Thursday, May 26, 2005

Teacher Neutrality Is Hogwash

We have all been told over the years that government school teachers are supposed to be objective, to help students search for truth, and that the school is supposed to be an extension of the family, upholding what the traditional family believes. Most of us who have learned anything about the nature of government education know that such statements are an utter farce.

Many parents, however, for one reason or another, have their children in government schools and are forced to struggle through what seem to be never-ending problems in their quest to make sure their children's faith and beliefs are not tampered with by those schools--so-called. I will cite one example.

In one northeastern state, which due to possible legal ramifications for the parents, must remain unnamed, a father is standing in opposition to what the "educational" system is trying to foist upon his youngster in the name of "education." How many places around the country this scenario is being repeated can only be guessed at.

The problem started earlier this school year, when one of the youngster's teachers sent home to parents a letter stating that she was going to be showing several R-rated movies to the class of 14-year-olds this student was in. The movies were described as "documentaries." In reality, they were nothing more than liberal propaganda films by Michael Moore. The father of the student immediately complained, stating that he would not allow his youngster to be part of a captive audience, having to watch sexually explicit scenes and other very questionable material in some of the movies on the teacher's list. The teacher responded by suggesting to the father that he should allow his youngster to learn more than what is being taught in the home. So much for the "school" being an extension of the family!

At one point, the teacher decided she was going to show her class the movie "Bowling for Columbine" which was to be presented to the class as an anti-gun "documentary" and not the liberal propaganda that it really is. The father petitioned the teacher to have his youngster not have to watch this film, and, initially, the teacher flat-out refused his request. Having gotten nowhere with the teacher, the father took his complaint not only to the school's principal, but to the town's mayor as well. The movie was not shown.

After all this, the father thought and hoped the furor might die down and that the teacher would go back to her supposed job of teaching. Suffice it to say, he was in for a rude awakening, as are many parents that try to deal with a government education system that is long on propaganda and short on education.

It seemed, however, that this teacher's penchant for showing R-rated films to minors had not abated. The father ended up having his youngster removed from this teacher's class on two occasions because she was showing the kids films with full frontal nudity. As a Christian parent, the father found this disgusting, but, apparently, the vast majority of parents in that government school system had no problem with what went on--showing that, in many instances, the government "education" system has done an excellent job in desensitizing several generations as to what is proper and right and what is not.

Then, as her crowing achievement for the year, this teacher decided she would make her class learn about Islam and Buddhism, and others of what she labeled as "alternative faiths." The father wondered, and naturally so, since it was against the school's rules for his youngster to profess or display, in any way, personal Christian faith in school, why there should be such a tolorance for "alternative faiths" when there was none for the Christian faith. Good question. It was never answered.

The father, with the help and guidence of his pastor, wrote a letter requesting that his youngster be excused from this class and he had hoped the teacher might provide an alternative assignment. She did not. What she did instead was to tell the student that, even though the class went against the family's Christian beliefs, she intended to hold the student responsible for the father's refusal to allow participation in the class. So this student, who has been on the honor roll in all classes, may well end up with a tarnished academic record because of this one liberal teacher. Simply heartwarming isn't it? Makes you want to go out and shout the glories of the government school system from the rooftops doesn't it?

At that point, the father sought some legal information. He contacted a group that informed him that the government school does, indeed, have the right to teach this kind of stuff which he has objected to, but that he, as a Christian parent, also has the right to opt out if he wishes, in instances where he feels his youngster's spiritual welfare is at stake. However, because the father has opted to have his student removed from this particular assignment the teacher is going to make darn sure the student suffers academically for the father's decision. Such situations, when they come to light, should really make people question the agenda of the government school system (and, folks, it ain't education). Then, when "those people" come back to us, telling us they want to raise our property taxes yet again so they can provide more "quality education" for our children, we should have a ready response for them--and that response should be "Hogwash!"



A lecturer's allegations of plagiarism at the University of Western Sydney have left her in an invidious position - approve the results or don't get paid. The lecturer, who teaches at the university's College of Law and Business, said she could not approve student results for the university's commerce course in Hong Kong until the university dealt with plagiarism claims. But contracts issued to staff working on the college's offshore programs give management the right to withhold payment until staff approve marks and complete all the paperwork. "No one [at management level] seems to think this is a clear case of improper pressure on the unit co-ordinator to submit 'acceptable' results," said the lecturer, who declined to be named for fear of losing her job. "Otherwise, like me, you will not be paid."

She told the college's senior management she thought three of the eight students taking her subject had cheated. She received the students' work on April 29, two months after the course had finished, and only after she had made repeated requests to see the results. On May 6, the college's head of international programs emailed her: "Enough is enough. I am not going to engage in an endless exchange of emails. Can you please advise whether or not you will be in a position to present marks for these eight students at the next marks meeting." The lecturer replied that she could not "unless the conduct of the course has been investigated".

A spokesman for the university, Mikhael Kjaerbye, told the Herald the university had agreed at a marks meeting on Friday to investigate the plagiarism allegations. "There will be a full investigation," he said. "We take this seriously . the student academics misconduct policy will kick in." The students involved had in the meantime been given a pending grade. Mr Kjaerbye dismissed claims that teachers had been pressured into approving adverse results to get their pay. "They get paid when they present their report," he said. "It doesn't matter what the results are. This does not affect the payment." He said the lecturer concerned was aware of her contract's stipulations. "She's a lawyer, she signed the contract and the contract's very clear," he said.

The lecturer has also officially complained that the course was taught incorrectly by the Hong Kong-based tutors. She said the tutors ignored her feedback material and instead let students know how they were doing in their assignments by ticking appropriate boxes on printed assessment sheets. She said this was inappropriate for law units. Moreover, the university had breached its own assessment policy, she said, by failing to give students feedback during the course and allowing them to submit assignments almost two weeks after sitting the final exam.

An investigation by the Herald has revealed serious flaws in the management of many university offshore programs. The investigation also found many students had cheated in the English proficiency exams which universities require many foreigners to sit before they can enrol. Peter Armstrong, an Australian lecturer based in China, told the Herald last week his contract with the provider of a respected Australian university's intensive English course was suddenly cancelled last year, after he tried to clamp down on cheating, plagiarism, unexplained absences and poor work. "The Chinese side took the view that the students had paid a lot by local standards and should be allowed to remain in the program no matter what," Mr Armstrong said. "When I raised my concerns to the Australian side, they didn't want to hear about it. It seemed they were quite happy to retain any poor students for the sake of profit."



For greatest efficiency, lowest cost and maximum choice, ALL schools should be privately owned and run -- with government-paid vouchers for the poor and minimal regulation.

The NEA and similar unions worldwide believe that children should be thoroughly indoctrinated with Green/Left, feminist/homosexual ideology but the "3 R's" are something that kids should just be allowed to "discover"

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