Friday, May 09, 2014

Moral Bankruptcy

Thomas Sowell

If you want to get some idea of the moral bankruptcy of our educational system, read an article in the May 4th issue of the New York Times Magazine titled, "The Tale of Two Schools."

The article is not about moral bankruptcy. But it is itself an example of the moral bankruptcy behind the many failures of American education today.

Someone had the bright idea of pairing public high school kids from a low-income neighborhood in the Bronx with kids from a private high school that charges $43,000 a year.

When the low-income youngsters visited the posh private school, "they were just overwhelmed" by it, according to the New York Times. "One kid ran crying off campus." Apparently others felt "so disheartened about their own circumstances."

What earthly good did that do for these young people? Thank heaven no one was calloused enough to take me on a tour of a posh private school when I was growing up in Harlem.

No doubt those adults who believe in envy and resentment get their jollies from doing things like this -- and from feeling that they are creating future envy and resentment voters to forward the ideological agenda of the big government left.

But at the expense of kids?

There was a time when common sense and common decency counted for something. Educators felt a responsibility to equip students with solid skills that could take them anywhere they wanted to go in later life -- enable them to become doctors, engineers or whatever they wanted to be.

Too many of today's "educators" see students as a captive audience for them to manipulate and propagandize.

These young people do not yet have enough experience to know that posh surroundings are neither necessary nor sufficient for a good education. Is anyone foolish enough to think that making poor kids feel disheartened is doing them a favor?

This school visit was not just an isolated event. It was part of a whole program of pairing individual youngsters from a poverty-stricken neighborhood with youngsters from families that can pay 43 grand a year for their schooling.

What do these kids do? They tell each other stories based on their young lives' unripened judgment. They go to a big park in the Bronx together and take part in a garden project there. They talk about issues like gun violence and race relations.

They have a whole lifetime ahead of them to talk about such issues. But poor kids, especially, have just one time, during their school years, to equip their minds with math, science and other solid skills that will give them a shot at a better life.

To squander their time on rap sessions and navel-gazing is unconscionable.

This is just one of many programs dreamed up by "educators" who seem determined to do anything except educate. They see school children as guinea pigs for their pet notions.

The New York Times is doing these youngsters no favor by publishing page after page of their photographs and snippets of things they said. More than two centuries ago, Edmund Burke lamented "everything which takes a man from his house and sets him on a stage."

Setting adolescents on a stage is even more ill-advised, at a time of life when they do not yet have the experience to see what an inconsequential distraction such activities and such publicity are.

At a time when American youngsters are consistently outperformed on international tests by youngsters in other countries, do we have the luxury of spending our children's time on things that will do absolutely nothing for them in the years ahead? Are children just playthings for adults?

Maybe the affluent kids can afford to waste their time this way, because they will be taken care of, one way or another, in later life.

But to squander the time of poor kids, for whom education is often their only hope of escaping poverty, is truly an irresponsible self-indulgence by adults who should know better, and it is one more sign of the moral bankruptcy of too many people in our schools.


Hello Stranger ... Want To Have Sex?

Mike Adams

Controversy has once again hit the campus of UNC-Wilmington. This time it's not my fault. The controversy is actually the fault of a student. His crime is simple: He decided to behave like a feminist behaves every day on campuses all across America. Unfortunately for him, he chose to do so without the proper genitalia and without the approval of the UNCW Women's Resource Center.

I was introduced to the controversy shortly after a student of mine finished taking her final exam of the semester. After she had left my 2 pm exam, she came into my 3:30 class and, as discreetly as possible, told me that a male student had just walked up to her and asked if she wanted to have sex with him. It took me a few minutes to figure out that she wasn't joking. So I asked her to give me more information as we walked out into the hall to look for the offending student.

Apparently, the young man had been working his way through the building asking every female student he saw if she would like to have sex with him. Some just walked away, but some wanted an explanation for the wildly inappropriate request. When pressed, he simply told them he hadn't had sex all semester and didn't want to go home for the summer until he had. One woman reacted a little more strongly to his indecent proposal. She started to cry and went upstairs looking for help from someone in the psychology department. That's when things got interesting.

Fortunately, the visibly shaken student found a concerned psychology professor who went downstairs with her, found the male student, and told him to knock it off. The propositioning student became incensed and told the professor he needed to get over his hang-ups about sex. The student's argument was pretty simple: Asking someone to have sex is no different than asking them to engage in any other recreational activity such as playing basketball.

Of course, that argument was rejected and the UNCW police were called in to apprehend the student. Fortunately, the psychology building is in walking distance from Dunkin' Donuts so the police made the trek in less than an hour. Upon arrival, they scoured the building in search of their suspect.

But what crime did the desperately horny student commit? Did he sexually harass these women in a traditional sense? No, this was a case of creating a hostile environment in the workplace. Had he done this in a bar, rather than on campus, there would be no controversy. In other words, the venue made a difference.

Of course, there is another important variable to consider. If he were a female student, his conduct would have been seen in a very different light. In order to assess the possible role that gender played in the incident, please consider the following:

-Every year when they put on The Vagina Monologues, UNCW feminists send out an email that begins with the line "Greetings vagina lovers." And they use the university email system to send this to everyone. Feminists at another UNC Women's Center advertised The Vagina Monologues by purchasing a six foot vagina costume. They later took turns walking around campus dressed as a giant sex organ.

-Feminists at the UNCW Women's Center once advertised The Vagina Monologues with a large sign saying "p***ies unite." It was posted outside a campus diner where faculty and staff often took their children to eat. Note that those responsible for making the profane sign were professors, not students.

-Feminists at the UNCW Women's Center sold "p***y pops" made out of candy and shaped to resemble female genitalia. Some feminist professors walked around the lobby of Kenan Auditorium licking the candy-coated genitals in front of students.

-Feminists at the UNCW Women's Center have set up tables showing people how to put condoms on cucumbers. But this isn't nearly as bad as the feminist students at UNC-CH who actually built a vibrator museum and erected it (cough) in the middle of campus.

-Feminists at the UNCW Women's Center posted pictures of nude women- some of them under-aged - in the lobby of Randall Library as part of an "art" exhibit.

-Feminists at the UNCW Women's Center sold "I had an abortion" tee shirts on campus so students could let strangers know they had killed their own children and were proud of it.

All of these incidents are a reflection of a consistent philosophy promoted by feminists here at UNCW. That philosophy is made up of two core principles: 1) Women have a right to act as vulgar as they want in public because the rules of ordinary decency and civility don't apply to them. 2) The key to personal fulfillment is to have sex with as many people as possible and to view any restrictions on sexual liberty as forms of patriarchal oppression.

So what was the crime of the male student who was publicly asking for casual sex with female students who were total strangers? His crime was simply that he accepted feminist arguments and behaved in a manner that is consistent with feminist philosophy. But he did so without the proper genitalia.

Some who were near the propositioning male student said they overheard him saying he had a premonition he was going get to a "yes" from one of his targets. This talk of "premonitions" caused some to speculate that he was mentally unstable.

However, if accused of a specific crime, the offending student should not plead insanity. His chances of acquittal would be better if he had a sex change.


Alabama teen suspended after opting out of standardized test

An Alabama teen says she was suspended from school after she refused to take a local assessment test, contrary to an earlier report from WAAY-TV that the test was aligned with the state's Common Core curriculum.

Alyssa McKinney, an eighth-grade student at Whitesburg Middle School in Huntsville, Ala., told the station she was given two in-school suspensions after telling school officials that she didn’t want to take any more standardized tests and opted out, believing she that was an option.

WAAY had reported earlier Tuesday that McKinney was suspended for opting out of a test related to Alabama's Common core program, which allows students that option.

A Department of Education spokeswoman told the station parents can choose not to have their child take part in state standardized testing  if they put their refusal in writing and give it to their school.


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