Thursday, September 19, 2013

High School AP History Book Rewrites 2nd Amendment

They appear to think they know more about U.S. law than SCOTUS does

Controversy is brewing around a school district in Denton, Texas, that is said to be using a United States history book that seems to summarize the Second Amendment inaccurately. However, the Denton Independent School District maintains it only uses the book as "supplemental" material and is "disseminating the correct information on the Second Amendment" from other texts.

But there are several other schools that appear to be using the book, too.

"The people have the right to keep and bear arms in a state militia," the definition in the book, "United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination," which acts as a study guide for the Advanced Placement U.S. history test, reads.
The amendment as ratified by the U.S. reads [emphasis added]: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Based on the book's interpretation, citizens only retain the right to bear arms in a "state militia," a case where citizens are called upon during emergencies to protect the state. Not surprisingly, many would take issue with that interpretation.

It could certainly be an accidental misinterpretation by the textbook's author, but people are clearly unhappy with the language and there is already an effort underway to make school officials at Guyer High School aware of the discrepancy. A Texas blogger has also pointed out that the Denton ISD Board of Trustees meets on Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. and is encouraging parents to show up and demand answers.

It should be noted that all of the amendments found in the Constitution are summarized in the referenced text. However, the other amendments don't appear to have raised eyebrows.


Student Indoctrination

The new college academic year has begun, and unfortunately, so has student indoctrination. Let's look at some of it.

William Penn, Michigan State University professor of creative writing, greeted his first day of class with an anti-Republican rant. Campus Reform, a project of the Arlington, Va.-based Leadership Institute, has a video featuring the professor telling his students that Republicans want to prevent "black people" from voting. He added that "this country still is full of closet racists" and described Republicans as "a bunch of dead white people — or dying white people."

To a student who had apparently displayed displeasure with those comments, Professor Penn barked, "You can frown if you want." He gesticulated toward the student and added, "You look like you're frowning. Are you frowning?" When the professor's conduct was brought to the attention of campus authorities, MSU spokesman Kent Cassella said, "At MSU it is important the classroom environment is conducive to a free exchange of ideas and is respectful of the opinions of others."

That mealy-mouthed response is typical of university administrators. Professor Penn was using his classroom to proselytize students. That is academic dishonesty and warrants serious disciplinary or dismissal proceedings. But that's not likely.

Professor Penn's vision is probably shared by his colleagues, seeing as he was the recipient of MSU's Distinguished Faculty Award in 2003. University of Southern California professor Darry Sragow shares Penn's opinion. Last fall, he went on a rant, telling his students that Republicans are "stupid and racist" and "the last vestige of angry old white people."

UCLA's new academic year saw its undergraduate student government fighting for constitutional rights by unanimously passing a resolution calling for the end of the use of the phrase "illegal immigrant." The resolution states, "The racially derogatory I-word endangers basic human rights including the presumption of innocence and the right to due process guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution." No doubt some UCLA administrators and professors bereft of thinking skills helped them craft the resolution.

The New York Post (8/25/11) carried a story about a student in training to become dorm supervisor at DePauw University in Indiana. She said: "We were told that 'human' was not a suitable identity, but that instead we were first 'black,' 'white,' or 'Asian'; 'male' or 'female'; ... 'heterosexual' or 'queer.' We were forced to act like bigots and spout off stereotypes while being told that that was what we were really thinking deep down."

At many universities, part of the freshman orientation includes what's called the "tunnel of oppression." They are taught the evils of "white privilege" and how they are part of a "rape culture." Sometimes they are forced to discuss their sexual identities with complete strangers. The New York Post story said: "DePauw is no rare case. At least 96 colleges across the country have run similar 'tunnel of oppression' programs in the last few years."

University officials are aware of this kind of academic dishonesty and indoctrination; university trustees are not. For the most part, trustees are yes men for the president. Legislators and charitable foundations that pour billions into colleges are unaware, as well. Most tragically, parents who pay tens of thousands of dollars for tuition and pile up large debt to send their youngsters off to be educated are unaware of the academic rot, as well.

You ask, "Williams, what can be done?" Students should record classroom professorial propaganda and give it wide distribution over the Internet. I've taught for more than 45 years and routinely invited students to record my lectures so they don't have to be stenographers during class. I have no idea of where those recordings have wound up, but if you find them, you'll hear zero proselytization or discussion of my political and personal preferences. To use a classroom to propagate one's personal beliefs is academic dishonesty.

Vladimir Lenin said, "Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted." That's the goal of the leftist teaching agenda.


Don't mind the gap: deferring uni shown to give students academic edge

If the road from school to university for you or your teenager takes a short detour via the backpacking trails of Europe, do not be alarmed.

A new study shows students who defer tertiary education have an edge once they are actually at university, over those who take the plunge straight from school or who return much later as mature-age students.

Researchers from the University of Sydney tracked the academic results of 904 undergraduate students over their first four semesters.

The findings contradict the idea that taking a year off can disrupt the "academic momentum" a year 12 student may have developed at school, said the study's lead author, Andrew Martin.

"What we concluded was that a gap year, particularly a constructive gap year, is part of the momentum," Professor Martin said. "You're probably a little more likely to crystallise what you want to do when you come back, you're starting to test yourself out, developing the self-direction and the self-regulation and autonomy that you really do need at university."

While the differences were not huge and all students could achieve good marks, gap-year students had a consistent edge, even when factors such as socio-economic status were taken into account, findings published in the Journal of Higher Education show.

This time last year, Marcus Ho was part-way through a backpacking odyssey through Europe and northern Africa.

Mr Ho, 19, who is now studying a bachelor of commerce and bachelor of science (advanced) at the University of Sydney, also spent five months last year working at a hospital as a wardsman to save money for the trip. He thinks both experiences have helped, not hindered him at university.

"It really made me appreciate how hard it is to be financially independent because I had to fund my whole trip myself," he said.

"It made me realise how important education is. It drove me to try harder at uni as well."


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