Monday, May 22, 2017

Mizzou Feeling the Effects of Appeasement  

The University of Missouri is feeling the impact of its capitulation to the demands of the leftist social justice warriors. In the fall of 2015, Mizzou students started a protest spurred by Black Lives Matter thugs that disrupted the university and led to the eventual resignation of both the president and chancellor over rumors of racism. It proved to be just the beginning of many “social justice warrior” (SJW) wins on the campuses of America’s colleges and universities over the ensuing years.

Fast forward to the end of this school year to see the dramatic effect the Mizzou administration’s appeasement has had. Since the fall of 2015, student enrollment has plummeted by 35% and cost the university millions. The large enrollment decrease has negatively affected the local economy of Columbia, too, with the city council reporting that the off-campus housing vacancy rate has risen nearly 10%. The university itself has had to shutter seven residence halls.

The numbers of students graduating is down and the freshman class is the smallest in nearly 20 years. These lower numbers have impacted the school’s sporting events, with slumping game-day revenue. The Devils Lake Journal reported, “Attendance for football in 2016 was down almost 13,000 people per game from 2015, and the men’s basketball team filled, on average, only 9,930 of Mizzou Arena’s 15,000 seats.” You know things are bad when people don’t even show up to watch sports.

The lesson here is, don’t give in to the ridiculous demands of generation snowflake. Because doing so is a no-win proposition.


Dismantling the Marxist Madrassas

Changing academia has been much more difficult than changing the media. However, there is hope: President Donald Trump has asked Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. to head a White House task force on reforming the U.S. higher education system.

While the appointment has been known about since January, the selection took on more significance in view of Falwell's remarks when presenting Trump with an honorary Doctorate of Laws at the school's commencement ceremony on Saturday. Falwell said, "He deserves our respect and admiration for enduring relentless and often dishonest attacks from the media, the establishment on the left and the right, and from academia."

Academia is not only a bastion of anti-Trump sentiment, but it has become the most important base of operations, next to the media, for attacks on conservative Americans devoted to saving their country and its traditional religious values.

It is anticipated that Falwell's task force will recommend the increasing use of online courses in order to drive down the costs of higher education for students nationwide. This is a proven method to accomplish what we call "Defunding the Marxist Madrassas." In this way, the academic bastions of Marxist thought that inhibit real diversity in thinking, and even prevent conservatives from coming on campus, can be reduced in their influence and even dismantled.

Dr. Tina Trent, who writes about problems in academia, says that non-ideological and technologically-oriented students are increasingly being drawn to online learning opportunities that prepare them for the real world.

Most students would rather not end up like Otto Warmbier, the University of Virginia economics major, who was so uneducated and misguided that he went on a "Young Pioneers" tour of North Korea and is now a captive of the regime. He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for stealing a communist banner to bring home.

As the largest Christian university in the world, Liberty has been offering "distance" or online education since 1985. Online education is a proven way to avoid the effects (and costs) of brick and mortar universities which operate as Marxist Madrassas for America's young people and brainwash them in totalitarian and bizarre sexual ideologies. So-called distance learning promises marketable skills and jobs in the real economy without supervision from expensive "diversity" officers and exposure to the latest fad in sexual politics.

According to its website, Liberty offers more than 250 programs of study and the lowest tuition rates among top online universities.

The university has a "Helms School of Government," named after the former conservative Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC), which offers a conservative Christian approach to world problems and international affairs. One course examines communist disinformation operations.

With a residential campus in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University also has 65,000 students online. That gives it the second largest enrollment in online education courses of any non-profit university in the world.

The Chronicle of Higher Education, a leading source of news for academia, was forced to admit in a story that Liberty could be the model for the future of higher education.

Trump's commencement address at Liberty was greeted with strong applause, as some students wore "Make America Great Again" caps. "Demand the best from yourself and be totally unafraid to challenge entrenched interests and failed power structures," Trump told the graduates. He then asked, "Does that sound familiar by the way?"

Liberty has successfully challenged the "failed power structures" known as politically correct colleges and universities.

Since Jerry Falwell, Jr. became president of the university, "enrollment has increased from 9,600 to more than 15,000 residential students, and from 27,000 to over 94,000 online students," his bio notes. It adds that Liberty's net assets have "increased from approximately $100 million in 2007 to over $1.8 billion in 2016 as a result of increasing support from donors, responsible fiscal management, and unprecedented enrollment growth."

By contrast, Burlington College, once headed by the wife of Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), has gone bankrupt. And the national news media are finally covering the role played by Jane Sanders in the college's demise.

Accuracy in Media covered the financial questions about her involvement in the college in several stories last year, during the presidential campaign, when Senator Sanders was posturing as a friend of college students with big debts, no jobs and useless degrees. Eventually, Burlington College went out of business, thanks to debt incurred under Jane Sanders' leadership.

Nevertheless, Senator Sanders and his wife recently received the "Rage for Justice" awards at a special ceremony. He and his wife Jane were honored as "Public Servants of the Year."

You may recall that after putting the college in a precarious financial situation, Jane Sanders was given a "golden parachute" worth $200,000. The college eventually went bankrupt and she is reportedly being investigated for possible bank fraud in connection with falsified loan documents that outlined a college expansion plan that was never fulfilled.

One of the useless degrees offered by Burlington College was a degree in "media activism," symbolized by a clenched fist. The college said, "The degree is conceived explicitly for those who want to become media activists. Through technical training rooted in history and theory, students are encouraged to apply media making technique, craft, and art to issues of advocacy, activism and social change."

It would appear the country has an overabundance of such media activists.

Now, it seems, the "social change" may involve Sanders' wife, depending on whether federal charges are lodged against her.

Yet, Senator Sanders continues as if nothing is happening. Calling the controversy a Republican plot, he was the honored keynote speaker at the recent David W. Curtis Leadership Awards ceremony sponsored by the Vermont Democratic Party. The "Special Guest" was New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, known as "Red Bill" for his pro-communist views.

De Blasio and his wife, a former lesbian, went to Cuba on their honeymoon; Sanders and his wife went to the old Soviet Union.

"Sen. Sanders and Jane Sanders ignored a reporter's questions about Burlington College at last week's Curtis Leadership Awards ceremony hosted by the Vermont Democratic Party," reported the Vermont-based VTDigger publication. It added, "Repeated requests to Jane Sanders for an interview regarding Burlington College have been ignored for more than a year and a half..."


Will School Choice Be Mired in the Swamp?

An early report on Trump's education budget has the leftist education-media complex in a tizzy about "disastrous cuts."

It’s not official until next week, but The Washington Post revealed that Donald Trump’s first education budget contains, as they put it, “Deep cuts to public school programs in pursuit of school choice.” As if colluding with Russia weren’t bad enough, Trump wants your kids' education to suffer, and the intrepid reporters at the tabloid Post are on the case.

Considering the Post’s new transparently anti-Trump slogan is “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” it’s amazing how little light they shed on the issue between this story and a companion piece on higher education finance.

One obvious point the Post glosses over is the target audience they’re seeking to reach — not the reader, but the members of Congress and their staffers who put together the federal budget. For one thing, this budgetary trick is not a zero-sum game of strictly cutting dollars from other areas and giving them to school choice programs. In fact, the increased spending on the pale pastel version of school choice predominantly featured in the Trump education budget, where students are allowed to choose only from public schools, is just $1 billion, less than 10% of the overall $10.6 billion group of cuts. A remaining $418 million is split between a $168 million increase for charter schools and $250 million for “a new private school choice program,” according to the Trump education budget blueprint. Certainly this is a start, but in the terms of a projected Department of Education budget of $59 billion, the amount of money spent on non-public schools is a drop in the bucket.

As was predicted to be the case when Betsy DeVos was tapped for the job of secretary of education, the perspective of an outsider would mean that a number of formerly sacred cows would become eligible for the chopping block. Dismantling what we’ve variously described as an “utterly corrupt educational status quo” or a “government behemoth” wasn’t going to be done with the seal of approval of the teachers unions (National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers) or Department of Education bureaucracy, but President Trump and Secretary DeVos were dead set on making it happen anyway. And to the Left, even with a reformer running the show, just having a federal Department of Education is better than the long-cherished cherished conservative dream of eliminating it entirely, as Rep. Thomas Massie has proposed.

Yet the Swamp has a last line of defense, as pointed out earlier. It’s a sure bet that those teachers will be spending a little bit of their summer vacation burning up the phone lines and filling up the email boxes of their congressional representatives with demands to negate these “draconian” cuts — which overall amount to about 13.6% of the department’s budget. Thus it’s probable that most of the money will be restored as Congress negotiates over the summer. Most likely, the budget will end up in the range of about $55-57 billion, which is a slight reduction in spending. Those cuts will likely come from eliminating the school choice money and a few other items, in order to allow Congress to claim victory over deficit spending without having to make the toughest choices.

At an education technology conference in Salt Lake City earlier this month, DeVos remarked, “Washington has been in the driver’s seat [of American education] for over 50 years with very little to show for its efforts.” Naturally, that comes from the perspective of an outsider. However, if you’ve managed to carve out a nice little living for yourself based on the largesse of a cushy government job, from union dues coerced from the rank-and-file, or as a lobbyist who pines for even more educational decision-making inside the Beltway, you probably have no desire to see a sweet gig go by the wayside. When it comes to education, those are the swamp critters to watch out for, and budget time is when they’re most dangerous.


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