Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Teacher Stages Mock Assassination of Trump

A Texas high school art teacher has been placed on administrative leave after video surfaced showing her “shooting” President Donald Trump inside a classroom while screaming, “Die!” The Secret Service field office in Irving tells me it is aware of the incident but declined further comment. The teacher, at W.H. Adamson High School in Dallas, posted the video to her Instagram account along with the following message: “Watching the #inauguration in my classroom like…#no #stop #denial #squirtgun #hypocrisy #powerless #saveusall #teachthembetter #atleastitsfriday.”

Voices can be heard in the background, but the school district would not say if students witnessed the teacher’s disturbing demonstration. The Inauguration Day video has since been removed, but several prominent conservative websites managed to save a copy. Video of the inauguration was being broadcast inside the classroom on a whiteboard. The video shows the teacher lunging at President Trump and firing the squirt gun numerous times while shouting, “Die!” It is disturbing, to say the least.

Dallas Independent School District seems to be taking the matter quite seriously. “Today, we were made aware of a social media posting being circulated involving a teacher at W. H. Adamson High School,” a district spokesperson told me. “The teacher has been placed on administrative leave and the district has opened an investigation. This is a personnel matter and as such we cannot comment.” I wonder which offense the school district finds worst: a faux assassination or a teacher using a squirt gun on school property.

Since the 2016 presidential election, liberal educators across the fruited plain have gone slap crazy. Some teachers have even turned their classrooms into breeding grounds for anti-Trump propaganda, going so far as to portray the commander in chief as a modern-day Adolf Hitler. And I lost count of the number of educators who refused to broadcast the inauguration ceremony over fears that some fragile snowflake might take offense.

But what happened in Dallas is yet another example of how our public schools have been turned into social engineering petri dishes festering with rancorous rhetoric and hate. What kind of a person would stage a faux assassination attempt in, of all places, Dallas? It’s simply repulsive. Let’s hope Dallas ISD can muster the moral courage to take swift action to rebuke this teacher and send a message that this kind of hate has no place in a public school classroom.


UK: Introducing more selection in schools is not only the smart thing to do – it's what parents demand

By MARY CURNOCK COOK, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF UCAS. (The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK-based organisation whose main role is to operate the application process for British universities)

Customer Logic is one of our values at UCAS.  I know this isn’t going to make me popular, but if you apply customer logic to the grammar school debate, it can start to sound more, well, logical.

Customer logic is about seeing things through the eyes of the customer.  In this case, parents of bright kids and the bright kids themselves.  Bringing up my three children in East Acton in the 90s and early 2000s, I was fortunate to be able to buy them an education that I knew would allow them to flourish to the best of their abilities.  Although I often thought about creating an uprising of other middle-class parents to take our children out of fee-paying schools en masse to enter them into state schools, it never got beyond fantasy.  The truth was, we all wanted our children to be educated in schools that would stretch them, follow a traditional academic curriculum, and where behavioural norms are respected.


Outrage after Australian high school students were asked to analyse EMOJIS in national exams instead of classic literature

Concerns have been raised over new NAPLAN online exams asking high school students to examine SMS chat using emojis instead of classic literature.

The Australian Curriculum and Assessment Authority this week posted new public demonstration 'mini-tests' as they prepare students to transition to online testing.

But one of the questions, which asks Year 9 students to analyse a text message conversation about a drama teacher's facial hair, has been slammed by the education industry.
A sample of new NAPLAN online exams asking high school students to examine SMS chat using emojis

A sample of new NAPLAN online exams asking high school students to examine SMS chat using emojis

NAPLAN is an annual test undertaken each year by students in years 3, 5, 7 and 9, covering basic skills in reading, writing, spelling, grammar and numeracy.

The reading test for 14 and 15-year-old students asks the students whether the word 'mo' refers to Mr Grigg's moustache in an image of the screenshot conversation containing emojis - the smiley faces used in electronic messages.

An ACAA spokeswoman was defiant against the controversy, saying the tests show a range of questions 'from traditional to contemporary.'

They said the exam analyses 'various types of other media texts, such as newspapers and film.'

'Test items need to be as relevant and engaging for students as possible. As a result, test developers include a range of passage types, from text messages to more traditional ‘literature-type’ passages.

'The SMS question is a very simple item, however, based on data to date we expect that it would challenge about 10% of Year 9 students.” 

However the exam has been slammed by education industry figures who believe it has over simplified the curriculum.

Jennifer Buckingham, the Centre for Independent studies, told Daily Mail Australia the question was a troubling reflection of current literacy levels. ‘It certainly represents a very basic level of comprehension. It would be on the lower end of the range, she said.

She said it would only have been included in the demonstration if students in the vetting process had answered incorrectly.

‘It’s a reflection of current literacy levels, and it is troubling this is the standard across the board.’


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