Wednesday, July 27, 2005


Left-wing professors who prey on captive and impressionable students will soon be purged in the state of Pennsylvania. The Keystone State has created a select committee that will examine the “academic atmosphere” within colleges and universities that receive public funds. Liberal groups couldn’t be more upset about the investigation. Meanwhile, those in conservative corners see this as a step in the right direction – providing young minds with an unbiased, untainted and truly well-rounded educational experience.

The committee, established on July 5th by a 111 to 87 state House vote, will probe a wide range of areas within academia including whether: “…students are evaluated based on their subject knowledge or ability to defend their perspective in various courses; …students are graded based on academic merit, without regard for ideological views, and that academic freedom and the right to explore and express independent thought is available to and practiced freely by faculty and students;” and that faculty are hired, fired, promoted and granted tenure based on their knowledge of the subject matter and their ability to educate students on “various methodologies and perspectives”.

Recently, Human Events has uncovered and reported numerous abuses of power and authority by liberal professors, as well as, students who have felt intimated to voice their conservative views in the classroom. One such case involved a biology professor at Shippensburg University, a publicly funded school located within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Yet, in spite of these abuses, a number of left-wing groups oppose the state’s new oversight of higher education.

Ruth Flower, national director of government relations for the American Association of University Professors, told the Daily Pennsylvanian, “we’re disappointed that [Pennsylvania lawmakers] thought there was even an issue there.” Dr. Patricia Heilman, president of the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties, told Human Events, “The resolution and its investigation quite simply are not needed. Each public college and university has policies and procedures in place to address the very issues that this Select Committee is going to investigate.” Human Events asked Dr. Heilman if she believes there is a liberal bias within Pennsylvania’s institutions of higher learning. She responded, “No.” William Cutler, president of the faculty union at Temple University, is cited by Inside Higher Ed as writing a letter to Pennsylvania legislators saying, “…the intellectual climate on college and university campuses will be far less open if students and professors feel that their work is being monitored by those who answer to a particular group or set of constituents.”

The comments and concerns raised by these intellectual heavyweights are astounding! I don’t even know how respond to such platitudinous (you professors might want to look-up that word) statements and reasoning. I believe a quote from the movie Bill Madison would serve as a suitable reply: “Nowhere in your rambling, incoherent response did you come close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. We are all dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points and may God have mercy on your soul.” Yep, that about sums it up.

The intellectual climate is already far less “open” on college campuses if you’re a student with conservative views. In fact, I can prove it. Walk onto any college green across American wearing a Bush/Cheney T-shirt and carrying a homemade sign that reads, “I’m a conservative and proud of it,” and you’ll be spit on, sworn at, screamed at, sneered at, possibly punched, kicked, shot or stabbed, but most likely egged by students and faculty alike at 8 out of 10 campuses. Contrast that experience by walking onto the same college greens wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt, carrying a rainbow flag and a homemade sign that reads, “Impeach Bush; He’s a criminal!” and you’ll have a good chance of getting elected student body president.

More here


Funnily enough. I guess nobody in the British educational establishment has heard of heredity

Billions of pounds of investment in primary schools has failed to close the achievement gap between children from rich and poor families, Ruth Kelly, the Education Secretary, has admitted to The Times. Research from the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), to be published tomorrow, shows that middle-class children have been the chief beneficiaries of record public investment. Results at the worst primary schools have risen rapidly since 1998, and many previously weak schools have caught up with the best. But while the gap between the best and worst primary schools has narrowed, the gap between children from deprived backgrounds and those from more affluent families has actually widened in the past six years, the research found.

Both sets of 11-year-olds have achieved better results, but middle-class pupils have improved by much more. The admission by Ms Kelly comes as she prepares to announce that every child in England will receive a free bag of books from the Government to address criticism that too many children leave primary school unable to read adequately. Nine million books will be sent out to children aged from eight months to four years under the œ27 million Bookstart programme to encourage parents to read with their children. Titles will include The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Where's Spot? and We're Going on a Bear Hunt.

Ms Kelly will use a speech on social mobility to the Institute for Public Policy Research think-tank tomorrow to outline plans for what she calls "a major policy shift" away from targeting deprived schools towards targeting deprived pupils. Speaking to The Times about the new research, she said: "We should be proud of what has happened since 1997. We can say for the first time schools in disadvantaged areas have caught up with schools in more prosperous areas." In London, for example, average results are now higher than the national average. She said: "That is a dramatic turnaround. However, this new data shows we have a lot more to do to reach out to those still falling behind."

Work on a range of new policies is at an early stage, but Ms Kelly said that the "whole class teaching" that formed the basis of the literacy and numeracy drive would be replaced with small group tuition, to help struggling pupils to catch up.

This first research at "pupil level" conducted by the DfES will ring alarm bells across Government. Based on results at Key Stage 2 - tests undertaken by children at 11 just before they leave primary education - it compares the performance of children who qualify for free school meals with the rest of the class. The results of both groups have improved, but the results of children from more affluent families have risen much faster.

Ms Kelly said that she was not shocked by the results, but it was certainly a sharp reminder that there was much more to do on education. She has been struck by other data showing that social mobility had fallen in Britain since the 1960s. [Do we still think abolishing the Grammar Schools was a good idea?] An authoritative study published by the London School of Economics in May showed that children born in 1970 were less likely to break free of their background and fulfil their potential than children born in 1958.

She said: "We now know social mobility declined in the 1970s. It may have increased since 1997. But this is an important issue for a progressive Labour Government. We want every child to have the opportunity to realise their potential and make a contribution to society whatever their background. "So not only should we care about overall standards rising, but whether children from the most disadvantaged backgrounds share in the rising standards."



They have been the best hope in Britain for bright kids from poor backgrounds but that acknowledges inequality and we can't have that, can we? All kids are equal too

Thousands of parents are appealing to the Government to reverse plans to end academic selection, which will in effect abolish 70 grammar schools at one stroke. Northern Ireland's grammar schools are among the highest achieving in the country but despite overwhelming opposition the Government has declared that they must stop selecting pupils on academic ability within three years.

Last month 7,000 parents delivered a petition to the Department of Education in Northern Ireland demanding the right to retain selection and prevent one of the biggest closures of grammar school in the UK in 30 years. Tomorrow a teachers' union meeting in Derbyshire will hear calls for the Government to bring back grammar schools to England - they are in only a few areas now - in an attempt to halt falling standards and help the most able to succeed.

At Belfast Royal Academy, Marcus Paterson, an economics teacher and father of two, is livid. "We are being treated like a colonised people," he said. "We have won the educational and political argument but Tony Blair is using his majority to cast us aside." Almost a third of the school's intake is Roman Catholic, in the heart of a working-class Protestant community. It accepts academically able children from all walks of life, is non-denominational and sends pupils to Oxbridge annually.

Northern Ireland is proud of its academic record. Last year 69.4 per cent of GCSEs taken were awarded A*-C, compared to 59.2 per cent across Britain. At A level, 30 per cent of Northern Irish students gained A grades compared to 22.4 per cent of students in Britain. However, in October 2002, Martin McGuinness, then Sinn Fein Education Minister, chose to scrap academic selection and the 11-plus from 2008, the day before the Stormont Assembly was suspended. Months earlier a household survey had revealed that two thirds of parents wanted to retain selection.

The Province has since been ruled by Westminster. Labour has opposed selection since the 1960s, when it first proposed comprehensive schools. In January 2004 the government-appointed Costello group recommended the end of selection with parents instead choosing a secondary school to send children to based on a "pupil profile" built up over years. The Governing Bodies Association, which represents grammar schools, condemned the proposals as "not fit for purpose". Sir Kenneth Bloomfield, an executive member of the association, said: "The grammar school has been a wonderful escalator for children from backgrounds where in England they find it difficult to succeed. It's not perfect but I can't believe that by removing the most successful bit, that we are improving it."

Critics fear the rise of a "postcode lottery" which reinforces social divisions as bright children from less well-off areas can no longer attend the best schools because the children's address, not their ability, will determine who enrols. In Derbyshire Peter Morris will appeal to the Professional Association of Teachers at its annual conference in Buxton to vote to bring back "the most successful type of school that Britain has ever had".

England's existing 164 grammar schools represent 5 per cent of secondaries but account for more than 40 per cent of the best 100 schools in the progress made by pupils aged 11 to 16. However, despite rising grades and studies showing that social mobility has worsened since grammar schools were abolished, the Government has vowed not to increase academic selection.



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"

Comments? Email me here. For times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site (viewable even in China!) here


No comments: