Friday, March 18, 2022

Tony Sewell is a good man betrayed by university

We have known for a long time that many of our universities are dominated by senior dons who pursue Leftist causes while worshipping piously at the shrine of wokery.

What is less widely realised is that these universities can be more mercenary than the most hard-hearted capitalists, and have sometimes established cordial relations with the world’s nastiest authoritarian regimes.

To some, it may seem a paradox that institutions that espouse supposedly enlightened thought, and vilify their traditionalist adversaries, should at the same time have dealings with reactionary and disagreeable people.

Yet I fear it is part of a common pattern.

The latest case concerns Tony Sewell, a distinguished black educationalist who has helped thousands of black children from poor backgrounds to get into universities.

It would be hard to think of a more admirable man.

However, Dr Sewell attracted the ire of various Left-wing luminaries after chairing an official report which concluded last year that Britain is not an institutionally racist country.

It added that our multi-racial society should in some ways be considered a model for other nations.

Among those seemingly driven into paroxysms of rage was a coven of dons at Nottingham University, where Tony Sewell obtained his doctorate in 1995.

He had had the temerity to reject the core Leftist belief that this country is riddled with racism.

It emerged earlier this week that Nottingham has withdrawn an offer of an honorary degree made to Dr Sewell.

The reason given was that the university doesn’t confer such degrees on figures ‘who become the subject of political controversy’.

This is utterly disingenuous. In the first place, Dr Sewell can hardly be said to be ‘the subject of political controversy’. He has merely enraged a few Left-wing Labour MPs and some bigoted academics.

But Nottingham University’s explanation is especially obnoxious in view of its honouring of a number of questionable recipients who are unworthy of holding Dr Sewell’s mortar board.

For example, an honorary degree was given by Nottingham to Liu Xiaoming, a former Chinese ambassador to the UK, who has dismissed videos showing Uighur re-education camps in the western Xinjiang region of China as ‘fake news’.

The red gown of an honorary doctor was draped around the shoulders of Fu Ying,another former Chinese ambassador to London, who has also questioned claims of human rights abuses against the Uighur people.

But let it not be said that Nottingham University confines its favours to unedifying representatives of the Chinese Communist Party.

Also honoured was Najib Razak, a former prime minister of Malaysia, who was jailed for 12 years in 2020 after embezzling £537million from a state-owned investment firm.

They do know how to pick them in Nottingham, don’t they?

I submit that the above named characters, and others whom I haven’t the space to enumerate here, are politically controversial figures in a way the good and decent Dr Sewell plainly isn’t.

The difference, of course, is that there are sound commercial reasons for honouring powerful Chinese and rich Malays.

Indeed, Nottingham University has campuses in both China and Malaysia.

Stephen Odell, who sits on the council of Nottingham University, has earned almost £150,000 from a firm called Evraz, which is linked to the Kremlin and is suspected of supplying steel to build Russian tanks.

Mr Odell resigned from the board of Evraz only last week.

What an intellectually tangled university Nottingham must be!

It snubs a fine British man who has helped thousands of poor black people to attend university while honouring the unsavoury representatives of foreign regimes that happen also to be rich.

This is the paradox at the heart of many of our modern universities. What is particularly objectionable is the conjunction of progressive thought with low, self-interested motives.

Look at Jesus College, Cambridge, which in 2018 accepted £200,000 from an agency linked to the Chinese Communist Party for its Global Issues Dialogue Centre.

In 2019, it accepted £155,000 from the Chinese technology company Huawei.

And yet this same Jesus College, so careless in accepting arguably tainted money, is trying to move heaven and earth to get rid of a plaque to Tobias Rustat, a 17th-century royal courtier and benefactor with links to slavery.

How painless to embrace the fashionable cause of removing a monument put up to a man who died more than 300 years ago.

How painful to return today’s hefty cheque to Beijing.

Study, too, the case of Edinburgh University. In 2020, after student protests, it renamed the David Hume Tower on account of the beliefs on race held by the great 18th-century philosopher which it believed ‘rightly cause distress today’.

David Hume is in no position to complain. A very easy thing to cancel him.

Nonetheless, Edinburgh conveniently forgot its principles when it awarded Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal a distinction after his foundation bankrolled an Islamic study centre at the university with an endowment of £8million.

It didn’t matter that a year before the Saudi Arabian Prince had offered 100 luxury cars to pilots in his country who had bombed Yemen.

Wokery is embraced by university authorities to advertise their virtue.

But when millions of pounds are at stake, any pretence of proper moral conduct is at once cynically suspended.

If the students at Liverpool University want to rechristen an accommodation block named after the great 19th century Liberal Prime Minister, William Gladstone (whose father was a slave trader), by all means let them.

But given that 29 per cent of the university’s income comes from Chinese students, we must never say a word against Beijing!

Greed is, in fact, the curse of our modern universities. It has other manifestations, such as the grotesque salaries which vice-chancellors (the senior dons who run the show) are paid.

The average annual salary of such people is £269,000, with a handful of them pocketing more than £500,000.

So skewed are the values of these grandees that some leading universities continued to teach pupils via Zoom long after Covid restrictions had been lifted while still charging them maximum fees of £9,250 a year.

Another ruse to rake in extra money has been to boost undergraduate numbers, though the consequence is sometimes lecture rooms so crowded that students are forced to sit on the floor, as well as seminars as big as school classes.

Many of the 24 supposedly elite Russell Group universities have expanded at an alarming rate.

Exeter has seen an increase of 61 per cent in the number of its undergraduates between 2009/10 and 2019/20.

Liverpool and University College London have grown by 59 per cent over the same period.

I feel very sorry for the students, and it is hard to believe that the universities — and the Government that has renabled them to behave in this selfish and venal way — won’t one day face a backlash.

But I reckon Tony Sewell is well out of it. He should rejoice at his rejection by these hypocrites.


Jacinda Ardern introduces a new school history curriculum calling on teachers to reflect on their 'white guilt' - as critics say she's DELIBERATELY dividing New Zealanders on race

New Zealand will introduce a new history curriculum in schools, encouraging teachers and students to think more critically about British colonialism and its ongoing impact on Māori communities.

Beginning next year, the plan riled up fringe libertarian groups who accused Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of pushing 'left-wing narratives' and evoking 'white guilt'.

But the Labour government argues New Zealand's history has been shaped by 'the use of power, relationships and connections' between Māori and European settlers and must be taught to children in full.

'The new curriculum content has been created to be flexible allowing local, national and global context that span the full range of New Zealander's experience to be included,' Ms Ardern said.

'It will help us celebrate our unique place in the world and highlight what has made New Zealand the country we are today.

'This is an important milestone and I know it will help bring our nation's histories to life in our communities.'

Education minister Chris Hipkins said it was vital young Kiwis understood 'history as a continuous thread, with contemporary issues directly linked to major events of the past'.

'Our diversity is our strength, but only when we build connections to each other. We can move forward together, stronger when we understand the many paths our ancestors walked to bring us to today,' he said.

But not everybody in The Land of the Long White Cloud shares this sentiment.

ACT's Education spokesperson Chris Baillie said the curriculum 'divides history into villains and victims, contains significant gaps, and pushes a narrow set of highly political stories from our past'.

'Today, Labour is trying to make New Zealand an unequal society on purpose. It believes there are two types of New Zealanders. Tangata Whenua, who are here by right, and Tangata Tiriti who are lucky to be here. We should be learning the history of our multi-ethnic society,' he claimed.

'The curriculum pushes a number of left-wing narratives, including about the welfare state, 'cultural appropriation', and a partnership between the Crown and Māori.'

Mr Baillie took aim at the three 'big ideas' put forward by the curriculum.

The first 'big idea', that Māori history is the 'continuous history' of New Zealand, excludes the many people who have travelled from the furthest points of the globe, brought their histories and cultures with them and worked to give themselves, their families and this county and better future,' he said.

'The second, that colonisation 'continue[s] to influence all aspects of New Zealand society', is depressing and wrong and neglects the elements of our society that are untouched by colonisation.

'The final big idea, that power has been the primary driver of our history, creates a narrative of oppressors and oppressed, and leaves out the many forces that have propelled our past, including scientific discoveries, technological innovations, business, and artistic creativity.'

The curriculum centres around three 'big ideas' that took three years to drum out.

First, that 'Māori history is the foundational and continuous history of Aotearoa New Zealand'.

Second, that 'colonisation and settlement have been central to Aotearoa New Zealand's histories for the past 200 years'.

And finally that 'the course of Aotearoa New Zealand's histories has been shaped by the use of power.

'Relationships and connections between people and across boundaries have shaped the course of Aotearoa New Zealand's histories'.

In practical terms, resources for teachers suggest things like they should 'not drape The Treaty of Waitangi with the Union Jack of England, but rather with your Māori cloak, which is of this country'.

Guidelines also encourage teachers and students to watch the documentary series by RNZ called The Land of the Long White Cloud which 'tells the stories of New Zealanders who are reflecting on their colonial heritage and white guilt, and the ways they push through to find a more healthy Pākehā identity'.

Andrew Judd, a former white mayor of New Plymouth, appeared on the program and famously made the statement: 'We are the problem, always have been'.


Australia: English teachers told to focus on grammar, punctuation as writing declines

English departments will be chiefly responsible for teaching grammar, sentence structure and punctuation, under a draft new syllabus, after the decades-long approach of sharing the job among teachers from all subjects contributed to a steep decline in writing standards.

The draft NSW English syllabus for years 3 to 10 will intensify focus on literacy skills amid concerns writing has been neglected in high schools, leaving even the brightest students struggling with crucial skills such as writing clear sentences and expressing ideas.

But the English Teachers Association (ETA) said the changes - to be released for consultation on Friday - would hand them an unnecessary burden because literacy skills differed from subject to subject.

“Returning sentence structure and all of that kind of stuff purely to English I think is unfortunate,” said Eva Gold, executive officer at the ETA.

The changes follow a NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) review, revealed by the Herald, that found writing had been neglected in the state’s high schools and in 2019 year 9 students were the equivalent of five months behind their peers in 2011.

A survey of more than 4000 teachers found many - especially science teachers, but also two in five English teachers - felt they lacked the skills and confidence to teach writing.

Among the reforms in the draft years 7 to 10 syllabus, students will be taught ways to interpret unfamiliar words and use grammar to clarify complex ideas. They will also read a wider range of texts, including non-fiction and essays. They could include George Orwell’s Why I Write, which is an HSC text.

The new syllabus will also address concerns about reading. After the kindergarten to year 2 syllabus focused on phonics, the year 3 to 6 one will increase emphasis on vocabulary - key to reading comprehension - and require teachers to ensure students in years 3 and 4 can read fluently and decipher new words quickly.

The focus on reading skills also aims to foster enjoyment of reading.

Peter Knapp, an expert in teaching writing, said sharing responsibility for teaching writing between different subjects was introduced 30 years ago, and was never enacted properly. Science did not think to teach sentence structure, and English did not think to teach scientific report-writing.

“The reality is that no one is doing it,” he said.

Maureen Abrahams, the head of English at Asquith Girls High School, said students often have brilliant ideas but cannot express them because of limited writing skills. She said English would still focus on literature, but welcomed the new responsibility for literacy. “I feel with writing and literacy, there are deep connections to English as a subject,” she said.

But Ms Gold said writing styles differed between subjects and English teachers should not have to teach skills better left to other faculties. Science, for example, used the passive voice, which was avoided in English. “We like students’ writing to be active, to be vibrant, and not to be detached or removed unless we are asking for it,” she said.

“Often students who perform only in a mediocre way [do so] because they are not confident of the language of their discipline, and it’s not up to English to teach that.”

Head of humanities and English teacher at Northholm Grammar, Rebecca Birch, said she understood the new approach. “This is knowledge and understanding that until now we have assumed students come with when they arrive in high school, but obviously a lot of students don’t,” she said.

However, many English teachers were themselves never taught skills such as grammar at either school or university, and NESA would need to address a skills shortage. “Three years of studying literature won’t cut it under this new syllabus, so universities need to step up in their offerings,” she said.

NESA will also release a draft years 3 to 10 maths syllabus, in which some times tables will be introduced in year 3 and the rest in year 4. There is controversy over times tables, with the federal government saying Australia’s national curriculum - to which NSW is aligned - should follow Singapore’s lead and introduce them in year 2, and have students master them in year 3.

The new high school curriculum will also scrap a three-tiered approach to maths in years 9 and 10, in which there are syllabuses of varying difficulty, and instead have core subjects that equip students for HSC standard maths, and more difficult options that prepare students for harder subjects.

A NESA spokesperson said the recommendations are being integrated across the new NSW curriculum.

“The new content will embed, more explicitly, writing skills across all subjects. To equip teachers delivering the new curriculum, NESA is providing teachers with enhanced support materials which will include teaching advice,” the spokesperson said.

Education Minister Sarah Mitchell said draft English and maths syllabuses - to become mandatory in 2024 - would create room for deeper learning, put more focus on reasoning and problem-solving in maths, and better prepare students for HSC courses.

“Our focus is on lifting standards in reading, writing and numeracy so providing all students with a great education and the benefits that brings,” she said.




Thursday, March 17, 2022

How schools' covid-aid joy ride could send new hires off a fiscal cliff -- again

As school districts across the country grapple with declining enrollments induced by the pandemic, many are engaged in spending sprees like those of the past leading to widespread layoffs and budget cuts when federal money ran out.

Bolstered by $190 billion in pandemic relief funding from Washington, the nation’s public schools are hiring new teachers and staff, raising salaries, and sweetening benefit packages. Some are buying new vehicles. Others are building theaters and sports facilities.

Using such temporary support for new staff and projects with long-term costs is setting the table for perilous “fiscal cliffs” after COVID funding expires in 2024, some education budget analysts say. And that’s on top of doubts about whether money to battle the pandemic is being properly spent in the first place.

The latest round of pandemic relief for K-12 schools – the 2021 Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, or ESSER – provided $122 billion to help school districts “safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools and address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.”

In a January press release hailing what it called the success of the program, the Department of Education highlighted vaccination programs, tutoring, retention bonuses, and new hires. But it neglected to mention numerous other perks and frills that districts are bankrolling with that money.

Creston Community School District in Iowa used $231,000 of COVID relief to expand its sports stadium bleachers to make them compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The school board in Fort Worth, Texas, in October approved spending $171,000 of the district’s pandemic money for five vans to transport the district’s gifted and talented students.

Moore County Schools in North Carolina is already asking the county for more money after exhausting its pandemic account, which funded expenditures including the installation of two new running tracks and gym lockers.

The McAllen, Texas, school district, which has lost 15% of its enrollment since 2011, approved using relief funds for a project that critics contend is not connected to education: a $4 million expansion of a nature park on city property. That was permissible under the spending rules, so long as the state education department approved the construction project.

In an email, Texas Education Agency spokesman Frank Ward said approval of ESSER-funded construction projects “only certifies that the school system has met the minimum requirement for prior approval,” but declined to elaborate on individual projects. “Ultimately, allowable uses of ESSER funds will be determined by auditors,” Ward wrote.

Education analysts say the spending free-for-all is occurring precisely because of such murky, open-ended guidance from Washington. Each state was required to file a general spending plan for its share of ESSER funding – but not to provide specifics.

The “current wave of funding is all over the place,” said Chad Aldeman, policy director at Georgetown University’s Edunomics Lab, which conducts research on the economics of education. “There is not a clear articulation of what this money is for.”


Texas University’s Insistence on Critical Race Theory, Ideological Conformity Draws Overdue Pushback

Is it time for lawmakers to take a more active role in curtailing the radicalism now pervasive throughout higher education?

There are certainly signs that’s the case, and it should have happened long ago. A battle going on in Texas underscores the point.

Last year, Texas banned the teaching of critical race theory in K-12 public school classrooms. It was part of a larger, nationwide effort to keep racially essentialist ideas out of the official instruction in public schools.

The Faculty Council at the University of Texas at Austin recently passed a resolution, by a 41-5 vote, supporting the teaching of critical race theory in the name of “academic freedom.” The resolution said that “educators, not politicians, should make decisions about teaching and learning.”

So, a small band of academics and administrators have the right to foist whatever ideas and theories they favor on young people over the desires of the representatives of the people?

The resolution then said that the university stands with K-12 teachers who “seek to teach the truth in U.S. history and civics education.”

Note that critical race theory is being peddled here as simply “the truth.”

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a Republican, responded by proposing that the state should look at curtailing tenure for professors who insist on promoting critical race theory.

“The critical race theory people are trying to take us back to a divided country,” Patrick said at a press conference in February.

To these professors who voted 41 to 5, telling the taxpayers and the parents and the Legislature, and your own Board of Regents, to get out of their business, that we have no say in what you do in the classroom, you’ve opened the door for this issue because you went too far.

Actions such as stripping tenure from professors would certainly be an aggressive move with potential downsides. After all, tenure may be the only thing protecting the few right-leaning professors remaining in academia, such as Scott Yenor at Boise State in Idaho, who has the temerity to defend the nuclear family, among other things now considered verboten on college campuses.

Still, the university faculty’s resolution highlights the fact that school administrations are in many cases out of control and have often violated the public trust, despite the significant public investments they receive.

Dissenting University of Texas associate professor Richard Lowery assailed the pro-critical race theory resolution, calling it an inappropriate response from the school, which has deviated from the idea of free speech and has thrown in entirely with enforced advocacy.

“So many of the faculty view themselves as activists first, and educators and researchers maybe second or third, at best,” Lowery said in an interview with Fox News.

The school is “promoting the idea that academic freedom is the collective right of the faculty to decide which ideas are allowed on campus, not the individual right of faculty to express their own ideas,” he said, adding:

That is not what academic freedom means.

He said it’s ridiculous for the school to try to justify its support of critical race theory on the grounds of academic freedom when the school at the same time is creating a “diversity, equity, and inclusion” policy that applies a “political test” to new hires.

The professor then criticized the school for stepping into the state’s electoral politics.

“The Legislature trusted you to be the right people to judge the curriculum and to focus on education and keep politics out,” he said, noting:

They didn’t give you autonomy so you could turn our school into a social justice indoctrination camp.

Unfortunately, that’s what much of American higher education is becoming. The institutional focus is moving away from maintaining elite standards in education and toward reinforcing an aggressively left-wing ideological position.

It’s no surprise, then, to see other institutions in America conform to that same ethos. Like octopus tentacles, that dynamic is spreading out from college campuses into every other significant institution of society.

What the University of Texas faculty and the vast apparatus of higher education is promoting is not academic freedom. It’s the freedom of the academy to advance its ideological agenda without resistance or restraints.

The problem with critical race theory and the more expansive set of ideologies under the banner of diversity, equity, and inclusion goes beyond a single professor or university. The problem, as the left likes to say, is systemic.

The entire bureaucratic apparatuses of most college campuses are now constructed to reinforce the ideology of diversity, equity, and inclusion and social justice, as Lowery said.

Jay Greene, an education researcher for The Heritage Foundation, laid out in a recent study that there is a glut of diversity, equity, and inclusion administrators on college campuses. These administrators have become the empowered inquisitors to reinforce the cultural revolution. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)

Greene’s study reinforces the reality that diversity, equity, and inclusion has become the “central” concern of higher education in America. And this focus, reinforced by aggressive administration and faculty, pervades college campus culture.

The typical modern college campus is an environment that chills the freedom of thought and expression, where students “self-censor,” rather than debate the issues of the day.

That reality was underscored this week by Emma Camp, a student at the University of Virginia, who has taken a lot of flak in left-wing circles for publishing an essay March 7 in The New York Times about how universities stifle genuine free discussion.

She laid out how students are simply unwilling to discuss certain topics because they are afraid of repercussions, both socially and literally.

“I went to college to learn from my professors and peers. I welcomed an environment that champions intellectual diversity and rigorous disagreement,” Camp wrote. “Instead, my college experience has been defined by strict ideological conformity.”

Ironically, many academics and journalists on Twitter were angry the piece even got published, or they simply insulted the author—essentially proving her point.

Two aspects of the piece stood out: First, modern college campuses are clearly becoming places where free speech and independent thought go to die. Second, the dominant ethos that’s being reinforced is creating an environment where genuine “elite” education is missing or stultified.

Entire topics are set aside, like in the case of discussions about suttee—a traditional Indian practice in which Indian widows commit ritualistic suicide—because of racialized identity politics. And what is discussed is unserious, such as debates about whether “Captain Marvel” is a feminist movie.

With America’s highest achieving students, we are creating an elite in name only.

That professors—especially in the humanities departments—lean left isn’t new. What’s making higher education a stifling silo of culturally leftist conformity are school administrations that reinforce those ideas and make it very clear that the only diversity that’s desired is contained within the ideological confines of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Given that higher education is the feeder to most of the top professions and institutions in America, from corporate America to the tech industry and from journalism to politics (among many other fields), it’s not hard to see how college campus culture is transforming our institutions so completely.

To reach the upper echelons of the American ruling elite, you must navigate a system that only accepts a narrow ideology as “truth” and punishes dissenters with threats of cancellation. The larger goal is to place this new ethos at the heart of American and Western society, to make it as pervasive and unquestioned as it is at most universities.

College campus radicalism didn’t moderate when it hit the real world. To the contrary, it’s now shaping that world. It’s using America’s most powerful institutions to bludgeon the rest of society into accepting this revolution.

If you don’t conform, you won’t be accepted in American elite circles. If you resist, you will find yourself ridiculed, ostracized, and censored by the institutions they control.

That’s the daunting challenge before the American people. It’s the people versus the institutions. The first step in changing that dynamic and our trajectory is acknowledging the true challenge before us.

We, the people, have the right to determine the course of our country. That right does not belong solely to a cloistered, out-of-touch clique of academics and administrators operating behind closed doors.


Charter schools, advocates push lawmakers to expand seats in NYC

Charter school advocates rallied in City Hall Park Wednesday to push state lawmakers on action that would increase the number of charter school seats in the Big Apple.

A debate to lift a statewide cap on charter school licenses has stalled, leaving New York City maxed out on its number of charters – even though a slew of the licenses are for schools that are now closed.

Charter school leaders and supporters are asking the state Legislature to include in its budget a change that would allow dormant “zombie” charters to be reassigned to new charters.

“It is unconscionable in these past two years in particular that we would not do everything possible to make sure that our kids and our families have the best possible education choices,” said Crystal McQueen Taylor from StudentsFirstNY.

“There’s actually something that we can do about this right now.”

James Merriman, chief executive officer of the New York City Charter School Center, called the approach “so modest and commonsensical that it’s almost embarrassing that we have to be up here asking lawmakers to do it.”

The contentious debate over lifting the charter school cap in New York City has pitted advocates for school choice against opponents to redirecting public funds to private operators.

Charter proponents say reissuing closed charters is a simple solution that keeps the cap in place. It also incentivizes low-performing charters that close to be replaced by new and improved alternatives.

“That’s the point of charter schools in part — if they don’t perform, they close,” Merriman said.

“What we’re really asking for is just a different way to count charters as the number of schools operated.”

Charter school leaders have been adamant that the demand for more seats is there. Though enrollment has jumped in city charter schools by 9 percent over two years, five charter schools opened this school year, according to the New York City Charter School Center.

The center added Mayor Eric Adams has previously thrown his support behind the idea, testifying at a legislative hearing in Albany about getting “zombie” charters back in use.

Critics of the plan to reissue those charters, which has precedent in the state, have said it circumvents the cap and shortchanges students in Department of Education-operated schools by sharing the wealth — and space. Close to half of the city’s 271 charter schools are at least partially in buildings owned or leased by the department, center data showed.

But at the rally, speakers with aspirations to found new charter schools painted a picture of what they could accomplish if allowed to open their doors.

Three years ago, Daniel Diaz sought approval for Haven Charter High School in the Bronx, where he said a student would graduate with a diploma, certification and potential job offer with its partner New York Presbyterian.

“We got approved — with an IOU,” said Diaz, who is also the executive director of East Side House Settlement. “And that IOU set people back a couple of years, because then we were not able to open our doors.”




Wednesday, March 16, 2022

How an Academic Grudge Turned Into a #MeToo Panic

How the weaponization of sexual misconduct allegations wrecked Florian Jaeger's life and cost his university millions

During normal years, Meliora Weekend at the University of Rochester (U.R.) is one of the biggest events of the fall. A four-day combination of Homecoming and Family Weekend, parents visit, alumni return to campus, and there's good old-fashioned student debauchery. In 2021, events were smaller and subject to COVID-19 protocols, but in addition to a stand-up set by comic Margaret Cho and an address by actress Geena Davis, there was another notable event: a student-led protest on campus against a formerly rising-star professor. His name is Florian Jaeger.

At the time, the campus paper reported that around 40 students showed up, and the organizers' goal was to "bring awareness to new students" who had never heard of Jaeger or what happened. To Jaeger, there's some dark irony to this statement, because while these students may think they know what happened, he insists that they don't. What they know, he says, are rumors that spread across campus like a toxic algae bloom: that he's an abuser, a predator, a rapist. Rumors that made him persona non grata in his field; that led to threats, hate mail, formal censures; that got him banned from local businesses and disinvited from international talks. Rumors that nearly destroyed his department and made his accusers icons of #MeToo. But these rumors, according to multiple investigations, dozens of witnesses, and Jaeger himself, are largely false. What was sold to a national audience as an archetypal case of sexual harassment was, instead, a poisonous mix of professional competition, personality conflicts, bad blood, and an inner-departmental fight over hiring gone horribly wrong.

While the accusers' side of the story has been told many times, passed along both through rumor mills and media reports, Jaeger has largely remained silent. Part of this is because, during the investigations that would follow, he was directed by the university not to speak about what happened. But it's also because much of this occurred in a moment when the voices of the accused were largely unwelcome. At the height of #MeToo, few people wanted to hear from the men who had allegedly done wrong. And so the story that's been repeated over and over went largely unchecked—a twisted game of academic telephone that, in the end, would trigger four investigations, cost the university millions of dollars, and lead to multiple resignations, including that of the president of the university. And it would destroy the career, reputation, and nearly the life of the once-promising scholar Florian Jaeger.

Much more here:


Biden's Backdoor to Student Loan Forgiveness

Just who decides policy at the White House isn’t clear. But after the President's latest flip-flop, certainly, President Biden does not call the shots. Scarcely a week had passed since the administration promised to end an almost– two–year-old moratorium on student loan repayments when the President reversed course and extended it through May. After a year of failing to pass substantive policies, Democrats want victories to make temporary policies permanent, even if it means abusing executive powers. This abrupt about-face can undoubtedly be attributed to pressure from his progressive base.

Democrats’ push for student loan cancellation is a simple political calculation led by progressives, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. They think the moratorium offers an expeditious path to achieving complete student loan forgiveness and a surefire way to keep the progressive base happy. This goal is popular with their college-educated and elite donors, who owe the most significant share of student loan debt.

Congress originally included the student loan moratorium at the peak of the pandemic in the CARES Act and the emergency program was intended to only last six months. It has since been extended five times even though almost every state has ended major coronavirus restrictions. Extensive prolonging will only make it more difficult for borrowers to meet their future financial obligations. Even senior Biden Administration officials have pushed to end the moratorium, but their voices were ignored because they opposed Biden’s activist base.

Since Biden started his campaign, special interest groups have pressured him constantly to address student loan debt. The American Federation of Teachers and MoveOn expected Biden to forgive student loans on his first day in office. While not capitulating to this demand outright, the President did not reject it, either. Instead, he bought himself time by ordering the Department of Education to study the issue.

Democrats are fighting so hard for the moratorium in 2022 because their congressional agenda has failed and they need a victory ahead of the midterms to solidify their government overreach. Democratic Members of Congress have introduced legislation that would forgive student loans, but these bills have stalled because members cannot agree on how to construct the policy. Democrats want to use executive orders to rubber stamp a stalled agenda as settled policy, bypassing the deliberative legislative process.

Rep. Cori Bush argues, "Forcing millions to start paying student loans again and cutting off the Child Tax Credit at the start of an election year is not a winning strategy."

Ending student loan repayments and expanding the Child Tax Credit might seem like good ideas for members, such as Rep. Bush, who won by almost 60 percentage points in 2020, but they won't be a winning message for members in competitive districts. A majority of Americans oppose efforts to enact blanket student loan forgiveness, and 59% of Americans believe that if any student debt is canceled, it must be canceled by Congress rather than by President Biden.

Additionally, Democrats often cite student debt’s impact on low-income Americans as proof that we must cancel student debt immediately. However, in their efforts to rid students of debt, Democrats would subject the entire country to a drastic increase in inflation. A recent report by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) shows that canceling student debt would increase the federal deficit by a whopping $1.6 trillion and increase inflation by as many as 50 basis points.

The rise in inflation would increase the price of basic goods and disproportionately affect low-income Americans. Considering that 4% of households below the poverty line are making payments on student debt, and that wealthy households hold significantly more debt than low-income households do, it is easy to see why the CRFB considers debt cancellation to be a regressive policy.

Democrats are desperately searching for a political victory for their elite liberal donors and radicalized progressive base, even if it means jamming through an unpopular policy by executive orders. Ultimately, this is a miscalculation and will cost Democrats seats come November. The American people see through President Biden’s charade.


Australian school principals hounded out by violent parents and students

Violence, burnout and “brutal’’ workloads will push school principals to quit in record numbers this year, a study shows.

Four out of 10 principals were exposed to violence in schools last year, with some punched or pushed by angry parents, or injured breaking up schoolyard fights.

Escalating violence and stress in schools is exposed in the latest Australian Principal Occupational Health and Wellbeing Survey of 2590 principals and deputy principals, which is carried out each year by Australian Catholic University researchers.

Workloads worsened during the pandemic, with principals and their deputies working 55-hour weeks, on average, as they devoted more time to dealing with pandemic planning and students’ mental health problems.

The research shows 39 per cent of school leaders were exposed to workplace violence in schools last year – 10 times higher than the general population. Some 7 per cent of principals were threatened with assault by parents and 37 per cent by students.

“At this rate, half of all school leaders will endure physical violence by 2025,’’ ACU investigator and former principal Paul Kidson said on Monday. “Principals have to deal with students who are fighting one another – if three or four students are belting one another up and they have to get in the middle to break up the fight, they’re exposed to violence.

“I’ve even had to break up parent scuffles in the carpark.’’

Dr Kidson said the survey found principals had “brutal’’ workloads and worked an average of 23 hours a week during school holidays. A record one in 12 principals intends to retire early this year, as school leaders report the highest level of mental burnout since the survey began in 2011.

“The system is broken and on its knees,’’ one NSW public high school principal said.

“(There is) an unsustainable workload, poor working conditions (and) a significant increase in students and their families presenting with complex problems that schools do not have the resources to manage effectively.’’

Australian Secondary Principals Association president Andrew Pierpoint said he had been “roughed up’’ by a former student 10 years ago.

“The young fellow came into the school – I don’t know why he was aggrieved or if there was substance abuse – but I asked him to leave the school grounds, calm down and then come back,’’ Mr Pier­point said. “He lunged forward and punched me in the head – that really rattled me for a while.

“There are plenty of women who’ve been attacked by students or parents,” he added.

Mr Pierpoint said increasing violence, as well as the pandemic, had made life “close to intolerable’’ for some principals. A third of principals reported being cyberbullied, and 45 per cent were victims of gossip and slander.

“It’s not just physical bullying; I know of a principal who had his face superimposed on a known pedophile’s body and circulated among the community,’’ Mr Pierpoint said. “He and his family had to pack up and leave town.’’

Mr Pierpoint said principals were also having to deal daily with students distraught over bushfires, floods, domestic violence and Covid-19 outbreaks.

Australian Primary School Principals Association president Malcolm Elliott said he had been “threatened so many times I’ve lost count’’.

“I’ve witnessed a principal who was punched in the face by a high school student,’’ he said.

“The student’s parents and relatives drove into the carpark, then a carload of people got out and egged on the student as he punched the principal.

“Principals are being man­handled and hit, injured and having objects thrown at them.

“We’re not talking about children throwing a rubber – just recently, one principal was hit on the head with a sizeable rock.”




Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Pete Buttigieg’s "husband" caught forcing sick propaganda on children!

United States Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s documentary caused major outrage on social media as disturbing clips emerge.

In a video clip posted on Twitter, the husband of Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Chasten Buttigieg leading a group of children in a modified pledge of allegiance to the gay pride flag went viral late Wednesday.

Chasten began a pledge of allegiance to this pride flag, and the children repeated after each line. Many people believe that progressives are trying to indoctrinate kids at an early age with their twisted ideology.

Many believe that it encourages children, who can’t even decide what crayons to color with, to question their gender and sexuality.

Chasten Buttigieg and the campers recited:

“I pledge my heart to the rainbow of the Not So Typical Gay Camp, one camp, full of pride, indivisible, with affirmation and equal rights for all.”

At the end of the pledge, Chasten waved the rainbow flag to the cheers of the LGBTQ youth group.

What many believe the left is doing. “Manipulation and indoctrination.”

From controlling kids with mask mandates to pushing the LGBTQ lifestyle on them, many of today’s children are so confused and depressed, they don’t know which way is up.


Australia: The Gonski ‘failure’: why did it happen and who is to blame for the ‘defrauding’ of public schools?

Gonski was just a well-connected businessman. He knew little about education. His ideas were accordingly just conventional dreams. "Spend more money" was the core of his profoundly unoriginal contribution

And he seems to have had no clear idea of how and why educational inequalities come about. That they are unfair and wicked seems to have been the depth of his thinking. No wonder his recommendations went nowhere

The commenter below is similarly uninteresting

When the Gonski review was released a decade ago, it was hailed as the answer to Australia’s educational woes – a roadmap to creating an equitable school funding system, and boosting the performance of Australian students on the global stage.

But rather than celebrating its success, its 10-year anniversary last month sparked critique of the failure of successive governments to implement the report’s recommendations.

Despite record levels of funding flowing to Australia’s schools, education results have suffered a 20-year decline on international benchmarks.

Meanwhile, a new analysis paints a bleak picture of a widening gap between advantaged and disadvantaged schools, with commonwealth and state funding for private schools increasing at nearly five times the rate of public school funding over the decade to 2019-20.

Education experts now warn that the vision enshrined in the review will only be realised if the commonwealth and states unite to end the “defrauding” of public schools and fully fund them to their needs-based benchmark.

Ahead of next year’s expiry of the current state-federal funding deal, the National School Reform Agreement, experts say there must be a coordinated effort to ensure Gonski’s vision is realised.

What did Gonski recommend?

In 2010, businessman David Gonski was engaged by the Rudd government to lead a review into Australia’s school funding, with the aim of reducing the impact of social disadvantage on educational outcomes, and ending inequities in the distribution of public money. The report was released in February 2012, during Julia Gillard’s prime ministership.

The reforms recommended that governments reduce payments to overfunded schools that didn’t need them and redirect funds on a needs-based model. Its key recommendation was the Schooling Resource Standard (SRS) – a base rate of funding per student with additional loading for disadvantage factors such as Indigenous heritage. The SRS would determine the required funding needed for each school. But a decade on, most public schools are yet to reach their full funding according to their SRS and more funding has gone to the less needy schools, with non-government schools well above their benchmark.

Gonski said the system would “ensure that differences in educational outcomes are not the result of differences in wealth, income, power or possessions” when he delivered his findings to government in 2011.

Why did it fail?

Trevor Cobbold, an economist and national convenor for public school advocacy group Save Our Schools, says the failure to achieve the review’s goals was a result of failures by the Gillard government and those that followed to implement the report’s recommendations.

“Gonski didn’t fail. It is governments that failed Gonski, and thereby failed disadvantaged students,” he says.

“You have to construct a system that recognises both the commonwealth and state roles, and Gonski did this by designing a nationally integrated model on a needs-basis.”

Tom Greenwell, a Canberra-based teacher and co-author of Waiting for Gonski – How Australia Failed its Schools, says a “huge problem” is that the “real work of additional funding has always been delayed beyond the forward estimates, to the next funding agreement”.




Monday, March 14, 2022

CDC and AAP Congratulate Themselves for Wrecking Children’s Literacy

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now patting itself on the back for its excellent call to mask students in grades K-12. The CDC specifically capitalized on a study that used the state of Arkansas’s schools as a study group. Forgive us in advance, but we have questions about The Science™.

According to this report, the masks were proven to be effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in schools. The CDC isn’t the only one crowing with triumph — the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also published a study that is a little more thorough. The AAP study discussed the data its researchers and scientists gleaned from 61 schools across nine states.

Upon a cursory inspection, it would seem that the data does confirm the studies’ premise … that is until you bother to read in depth the limitations.

Here were a few of the most telling “limitations” for both studies.

They relied on contact tracing.

They had shifting variables that influenced the numbers, such as schools changing masking policies based on whether the cases were high in their area.

Both studies were conducted on one strain of COVID-19, and that strain was Delta. This is pertinent because, with the advent of Omicron, contact tracing wasn’t possible. The spread was too fast. It also makes this data irrelevant since the virus is unlikely to revert back to Delta or Alpha settings.

Ultimately, the CDC and AAP taking credit for this “victory” in masking our children is petty in light of the lack of information (i.e., Omicron threw a wrench in the mix). Plus, the seriously damaging results that masking has had on children’s education in general and literacy in particular speak more toward the “cure” being worse than the disease.

We cannot emphasize this enough. Our children lost so much ground between lockdowns, masking, and virtual schooling. It is unlikely for them to regain all that ground. Their mental, emotional, and academic well-being were sacrificed at the altar of “the greater good.” For the CDC and AAP to even dare to justify their ridiculous stance on masking kids is an insult to our intelligence.

The CDC and the AAP aren’t the only organizations trying to justify their decision-making regarding masking children in this pandemic. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), wrote in a social media post (grammar in the original): “We are so glad that masks are coming off with the drop in Covid and in accordance with CDC guidelines. These new studies make clear if —our teachers and students ever need them again to keep communities safe and classrooms open, they work.”

This statement reads more like a threat in light of how Weingarten has used political thuggery and undue influence during this crisis. Never forget, she was not above holding our children hostage in order to push her agenda. It’s also ludicrous because of Omicron, the infection rate of which revealed masking to be merely a virtue signal — or, to quote CNN’s medical analyst Leana Wen, “facial decorations.”

The pandemic really did expose a lot of the dark underbelly of schools. But the gaslighting continues. These “studies” are yet another example of politics dictating science.


Stanford University cancels $1.7M Russian contract

Stanford University is terminating what appears to be the last remaining active Russian contract among colleges in the United States after Fox News reached out for details and comment on the arrangement.

Stanford entered into a $1.65 million agreement with an unidentified Russian entity in December 2020, a search of the College Foreign Gift and Contract Report database shows. The three-year agreement contains sparse details, though it notes the funding did not come from the Kremlin.

The contract is for "online access to business-related professional development courses" and is in "full compliance" with U.S. sanctions, Dee Mostofi, Stanford's assistant vice president for external communications, told Fox News on Thursday.

On Friday, however, Mostofi emailed Fox News saying Stanford now "is in the process of ending the contract."

Mostofi did not address other questions on the contract, including who in Russia was involved and whether the university plans to take up Russian contracts in the future.

Then-Education Secretary Betsy DeVos "found that there was almost $7 billion given to universities that were not being reported by the university to the federal government as required by law," Rep. Virginia Foxx, the top Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee, told Fox News.

"Most people give money for a reason," the North Carolina Republican said. "It's generally accepted that they are looking for ways to influence what is happening in the colleges and universities."

The Department of Education in 2020 discovered $6.5 billion in previously unreported foreign money to universities from adversarial countries, including China and Russia.

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign also reports an active Russian contract in the foreign money database. The records show the agreement began in October 2014 and runs through June 2022.

However, a University of Illinois spokesperson told Fox News it was a fee-for-service agreement to "provide DNA sequencing services" to the Russia-based Evrogen Lab that concluded last month.

"The last samples analyzed under that agreement were received and analyzed in February," the spokesperson said. "We are not accepting any new samples for analysis under this contract."

Other universities have also cut student, research and financial ties from Russia, distancing them from the authoritarian superpower.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology severed a research partnership with the Kremlin, and the University of Colorado is liquidating investments in Russian companies, Forbes reported. The Arizona Board of Regents told the institutions it oversees – Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University – to sell off their Russian assets, NBC News reported.

Other schools, like Middlebury College, are suspending study abroad programs in Russia.

Like many universities, Stanford also runs a program that sends students to Russia.

The program, called the Stanford U.S.-Russia Forum, describes itself as the "world's only independent research organization that bring students and young professionals from the United States and Russia together to foster understanding between the cultures, share the knowledge, and gain experience in doing collaborative research."


Single picture costs Australian university $16 million as funding pulled over ‘unacceptable’ decision

image from

Last week, the university handed out its latest round of honorary doctorates and a photo of it circulated online. But critics couldn’t help but notice one glaring detail in the picture – the six recipients were all white men.

On Monday, this prompted the Snow Medical Research Foundation, which has given $24 million to Melbourne University in recent years, to immediately halt any further funding programs.

That included suspending its Snow Fellowship program, of which $16 million had already been pledged to the university.

“The University of Melbourne awarded their most prestigious award, their honorary doctorate, to six white men,” Snow Medical said in a statement.

“Further, in the last three years, not a single honorary doctorate has been awarded to women or someone of non-white descent. This is unacceptable.”

When Snow Medical challenged the uni about its recent spate of awards, “the response from the University of Melbourne has been unsatisfactory,” it added.

“While it appears the policies on gender equality and diversity are in place, the outcomes do not align with the University’s stated goals.”

The organisation’s founder and chair, Tom Snow, said it was a “difficult decision” but ultimately a necessary one to suspend funding indefinitely.

“This has been a difficult decision for our family, but a decision we have made very proudly,” he said online.

“NOW is the time for action on gender equality and diversity.”

Mr Snow himself attended the University of Melbourne as a student in the 1990s and his foundation has given out $90 million in research funding to date, to a number of universities and various research projects.

The current $16 million in place will still be provided to researchers, the foundation clarified, in a bid to “provide long-term certainty”.

Melbourne University admitted it had a lot of room for improvement but was obviously disappointed by the decision.

“The University of Melbourne is committed to strengthening a vibrant and inclusive community where diversity is recognised, valued and celebrated,” it said in a statement.

“While we acknowledge the areas where we need to improve, Snow Medical has made their decision on the basis of a single honorary doctorate event.

“This event is not a true reflection of who we are as a university and the steps we are taking, and continue to take, to build a diverse university community, reflective of broader society.”

Three women and an Indigenous man were meant to be at the ceremony as well but were unable to make it.

Mr Snow said he was unimpressed and wondered why they didn’t delay the ceremony until everyone could attend.

“Not one person along the way said, ‘It’s not right, we should be deferring the ceremony,’” he said.




'I can only describe LSE as an orgy of debauchery,’ an academic told a tribunal

What a whiner! In his position I would have just smiled

A professor has called one of Britain’s most prestigious universities an ‘orgy of debauchery’ after alleging he was sexually harassed by two female colleagues.

Dr Theodore Piepenbrock told a tribunal there was a culture of heavy drinking and affairs between academics at the London School of Economics (LSE).

He claims he was the victim of a ‘campaign of vengeance’ there after making complaints.

The economist, who is seeking more than £4million in compensation, said LSE destroyed his career after he complained he had been sexually harassed by Joanne Hay, now LSE’s deputy chief operating officer.

Dr Piepenbrock, 57, said he was in a lift in his first week as a fellow and deputy dean at the department of management when Miss Hay entered and ‘appeared to be very drunk’.

He said: ‘After the doors closed, the woman approached me, put her hand on my chest, spoke close enough to me to smell alcohol on her breath.

'Miss Hay told me, “Please don’t hesitate to let me know if there is anything I can do to make your stay more pleasurable”.

‘I asked Miss Hay to take her hand off my chest and please to leave me alone.’

The Times reported how he filed a grievance report against her at LSE for ‘sexual assault, harassment and defamation’.

‘My rejection of Miss Hay appears to have caused a multi-year campaign of vengeance against me,’ he added.

Dr Piepenbrock also alleged a female teaching assistant became obsessed with him on a work trip. He said he had to dismiss the woman, Miss D, after she opened her hotel room naked from the waist down.

He told LSE officials he was being harassed by her but was unaware Miss D also complained about him, alleging he told her she had ‘a beautiful body’ and threatened to ruin her reputation. He denies her allegations.

He went off work after suffering from depression. His LSE contract was not renewed.

‘Based on my personal experience of Miss Hay’s drunken sexual assault… Miss D’s indecent exposure and the LSE’s systemic refusal to investigate my grievances... I can only describe LSE as an orgy of debauchery,’ he told the tribunal.

He is claiming victimisation, unfair dismissal and disability discrimination because LSE allegedly failed to take account of his autism and depression.

LSE denied wrongdoing.

It said there was ‘no basis’ for extending his three-year fellowship ‘given the nature and extent of [his] grievances’.

In a separate case, Piepenbrock lost a £4 million compensation claim against LSE at the High Court in 2018 for errors in the handling of a complaint against him by a young female teaching assistant. The court found that his conduct towards her was 'inappropriate...inept...unprofessional and wrong'.


Critical race theory exposed in detail in new documentary, 'Whose Children Are They?'

In recent times, critical race theory (CRT) has come under increasing scrutiny.

If there is a silver lining in the COVID-19 crisis over the past two years, it's that American parents have seen firsthand, via their children's online classes, how public schools have pushed a radical agenda that includes CRT (whether it's actually called that by schools or not).

Now, a new documentary "Whose Children Are They?" reveals the issue in detail. "Whose Children Are They?: Exposing the Hidden Agenda in America’s Schools," shines a light on "the need to return to the original intent of education, not indoctrination," as Fathom Events, the project’s distributor, points out on its website.

With the premise that "public education is the most important domestic issue facing America today," the documentary is opening in select theaters on March 14, for one night only.

It calls on parents, teachers and others to partner together "for the innocence and well-being of our children."

"The so-called teacher unions and their political allies are heavily pushing CRT in our K-12 schools, colleges and universities."

"I’d like parents to understand that the root problem in our schools is the so-called teachers’ unions and their radical agenda — not good teachers," Rebecca Friedrichs, a producer on the project and a cast member, told Fox News Digital in an interview earlier this week.

The mother of two grown boys, Friedrichs is co-founder of For Kids and Country, a national movement of parents, teachers and citizens who want to restore the culture in public schools.

During a 30-day window from March 15-April 14, viewers can see "Whose Children Are They?" via ticketed events at their churches, homes, schools and more.

To do so, they can click on a button on the film's website that says, "Bring to My Church." After that first month, the movie will be available via premium video on demand.

CRT is ubiquitous in America, noted Friedrichs ahead of the documentary's debut. "The so-called teacher unions and their political allies are heavily pushing CRT in our K-12 schools, colleges and universities," she said.

"It is imbedded in curricula, teacher trainings, school cultures and especially through Obama-era racial equity discipline policies that have turned our classrooms into war zones."

Friedrichs also said, "The education establishment wants teachers to weave CRT into every subject. But good teachers reject CRT because it teaches children to judge their peers [based] on the color of their skin instead of the content of their character."

Friedrichs added, "My students and I always celebrated that we were living Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream because we had students from all over the world in our class, but we all respected one another."

"We were a true melting pot. Unions and their allies seek to divide us all with CRT. Beware: CRT is presented under a score of other titles."

Her lawsuit, Friedrichs v. California Teachers’ Association, brought with 10 others, was argued before the United States Supreme Court in 2016 and "blazed the trail for ending forced unionism for all teachers and government employees."

"If parents will stand with good teachers and help them to reject the unions, we can restore our schools," explained Friedrichs. "The unions are the culprits behind undermining parents, indoctrinating children, pushing an anti-American agenda, destroying our once outstanding educational system and more."


Australia: A handful of Sydney students were shocked when they opened up their email on a Friday night to find some “bloody awful” news waiting in their inbox.

On Friday night, at 5.15pm, journalism students from Macleay College, a private college based in Sydney which also has a virtual Melbourne campus, found a “life-changing” email waiting for them in their inbox.

Two weeks into their first trimester, they were informed that the Diploma and Bachelor of Journalism courses had been cancelled due to “low enrolments”.

Earlier that day, the first-year students had gone to class and had been assigned homework for the following week.

In fact, their tutors and lecturers were only warned 25 minutes before them about the course terminations.

It has left staff facing unemployment and students with their life turned upside down; pupils in the middle of their degree may only be able to leave with a statement of attainment, not even a diploma or a degree to show for their hard work.

Meanwhile, first year students have quit full-time jobs, moved interstate and turned down other university offers for a now defunct degree and it is too late to apply to another university for this term.

“To be told on a Friday afternoon after hours is really heartless,” new journalism student Chelsea Caffery told

Students are wondering why Macleay College allowed their classes to continue for two weeks with the knowledge that enrolment numbers were too low to keep the course going.

The college has offered up an alternative degree, Digital Media, which is not a pure journalism course like the one they signed up for.

Now students have just one week before the census cut off date to decide whether to drop out of the course or enrol into the alternate degree.

For students where this is not their first year in the course, they have a “teach out” option which involves them studying as much as they can until their trimester ends on May 20, by which time they will either have finished their degree or will only receive a statement of attainment.

Contractors revealed to that their contracts were never renewed for this year, and instead they were being paid through weekly invoices, in what could be a sign that the future of the course had been uncertain for some time.

Ms Caffery, 20, who was two weeks into the $54,000 Bachelor of Journalism course, gave up a full-time job and another university offer to land her dream degree at Macleay.

“It’s really really tough, we’re angry and we’re upset and we’re really confused,” she said.

“We’re literally four business days [until the census date] away from making a life-changing decision.

“This was the next two years of my life, I had it all planned out. This degree I was so excited for. I’ve been sitting here for the next 24 hours wondering what do I do with my life now.”

In a move that students have labelled as even more insulting, their queries to Macleay College have gone unanswered, some claim.

The bombshell email was sent 15 minutes after close of business on a Friday and students have been unable to get in touch with college executives since.

Students have taken to social media to express their outrage, with one person calling the situation “unconscionable”.

Macleay College was purchased by fashion entrepreneur Sarah Stavrow last year.

Ms Stavrow had previously assured staff that the program would be retained as it was what Macleay was “known for”.

But at the meeting outlining the course closure, Ms Stavrow was not present and refused to take calls afterwards