Monday, July 02, 2018

Carmen Gorska Putynska

Carmen Gorska Putynska, PhD student, School of Civil Engineering, University of Qld, Australia

Carmen was featured in the glossy University of Qld. propaganda periodical called "Contact".  As a graduate of U.Q. I get it mailed to me.

She was featured as part of an assembly of women students who were doing well:  Feminist propaganda, in short.

For once however I found something I liked in it.  The picture above first struck me. She has the good looks which are alarmingly common in Polish women.

In addition to my male chauvinist porcine nature, however I was struck by something else.  It is in the first line of the article below.  How improbable is that? Is it just foolish boasting?  I don't think so.

It made me think of her as a kindred spirit, in fact. I did similar things.  I taught Senior High school geography when my highest qualification was Junior school geography and I taught honors level High School economics when my highest qualification was university freshman economics. And I got a B in Senior High school Italian after studying it for only 4 months instead of the usual 4 years. So I don't think her claims are impossible at all. Some of us are born lucky.

The article below is obviously truncated so I looked for a longer version of it but could find none.  I was however able to fill out a few details

“I started tutoring for $10 an hour at age 14, and by 15 was tutoring students older than me in subjects I hadn’t yet taken myself.”

Carmen is a PhD student studying Self-extinguishment of Cross Laminated Timber and it’s potential uses in large structures.

Carmen obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering, specialized in bridges and underground constructions, in 2013 in Poland, at Technological University of Poznań. Then, she was awarded with the “Erasmus Mundus Scholarship” and accepted in the “International Master of Fire Safety Engineering” program. That opportunity gave her the chance to study in UK, Belgium, and Sweden, offering her the access to the discipline of Fire Safety Engineering.

Carmen didn’t have a traditional tertiary trajectory, after excelling in high school she received a fully funded scholarship to study Civil Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia.

“I was one of 10 females among 200 males, all the professor were male, and the male students were not really inclusive with the female students. Feeling isolated I was unable to ask for help, worried about being judged, and I completely failed my first year.”

A charming interview with her below:


The Left’s Stealth War on School Choice

Last December, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Senate Republicans scored what appeared to be a major victory for school choice by including the Student Opportunity Amendment in Congress’s tax cut package. The amendment expanded tax-advantaged 529 college savings plans to include K-12 education, giving families the ability to save up to $10,000 per child per year for private schools or religious schools. And although Democrats at the time shamefully discriminated against homeschoolers and children with disabilities by successfully working to remove those groups from the amendment, Cruz has now introduced standalone legislation that would restore both groups’ access to the 529 educational savings plans.

Sen. Cruz has proven himself to be perhaps Congress’ strongest school choice advocate. He deserves serious credit for his efforts. But unfortunately, his 529 educational savings plan initiative is not enough on its own, and without seriously curtailing government control over education, could even unintentionally play into the Left’s hands.

The Left has been waging war on two separate fronts in the battle over school choice. While they continue to work relentlessly to defeat new legislation which would give parents further educational choice, they also have been equally hard at work behind the scenes fighting school choice by bending existing government education programs to serve their ends.

Such examples are numerous. For instance, it is well-documented how progressive bureaucrats have used No Child Left Behind waivers and Race to the Top grants to push Common Core on the states, exploiting the federal purse-strings to force a one-size-fits-all set of mediocre standards on millions of students nationwide.

Another less well-known example is the effort of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to control how military and veteran students use their GI Bill benefits to advance their education. Apparently sensing a long-term threat to union-infested, liberal state schools, under the Obama administration the Left embarked on an ideological mission to destroy the for-profit college industry. Today, VA bureaucrats continue to interfere in the rightful – and explicitly established – role of states to determine which institutions could be certified for payment with students’s military benefits. While the VA’s intention was to force innovative education providers out of the market, the practical effect has been to limit the educational choices – and complicate the lives – of veterans who have served their country and deserve better from their government.

Democrats didn’t stop there, though. They even went on to start a phony veterans organization called Veterans Education Success (VES). VES’s president and founder, Carrie Wofford, is a former staffer at the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions – where she led the charge against for-profit education institutions. VES poses as non-partisan but is funded by radical liberal donors. Its true mission is to advance a left-wing political agenda at the expense of our veterans.

If Democrats are willing to target our veterans and take away educational options for them, they will have no problem doing it to our kids. Given the Left’s history of manipulating government programs to undermine school choice, Sen. Cruz and Republicans should approach their latest education endeavor with caution. While expanding 529 plans to homeschoolers and beyond may be a laudable goal, if not done carefully, it could also potentially expose homeschooling families to interference by federal bureaucrats interested in imposing their policies on children previously out of their reach.

The Left is fighting their war against school choice on multiple fronts. Conservatives must make sure we are engaging on all of them by offering opportunities for choice in new legislation and ensuring that existing programs do not leave openings for government bureaucrats to pick winners and losers.


Report: Huge Gates Foundation Grant Utterly Failed in Its Goal of Improving Teacher Performance

With schools failing, graduation rates falling, and ever-climbing incidences of teacher turnover, it is clear that something has gone wrong in education in America. What remains less clear is the solution.

Part of the problem in recent decades appears to have been the liberal, big-government, one-size-fits-all approach to fixing what is happening in neighborhood schools. The Gates Foundation in particular has helped lead the charge to nowhere, most recently in its strong (though apparently ineffective) push for more teacher evaluations.

Bill and Melinda Gates’ progressive foundation, notorious for its shameless promotion of population control and abortion both here in the United States and in developing nations, wields a tremendous amount of influence in public education. Critics have even gone so far as to blow the whistle on such “meddling”, and it’s no wonder--the liberal power couple’s immense wealth and resources allow them to shape public policy from behind the scenes. For better or worse.

And if the recently-released 500-page report by the Rand Corporation is any indication, it has definitely not been for the better. According to the report:

“The Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching initiative, designed and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was a multiyear effort to dramatically improve student outcomes by increasing students' access to effective teaching. Participating sites adopted measures of teaching effectiveness (TE) that included both a teacher's contribution to growth in student achievement and his or her teaching practices assessed with a structured observation rubric.”

Translation? Additional red tape for education professionals, and cumbersome, meaningless ways of evaluating said professionals.

The initiative came with a price-tag of $575 million.

School districts and charter networks implementing the new policies were responsible for ponying up the vast majority of the money, which amounted to between 1.5 and 6.5 percent of their respective budgets. The Gates Foundation provided roughly one-third of the cost.

And yet in spite of the massive amount of funding required, the initiative appears to have failed.

Instead of resulting in greater equity in education for minorities from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, as was promised, the disparity actually grew. Teacher ratings, which were already high prior to the implementation of Gates’ pricy initiative, remained more or less the same. And educators rated “highly effective” were less likely to stick around than teachers rated “less effective”--the complete opposite of one of the policy’s stated goals.

Additional problems with funding led some schools to abandon parts of the initiative, which proved unsustainable over time. And teachers reported that the complex evaluation system was a definite deterrent from taking a job at one of the more “high needs” schools, even in spite of the promise of bonuses, because poor student performance was more likely.

But Bill Gates is not giving up his death-grip on the public schools. Though the Gates Foundation is now pivoting away from the failed “good teacher vs. bad teacher” model of understanding the nation’s education crisis, it is instead now moving towards an approach centered on curriculum.

It remains unclear what, exactly, this latest series of bureaucratic, top-down education requirements will look like. Worth noting is the fact that Bill Gates played a significant role in shaping the notoriously clumsy (and equally ineffective) set of Common Core Standards, which remain in place today.

If nothing else, the liberal Gates Foundation appears poised to persist in its mission to control public education in America.


No comments: