Friday, May 30, 2014

Duke University appears to have learned nothing

After their unjust treatment of their Lacrosse team cost them millions, you would think they would pull their horns in

An Australian student accused of sexual assault is suing Duke University after the elite US college banned him from his May graduation.

Lewis McLeod, a former Sydney Grammar School student and member of Duke's soccer team, says without his degree he can't take up a Wall Street job offer, will be unable to renew his US visa and will be forced to return to Australia.

Police in Durham, North Carolina, investigated an alleged November 14 rape and decided not to charge him with a crime.

However, the university's disciplinary panel conducted its own investigation, found Mr McLeod guilty and expelled him, according to North Carolina TV station WRAL.

Mr McLeod, 23, met the 18-year-old female student at a popular university bar, Shooters, and went back to Mr McLeod's Sigma Nu fraternity house.

Mr McLeod alleged they had sex and it was consensual, while the woman said it was not.

A Durham County Superior Court judge will rule on Mr McLeod's case.


Common Core: Raising the bar-barians

“Barbarians at the gate.” That’s what Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal called opponents of Common Core national standards earlier this month. His remarks are symptomatic of just how far elected officials within and outside Arizona have strayed from our Constitution, which doesn’t even contain the word “education.”

Supporters claim Common Core will provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students should know to be prepared for college and their future careers. On the contrary, many experts serving on Common Core review committees warn that academic rigor was compromised for the sake of political buy-in from the various political interest groups involved—including teachers unions.

Unsurprisingly, the curriculum is being used to advance a partisan political agenda, showcasing one-sided labor union, ObamaCare, and global warming materials, along with more graphic, adult-themed books under the auspices of promoting diversity and toleration. But the politicization doesn’t stop there.

Non-academic, personal information is being collected through federally funded Common Core testing consortia about students and their parents, including family income, parents’ political affiliations, their religion, and students’ disciplinary records—all without parental consent. That information, including Social Security numbers of students in at least one state, is being shared with third-party data collection firms, prompting a growing number of parents to opt their children out of Common Core.

They’re not alone. Among the 45 states that adopted Common Core, Indiana recently became the first one to reverse course and implement state standards instead. This decision earned a threatening letter from the U.S. Department of Education about withholding funds and revoking Indiana’s waiver from onerous federal No Child Left Behind Act mandates.

Common Core is publicized as a state-led, voluntary initiative, but in reality it’s an offer states can’t refuse if they want their share of billions of federal dollars for education programs.

So much for Common Core being “voluntary” or “state-led.” So much, too, for the notion that federal education aid, which historically has averaged at around just 10 percent of all education funding, is “free.”

It’s a sad state of affairs when Americans striving to rid their children’s schools of educational barbarism are vilified for wanting to end federal intrusion in education. Elected state officials like Superintendent Huppenthal should recall that for decades the feds have been effectively bribing them with additional cash (which actually comes from their own constituents’ pockets) and far-fetched promises, including these whoppers:

    By 1984 they will eliminate illiteracy (p. 35). That didn’t work.

    By 2000 high school graduation rates would reach 90 percent. Nope. Wrong again.

    By 2000 again American students were supposed to be global leaders in math and science. Well, not so much based on recent results.

    Finally, by 2014 all students will be proficient in reading and math. Not even close.

Over-promising and under-delivering seems to be the legacy of the federal government’s “leadership” in education. With virtually no exceptions, major programs of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), currently dubbed No Child Left Behind (NCLB), have not worked after decades of tinkering.

One Senator from Arizona certainly saw this coming. Nearly 60 years ago U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater opposed the National Defense Education Act of 1958, which included 12 federal mandates on the states—a regulatory pittance by 21st century standards. He rightly predicted that “federal aid to education invariably means federal control of education” (p. 76, emphasis original).

Children need to learn the basics, but there are better ways to accomplish that goal than embracing a national curriculum developed by Washington.

Parental choice programs educate students to high standards, without limiting the diverse schooling options needed to meet their unique, individual needs. Importantly, unlike accountability initiatives involving rigid federal mandates, all parental choice schools face immediate rewards for success or consequences for failure, since parents are empowered to enroll or transfer their children in schools as they see fit.

Ultimately, Common Core rests on the faulty premise that a single, centralized entity knows what’s best for all 55 million students nationwide. Raising the education bar starts with putting the real experts in charge: students’ parents.


WA elementary school teacher accused of `pay to potty' scheme that caused kids to wet pants

Schoolchildren in Washington state have said their third-grade teacher forced them to pay to use the bathroom, which caused at least two children to wet their pants.

The unidentified teacher at Mill Plain Elementary School in Vancouver allowed children to earn Monopoly play money through good behavior and performance, reported WRIC-TV.

The students could spend that play money on toys, treats, or restroom breaks.

Two parents complained last week that their children wet themselves because they spent their play money on treats and couldn't "afford" to use the restroom.

"My daughter finally told me, `We have to pay to use the bathroom,'" said parent Merchon Ortega. "Nobody should have to pay to use the bathroom."

Jasmine Alayadhi said her daughter spent her money on popcorn so she wouldn't feel left out while her friends ate snacks.

"So she tried to hold it," Alayadh said. "She said it hurt so bad, the pain was so bad, she goes, `I just had to let it go.'"

Officials with the Evergreen School District are investigating their claims, but they said teachers are given some discretion in overseeing their students.

"It's all part of how they manage the classroom, and so that was the process that was decided upon," said district spokeswoman Gail Spolar.

Students have designated bathroom breaks during the day, but teachers are permitted to monitor their bathroom use during class time.

School officials said students should not be denied restroom access.

An Oregon elementary school canceled a similar policy for its students in January after parents complained, although teachers at Cascades Elementary School in Lebanon are still permitted to withhold recess time from students who use the restroom outside scheduled breaks.


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