Category Archives: Education

Pass the popcorn: Famous atheist Richard Dawkins banned from speaking at Leftist university

Leftists are a self-parody. Richard Dawkins is perhaps the most popular and iconic hater of Jesus, yet these Leftists banned him for daring to criticize their most-favored-religion of Islam.  Via Plug Pulled on Richard Dawkins for Criticizing Islam:

kpfa-dawkins

Criticizing Islam cannot be forgiven, no matter how many times you have denounced Christianity. Ever since 9/11, Islam has been sacred to liberals; it becomes more sacred with each new terrorist atrocity against the West. Muslims have achieved the coveted status of the marginalized.

Got that?  Just call anything you disagree with “abusive speech” while claiming that you still support free speech.   No need to debate any contrary ideas!

One good thing about Leftist movements is that they inevitably start to attack each other (also see radical feminists objecting to “trans” men joining them). Another good thing is that their extremism sometimes wakes people up to the reality of the movement they are in.  Hopefully some of the Dawkins fans will rethink their worldview.

 

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One of the easiest ways to reduce college costs: Address the textbook cartel

Spending $300 on a textbook for most classes is an absolute joke.  It is a racket driven by the sellers, of course, and the schools who have no interest in reducing costs and by professors who sell their own books with meaningless updates made to force new purchases.

But how many updates are necessary, for example, for most math classes up to and including calculus?  And do we really need a new book on Shakespeare in the English department?  Very, very few classes in the first 2-3 years of college would ever need updates.  And why have paper copies of anything?

Here’s one idea that may help, though I worry about it getting perverted by biased writers as happened with Wikipedia: Open-Source Textbooks Gain in Push for College Affordability – ABC News

Gee, what could go wrong with race-based discipline limits?

Only foolish Leftists could think this was a good idea: Require that school discipline rates be equal by race.  Aside from the impossibly complex and superfluous bureaucracy of sorting, weighting and tracking offenses this way* it will only take about 15 seconds for kids to figure out that once their race’s limit race been reached then they can do whatever they like.

Here’s one kid who knew his “rights,” via Teachers Oppose Obama’s Race-Based School Discipline Dictates.

“I was terrified and bullied by a fourth-grade student,” a teacher in a Los Angeles Unified School District school recently noted on the Los Angeles Times website, according to the New York Post. “The black student told me to ‘Back off, b—h.’ I told him to go to the office and he said, ‘No, b—h, and no one can make me.’ ”

Great incentive to make people want to go teach, eh?  And that was a fourth-grader.  Use your imagination on what high school kids will do.  And what a disservice to the children who will grow up thinking they can do whatever they like without consequences.

And make no mistake: Leftists assume that racial disparities in crime rates must be because of racism**, so soon they’ll want to have limits on how many people of preferred races you can arrest for theft, assault, murder, etc.

*Does a mixed race kid’s offenses get split into two categories?  How do you classify Rachel Dolezal’s offenses – black or white?, etc.

**Because it can’t be because of the actual crimes committed and definitely can’t be from the extremely well-documented, Leftist driven impact of single motherhood.

On government

The government is a monopoly.

Monopolies are inherently inefficient.

Therefore, the government is inherently inefficient. It should be limited.

Now, in light of those truths, is it any surprise that government run schools fail to teach that?

Is it any wonder that the “Christian” Left looks to government to solve all our problems?

Never forget that Leftists literally fail at basic economics.

In other news, every kid who is a fan of the national champion Ohio State Buckeyes just got expelled.

aVia Virginia school suspends an 11-year-old for one year over a leaf that wasn’t marijuana:

Earlier this school year, a sixth-grader in the gifted-and-talented program at Bedford Middle School in Bedford, Virginia was suspended for one year after an assistant principal found something that looked like a marijuana leaf in his backpack.

The student, the 11-year-old son of two school teachers, had to enroll in the district’s alternative education program and be homeschooled. He was evaluated by a psychiatrist for substance abuse problems, and charged with marijuana possession in juvenile court. In the months since September, he’s become withdrawn, depressed, and he suffers from panic attacks. He is worried his life is over, according to his mother, and that he will never get into college.

The only problem? The “leaf” found in the student’s backpack wasn’t what authorities thought it was — it tested negative for marijuana three separate times.

All of this is laid out in detail by Dan Casey in a column in the Roanoke Times today. While the juvenile court dropped its case against the student after the tests turned up negative, the school system, in a community located midway between Roanoke and Lynchburg, has been far less forgiving. That’s because stringent anti-drug policies in school districts in Virginia and elsewhere consider “imitation” drugs to be identical to real ones for disciplinary purposes.

The school’s lawyer, Jim Guynn, is quoted in the Roanoke Times article defending the policy on the basis that “it’s a pretty standard policy across the Commonwealth.” In 2011, for instance, four seventh-graders in Chesapeake, Virginia were suspended over bringing a bag of oregano to school. A quick Google search suggests similar policies are in effect in many other states as well.

It doesn’t matter if your son or daughter brings a real pot leaf to school, or if he brings something that looks like a pot leaf — okra, tomato, maple, buckeye, etc. If your kid calls it marijuana as a joke, or if another kid thinks it might be marijuana, that’s grounds for expulsion.

One more reason to home school.  The paranoid zero tolerance rigidity of the public schools is making things worse than ever.

Two reasons to oppose the “Common Core” curriculum

1. It is a perverse worldview-shaping program driven by the Left and being forced on public school students (and soon to be all students, if they get their wishes, because the Left hates home schooling).

2. It is another example of why we don’t need the Federal Government involved in education.  This “optional” program is typical of how the Feds operate: They take the money of citizens by force then “give” it back if you participate in their “optional” programs like this.  But if you don’t participate you get nothing.  No compulsion there, right?

So what is the Common Core?  Via A Monstrous Story for a Monstrous Curriculum: The Ugly Heart of Common Core.

For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Common Core, it is a curriculum created in the private sector but pushed onto states by the federal government and endorsed by Bill Gates. The cost of implementing the program runs from millions to billions depending on the state. It is untested and unresearched. It has been criticized for being not as rigorous as proponents claim, clearly biased to a liberal perspective, so much so that many see it as indoctrination, and it is being forced on the states in spite of the fact that a federal curriculum is unconstitutional violating the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitutionwhich established the principle that“…the “power” to oversee education belongs to the states. This longstanding principle of local control of education is reiterated throughout our laws and government codes.”

All of that sounds like something that makes NO connection whatsoever to most parents or teachers or American citizens as to why they should fight this curriculum.

Here’s an example of the morality it contains.  If you’ve followed the Common Core at all you know that this is one of countless examples.  You could write about it all day, every day.

Here, I am going to provide you with a concrete example that shows the ugly heart of the Common Core. There is something deeply dark and offensive in this lesson created to support Common Core. It is a lesson designed to corrupt essential human decency.

The unit – sorry “module” – that I am using as an example is centered around To Kill a Mockingbird with the theme of “How individuals demonstrate individuality in the face of outside pressures.” At the beginning of all of this, it looks good. I love the book; it is a great American classic and I have taught it many times. The module includes 30 days of lessons associated with the novel and multiple additional short reading assignments. However, as I looked this module over, I became more and more concerned. For me to break down the many problems with this module in detail would take quite a while, so I am going to show you an example of one lesson on one short reading assignment that left me speechless with horror.

This assignment in the module includes a short story by Guy de Maupassant, 19th century writer famous forThe Necklace. Again, this seems rather innocent; this story is often included in high school texts, but not thisparticular story and, more importantly, not with this particular writing assignment.

The short story is The Mother of Monsters (link below). A quick summary of the story is that a gentleman on vacation is introduced to the Mother of Monsters, a local oddity described as a “peasant” and the “Devil”. Her story is that she finds herself pregnant while she is working as a simple serving girl. She binds her body with boards and cords to hide her growing belly. Her child is born horribly deformed. She takes care of the child, but resents it, until a sideshow man comes along and offers to buy the “thing” and to pay a yearly stipend for its use. Once she realizes how much money she can make, she repeats her pregnancy pattern by birthingmonster after monster after monster of intentionally deformed children to sell to showmen. She lives a “bourgeois” life as a result (note the stab at the bourgeois here).

The narrator is reminded of this “Devil” when he later sees a popular “Parissiane” strolling on a beach followed by admirers. Her three children are also all deformed because she wants to maintain her trim figure throughout her pregnancies, so she keeps her corset tightly cinched. Peasant and lady; different, yet the same. Both the Mother of Monsters. Both display a level of selfish evil that most humans would revile.

Now as a high school story, this story may have a lot of meat to chew on for discussion…for maybe 11th or 12thgraders, but this is a story assigned to incoming 9th graders, students who are 13 or 14 years old. Students this age are not ready to handle the truly disturbing elements of a story which reveals some of the most perverse sides of human nature. That is bad enough; however, it gets worse. You may wonder what this story has to do with To Kill a Mockingbird and the theme of individuality. Here is the writing assignment associated with this story:

Write an essay that compares the cultural experience reflected in To Kill a Mockingbird and The Mother of Monsters and explain how this experience helped a character demonstrate individuality in the face of outside pressure.  

Individuality! Outside Pressure!!!! These women chose to deform their children for their own selfish gains or selfish vanity! The first pregnancy of the peasant woman we might forgive out of mercy, but the purposeful birthing of the rest of the 11 children that she intentionally deformed is unconscionable and unforgivable. The same holds with the Parisienne.

To judge these women as demonstrating their INDIVIDUALITY in the face of outside pressure is absurd and defies human decency. It is like insisting Jeffery Dahmer was expressing his individuality through cannibalistic murder. Additionally, it is not a major leap to conclude that if deforming your children in order to express your own individuality is acceptable, then killing your children to protect your individuality (or selfish inhumanity) is perfectly fine too. This is obviously a pro-abortion message. This story paired with this assignment is a repulsive perversion of the concept of “lesson”; it is a corruption of anything descent and good.

There is something deeply repulsive in this lesson, especially as it is aimed at students as young as 13. I have been told that I must teach this module. I can make some adjustments, but not too many. I am struggling to find a way to NOT perpetuate the ugliness found here. I am certainly NOT going to teach this story, though I may find myself in trouble with the system as a result. Some things are worth refusing to do even if there is a cost.

This is what is going on in our schools. This is what you need to see with open eyes. They are doing more than trying to increase rigor; they are indoctrinating our children into one way of thinking—their way! Schools should teach how to think, but never what to think. This is why we must fight what some are trying to sell us as “hope and change” to America.

Here’s an even  more thorough take down of Common Core.

Ivy League school doesn’t accept Advanced Placement credits — good news or bad?

Via U News: Ivy League school no longer accepts Advanced Placement credits. Will this be a trend? — They tried to rationalize it from an education standpoint, but that is a joke.  The AP tests are standardized, which would mean that it wouldn’t matter what high school someone went to.  They either knew the material or they didn’t.  And the college pretends that they have something special to offer in basic classes like history, English, etc. that no one else has access to. Sure.

This is about money: They want you to pay $50,000 per year to take basic courses, which is ridiculous.

I highly encourage people to take dual-credit classes at their local community college.  The community colleges cost a fraction of the state schools, and if you are a high school student they cost almost nothing.  If you home school you can graduate high school with almost a year’s worth of credits.

The good news is that the college model is starting to crack.  It simply can’t stand another 10-20 years of cost increases that are multiples of inflation.  It is a bad move that they are taking away AP credits, but good news that they may drive people to more cost-effective solutions.