Monday, February 09, 2015

How Much Is That Psychology Degree Worth?

The Republican leadership in Congress still hasn’t held hearings on why college is so expensive, although I proposed the idea two weeks ago. Of course, it’s been a month since the GOP took control of Congress, and they also haven’t voided Obama’s unconstitutional executive amnesty, passed e-Verify, a fence bill or the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Act.

Democrats are on offense all the time, even when they’ve just had their legs cut off. They announce absurd agenda items and then indignantly demand to know why Republicans are refusing to deal with the free unicorn-rides proposal. Obama is a lame-duck president and, three months ago, his party was slaughtered in midterm elections. And yet, I gather that his State of the Union address consisted of a litany of insanely expensive, utterly pointless ideas.

And Republicans fall for it every time. They consider it a major victory to come back with a free-market approach to surrender.

In response to Obama’s “free” community college idea, Republicans should say: We’re not giving you anything, and, in fact, we’re demanding answers from the entire “higher ed” establishment. You’ll be surprised how liberating and fun it is to go on offense, Republicans.

The GOP needs to hold tobacco company-style hearings, hauling in the presidents of various universities and asking them to justify their multimillion-dollar salaries.

We want professors explaining, under penalty of perjury, exactly how much they make per hour for their rigorous schedules of two classes a week, summers off, and full-year “sabbaticals” every few terms.

Also, we’d like to know how driving the getaway car for a cop-killer constitutes a qualification to teach college.

College professors relentlessly hound the rest of society for its crimes – racism, sexism, “white privilege” – look what you’re doing to the environment! Why are we paying them, again? There’s no visible reason most of these people should be teaching at all. How about they explain their value to the taxpayers who subsidize their cushy lives?

Other than engineers, economists and quarterbacks, no one acquires any marketable knowledge at college. The sole purpose of a degree is to function as a substitute IQ test. If employers were allowed to give applicants 15-minute intelligence tests, they’d have the exact same information as knowing what college a person attended.

But they can’t do that, so families have to spend a quarter of a million dollars to give their kids the parchment equivalent of an IQ score. High school kids who get into good schools should present employers with their college acceptance letters and skip the going-to-college part.

Republicans need to force colleges to issue reports, just like drug companies, attesting to the average cost, and the average salary, for every degree. It will cost you $160,000 to receive a degree in Spanish literature and will take you 88 years to pay that back.

Trust Ann – liberals will go wild. That’s how you’ll know you’ve struck gold.

They will scream bloody murder, accuse Republicans of “McCarthyism,” say it’s too burdensome to collect this information and how can you put a dollar value on a college education?

They better be able to put a dollar value on a college degree! That’s how it’s being sold. Obama doesn’t say it’s important to go to college to learn to think analytically, read critically or be exposed to different ideas – none of which occurs at most colleges, anyway.

No, that’s not the pitch. The pitch is: You’re going to fail in this economy without a college degree!

If colleges really believe their product is worth anything, why don’t they guarantee their own student loans? Why should taxpayers be on the hook for everyone’s tuition?

According to the colleges, their graduates are going to earn all sorts of money! At least that’s what they say when they’re conning teenagers into taking out colossal student loans.

“It’s burdensome” is not an excuse accepted by the government in any other context. It doesn’t work for businesses being forced to come up with reams of information for the IRS, the EPA or OSHA. And the taxpayer isn’t on the hook for the deceptive promises of any other industry – except hucksters for home mortgages and student loans.

I would like to hear college presidents explain that what they do is totally different from any other company.

Democrats need to be exposed as hustlers for the most fraudulent, overpriced scam in the country. There’s no other industry that has politicians flacking for it, much less conniving to prevent consumers from getting truthful information about the merchandise.

Going after Big Education is all upside for the GOP. College professors and administrators already vote 98 percent for the Democrats. In fact, it’s a triple-play for Republicans: They would punish a liberal constituency, strike a blow against the principal vehicle of liberal indoctrination in America, and the middle class will love it.


Insane British teachers afraid of snow

When snow began falling across the south this week, thousands of children will have gleefully raced outside to play in the first flakes of winter.

But there was no such joy for the 340 infants at Stalham Academy in Norfolk as teachers raced them inside as soon as the white stuff began falling for 'safety' reasons.

To make matters worse teachers dropped all the blinds, stopping the excited eight and nine-year-olds from even catching a glimpse of it through the window.

A message posted on Stalham Academy's Facebook page said playgrounds were extremely icy on Monday and Tuesday and the children had been taken in at the start of the day for 'safety reasons'.

The ice had not cleared by break time on Monday and sleet and snow showers prevented outdoor play at lunchtime, said the school.

It comes after the school hit the headlines days before Christmas when the Rev Margaret McPhee told distraught kids at a church carol concert that Santa Claus wasn't real.

Furious parents have hit out at the killjoy staff, saying the decision was 'beyond belief'. Charlotte Marsters, 39, whose nine-year-old daughter attends the school, said: 'It was so dark when they shut the blinds that they had to put the lights on.

'The poor kids were stuck inside all day as they weren't even allowed to play in the snow - and there was only about 1cm for heaven's sake.'

She said that teachers 'marshalled' pupils, banning them from even bending to touch the snow.  She added: 'One boy was told off for just swiping a little bit off a wall with his glove.'

Shelly Betts, 43, said her eight-year-old daughter Bethany was ecstatic when it began snowing at the school on Monday this week.  Mrs Betts said: 'When she told me they'd shut the blinds I couldn't believe it - I was very upset.

'They're only little - and they only stay children for a short time. They could have turned the snow into a science lesson instead of banning them from seeing it.  'By the time they came out of school it was all gone - it's just beyond belief.'

The mum-of-six insisted: 'I don't want it to end up with my children only knowing about snow from Christmas cards.'

Julie Hollins, who has a son of eight at the school, said: 'Stopping them from even seeing the snow fall is a real slap in the face for little children.'

Valerie Moore, chief executive of the Rightforsuccess Academy Trust, to which the school belongs, did not respond to repeated request for comment.


Is mathematics Confucian?

The Chinese author below thinks so

Chinese Australians consistently outperform their peers in mathematics and according to QUT researcher Michael Mu this is not only because of pushy parents or motivated students.
Mr Mu's research has found in addition to a strong emphasis on mathematics, Chinese Australians' mathematical achievement is also passed down through generations.

Mr Mu, who is undertaking his PhD through the Faculty of Education, said Chinese cultural identity counted in mathematical success.

As part of his study, Mr Mu surveyed 230 young Chinese Australians relating their mathematical achievement to their level of association with their Chinese cultural dispositions.

"I found there is a trend showing Chinese Australians' mathematics learning is influenced, consciously or unconsciously, by the values and expectations that they get from their cultural identity," he said.

"It's not only about Chinese parents pushing their children at mathematics, or students putting in more effort, or the belief that Chinese students have a great interest in maths, it's much more deeply rooted in their cultural history."

Mr Mu said "habitus" or as it was more commonly understood as structures that generate, but not determine, certain cultural dispositions, was what pushed Chinese Australians to do well at maths - and it could be done consciously or unconsciously.  "The importance of mathematics is steeped in Chinese tradition and culture. It is part of Confucius ideas and beliefs," he said.

"Chinese traditions and beliefs play an important part in Chinese culture and they are passed down from generation to generation. "Despite some possible imperfect intergenerational reproduction, Confucian way of being, doing, and thinking continues over thousands of years.

"This perception becomes the underpinning mechanism that leads to Chinese Australians' putting in more effort in mathematics learning and therefore better mathematics achievement compared to their counterparts."

Mr Mu's study is published as "Does Habitus Count in Chinese Australians' Mathematics Achievement?"


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