Thursday, March 28, 2013

Education Department website removes Chairman Mao quote

"Satiable" in learning?  That is pretty anti-intellectual.  It means you have decided that you know it all.  Very Leftist, of course.  But a very strange thing for a Dept. of Education to put up.  Humble people would see themselves as insatiable in learning

A Department of Education website chose Mao Zedong, former dictator of China, for its “quote of the day.”

The quote appeared on the “Kids’ Zone” website, a DOE educational resource for students, according to The New York Daily News:

“Our attitude toward ourselves should be ‘to be satiable in learning’ and towards others ‘to be tireless in teaching.’”

After receiving criticism, DOE took down the quote, eventually replacing it with one by Abraham Lincoln. After that, the “quote of the day” feature suffered the same fate as foes of communist regimes: it disappeared without a trace.

Chairman Mao is remembered for implementing economic and social programs that led to the deaths of tens of millions of people.


University Apologizes, Reverses Course on Punishing Student Who Refused to Stomp on ‘JESUS’ Sign‏

The odd story about Ryan Rotela, a junior at Florida Atlantic University (FAU), and his claim that he was suspended from a class for refusing to stomp on a sign that had Jesus’ name on it, quickly spread across the nation. While the school issued an official apology over the bizarre debacle, questions still surround the incident, as the professor at the center of it, Dr. Deandre Poole, has been silent on the matter.

When the story first broke, numerous outlets, including TheBlaze, reported that Rotela was suspended from the course after complaining about the professor’s in-class assignment. He and other students were apparently told by Poole to write “JESUS” on a sheet of paper, throw it on the floor and then stomp on it.

Rotela, a devout Mormon, refused to participate in the purported activity and told the professor that he found the request offensive. The student was so frustrated that he subsequently went to his professor’s supervisor to complain — and that’s when he was allegedly suspended from the class.

Fox News’ Todd Starnes covered this story as well, adding additional context and writing that the student was initially accused of violating the student code of conduct after the official complaint was made.

In addition to be axed from the class, Rotela was apparently told not to speak with other students and he was also faced with possible suspension or expulsion. These latter claims were predicated upon a hearing that he was slated to go through.

“In the interim, you may not attend class or contact any of the students involved in this matter – verbally or electronically – or by any other means,” a letter that was written by Associate Dean Rozalia Williams to the student allegedly read. “Please be advised that a Student Affairs hold may be placed on your records until final disposition of the complaint.”

Both the student and his lawyer believe that the university’s initial harsh response was retribution for Rotela going public with the story. But, alas, it seems the campus “charges” have been dropped and the university has backed down.

Rotela’s lawyer, Hiram Sasser, with the conservative Liberty Institute, told Starnes that “there will be no punishment” and that the school is “wiping the record clean for Ryan.” He will apparently be continuing in the course, but will not have to deal with Poole in the process.

FAU Dean of Students Corey King also reiterated the school’s regret over the incident, apologizing and telling Starnes that there was no intent to offend.

Rotela was very thankful for the inevitable outcome, telling Starnes that he is gracious for the many Christians who called the college and made their opposition to the controversial Jesus activity known.

“I have two words — thank you,” the student said. “If it wasn’t for all the Christians and the open-minded people who decided to call the university — I would be sitting in a room getting punished, getting sanctioned from the school and getting expelled from the university.”

While it’s inconsequential to this particular case, many outlets pointed to the fact that Poole is also the vice-chair of the Palm Beach County Democratic Party. TheBlaze reached out to Poole when the story first broke, but we have not heard back from the professor.


Is the degree outdated?

Some comments from Australia

Most school leavers take the next step and go to university to obtain a degree. But with changing workplaces and the increasing speed of technology - to what degree do you need a degree?

Earlier this month, Universities Australia released a report from "The Australian Workforce Productivity Agency" warning that the industry demand for people with higher education is set to sky rocket with growth rates of between 3 and 4 per cent every year till 2025.

Yet with so much evolution in the work place and the technologies that are running them, should a degree still be a definitive requirement or has it become more industry specific?

Ten years ago more than 50% of Australians wouldn't have been able to read this article online due to Internet access constraints. Twenty years ago, stories like this were typed on electric typewriters and faxed to editors, while 30 years ago the yellow pages was the number one source to find the phone numbers for people to interview. Times have changed... drastically.

There are still plenty of people in the work force who would have completed their university studies 20 - 30 years ago, a time before tablets, Google and smart phones, a time when you got a bad back from lugging around the fourth edition of a 10 kg textbook or writing your thesis from facts you found in your Encyclopaedia Britannica that took up an entire wall of your house.

According to many employers or if you check out the latest job listings, it's clear, a degree is still a big desire, even though they could have come fresh off the printing press when a mullet was something on your head, not on your plate and a mouse was something that ate cheese.

Of course if your life long dream is to be a scientist or a vet or a lawyer, higher education is not just necessary it's imperative to ensure you learn the knowledge required to execute these types of positions.

But for many other industries where "hard skills" are required to get the job done is university always the right way to go?

Lincoln Crawley, the Managing Director of Manpower Group Australia, New Zealand as well as the President of RSCA (Recruitment and Consultant Services Association) says in the Australian job market a degree is still an advantage.

"This is a complex issue, what is appealing to prospective employers is that a degree gives the impression of a desire for continuous learning" says Crawley.

So if Crawley was presented with two candidates with similar abilities however one has a degree and the other doesn't who usually gets the job? "If two candidates are all things being relatively equal, then it should be the propensity to do the role and add value to the work place that wins the position not the pieces of paper," he says.

At the time this article was written, a number of universities and Universities Australia were approached to comment on this issue from a Tertiary standpoint, but given the current revolving door of Ministers (Chris Bowen's replacement will be the fifth in 15 months) and the aftermath of the spill, no one was available to comment.

Do those extra letters after your name really get you those extra dollars in your pay packet? Does a degree place you in a position of power and strength in the job market or can it just another form of workplace discrimination?

Most people see the advantage of further education and the pursuit of constant learning, but not everybody believes you always need a piece of paper to prove it.


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