Friday, August 25, 2017

Scotland's Private schools rail against rates plan

Gordonstoun school might have to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds extra every year under rates changes

Scotland’s private schools will have to pay hundreds of thousands of pounds extra every year if sweeping changes planned for business taxation are approved.

The rises recommended by Ken Barclay, the former RBS Scotland chairman, immediately incurred the wrath of those affected such as independent schools, universities, some sports clubs and council arms-length bodies.

Mr Barclay recommended 30 changes to the business rates framework in his long-awaited review published yesterday. These included revaluations every three years, a grace period for properties that are renovated and a review of the small business bonus scheme.

He said his recommendations were designed to eliminate anomalies within the system. He faced fierce criticism from figures within Scotland’s independent schools who demanded to know why they were being singled out.


Chinese cash at American colleges is a massive problem

Ruobing came to America last spring on a special program at the University of California, Berkeley, to study English. After a semester, her English hadn’t really improved. Over a coffee at a Berkeley café, she struggled to express herself in English and then switched into her native Mandarin.

“I spend my free time with Chinese, my countrymen,” she said. “There are so many Chinese students here that we don’t really need to get to know Americans. And that means our English remains poor.”

Ruobing’s halting progress in English has not stopped an American university from accepting her as an undergraduate. This fall, she will be attending the University of Wisconsin, where there are more than 2,500 other Chinese, about 6 percent of the student body.

“When I think about it,” said Ruobing, who asked that her real name not be used, “that’s too many Chinese.”

Out of the almost 1 million foreign students attending U.S. universities this fall, almost one in three will be Chinese. This marks a fivefold increase over the 2004–2005 academic year, when there were 62,523 Chinese students stateside.

For years, these booming numbers were seen as a godsend, benefiting America’s relationship with China. Experts opined that American education would bind Chinese to the United States and cement ties of friendship between both peoples. American students would learn firsthand about an increasingly important country and its culture. America at large would profit mightily from an inbound Chinese brain drain of entrepreneurial talent. Silicon Valley, for one, is littered with firms started by Chinese immigrants. American education and Chinese demand for it were a true “win-win” in a relationship challenged to find examples of genuine progress in the recent past.

Too many Chinese students on U.S. campuses?

Increasingly, there’s a sense that even this success story is in crisis. To be sure, only a few observers (and that link is to a tweet, not an academic paper) have come forward to declare there are too many mainland Chinese students in the United States. But in private, many educators and students acknowledge that, as the dean of one private university put it in an internal email that was circulated in academic circles and shared with me, U.S. institutions face an “endemic and terrible problem” with mainland Chinese students, adding, “I don’t know that anyone has any great remedy.”

The business of educating Chinese

America has been in the business of educating Chinese almost as long as America has been in business itself. The first Chinese student, a southerner named Yung Wing 容闳, graduated from Yale University in the 1850s. Yung Wing then came up with a scheme to bring hundreds of Chinese boys to Hartford, Connecticut, where they went to local schools and later attended universities. Christian missionaries built scores of Christian colleges and high schools in China. By the 1910s, Chinese had outpaced Canadians as the biggest foreign-born population on U.S. campuses. And the U.S. government poured millions of dollars into a fund to educate Chinese and to build Tsinghua University, today considered China’s version of MIT.

Over the years, America’s goals for educating Chinese changed. When the United States began welcoming Chinese students in large numbers in 1905, Edmund J. James, the president of the University of Illinois, predicted that it would guarantee America’s “intellectual and spiritual domination of [China’s] leaders.”

In 1978, a different goal informed the American decision to renew educational exchange as it prepared to normalize relations with the People’s Republic of China. Then the idea was to create bonds of friendship between the two countries and exert what later came to be known as America’s “soft power” on the hearts and minds of the Chinese.

Americans added another reason to admit Chinese students in the 2000s, following China’s entry into the World Trade Organization and explosion onto the world stage as an economic force. This time, it was more diversity on American campuses and an opportunity to expose young Americans to students from this new and important power.

Today, however, another goal has begun to overshadow all the others. It’s money. Both private and public universities are aggressively marketing themselves to Chinese students because they want Chinese who can pay full tuition. For state schools, faced with diminishing resources and budget cuts, the prospect of thousands of Chinese students paying full freight is too good to be true. For them, Chinese cash has become more important than Chinese students or the course of U.S.-China relations.

Cash-strapped institutions like the University of Minnesota have marketed heavily in China. In 2007, there were only 150 Chinese students there. In September, there will be close to 3,000. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign — the same university that Edmund J. James led in the 1900s — has been dubbed the “University of China at Illinois.” Thirty-seven Chinese undergraduates enrolled there in 2000. This September enrollment will probably break 3,000, all of them paying full tuition. Oregon State reportedly added 300 tenure track positions thanks to tuition paid by foreign students, led by mainland Chinese.

Private institutions are also deeply enamored with mainland students. Rich Chinese parents or graduates are now viewed as potentially huge donors and some of the gifts — $115 million for a neuroscience center at CalTech, $8.88 million for the Yale School of Management, $15 million for a group of Ivy League colleges — are indeed prodigious.

A broken educational model?

If this obsession with Chinese cash prompted a wave of great Chinese applicants to U.S. universities, it would have been fine. Instead, it’s triggered a tsunami of fraud. Chinese families, eager to get their sons and daughters admitted to U.S. schools, contract with agents that are often paid a bounty by U.S. universities for each student accepted by the school.

Deception runs through the whole application process. SATs and the TOEFL exams are taken by what the Chinese call “ghosts,” who are paid for high scores. Grades are made up. Letters of recommendation are forged. As far back as 2010, Zinch China, a consulting firm, warned that 90 percent of the recommendations coming from China were fake, 70 percent of personal essays were written by someone else, and 50 percent of high school transcripts were forged. Another survey done in 2012 of 25,000 Chinese students interested in coming to America to study found that English-language skills were actually falling; two-thirds could not speak English well enough to hack it at American schools.

The result? In this year’s entering class, there will be thousands of Chinese students who lack the education, the language ability, and the critical facilities necessary to benefit from an American education. That’s because many of them were given a slot at a U.S. university almost solely based on their parents’ ability to pay.

Accepting large numbers of unprepared mainland Chinese to an American college does not serve anyone’s interests. For one, many of the Chinese don’t get an education, skating through college on the backs of services that offer to take their tests and write their papers. What’s more, compared with my Chinese friends who studied in America in the 1980s, many of these Chinese students don’t really want to be in the United States. They’re sent here by their parents, who believe that a U.S. diploma is the ticket to either a better life in China or the fulfillment of their family’s plans to immigrate to America. These students end up hanging out with their compatriots, never making an American friend, and returning home with no appreciation of American civil society, its freedoms of association, speech, and religion, or its democracy. In fact, many I have spoken with can be openly hostile to Western values.

Secondly, the preponderance of ill-prepared Chinese engenders resentment among other students and faculty. Mainland Chinese students now dominate some majors and graduate programs in the United States. In some cases, that’s because they are the best students. But in other cases, the effect is not completely beneficial. At Oregon State, the school’s master’s of business in accountancy now has more Chinese than American students, the Wall Street Journal has reported, leading one professor to wonder whether he needed to modify the original focus of the course. A friend of mine’s son at a liberal arts college in Pennsylvania observed that he and his classmates assume that most mainland Chinese students don’t understand that the school’s honor code is something that must be respected, not worked around.

The large number of Chinese students lacking the skills for a U.S. education is also partly responsible for another problem — the outsize influence of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA), a state-supported Chinese organization involved in monitoring the political loyalty of Chinese students and professors. Various Chinese governments have scrutinized the behavior of Chinese students in the United States since Chinese first began coming to America in larger numbers in the 1870s. The Qing court shut down Yung Wing’s Hartford experiment after Chinese minders who accompanied the boys in America complained that they were becoming too Americanized. In the 1940s, Republican China spied on Chinese students in the U.S., and today the Communist government has also taken steps to limit the effect that the American ideals of freedom of speech, assembly, and religion have on Chinese students.

That’s the role that the Chinese Students and Scholars Association plays. While the CSSA also engages in innocent activities, such as socials and events to introduce Chinese culture to a wider audience, its political work runs directly counter to the ideals of a Western education and represents a worrying trend of China attempting to export its system of thought control onto America’s shores. Chinese not prepared for an American education naturally gravitate toward the CSSA. “It offers us a place to go when we’re homesick,” observed Ruobing. “That makes it easier for them to ‘wash our brains.’”


It is true that steps have been taken to try to deal with the crisis. There are two organizations in China, both approved by China’s ministry of education, that can verify academic documents. Testing services, such as the College Board and the Educational Testing Service, have redoubled efforts to prevent “ghost” test takers. More and more schools are requiring interviews via Skype or even face to face. However, most experts acknowledge that much more needs to be done. Not every American university uses the verification organizations to authenticate transcripts. Too many still rely on dubious agents. And penalties given to cheaters on the SATs are considered too light.

“It blows my mind that students who cheat on the SATs get to take the test again — why aren’t they outed to all of your schools?” declared Hamilton Gregg, a longtime educational adviser in China. Gregg entitled a 2015 blog post “Is the Admission Process Broken?” His answer was yes.


Social engineers determined to remove the wonder from childhood

Decades of Increased litigation and skyrocketing insurance premiums have already wreaked havoc with kids’ playgrounds, writes Janet Albrechtsen in Australia

Childcare centres, preschools and libraries will be encouraged to scrutinise books, toys and posters to ensure play ­spaces are “gender equitable” in the latest government-led bid to tackle family violence starting in childhood.

Victoria should change its car numberplates to The Social Engineering State. A new guide has been drafted to help its councils conduct a gender audit on children’s playgrounds to ensure that gender stereotypes are not encouraging domestic violence.

Question: what will ensure that children can be children, free from busybody bureaucrats imposing their social, moral and political judgments about kids playing families in the sandpit or race car drivers in the playground?

Decades of Increased litigation and skyrocketing insurance premiums have already wreaked havoc with kids’ playgrounds. These were once ­places of adventure where kids could explore the world beyond their home and parents. It’s where kids first push the boundaries of everyday risk, exploration and initiative, playing freely and making up their own stories long before helicoptering became a parenting technique rather than a feat of airborne engineering. It’s where a grazed knee and a bruise or bump taught kids some resilience; in other words, picking yourself up when something goes wrong. Today most playgrounds are humdrum places for kids. Swings are so safe they have lost their sense of fly-high exhilaration. If you can find a seesaw, it’s a shadow of its former self where squeals of delight once signalled tiny bums knocking on the ground.

Now playgrounds will be measured for more than litigious risk. They will be audited for gendered play so that local councils can think about “not only who is where, and how often, but what are they doing? What are the storylines of their play telling you about what the children think are the normal roles for women and men?” says the Creating Gender Equity in the Early Years guide produced by Melbourne’s Darebin City Council.

It’s bad enough that bureaucracies have built empires of paternalism in the adult world, sidelining the role of civil society and wrecking the symmetry between individual responsibility and individual liberty. Not content with intruding into the adult world, they search for new arenas to impose their activism.

Under the guise of Safe Schools, they injected LGBTI role playing into the classroom. Now, it’s a gender audit of playground. Social engineers of this kind often dress up their effort to regulate using inflated language. Here they are co-opting the emotion around domestic violence to justify policing in a playground to find episodes of a designated new evil of gendered play. Explaining this latest move as good intentions gone awry doesn’t wash any more.

The bureaucratic endeavour to create gender-free playgrounds assumes that this future utopia must be better than what has gone before. It’s a story as old and as flawed as the French Revolution. Just as Edmund Burke, in 1790, predicted that the lofty intentions of that period of social and political upheaval would lead to a worse form of tyranny, it’s safe to predict a new modern form of tyrannical paternalism by bureaucratic edict.

From health to education to human rights, large swathes of social policy have been delegated to unelected bureaucrats, destroying the little platoons of civil society described by Burke as central to a flourishing and free society. That collected wisdom of people, garnered from experience, tradition and custom, has been replaced with a form of mob rule where the claimed wisdom of an elite class is imposed from above.

It’s passing strange that adults cannot conceive that what’s an issue for them becomes an issue for kids only when adults make it one. Then again, maybe that’s the aim, to project adult obsessions about gender on to children. And this playground pursuit of gender equity by taxpayer-funded public servants is enabled by complacent followers of this latest bureaucratic baloney.

We risk losing the kind of adult-free play that emboldened childhood, assuming we haven’t lost it already. I recall a childhood where two working-class parents worked long and hard, and kids after school were left to explore their surrounds free from tightly scheduled afternoon activities. No Kumon lessons to create a maths genius or speech lessons to perfect our voice patterns. No ballet followed by music followed by enforced reading, before a rushed dinner and bed, only to be repeated the next day with a slightly different array of activities.

There was sport organised by schools and clubs, and then the play that kids made up on their own. No gender equity worries, let alone stereotypes. You could play with a Barbie, be a feisty young girl and grow up to be an empowered woman.

When we weren’t in school, a few of us local kids often headed to the local Sturt Gorge, a 244ha adult-free zone a good few kilometres from our home. We were nine and 10 years old; my younger brother, just seven, tagged along. We wandered and explored for hours, pretending to be lost in a big unknown world, with no mobile phones but with a bag of food and plenty of adventures in trees and mucky water. Sometimes we did get lost, but we always managed to be home by dinner, invariably dirty, dishevelled and tired, but also exhilarated by the responsibility and freedom of managing in a world away from parents and teachers.

We also set up stalls in our driveway selling a mix of watery orange cordial and old toys. Try that today. A few months ago a five-year old girl in east London set up a homemade lemonade stand. A half-hour later four council officials approached her father, read from a script about operating a stand without a permit and fined him £150 ($246). Her father, Andre Spicer, who was born in New Zealand and has lived in Australia, told one media outlet that he couldn’t imagine this kind of thing happening here. Except it did, in Bunbury, Western Australia, 18 months earlier when 11-year-old Chelsea-lee Downes wanted to earn some money over Christmas by selling “fresh organic” homemade lemonade, cupcakes and lemon meringue pies. Local councillors shut down her stall, too.

Today, child play is ruined by regulation. That deliciously thrilling and sometime scary dance manoeuvred by kids around responsibility and freedom is being undermined. If not by parents who overthink childhood for their children, then by a broader society that has taken a wholly disproportionate attitude to the normal risks we should expect to confront as children and indeed as adults. Bubble-wrapping kids from the freedom to fall and fail isn’t building resilient young adults if the rising rates of mental illness and childhood therapy are anything to go by correct.

Now we’re pushing kids around again, with Victorian social engineers adding their own layer of regulation to audit playgrounds for some lately imagined evil of gendered play. Not only are we imposing adult fixations about gender on kids, we’re regulating the wonder out of childhood. Before we rush headlong into this latest utopian future mapped out by social activists policing modern memes about gender equity, it pays to check whether pushing kids around in this way is moving them and us in the wrong direction.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

UK: The old teaching versus research controversy

"Some [universities] even threatened researchers who failed to publish with extra teaching, and rewarded those who published particularly significant research work with less teaching."

Seems reasonable to me.  Researchers are also expected to teach, though not usually the basics.  Their research activity keeps them at the cutting edge in their field and that is normally used  to keep the students up to date too

New research carried out by John McCormack, lecturer in management at Cranfield University, has found that university teaching staff resent the way they are made to feel second-class citizens, inferior to researchers. With Matthew Bamber, of the University of Toronto, and Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson, of the University of Lincoln, McCormack interviewed 51 teaching staff at 20 research-intensive universities in Britain. Many reported feeling “locked in” by structural and social barriers they felt were insurmountable, and unable to become “proper academics”.

In the latest in a series on the UK’s increasingly precarious world of work, we reveal how many institutions are charging higher student fees while more than half of lecturers are on non-permanent or hourly-paid contracts

Zero hours contracts, pay below the minimum wage (once the time spent marking and preparation is included), and contracts that exclude the summer, are common among a workforce expected to meet ever greater demands from students seeking value for money as fees increase. The spotlight on vice-chancellors’ enormous pay, when many academics struggle with their bills, has added to the outrage felt by many university teachers.

Last month an open letter calling for an end to the proliferation of short-term teaching contracts in UK humanities departments gathered more than 1,600 signatures from lecturers in five days.

Around a quarter of academic staff in the Russell Group of research-intensive universities are categorised as teaching-only – fewer than across the sector as a whole, but the number is growing. This is partly as a result of the government’s new teaching excellence framework (Tef), which aims to help redress the balance between research and teaching. Results of the framework, published in June, show only eight of the 24-strong Russell Group gained the highest rating – gold – in the Tef; the London School of Economics, the top university in Britain based on the proportion of world-leading research produced, was one of three Russell Group members awarded the lowest ranking, bronze.

While many university teachers welcome the recognition the Tef is intended to give their profession, they dislike the metrics on which it is based: it relies on the national student survey – a questionnaire filled in by students about their university experience – and statistics about graduate employment, which they argue gives little idea of what goes on in the lecture or seminar room.

Some are also concerned it will make their job harder. “We will be little hamsters running on a wheel trying to check off the Tef rather than being innovative teachers,” says one. “It changes the relationship you have with students.”

Gervas Huxley, a teaching fellow in the economics department at Bristol University, and once described as one of universities’ minister Jo Johnson’s Numskulls (the Numskulls was a Beano comic strip about a team of tiny technicians who lived inside people’s heads and ran their minds), says challenging the dominance of research over teaching is overdue. But while he supports the principle behind the Tef, he is not convinced it will change things.

He argues that in research universities, an unsuccessful researcher in their early fifties would usually be in a more senior position – and earning more – than a successful teacher. “I would never argue that the most successful academics don’t merit the rewards they get,” he says. “But most academics aren’t superstars and many aren’t producing research that’s particularly original, and yet they have higher rewards than we do.”

He blames the traditional idea that teaching should be led by research. “The problem with research-led teaching is a lot of researchers aren’t good at it, and even if they are, they don’t have time.” He says that as a result, students receive minimal contact time in large groups.

Huxley would like to see the Tef incorporate a measure for class sizes and contact hours. “I think the Russell Group have benefited from higher tuition fees but have not delivered their side of the bargain,” he says. “British universities are among the best funded in the world at a time of unparalleled austerity.”

Others argue that the tradition of research-led teaching means that teaching-only staff are expected to keep up with the latest developments in their subject while dealing with a full teaching timetable and all the pastoral care that goes with it.

Jonathan White, bargaining policy and negotiations officer at the University and College Union, says: “It’s not just they cannot progress or move over from teaching-only to the traditional academic pathway, it’s that they aren’t given time to do the job properly.”

He also questions why, if universities claim to value teaching, most teaching-only staff are on short-term contracts, when that is not true of traditional teaching and research roles.

One teacher at a Russell Group university, who is waiting to see whether her contract will be renewed next year, says she ends up doing research in her spare time in the hope of producing enough publications to secure a full academic job. “I’m really concerned about getting stuck in this kind of work because I don’t think there is very far I can progress,” she says.

Stefania Paredes Fuentes, a senior teaching fellow in economics at the University of Warwick, says that while she now has a permanent full-time contract and a senior position, this is unusual and she is sympathetic to younger staff trying to get a mortgage on rolling one-year contracts. “You get recognition and everything else because of research,” she says. “Research is considered to bring money and prestige and it has created a huge bias in universities, and in some more than others.”

McCormack says: “If you are recognised as a brilliant teacher there is no money in it for the university. The difference between someone who gets very good student feedback as a teacher and someone who gets mediocre feedback isn’t very big.”

His study found that many research-intensive universities offloaded heavy teaching allocations to teaching-only staff to give researchers more time to publish. Some even threatened researchers who failed to publish with extra teaching, and rewarded those who published particularly significant research work with less teaching.

A Russell Group spokesman says its members are independent when it comes to staffing matters but all consider quality teaching a core element of the student experience. “Our universities have always made teaching a priority,” he says. “Our universities are keen to recognise and reward skilled teachers through education-led routes to promotion and teaching awards.”


The Re-Education of America

There is a Cultural Revolution taking place in America today. The stated goal: to purge capitalism and traditional American culture from society. Leftist educational curricula in schools and anti-establishment messaging via television programming (all streaming devices) deliver the dogmatic ideology of the revolution.

The Leftist re-education programming begins long before college. Pre-school educational programs with fanciful characters and talking animals are not benign. Sesame Street creatures are not advocating individual growth, independence, critical thinking skills, excellence, and the merit system which support capitalism and democracy. They are advocating group-think, dependence, passivity, mediocrity, and collectivism which prepare your children for socialism. Students already indoctrinated toward collectivism enter the university re-education programs passive, unaware, and compliant. The re-education curriculum at the university reinforces their passivity and students graduate uninformed, disinformed, and misinformed with degrees in the orthodoxy of liberalism that is tyrannical in its demand for conformity.

The graduates are now credentialed “authorities” in the social sciences who become zealous members of the Leftist echo chamber that reinforces collectivism and dominates television. The left-wing liberal narrative of political correctness, moral relativism, and historical revisionism is reflected in the programming and commercials being streamed into your household and mobile devices twenty-four hours a day. Television programming and television advertising are in the business of social engineering. They are purging capitalism and traditional culture from American society. They are selling socialism.

Their sales strategy pits subjective reality against objective reality. This is how it works.

The Leftist re-education programming presents subjective reality in televised commercials. In the real world of objective reality most families are not intermarried and every play group, luncheon, dinner table, and family picnic does not have one Asian, one white person, one black person, and one Hispanic in attendance. In the real world most couples are not homosexual, white men and women are not all idiots, and black men and women are not all judges, doctors, and lawyers. Why does television programming and commercials portray contrived fabricated scenes and plots of subjective reality instead of factual scenes and plots of objective reality to sell their products? Because they are not selling products they are re-educating America.

The radical left-wing agenda is selling socialism. They are re-educating America on television just like the schools are re-educating America in the classroom. The unreal subjective reality of the programming is intentionally confusing and creates cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is the destabilizing state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially relating to behavioral decisions and attitude changes. Cognitive dissonance creates extreme stress because people seek psychological stability and consistency. The contradictory images being televised do not comport with objective reality so they threaten and destabilize the viewer’s sense of what is real. Cognitive dissonance is the psychological equivalent of physical pain – people will do anything to stop it.

Democracy lives in the adult world of objective reality and facts. It embraces diversity that includes differences of opinion, protects freedom of speech, and insists upon individual personal responsibility. Socialism lives in the childish world of make-believe, subjective reality, diversity that excludes differences of opinion, restricts freedom speech, and rejects personal responsibility. The Left seeks to destroy objective reality and create social chaos. WHY?

Social chaos is the prerequisite for seismic social change and the Leftists seek to destroy American democracy and replace it with socialism. How does it work?

The medium is the message. In 1964 Marshall McLuhan explained that the medium is separate from the message and has a separate social effect upon the recipient. Television is the greatest vehicle for social engineering and mass psychological indoctrination ever invented. The images on the screen become familiar and familiarity brings acceptance. The separate social effect of television (including any screening device) is that the images are accepted as reality. For children talking animals and cartoon characters acquire authority. For older kids, adolescents, and adults the characters in the plots become reality and their fictitious lives no matter how anti-establishment become normative and acceptable. The breakdown of rules, restrictions, and cultural norms appears progressive to an adolescent but is in fact extremely regressive to an adult.

The anti-establishment strategy is to present television commercials and programming that attack established cultural norms of American family, religion, and government with destabilizing images and messages creating cognitive dissonance. By destroying the three pillars of society the Left hopes to advance its agenda of socialism. The Left advertises socialism as the structure that will provide social justice, income equality, and escape from cognitive dissonance. Socialism is advertised as the stabilizing equalizing answer to your problems. Anyone who watches television commercials knows that there is little truth in advertising. Wiping a rag across the shower door does not remove the soap scum.

The truth about Leftist diversity is that it only includes people who LOOK different not people who THINK differently. There are no conservatives invited to the luncheon or sitting at the picnic table. There is no diversity of thought. American democracy is founded on principles of equality, freedom of speech (thought), and individual rights. Socialism is collectivism and values the group over the individual. There is no social justice or income equality in socialism. In the long run socialism never works because as Margaret Thatcher said, “Eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

The re-educated students and television “authorities” indoctrinating America toward collectivism should go back to school and take an actual history lesson. They should read about Che Guevara and how he helped free Cubans from the Batista regime but then enslaved them under the Castro regime. Maybe they will think twice about wearing their Che t-shirts. There is no income equality in socialism – the Castro brothers lived in splendor and the Cuban people still live in poverty. The self-righteous re-educated students should read that socialism is a stepping stone toward globalized one-world government. One-world government is the goal and underlying motive of the elite globalists who are financing the Cultural Revolution in America and fomenting the anti-establishment campaign to re-educate America.

The enthusiastic left-wing liberal lemmings committed to the re-education campaign are too arrogant to understand that they are being used as useful idiots by the globalist elite who have a different end game of their own.

Socialism with its complete government control is the prerequisite social structure for the globalist elite to internationalize sovereign countries, globalize the police force, and impose one-world government upon the world population. One-world government is the new world order that the globalist elite intend to rule themselves. It is unapologetically described in chilling detail by aristocrat Lord Bertrand Russell in his book “The Impact of Science on Society” written 65 years ago. One-world government is a binary socio-political system of masters and slaves. There is no social justice in one-world government, there is no income equality in one-world government, there are no Leftists, environmentalists, humanitarian hucksters, bullying prevention, diversity, contrived television commercials, or political agitators of any kind in one-world government – only a passive, compliant population of slaves ruled by their globalist elite masters.

President Donald Trump was elected because he believes in America first, American democracy, American sovereignty, rejects socialism, rejects globalism, and demands to live in the adult world of objective reality. President Trump’s insistence upon objective reality has made him the existential enemy of the regressive Left who require subjective reality to sell socialism. President Trump’s insistence upon American sovereignty has also made him the existential enemy of the corrupt establishment politicians and greedy never-Trumpers who require subjective reality to sell globalism. Re-education is the strategy that replaces objective reality with subjective reality to sell socialism and globalism to America. Re-education is the medium for the Cultural Revolution.


Want to get into your first-choice college? Better book a plane ticket

On university campuses, a summer tradition has unfolded: High school juniors and their parents are inspecting dormitories, checking out libraries, and visiting classrooms as part of the college tour.

Such visits have become increasingly mandatory for students looking for an edge in the highly competitive admissions process. As colleges try to winnow large application pools, many use a student’s interest in the school as an important factor in admissions.

But the practice has some counselors and researchers worried that low-income students who can’t afford to travel or those who aren’t savvy about the importance of the college tour may lose out.

“It’s a phenomenon everybody has to take into account,” said David Hawkins, executive director for education content and policy at the National Association for College Admission Counseling. But for “students who don’t have the means, it raises the bar for them one more time.”

Many colleges now rank a student’s demonstrated interest — through campus visits, e-mails, and outreach to admissions officials and professors — as a crucial factor in deciding whether a student receives an acceptance letter. In some cases, it is as important as the application essay, having a parent who attended the college, or being the first in a family to go to college.

Colleges say that technology enables students to send a standardized application to multiple institutions, making it difficult for admissions officers to discern whether the high school senior really wants to go there or if the school is a back-up.

Colleges are also ranked in publications by the number of applicants who are accepted and then enroll. Therefore, many want to make sure that the applicants who get acceptance letters have a high probability of enrolling.

As a result, many universities track who visits, who calls, and who returns e-mail inquiries in an effort to ensure that students who apply really want to attend and will show up on the first day of classes.

Recent research by economists at Lehigh University and Mathematica Policy Research suggests that the more money students spend on showing their interest, the more likely they are to be admitted into the school, especially if they have good SAT scores and are applying to a competitive university.

Talking to admissions officers at a college fair or when they visit a high school is fairly basic.

But students who scored among the top quarter on SATs increased their chances of getting admitted into a college by 40 percentage points if they not only made contact off-site but also visited the campus, according to the researchers, who examined admissions data at one unnamed college. Students in the second-highest quartile of SAT test-takers improved their chances by about 20 percentage points in the same situation.

“It’s a surprising finding,” said Muzhe Yang, an economics professor at Lehigh University. “It’s very important to demonstrate interest in a school, to show that you’re excited. You have to pay a high cost to come to a campus. If you’re willing to pay the high cost, then you have a genuine interest.”

To offset the disadvantages of students who can’t afford a trip, some universities are trying to reach out to more remote communities so they offer students a chance to meet admissions officers and ask questions if they can’t visit campus. Some universities pay for groups of students to visit, while others encourage Skype interviews. [Which seems to defeat the purpose of such encounters]


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

10 Colleges Getting Money to Start 'Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation' Centers

Probably more aptly titled: 'Misrepresentation, Race-consciousness and regression to segregation'

Ten colleges and universities are getting $30,000 each to create brand-new campus centers for "Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation."

The Association of American Colleges and Universities, which describes itself as an influential catalyst for educational improvement and reform, announced the awards last week.

AAC&U said the ten schools, listed below, were selected based on their proposals to "create positive narratives about race, identify and examine current realities of race relations in their communities, envision communities without entrenched racial hierarchies, and pinpoint levers for change and key individuals to engage." The goal is to "uproot the conscious and unconscious biases and misbeliefs that have exacerbated racial violence and tension in American society."

The initial award of $30,000 to each college or university comes with support from the Newman's Own Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The ten institutions selected as sites for the first Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Campus Centers are: Austin Community College (Texas); Brown University (R.I.); Duke University (N.C.); Hamline University (Minn.); Millsaps College (Miss.); Rutgers University (N.J.); Spelman College (Ga.); The Citadel, The Military College of S.C.; University of Hawai’i at Manoa; and University of Maryland/Baltimore County.

A total of 125 institutions filed applications.

“In the aftermath of the horrific, heartbreaking events in Charlottesville, we must not be silent," said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella. "Instead, we must harness our collective intellectual, social, and financial resources to transform words into action."

She added that AAC&U envisions the eventual establishment of 150 TRHT centers across the country -- "to ensure that higher education is playing a leadership role in promoting racial and social justice.”

Initiated in 2016 by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation centers aim to "unearth and jettison the deeply held, and often unconscious, beliefs created by racism, the main one being the belief in a 'hierarchy of human value.' This absurd belief, which has fueled racism and conscious and unconscious bias throughout American culture, is the perception of inferiority or superiority based on race, physical characteristics, or place of origin," the AAC&U news release said.

Brown University reportedly plans to use its first TRHT grant to "develop student-focused programming, including a discussion group for female Muslim students on campus and the expansion of a spring 2017 pilot discussion group for black students," the student newspaper said.

Coincidentally, several days after Brown received money to start on-campus racial healing centers, the university encountered friction from local Indian tribes.

On Sunday evening, the Pokanoket Tribe set up camp on 375 acres of land in Bristol, R.I., which was donated to Brown over the years.

One of the Native American protesters was quoted as saying the tribe has been “denied our birthright to our family’s land, our sovereignty rights, therefore states and powerful organizations have held our wealth over and over to the point that they believe it is their natural gift and natural right to have our property.”

In a statement released on Sunday, the university said it has “maintained clear legal title” to the Bristol land for more than 60 years.

“Brown expects opportunities for open dialogue with the Pokanoket as the University becomes more knowledgeable about their concerns,” the news release said.


Parental Choice Smear Campaign Falls Flat

Opponents of parental choice in education have been in overdrive portraying private school scholarships (and by association, those who support or use them) as racist to diminish their popularity. Results from a new national poll suggest opponents’ strategy isn’t working.

According to the 11th annual Education Next  poll public support for a variety of private school choice options has increased, and it is especially strong among Black and Hispanic Americans.

Privately-funded tax-credit scholarships are the most popular private school choice option, with majorities of Americans supporting them (p. 11, question 12a), including:

63% of Hispanics
61% each, parents and Blacks
56% of Republicans
54% each, all respondents and Democrats
52% Whites

A plurality of Americans also support publicly-funded voucher scholarships, and opposition to them has declined in the past year—no matter how the questions are phrased, according to the poll authors:

When asked whether they favor universal vouchers—giving vouchers to “all families” in order to give parents a “wider choice”—only 37% of the general public express opposition, down from 44% a year ago. Supporters, at 45%, now have a clear plurality. Opposition to vouchers for low-income parents to give them “wider choice” also fell, from 48% to 41%, while the level of support ticked upward from 37% to 43%. three of the four phrasings of the voucher question—the two that emphasize choice and the one that emphasizes the use of government funds to support low-income families—we find a decline in public opposition. In no instance do we find a slippage in support, and in the case of vouchers for low-income parents we see an increase of 6 percentage points.

Among Hispanics 49% support universal vouchers, and 54% support low-income vouchers to give families “wider choice.” (Results for Blacks were not reported because of the sample size.)

The newest form of parental choice are education savings accounts (ESAs). They work similarly to health savings accounts (HSAs) and have been enacted in five states since 2011, starting with Arizona followed by Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, Tennessee, and most recently North Carolina.

Parents who do not enroll their child in a public school inform the state, and it deposits at least 90% of their child’s associated state funding into an ESA instead. Parents are issued a type of dedicated-use debit card for education purchases, including private school tuition, tutoring, special education therapies, online courses, and testing fees. Unused funds roll over each year for future education expenses, including college tuition under some states’ programs. Funds are disbursed quarterly, and parents must submit expense reports with receipts for verification before additional funds are deposited. Parents are also subject to criminal prosecution if they do not comply with spending rules, and any misspent funds must be repaid.

The poll authors explain that ESAs are “the most recent choice proposal, [and] have yet to capture public support. In theory, the concept might appeal to those who think taxpayers who don’t use public schools should get other benefits instead—and to proponents of allowing parents even greater flexibility and choice than vouchers offer them. But the general public has yet to embrace that logic,” with a 37% approval rating. However, ESAs garner higher approval ratings among certain populations, including 50% of Blacks and 45% parents. (See p. 15, question 16.)

Another national poll of likely voters, as opposed to the general public, released earlier this year found that since 2015 overall support for ESAs has grown from 66% to 69%. Support among Latino voters has increased from 71% last year to 76% this year, and fully 80% of Millennial voters support ESAs.

Not only is private school parental choice popular, abundant scientific evidence proves it works in terms of improved student achievement, higher high school graduation rates, college enrollment rates, and college completion rates, among other positive outcomes. (See here, here, here, and here.)

In spite of opponents’ efforts to disparage parental choice in education, parents and the American public don’t seem to be listening.


Australia: An intensifying grab for our children by the Left

When an opponent declares, "I will not come over to your side," I calmly say, "Your child belongs to us already...What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community." -- Adolf Hitler

Kevin Donnelly

Given the re-emergence of the Safe Schools program, a NSW prim­ary school putting on a Stolen Generations play where children dress as nuns and victimise Aboriginal children, and the Australian Education Union’s campaign to promote the LGBTI Wear it Purple Day, there’s no doubt that the cultural left now dominates our education system.

The overwhelming majority of parents send their children to school to learn the basics, to socialise with other students and to acquir­e the knowledge and skills to be good citizens and to be better prepared for further study or the workforce.

But the cultural left’s Australian Education Union and like-minded bureaucrats and academ­ics are using the education system and schools to radically reshape society by indoctrinating students with Marxist-inspired, politically correct ideologies.

The Safe Schools program indoctr­inates children with the belief­ that gender and sexuality are fluid and limitless, and Roz Ward — who helped design the program — argues, “it will only be through a revitalised class struggle and revolutionary change that we can hope for the liberation of LGBTI people”.

Like the Safe Schools program, those organising the Wear it Purple­ Day are committed to ­“ensuring diverse expressions of sex, sexuality and gender” and it should not surprise that the organisers actively support the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

This Friday has been designated Wear it Purple Day and the NSW Teachers Federation is telling schools they should link “the key ideas of Wear It Purple Day to broader lessons on diversity and difference, to foster safe and supportive­ environments. The event embraces and celebrates sexuality, sex and gender diversity”.

Further evidence of the Australian Education Union’s politically correct ideology is its response to the same-sex marriage postal survey­. The president of the AEU, Correna Haythorpe, argues: “The AEU is strongly opposed to the federal government’s approach, which is more about satisfying the bigotry of sections of the Liberal Party, rather than the interests or will of the community.”

Like so many of the cultural-left elites dominating the public and political debate, the AEU and Ms Haythorpe believe that anyone who disagrees is a bigot and that the people, instead of expressing their views and opinions as is their democratic right, must be silenced­.

And it’s been happening for years. In 1983 Joan Kirner, the one-time Victorian education minister and premier, argued at a Fabian Society conference that education “has to be part of the socialist struggle for equality, participat­ion and social change rather than an instrument of the capitalist system”.

The AEU’s 2003 policy on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people argues that: “Sexuality should be included in all curriculum relating to health and personal development. Homosex­ual­ity and bisexuality need to be normalised and materials need to be developed which will help to combat homophobia.”

As noted, the Australian Education Union has a long history of cultural-left political activism and promoting left-wing causes such as same-sex marriage, gender fluid­ity and a secular curriculum that undermines the value of Western culture by promoting diversit­y and difference — the new code for multiculturalism.

Since the late 70s and early 80s, the left-wing teacher union has ­argued that Australian society is riven with inequality and injustice and that the school curriculum must be used to promote its politic­ally correct views about global­ warming, the evils of capit­alism, that men are misogynist and sexist, and that there’s nothing beneficial about meritocracy and competition.

Such is the success of the AEU to take control of the school ­curriculum that a past president of the union argues that “we have succeeded in influencing curriculum development in schools, education departments and univer­sities. The conservatives have a lot to do to undo the progressive curriculum­”.

Examples of the cultural-left’s takeover of the curriculum include the fact that students are now taught that gender and sexuality are “social constructions” that promote “unequal power relationships” between boys and girls, and that those who believe in tradit­ional marriage are guilty of ­“hetero-normativity”.

While the AEU and like-minded academi­cs argue against schools teaching about Christianity, or having formal religious instruction­ classes, they are happy to pressure schools to worship the Gaia by including Al Gore’s DVDs in the curriculum.

There is an alternative to Marxist-inspired indoctrination, if polit­icians and education bureaucrats have the courage to act. Education should never be confused with indoctrination and the curriculum must be impartial and balanced.

The school curriculum should also teach students the importance of civility, humility and a commitment to being rational, honest and ethical in their behaviour and relationships with others.

Students must be taught the strengths and benefits of Western civilisation, as well as the flaws and weaknesses, and that to be fully and properly educated they need to be familiar with what the Victorian Blackburn report describes as “our best validated knowledge and artistic achievements”.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

School group kicked off university campus over Trump hats

I think there was more going on here than has been acknowledged.  Just from the photo above it is clear that these girls were born lucky. Their long blonde hair, short shorts and great legs said to black bystanders:  "You can never be this attractive".  They stood out as the lucky ones of society and reminded blacks present that the luck of birth was not with them. Their presence was a slap in the face to black self-esteem.

The Left have done a great job trying to persuade blacks that black is beautiful but it's a hard sell. Outside primitive tribes, the worldwide ideal of beauty is Nordic. Even Japanese ladies blond their hair and Korean ladies have their eyes widened. All men (and women) are NOT equal and never will be

AN AMERICAN university has kicked out a school group for wearing "Make America Great Again” hats after a student complained about “whitey girls tryna be problematic”.

Twitter user Essence Dalton posted a photo of a group of high school girls visiting Howard University on Sunday, one of whom was wearing a distinctive red Donald Trump hat.

“Who told these lil yt girls they could come to THE HU like it was about to be some joke,” she wrote, adding that “they don’t even go here they’re just locals posted up in the annex tryna be problematic”.

Howard University is a historically black, private university in Washington DC. Its student population is about 86 per cent African-American, 3 per cent white and 3 per cent Asian.

In response, the Howard University Dining Twitter account wrote: “We will take any action necessary to ensure that HU students feel safe & comfortable in our dining spaces. This group is no longer on campus.”

“However what happened to my friend and I today was absolutely pathetic. My friend Sarah and I are on a trip to Washington DC with two schools, one being our own, Union City, and the other being Central Tech.

“We have been able to sight see and visit many different historical places in DC without being harassed by anyone for supporting Donald Trump. Today we visited Howard University for lunch. Sarah was wearing a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat, I was wearing my new Trump shirt I had just recently purchased, along with my own Trump hat.

“Walking to the cafe, a man said ‘F*** y’all’ to me. While we were waiting in line not knowing that HU is a predominately ‘black’ school, which either way SHOULDN’T MATTER, a man came up and stole Sarah’s hat.

“We had never even engaged with the students. Half of us weren’t even through the doors yet. Fortunately one of our supervisors was able to retrieve it. We were harassed continuously. The students took videos and pictures of us saying WE were being ‘disrespectful’, and that ‘us being caucasian, we should have known better’.

“After a lot of hate, our head supervisors decided it would be a good idea to keep the peace and find somewhere else to eat. When we got on the bus, a girl from Central Tech told us to ‘remove our hats because we are racist’.

“This is America. These are the people who are racist and disrespectful. It’s unfortunate that more Trump supporters have to fear going places than others. I will never be embarrassed for supporting Donald Trump. I will always support OUR president when, and wherever, I please.


Ivy League schools brace for scrutiny of race in admissions

A Justice Department inquiry into how race influences admissions at Harvard University has left selective colleges bracing for new scrutiny of practices that have helped boost diversity levels to new highs across the Ivy League.

Harvard and other top-tier colleges closely guard the inner workings of their admissions offices, but they defend approaches that consider an applicant's race among other factors as a way to bring a diverse mix of perspectives to campus. While the schools believe they are on firm legal ground, experts say the investigation could inspire new challenges.

"They're pulling the scab off a wound that was healing," said Anthony Carnevale, who has studied affirmative action programs and leads Georgetown University's Center for Education and the Workforce. "This could erupt in a bunch more cases."

At the eight Ivy League colleges including Harvard, Yale and Princeton, the number of U.S. minority students in all incoming classes grew by 17 percent between 2010 and 2015, while overall enrollment in those classes grew by less than 2 percent, according to the latest federal data. By 2015, minorities accounted for more than 43 percent of all incoming students in the Ivy League, up from 37 percent in 2010.

The trend partly reflects the demographics of an increasingly diverse nation, but the schools also consider race for reasons including a desire to reverse historically low numbers of minorities at elite universities that in some cases began admitting nonwhite students only in the last 75 years.

"We're aiming for diversity on our campus and we're achieving it," said Christopher Eisgruber, president of Princeton University. "Universities have a compelling interest in pursuing diversity in their student bodies through a holistic assessment of factors."

Eisgruber said he is not surprised by the "continuing political controversy," but it would not be appropriate for him to comment on the Justice Department investigation.

At Brown University, the inquiry was a topic of discussion last week, school spokesman Brian Clark said.

"The courts have held that colleges and universities may act affirmatively to achieve the educational goals at the core of our academic excellence at Brown," Clark said in a statement. "Through our race-conscious admission practices, Brown assembles the diverse range of perspectives and experiences essential for a learning and research community that prepares students to thrive in a complex and changing world."

Word of the investigation startled some who thought the affirmative action debate was settled after the U.S. Supreme Court last year upheld race-conscious admissions at the University of Texas. That case was brought by a white student who contended she was rejected from the school while black students with lower grades were admitted.

In the Harvard case, investigators are looking into a 2015 complaint brought by a coalition of 64 Asian-American groups that allege the school uses racial quotas to admit students and discriminates against Asian-Americans by holding them to a higher standard. The Justice Department said it's revisiting the case because it was left unresolved by the previous administration.

Harvard said its practices are legally sound.

"Harvard remains committed to enrolling diverse classes of students," Harvard spokeswoman Rachael Dane said. "Harvard's admissions process considers each applicant as a whole person, and we review many factors, consistent with the legal standards established by the U.S. Supreme Court."

Despite the growth in the nonwhite student populations, the schools acknowledge their diversity efforts are aimed largely at drawing students from underrepresented races and ethnicities, a category that often includes blacks and Latinos but not Asian-American students.

Princeton's Eisgruber said the last decade has seen a significant increase in the number of Asian-American students on campus, while growth among other minorities has been "more modest." The trend has been similar across the Ivy League, where U.S. minority students other than Asian-Americans made up only 24 percent of incoming students in 2015. By contrast, those minority groups made up 35 percent of the U.S. population last year, according to Census estimates.

Some who oppose race-conscious policies have said they're encouraged by the Justice Department's inquiry, while supporters see it as political posturing by President Donald Trump's administration. Still, some advocates fear there could be a chilling effect among schools that will wonder if they'll face scrutiny next.

Natasha Warikoo, a scholar of race and education at Harvard's Graduate School of Education, said research has indicated some schools already have been backing away from race-conscious policies.

"I think that has to do with the legal context and this fear of being hit with a lawsuit, and the Justice Department just adds a layer to that," Warikoo said.

Others said the Supreme Court has set a clear precedent upholding colleges' right to consider race.

"The foundations are set and they are longstanding," said Art Coleman, managing partner of the Education Counsel consulting firm and a former deputy assistant Secretary of the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights under President Bill Clinton. "My hope is that it would do nothing to affect institutions that are pursuing issues of diversity and inclusion on campus."


Australia: Preschools and libraries to be forced to vet all books and toys to ensure play spaces are 'gender equitable' and don't stereotype boys and girls

Darebin is run by Green Left fanatics who seem to disagree with just about all normal things

A guide book intended to quash gender stereotypes picked up by children in play areas has been produced by the Melbourne's Darebin City Council.

The Creating Gender Equity in the Early Years guide sets out to help children's services monitor gender equality across resources including books, toys and posters, The Australian reported.

The guide will encourage preschools, childcare centres and libraries to audit tools that may play a part in unbalanced gender roles following research violence against women is connected to gender inequality,  

'It is important to not only think about who is where and how often, but are they doing there?' the guide states.

'What are the storylines of their play telling you about what the children think are the normal roles for women and men?' 

Darebin Council's preventing violence against women officer Teneille Summers said research reflects the link between family violence and gender equality. 

'If girls are interested in playing with dolls, that's fine, as long as we're not preventing them from exploring other interests as well,' Ms Summers said.

She believes it is about creating opportunities for both sex in all areas of the play corners.

'I think early years educators are considering a lot of this ­already but they wouldn't necessarily think about it as preventing family violence. But that is what they are doing.'


Monday, August 21, 2017

Student demand grows faster at universities with higher graduate salaries, surprisingly enough

British universities that boast high graduate salaries have seen a bigger uptick in applications over the past five years than universities with lower average post-university wages, new research shows.

The data suggests that students are increasingly being drawn to institutions that can virtually guarantee they will get a well-paid job after graduation.

According to property company Savills, which looked at UCAS application numbers and linked them to graduate salaries, universities with higher graduate starting salaries have seen significantly greater increases in demand from prospective students since 2012.

For example, Imperial College London graduates earn an average of £30,600 in their first job post-graduation - more than £5,000 above the UK average. And applications at Imperial have grown by 22pc since 2012.

Graduates at The University of Bristol go on to jobs that pay £2,700 above average, and the university has seen a 20pc increase in applications since 2012.

Southampton graduates earn £2,800 more than average and applications there have grown 26pc, while Royal Holloway graduates earn £1,900 more than the UK average and applications have risen by 24pc.

On the other end of the spectrum, York St John, where graduates earn £20,300 per year on average, has seen its applications fall by 9pc since 2012.

Northampton University has seen its application numbers fall 3pc over the past five years. Its graduates earn £3,200 below the UK average.

Lawrence Bowles of Savills said: “For every difference of £1,000 in average graduate salary, applications grew by an extra 1.9pc."

Last month, research from the IFS showed that students entering university this year can expect to face debts of more than £50,000 once they graduate. "With such a high liability, it’s no wonder students are flocking to universities with higher graduate salaries," Mr Bowles said.


The Trans Juggernaut Wants Your Kids, And Public Schools Are Just The Beginning

Parents are finding fewer and fewer ways to protect their children from being used as guinea pigs inside an experiment constructed by unelected bureaucrats.

If you had argued pre-Obergefell that de-sexing marriage would lead to drag queens leading preschool storytime in public libraries and public schools hounded into hiding their mandatory sex ed curriculum from parents after a settlement requiring trans-friendly “education” starting in kindergarten, you would have been called an unhinged bigot. How could what two consenting adults do privately have any effect on whether five-year-olds are told they should consider cutting off their penises? Preposterous. Fear-mongering. Wild-eyed insanity.

Or not. Rod Dreher’s “Law of Merited Impossibility” strikes again: “It will never happen, and when it does, you bigots will deserve it.” As I’ve written before, Obergefell and related caselaw, which are still developing, are turning out not to be about what consenting adults do privately. They are the spear tip of a wholesale shift in law that is already negatively affecting children, because at its heart is the principle that sexuality is genderless.

As theologian N.T. Wright pointed out to the Times of London last week, “Nature…tends to strike back, with the likely victims in this case being vulnerable and impressionable youngsters who, as confused adults, will pay the price for their elders’ fashionable fantasies.”

This is likely why the transgender movement is targeting the young: They are vulnerable and impressionable, prepuberty pose better as either sex and therefore look less terrifying than adult transgenders, and once locked into the trans body morph will never truly be able to escape. Devastated people are prime candidates for exploitation by their pretend advocates. Also, locking in trans-policies now is a way to preclude debate before more extensive data and personal experience can fuel the inevitable backlash.

Of course this is bad for kids, but it’s not about kids. They’re just pawns, as usual. It’s about politics. Pushing transgenderism not only destabilizes a key component of a child’s identity but also contributes to early sexualization that is linked with mental illness and risky behaviors. Early exposure to and lack of clear parental direction about sex is also linked with increased gender confusion, which is precisely what we’re seeing as clinics for cutting and pasting children’s hormones and body parts explode inside a media environment that glamorizes this form of child abuse.

Parents are facing fewer and fewer ways to protect their children from being used as guinea pigs inside an experiment constructed by unelected bureaucrats. Here we’ll discuss two recent examples: one specific and one more general.

You Can’t Know What We’re Teaching Your Kids About Sex

Kelsey Harkness recently reported on the brewing situation at a public charter school in Minnesota. Charters are public schools often created and run by a board of a coalition of local parents and community leaders. Everyone who attends has to choose to do so rather than be assigned to attend automatically through geographic attendance zones, like most public schools. They usually provide a safe haven for families looking for a sound alternative to traditional schools, which are on average of lower academic quality because they do not have to compete for students.

Saint Paul’s Nova Classical Academy is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the top Minnesota high school. But it has been transformed into a rainbow Trojan horse after Dave and Hannah Edwards sued Nova for not including pro-transgender materials starting in kindergarten to accommodate their five-year-old son, whom they claim is transgender. Parents began transferring their kindergarteners out of the child’s class when they came home saying things like, “Mom, I think you can choose if you want to be a boy or a girl,” according to interviews with The Daily Signal.

The little boy began wearing a female uniform and accessories, and classes began to include pro-trans picture books endorsing gender fluidity. This month’s settlement after 16 months of litigation requires the school to make all uniforms available to both sexes, pay LGBT organizations to “train staff” in politically correct behavior every three years, and “not adopt any gender policy that allows parents to opt out of requirements in the gender inclusion policy because of objections based on religion or conscience.” This lawyer and Federalist contributor, after reviewing the settlement, said it appears to ban the school from even notifying parents of its sex policies.

The circumstances are even more suspicious and shocking than a prohibition on telling parents what their children will be learning about human biology: Dave Edwards is an academic in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Psychology, whose pending PhD is being funded by a taxpayer-funded grant and who specializes in transgender education. As a school consultant and trainer on gender identity, he now personally profits from doing “training” of the kind his family’s settlement forces on Nova. Here’s from his website,

There are more curiosities in the family’s case. Edwards’ LinkedIn profile lists him as a “founding staff member of Venture Academy Charter School,” also in Saint Paul, a high-profile school funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which uses its deep pockets to seed “education reform” with far-left ideas and personnel. Edwards started his career in a heavily Gates-funded teaching fellowship known for its politically progressive staff.

Rather than enroll his son in the school Dave helped create, the Edwardses chose to apply for Nova at approximately the same time Dave stopped working at Venture Academy and began pursuing his doctorate with a focus on transgender school compliance. This was almost three years after the family decided the child was gender-fluid when he began emulating Beyonce’s dancing at two years old. In March 2016, after their son had attended Nova for seven months, the Edwardses withdrew him, but continued to press their lawsuit.

“The daily influence of this little boy, who very much looks like a girl, all the accessories … they’re really doing it up with him,” said a mother whose six-year-old was in kindergarten for those few months with the Edwardses’ son when he was five. Since lawsuit-induced policies have been adopted, Nova has lost a tenth of its students.

Nova Is Just a Tip of the Spear

Nova is a test case for what trans activists want to perpetuate nationwide — and not just in public schools, but also in private and home schools. An 8-year-old drag queen groomed by his parents says “If you want to be a drag queen and your parents don’t let you, you need new parents,” the underlying, totalitarian belief of the movement he represents. The easiest initial access point is private school choice programs, but activists are also targeting all private schools through accreditation bodies. The accreditation attack is currently most visible in higher education, but it’s spreading to K-12.

You read that right. Orthodox Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are morally equal to racists.

Since President Trump appointed school choice proponent Betsy DeVos as education secretary, Democrats have demanded to know why she supports giving parents freedom to choose their kids’s schools when so many hinterland bigots will choose schools that don’t let boys shower with girls or lie to developing minds about basic biology and its implications for their identity.

These questions led to a media divebomb this summer on a Christian school in Indiana that accepts voucher students and whose policies reflect the Ten Commandments’ prohibition against sexual immorality. Subsequently, Indiana outlets have begun investigating which in-state private schools are “anti-LGBT,” meaning require students to adhere to centuries-old prescriptions for chastity that apply to those of all sexual attractions.

Through reviews of publicly posted handbooks and phone calls, journalism nonprofit Chalkbeat Indiana found 27 “anti-LGBT” schools and created a comprehensive database of in-state private schools’ sexuality and admissions policies. Just in case, you know, rainbow protesters wanted to show up at a few, or know where to enroll their gender-dysphoric kindergarteners and then sue.

It also quoted a professor who says “allowing some schools to discriminate against LGBT students on the basis of religion is no different than racial discrimination.” You read that right. Orthodox Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are morally equal to racists. It’s not surprising, then, that in this political environment about 80 percent of Indiana private schools keep their sex policies off the Internet and don’t return reporters’ phone calls to reveal them.

In Indiana, private schools must be accredited by either the state or one of seven private accreditors approved by the state board of education to accept students through one of the state’s two private choice programs. Chalkbeat, another Gates Foundation grant recipient, singled out the Association of Christian Schools International, an organization with 3,000 member schools, for offering a sample sexual ethics policy that repeats standard Christian teachings about the proper use of sexuality — within marriage between two opposite-sex people.

Discrimination Based on Behavior Is Not Like Racism

Chalkbeat referred to sex-specific policies and safeguards as “discrimination,” implying an equivocation between racial discrimination and behavior expectations. But race is an immutable fact, not a behavior. This is one of the reasons discrimination on its basis is so unjust. Yet we as a society discriminate based on behavior all the time, and we must to stay civilized, as well as to preserve our constitutionally guaranteed rights to free exercise of religion and freedom of association.

None of us are safe unless we band together and stop this crazy train in its tracks.

We sometimes treat the sexes distinctly, and create special, sometimes separate, environments for those who are emotionally troubled. There are sensible reasons for these that are not in the same ballpark as racism. The leftists harping on this topic are essentially demanding a religious litmus test — the adoption of the moral belief that every sexual practice must be affirmed — as a precondition for educating children. It is starting with public and private schools, but will eventually encompass “outliers” such as homeschoolers. None of us are safe unless we band together and stop this crazy train in its tracks.

A key problem is that Republican-led statehouses are the ones guarding school choice programs, and these same statehouses can barely muster the votes to protect children in public schools from being forced into unisex shower and sleeping quarters. Just two days ago Texas Speaker Joe Strauss torpedoed a special session that was set to consider both a bathroom bill and a school choice bill, and the state is in desperate need of both. Despite the lack of federal laws banning sexuality-based policies even when rational, such as in public showers and sports competitions, courts are already busy writing this religious (and antiscientific and inhumane) litmus test into existing sexual-privileges laws for women.

Chalkbeat put its recent set of articles on these topics under the heading “Choice for Some.” It’s an ironic slogan given that the logical end of their rhetoric is choice for none. Eradicating all social and ethical policies based on the distinctions between the sexes herds everyone into an Potemkin genderless society whether we consent to that arrangement or not. Some may feel that’s progress; others may call it totalitarianism.


Final British high school exam results 2017: Boys beat girls to top grades for first time in 17 years amid tougher exams

Boys are beating girls to top A-level grades for the first time in 17 years - with 26.6 per cent of boys achieving coveted A* or A grades compared to just 26.1 per cent of girls.

The dramatic reversal of fortunes is thought to be fuelled by the new "tougher" A-levels, which have less coursework and no modules. Girls have outperformed boys every year since 2000.

In the 13 subjects that have a reformed syllabus and course structure - devised by former education secretary Michael Gove in a bid to raise standards - the top grades of girls have drastically declined.

The gender gap across all subjects, which sees boys 0.5 points ahead of girls for A* or A grades, has reversed on last year - when girls were 0.3 points ahead of boys.

It has been falling over the decade, standing at 1.5 points in 2011, 1.4 points in 2012, 0.8 in 2013, 0.5 in 2014 and 0.4 in 2015. In 2011, 27.7 per cent of girls achieved an A* or A - compared to 26.2 per cent of boys.

A sample of results for 18-year-olds in England, provided by the Joint Council for Qualifications, shows that in the new raft of 13 reformed subjects, the drop in A or A* grades for girls fell 1.1 percentage points compared to just 0.2 points for boys.

The subjects are art and design,  biology,  business,  chemistry,  computer science,  economics,  English language,  English language and literature,  English literature,  history,  physics,  psychology and  sociology.

The share of top grades is equal for boys and girls in these subjects at 24.3 per cent.

It comes as the proportion of A-level exams awarded the highest results has risen for the first time in six years, with more than one in four entries scoring at least an A grade this year, despite efforts to make them tougher.

National figures show that 26.3 per cent of A-level entries scored an A* or A this summer, up 0.5 percentage points on 2016. It is the first time the A*-A pass rate has risen since 2011.

The rise comes amid major changes to the qualifications, with the first grades awarded in 13 subjects that have been reformed, with a move away from coursework and modular exams throughout the course, making them more challenging for students.

The figures, published by the Joint Council for Qualifications (JCQ) also show boys have pulled further ahead at the highest grade.

The statistics, for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, also show:

The overall A*-E pass-rate has fallen by 0.2 percentage points to 97.9 per cent. The proportion of entries awarded the highest result - A* - has risen 0.2 percentage points to 8.3 per cent

Among the 13 reformed subjects only, results are down slightly compared to the equivalent subjects in 2016

When comparing 18-year-old results, the proportion of A* grades for these courses is down 0.5 percentage points to 7.2 per cent, A*-A grades have dropped 0.7 percentage points to 24.3 per cent and A*-E results have fallen 0.5 percentage points to 98.1 per cent.

Figures showed a huge spike in the number of entries for a small range of subjects, including computing, with a 33 per cent rise in the number of A-level students sitting the exam in 2017, compared with last year. This included a 34 per cent increase in female students - 816, up from 609 in 2016.

There was a 12.8 per cent increase in the number taking political studies, and a 1.7% rise in those taking Spanish at A-level.

But there were dips in the take-up of other languages - with a 2.1 per cent drop in those doing French and a 4.7 per cent decrease in students sitting German.

Elsewhere, entries for history - one of the most popular A-levels by number of students - fell by 8.1 per cent.

Data showed a 3.3 per cent increase in entries for maths, but there was a significant drop in those sitting English.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

UC Berkeley chancellor unveils 'Free Speech Year' as right-wing speakers plan campus events

Color me skeptical

Carol T. Christ, UC Berkeley’s 11th chancellor and the first woman to lead the nation’s top public research university, unveiled plans Tuesday for a “Free Speech Year” as right-wing speakers prepare to come to campus.

Christ said the campus would hold “point-counterpoint” panels to demonstrate how to exchange opposing views in a respectful manner. Other events will explore constitutional questions, the history of Berkeley’s free speech movement and how that movement inspired acclaimed chef Alice Waters to create her Chez Panisse restaurant.

“Now what public speech is about is shouting, screaming your point of view in a public space rather than really thoughtfully engaging someone with a different point of view,” Christ said in an interview. “We have to build a deeper and richer shared public understanding.”

The free speech initiative comes after a rocky year of clashing opinions on campus. In February, violent protests shut down an appearance by right-wing firebrand Milo Yiannopoulos, prompting President Trump to question the campus’ federal funding. A few months later, conservative commentator Ann Coulter canceled a planned appearance after the campus groups hosting her pulled out.

Yiannopoulos has announced plans to return next month to spend days in a “tent city” in Berkeley’s iconic Sproul Plaza. Conservative author and columnist Ben Shapiro is scheduled to visit Sept. 14.

The free speech issue drew the biggest spotlight in the new chancellor’s daylong media interviews and welcoming remarks to 9,500 new students. Christ, dressed in blue ceremonial robes, told the new arrivals that Berkeley’s free speech movement was launched by liberals and conservatives working together to win the right to advocate political views on campus.

“Particularly now, it is critical for the Berkeley community to protect this right; it is who we are,” she said. “That protection involves not just defending your right to speak, or the right of those you agree with, but also defending the right to speak by those you disagree with, even of those whose views you find abhorrent.”

She drew loud applause when she asserted that the best response to hate speech is “more speech” rather than trying to shut down others, and when she said that shielding students from uncomfortable views would not serve them well.

“You have the right to expect the university to keep you physically safe, but we would be providing you less of an education, preparing you less well for the world after you graduate, if we tried to protect you from ideas that you may find wrong, even noxious,” she said.

Although everyone wants to feel comfort and support, Christ said, inner resilience is the “the surest form of safe space.”

But she also emphasized that public safety also is paramount. At a morning news conference dominated by free speech questions, Christ said the February violence triggered by the Yiannopoulos event had underscored the need for a larger police presence. Only 85 officers were on the scene, she said, when a paramilitary group 150 strong marched onto campus with sticks, baseball bats and Molotov cocktails.

Under an interim policy that took effect this week, campus police will provide a security assessment for certain large events that could endanger public safety, and the hosting organizations will be responsible for basic costs. Such organizations will have to give advance notice, preferably eight weeks or longer, and provide detailed timetables — and contracts with speakers may not be finalized until the campus has confirmed the venue and given final approval. The rules will be applied to all events, regardless of viewpoint.

Most of the rules already exist but have not been laid out in a unified, consistent policy known to all, Christ said. She said the student group hoping to host Coulter, for instance, offered her a date and time without checking with campus administrators that a venue was available; none was. Berkeley did not cancel the event, as has been reported, Christ said.

Campus spokesman Dan Mogulof said, “We want to eliminate all gray areas … and make sure there’s clarity about what people need to do so we can help support safe and secure events.”

The campus is accepting public comments on the interim policy until Oct 31.

Christ’s focus on free speech heartened Alex Nguyen, a sophomore studying molecular cellular biology. She said she took the issue especially to heart because her parents were born in Vietnam, where criticizing the government could lead to imprisonment.

“I want her to really protect free speech because there’s really high political tensions here,” Nguyen said of the chancellor. “We’re at the university to learn new things and disprove our ideas.”


‘Stress Reduction Policies’ Let Students Choose Their Own Grades

A professor at the University of Georgia created a “Stress Reduction Policy” that allows students who feel “unduly stressed” to choose their own grades, according to a Monday report.

Richard Watson incorporated the policy into two business courses, Campus Reform reported. The syllabi have since been updated to remove the policy, but an archived version of one is available.

“If you feel unduly stressed by a grade for any assessable [sic] material or the overall course, you can email the instructor indicating what grade you think is appropriate, and it will be so changed,” Watson said in a syllabus revised Friday for MIST 4610: Data Management. “No explanation is required, but it is requested that you consider waiting 24 hours before emailing the instructor.”

The “Stress Reduction Policy” also states that students may leave group work whenever they desire and choose to have their grade not reflect that segment of the course. All exams will be open-book.

“Only positive comments about presentations will be given in class,” the policy continues. “Comments designed to improve future presentations will be communicated by email.”

“While this policy might hinder the development of group skills and mastery of the class material, ultimately these are [a student’s] responsibility,” Watson states in the policy. “I will provide every opportunity for you to gain high level mastery.”

MIST 4550/6550: Energy Informatics, another course taught by the professor, apparently also had the policy, according to Campus Reform. However, both course syllabi were updated Aug. 8 with the policy removed.

Watson is the J. Rex Fuqua distinguished chair for internet strategy at the University of Georgia.

“The University of Georgia applies very high standards in its curricular delivery, including a university-wide policy that mandates all faculty employ a grading system based on transparent and pre-defined coursework,” the University of Georgia said in a statement. The university noted that the professor had removed the policy from the syllabus.

Watson did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication.


This Nationwide Program Is Teaching Millions of Students to Become Leftist Snowflakes

Parents beware: A program called Challenge Day that applauds a culture of victimhood is planting the leftist agenda into young minds under the guise of anti-bullying education.

The program uses the power of peer pressure and groupthink to impress upon high school students the idea that everyone is a victim.

Challenge Day is no small initiative. According to the program’s website, it has been held at more than 2,200 high schools nationwide and reached millions of students.

Challenge Day purports to teach tolerance and acceptance, yet nearly every member of its board of directors and Global Leadership Council is politically left of center.

Of the 17 members of Challenge Day’s board of directors, 15 openly support leftist leaders and causes, and two have an unknown affiliation, according to Federal Election Commission records and personal social media accounts. Of their 22-person Global Leadership Council, 17 of the members support leftist leaders and causes.

This is an organization that preaches diversity but is not politically diverse itself.

The most concerning member of Challenge Day’s global governing board? The former “green-jobs czar” under President Barack Obama, Van Jones.

While Jones was in jail after a mass arrest, according to the East Bay Express, he said, “I met all these young radical people of color—I mean really radical, communists and anarchists. And it was, like, ‘This is what I need to be a part of.’”

When in high school, I myself participated in Challenge Day. At 16 years old, I was a junior at Grosse Pointe North High School, a public school outside Detroit.

I was asked to step forward if I were ever called a bad kid, tried to run away, isolated myself, was made fun of by someone I trusted, or felt as if I were treated differently because of my skin color.

Approximately 100 of my peers joined me in this exercise. During this session, I felt pressured to cry, and if I didn’t cry I was made to feel heartless. Whenever someone burst out in tears, we were asked to raise our hands in unity with our hands in a “love gesture.”

In truth, it felt like an initiation ceremony for a cult.

Everyone was asked to confess their challenges. At that age, I learned to move on from my struggles and show strength when faced with adversity. Yet, I felt compelled to come up with something to say with a tear in my eye.

It felt “cool” to be a victim and to cry during public “apologies.”

During the exercise, I finally came up with an experience that fit the program’s conception of victimhood. On Election Day in 2012, I wore a “Mitt Romney for President” T-shirt to school.

In a discussion about the election, one of the students sitting next to me in class opined that those who refused to support Obama were racist.

So, at Challenge Day when asked to step forward if I had been treated differently because of my skin color, I did. Yet, students did not display the “love gesture.” Instead, I was met with blank stares.

Perhaps I would have been better off apologizing for my sex or my skin color.

Although schools often ask for the permission of parents before students participate, the program largely leaves parents out of the equation and often unaware of the curriculum of the program, or what their children say that day.

Organizers do not apprise parents of any identified problems and, as a result, parents may not know if their children need actual professional help.

Recently, Challenge Day’s leftist indoctrination became even more apparent.

After the election of President Donald Trump, the organization released a statement on its website implying that Trump is a bully, noting, “Since the election, reports have arisen of young people on campuses all over the United States who do not feel safe on campus due to acts of violence, bullying, racism and intimidation.”

Challenge Day conveniently left out the fact that the president has encouraged no such behavior and that many of these reports have been proven false.

Furthermore, the organization forgets the countless reports of violence against conservative students, including the violent riots at the University of California, Berkeley when conservatives attempted to speak there, the left-driven riots and arson during Trump’s inauguration, and the anti-Trump May Day demonstrations in Portland, Oregon.

In the same statement, Challenge Day’s endorsement of the politics of privilege becomes more apparent. It said: “We stand in solidarity with all of our communities; from the marginalized to those who have privilege and are committed as allies.”

Challenge Day even released a “Post-Election Kindness Grant.” The grant goes to schools that “have experienced post-election bullying” and want to participate in Challenge Day programs.

It must think the general public is naïve when it says that the grant is not driven by a leftist agenda. From my research, Challenge Day’s “post-election” statement and grant were not issued after previous elections.

If a school doesn’t receive a “Post-Election Kindness Grant,” it can always rely on the taxpayer. According to Challenge Day’s website, schools “have used a variety of federal, state, and foundation grants to pay for Challenge Day programs.”

According to its website, “Common grants include School Climate Transformation Grants, GEAR UP, TRIO programs including Upward Bound, i3 Grants, School Improvement Grants, and Title 1 funding, among others.”

Yes, the taxpayer is footing the bill for additional leftist indoctrination programs in high schools.

No longer are young people taught to find the good in people and society, to be optimistic, to be self-reliant, to be hopeful, and to have good relationships with their families.

Programs like Challenge Day teach students to find divisions constantly: Everyone and everything is racist, poses a direct threat to their safety, or is the product of some form of social privilege.

Instead of teaching resilience, respect, and independence, students are taught to break down and cry, discuss their feelings, and check their social “privilege.”

Want to end bullying? Teach the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Or, teach the great commandment: “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” That’s all you need.

The kind of victimhood culture that Challenge Day promotes has devastating consequences for our society. This is particularly the case when students become adults who are unable to recognize the importance of free speech and individual responsibility.

If Challenge Day is coming to your child’s school, hold the school’s leadership accountable. Ask how the program is funded or if a comparable program promoting individual responsibility and traditional values is offered.

Also, the Department of Education should ensure that federal funds no longer finance programs with such fractious ideological agendas.

Until students, parents, educators, and public policy leaders take action against snowflake-producing programs such as Challenge Day, our society will continue down this perilous path of political correctness and national division.