Thursday, September 03, 2015

This University Has A Course On 9/11 Sympathizing With Terrorists

A University of North Carolina English course on the 9/11 attacks comes with a lengthy reading list of works that critics say portray Americans as the bad guys and radical Islamists as sympathetic, but some of the professor's former students warn those taking the class not to disagree with the professor.

According to a posting by a UNC student on higher education blog The College Fix, “Literature of 9/11” offers a syllabus of reading assignments that include poems, memoirs and graphic novels widely perceived as presenting terrorists in a sympathetic light and the U.S. as an imperialist nation. The course is taught by associate professor Neel Ahuja, and according to a review of his course syllabus, most of the reading focuses on justification. Required reading includes “Poems from Guantanamo: Detainees Speak,” a collection of poems written by terror detainees; “Reluctant Fundamentalist,” a work of fiction in which the protagonist is a successful Pakistani in the U.S. who eventually comes to believe America to be evil; and "Sirens of Baghdad," the final installment in a trilogy of novels focusing on Islamic fundamentalism.

“[The book] brings the reader inside the mind of an unnamed terrorist-to-be, an Iraqi Bedouin, radicalized by witnessing the death of innocents and the humiliation of the civilian population by the American forces in the Second Gulf War,” reads a review from Publisher’s Weekly. “Without apologizing for the carnage caused by either side in the conflict, the author [Yasmina Khadra] , a former officer in the Algerian army, manages to make the thoughts of a suicide bomber accessible to a Western readership, even as the scope of the terrorist's intended target, meant to dwarf 9/11 in its impact, and the method's plausibility will send a shiver down the spine of most readers.”

Ahuja did not respond to requests for comment but university officials defended the course.


Why Home Schooling?

By Walter E. Williams

Many public primary and secondary schools are dangerous places. The Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics show that in 2012, there were about 749,200 violent assaults on students.

In the 2011-12 academic year, there were a record 209,800 primary- and secondary-school teachers who reported being physically attacked by a student. Nationally, an average of 1,175 teachers and staff were physically attacked, including being knocked out, each day of that school year. In Baltimore, each school day in 2010, an average of four teachers and staff were assaulted. Each year, roughly 10 percent of primary- and secondary-school teachers are threatened with bodily harm.

Many public schools not only are dangerous but produce poor educational results. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress for 2013, sometimes called the Nation's Report Card (, only 33 percent of white 12th-graders tested proficient in math, and 47 percent tested proficient in reading. For black 12th-graders, it was a true tragedy, with only 7 percent testing proficient in math and 16 percent in reading. These grossly disappointing educational results exist despite massive increases in public education spending.

Many parents want a better education and safer schools for their children. The best way to deliver on that desire is to offer parents alternatives to poorly performing and unsafe public schools. Expansion of charter schools is one way to provide choice. The problem is that charter school waiting lists number in the tens of thousands. Another way is giving educational vouchers or tuition tax credits for better-performing and safer schools. But the education establishment fights tooth and nail against any form of school choice.

Another viable alternative increasingly chosen is home schooling. In 1970, there were only 10,000 home-schooled children. In 2012, according to recently released data from the National Center for Education Statistics, there were about 1.77 million children who were being home-schooled ( Parents give a number of reasons for home schooling. Many want a safer environment for their children — away from violence, alcohol and other drugs, psychological abuse, and improper and unhealthy sexual indoctrination found in public schools. Some want to teach and impart a particular set of values and beliefs to their children.

In terms of academic achievement, home-schoolers beat out their public school counterparts. In reading, language, math, science and social studies, the average home-schooler scores somewhere near the 80th percentile. The average public school student taking these standardized tests scores at the 50th percentile in each subject area. Home-schoolers also tend to score higher than their public school counterparts on college admittance tests, such as the ACT and SAT.

Home schooling is not without its critics. Some of it is ludicrous, as shown in an excellent article in City Journal titled "Homeschooling in the City," by Matthew Hennessey. Stanford University political scientist Rob Reich has called for tighter regulation of home schooling to ensure that "children are exposed to and engaged with ideas, values, and beliefs that are different from those of the parents." My question to Reich is: Whose ideas and values should children be exposed to? Georgetown University law professor Robin L. West worries that home-schooled children grow up to become right-wing political "soldiers" eager to "undermine, limit, or destroy state functions." West would like to see home schooling more highly regulated and home-schoolers subjected to mandatory testing and periodic home visits in order "to give the state a window into the quality of home life, and a way to monitor signs of abuse."

Home-schoolers have a defense against this sort of meddling. The Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children. The National Home Education Research Institute provides educational resources and research for home-schooling parents. Its founder, Dr. Brian D. Ray, recently published "African American Homeschool Parents' Motivations for Homeschooling and Their Black Children's Academic Achievement." His findings are proof that home schooling is effective for not only white youngsters but black youngsters, as well.


School places desperation revealed: Millions of British parents are relocating their families and even changing job to secure their child a better education

They are desperate to keep their kids out of dangerous "black" schools

Millions of parents have moved house and even changed jobs to be within their desired school catchment area, research shows.  One in four parents has relocated their family so their children qualify for a place at a good school.

But a survey found almost half of all families who move to be within a catchment area will leave as soon as they have secured places for all of their children.  Less than a quarter said they planned to live in the area they had moved to for their children long-term.

A survey of 4,500 parents found that, of those who have relocated, many had been forced to make major sacrifices. One in three have been forced to change jobs, while the same number had left behind family or close friends.

One in four had to downsize in order to secure a house in the right catchment area, while the same proportion paid more for their new property than they could comfortably afford.

A third of those who moved admitted they were now in an area they did not even like.

The report, by Santander Mortgages, found parents must typically pay a fifth more than the regional average for a home near a top school, which equates to £32,000 more.

Astonishingly, the figures suggested many parents can afford to buy a second home in a bid to secure a spot at their desired school.

Fuelling suggestions that many parents are cheating the system, four in 10 of those who have moved to be in the right catchment area apparently bought a second home to do so.

A fifth of people who relocated said they had rented a property to get their child into their desired school.

Many councils have tried to clamp down on families pretending to have a home near the best schools while in fact still living outside the catchment area.

Some local authorities require evidence such as utility bills to prove the family is genuinely living full-time in the house.

Miguel Sard, of Santander UK said: ‘With competition for school places fiercer than ever, parents are making significant financial and lifestyle sacrifices to be within the catchment area of desirable schools.

‘All buyers will have a wish list of what they want their new home to have and being within a certain school catchment is increasingly common amongst young families – but can often come at a cost.

‘Many of these sought-after areas command significant premiums, so it’s important that parents don’t stretch themselves beyond their means if they are looking to move.’

Regionally, the North East and London has the highest proportion of parents moving to secure an address within a specific catchment area, with almost half saying they have done so. This compared to one in 10 in Wales.

Younger parents are the most likely to purchase or rent a new property to be within a certain catchment area, with half of under-35s doing so, compared to one in five aged between 35 and 54.


No comments: