Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dutch Teachers Say Schools Succumb to Violent Pupils

Schools are putting teachers under pressure to keep silent if they receive death threats from pupils. Teachers are advised against going to the police and sometimes even offered hush-money, according to TV programme EenVandaag.

A teacher recounted on EenVandaag how the school management instructed her to give a higher mark to an aggresive pupil for fear he would turn to violence if he did not receive this. This pupil had at that time already made death threats to six teachers.

There was reason to assume that the pupil was dangerous because he was a friend of the Turkish boy who shot a teacher through the head in a school in The Hague in 2008. But instead of informing the police, the school management tried to please him.

Another teacher recounted how schools sometimes dismiss teachers when they go to the police to make a report against a violent pupil. One teacher even had to promise as a condition for her severance pay that she would never discuss the threats made against her with anyone. Another teacher, whose exam questions were stolen by a pupil, was advised by the school management to buy the questions back from the thief.

One school allowed pupils to put up pornographic posters on which the faces of their teachers were used. These were only removed for the periodical parents evenings, when parents come to discuss the performance of their children with the teachers.

According to a poll by EenVandaag, 10 percent of the secondary school teachers say they have experienced physical violence in the past three years. Sometimes the perpetrator was a parent, but mostly a pupil. Some 24 percent say they receive threats of violence or death threats. The problems are worst in schools with many immigrant pupils, and at the lower educational levels.

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Sanity Continues Losing Ground In America's School Culture Wars

Public schools continue to be a battleground in the culture war, as the education establishment – composed primarily of leftists bent on political correctness – gains more ground.

This strain treats Christianity and its holidays as a pariah, while embracing Muslim holidays.

The Hillsboro, Oregon school board just held a vote on what to call the time off school around Christmas and New Years. It had traditionally been called “Christmas Break.” But new calendars, produced by school staff, changed it to “Winter Break.” The school board voted 4-3 to call it “Christmas Break.” From OregonLive.com:

“[School board member] Janeen Sollman said winter break ‘respects everyone in the community. This isn't about religion, it boils down to respect.'

“Later, Hillsboro Education Association president Kathy Newman sided with Sollman and reminded the school board that equity is among its goals and ‘the district calendar should reflect that.’”

Further up the Pacific coast, a high school sophomore explained to a local radio station that the term “Easter eggs” could no longer be used because the administration preferred “spring spheres.”

Is this a joke? Is America being Punk’d?

No, the trend caught on elsewhere in Seattle. The parks department had several listings for “Spring Egg Hunts” all over the city. The word “Easter” has been wiped off the site.

But never fear: one religion, Islam, is being protected – and in fact gaining ground – in American public schools. The Boston Globe reports:

“But beginning next year, Cambridge public schools will attempt to make it easier for Muslim students to honor their highest holy days.

“In a move that school officials believe is the first of its kind in the state, Cambridge will close schools for one Muslim holiday each year beginning in the 2011-2012 school year.

“The school will either close for Eid al-Fitr or Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, depending on which holiday falls within the school year. If both fall within the school calendar, the district will close for only one of the days.

And if you’re wondering, the calendar does denote the existence of a “Winter Break.” This is little more than political correctness run wild.

Dearborn, Michigan has the largest population of Muslims outside of the Middle East but this writer could not find anything on the school district’s website indicating it celebrated Muslim holidays. School officials did not return calls seeking a definitive answer.

This isn’t just about holidays. The political correctness that has taken root in public schools has also provided a platform for radical ideology, namely Marxism. I’ll deal with that topic very soon.

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British Coalition accused over £21m education consultants' bill

A huge education bureaucracy and they still need outsiders to do important tasks?

The Coalition has been accused of wasting at least £21m on education consultants, just as school budgets are cut in the downturn. Teachers’ leaders claimed the payments had been made to just five companies in the last year, despite a Government pledge to slash Whitehall waste.

In some cases, they received the money to oversee the setting up of the Coalition’s flagship academies and “free schools” – institutions run by parents’ groups, charities and private companies independent of local council control.

The National Union of Teachers has now written to Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, condemning the payments, which it says has been made “at a time when school budgets are being squeezed to the limits”.

But the Department for Education hit back today, saying cash for consultants had been dramatically cut this year compared with fees paid under Labour.

The NUT analysed Government spending between April 2010 and February this year and found some £21.7m went on five companies, including EC Harris and Tribal Education.

But the union claimed that consultancy fees paid by the DfE and its associated quangos were likely to be much higher when other private companies are added.

The Government’s school buildings quango, Partnership for Schools, paid a further £5m to just three firms, it emerged, although most of this was for the purchase of land and buildings associated with the free schools policy.

The NUT also said 100 DfE staff were now employed to work on free schools – equivalent to around four per cent of junior civil servants in the department – at a cost of almost £4m.

In a speech to the union's annual conference in Harrogate on Tuesday, Christine Blower, NUT general secretary, said the money was being spent as millions was slashed from the education budget, including a huge reduction in spending on school buildings and Sure Start children’s centres. She is calling on the Government to reveal how much of this cash has been spent specifically on fees to set up free schools.

David Cameron promised a huge purge on consultants and management fees which ballooned under Labour.

A spokesman for the DfE insisted that overall spending on consultants in the last year was likely to be significantly down on the year before. “Spend on consultants has been slashed under the Coalition Government,” he said.

“In 2009-10 it was over £74m but when final figures for the last financial year are published spend is expected to be significantly reduced. Even then, much of the spend will be leftover commitments from the last administration that are being wound up.”

"This has been done by introducing strict rules on spending ensuring value for money for the taxpayer. We are sure that Christine Blower will be pleased with this huge reduction.”

SOURCE

Friday, April 29, 2011

CT: Mother pleads not guilty in school case

A homeless single mother who lives in her van pleaded not guilty yesterday to stealing nearly $16,000 worth of education for her son by enrolling the kindergartner in her baby sitter’s school district.

Tanya McDowell, 33, was arraigned in Norwalk, where she was arrested April 14 on felony charges of committing and attempting to commit first-degree larceny.

Prosecutors say McDowell used her baby sitter’s address to enroll her son in Norwalk schools in the fall but should have registered the boy in nearby Bridgeport, a significantly poorer urban district and the location of her last permanent address.

Officials call it the first known case of its type in Connecticut, although similar conflicts have played out elsewhere in the United States as districts try to ensure scarce local tax dollars are used for local students.

“He’s only 5 years old, and it’s hard like to explain to a 5-year-old kid, you know, ‘You got kicked out because we don’t have a steady address yet,’ ’’ said McDowell, an unemployed cook.

McDowell, who is black, has drawn the support of civil rights leaders and parents’ groups and is being represented by a lawyer provided by the Connecticut chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. She faces up to 20 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines if convicted of the felony larceny charge.

She said before yesterday’s arraignment that her bewildered son, A.J., repeatedly asks why he was kicked out of his school. The boy was removed from Norwalk’s Brookside Elementary School in January and now lives with relatives in Bridgeport, where he attends kindergarten. “He’s very curious in regards to it because he thinks I stole Brookside away from him,’’ said McDowell.

Connecticut students can only attend public schools in the municipality where their parents or guardians reside, unless they go to a magnet school, charter school, or another district under a desegregation plan.

McDowell’s case is not the nation’s first. Last year, a single mother from Ohio was convicted of a felony for using her father’s address to enroll her children in a suburban district rather than the larger, underperforming Akron district.

Gwen Samuel, one of McDowell’s supporters and founder of the Connecticut Parents Union, said she would do the same thing. “I would use the janitor’s address to get my kid a good education; that’s not even negotiable,’’ said Samuel, of Meriden.

McDowell would not comment on the specifics of her case yesterday, but she has said that she did not believe she was doing anything wrong when she enrolled her son in Norwalk.

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Fewer British pupils in private schools as fees rise

Fewer children are being sent to independent schools after average fees climbed above £13,000 for the first time, it emerged today.

Figures show the number of pupils in private education dropped for the third year in a row as fee rises outstripped increases in earnings.

Data from the Independent Schools Council shows the average parent is being forced to pay £13,179 in annual fees this year – a 4.6 per cent increase in 12 months. More families also need help to cover the cost of private education.

The price hike could be fuelling a drop in overall enrolments among families already reeling from the recession and the Coalition’s austerity drive. Figures revealed a 0.5 per cent fall in British children this year, although the number of pupils from overseas jumped sharply.

Last night, school leaders insisted the figures – published as part of an annual census – represented a “good result” for the private sector in the face of a huge squeeze in family income.

They said fee rises were kept to their second lowest level in 17 years as they made “significant cutbacks” to building programmes to ease the financial blow for parents. It was also claimed that the overall drop in pupil numbers was not as severe as the fall witnessed during the last recession in the early 90s.

This suggests many parents are still reluctant to pull children out of private education in favour of state schools after 13 years of Labour.

David Lyscom, ISC chief executive, said: “ISC independent schools are showing remarkable resilience against a difficult economic background, reflecting the high quality of education that our schools offer to parents, and the value for money that this represents.”

The ISC said 1,228 schools completed its census in 2010 and 2011. Among these schools, like-for-like pupil numbers dropped by 0.2 per cent to 505,368, although the fall in British pupils was 0.5 per cent.

Overall, there were 506,500 children in 1,234 schools affiliated to the ISC. Figures also showed:

* Some 14 schools linked to the ISC closed in the last 12 months – double the number a year earlier;

* The number of pupils coming from abroad increased by 5.5 per cent, with 24,554 foreign children now in British independent schools;

* Foreign pupils make up almost 4.9 per cent of places, compared with 4.5 per cent a year earlier, with China, Hong Kong and Germany sending the most;

* The average annual fee increased from £12,558 to £13,179, while day fees rose from £10,713 to £11,208 and boarding costs increased from £24,009 to £25,152;

* In total, some 25 schools charged more than £30,000 in fees;

* A third of pupils are now eligible for fee assistance – a rise of 2.2 per cent – with schools spending £260m on means-tested bursaries.

Mr Lyscom said the rise in the number of poor pupils admitted to ISC schools suggested the Government’s university admissions policy – which appears to prioritise those from state schools – was misguided.

“The fact that over £250 million is now being paid by our schools to children who need financial support must make the Government think carefully about its approach to university admissions,” he said. “It would be very wrong to discriminate against these pupils when they apply to university just because they went to a particular type of school. Our schools help promote social mobility; our statistics show how socially diverse they may be.”

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Behaviour "not good enough" at one in five secondaries

Even by Britain's low standards

More than 550 secondary schools in England are failing to ensure a good level of order in classrooms, amid concerns teachers do not have the power to control pupils.

In some areas behaviour fell below targets in 75 per cent of secondaries, according to the latest data compiled by Ofsted, the schools inspectorate.

Teachers have warned MPs that the level of discipline in schools is worse than official estimates because head teachers cheat inspectors by suspending unruly pupils or bringing in supply teachers during their visits.

A separate report to be published this week by the National Association of Head Teachers will say the conduct of pupils' families is little better, with one in ten head teachers having been assaulted by a parent or carer in the past five years.

The figures released by Ofsted showed that 82 per cent of secondaries across the country had good or outstanding behaviour – the top two levels of a four-point scale – a slight rise on last year's 79 per cent.

But the statistics showed there is a need for improvement in 18 per cent of secondaries, and that in areas such as Kingston-upon-Hull and Knowsley, Merseyside, discipline at just one in four schools was rated good or better.

Last week the NASUWT union accused heads of brushing low-level bad behaviour under the carpet instead of doling out punishments for fear of attracting greater scrutiny from parents, governors and local authorities.

Earlier this month staff at a school in Lancashire were reduced to a walkout over pupil indiscipline.

The government has pledged to hand teachers more authority by allowing them to search pupils for banned items, give teachers anonymity when facing allegations of misconduct and remove the need for schools to give 24 hours' notice of detentions.

There is also concern about the danger posed to heads by aggressive parents, often resulting when a pupil is excluded from school.

Later this week the National Association of Head Teachers will claim as many as ten per cent of heads have been attacked by parents, including cases of victims being hit with chairs and subjected to serious kicking attacks.

Nick Gibb, the schools minister said: "We remain concerned that nearly 1 in 5 secondary schools behaviour is judged as being no better than satisfactory ... We support teachers to tackle poor behaviour in our schools because until we deal with the persistent low level disruption prevalent in too many classrooms, we will not see the rise in academic standards demanded by parents."

A Department for Education spokesperson added that there was no excuse for aggressive behaviour towards school staff.

An Ofsted spokesperson said: "Schools receive no more than two days notice of an inspection. This means it is easier for inspectors to see schools as they really are. There is very little evidence that schools try to mislead Ofsted, and even for those that may wish to they do not have time to make arrangements which might mislead inspectors about standards of behaviour."

SOURCE

Thursday, April 28, 2011

U.S. women surpass men in advanced degrees

Affirmative action?

For the first time, American women have passed men in gaining advanced college degrees as well as bachelor’s degrees, part of a trend that is helping redefine who goes off to work and who stays home with the children.

Census figures released yesterday highlight the latest education milestone for women, who began to exceed men in college enrollment in the early 1980s. The findings come amid record numbers of women in the workplace and a steady decline in stay-at-home mothers.

Educational gains for women are giving them greater access to a wider range of jobs, contributing to a shift of traditional gender roles. Based on one demographer’s estimate, the number of stay-at-home fathers who are the primary caregivers for their children reached nearly 2 million last year, or one in 15. The official census tally was 154,000, based on a narrower definition that excludes those working part-time or looking for jobs.

“The gaps we’re seeing in bachelor’s and advanced degrees mean that women will be better protected against the next recession,’’ said Mark Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint who is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.

“Men now might be the ones more likely to be staying home, doing the more traditional child rearing,’’ he said.

Among adults 25 and older, 10.6 million US women have master’s degrees or higher, compared with 10.5 million men. Measured by shares, about 10.2 percent of women have advanced degrees compared with 10.9 percent of men — a gap steadily narrowed in recent years. Women still trail men in professional subcategories such as business, science, and engineering.

When it comes to finishing college, roughly 20.1 million women have bachelor’s degrees, compared with nearly 18.7 million men — a gap that has remained steady in recent years. Women passed men in bachelor’s degrees in 1996.

Some researchers including Perry have dubbed the current economic slump a “man-cession’’ because of the huge job losses in the male-dominated construction and manufacturing industries, which require less schooling. Measured by pay, women with full-time jobs now make 78.2 percent of what men receive, up from about 64 percent in 2000.

Unemployment for men currently stands at 9.3 percent, compared with 8.3 percent for women, who make up half the US work force. The number of stay-at-home mothers, meanwhile, dropped last year for a fourth year in a row to 5 million, or roughly one in four married-couple households. That was down from nearly half of such households in 1969.

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British University campuses 'a hotbed of Muslim extremism', claims Parliamentary security group

Universities are failing to tackle the growing menace of Islamic extremism on campuses. Although they have been aware of the problem for many years, university authorities are reluctant to combat it because they fear a decline in the number of foreign students, from whom they make millions of pounds every year, it has been claimed.

A report by a Parliamentary homeland security group said the evidence against universities was 'damning' and that there was no sign of the risk of student radicalisation diminishing.

The review highlighted serious problems and claimed that 'some universities and colleges have become sites where extremist views and radicalisation can flourish beyond the sight of academics'. The report called on the institutions to tackle the issue with 'utmost urgency'.

Terror expert Professor Anthony Glees said the universities had failed to co-operate with the Government, making it much harder for them to tackle extremism. He said 'money-hungry' institutions are more worried about their coffers than keeping the country safe and insisted they must allow counter-terrorist police access to campuses and clamp down on extremist Islamic societies.

He added: 'We are dealing with people who hate this country and the way that it is governed. 'Taxpayers would be sickened by the idea that taxpayer-supported universities are giving people the space to develop plans that will result in some of us being blown up.

'The fundamental problem is that universities have refused to co-operate. 'It is not because they are fusty academics stuck in their ivory towers unaware of the scale of the issue. It is because they are now money making enterprises. 'They fear a hard line will lead to a decline in the number of lucrative foreign students coming to British universities.'

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Homeland Security was set up in the wake of the alleged attempt by student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to blow-up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 from Amsterdam, carrying 280 passengers, as it made its final descent towards Detroit on December 25, 2009.

The Nigerian studied at University College London between 2005 and 2008, and was the Islamic Society president from 2006 to 2007.

The Parliamentary group said the Government's National Security Strategy and the Strategic Defence and Security Review were 'deeply unsatisfactory'.

A previous inquiry found that UCL will remain at risk of radicalisation for as long as the institution retains its 'educational mission and character'.

Shortly after the foiled Christmas bomb attack, it was revealed that security services believed 39 universities were 'at risk of extremism'.

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Foreign influx 'threatens uniquely British identity of public schools'

Private schools risk diluting their ‘uniquely British identity’ as pupils numbers are kept buoyant by an increase in overseas students. A national census of fee-paying schools shows the number of new overseas pupils in independent schools has reached unprecedented levels, increasing by a massive 44.4% on last year. More than a third of these youngsters, 37.8%, are from China and Hong Kong.

Meanwhile some 2,559 fewer British pupils were admitted in September 2010, compared with the previous year. Experts believe the drop in British pupils is due to high fees which spiralled out of control during Labour years and increased by an average of 4.5% in September 2010.

Average boarding fees for sixth formers are now £26,346-a-year and £16,290 for day pupils. Three schools now charge in excess of £30,150. The average annual fee for a private education is £13,179. That is an increase of 4.6 per cent on last year.

The fees are proving prohibitive for many recession-hit British parents. But wealthy parents from China and Kong Hong, who have a culture of paying for a good education, are happier to fork out. They believe a British private school education will help their child get into a top UK university. The revelation coincides with the phenomenon of the Tiger Mother who will relentlessly push their children to academic success.

Yesterday David Lyscom, chief executive of the Independent Schools Council, warned the trend risked diluting the nature of independent schools. He said: ‘Some schools specialise in teaching overseas students, to prepare them for entry to British universities. ‘So in the majority of private schools there are a handful of overseas pupils.

‘But one of the attractions of a British independent education is that it is uniquely British. ‘It is a brand that needs to be protected. It is all very well to have them [overseas students] but we need to make sure that it doesn’t go too far or we’ll lose our appeal.’

Data from Independent Schools Council (ISC) census which covers 1,234 schools, shows total of 13,944 of the 506,500 pupils in fee paying schools - 5% - are non-British with parents living overseas. This is an increase of 5.5% on last year. On average, each school has around 20 overseas pupils. The average independent school has 410 pupils.

Overall independent pupil numbers have dipped slightly, by 0.2%. It brings the numbers back to 2004 levels, after peaking in 2009, with some 506,500 pupils in the 1,234 fee paying schools.

Mr Lyscom added that although they had lost a few British pupils he was very encouraged because, despite the recession, few were fleeing the independent sector. This academic year there are some 5,859 pupils from Hong Kong and 3,428 and China in private schools. Of these 2,245 from Hong Kong and 1,684 from China were new to their school.

Self-proclaimed Tiger Mother Amy Chua, author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, said Chinese parents fight far harder than Western parents to educate their children. She said they are prepared to ‘scrimp and save’ for a good education and ‘drill their children on academic task ten times more than Western parents’.

The next single country with a large share in pupils in fee-paying schools was Germany where 9.6% of all are foreign students.

SOURCE

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Harvard Law school faces sexual assault inquiry

Feminist whiner reluctant to allow due process. Wants instant "justice": "too much evidence is required"

The civil rights division of the US Department of Education is investigating Harvard Law School after a Boston lawyer filed a complaint with the agency alleging that school policies regarding response to sexual assault allegations violate Title IX rules against discrimination on campuses.

Wendy J. Murphy, a faculty member at the New England School of Law said yesterday in a telephone interview that she filed the complaint in September, after being hired by Harvard Law in the spring to work on a Title IX issue and finding that three policies ran afoul of federal regulations. She would not elaborate on why she was hired.

She said the most troubling violation is the school’s policy of waiting to address complaints on campus until police and prosecutors have finished investigating, a practice she called “running out the clock.’’ Murphy said criminal investigations can drag on until after victims graduate, leaving them vulnerable to retaliation from their attackers and others during the rest of their time in school.

A Harvard Law official with knowledge of the hearing process denied yesterday that administrators seek delays as a matter of policy. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the pending review, said campus hearings can be held before criminal investigations end, though he could not say how often that happens.

The official said the law school pays for an attorney chosen by each alleged victim to represent her or him during the disciplinary process.

But Murphy said too much evidence is required during a campus hearing to find a law student guilty of sexual assault, and that school officials do not provide alleged victims with a “clear and concise’’ timeframe for when cases will be resolved. She declined to say if she knew of any students who have been harmed by these policies.

In a statement yesterday, the school defended its record of handling allegations but did not comment on the specifics of Murphy’s complaint, citing the pending review.

“We have a responsibility to protect and maintain the safety and well-being of our students, and to offer complete support and assistance to any student who makes us aware of harm,’’ the statement said. “That responsibility includes effective processes for ensuring a safe community and for investigating any allegation of assault expeditiously and fairly, followed by appropriate disciplinary action.’’

The Department of Education’s civil rights division did not immediately return messages seeking comment yesterday.

Murphy said the division could issue its findings by June. She said that if a school refuses to comply with Title IX, the government could pull its federal funding, though she was unaware of any case being resolved in that manner.

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Grocery school

Suppose that we were supplied with groceries in same way that we are supplied with K-12 education.

Residents of each county would pay taxes on their properties. A huge chunk of these tax receipts would then be spent by government officials on building and operating supermarkets. County residents, depending upon their specific residential addresses, would be assigned to a particular supermarket. Each family could then get its weekly allotment of groceries for “free.” (Department of Supermarket officials would no doubt be charged with the responsibility for determining the amounts and kinds of groceries that families of different types and sizes are entitled to receive.)

Except in rare circumstances, no family would be allowed to patronize a “public” supermarket outside of its district.

Residents of wealthier counties – such as Fairfax County, VA and Somerset County, NJ – would obviously have better-stocked and more attractive supermarkets than would residents of poorer counties. Indeed, the quality of public supermarkets would play a major role in determining people’s choices of neighborhoods in which to live.

Of course, thanks to a long-ago U.S. Supreme Court decision, families would be free to shop at private supermarkets that charge directly for the groceries they offer; such private-supermarket families, though, would get no discount on their property-tax bills.

When the quality of supermarkets is recognized by nearly everyone to be dismal, the resulting calls for “supermarket choice” would be rejected by a coalition of greedy government-supermarket workers and ideologically benighted collectivists as attempts to cheat supermarket customers out of good supermarket service – indeed, as attempts to deny ordinary families the food that they need for their very survival. Such ‘choice,’ it would be alleged, will drain precious resources from the public supermarkets whose (admittedly) poor performance testifies to the fact that these supermarkets are underfunded.

And the small handful of people who call for total separation between supermarket and state would be criticized by nearly everyone as being, at best, delusional and – it would be thought more realistically – more likely misanthropic devils who are indifferent to the malnutrition and starvation that would sweep the land if only private market forces governed the provision and patronizing of supermarket. (Some indignant observers would even wonder aloud at the insensitivity of referring to grocery shoppers as “customers”; surely the relationship between suppliers of life-giving foods and the people who need these foods is not so crass as to be properly discussed as being ‘commercial.’)

Does anyone believe that such a system for supplying groceries would work well, or even one-tenth as well as the current private, competitive system that we currently rely upon for supplying grocery-retailing services? To those of you who might think so, pardon me but you’re nuts.

To those of you who understand that such a system for supplying grocery-retailing services would be a catastrophe, why might you continue to count yourself in the ranks of those who believe that government schooling (especially the way it is currently funded and supplied) is the system that we should continue to use?

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Class war in British universities

Middle class students will pay thousands more to subsidise poorer peers' university fees

Middle class students will pay at least £2,700 more in university tuition fees to subsidise those from low income families – even if they go on to earn much less in later life.

Under rules designed to help poorer youngsters into higher education, universities which wish to hike up their fees next year must put 30 to 35 per cent towards waiving costs for students on low incomes.

With virtually all universities defying the Government to more than treble fees, middle class pupils will, as a result, be required to pay an extra £2,700 to £3,150 a year towards the cost of subsidising their peers.

They will then be forced to pay back far higher loans, even if they are earning significantly less than a successful graduate originally from a poor background who goes on to enjoy a lucrative career.

The arrangement was drawn up by the Liberal Democrats, who were heavily criticised over their tuition fees about-turn, and is designed to counter criticism that higher fees will put poor students off applying to universities.

In an Opposition Day debate today, however, Labour will claim that as a result, youngsters from relatively modest backgrounds will end up subsidising those whose parents are only slightly worse off.

Under the “access agreements,” which universities wishing to charge more than £6,000 a year are required to draw up, fees must be cut for any student whose parents earn less than £25,000. So far, despite ministers’ claims that top fees would be levied only in “exceptional circumstances,” 70 per cent of universities which have set out their intentions have said they will charge the maximum £9,000, with many of the rest levying close to the upper ceiling.

That means that in most cases, a youngster with parents earning only £26,000 a year will be required to pay around £3,000 more in fees to pay for the education of a fellow student from a family on £24,000.

John Denham, the shadow business secretary, said: “The Government has lost control of fees, with £9,000 becoming the norm, not the exception. “On top of this incompetence, the Government is now trying to make students from middle income families pay to cut the fees of others.

“Progress … on social mobility must be maintained, but the Government has chosen to put the burden unfairly on the shoulders of hard working squeezed middle families. “Students do not pay until they graduate, but the Government is imposing a system where graduates with the same class of degree in the same subject from the same university doing the same job will owe very different debts.”

New research suggests that half of students will be turned off top universities by the imposition of £9,000 tuition fees. In a survey of current final year undergraduates, 51 per cent said they would not have enrolled if fees were almost three times higher than current prices.

Figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service show record numbers of students are applying for courses this year in order to beat the fee rise. Applications are expected to be up by around 14,000 in the summer as students scrap gap years to get into university this autumn.

More than 700,000 are expected to apply with almost a third missing out on places.

SOURCE

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Indiana University students file complaint over Chick-fil-A discrimination

Students at Indiana University South Bend have filed a formal complaint against the university's Chancellor, alleging the presence of the fast food restaurant chain Chick-fil-A violated vendor policy prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

"Students impacted by the continued presence of Chick-fil-A on campus have come forward today to file formal discrimination complaints within the Judicial Affairs office of the university against the university's Chancellor, Una Mae Reck," Jason A. Moreno, a spokesperson for the students, said in a statement.

Chick-Fil-A, which has 1,550 locations in 39 states, is accused of having deep financial ties to nationwide organizations that oppose marriage equality and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights. According to an investigation by the progressive blog EqualityMatters, the restaurant chain's charitable division has provided more than $1.1 million to anti-LGBT organizations, including the Alliance Defense Fund and Family Research Council.

"Chancellor Reck has continued to proactively purchase goods from this vendor for the purpose of resale on campus despite all evidence proving the damage it causes the students she's charged to protect," Moreno added. "These purchases aren't automatic, but rather she's making the conscious decision to do this every week on her own authority and of her own volition, with full knowledge of the overwhelming evidence that shows she's participating in the promotion of discrimination."

A petition to remove Chick-fil-A from the Indiana University South Bend campus started by Moreno at Change.org has received over 8,000 signatures.

The president of Chick-fil-A has insisted that the company is not anti-gay, but is merely operating a business according to Biblical principles and supporting healthy families.

"We have no agenda against anyone," Dan Cathy, President and COO of the restaurant chain, said in a statement from January. "At the heart and soul of our company, we are a family business that serves and values all people regardless of their beliefs or opinions."

He added that Chick-fil-A had a long history of encouraging and strengthening marriages, but had decided not to "champion any political agendas on marriage and family."

"At the same time, we will continue to offer resources to strengthen marriages and families. To do anything different would be inconsistent with our purpose and belief in Biblical principles."

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Six-figure pay deals given to 700 British head teachers

Hundreds of head teachers are being awarded inflated six-figure pay deals, it was disclosed yesterday. Figures were released showing that 700 heads or deputy heads in state schools earn more than £100,000, including 200 paid more than £110,000.

The NASUWT union called for individual heads’ salaries to be published to stop pay being “abused”, putting them under the same scrutiny as council chief executives and quango bosses.

The number of senior teachers on six-figure pay is likely to be much higher because hundreds of schools failed to disclose proper salary details.

Data released by the Department for Education showed that 500 senior teachers will earn between £100,000 and £109,999 in the current academic year, including 100 heads and deputies in academies. A further 200 heads earn more than £110,000.

The figures show teachers’ pay from last November. John Howson, of Education Data Surveys, a research firm, said the highest salaries were likely to have increased in the past 12 months. This was the first time that the figures have been published in this form.

The GMB union has claimed as many as 100 state school heads earn more than David Cameron’s salary of £147,000.

Last year, it was disclosed that Mark Elms, head of Tidemill Primary School in south east London, was given a remuneration package of £276,523 for 2009-10, which included fees for helping other schools. Another head, Jacqui Valin, from Southfields Community College in south-west London, received a £20,594 pay rise in 2009-10 to take her salary to £198,406.

The NASUWT said schools were by-passing rules on pay by rebranding senior staff as “executive heads” or letting them take jobs as consultants.

It also claimed that academies, which are free of council control, were awarding huge salaries because they were not bound by national pay deals.

At the NASUWT annual conference in Glasgow, Chris Keates, its general secretary, said: “We’ve heard of head teachers taking schools to academy conversion, calling themselves executive heads and saying they should get more pay,” she said. “There’s no rationale about it.”

SOURCE





Make poor teaching a dismissable offence

Comment frtom Australia

A POPULAR myth about teaching is that if you increase salaries, you will get better teachers. This is an idea that gains traction with the teachers unions. It also resonates with those frustrated with poor school outcomes.

The pay and performance equation is disarmingly obvious. If you don't pay teachers enough, you can't attract the best. This view informs the position of Greg Craven, vice-chancellor of the Australian Catholic University, who wrote on this page on April 13: "If you want brain surgeons and international lawyers to consider teaching as an option, then you are going to have to supplement altruism with cash."

And Ben Jensen, director of the school education program at the Grattan Institute, wrote on this page on April 18 that a "system of meaningful appraisal and feedback for teachers will increase their effectiveness by 20 to 30 per cent".

Jensen goes further and says of the institute's recent report on appraisal: "Our proposal concentrates on improving teaching, not sacking teachers." But how can teaching be improved by not getting rid of inferior teachers? Why is teaching sacrosanct?

There is no other profession, job or vocation that closes ranks on incompetence in the same way. When was the last time you heard a teaching union call for the sacking of incompetent teachers? Never. "It's OK to be a dud, we won't tell on you" is union-speak for membership.

This is why Australian Education Union president Angelo Gavrielatos says the union supports the idea of appraisal and is reported as saying on the release of the Grattan Institute report that it reinforces the union's view that the best professional development for teachers occurs when they are given time to work together.

But appraisal is a delaying tactic on palpably bad teachers. It can take years with minimal or no improvement. In the meantime, students are damaged. In a normal full-time teaching load of, say, five classes of 25 students each, this means 125 students. Multiply that by a three-year cycle of appraisal. That is 375 students who have not been well taught.

A survey by Britain's National Foundation for Educational Research shows only 21 per cent teachers think schools have enough freedom to sack incompetent colleagues. The Times Education Supplement reported on April 8 that a study of 2100 teachers found 73 per cent of school heads and 52 per cent of classroom teachers agreed there was not enough freedom for schools to dismiss poorly performing teachers. In response, Britain's National Union of Teachers general secretary Christine Blower said: "It is regrettable that colleagues agree it is not easy enough to dismiss teachers." There was no mention of appraisal being used to fix the problem.

Why the AEU does not ask its members similar questions is obvious. Many would support sacking teachers. Colleagues are aware of teachers who are failures. They all know who should go and why.

If appraisal and dollars held the key to better teachers, why hasn't performance-related pay been an unambiguous winner? In a report titled "The bonus myth" in New Scientist magazine this month, Alfie Kohn, a teacher turned writer, says: "Economists and workplace consultants regard it as almost unquestioned dogma that people are motivated by rewards, so they don't feel the need to test this." The magazine notes that, in many circumstances, paying for results can make people perform badly, and that the more you pay, the worse they perform.

It is obvious what will improve teacher performance. Australian schools, particularly state schools, must be given the autonomy to hire and fire. The growth in independent school enrolments is in part related to the view held by parents that state school education in some areas is in serious decline and teacher quality is a lottery. They pay independent school fees for not having to gamble on incompetence. The problem is also who gets into teaching. This is unpleasant to say but many teachers are simply not high-flyers, something that the federal government partly understands.

As of 2013 there will be tougher university entrance requirements for teaching. The pool of potential teachers will come from the top 30 per cent of Year 12 students, as well as others who meet the expectation of a high level of proficiency in literacy and numeracy.

Federal School Education Minister Peter Garrett said on the announcement of the new teaching entry expectations earlier this month: "We want the very best people coming into the teaching profession. The Australian community wants to see high-quality teaching in schools."

The problem with poor outcomes in schools is not a matter of funding, class sizes, difficult children or any other excuse. The problem is teachers.

Those who are incompetent, who are inadequately trained or are allowed to consolidate poor performance under union sanction, secure that they will be appraised continuously rather than sacked, are the malady of Australian education.

The only way to tell a teacher they are hopeless is to remove them, as in the case of every other job I know.

SOURCE

Monday, April 25, 2011

Demonizing Capitalism




The performance screams indoctrination to an agenda when 1st-graders are using terms like "boycott" and "petition." Sick.

Sadly, most parents let the school system get away with it.

Beyond the education bubble

Peter Thiel’s contrarian approach to higher education, as you might expect, has provoked considerable squealing from the usual suspects. Thiel believes higher education has become a speculative bubble, and that the price of a college education is vastly overvalued compared to its lifetime payoff. There are more college graduates than there are jobs that call for their qualifications, which means that for many unemployed or underemployed graduates a student loan is the equivalent of an underwater mortgage.

The education bubble, like the finance bubble, is fueled by excess money looking for an outlet and unscrupulous promoters looking for suckers. Just as shady bankers lured people into mortgages that were beyond their means, the higher education industrial complex — through its affiliated high school counselors — lures kids into obtaining what seems to be easy money through Sallie Mae with the promise of higher lifetime incomes. Meanwhile, the availability of this third-party money fuels an educational culture based on high-overhead and cost-plus markup — the same culture that gave us the Pentagon’s $600 toilet seats — and tuition increasing at more than four times the rate of inflation.

To challenge the college mystique, Thiel is in the process of selecting the twenty most promising candidates under age 20 to drop out, in return for $100,000 over two years to start a business. Hence the above-mentioned squeals of outrage.

Of course the idea that the educational panacea is overrated isn’t a new one. The late Joe Bageant pointed out that the “economic growth by sending everyone to college” meme was a fallacy of composition. The Empire, he said, only needed about 25% of its population in administrative-technical positions. Sending more than that to college just resulted in burger-flippers and floor-moppers with bachelor’s degrees.

There are some serious difficulties with Thiel’s position, in an economy organized on the kind of hyper-capitalist corporate model he seems to assume. In such an economy, as plenty of critics have pointed out, higher education — even if overpriced — will be indispensible to people seeking certain kinds of professional employment. It will continue to perform a signaling function, simply because HR departments will naturally desire some bureaucratic S.O.P. for processing human raw material without having to deal with a lot of special cases on an ad hoc basis. And I’ve seen more than one person argue that Thiel probably hires college educated people; if American higher education implodes, he’ll just hire cheaper credentialed Chinese tech workers.

John Robb, of Global Guerrillas blog, wants to go further than Thiel and challenge the existing state capitalist model of how employment itself generates demand for credentials (“The Education Bubble,” April 13).

The idea is not to eliminate higher education, but to eliminate the mass-production model by which it is organized: Transporting people to a central location with expensive physical plant and a bloated administrative bureaucracy in order to process them into human resources. Network technology, with its ability to move information cheaply rather than moving people, offers the potential of an alternative that “creates its own educational modules if needed (from scratch using modern tools and techniques).”

We’ve seen the first hints of this with MIT’s Open Courseware project, which puts its entire catalog of course syllabi and lectures online. And there are corporate capitalist challengers, like the University of Phoenix, offering a cheaper education in competition with the legacy colleges. But what happens when you combine the two? What happens when you combine online syllabi, video lectures, online conferencing and virtual classrooms into a single package on the U. Phoenix model — but the lectures and other content are provided on an open-source basis without the state’s copyright monopolies?

Education may provide an essential signaling function, given the conventional model of employment. But the conventional model of employment by a large bureaucratic corporation — with a conveyor belt running from schools to the HR department which sorts out the “resources” which are manufactured to spec — is itself becoming obsolete.

Industrial supply and distribution chains are radically shortening, and tools are becoming radically cheaper, which means that business enterprise will become much smaller and relocalized, with business models driven by those who actually own the tools and the skills.

So the organization and selection of educational options will be driven much more by producers’ own assessments of what they need to learn to be able to produce effectively, instead of a curriculum set to the specs of HR at GlobalEvilMegaCorp LLC. Curricula will be set on a much more decentralized, bottom-up and ad hoc basis, with the student — not the corporate employer — as the real customer.

Higher education, as conventionally understood, is a legacy of the 20th century model in which giant interlocking bureaucratic institutions — large oligopoly corporations, centralized government agencies, bloated bureaucratic universities — dominate society.

SOURCE






University Administrators Refuse to Allow Christians to Speak Their Peace

It’s hard to understand what, exactly, public university officials across the country have against the Christians on their campus.

Christian students don’t often lead riots. Those who are serious and sincere about their faith don’t cheat on their exams, traffic in drugs, get drunk and disorderly, indulge in sexual hijinks in the dorm, or otherwise undermine the general campus esprit de corps.

Christian students put a particular premium on learning truth (a time-honored practice in academic realms). They value life and the worth of every individual and have deeper incentives than most of their peers for treating those around them – even those with whom they disagree most fervently – with dignity, compassion, and respect.

Many are driven by the nature of their beliefs to share their faith with others, but most do so in appropriate and respectful ways. And proselytizing is not exactly a rarity on college campuses, where the urge is to make converts runs at least as strong among political theorists, sexual hedonists, and vegans as it does among Christians.

So, what’s not to like? Or, more to the point…what’s to despise, so aggressively?

Something, apparently – for the antipathy is intensifying, as more and more public universities coast to coast are creating and enforcing regulations clearly designed to silence, humiliate, and dispel Christian students. In recent years, the Alliance Defense Fund alone has taken on 70 colleges and universities across the country where administrators have bullied, marginalized, and in many cases, violated the most basic constitutionally protected rights of students who openly profess faith or identify themselves with Christian beliefs.

ADF has won the 61 of those cases decided – a most recent one being against the University of Wisconsin, a perennial base for anti-Christian sentiment and one that’s spurred several lawsuits in the last decade. Just last month, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear UW’s appeal of an appellate court ruling in favor of a student ministry at the university’s Madison campus.

The case, Badger Catholic v. Walsh, stemmed from the refusal of UW officials to allow the ministry the same kinds of student activity fee funding that the university makes available to other registered student groups on campus. Their reason for withholding the money: the Badger Catholics’ events include prayer, worship, and sharing their faith.

The university’s policy marked such a blatant attack on the students’ rights as protected by the First Amendment that a string of courts – culminating in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit – ruled flatly against them. And this is only the latest in a slew of clear-cut, ADF-backed cases dating back to 1995, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Rosenberger v. Rector and Visitors of University of Virginia that a school couldn’t provide funding for every campus student publication except the Christian one.

But the universities’ bigotry isn’t limited to mere budgetary considerations.

At Missouri State University, Emily Brooker was threatened with expulsion for declining to violate her Christian principles by completing a class assignment that required her to write a letter to the state legislature endorsing adoption for same-sex couples.

At California’s Yuba College, Ryan Dozier stood just off a campus walkway, holding an evangelical sign and politely offering Gospel tracts to students who asked for them. A security officer charged him with conducting an unauthorized “assembly” (of one). Later, administrators informed him that free speech was only permitted at Yuba on Tuesdays and Thursdays between noon and 1.

The Commissioned II Love club at Savannah State University was banned from campus when officials characterized a student re-enactment of Jesus humbly washing His disciples’ feet as “hazing.”

At Georgia Tech, Ruth Malhotra objected to speech codes that severely curtailed any student conversation, publications, events, or activities administrators deemed “intolerant.” She drew the full fury of those campus officials, who cut off funds for organizations involved in religious activities, banished free speech in all but the most remote areas of campus, and even instituted a program to demonize anyone who considered homosexual behavior immoral. When Ruth’s public stand brought threats of rape and murder, the university offered no protection or support.

Full disclosure: ADF represented the plaintiffs in each of these cases, which all have two more things in common: (1) the schools involved lost their case – expensively – in court. (Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer, how do you suppose they made back the money?) And (2), they are all the tip of the iceberg in an academic Cold War against Christians.

Across America, an estimated 274 public universities currently have speech codes that can be used to shut down points of view that a student, professor, or administrator might find “offensive.” (At Penn State, officials even went so far as to say that “intolerance will not be tolerated.”) And nothing offends the academic Left faster than a Bible, a prayer, or a Christian with a conscience.

Of course, ultimately, it’s not the people of faith that the Left objects to – it’s the faith itself. Their hatred is really aimed at a Truth that galls them to the deep, deep places of their souls…in the place where sins, and the need for a God bigger than themselves, can’t be denied.

They won’t go there. They can’t shut Him up. So they’re bent on removing some of the best students and most thoughtful professors they have. If that means destroying not just good people, but the holiest freedoms endowed by that Creator and ever cherished by mankind – well, surely that’s not too high a price to pay, for delusion?

SOURCE




Is teaching racist? No more than Oxford University or 'Mastermind'

We are too quick to throw around accusations of racial discrimination, argues Alasdair Palmer

There was consternation in schools last week when The Guardian – the teachers' favourite newspaper – reported accusations that the profession was "institutionally racist". The evidence for the charge was that while those of black Caribbean or black African origin make up 2 per cent of the population, they provide only 0.7 per cent of our head teachers.

That might sound like a standard Guardian whine. But it is actually a very common complaint, and one which is treated with the utmost seriousness. From a statistic showing that the proportion of a particular ethnic group in a particular position does not mirror that group's share of the population as a whole, the conclusion is drawn that the only explanation can be racism. This is visible everywhere, from the insistence that the police are institutionally racist to last week's claim that Mastermind must be guilty of the same fault, since it hasn't had enough contestants from ethnic minorities. Even David Cameron was at it a couple of weeks ago, lamenting that Oxford's admissions system was "disgraceful" – code for "racist" – because it admitted only one black student last year (actually, it was only one black Caribbean student).

Yet the inference, although widespread, is invalid. It's a way of not thinking about whatever problems there are with ethnic or other "minority" representation. (Minority has to be in quotes, because women are frequently described as a minority, even though they are actually the majority.) Racism can be the explanation for the fact that a group is under-represented, but it does not have to be, and frequently is definitely not.

If you look at Britain's Olympic sprinting team, you will not find the white middle classes represented. Indeed, you may not find anyone white at all. Is this the result of racism? Er, no. It is simply the consequence of the fact that the fastest runners, at least over short distances, do not happen to be white and bourgeois. No one complains, for the obvious reason that there is nothing sinister going on.

Again, almost all of the workmen who built skyscrapers in New York and other big cities on America's East Coast were, until recently, Mohawk Indians: there were very few Italians, Jews or Wasps. This was not down to racial prejudice on the part of the contractors: it was merely that Mohawks were better at the job. For reasons no one fully understands, they had less fear of heights and were better able to weld rivets 20 storeys up.

If Mr Cameron's reasoning were valid, the over-representation of Mohawks in high-rise construction, and of blacks in sprinting, should automatically be labelled a "disgrace" – as should the fact that Jews and Chinese, for instance, do better at getting places at top universities and firms than the ethnically Anglo-Saxon. Which merely shows the silliness of that form of inference.

The real explanation for the failure of some groups to do as well as others is not that admissions tutors, the Civil Service, and other employers are closet racists who conspire to ensure that incompetent whites are appointed to top jobs, in preference to more able individuals from ethnic minorities. Educational attainment is determined by many factors, particularly the sorts of things a child is exposed to before the age of seven. The gaps within the ability range have opened up considerably by then, and get wider during the school years.

By the time a child is old enough to go to university, there is not much that government can do to close them – other than ordering institutions not to admit or appoint on merit, but on some other characteristic, such as ethnic or class background. That, of course, is precisely what this government is trying to do, and it really is a disgrace. Dispensing with merit as the only criterion for entry to our top institutions is the fastest way to destroy them. But then again, perhaps that is the idea.

SOURCE

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dear Unionized Teachers: Quit Yer Bellyachin'

As state governments continue to grapple with labor and legacy costs, we’ve seen government employee unions respond with massive rallies and publicity stunts. Some union bigs have even threatenedto turn their job into a “weapon.”

Case in point, of course, is Madison, Wisconsin. Thousands of union protesters from around the country converged on the state capitol in an effort to intimidate and stop Gov. Scott Walker and his allies from passing a bill that would not only balance the state budget, but allow schools and municipalities to dramatically cut labor costs.

Unionized teachers have been at the head of the line to complain loudly that the public is “ungrateful” for their work. They speak of being “demoralized” and “undervalued.” Poor souls. If the private sector has it so good, go join it and see for yourself.

But we’ve heard very little from police officers and firefighters – large groups of very important public servants.

I have the utmost respect for these individuals. Unlike unionized public school teachers, they risk their lives every day in order to protect society from thugs and danger and don’t bellyache about it.

According to PoliceOfficerSalary.com, cops make an average of $51,410 annually. In Michigan, a fairly typical, if not depressed state, teachers make an average of $52,300. Cops work year-round. Teachers are contracted to work typically about 185 days a year. So cops make less, work more, and risk their lives every day. Where are their complaints?

Teachers unions lately have been employing publicity stunts, such as grading papers in mall food courts. This has been reported in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, New Jersey and a few other states. Like misbehaving puppies, we have to have our noses rubbed in what teachers are doing.

Why don’t we hear of cops pulling similar stunts? I bet if they decided to clean their guns in the mall food court, media would descend from far and wide to tell the cops’ story. But they don’t do that. No, they go about their business, risking their lives, just grateful to have jobs.

We hear of stories where teachers, apparently satisfied with the pathetic state of public education, are passing resolutionsin support of cop killers, namely Mumia Abu-Jamal. In that situation, the police officers’ group fired back, asking American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten to distance herself from the ridiculous California resolution. Weingarten hasn’t gotten around to doing that.

Teachers need to get real and understand the reason the public is fed up is because our schools are leaving taxpayers broke and far too many students illiterate and unprepared for life.

And a little gratitude towards taxpayers wouldn’t hurt either.

SOURCE





Muslim Manipulations in Kansas University

I frequently speak about the never-ending information war in which we are engaged with the Islamic world. One of the Islamists’ tactics is to pit other non-Muslim Americans against us, and they know just who to target: America's impressionable youth. Let's examine a perfect example of this practice. This is from an article in the University Daily Kansan, by Allison Bond:
"Educate yourself on Islamic faith to help stop Muslim prejudices. Since September 11, 2001, Muslims in America have constantly been targets to religious intolerance. One would think after 10 years the hype of Muslim terrorists would be over. I thought that today people were more educated about the Islamic faith and put aside their prejudices. I hoped Americans no longer took seriously the minority of people who burn Qurans and solicit hate speech toward Muslims. However, I have been sadly proven wrong once again."

According to Bond, all the Islamic terrorist attacks that have taken place across the world post 911 are just "hype". Don't believe the "hype!" Besides that, people are more educated about Islam today, and that is exactly why they are speaking out against it.
On March 10, a congressional hearing took place to discuss Islamic terrorism within America in association with radical Muslims living in the U.S. The New York Times wrote that some people at the hearing portrayed Muslims to be a “community ignoring radicalization among its own.” Witnesses testified saying things like, “Our children are in danger” and “Americans are sitting around doing nothing about radical extremists.”

Our children are in danger. The danger comes from the Sharia movement that is taking place across America. Do you want your children to be subjugated under Sharia?
But what are Muslims here in America supposed to do about this issue? Aren’t there radical beliefs in every religion that could lead to radical acts? It is disappointing that we have decided to single out Islamic radicals and Muslim communities once again. While it seems that Congress was split on the issue, the fact still remains that Islamic intolerance is still an issue in America.

Christians and Jews are not on a worldwide mission to impose a barbaric set of religious laws on all.
This intolerance is spreading all over the world and has recently landed in France as well. On April 11, France officially banned the wearing of “full faced veils” in public. Muslim women, who wear the niqab for religious purposes, are outraged that they are being limited in expressing their faith. Once again, the Islamic faith is being targeted for Muslim radicalism that now threatens the French Republic.

I had to reread that last sentence twice. YES, Muslim "radicalism" does threaten the French Republic. Muslim "radicalism" is still Islam. This is as simple as 1 + 1 = 2.
This intolerance toward the Islamic faith needs to be stopped here in America and abroad. It starts with us here at KU. The Muslim Student Association on campus works to educate the student body about Muslim identity. It is our job to learn all we can about what the Islamic religion is truly about and not base our opinions and thoughts on what the world is trying to tell us about a select group of radical Muslims.

Is there one valid reason why we should tolerate Sharia? The MSA is part of the Islamic propaganda machine. From their Kansas University website:
"Once this is realized, it should be clear that Islam has the most continuous and universal message of any religion, because all prophets and messengers were “Muslims”, i.e. those who submitted to God’s will, and they preached “Islam”, i.e. submission to the will of Almighty God."

Mohammad sanctioned rape, and called for perpetual war against all infidels! Jesus neither raped nor killed. Slight difference there.

Was Mohammad part of this "select group of radical Muslims"?
Bukhari Hadith Volume 1, Book 2, Number 25: Narrated Ibn 'Umar:

Allah's Apostle said: "I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah's Apostle, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform that, then they save their lives and property from me except for Islamic laws and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by Allah."

Back to Bond:
Education can start with attending prayer at the Islamic Center of Lawrence mosque on Fridays at 1:30 p.m., attend events during the MSA Islam Awareness Week, take an Islam course through the department of religion or research on your own. Religious intolerance will not stop until prejudices can be put aside and individually we can start to move forward in our education of others. Perhaps eventually then, America and the world will become a place where freedom of religion is truly present.

— Bond is a junior in religious studies and journalism from Andover.

Would that be a course that Bond took? If so, it was a complete waste of her time! She is obviously unaware of the intolerance of Islam.
Muslim Hadith Book 041, Number 6985: "Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews."

Allison Bond is also oblivious to the lack of religious freedom under Islam. Koran verse 009.029:
"YUSUFALI: Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued."

Journalists are supposed to do their homework, so Ms. Bond gets an "F" from me.

SOURCE






'Are there any Christians left in the CofE?' Wave of anger after senior British Bishop calls for faith schools to limit number of Anglican pupils

Religious leaders yesterday poured scorn on Church of England proposals to limit the number of practising Anglicans admitted to faith schools. The Bishop of Oxford has called for a major shake-up of admissions rules, saying policies which favour religious children should be changed even if this affects a school’s exam results.

The Right Reverend John Pritchard, who is also chairman of the CofE’s board of education, urged heads to reserve no more than 10 per cent of places for practising Anglicans.

But his plans stirred anger among other denominations and faiths, who described them as ‘nonsense’ and ‘depressing politically-correct drivel’ and pledged to ‘robustly fight’ their right to admit members of their own faith. They said the Church was being led by a ‘secularist agenda’ on the issue, with Conservative MP Stewart Jackson asking ‘are there any Christians left in the CofE?’ [Simple answer: No]

The Bishop’s suggestion even sparked a row within his own flock, with one vicar saying he was ‘incandescent’ with the ‘level of incompetence displayed by senior Church members’.

Bishop Pritchard told the Times Educational Supplement this week: ‘Every school will have a policy that has a proportion of places for church youngsters... what I would be saying is that number ought to be minimised because our primary function and our privilege is to serve the wider community.’

There are about 2,500 CofE ‘voluntary aided’ primary and secondary schools in England. They each act as their own admissions authority and, when oversubscribed, can admit by faith.

There are also around 2,300 Roman Catholic schools, where 78 per cent of pupils are baptised Catholics. Several of these schools routinely dominate league tables.

Dr Oona Stannard, chief executive of the Catholic Education Service, defended their right to educate children of their own faith and insisted their share of pupils on free school meals is in line with the national average.

She described the Bishop of Oxford’s comments as ‘nonsense’, and ‘emphatically’ denied that Catholic schools were academically selective. She said Catholic schools are often successful because children flourish in an environment with a strong moral and spiritual ethos.

And she added: ‘It is the entitlement of Catholic parents to send their children to Catholic schools. Unfortunately in some areas, such as London, we cannot satisfy the demand. If a school is oversubscribed we need a criteria by which to select. And we do this through faith.’

Ibrahim Hewitt, spokesman for the Association of Muslim Schools, said: ‘The Church of England should be setting a lead, not bending to what is very much a secularist agenda to try to get rid of faith schools.’

A spokesman for Education Secretary Michael Gove said: ‘Our aim is to end the rationing of good schools by making schools accountable to parents instead of politicians and therefore raise standards across the country. As we make progress the issue of admissions policy will become less important.’

But Kevin Courtney, deputy general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, welcomed the Bishop’s comments and said faith schools should be for the whole community.

The Bishop’s announcement is due to be issued to CofE schools as guidance in the summer. The move is likely to spark outrage among middle-class parents who fight to get their children into a top faith school.

SOURCE