Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Dismissed Professor Who Told Students to ‘Stomp on Jesus’ Allowed To Do It Again

What if your professor told you to stomp on the One you pray to every night? Well, that’s just what Dr. Deandre Poole, a professor at Florida Atlantic University, asked his students to do in his intercultural communications class when he instructed them to write the name “Jesus” on a piece of paper, throw it on the ground and step on it. While school administrators quickly suspended the student who refused to take part in the ‘Jesus Stomp’ exercise, they only removed Dr. Poole from his position as a matter of safety after he began receiving death threats. Now, the professor who forced students to violate their religious consciences is returning to FAU to teach summer and fall classes, with the questionable “Jesus Stomp” assignment allowed to remain as part of the curriculum.

Back in March, when this controversy erupted, a couple of students on the popular college website RateMyProfessor.com cited Poole’s arrogance and lack of inclusiveness in the classroom. One person wrote, “Prof Poole is a bit arrogant. Most of what is taught here is opinion yet Prof Poole is intolerant of opinions that conflict with his own.” Another student complained Poole is “Disrespectful and dismissive of ideas that he does not agree with. I do not recommend his class.”

These direct student comments and Poole’s conduct seem counter to his faculty description on FAU’s website, which reads, “His research focuses on the role mediated messages play in shaping individual attitudes and beliefs concerning issues of justice and inequality, and examines how leaders, organizations, and other influential authorities dominate and oppress marginalized groups of people.”

I wonder if any of those “marginalized groups of people” include Christians. If Poole had swapped those five letters in his “Jesus Stomp” assignment for A-L-L-A-H, no doubt the politically correct liberal media would be in an uproar and the government would be calling for the school’s demolition.

Sadly, Poole is not the only college professor to recently mock God. Anthea Butler, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, for instance, responded to George Zimmerman’s not guilty verdict by writing on her blog our Lord and Savior is “a white racist God with a problem.”

Poole’s reinstatement at FAU, along with Butler’s inappropriate comment, is yet another indication of the ostracizing Christians face on college campuses. Those who are tasked with teaching children about diversity may want to check their own biases before the bell rings each day.


Arizona Student Suspended for Asking that Classes be Taught in English

A 50-year-old community college student in Arizona has been suspended -- her crime: asking that class discussions be conducted in English. When the nursing student filed a complaint about the issue, claiming that Spanish-dominated class discussions were preventing her from learning, her program director at the college found the complaint discriminatory against Hispanic students and responded by suspending her, even calling the student "a bigot and a b--ch." The student has now filed a lawsuit. Here's the story:

    A nursing student at Pima Community College (PCC) has filed a lawsuit claiming that she was illegally suspended after she complained that her classmates were speaking in Spanish and orally translating English to Spanish so excessively that she was failing to learn.

    In early April, the student, Terri Bennett, formally requested a rule limiting classroom discussion to English. Nursing program director David Kutzler allegedly responded by called her a “bigot and a bitch,” reports Courthouse News Service.

    Kutzler allegedly charged that Bennett was “discriminating against Mexican-Americans” and threatened to report her complaint as a violation of the school’s policies against discriminatory behavior and harassment.

    A second meeting two days later involved Bennett, Kutzler and three more PCC staffers. The public school officials allegedly told Bennett that she would “not get a job” because of her desire to limit class discussion to English. She claims they said she should “seek counseling” and that she might have a learning disability....

    Later in April, Bennett received critical feedback from a teacher—for the first time, she maintains. The critique chastised Bennett for “ineffective communication skills.” Then, on April 22, Bennett received a suspension letter from the state-owned school.

It's a twisted day in America when a student has "ineffective communications skills" because she speaks English. Foreign language skills are beneficial for workers in a variety of fields, but to punish a community college student for lacking Spanish proficiency is obviously absurd. The Arizona Constitution reads: "...schools shall always be conducted in English." In light of this, it'd be hard to imagine the student losing her case.

In considering immigration reform, it's important we consider the social dimension to immigration -- not just the dollars and cents. This is why, in terms of legal immigration, we'd be smart to allow more people from countries underrepresented among recent immigrants.


International school league tables 'utterly wrong'

British schoolchildren may be performing better on the world stage than prestigious league tables suggest because the ranking system is “utterly wrong”, according to an academic.

Countries’ positions in the tables created by the respected Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development can fluctuate dramatically and may be “meaningless”, it is claimed.

The tables – dubbed the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) – are based on the results of tests sat by 15-year-olds in different countries around the world.

In the last rankings, British pupils dropped down the tables to be listed 25th for reading, 28th for maths and 16th for science out of 65 developed nations.

The findings have been used by the Coalition to justify large-scale reforms to the curriculum and the qualifications system.

But a study has cast major doubts on the reliability of the rankings.

Prof Svend Kreiner, a statistician at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, pointed to the fact that different questions of varying difficulty were used in different nations.

He told the Times Educational Supplement that places fluctuated significantly depending on which test questions were used.

Analysing the 2006 reading test, he concluded that the UK could have been ranked anywhere between 14th and 30th, while Japan could have been positioned from eighth to and 40th.

He said: “It is meaningless to try to compare reading in Chinese with reading in Danish.”  [Hmmm...  I can see an argument for saying English is just as difficult as Chinese!]

In a separate disclosure, it emerged that half of students taking PISA tests in 2006 did not sit the reading exam, but were allocated “plausible” scores by statisticians.

But Dr Hugh Morrison, a mathematician from Queens University, Belfast, told the TES that the system was used was “utterly wrong”.

The OECD said questions were “tested to ensure they have the same relative difficulty across countries”, but admitted that “large variation in single ranking positions is likely”.


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