Monday, January 02, 2017

The Saga of the Nutty Professor and Drexel University

On Christmas day, Drexel University Professor George Ciccariello-Maher was caught with a twitchy tweet finger by American Thinker Editor Thomas Lifson, who published the professor’s Christmas message:

All I Want for Christmas Is White Genocide  -- George Ciccariello (@clccmaher) December 25, 2016

Lifson had the presence of mind to capture an actual screen shot of Ciccariello’s tweet before it was removed:

But wait -- there’s more. On Monday, Mr. Ciccariello-Maher walked back his comment, indicating it was merely satirical, per an article by Reuters: "To clarify: when the whites were massacred during the Haitian revolution, that was a good thing indeed."

Say what? Perhaps a little background on the Drexel professor will elucidate the matter. Here is some contextual history on Mr. Ciccariello-Maher along with an official Drexel response from Alex Pfeiffer of The Daily Caller:

Ciccariello-Maher, who describes himself as a communist, joined Drexel University in 2010. Drexel University said in a statement Sunday afternoon: “While the University recognizes the right of its faculty to freely express their thoughts and opinions in public debate, Professor Ciccariello-Maher’s comments are utterly reprehensible, deeply disturbing, and do not in any way reflect the values of the University.”

“The University is taking this situation very seriously. We contacted Ciccariello-Maher today to arrange a meeting to discuss this matter in detail,” the statement said. Ciccariello-Maher did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ciccariello-Maher also reportedly tweeted in September 2016 a purported exchange between him and his son: “Son: If I was a slave, I’d bake a cake & put a potion in it & the white people would steal it. Me: What would the potion do? Him: Kill them,” Ciccariello-Maher wrote.

One would hope that the university is taking the professor’s comments seriously. Still, this disturbing saga persists even today. Now backed into a corner, Ciccariello-Maher has apparently decided the best defense is a good offense. Again, from the Reuter’s report:

“Ciccariello-Maher said in an email on Monday that the tweets were only aimed at poking fun at white supremacists and that he and Drexel had become targets of a smear campaign.

He said that the concept of ‘white genocide’ was used by white nationalists to denounce everything from interracial relationships to policies aimed at promoting multiple cultures.

"It is a figment of the racist imagination, it should be mocked, and I'm glad to have mocked it," Ciccariello-Maher wrote. Access to his Twitter account had been restricted on Monday.

He has drawn online support, with a petition backing him, generating almost 3,000 signatures by Monday.

"Let Drexel know - in the midst of the deafening, organized troll-storm - that racist trolls deserve no platform in dictating academic discourse, let alone the off-duty tweets of academics," the petition said.

You can’t make this stuff up, folks. When all else fails, the left always finds a way out by name-calling. Those who disagree with the professor’s comments are reduced to “racist trolls.” They have no place “dictating academic discourse,” as if promoting white genocide (even in satire) is genuine academic dialogue.

So, that brings us to where we are today and the real issue:  The ideological overhaul of our nation’s colleges and universities by academic Marxists. Parents of students shelling out a little more than $65K a year for tuition and living expenses to attend this fine institution may want to take a second look at exactly who is teaching what to their child.

In what has become a virtual political invasion of extreme leftist thought, conservative minded parents must not capitulate, must not surrender to this hostile occupation of college campuses like Drexel.

But make no mistake, Drexel is but one illustration in a paragon of academic hostility with respect to conservative beliefs found on college campuses. For more on that, read Scott Greer’s skillful exposition of the issue in the Daily Caller.

So, the question remains: Is this leftist academic discourse influencing students attending college? I’m not certain of the aggregate numbers, but a personal mini-survey might give us some clues.

A friend of mine recently mentioned that her conservative-minded niece who went away to college came home a raging liberal. Two staunchly conservative parents lamented over dinner that both their children who went away to Brown University came back home espousing leftist doctrine. And another mother practically sobbed in her salad that her conservative son is no longer conservative after four years at an institution of “higher learning.”

Admittedly, a small sample, but with professors like Mr. Ciccariello-Maher, is it any wonder?

Sad to say, but parents who send Billy off to college are being conned. Case in point, here’s what’s written on Drexel’s own web page:

“Mr. Drexel envisioned an institution of higher learning uniquely suited to the needs of a rapidly growing industrial society and of the young men and women seeking their place in it — core values that continue to guide the University in its modern era.”

Is it even imaginable that Mr. Drexel’s core values constituted white genocide – even satirical genocide—which, by the way, isn’t exactly funny. To paraphrase the words of the president-elect, what the Hell is going on here? 


New WILL Study Shows $500 Million Economic Benefit of Milwaukee Parental Choice Program

The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program has a nearly $500 million realized economic impact on the state, city, and students, according to a newly released study from the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty. The first-of-its-kind study in Milwaukee used data from other academic studies showing higher graduation rates and lower criminality rates associated with the MPCP and ran economic modeling on that data to arrive at their conclusion.

Says WILL’s Education Policy Director, Will Flanders, Ph.D., author of the study, “The debate over school choice is almost always focused on the so-called costs.  What we want to show is the other side of the ledger, the economic benefits of the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program, and how higher graduation rates and lower criminality is associated with earning a better job and being less reliant on government programs and welfare.”

The study is also co-authored by Corey DeAngelis, a doctoral fellow at the University of Arkansas.

Among the conclusions of the study:

    By 2035, because of higher high school graduation rates, students who use a voucher in the MPCP will generate $473 million economic benefits to Wisconsin more than similar students at MPS. Graduating from high school is associated with being more likely to earn a higher income throughout life – which results in more tax revenue, less likely to need expensive, government-funded medical care, and a lower likelihood of being reliant on welfare.

    By 2035, in total, because of less crime committed, students who use a voucher in the MPCP will generate $26 million more economic benefit than similar students at MPS. By 2035, because of fewer felonies, students who use a voucher in the MPCP will generate a $24 million benefit and because of fewer misdemeanors, students who use a voucher in the MPCP will generate $1.7 million more economic benefit to Wisconsin. Less crime committed is associated with fewer police officers hired, less crime victims and the costs associated with crime victimization, and less resources spent on the criminal justice system such as incarceration.

    High-performing schools also create a substantial economic benefit to Milwaukee. In the next 20 years, children at St. Marcus Lutheran Schools will generate an aggregate benefit of about $7 million due to the school’s low incarceration rate and $64 million due to their high graduation rate. The use of the Lee facilities would have doubled that benefit. Other high quality schools —both in and out of the MPCP — have significant economic benefits as well.

“These are exciting numbers to see,” remarked WILL president and general counsel, Rick Esenberg. “It is further evidence that policymakers in Madison, if they want to improve education in Milwaukee, should focus on expanding the number of seats at high-performing schools and children in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program.”


UK: Schools crisis as hundreds of heads quit

Britain is facing a crisis in recruiting head teachers, with hundreds complaining of high pressure and insufficient pay as they quit and retire early.

One in ten schools is losing its head teacher each year, research by The Times reveals. Schools have been left without a head for up to three years, while one school employed six heads in five years and another had to advertise a vacant post seven times before finding a suitable candidate.

Some councils have seen more head teachers leaving in the past five years than the number of schools in the area.

Schools are blighted by a revolving door of head teachers as many of them retire or take early retirement


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