Friday, April 27, 2018

UNREAL: Parkland Teacher Compared Pro-Gun Survivor To Hitler During Class

Kyle Kashuv, one of the few Pro-Second Amendment survivors of the Parkland, Florida High School shooting, tweeted on Wednesday about attacks from one of the tolerant history teachers from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Two students have now confirmed the teacher compared Kashuv to Hitler in a rant that lasted around ten minutes during class.

Kashuv tweeted, “So… I just got a call from a friend of mine from @GregPittman1957’s class and he apparently compared me to Hitler in class and said I am a piece of crap. The rant was about 10-minutes during class time and how he was right and I was wrong with my comments…”

The Daily Wire reported:

According to the high school junior, who sought to remain unnamed for fear of reprisal, Pittman stated that posting photos from a gun range would get you into trouble, and then went on to “compare Kyle to Hitler in terms of what he believes.”

This is insanity. Teachers attacking students in the classroom for their mainstream political beliefs is obviously beyond the pale. It remains to be seen whether the high school administration will call Pittman on the carpet in the same way school security called Kashuv on the carpet for outside-of-school activities.

The history teacher, Greg Pittman, may need to brush up a bit on his history knowledge.

One user pointed out an obvious, yet difficult fact for the left to understand, “Hitler murdered 6 million Jews after he disarmed them, what are they teaching at your school?”

The Daily Wire then received confirmation from another student of the class:

I was in class on April 25th with Gregory Pittman and near the end of class the discussion led to Kyle Kashuv’s tweet about going to the gun range. Pittman expressed that he could not speak badly about Kyle because he was specifically told by administration not to. Pittman began talking about what an ass Kyle was and called him “the next Hitler” and said that he was “dangerous” and something needed to be done about him.

Welcome to the wonderful world of public education where Democrats indoctrinate students into their views.

It’s starting to seem pretty standard for Democrats to call anyone they disagree with “Hitler.” Just asked Donald Trump.


Fight over controversial speaker lands at Skidmore College
'Free speech' signs taken down, defaced

A group of Skidmore College students are pressing forward with a plan to bring a controversial Canadian academic to campus in the fall – a plan that has stirred outrage among other students.

Freshman Madelyn Streb is among the students trying to bring Jordan Peterson, a psychologist at the University of Toronto, to the college for a speaking event. Peterson has been hailed as a powerful public intellectual by his supporters and denounced as peddling hateful, far-right politics by his detractors.

Streb said she thinks Peterson would challenge Skidmore students intellectually and would draw interest from within and outside the school community.

“I’ve been to talks on campus. The people they bring are puff people,” she said. “It doesn’t draw interest. It doesn’t draw students. It doesn’t challenge you to think.”

She has the support of the Skidmore College Republicans – that group’s vice president said they would sponsor the Peterson visit if need be – but she has also experienced resistance from other Skidmore students who argue Peterson represents racist, misogynistic and transphobic views.

Opposition to Peterson, who has raised ire on both sides of the border over comments about transgender students and other subjects, was formally articulated in an online petition aimed at keeping him from visiting the college.

“There is monumental opposition to this, as Dr. Peterson has made a career of peddling paleo-fascist, outdated, social-Darwinist pseudoscience to the alt- and far-right,” Skidmore student Darien Watson wrote in the introduction to the online petition that drew more than 350 signatures. “His thinly-veiled racism, classism, misogyny, and blatant transphobia have no place at Skidmore College.”

Watson wrote that the petition and a letter written by Skidmore students “who would be affected by, excluded from, and appalled at Dr. Peterson’s visit,” would be delivered to Skidmore President Philip Glotzbach. (Watson did not respond to messages seeking comment for this article.)

Watson and other opponents of Peterson pointed to his opposition to a Canadian law that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and extends hate speech protections to transgendered people. At the time, Peterson argued controlling and compelling speech was a step toward tyranny and suggested he wouldn’t refer to students by their preferred gender pronouns.

Those positions should disqualify him from speaking at Skidmore, the students suggest.

“For the vast majority of marginalized people, politics cannot be separated from real life,” Watson wrote in the petition. “A lecture delivered by a man who purposefully disrespects trans identities by intentionally misgendering them is not a lecture for all students.”

It’s unclear whether Peterson will ever make it to Skidmore. Streb and other students are applying for grants to help support Peterson’s $35,000 speaking fee – up from $15,000 when Streb first explored bringing him to campus earlier this school year.

A GoFundMe page Streb set up had raised just $475, as of Tuesday, but she said she and others pushing for Peterson to visit Skidmore are confident they will come up with the money. Streb and David Solovy, vice president of the Skidmore College Republicans, said they have received assurances from an outside organization that it would cover much of the cost, but they didn’t specify the organization.

“I don’t believe that money will be an issue ... the issue is more the social repercussions on campus,” said Streb, who comes from Andover, Massachusetts., and studies neuroscience.

They also held out the possibility that Skidmore administrators could quash a Peterson visit by asking the student organizers to also pay for security for any speaking event.

Solovy pegged the chances that a Peterson visit would materialize at “60/40,” while Streb thinks it's more like an 80 percent chance.

“If we do end up not being able to bring him, I hope we can say we tried our best -- gave it our all,” Solovy said.

College officials said in a response to questions that the administration does not generally approve or deny invitations to speakers, which are usually made by formal campus organizations. But they also raised the issue of security costs and suggested free speech can be promoted in many ways.

“The college would not support a speaker whose presence on campus presented issues of physical safety or would require extraordinary resources to assure the physical safety of the speaker or others,” college spokeswoman Diane O’Connor said in an email response to questions. “We encourage students to engage our community in conversations about issues of free speech, and there are other ways of doing so, besides bringing a specific individual to campus.”

Streb and Solovy said they have faced “vile” comments on social media from students who oppose their efforts. They also said that, as the controversy was heating up over the winter, they placed dozens of signs around campus that said “free speech.” Those signs were torn down or defaced, they said. They put up more signs, which they said were also torn down or vandalized.

Streb said the response she has seen doesn’t seem to fit with the values espoused by a liberal arts college like Skidmore.

“I thought the motto that ‘creative thought matters’ would be taken under consideration,” Streb said, referring to the school’s motto. “For a community that preaches open-mindedness, it’s actually quite closed-minded.”

But they also said they felt they had already accomplished something by just presenting their plans for a Peterson visit, arguing the debate has spurred discourse about free speech and how students should engage with controversial speakers.

Peterson, who has posted more than 100 lectures on his YouTube page, is seen by his supporters as a crusader against political correctness and identity politics. He argues on Fox News and elsewhere that social justice movements alienate vast swaths of society.

“They are too preoccupied with identity politics by a large margin, and they tend to categorize everyone by their ethnicity and their sex and their gender,” he said of liberals on Real Time with Bill Maher over the weekend. “I think all that does is turn people into tribal actors, and the end result of that is catastrophe.”


Australia: Victoria University exposed as future teachers found wanting

Victoria University was in franker times Footscray Tech. It still seems to have tech college standards

Students of a Melbourne university that has enrolled teaching undergraduates with ATARs significantly below Victoria’s minimum entry prerequisite have performed poorly in a national literacy and numeracy test, with about a quarter failing to meet the standard required for entering the profession.

Victoria University, a major provider of initial teacher education degrees, was one of the worst-performing universities to sit last year’s test, with 27 per cent of students failing the literacy module and 24 per cent failing numeracy, sparking calls for entry requirements for initial teacher education courses to be tightened.

Almost 1000 students from the university sat the test, which aims to assess whether aspiring teachers have literacy and numeracy skills in the top 30 per cent of the adult population.

Nationwide, standards fell slightly in 2017 compared with the previous year, with 92 per cent of 23,000 students passing both components of the test. In 2016, 95.2 per cent passed the literacy component and 94.2 per cent passed the numeracy component.

Victoria University was among 19 out of 52 tertiary institutions to report failure rates in excess of ­10 per cent in at least one component of the test. In contrast, students from the University of Western Australia were among the highest achievers, with 98 per cent meeting the literacy standard and 99 per cent numeracy.

The results, which have been provided to The Australian, are set to reignite a push to toughen university entry requirements for teaching courses. In Victoria, the government requires that students achieve an ATAR of at least 65 — rising to 70 next year — to be admitted to study teaching.

Yet a Victoria University report detailing the profiles of incoming students reveals that the median ATAR of those offered places in Education (P-12) and Physical Education (Secondary) courses this year was 58.45 and 56.65 respectively. The lowest ATAR of a student to be offered a place was 45.3.

The university has recently rolled out a new Bachelor of Education Studies as a pathway course that is not bound by the minimum ATAR score requirement. Students are able to transfer at a later stage into a Master of Education.

Associate professor Anthony Watt, director of learning and teaching in the university’s education faculty, said the ATARs listed were “raw scores” and did not account for “special consideration bonuses” applied to disadvantaged students. He said he was confident that, after adjustments, “every student admitted to study education had achieved an ATAR of 65”.

Dr Watt likened the numeracy and literacy test to testing for one’s driver’s licence: “You don’t always get it first time. We’re keen to support everyone to achieve the benchmark and we’re working with students on that,” he said.

Centre for Independent Studies senior research fellow Jennifer Buckingham said it was concerning that some universities continued to enrol teacher candidates with low ATARs as the results suggested there was a correlation between rankings and poor literacy and numeracy.

“The literacy and numeracy assessment does actually not set a high bar; it’s really the equivalent of a Year 9 level of literacy and numeracy,” Dr Buckingham said.

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham said parents rightly expected graduating teachers would have solid literacy and numeracy. “These results highlight that some higher education providers simply aren’t delivering the skills Australians would expect of graduate teachers or are dropping standards too far,” he said.

“The Turnbull government has been crystal clear in our view that students who don’t make the minimum literacy and numeracy standards should never make it into the classroom.”

Victorian Education Minister James Merlino expressed his disappointment. “For too long universities in Victoria have been accepting students with ATARs as low (as) in the 30s or the 40s. It isn’t good enough and it has to change.”


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