. public colleges and universities have established Bias Response Teams.
Tufts Student Govt Rejects Free Speech Resolution as ‘Unsafe’
The Tufts University student government has overwhelmingly rejected a resolution to broaden free-speech protections on campus, with some student leaders denouncing the measure as an “unsafe” act that “actually really harms students.”
The resolution from Tufts student Jake Goldberg had called for adding clarifications to the university’s speech guidelines, which have earned Tufts a “red light” rating from the free-speech advocacy group FIRE.
The resolution took aim at the university’s vague administrative prohibitions against “inappropriate language,” “gender bias,” “hurtful words,” and “comments on an individual’s body or appearance,” among other examples cited in the measure.
Such guidelines were far too broad, and threatened free speech rights on campus, Goldberg argued. Clarifying language was needed “so that we the students are fully aware of exactly what conduct violates Tufts’ policies and simultaneously receive the full protection of the First Amendment in regards to speech.”
Tufts student leaders did not agree. The student senate recently voted down the measure 26 to zero, with two abstentions, the College Fix reports. A number of student senators argued that the proposal “actually really harms students” because “clarity in itself is subjective.”
One student senator argued in a Facebook post, which she later deleted, that a holistic process is needed to balance our right to free speech and everyone’s right to access their education free from discrimination.”
Student senator Nesi Altaras pushed pack on the suggestion that free-speech rights are the “best kind of rights,” because “there are other countries with free speech issues, and some countries handle them better than America.”
Another student senator, Ben Kesslen, suggested that Tufts students “instantly” began feeling “unsafe” upon learning of the resolution’s existence. “By passing this resolution, we [would be] making more students feel unsafe on a campus they already might not feel safe,” he said.
Professor Pushes Back Against Bias Response Team at the University of Vermont
A University of Vermont professor has published an open letter claiming the college’s broad definition of bias has a chilling effect on classroom discussion, calling for new measures to protect free speech and academic freedom.
Dr. Aaron Kindsvatter, a psychotherapy professor, has asked the faculty union at the University of Vermont to vote on Sept. 30 to adopt the so-called “Chicago principles,” which support unbridled free speech on campus. He’s also pushing for the faculty senate to approve such a free-speech resolution and urging the university’s Bias Response Team to explicitly promise that it won’t interfere in classroom discussions.
Kindsvatter says his efforts this semester are directly prompted by Heat Street’s investigation into bias response teams’ infringements on free speech, mentioning the story about how the University of Northern Colorado’s Bias Response Team told a professor to avoid potentially sensitive topics, including transgender issues.
“I looked at what the bias response language at the University of Vermont was, and in the vague language, I really saw another University of Northern Colorado,” Kindsvatter says.
Right now, the University of Vermont defines bias as “a personal inclination or temperament based on unreasoned judgment or belief,” adding that its definition of a bias incident “is intentionally broad.”
In his open letter to the campus, Kindsvatter wrote, “Given the breadth of the Bias Response Team definition of what constitutes a bias incident, any expressed thought from any place on any ideological spectrum pertaining to a sensitive social issue that is not expurgated to the point that it is leeched of meaning could be considered biased, and potentially appropriate for reporting.”
The open letter notes that the university’s Bias Response Team also keeps complainants’ identities confidential — meaning that “if you participate fully in the interrogation of thorny ideas, a professor or student may secretly report on you.”
A University of Vermont spokesman said the college “vigorously supports freedom of inquiry and expression within the academic community,” adding that the Bias Response Team was created in January 2015 to promote dialogue and education, especially about difficult issues.
“The intent is not to suppress speech,” says Enrique Corredera, the university’s executive director of news and public affairs. “In fact, the team has not been involved in, and the Office of Affirmative Action & Equal Opportunity has not conducted, any investigations, involving professors and speech issues. Ultimately, we are seeking to establish and maintain a healthy balance between free speech/academic freedom on one hand, and our responsibility to promote a welcoming, safe and inclusive environment for all member of our community on the other.”
But Kindsvatter says that in recent years he’s seen a troublesome tendency among some of his students.
“There is a very, very strong belief, even among graduate students, that there should be a third party or person who comes in and kind of saves people from situations in which they don’t have power,” Kindsvatter says. “I’ve seen that, and I’ve also seen really extreme ideas about what constitutes safety and the lack of safety. It’s almost like the concept of a lack of safety has crept out and out and out, to the point where words and ideas are almost considered to be expressions of violence that can really, literally hurt somebody.”
But Kindsvatter says frank classroom discussion is especially important in an era of growing violence, radicalism, and racism. That conversation helps people weigh bad or destructive ideas against better ones, he says. In contrast, suppression of free speech, including in the classroom, drives harmful philosophies underground, where they can flourish into something truly dangerous.
“I’m not looking to irritate anyone here,” Kindsvatter says, “but I really do think in a post-Orlando world, we’ve really got to be crystal clear that the Bias Response Teams don’t interfere with conversations.”
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
UK: We need teachers, not preachers
Brexit-bashing teachers want to turn education into re-education
The idea of education as a form of indoctrination is often seen as a thing of the past, something belonging to the old Communist and Nazi regimes. But the blurring of the line between education and the promotion of certain ideas is still a feature of modern, liberal-dominated education.
In a recent article, published by TES, Mike Stuchbery, a school teacher, argues that UK schools have been ‘battered’ by the ‘twin tsunamis of Brexit and Donald Trump’. Immediate action is needed, he says, because ‘in these extraordinary times, schools need a zero-tolerance approach to racism. Expulsion should be the penalty for acts of hatred.’
According to Stuchbery, Brexit and the election of Trump have led to the total abandonment of behaviour and equality policies. Teachers have stopped reporting racist incidents and senior leaders and headteachers are turning a blind eye to bad behaviour. The education system has given in to hate. Who knew things could deteriorate so quickly?
Apparently, the problem is so widespread that schools need to restrict freedom of speech to ensure that minority students do not become the ‘casualties of hatred and ignorance’. It is necessary, he argues, to ensure that children are taught to ‘challenge the instruments of democracy’ in a bid to counter the racism and xenophobia that is now supposedly rife among students. What precisely are these ‘instruments of democracy’ that Stuchbery thinks need challenging? Universal suffrage? Free and fair elections? Referenda?
Also, where is his evidence that Brexit and Trump have turned schools into hotbeds of racism? Well, why bother with evidence when one can opine based on perception alone. Like so many others, Stuchbery seems put out because a referendum result in this country, and an election in another, did not go the way he wanted. But, instead of getting over his disappointment, he is trying to justify flouting teaching standards (which include maintaining a high standard of ethics and ensuring that personal beliefs are not expressed in ways that exploit pupils’ vulnerability).
The idea that Brexit is a ‘problem’ is a personal, political view – one that the majority of people in this country do not share. Stuchbery attempts to dress up his proposals as safeguarding. For him, simply teaching pupils about the consequences of their actions, and arguing against racism and xenophobia within classroom debate, isn’t enough.
Safeguarding involves protecting children from neglect and abuse – not different political opinions. Yes, schools have a duty to follow the law, but it’s not against the law to want to leave the EU. And the idea that racism was the only explanation for Brexit just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. All groups in society were divided on whether to Leave or Remain. Those who voted Leave included ethnic minorities.
Stuchbery is free to sweep inconvenient facts under the carpet and indulge himself in his private life, but not at work. For teachers to call for pupils’ freedom of speech to be restricted is a gross abuse of their role as educators.
Slurs Not Working Anymore
Racist, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, misogynist - all these epithets now aimed at Donald Trump and his supporters used to be directed my way. Why? Because I was a teacher who taught students to think critically. I was "poisoning young minds," said leftists who believed they knew better how issues should be covered in public school - their way and no other. I didn't just offer "both sides," because seldom are there only two. I offered multiple viewpoints on controversial issues, encouraged each student to pick what sounded best and defend it. I fostered the kinds of diversity that genuinely improve education: diversity of thought and opinion. To many on the left - and it may now be accurate to say most - the only kinds of diversity that count are those of skin color, sex, or ethnicity. However, Those don't help if everyone thinks alike, and that's how it is throughout academia now, kindergarten through graduate school.
About once a month, I wrote up classroom Socratic dialogues and published them, maybe two hundred or so. Most of my other columns expressed my own opinions on the issues of the day and after about 1993 or '94 those opinions were increasingly conservative. Many readers on the left assumed I was pushing my opinions on students and tried to have me disciplined, silenced, fired, or have my teaching license pulled. All along the way, letters to the editor appeared with the slurs listed above. I read them in class and students were surprised. "But you don't tell us what to believe," they responded.
"Evidently they don't know that," I'd answer.
"We should all write letters back and tell them," some suggested.
"You can if you want," I'd say, "but not in class. You have to do it on your own." Several did.
There were classroom dialogues on affirmative action in which I'd explain how racial quotas worked in college admissions, hiring, and awarding public contracts. After publishing those, I was "racist." There were discussions about jihad and Koranic verses encouraging Muslims to kill infidels, etc. After them came "Islamophobic" slurs. We discussed illegal immigration and I described what I saw after flying down to the Mexican border. After those came out, I was "xenophobic." We discussed referendum questions on Maine's ballot about gay rights, gay marriage, partial-birth abortion, Indian casinos, and others. After writing up them up, I was "homophobic"; "misogynist" ; "racist"; and so forth.
When I read those letters aloud in class, students asked: "Don't they bother you?"
"They did at first," I responded, "but they don't anymore. Calling me ‘racist' or ‘misogynist' doesn't make it so. Name-calling indicates the writers have run out of arguments, and slurs are all they have."
I enjoyed playing devil's advocate with students. It was easy to parrot arguments from left, right, or middle because I held them over the years. Like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, I had been an Alinskyite radical. Then I moved right to become a liberal before finally emerging as a genuine conservative in my forties. My evolution, as described first by either Georges Clemenceau or Winston Churchill, went thus: "If you're not a liberal when you're twenty, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative when you're forty, you have no brains." Unless they read my column regularly, students didn't know what I really thought.
Efforts by leftists to have me silenced or removed from teaching flared up sporadically for ten or twelve years and I kept a file throughout. After retiring, I wrote it up and tried to shop the manuscript around to various agents with no success. Times are a-changin' however, as witnessed by the evening and morning of November 8 and 9. Liberals controlling media were shocked to discover that, like me, there are millions out here who have become inured to their ubiquitous slurs. They shot everything they had at Donald Trump and others who didn't march in lockstep, then sat back expecting their favored candidates to win as they always had, and were shocked when they didn't.
From 9:00 pm Tuesday night and 1:00 am Wednesday, I flipped through the liberal news channels: NBC, MSNBC, CNN, CBS, and ABC. Pundits were all lined up but gone were the smug expressions of election nights past. They were ashen - all of them. How could we have been so wrong? they asked each other. Why did all those "working class" white guys switch to Trump? Did they not listen to us? Well no, they didn't. They heard you cry wolf for decades and they're not listening anymore.
Maybe it's time to shop my manuscript around again. I had been calling it "Poisoning Young Minds," but maybe it's time to call it something else. "Teaching While Deplorable" perhaps? "Irredeemable Instructor"? "Privileged Pedagogue"? I have to think about this.
Cambridge University accused of cover-up after three Jewish students 'were told to get f***** out of here' and attacked by drinking club members
No word on the religion of the offenders but drinking club members would probably not be Muslims
Jewish students at Cambridge University say they were victims of vile anti-Semitic abuse, in which drinking society members shouted at them: 'Jew, get f***** out of here'.
The three men were also told 'you don't belong here', and their abusers allegedly shouted 'dirty Jew' and 'f*** off, darkie'.
One of them was allegedly choked by a thug, while his two friends were pushed around, according to witnesses.
They were also told their faces would be 'smashed'.
They have accused university bosses of failing to take the incident seriously after two men were disciplined but cleared of anti-Semitism.
The trio said the abuse came after drinking club members spotted they were wearing kippots, which are Jewish skullcaps.
Shlomo Roiter-Jesner, 25, told The Telegraph: 'All of a sudden they were shouting: "Jew, get f***** out of here.
'We tried to leave but they were yelling at us.'
Two members of Christ's College were disciplined, but it has refused to reveal the punishment or identify the individuals.
It happened last month as they entered the graduate union building at the university.
University chiefs reviewed CCTV of the incident, but it did not contain any sound.
After an investigation, Mr Roiter-Jesner was told that two students had been disciplined and the matter was concluded.
He said: 'The college has not confronted the issue at all. They have brushed it under the carpet.'
A statement from Professor Jane Stapleton, Master of Christ's College and passed to MailOnline said: 'You may have seen stories in the press today alleging that the College has covered up an incident of alleged anti-Semitism.
'I want to assure you that the College and I personally condemn in the strongest possible terms anti-Semitic, racist or any other form of discriminatory abuse, and that uncompromising disciplinary action would be taken if any substantiated evidence comes to light that a Member of Christ’s engaged in such conduct.
'At this point the College has no corroborating evidence that any of its students has been involved in such behaviour.
'I also want to assure you personally that I would not tolerate any covering up of such behaviour and I have strongly rejected that allegation.
'I cannot comment in detail on the incident, but can let you know that the Tutors have already investigated it and taken action. I am, of course, available to discuss this or other matters of concern to Members of the Christ’s community.'
Posted by jonjayray at 1:39 AM
Monday, November 28, 2016
Raising a Generation of Overly-Protected "Bubble Children"
David Vetter, born in 1971 with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID)-a hereditary disease dramatically weakening the immune system and incurable at the time-died at age twelve. Spending his short life living inside a plastic bubble that sought, unsuccessfully in the end, to protect him from the world of germs outside, he was dubbed "the bubble boy."
As we look at what is taking place on college campuses around the country today, we are witnessing a similar effort to protect young people from the realities of the world around them. We provide them with "safe spaces," removing any symbols deemed offensive. In shielding students from life's slightest perceived unpleasantries, one wonders if we are not simply raising a generation of overly-protected "bubble children." If so, we need question whether students' best interests are served.
While the clarion call for safe space went out as claims of racism were "being met with a lack of empathy," the call seems to have evolved into one seeking to accommodate students easily offended by any opposing viewpoint.
Ironically, offended students exercising their own First Amendment rights, by loudly complaining, seek to deny the same rights to those holding opposing views. The safe space concept has been abused to the point college administrators unabashedly provide "bubble space" for absurd reasons.
The call for safe spaces apparently ballooned in the wake of the 2016 presidential election as students proved unable to cope with its outcome.
For students thusly stressed at the University of Pennsylvania, a dorm made "Breathing Space" available.
They were offered various stress-reducing activities, such as cuddling cats and a puppy, coloring, crafting or enjoying snacks of soothing teas and chocolates.
Feeling their pain, many professors at Penn canceled classes, turning them into safe space forums "in which students could freely express their concerns for their futures."
Interestingly, an earlier campus poll revealed Hillary Clinton supporters outnumbered Donald Trump's almost ten-to-one. Thus, while Hillary supporters, participating in such classroom forums, discussed their fears about his victory, apparently no similar concerns existed about Trump supporters' fears in expressing themselves within such a pro-Clinton environment.
At Cornell University, students upset over the election results were allowed to hold a "cry in." Students wrote about their "emotions on poster boards with colored markers or with chalk on the ground." Interestingly, at another university, someone simply writing "Trump 2016" in chalk on a sidewalk upset students who claimed they could no longer feel safe.
Even before the election, some universities, such as Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, located only a few miles from the Republican National Convention, felt the need to provide safe space for anyone "psychologically or physically traumatized" by the event.
Meanwhile, earlier this year, with Halloween approaching, the University of Florida made counselors available 24/7 should students feel upset over costumes encountered.
At the University of Iowa, a professor expressed concern a popular item on campus was "conveying an invitation to aggressivity and even violence," possibly even causing depression and promoting a suicide culture among students.
The offending item in question was the "angry" look frozen on the face of the school's hawk mascot. The professor wrote, "I believe incoming students should be met with welcoming, nurturing, calm, accepting and happy messages"-something she felt the hawk's appearance did not convey.
The University of Wisconsin-Stout, perhaps acting preventively to avoid the need for safe spaces, dispatched a search team to identify anything impressionable incoming students might deem offensive on campus. Coming across two historic paintings of colonial settlers and Native Americans, the team recommended removal fearing the "harmful effect" they might have. The administration complied.
As one critic asks, "who created these campus whiners?" He notes campus unrest of the 1960s focused on things of great consequence-the Vietnam war, civil rights, etc. But, today, universities are creating "whiny college kids...screaming obscenities or taking over the university president's office...for...feeling slighted...(They are) rebels without a cause."
Such coddling of our college students has consequences, not only for them but for the universities as well.
A psychologist writes, as "college personnel everywhere are struggling with students' neediness," universities are creating a serious problem-"declining student resilience."
Resilience is described as "that ineffable quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever. Rather than letting failure overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise from the ashes."
Clearly, by promoting a victim culture to students, colleges prime them for failure in the real world.
University alumni are also disgusted with such student pampering, reflected by a downturn in donations.
Enrollment suffers too as applications to universities known for coddling, such as the University of Missouri, have drastically declined.
As American college students seek safe harbor in a protective bubble, it gives one pause to reflect on their counterparts in the Ukraine. Students there must live every day fearing attacks by pro-Russian separatists seeking to topple their government.
Accordingly, many such students have voluntarily joined the Students Guard-an auxiliary guerilla force trained to take up arms in an emergency. Independent of the government, the Guard represents civilian society's concerns about the political realities facing the country. Professors are responsible for preparing these students for war.
At the Ukraine's Taras Shevchenko National University, a safe space does exist on campus. Students often will stand there, shoulder-to-shoulder, in complete silence. The space is reserved for photos and tributes to students who, answering the nation's call to duty, failed to return.
For Ukrainian college students, no other safe space exists.
Tom Brokaw described America's World War II generation as our greatest. Sadly, most members from that generation have now left us. But, it is probably just as well, for they undoubtedly would be horrified to know their sacrifices have given rise to a pampered generation of "bubble children" unable to cope with life's basic realities.
Colleges Look to Create Sanctuary Campuses for Illegal Immigrant Students
Presidents from at least two colleges have pledged to make their campuses safe havens for illegal immigrant students.
“We steadfastly support all members of our community regardless of their immigration status,” John Kroger, president of Reed College in Portland, Oregon, said last week in an announcement that his college will be a sanctuary campus.
Students and professors at other schools around the nation, from Yale University and Harvard University to Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, have pushed for their college to become a “sanctuary” for illegal immigrant students.
“My mom brought me to the United States at a very young age,” an illegal immigrant student at Drake told KCCI 8 News. “We really didn’t have the resources to apply for any sort of visa to be able to come to the United States legally.”
While the “sanctuary college” definition may differ from college to college, policy demands include items such as not assisting Immigration and Customs Enforcement in investigations on the immigration status of students and helping all students financially, including those in the country illegally.
“Across the country, many are calling for their universities to become sanctuary campuses,” Michael Roth, president of Wesleyan University in Connecticut, wrote on Nov. 20, declaring Wesleyan a sanctuary campus. “The model is the ‘sanctuary city,’ like Austin, New York City, Chicago, and dozens of other municipalities, which have declared their intention not to cooperate with federal officials seeking to deport residents simply because they lack appropriate immigration documentation.”
Around the nation, there are around 300 jurisdictions at the state, county, and city level that do not cooperate with government immigration enforcement policies, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.
Over 100 colleges had walkouts last week in protest of illegal immigrant deportation policies for students, the New York Post reported.
“A handful of students on some campuses are demanding some sort of campus-wide policy that shields illegal aliens from law enforcement, but mostly it’s just a protest that is unlikely to go anywhere,” Jon Feere, a legal policy analyst at the Center for Immigration Studies, told The Daily Signal. Feere added:
"We’ll have to see how this unfolds, but these campuses in many ways are already involved in a relationship with the federal government when it comes to immigration and students, particularly in the case of foreign students. There’s an information sharing process that does take place. I think it will be very difficult for these campuses to shield individuals who are in violation of the law from federal authorities should the government choose to deport somebody."
Feere says these protests and sanctuary campuses are more of a “publicity stunt.”
“I suspect that if we were to get to a point where law enforcement needed to deport an individual on the campus, whether it’s a student or an employee, that the campuses would largely comply,” Feere said.
“For example, even the president of Reed College in his letter acknowledges that he will cooperate with federal law enforcement when there is a direct court order present,” Feere added.
The campus protests have targeted President-elect Donald Trump’s immigration policies. Trump said he would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, authorized by President Barack Obama in 2012.
“Undocumented students are currently protected from deportation by an executive order signed by President Obama, which also allows them to work and obtain driver’s licenses,” Fortune reported.
“More than 90 college and university presidents have signed a statement calling for the continuation and expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program,” according to Inside Higher Ed. The program is available for illegal immigrants that arrived in the United States before they turned 16 years old.
In the Reed College president’s declaration that the school would be a sanctuary campus, he said the college will “provide institutional financial aid to make up for the federal aid that these students are unable to apply for, such as Pell Grants.”
Students at private as well as public schools, including University of Texas-Austin and University of Wisconsin-Madison, have participated in demanding sanctuary status for their campus, according to Fusion.
“If those are public colleges that are providing in-state tuition to illegal aliens without providing the same benefits to out-of-state citizen students, not only are they violating federal immigration law, but they are penalizing Americans for being citizens and following the law,” Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. “The schools are rewarding those whose first act in coming to America is to break our laws.”
Some colleges have charged students fees to fund a scholarship program for illegal immigrants, created a tuition loan assistance program for students in the country illegally, and offered in-state tuition to illegal immigrants.
“These public colleges—as well as private college engaging in the same ‘sanctuary’ behavior—are showing a fundamental contempt for the rule of law, which is the heart of our democracy and what has long distinguished us from the dangerous and lawless places that exist around the world,” von Spakovsky said.
University of Sydney beats Oxford, Cambridge in new global rankings
The University of Sydney produces graduates that are more employable than those from Cambridge, Oxford and Columbia, according to a new global rankings measure.
The QS Graduate Employability Rankings assessed 300 universities worldwide against five criteria: employer reputation, alumni outcomes, partnerships with employers, employer/student connections and graduate employment rates.
It surveyed 37,000 employers and mapped the careers of 21,000 individuals worldwide to determine the rankings.
On this basis the University of Sydney placed fourth worldwide, after Stanford and MIT in the US, and Tsinghua University in China.
The University of Melbourne ranked joint eleventh, while ANU and Monash University made the top 50 globally. UNSW does not appear in the list because it chose to opt out.
The success of Australia's universities in the global employability rankings is based in large part on their industry partnership programs, Ben Sowter, head of research at QS said.
"The 2017 instalment of this ranking illustrates that universities with a heavy STEM focus are generally among the most successful in nurturing student employability," he said.
"This ranking indicates that efforts made by Australian universities to establish themselves as industry-friendly knowledge hubs are paying dividends for their students."
QS or Quacquarelli Symonds ran the employability rankings for the first time as a pilot last year. Universities are permitted to opt-out, unlike in other rankings systems.
Tracey McNicol from ANU's Planning and Performance Management division said "for a university to perform well in this ranking they need to not only engage widely with employers but ensure that graduates leave their institutions with the skills and attributes that are relevant to the needs of employers."
The news will be a boost for the University of Sydney which sits behind the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University in the general rankings such as the Times Higher Ed and the Academic Ranking of World Universities.
Similarly, in the QS global rankings this year, Sydney ranked the 46th best university in the world, behind Melbourne (42nd) and ANU (22nd).
The University of Sydney's Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence said it was committed to providing students with opportunities they need to thrive in the workforce.
"Equipping students with the knowledge, skills, values and purpose to serve society at every level and to lead the way in improving people's lives has been our mission since the University was founded in 1850," he said.
Posted by jonjayray at 1:32 AM
Sunday, November 27, 2016
Meet The Leftist Professor Who Wrote The 'Hit List' Of "Fake News" Sites
The mainstream media are going wild circulating a viral list of so-called “fake news” websites – and the list includes established news sites like WND, Zero Hedge, Breitbart, Red State, the Daily Wire and Project Veritas – but WND has found a leftist, Trump-bashing assistant professor in Massachusetts who specialized in “fat studies” is behind the effort to target and discredit legitimate news organizations.
Meet Merrimack College Assistant Professor Melissa Zimdars, a 30-something self-identified feminist and activist who has expressed great dislike for President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
She’s only actually held her teaching position at the private college in North Andover, Mass., for 15 months.
Zimdars published and circulated a list of “fake, false, or regularly misleading websites that are shared on Facebook and social media.” She said she began writing the list because she didn’t approve of the sources her students were citing.
In addition to some satirical and bogus sites, her list attacks the credibility of well-established news organizations such as Breitbart, BizPac Review, Red State, the Blaze, the Independent Journal Review, Twitchy, the Daily Wire, WND and James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas. In many cases (such as with her WND listing), she offers no explanation for why the news organizations were included on the list.
Mainstream media outlets such as the Los Angeles Times circulated Zimdars’ growing list. The Times headlined its story, “Want to keep fake news out of your newsfeed? College professor creates list of sites to avoid.” The Times offered no details concerning Zimdars’ qualifications or background. News organizations such as CNN, the Washington Post, Boston Globe, New York Magazine, USA Today, Business Insider, the Austin American-Statesman, the Dallas Morning News and others spread the list like gospel and cited it in their reports.
But nearly none of them considered Zimdars’ political leanings or questioned her criteria or qualifications for determining which news sources should be included on her list.
Zimdars teaches courses in radio, production, mass communication, feminist media studies, television criticism and new media and digital communication. She received her doctorate in communication and media studies just last year.
Zimdars has not responded to WND’s request for clarification on her expertise or criteria for deciding which news sources to include on her list. WND asked Merrimack College President Christopher Hopey if he stands by Zimdars’ decision to publish the list and use it as teaching material for her classes. However. Merrimack Vice President of Communications Jim Chiavelli replied, “Thanks for your question to the president about professor Zimdars pedagogy. The college has no comment for this story.”
In response to the list, PJ Media’s Stephen Kruiser wrote, “It’s no surprise that a college professor compiled this list; what’s galling is that the Los Angeles Times ‘reported’ on it without mentioning that it’s complete garbage.”
Sean Hannity’s website warned that Zimdars’ list includes “mainstream conservative sources” and “is giving us insight into just what kind of websites the left plans on targeting for censorship.”
In addition to her new job as an assistant professor, Zimdars is also a columnist and contributor for Little Village Magazine – a left-leaning magazine that says it’s focused on issues such as “racial justice,” “gender equity,” “critical culture,” “economic and labor justice” and “environmental sustainability.”
Her Twitter profile describes her as a “feminist” and “activist.”
Trump and College Chaos
If one needed more evidence of the steep decay in academia, Donald Trump's victory provided it. Let's begin by examining the responses to his win, not only among our wet-behind-the-ears college students, many of whom act like kindergarteners, but also among college professors and administrators.
The University of Michigan's distressed students were provided with Play-Doh and coloring books, as they sought comfort and distraction. A University of Michigan professor postponed an exam after many students complained about their "serious stress" over the election results. Cornell University held a campuswide "cry-in," with officials handing out tissues and hot chocolate. One Cornell student said, "I'm looking into flights back to Bangladesh right now so I can remove myself before Trump repatriates me." The College Fix reported that "a dorm at the University of Pennsylvania ... hosted a post-election 'Breathing Space' for students stressed out by election results that included cuddling with cats and a puppy, coloring and crafting, and snacks such as tea and chocolate."
The University of Kansas reminded its stressed-out students that therapy dogs, a regular campus feature, were available. An economics professor at Yale University made his midterm exam "optional" in response to "many heartfelt notes from students who are in shock over the election returns." At Columbia University and its sister college, Barnard, students petitioned their professors to cancel classes and postpone exams because they were fearful for their lives and they couldn't take an exam while crying. Barnard's president did not entirely cave, but she said, "We are, however, leaving decisions regarding individual classes, exams, and assignments to the discretion of our faculty." She added, "The Barnard faculty is well aware that you may be struggling, and they are here for you." At Yale, it was reported that the "Trump victory (left) students reeling." Students exhibited "teary eyes, bowed heads and cries of disbelief" and had the opportunity to participate in a postelection group primal scream "to express their frustration productively."
Whether you are a liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, you should be disturbed and frightened for the future of our nation based on the response of so many of our young people to an election outcome. We should also be disturbed by college administrators and professors who sanction the coddling of our youth. Here's my question to you: Does a person even belong in college if he cannot handle or tolerate differing opinions? My answer is no. What lies at the heart of multiculturalism, diversity and political correctness is an intolerance for different opinions. At Brown University, some students claim that freedom of speech does not confer the right to express opinions they find distasteful. A while back, a Harvard University student organization representing women's interests advised law students that they should not feel pressured to attend or participate in class sessions that focus on the law of sexual violence if they feel that it might be traumatic. Such students will be useless to rape victims and don't belong in law school.
In a previous column, I cited an article on News Forum For Lawyers titled "Study Finds College Students Remarkably Incompetent," which referenced an American Institutes for Research study that revealed that over 75 percent of two-year college students and 50 percent of four-year college students were incapable of completing everyday tasks. About 20 percent of four-year college students demonstrated only basic mathematical ability, while a steeper 30 percent of two-year college students could not progress past elementary arithmetic. NBC News reported that Fortune 500 companies spend about $3 billion annually to train employees in "basic English." Many of today's college students are not only academically incompetent but emotionally so, as well, and do not belong in college.
These college snowflakes and their professors see themselves as our betters and morally superior to ordinary people. George Orwell was absolutely right when he said, "There are notions so foolish that only an intellectual will believe them."
LIBERAL COLLEGE STUDENTS RIP DOWN, BURN AMERICAN FLAG
Individuals at Hampshire College were so enraged at Republican Donald Trump’s Nov. 8 victory over Hillary Clinton that its U.S. flag was stolen one night and then burned before dawn on Veterans Day.
Officials lowered a third replacement to half-staff due to claims the flag represents “racism and hatred,” but anger by military veterans and their families prompted the school to remove it entirely.
A statement on the college’s official Facebook page claims that administrators lowered the flag to half-staff so that the community could delve “deeper into the meaning of the flag and its presence on our campus.”
An angered veteran responded with exactly the meaning of the flag:
“As a veteran, it saddens me to see that the symbol of our country will no longer be flown at your institution,” added Tiffany Hersch. “So many have forgotten what the symbolism of the flag actually means. The thirteen stripes represent the original colonies that gained their independence from England. The fifty stars represent the individual states. The white represents innocence, the red represents valor and bravery, while the blue represents perseverance, vigilance, and justice. I think these are values that are instrumental in guiding the future leaders of America, and not to be carelessly discarded.”
If these children are our future, the country is doomed.
Posted by jonjayray at 2:00 AM