Monday, September 28, 2009

America’s institutions of higher learning: The idiot factory

Did you know our public universities are producing idiots? PajamasTV’s Steven Crowder goes undercover exposing UC Berkeley’s liberal bias and the indoctrination underway in its classrooms. You won’t believe the hilarious and alarming interactions Steven has with the Berkeley students.

You’ll notice that the most popular president on the campus of UC Berkley is Abraham Lincoln (probably the most hard-to-miss president in U.S. history). Most aren’t sure what political party he belonged to. (Remember, these are college-educated people at a top-rated university–explains a lot, doesn’t it?)

When it comes to the Great Depression (wow!), you know, “the first one,” there isn’t a wealth of knowledge about its causes at this high-rated institute of higher learning. There is also a dearth of knowledge about firearms and the Second Amendment.

Here’s one of my favorites: “The Second Amendment was written in a very different time, socially. It was a time when people lived mostly rural lives, and it was also a time after a huge rebellion against an ‘unjust’ government.” When Crowder asks him about his gesture of quotations around “unjust,” the kid replies, “There were some pressures put on the American people that maybe were unjustified but I also think that those revolutionary people in American history were maybe blowing those issues up a little more.”

There you have it from the young voice of the Left: the United States shouldn’t even be here, because the founders made a mountain out of a molehill. (I wonder if he’s read the Declaration of Independence for himself).

This would actually explain a lot about liberals. If they look at the abuses of the people by a king thousands of miles away and say “Chill, bruh,” then perhaps it’s no wonder they look at the abuses of our own government and its attacks on freedom and say, “What’s the big deal, dude?”

(Don’t forget to look at some of the ultra-Leftist tshirts on some of these recipients of too much of someone else’s hard-earned money)

SOURCE. (See original for video)

Some British students go to America for more generalist degrees and keener teaching

Growing numbers of school-leavers are going to the United States to take their degrees because of “apathetic teaching” and “faceless, sprawling campuses” at too many British universities, a leading head teacher will warn this week. Andrew Halls, headmaster of King’s college school in Wimbledon, south London, believes there is a “growing sense of panic” about whether British universities are places of learning or “vocational conveyor belts” for job applicants.

The vehemence of his comments is rare among head teachers, who are often deterred from speaking publicly by fear that negative remarks may damage the university chances of their pupils. Halls, whose independent school is ranked 18th in the country in The Sunday Times Parent Power league table, will make his comments at a conference he is hosting to promote American higher education.

Halls is among those who believe American universities, usually with more lavish facilities than those in Britain, often give a far broader education: “I was at a meeting where a UK admissions tutor told hundreds of pupils that his university had ‘no interest whatsoever’ — his words — in anything beyond their academic ability.”

He will add in his speech that British universities have been “bullied [by the government] to the very edge of a precipice”. He will warn of grade inflation, “dumbed-down teaching, often provided by dumbed-down graduates” and “worst of all, apathetic teaching, often in groups so large no one actually knows if you are there or not”. “No wonder so many boys and girls at our schools are beginning to say, ‘Does it have to be like this?’,” Halls will say.

Fears about quality have been highlighted by a Commons report and by student protests at universities such as Bristol and Manchester.

However, a report this week by the Higher Education Funding Council for England is expected largely to clear universities of “systemic” failings, finding most claims of poor standards are anecdotal. It will nevertheless recommend that parents and applicants should be given clearer information on how courses are taught and suggest changes to the way the quality of degrees is policed.

The growing popularity of American degrees, particularly at Ivy League universities, is reflected in new figures. At St Paul’s, the boys’ school in London ranked seventh by The Sunday Times, a record 28 of this year’s leavers have gone to America, up from about 20 last year. St Paul’s girls’ school sent 14 pupils to the US, twice the total two years ago.

Other independent schools reporting steady growth in interest include Cheltenham ladies’ college, where 18 pupils have applied to study in the United States next year, a 50% increase on this year. Ten are applying from Halls’s school for entry next year, up from seven. At Wellington college in Berkshire, which is co-hosting Halls’s conference, 25-30 pupils have expressed strong interest in studying in the US next year, up from 15.

There is growing state sector interest. At Monkseaton high school in North Tyneside, six pupils plan to apply, up from two last year. It came to prominence in 2000 when Oxford’s rejection of Laura Spence, a pupil there, resulted in a political row over “university elitism”. Spence went to Harvard.

US universities are reporting growing interest from Britain — Yale received 308 applications for entry this year, up from 257 the year before. It gave places to 26. Harvard reports a rise in state sector applicants.

Britons studying in the US include Felix Cook, a pupil at Wellington who turned down a place at Oxford, in favour of a liberal arts degree at Harvard. A month into the course he is enjoying the breadth of study: “I’m doing English literature but I’ve also got the chance to do Mandarin and sociology. I’ve met a much more diverse range of people than I would at Oxford.”

Celia Harrison, a former Cheltenham pupil now at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, said she found the range of activities “inspiring” although going there was a “major culture shock”. [I believe that!]

One deterrent to studying in the US is financial. Harvard costs more than £40,000 a year in fees and accommodation. But lavish bursaries are available at the richest institutions and even families with incomes of £120,000 have to pay only about £12,000 of the cost at Harvard.

Stephen Spurr, headmaster of Westminster school, which sent 12 pupils to the US this year, said: “As fees go up in this country, as they almost inevitably will do, the gap between the cost of studying in the US and here will narrow still further.” However, Paul Ingham, head of careers at Hills Road sixth form college in Cambridge, warned: “There’s a lot of interest, but when the universities tell you about the scholarships they offer they don’t say how difficult it is to get them.”


Unruly British pupils 'expelled by the back door'

The appalling British school discipline scene again

Schools are expelling thousands of children “by the back door” to ensure they do not appear in official statistics, it has been disclosed. Up to 7,000 pupils a year are transferred to other schools as part of a “managed move”. It is almost the same as the number of children permanently excluded every year – suggesting the real expulsion rate is around twice the official total.

Parents’ groups claim that unruly children are being foisted onto other schools to give the false impression that behaviour is under control. It is also feared that the most disruptive pupils are not being given the support they need. Figures suggest as many as a quarter of children shifted to other schools are eventually forced to move back.

Adam Abdelnoor, a child psychologist and founder of Inaura, a charity promoting policies to keep pupils in school, said: “Heads have to stop passing the buck.” So-called "managed moves" – when pupils are transferred between schools – are supported by many headteachers. They see them as cheaper, less time-consuming and less bureaucratic than permanent exclusions, which can be challenged and overturned.

But pupils transferred in this way do not count in official exclusion data, suggesting figures are being kept artificially low. In 2007/08 just 8,130 primary and secondary school children were expelled in England – a fall of more than 4,000 in a decade.

Ministers claim the reduction is due to Government behaviour initiatives and the use by schools of the "short, sharp, shock of suspension" which "nips problem behaviour in the bud". But research by Mr Abdelnoor suggests figures could be much higher. He surveyed almost 300 schools and more than half conducted managed moves. Extrapolated nationally, research suggests as many as 7,000 managed moves took place over a 12 month period, according to the Times Educational Supplement.

Previous research has shown how pupils suspected of serious offences have been allowed to move to another school under the rules. Among the pupils moved between schools in 2007 were two teenagers from Barnsley who had brought weapons into school. In Bristol, a 15-year-old who attacked a pupil, verbally abused teachers and brought drugs and alcohol into school also escaped expulsion and was transferred. In St Helens, Merseyside, a 12-year-old was moved after threatening a classmate with a knife, as was a 15-year-old who brought a meat cleaver into school.


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