Thursday, September 27, 2018

Teacher who was 'fired for refusing to give 50% credit to students who didn't even do their homework' leaves poignant goodbye on her whiteboard

A Florida history teacher says she was fired for refusing to give half-credit to students who didn't turn in their assignments - and now her farewell message to her class is going viral.

Diane Tirado says West Gate K-8 School in Port St Lucie had a 'no zero' policy, requiring teachers to give students no less than a 50-per cent grade on assignments.

Tirado, 52, tells television station WPTV that she was fired on September 14 when she refused to follow the policy after several students didn't turn in a homework project she had assigned two weeks earlier.

Before leaving, Tirado left a handwritten message on a whiteboard for her students that read:  'Bye kids. Mrs. Tirado loves you and wishes you the best in life! I have been fired for refusing to give you a 50% for not handing anything in. [Love] Mrs Tirado.'

The teacher then took a photo of her missive and posted the image on her Facebook page, where it has been shared more than 740 times.

'I’m so upset because we have a nation of kids that are expecting to get paid and live their life just for showing up and it’s not real,' Tirado told the TV station.

After her post drew national attention, Tirado again took to social media on Tuesday to share her thoughts on the controversy.

'The reason I took on this fight was because it was ridiculous,' she wrote. 'Teaching should not be this hard. Teachers teach content, children do the assignments to the best of their ability and teachers grade that work based on a grading scale that has been around a very long time.

She continued: 'reachers also provide numerous attempts to get the work collected so they can give a child a grade. By nature, most teachers are loving souls who want to see students succeed.

'We do above and beyond actual teaching to give them the support they need. Are we perfect? NO. We make mistakes like all other human beings, but I know teachers work their butts off to help children to be the best people they can be!!!'

No specific cause was given in her termination letter from the principal at West Gate school, since Tirado was still on probation.

The married mother-of-one has worked in education for many years but was hired to teach eighth-grade history at West Gate only on July 30.  

The principal deferred comment to the school district. A spokeswoman for St. Lucie Public Schools says there is no district policy prohibiting teachers from giving a grade of zero.

The West Gate student and parent handbook contains a grading rubric that includes the line, written in red all-caps: 'NO ZERO'S-LOWEST POSSIBLE GRADE IS 50%'

The rubric, however, allows for an 'Incomplete' grade that is the equivalent of 0 per cent, according to the table included in the handbook, which Tirado argues creates confusion.  


Walter Williams: University Corruption

I'm thankful that increasing attention is being paid to the dire state of higher education in our country. Heather Mac Donald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, has just published "The Diversity Delusion." Its subtitle captures much of the book's content: "How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture." Part of the gender pandering at our universities is seen in the effort to satisfy the diversity-obsessed National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, each of which gives millions of dollars of grant money to universities. If universities don't make an effort to diversify their science, technology, engineering and math (known as STEM) programs, they risk losing millions in grant money.

A UCLA scientist says, "All across the country the big question now in STEM is: how can we promote more women and minorities by 'changing' (i.e., lowering) the requirements we had previously set for graduate level study?" Mac Donald says, "Mathematical problem-solving is being deemphasized in favor of more qualitative group projects; the pace of undergraduate physics education is being slowed down so that no one gets left behind."

Diversity-crazed people ignore the fact that there are systemic differences in race and sex that influence various outcomes. Males outperform females at the highest levels of math; however, males are overrepresented at the lowest levels of math competence. In 2016, the number of males scoring above 700 on the math portion of the SAT was nearly twice as high as the number of females scoring above 700. There are 2.5 males in the U.S. in the top 0.01 percent of math ability for every female, according to the journal Intelligence (February 2018).

In terms of careers, females are more people-centered than males. That might explain why females make up 75 percent of workers in health care-related fields but only 14 percent of engineering workers and 25 percent of computer workers. Nearly 82 percent of obstetrics and gynecology medical residents in 2016 were women. Mac Donald asks sarcastically, "Is gynecology biased against males, or are females selecting where they want to work?"

"The Diversity Delusion" documents academic practices that fall just shy of lunacy at many universities. Nowhere are these practices more unintelligent and harmful to their ostensible beneficiaries than in university efforts to promote racial diversity. UC Berkeley and UCLA are the most competitive campuses in the University of California system. Before Proposition 209's ban on racial discrimination, the median SAT score of blacks and Hispanics at Berkeley was 250 points below that of whites and Asians. This difference was hard to miss in class. Renowned Berkeley philosophy professor John Searle, who sees affirmative action as a disaster, said, "They admitted people who could barely read." Dr. Thomas Sowell and others have discussed this problem of mismatching students. Black and Hispanic students who might do well in a less competitive setting are recruited to highly competitive universities and become failures. Black parents have no obligation to make academic liberals feel good about themselves by allowing them to turn their children into failures.

Many readers know that I am a professor of economics at George Mason University. A few readers have asked me about "Black Freshmen Orientation," held Aug. 25 and advertised as an opportunity for students to learn more about the black community at George Mason University. GMU is not alone in promoting separation in the name of diversity and inclusion. Harvard, Yale, UCLA and many other universities, including GMU, have black graduation ceremonies. Racial segregation goes beyond graduation ceremonies. Cal State Los Angeles, the University of Connecticut, UC Davis and UC Berkeley, among others, offer racially segregated housing for black students.

University administrators and faculty members who cave to the demands for racially segregated activities have lost their moral mooring, not to mention common sense. I'm sure that if white students demanded a whites-only dormitory or whites-only graduation ceremonies, the university community would be outraged. Some weak-minded administrators might make the argument that having black-only activities and facilities is welcoming and might make black students feel more comfortable. I'm wondering whether they would also support calls by either white or black students for separate (themed) bathrooms and water fountains.


Terror school: Why returning jihadis could soon be teaching Australian children under a radical new plan to fight ISIS - as authorities admit the threat is 'as high as ever'

Australian jihadis could soon be teaching the country's youth under new plans unveiled by one of Australia's leading counter-terrorism strategists.

Former NSW Police deputy commissioner and UN investigator, Nick Kaldas, said the government should consider employing some of the 400 Australians who are in hiding overseas after fleeing to fight for Islamic State.

The radical new thinking, which Mr Kaldas said comes at a time when the terrorist threat is 'as high as ever', means they could be 'deployed' as mentors to dissuade young people who were considering turning to extremism.

While admitting the concept was controversial, he said it offered a better alternative than prosecuting those who had gone to fight under ISIS' black flag. He said: 'It may be useful to consider using them as an example and have them talk to those who may follow their path. 'To say "it's not that good, it's not what you think it is, it is a horrible thing to do,"' he told The Daily Telegraph.

'I know that would be controversial but I think there could be some uses in having people who have done it come back repentant - and share those mistakes with others.' 

Mr Kaldas' proposal comes after five Australian jihadists who had travelled to the Middle East to join the Islamic State were stripped of their citizenship last month.

Included in those five was Neil Prakash - a senior ISIS figure behind bars in Turkey on terror charges.

One other Australian, Khaled Sharrouf, is believed to have been stripped of his citizenship after joining Islamic State.

The former police deputy chief was in talks with then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in 2017 about running his own ministry to combat terrorism.

The ministry, which would be similar to the UK's Home Office or the US' Homeland Security, would co-ordinate Australia's authorities in countering the terror threat.

Mr Kaldas also said the implementation of intelligence sharing between public and private law enforcement sectors could help Australian authorities fight terrorism better.

He added it was imperative that high-profile landmarks like the Sydney Opera House were in constant communication with police over possible threats - rather than being kept in the dark.

Around 230 Australians have joined the Islamic State, of which 90 have been killed in combat.


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