Thursday, March 08, 2018

Florida public school teacher, 25, is 'removed from the classroom' after it emerged she hosted a white nationalist podcast where she boasted about spreading her political views to children

One hopes that extreme Leftsts are similarly sanctioned

Florida middle school teacher Dayanna Volitich has been 'removed from the classroom' after being named Saturday as a white nationalist podcaster. She tweeted and hosted the show 'Unapologetic' under the name Tiana Dalichov

Volitich, 25, is a teacher at Crystal River Middle School in Florida. The Citrus County School District, which includes Crystal River, issued a statement that Volitich is now under investigation by human resources

On Twitter, 'Tiana' said institutional and systemic racism were 'bulls***' concepts

The account also makes reference to the 'JQ', which stands for 'Jewish Question'  This is an anti-Semitic concept purporting to look at how to deal with the civil, legal, national and political status of Jews as a minority within society

On her podcast, 'Tiana' said a Swedish child and Nigerian child would not learn in the same way, and that she was 'underhanded' with spreading her views

In her most recent episode, the 'Tiana' character discusses her white nationalist views and how she was careful about spreading them among the children she was teaching.

On social media, 'Tiani' tweeted that institutional racism and white privilege were 'bull****' concepts. 

The School District said in its statement that it was 'made aware of a concerning podcast by a Huffington Post reporter' on Friday, March 2.

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Though Tiana deleted all of her social media accounts, her podcast is still live on iTunes     +9
Though Tiana deleted all of her social media accounts, her podcast is still live on iTunes

'The Human Resources department was notified and an investigation was initiated immediately,' the statement continued.

'The teacher has been removed from the classroom and the investigation is ongoing. Pursuant to Florida Statute an open investigation and materials related to it are exempt from public record and cannot be discussed until the investigation is complete.'

The 'Tiana' Twitter account has supported tweets about white supremacists including KKK figurehead David Duke, and is gushing in her praise of authors who others have been deemed anti-Semitic.

Volitich was linked to the podcast this week by The Huffington Post which published her tweets and social media photographs on Saturday before she deleted her Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Pictures which came from those accounts match her profile on the Crystal River Middle School Website.

The last 'Unapologetic' podcast featured guest subject Lana Lokteff, the host of Red Ice TV, a white nationalist internet YouTube channel based in Sweden.

In the podcast, 'Tiani' says she is 'getting more underhanded' in how she espouses her views to the children she teaches.

Regarding white supremacists becoming teachers in public schools, a guest said on the 'Unapologetic' show:

'They don't have to be vocal about their views, but get in there. Be more covert and just start taking over those places.'

To that, 'Tiana' replied: 'Right, I’m absolutely one of them.'

On social media, 'Tiana' had also referred to the 'JQ', a casual abbreviation for 'the Jewish Question' which refers to treatment of Jews in the 19th and 20th Century.

It's an anti-Semitic concept, used to refer to the 'issue' of Jewish people in society.

'Tiana' admitted during the podcast that one parent emailed the principal of the school where she worked, which was not named, to express concern about her political views.

'She emailed the principal over my head and basically told her: "I'm worried that your teacher is injecting her political bias into her teaching,"' the voice said.

'She came to me and said, "I'm not worried, should I be worried?". I was like "no" and she believed me and she backed off.

'I get it. If it were the other way around with leftists, I would be paranoid.' 

Lokteff suggested they should start a private network of right-wing schools where they could teach children about Slavic traditions and Pagan and Christian beliefs. 

'That's a good idea! Hit me up!' 'Tiana' replied. 

They then discussed whether two children from Sweden and Nigeria would achieve the same IQ or grades.

Lokteff led that strand of conversation, saying: 'Grades are also tanking with our super diverse all inclusive society where the kid from Nigeria and the kid who came from Sweden are supposed to learn exactly the same and have exactly the same IQ because equality!


Mass. students borrowing more to attend public universities

Once upon a time in Massachusetts, students looking for an affordable path to a college degree turned to the state’s public colleges and universities.

But that option is becoming increasingly pricey for students and their families and forcing more of them to borrow ever larger sums of money to graduate, undermining a long-held reputation of public colleges and universities as the cheaper alternative for the middle class.

Between 2004 and 2016, the average student loan debt for graduates of Massachusetts’ public four-year colleges and universities rose by 77 percent, faster than in any other state in the country except Delaware, according to a report released Thursday by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, a left-leaning research group that advocates for more state funding for higher education.

Deep cuts in scholarships, reductions in state funding, and increases in tuition and fees have shifted more of the burden of paying for college to students and their families, the report says.

Graduates of the University of Massachusetts system and state universities now leave with about $30,250 in debt, just 7 percent less than the $32,355 of debt held by graduates of private colleges in Massachusetts.

We tell students they need a bachelor’s degree to get ahead. But for too many, the numbers no longer add up.

In 2004, public university graduates in Massachusetts borrowed 28 percent less, with average loans of $17,130, while their peers in private schools took on $23,800 in debt.

“We don’t have in Massachusetts an affordable school that students can call a financial safety school,” said Bob Giannino, the chief executive officer for UAspire, a Boston-based organization that counsels students on college affordability. Many students have to borrow the maximum amount in federal student loans to attend public universities in Massachusetts, he said.

“We used to say, ‘A state college is always affordable,’ ” Giannino said. “Now it’s more nuanced. There were places to more easily steer students; there are few to none for vast numbers of students now.”

The sticker price for public universities remains lower than that of private institutions. For example, a year of tuition, room, board, and fees at Fitchburg State University costs about $20,713. At the University of Massachusetts Lowell it costs $27,300. And at private Merrimack College it costs $55,400.

But higher education experts said many private colleges have endowments and can offer more in scholarships and discounts to offset their tuition costs. Private schools also attract more higher-income students and families who can pay more of the price out-of-pocket without tapping federal loans.

Public universities tend to draw lower-income students, who have to take out larger student loans to afford the tuition, fees, and room and board. Many may face financial pressures to also work while taking classes, extending their time in college, and the ultimate bill.

Furthermore, in Massachusetts, the cost of a public college education has shifted from state budgets to parent and student pocketbooks, said Noah Berger, president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

State higher education funding has fallen by 14 percent since 2001, from $1.4 billion to $1.2 billion in 2018, when adjusted for inflation, even as enrollment has increased, the report says.

A college education is even more crucial in Massachusetts than in other states, because the economy relies on an educated workforce, and a bachelor’s degree can more than double a resident’s yearly income, Berger said.

‘We don’t have in Massachusetts an affordable school that students can call a financial safety school.’

Requiring students to borrow so much for a degree can deter them from stepping onto a college campus, which could endanger the state’s thriving economy, particularly since public university students tend to stay and work in Massachusetts, he said.

Jen Ford, who is finishing her final semester at Bridgewater State University, said she sometimes envies her friends who went to trade schools and are now working as electricians and truck drivers and are facing far less debt than her $40,000. She also wonders whether it would have been cheaper for her to attend community college first, then finish her final two years at a state university.

“I knew I was going to graduate with debt — it’s common knowledge,” Ford said. “As I get older and thinking about implications of debt, it’s different. It’s stressful.”

Ford, 25, said her loans aren’t enough to cover her entire cost of attending college, so she has also had to work part time — holding jobs as a campus organizer, in retail, and as a security officer at the college — to supplement her income in recent years.

She wants to attend law school but worries about adding to her debt, and is looking for options that will allow her to take out as few loans as possible for her advanced degree.

State officials said they recognize that college affordability is a stumbling block for many students and parents.

The reduction in state investment in higher education has hurt, said Marty Meehan, the president of the University of Massachusetts system.

“It’s fair to say we are a private university that receives a 20 percent subsidy from the state,” Meehan said.

But the value of the education students receive at UMass for their money is far superior to many small private colleges in Massachusetts, he said.

The UMass system expects to do more fund-raising to increase scholarships, is developing more and better paying internships with businesses so that students can earn money while in college, and is trying to find new sources of revenue to reduce tuition costs, Meehan said.

Governor Charlie Baker’s fiscal 2019 budget also “is taking important steps to address the issue of college affordability,” said Carlos Santiago, the commissioner for the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education.

The budget calls for an additional $7 million to increase grants to needy community college students and to a program that provides financial incentives and rebates for students who earn their bachelor’s degree in 4½ years, he said.


Australia: Some Sydney schools lifting their NAPLAN results

Fundamentalist Christian school does well

While declining or flatlining national test results have become a cause for concern, one tiny school in Sydney's west has bucked the trend to improve its scores dramatically in both literacy and numeracy.

The latest NAPLAN results showed the proportion of students meeting national minimum standards in all domains has flatlined or declined for most year groups, and were described as a "wake-up call" by federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham.

However, Christadelphian Heritage College in Kemps Creek is one of 81 schools in NSW, and 330 across Australia, that have been identified by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) as showing significant NAPLAN gains in literacy or numeracy, and one of the few schools to improve in both.

The school's principal Felicity Shields said intervening before students start kindergarten and extensive profession development for teachers were the major factors behind its success in the standardised tests, which all Australian students sit in years 3, 5, 7 and 9.

"We have a transition class in term four before kindergarten starts, where students come in one day a week for that entire term," Mrs Shields said.

"They just have a normal school day but it allows us to see if there are any early things like hearing and speech we need to work on before they even start school."

Mrs Shields said year 11 and 12 students also provided mentoring and homework help for younger students at lunchtime every day, and teachers had a special focus on "character, learning and teamwork" in the classroom.

"I think our environment and culture and their attitude towards school flows through; we have very high attendance and great participation," Mrs Shields said.


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