Saturday, December 03, 2022

Ceasefire! School board members call a truce after a year of equity battles

After a year of fighting over equity policies following the election of four conservatives, the school board of an affluent Denver suburb is calling for unity.

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. – After a tumultuous year fraught with fights over equity, recall efforts, lawsuits and the contentious firing of the superintendent, a Denver suburb’s school board has made a push for unity for the sake of the community.

"I'm pleased the board has been able to come together on many important issues that are key and central for our students," Susan Meek, a director on the Douglas County Board of Education, told Fox News. "It's our job as board members to do everything possible to bring our community together."

Four conservative directors were elected in 2021 after running on platforms opposing the district’s newly imposed equity policy and its COVID-19 policies. But the board has encountered controversy after controversy since then.

"If you had to summarize why I ran in one little soundbite, it would be restoring parent role and voice in education," said Mike Peterson, the school board president and one of the conservatives elected last year. "Whatever we can do to make parents feel respected, heard and put them back in partnership with our teachers who also need to be respected and heard, I think it will be good for the district."

One thousand teachers walked out after the conservative members successfully voted to fire the superintendent, which came after the four had discussions behind closed doors. A judge, as a result, put an injunction against the four conservatives and required them to follow Colorado’s open meeting laws.

A recall effort was also launched.

"Our students deserve to be in a district where the community comes together regardless of the political affiliations," Meek told Fox News. "And unfortunately, that's something that our district has struggled with in the past decade or so, and partisan politics kind of seeping into the board elections."

Still, both Meek and Peterson both emphasized their commitment to moving forward and working together, though the two noted that split votes were ongoing.

"We have the humility to learn from the past, whether that's how certain things were done or to constantly evolve and reconsider what we can do better," Peterson said. "I think that's going to be the key to our success."

Earlier this year, the board came together to send two items to the November ballot: a $450 million bond to build, maintain and expand schools and a $60 million mill levy override — effectively a property tax increase — to give staff a raise. Though both measures failed, all seven campaigned for the initiatives.

"We've been able to find common ground on the board, and that's what we've been trying to emphasize," Peterson told Fox News. He said having a more normal school year after facing strict COVID-19 protocols has been particularly helpful.


University of California strike is massive example of how Golden State problems are warning to rest of nation

Once again, California is showing us the future — and it’s wracked with labor strife, high prices, government bloat and abject failure. And nowhere is this more apparent than in California’s government education system.

Some 48,000 unionized graduate student workers at 10 University of California campuses went on strike three weeks ago, demanding "significantly higher wages, expanded childcare subsidies, enhanced health coverage and other benefits," according to a CalMatters report.

Meanwhile, government elementary schools in the lockdown-happy state dominated by teachers unions saw math and reading test scores plummet.

These problems connect to the larger left-wing project across the nation, portending failure elsewhere.

In the 1970s, America saw a huge uptick in union strikes as double-digit inflation under President Jimmy Carter eroded wages. The higher wages won by unions in turn fed into more inflation since productivity gains didn’t cover the increase in pay. It was a vicious cycle that pushed some manufacturing to foreign lands.

California is seeing the same phenomenon, leading the nation with the largest strike this year due, in part, to it being America’s third-most-expensive state in which to live. It trails only Hawaii and Massachusetts, with prices for basic necessities like rent, gasoline, electricity and food averaging some 39% higher than the national average.

With inflation at 40-year highs, people are finding it harder to makes ends meet. As a result, labor strikes, like the one in the University of California system, will become more widespread.

The vaunted UC system employs 48,000 unionized students to teach, grade papers, and conduct research. That might make some wonder what it is exactly that tenured professors do all day other than dream up new woke nightmares to visit upon the nation in coming years. As underemployed as professors might be, university administrators are far less productive.

By 2014, administrators at UC campuses outnumbered faculty, having grown by 60% over a decade during which student enrollment increased by 22% and the number of faculty went up by 8%. A study at UC Berkeley found 11 layers of management with 471 managers in charge of just one person. The number of direct reports per supervisor in the private sector ranges from six to 11. There’s a good chance a few of those 471 managers are Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) chiefs with a social media assistant.

Is it any wonder that inflation-adjusted tuition at state-run universities almost tripled from 2000 to 2020?

This administrative bloat has been fed by virtually limitless federal student loans with almost 43 million borrowers now owing more than $1.7 trillion. According to Andrew Gillen, Ph.D., a senior policy analyst at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, the average student graduating with a bachelor’s degree carries almost $24,000 in debt.


Regulator downgrades hundreds of outstanding schools in England

Most of the outstanding schools in England inspected last year have been downgraded, according to a report from the schools watchdog.

Some of them had not been looked at for 15 years and many would have experienced "significant change" such as new head teachers, Ofsted said.

But the National Education Union (NEU) said Ofsted's findings were "frequently unreliable".

The Department for Education said most schools remained good or outstanding.

Between 2012 and 2020, schools judged outstanding were revisited only if specific concerns were raised.

Ofsted said 80% of outstanding schools it had revisited last year had been downgraded - 308 primary and secondary schools.

Most were bumped down to good - but 17% were told they needed improvement and 4% were inadequate.

Are you affected by issues covered in this story? Get in touch.

David, a father from Middlesex who asked the BBC to use his first name only, said his son's secondary school was among those that had been downgraded.

He said the school was marked down for "trivial" things, such as selling Design and Technology equipment because of a lack of uptake in the subject - whereas academic attainment remained strong.

It made him question whether Ofsted's grading methods were "fit for purpose".

But Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman said regular inspection gave parents "confidence in the quality of their child's school".

Ofsted said it had prioritised schools that had gone the longest without inspection, when it had been deciding which schools to look at last year.

On average, the schools it visited had not been inspected for 13 years - but some had gone as long as 15 without an inspection.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Ms Spielman said: "These are the schools that have gone longest without being inspected, so are probably slightly more likely not to remain outstanding."

She said it was important for parents to understand that most of the schools have remained "good", but said it was "concerning that quite a significant number have been marked as needing improvement".

There was no target for the number of outstanding schools, she said.

Asked later by MPs whether there had been too many outstanding ratings previously, Ms Spielman said: "The numbers had got very high, uncomfortably high." And the old system of inspections "perhaps looked more to process than substance




Thursday, December 01, 2022

The Finnish example

In considering the article below, some caution is needed. One should, for instance, not mistake the initial results from a policy change for the final effects. Finland was for some time a world leader in education results on the PISA criteria but it has slipped back to sixth place recently

There are also ways in which Finns are different. Psychologically, they are famously taciturn for intstance. That may help Finns to minimize conflict

Sociologically, all Finns are clearly aware of their heroic struggles with the Soviets. That clearly fosters a sense of brotherhood among them -- something very conducive to acceptance of socialist policies

So what works well in Finland might not transfer well to other societies

The leader of the nation ranked as the happiest in the world arrives in Australia on Thursday, and it presents a great opportunity.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will meet his Finnish counterpart, Sanna Marin, on Friday and will surely be interested to learn more about Finland’s success and how it might apply to Australia.

Finland has led moves towards emphasising wellbeing in economic decisions, of the kind that Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers has commenced since Labor took office in May.

Finland is famous for its well-resourced schooling and equality in education funding. This contrasts with the considerable inequalities that remain in Australian school funding almost a decade after the Gonski review’s call for change. Those recommendations lie dormant.

Finnish experience shows that equality between schools – a mutual striving for all schools to be good schools – is the best way to lift a nation’s educational excellence. That collective striving relies on valuing, trusting and fairly rewarding the teachers in those schools.

People will obviously be happier if allowed to pursue what they really want to do with their lives, rather than be pushed into an occupation their parents or others deem to be of suitable status. Encouraging those who choose different vocational paths from a professional career, for instance, contributes to Finland’s happiness. Being in a trade such as a plumber, electrician or carpenter is more valued than here.

Students in Finland are encouraged to follow their natural curiosity. We learn most effectively through trial and error. In Australia, there is too great a requirement for competitive high-stakes testing. This leads to the recitation of pre-prepared “right answers”. It causes anxiety for young people, but it also fails to foster creativity and innovation.

Finland has a remarkable history of innovation, due in part to its strong investment in research and development, which has helped it establish niches of design and production excellence for export. The best-known example is the Nokia company, which dominated global mobile phone production for more than a decade. Australia can learn from this approach to rectify our own underinvestment.

Gender equality is also advanced in Finland. Prime Minister Marin has spearheaded initiatives to increase paternity leave. Last year, paid parental leave in Finland was extended to 14 months, of which almost seven months is allocated for fathers. While some of that paternity leave can be transferred to mothers, most has to be taken by fathers for the family to gain the full entitlement. This “use it or lose it” minimum requirement is the only proven way to lift men’s role in caring for their children.

The new Australian government has made a welcome decision to extend paid parental leave to six months. However, it still needs to demonstrate how fathers will be encouraged to actually take that leave. That will support more mothers to return full-time to the workforce. The proportion of women in full-time jobs in Australia is 20 percentage points below Finland.

Finland is also the least corrupt country in the world, according to Transparency International. It stands at equal No. 1 on that index, alongside Denmark and Jacinda Ardern’s New Zealand, who Sanna Marin met on Wednesday. Australia languishes at No. 18, underlining the need for the National Anti-Corruption Commission being legislated in our federal parliament this week.

Finland has consistently pursued social democratic policies, the kind that Australia needs to revive if it is to boost its happiness, educational achievement and gender equality. Marin’s visit should provoke us to ponder the question: Do we want to become even more like America, or be more like Finland? We are poised between those two poles on so many indicators.

Measurements have shown, for instance, that an American with tertiary-educated parents is almost seven times more likely to enter tertiary education than a fellow citizen whose parents had no post-school education. In England, the difference is six times and in Australia, it is four times. In Finland, however, you are almost no more likely to get a tertiary education simply because your parents did. Finland has thus created extraordinary intergenerational opportunities for people from less privileged family backgrounds, based on genuine merit.

Australia can learn from this to further realise the full talents of our people to achieve what they want according to their interests and abilities. Our success, indeed our happiness, need not be determined by inherited advantage.


Stanford is investigating its OWN president - a 'world leader in the study of brain development' - over allegations papers he co-authored contain multiple photoshopped images and manipulated data

Stanford's president in under investigation over allegations papers he co-authored contain doctored data and images.

The school announced the probe Tuesday and said it would be investigating allegations of scientific misconduct involving the university's head staffer, Marc Tessier-Lavigne.

The declaration came after posts on an online forum challenged the authenticity of multiple images published in papers coauthored by the Tessier-Lavigne, who assumed the position of president in 2016.

The postings were then reported by the Stanford Daily, the university newspaper, on Tuesday - along with several other allegations of suspected manipulations in Tessier-Lavigne's work.

Tessier-Lavigne, described by Stanford as a 'world leader in the study of brain development and repair,' has had a lucrative tenure at the school, adding $12.1billion to its endowment and reversing an unpopular plan to nix its 11 sports teams.

After the allegations were aired, prominent science research publisher the European Microbiology Organization Journal said it would also be investigating the staffer, saying it was 'looking into' discrepancies in a research paper he penned in 2018.

The papers in question were also funded by taxpayers in the form of government grants, raising serious questions about the staffer's integrity.

A prominent biologist familiar with Tessier-Lavigne's work has since come out to say that several scientific papers written by the president contained 'a lot of visible errors,' and content 'suggestive (of) an intention to mislead.'

Elisabeth Bik, a nationally recognized expert in image analysis and research integrity, told the East Bay Times upon analyzing the paper that 'one cannot really say that all the problems that we found are pointing towards misconduct.'

She added: 'But there definitely are some problems - and they're real,'

Experts who reviewed Tessier-Lavigne's research at the request of The Daily agreed with Bik's analysis, pointed out that three papers in prominent research journals Science and Nature also contained 'serious problems.'

Scientific misconduct researchers who reviewed the papers, The Daily claimed, contained images that had been 'photoshopped,' as well as manipulated data.

On Tuesday evening in a statement, Tessier-Lavigne said he welcomed the review and would cooperate with school officials.

'Scientific integrity is of the utmost importance both to the university and to me personally,' he said. 'I support this process and will fully cooperate with it, and I appreciate the oversight by the Board of Trustees.'

Initially, a Stanford spokesperson, rebuffed the school paper's story, asserting Tessier-Lavigne 'was not involved in any way in the generation or presentation of the panels that have been queried' in two of the aforementioned four papers.

Speaking to The Daily, spokesperson Dee Mostofi said that the issues present in the other two 'do not affect the data, results or interpretation of the papers.'

Bik told the Daily Tuesday that she did 'not agree with (the) statement that these issues have no bearing on the data or the results.'

Later that evening, the school appeared to walk back those claims, announcing that they would in fact open an investigation into the staffer, joining the European Microbiology Organization Journal in doing so.

One of the pieces under scrutiny was published in the journal, while the other three were found in 'Science' and 'Nature.' Two of those papers featured Tessier-Lavigne as the lead author.

Allegations of scientific misconduct regarding those papers repeatedly appeared on the online forum PubPeer, where users critique the contents of respected science journals over the last seven years, the Daily’s investigation found.

Stanford University spokespeople did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Tessier-Lavigne, a native of Ontario, Canada, spent his early career researching degenerative brain diseases like Alzheimer’s before transitioning to more administrative roles

Prior of his tenure at Stanford, he served as the president of Rockefeller University in New York City.

The contested research was conducted prior to his 2016 recruitment from New York to Stanford, with most centered on the study of the development of neural connections in the brain.

It was not immediately clear how long the investigations into Tessier-Lavigne would take. Both are currently underway.


Have the Anticapitalists Reached Harvard Business School?
Social justice joins discounted cash flows on the syllabus as essential knowledge for aspiring corporate leaders

At Harvard Business School, inside a seminar room with a smattering of button-down shirts and puffy fall jackets, a group of future corporate managers were talking about capitalism. What makes capitalism truly and purely capitalism? What are its essential components? Property rights. Financial markets.

“Maybe this is almost so foundational that it’s too much to put on the board — but scarcity?” said Andrew Gibbs, 32, a second-year student who came to Harvard by way of the military. “Would it be capitalism if people were comfortable?”

Prof. Debora Spar, who teaches the widely sought-after course “Capitalism and the State,” turned to Mr. Gibbs with the eye glimmer of an instructor who knows the conversation is about to get heated. “Would you go so far as to say a necessary condition for capitalism is scarcity, which is going to drive inequality?”

Mr. Gibbs paused, contemplating. “I would say so.”

On the blackboard it went: Capitalism. Scarcity. Inequality.

Every year, some 250,000 young people step off the treadmill of their jobs, many in consulting and private equity, to chase skills and credentials that will turbocharge their future roles in consulting and private equity — by going to business school. They study accounting and negotiation. They learn about D.C.F.s (discounted cash flows) and the three C’s (company, customers and competitors). They emerge with the ability to at least feign intimate knowledge of the godfather of shareholder primacy, referred to in one classroom as “our buddy Milton Friedman.”

But today’s business school students are also learning about corporate social obligations and how to rethink capitalism, a curriculum shift at elite institutions that reflects a change in corporate culture as a whole. Political leaders on the left and right are calling for business leaders to reconsider their societal responsibilities. On the left, they argue that business needs to play some role in confronting daunting global threats — a warming planet, fragile democracy. On the right, they chastise executives for distracting from profits by talking politics.

The corporate phenomenon of socially responsible investing, or E.S.G., has become a point of contention — as well as a $40 trillion industry. Elon Musk called it a “scam” after the S&P 500 removed Tesla from its Environmental, Social and Governance index last spring. Mike Pence, the former vice president, recently urged states to “rein in” E.S.G. BlackRock issued a letter in September trying to stave off critics by noting, essentially, that the investment firm’s focus on the environment wasn’t detracting from its core purpose: making money.

Meanwhile, many workers have spent recent years demanding that their employers take a more decisive stance on social issues like racial injustice and abortion.

Top-ranked business schools are stepping into the political arena. Harvard started its Institute for the Study of Business in Global Society last month. Nearly half of the Yale School of Management’s core curriculum is devoted to E.S.G. Next fall, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania will start offering M.B.A. majors in diversity, equity and inclusion and in environmental, social and governance factors for business.

What happens at Harvard, Wharton and other elite campuses offers a small glimpse of the changes in the corporate realm. But at the same time, their graduates tend to have outsize influence on business, shaping the values and policies of the companies they may one day run.

Business schools are not generally known for their radicalism, but their students and faculty are grappling, sometimes ambivalently, with fast-changing expectations of business’s role in society. Most students are frank about the prestigious jobs they want, with hefty salaries attached. Now, though, they’re facing sharper questions from classmates about how to balance their ambitions with some sense of responsibility to the public good.

“We’re at Harvard Business School — it’s a bastion of capitalism,” said Ethan Rouen, who teaches the Harvard class “Reimagining Capitalism.” “I will say, though, that if you look at the courses being offered, the institutes being created and speakers we bring on campus, there is a huge demand both from the faculty and the students for rethinking the obligation of the corporation to society.”

Inside classrooms, the range of views on corporate political engagement has broadened in recent years, according to people across leading business schools. Assumptions long woven into the syllabus are open for questioning: the wisdom of maximizing profits, the idea that America’s version of capitalism is functioning properly.

“There’s a conscious shift happening with professors wanting us to question: Is profit the only thing corporations should care about? How should businesses use their influence?” said Chinedum Egbosimba, 27, who studied engineering and then worked at Bain & Company before winding up at Harvard Business School and in Ms. Spar’s class.

“The classic school of thinking that businesses should only make money is very much alive,” he continued. “But many of my classmates look at the world we have today and say, ‘Yeah, there’s clearly some things about this system we need to fix.’”

At Harvard, in “Capitalism and the State,” colloquially known as CATS, Ms. Spar asked her students to flip their name cards sideways if they felt globalization was ultimately a good system. She paced excitedly, cheetah-print shoes roving the classroom floor.

After some mumbling and paper shuffling, about 80 percent of the students flipped their placards, signaling a thumbs-up on globalization. Mr. Egbosimba disagreed. Leaning forward in his back-row seat, he asked his classmates to rethink the view that had given rise to the world as they knew it — the International Monetary Fund, Hyatt hotels around the world and McDonald’s golden arches at every airport.

“I’m from the global south, the old colonies of the West,” said Mr. Egbosimba, who grew up in Nigeria. “Maybe there’s some version of this idea that could have led to acceptance and peace, but it’s not the one we built. As a victim of it, I can say that with confidence.”

His classmate Alan Xie, 28, piped up in agreement. “The distrust of elites connected to capitalism undermines the whole globalization project,” he said. “We’ve actually imported illiberalism as a result of having nice stuff.”

Still, most of their classmates remained in favor of a globalized economy. Ms. Spar summed up their arguments succinctly: “We’ve got growth. We’ve got nice stuff,” she said. “It worked.”

To which Rachel Orol, 29, seated in the front row, replied: “It worked for us.”




Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Idaho murders: Law enforcement should not dismiss 'incel' angle, experts say

More than two weeks after four University of Idaho students were stabbed to death in their off-campus residence, police still have not identified a suspect or located a murder weapon.

Forensic psychologist Kris Mohandie said that the brutal nature of the murders, combined with the appearance of the victims as popular students on campus, leads him to believe that law enforcement should take a close look at the suspect potentially being an "incel."

Incel, which is short for involuntary celibate, refers to a misogynistic subculture of romantically frustrated men who frequently share their anger online about not being able to find a partner.

"There's a lot of hatred and anger that is evidenced in these crimes – the level of violence, the resolve, the obvious hostility in such a personal hands-on attack," Mohandie told Fox News Digital. "That is a lot of intensity. So it is not inconsistent with somebody that may have that kind of motivation. There's something hateful and rage filled about it."

Authorities believe the attack was "targeted," but they have not identified who was targeted or why they believe that to be the case. Additionally, Goncalves made statements before the murders that she "may have had a stalker," but authorities have not been able to corroborate those claims.

"These are kids, adult kids, living their life, experiencing happiness, being spontaneous and carefree. And that's going to stimulate somebody that either felt entitled to have had a relationship with one or more of them," Mohandie said.

"For individuals that feel on the outside looking in… that's going to create envy and hate."

Sarah Daly, a criminology researcher at Saint Vincent College who has studied the subculture of involuntary celibates, noted that it would be premature to say the killer in this case comes from the incel community, but the circumstances of the murders could potentially provide clues.

"I can certainly see how people might suspect an ‘incel killer’ in this case, particularly because the four victims are young and attractive, thus fitting the ‘Chad’ and ‘Stacy’ reference that incels often use on their forums," Daly told Fox News Digital.


Santa Comes Early with CUNY Exec Raises as Enrollment Drops

Two top City University of New York administrators each received $90,000 raises this year – as enrollment dropped.

Hector Batista, the public university system’s chief operating officer, saw his salary climb 27 percent from $330,000 to $420,000, and Derek Davis, the senior vice counsel and general counsel, saw a 30 percent gain from $300,000 to $390,000, according to The New York Post.

Batista also gets a car — driven by university police officers.

Two other executives, vice chancellors Doriane Gloria and Maria Junco Galletti, collected 15 percent pay raises. All the raises were retroactive to Dec. 31, 2021, approved by the CUNY Board of Trustees, The Post reported.

The hefty pay increases come as the university system saw a 10 percent drop in enrollments, from 271,000 in 2019 to 243,000 in 2021.

A CUNY spokesman told The Post that the school’s executive compensation plan needs to insure that “senior staff’s earnings are on par with other public higher education institutions locally and nationally.”

The spokesman acknowledged the raises come as enrollment has dropped.

"We are in a challenging job market and CUNY recognizes that it must remain competitive in order to recruit and retain talented leaders particularly as we work to boost pandemic-related enrollment drops and get New Yorkers the help they need to return to college."

Not everyone is happy with the raises. Adjunct professors, who teach many of CUNY’s classes, have made no secret that they are underpaid.

Penny Lewis, secretary of the faculty union, told The Post, “If the CUNY Board of Trustees believes management deserves raises this big, then surely our underpaid full-time faculty and staff, and our adjunct faculty who often struggle to afford even basic living expenses in NYC, deserve a substantial raise in the next contract.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul increased CUNY’s budget by $1.2 billion for FY 2023, to hire more full-time faculty, improve academic programs and services, cover capital projects, pay for operating costs, expand childcare services on campuses, and includes $110 million to increase fringe benefits for staff.


Baltimore Schools Head Collects $444,775 While Student Test Scores Suffer

While students in Baltimore’s public schools are suffering with some of the lowest test scores in the country, the head of the school district collected $444,775 in pay and other compensation during her contract year that ended on June 30, 2022.

Dr. Sonja Santelises, the school district’s CEO, earned a base salary of $333,125, the highest in the state among 24 public school districts, Fox45’s Project Baltimore, Chris Papst reported.

But she also received added compensation, including a $9,600 car allowance and $53,300 in “deferred compensation” toward retirement.

She also gets 59 paid days off a year — 38 vacation days, 18 sick days and three personal days. The almost 12 weeks of taxpayer-funded paid time off doesn’t include the 13 paid holidays throughout the year.

If Santelises doesn’t take her 12 weeks off, her contract allows her to be paid for most of the unused time.

During her last contract year, she was paid in cash $48,750 in unused paid leave. When that’s added to the rest of her compensation, Santelises collected a total of $444,775.

“It’s milking taxpayers like dairy cows,” CEO and founder Adam Andrzejewski told Project Baltimore. “We put a premium on those leaders, locally, that say they're going to educate our children. And so, we need to hold, at the end of the day, we need to hold them accountable.”

While her contract says she will be held accountable — the school board will evaluate the CEO, in part, on how she “demonstrated improvement in the academic performance of students in the City Schools” — graduation rates, attendance and college enrollment are lower than when the Santelises began overseeing the schools in 2016.




Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Majority of top medical schools pushing critical race theory, new report finds: 'A false diagnosis'

A new report found that critical race theory instruction has infiltrated 58 of America's top 100 medical schools, with some teaching materials from inflammatory authors who have been accused of pushing open discrimination.

"It's a great concern because what's going on here is the false diagnosis of a problem. The problem is that Black patients tend to do worse than White patients in a number of medical conditions," Do No Harm Chairman and former University of Pennsylvania associate dean Dr. Stanley Goldfarb said Tuesday on "Fox & Friends First."

"The diagnosis that's been made is that there's racism in health care that's producing this disparate outcome. The difficulty is, there's no evidence to prove that's true…"

MSNBC, CNN, ABC and more repeatedly pushed critical race theory ideology on TV while denying it exists Video

Goldfarb told Carley Shimkus he believes far more than 58 of the schools and perhaps all the top 100 medical schools have implemented ideas from the theory in their curricula.

"The AAMC [American Association of Medical Colleges], which is the governing body of medical education just put out an inventory that suggested that the vast majority of schools are engaging in this kind of activity," he said. found that many of the institutions included in the study contained mandatory instruction on materials from Robin DiAngelo and Ibram X. Kendi, two authors whose material has come under scrutiny for allegedly divisive rhetoric.

Goldfarb, sounding off on Kendi's material in the curriculum, pointed to his argument for "present discrimination to remedy past discrimination and future discrimination to remedy present discrimination" and slammed its inclusion as a "terrible development."'s study also uncovered that some institutions mandate faculty and staff training rooted in critical race theory.

"[This curriculum] represents virtue signaling. It represents an attempt to go along with the current trends, but it doesn't represent an effort that's going to yield better outcomes for Black patients," Goldfarb said.

Goldfarb said the true problem behind poorer outcomes for Black patients could be resolved by improving "health literacy and education" to ensure patients understand the signs and symptoms of dangerous medical conditions before their issues progress.

"Better access and better health literacy would go a long way to solving the problem," he said.

"We have an invasion of critical race theory and all that it implies… I've been told that I should be canceled now and that I shouldn't be speaking about all these issues, and I've been left off an online textbook that I was an editor-in-chief of simply because of these ideas…

"They refuse to discuss this issue," he added.

Controversy surrounding critical race theory in colleges across the U.S. has erupted in recent years as institutions continue to push values of diversity and inclusion.
Dr. Nicole Saphier reveals how ‘woke’ medical school guidelines lower the bar for admissions Video

A report Fox News Digital recently obtained from Goldfarb's organization Do No Harm singled out the University of Florida's College of Medicine for implementing an allegedly "destructive" diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiative rooted in critical race theory.

The push to ensure tomorrow's medical field is rife with "antiracists" focuses on "active recruitment" of underrepresented groups and curriculum focused on diversity, equity and recognizing implicit bias.

The medical school stands in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and features "Guidelines for Being a Strong White Ally."


Court rejects San Diego school district's COVID vaccine mandate

The California 4th District Court of Appeal ruled against the San Diego Unified School District’s COVID-19 student vaccine requirement this week.

On Tuesday, the appellate court agreed with a lower court's ruling from last year that the school district does not have the authority to establish its own mandate.

The court rejected the district's several defenses of its mandate, including that it is in line with the responsibility to keep students safe, that programs can be created to meet "local needs" and that the mandate is not actually a mandate because it allows for students to do at-home independent study should they choose not to comply.

"We doubt that students and their parents perceive a real choice. For some, independent study would likely be a step backwards," it wrote.

San Diego Unified is examining the appeals court ruling and "will consider its next steps," district spokesperson Mike Murad said in an email to the Los Angeles Times.

In May, the district decided to stay the mandate — which would have immediately required students ages 16 and up to get the shots in order to attend school in person and participate in extracurricular activities — until at least July 2023.
San Diego Unified School District signage is seen on a Navistar International Corp. school bus in San Diego, California, on July 9, 2020.

San Diego Unified School District signage is seen on a Navistar International Corp. school bus in San Diego, California, on July 9, 2020. (Bing Guan/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

There were exemptions allowed for medical reasons, but not based on personal beliefs.

The mandate faced a legal challenge from the parent group "Let Them Choose," whiled filed a lawsuit in October 2021.
Protesters demonstrate outside the San Diego Unified School District office in San Diego, California, on Sept. 28, 2021.

Protesters demonstrate outside the San Diego Unified School District office in San Diego, California, on Sept. 28, 2021. (Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images)

The group argued that the decision to mandate vaccines must be made at the state level and also needs to include a "personal belief exemption" — unless the state legislature acted to eliminate the exemption.

The district first adopted its vaccine mandate for students in September 2021.

It is one of several large school districts in California to announce such a mandate. Those with similar mandates include the Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento and West Contra Costa Unified school districts.


American colleges join global protests against China's anti-COVID lockdown

Anti-lockdown protests have spread to multiple American universities, part of a growing global movement in support of protesters in China demonstrating against their country's "zero-COVID" policy.

Students from Columbia, Duke, North Carolina and the University of California Berkeley gathered for demonstrations in support of Chinese protesters in recent days, according to a report from France 24, expressing solidarity with a population that has seen its frustrations boil over amid over two years of strict COVID-19 prevention measures.

Chants of "Free China!" and "Xi Jinping, step down!" were heard at California Berkeley protests, with one protester holding a sign with a drawing of Chinese President Xi Jinping that read "Death to the dictator."

The scenes at American college campus come as Chinese authorities have launched a massive law enforcement response to protests that started last week and continued to intensify throughout the weekend across China, largely at least temporarily restoring order in the major cities of Beijing and Shanghai on Tuesday.

The protests originated after an apartment complex fire in the far-west region of the country resulted in the deaths of 10 people, an event that has been blamed on a delayed response by the local fire department amid continued lockdown policies.

Protesters took to the streets across the country to demand pandemic restrictions be eased, while others even called for the resignation of the country's top leaders.

The protests cap a tumultuous couple of months for the Chinese Communist regime, which has generated increased scrutiny over its mass internment of ethnic Uyghurs in Xinjiang and continued threats toward neighboring Taiwan.

A protest organizer from China at Columbia, who only identified himself as Shawn, said he preferred to keep the school's demonstration focused on COVID policy and not other controversies.

"We know that may alienate a lot of people," the protester told Reuters.

However, the spread of campus protests is part of a larger movement across the globe, with some demonstrators in Washington,D.C., marching on the State Department and taking direct aim at the Chinese government's treatment of the country's Uyghur population.

"We want them to issue a formal statement condemning the loss of lives, Uyghur lives, and to call for full transparency on the real number of deaths that occurred," Salih Hudayar, one of 25 members of the city's Uyghur community who took part in the demonstration, said, according to France 24.

"We're hoping that the international community supports these protesters in demanding accountability from the Chinese government," she added.

Elsewhere in Washington, roughly 100 people gathered to demand greater freedoms for the Chinese people.

"(Officials) are borrowing the pretext of COVID, but using excessively strict lockdowns to control China's population. They disregarded human lives," said a Chinese student identified only as Chen. "I came here to grieve."




Sunday, November 27, 2022

Collegiate Alumni Donations: What Are We Giving To?

Adam Novak

I read a news report about a group of woke Yale students who burst into a panel discussion on civil liberties hosted by the Federalist Society on campus back in March and tried to shout down and intimidate the speakers—who had to be escorted out by the police.

This kind of activity on campus has become so commonplace it barely makes the news anymore. But it struck me, as a former fundraiser for universities, how this behavior—the result of the leftist ideology being taught on campus—is actually being funded largely by well-meaning alumni who donate to their alma maters in the hope that young people will receive the same solid education and values that they did.

What they don’t realize is that the colleges they give to are not the places they once were.

Now, I’m proud of the gifts I raised—the new scholarships, student resources, and research dollars I helped secure. I remain forever grateful to the donors who chose to part with their hard-earned resources to improve lives. But when I see that these colleges have ballooning “diversity, equity, and inclusion” staff salaries, coursework in critical race theory required for graduation, and campus activists bullying of conservatives, I worry the promise I made to those donors might not be kept by those universities.

Charitable giving is a uniquely American thing. When a problem cannot be solved by the marketplace, rather than wait for the government to create a new, inefficient, expensive bureaucracy to fix something, Americans utilize their resources to try to help. This also happens in a few other countries, but never to the same degree. It is classic American exceptionalism.

A cardinal principle in fundraising ethics is to fulfill the wishes of a donor. When you give to your college, you expect the gift to fulfill the emotional and practical inspiration for the gift. Conservatives might be surprised to see how that money is actually spent.

Critical race theory originated on college campuses and has since infected almost every other American institution. This Marxist framework makes race the prism through which its proponents view all aspects of American life, categorizing individuals into groups of oppressors and victims. This is a distinctly anti-American idea.

The great civil rights leaders throughout American history have sought to resolve racial conflict through the framework of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. American sins like slavery and Jim Crow were expunged by exercising freedom of speech and assembly, and demonstrating that slavery and Jim Crow were antithetical to the founding principles of this country, even if some of the Framers themselves didn’t practice what they preached.

Critical race theorists, on the other hand, teach that racial injustice is part and parcel of America’s founding principles. In their eyes, America is fully a racist country, and American history and values are “toxic.” As hard as it is believe, those ideas now flourish in higher education and at colleges that once embraced academic integrity and free speech.

And it isn’t just in curriculums that include leftist scholars such as Angela Davis and the late Howard Zinn. Critical race theory is embedded into the institutional hierarchy of higher education. Racial bean counting is included in performance reviews across universities, monitored and controlled by diversity, equity, and inclusion offices.

This is what your gift to your alma mater is paying for.

DEI is now the fastest-growing “industry” in higher education. The salaries of academics—the ones teaching and conducting worthwhile research—have remained flat. Meanwhile, the DEI offices are growing exponentially. On today’s college campus, there are an average of 3.4 DEI staff members per every 100 tenured faculty. They are there to make sure these Marxist ideas are incorporated in every area and office in colleges and universities.

When that letter comes in the mail asking for another gift to your alma mater, that’s what you are paying for.

If you raise these concerns with your alma mater or child’s school, they may point to the existence of the campus conservative paper, a Christian campus outreach group, or a Jewish student group. Even if that’s the case, a portion of activity fees will still go toward operations—meaning that campus activists, encouraged by the DEI officers and deans of students, will still get their portion of your gift.

And I have a hunch the college administration does not make life very pleasant for conservative groups, especially if they have the audacity to criticize the DEI office or campus activists.

As a fundraiser for The Heritage Foundation, perhaps I’m a bit biased in suggesting conservative donors have a better shot at fulfilling their desire to build a freer, more prosperous country with us than their alma mater. But a conservative can have confidence knowing the gift at Heritage will be spent on the causes they believe in; namely, liberty, civil society, and a defense of the American way of life. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)

Charitable giving should fulfill the wish of a donor. Conservatives should carefully examine whether a college or university they support uses the money they send exactly the way they would wish.

If conservative speech, ideas, students, or faculty are not welcome at your alma mater—perhaps your own charitable dollars should go somewhere else.


‘Living hell’ and the destruction of academic freedom

If universities don’t protect free speech and open debate, they’re no better than finishing schools, if not outright propaganda factories — serving not the nation or the search for truth, but simply the dominant ideology. But that’s increasingly what US colleges have become, routinely closing the door to dissent by shutting down professors, researchers and students who challenge the received wisdom. How many still deserve the vast public support they still receive?

The latest example: Stanford professor of medicine Jay Bhattacharya, who with profs from Harvard and Oxford co-authored the Great Barrington Declaration in 2020, early in the pandemic, flagging the huge cost of lockdowns, both medical and social.

Some 16,000 medical and public-health scientists (many of them highly credentialed), 47,000 medical practitioners and 871,000 “concerned citizens” signed on — making it plain that nothing resembling a scientific consensus endorsed the course much of the nation had taken.

Which infuriated the powers that be. Dr. Anthony Fauci, with huge grant-making powers as boss of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, slammed the declaration as “nonsense” — joined by other key public-health officials and prompting much of the media to ignore or even suppress the debate.

And the rulers of academia followed suit. As Bhattacharya said at a talk this month, his life soon became “a living hell” — and his university, Stanford, failed to back him. He not only got death threats and hate mail, he also faced a “deeply hostile work environment,” making clear that “academic freedom is dead.”

“If Stanford really, truly were committed to academic freedom,” it would’ve “worked to make sure that there were debates and discussions, seminars where these ideas were discussed,” he added.

Data on lockdowns and COVID deaths suggests Bhattacharya & Co. were right: Sweden, Finland and Norway, for example, rejected extended closures and saw notably less “excess mortality” than most other European nations. Here in America, largely open Florida fared as well or better than largely closed New York and California.

In short, Fauci and other public health leaders should’ve at least considered the possible dangers of their preferred course. “Shut up” isn’t supposed to be a winning argument in the scientific community.

Of course, academia’s been suppressing “heretics” for a long time now.

At Portland State, Peter Boghossian became a pariah just for calling attention to the lack of diversity of opinions on campus, a response that proved his point.

University of Chicago geophysicist Dorian Abbot had an MIT speech canceled and his name removed from academic papers and from a National Science Foundation grant proposal. His sin? Coauthoring an op-ed arguing that admissions policies should be based on merit.

American Historical Association President James Sweet felt forced to apologize for criticizing those who see history through current, fashionable politics, as The New York Times’ “1619 Project” did.

As of April, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education had logged 591 cases of retaliation toward profs with “unpopular” ideas since 2015. Medical schools have been forced to adopt woke policies and programs. Several polls have shown that even students in high school and college feel uncomfortable expressing their honest views in public.

It’s alarming: The last place cancel culture should flourish is on campus. Higher education is supposed to foster fresh thinking, not enforce any ideology except the classical liberal ideals of free and open debate. Universities can’t serve society as a whole if fear of backlash keeps brilliant thinkers from sharing their thoughts.

“Academia is supposed to encourage free thinking, not enforce one orthodoxy,” contends John Tomasi, the president of pro-free-thinking Heterodox Academy. “Great minds do not always think alike.”

No, unpopular ideas won’t always prove right — but even when wrong, they can expose faults in the previous consensus. And if they go unheard, true progress becomes impossible.


Major regret? See how these Americans feel about their college degrees after graduating

A Washington Post analysis found that nearly 40% of college graduates regretted their major. Americans in New York and Philadelphia had mixed feelings.

Americans in New York City and Philadelphia had mixed feelings on whether they regretted their college major.

"I was a criminal justice major and I regret it," one woman said through laughter. "I really don’t like it. I would have probably done art."

But another graduate said: "I majored in computer science, and I would keep the same major."

Nearly 40% of college graduates regret their majors, a Washington Post analysis found earlier this year. Among arts and humanities majors, nearly half wished they’d studied something else, while STEM graduates tended to feel they made the right choice.

"I realized that my major wasn’t very specific," an international business major told Fox News. "I don’t entirely regret it, but when I started applying for jobs, I realized it wasn’t like a specific field."

"Most of the jobs were looking for a specific field like data analysis or like software or like accounting majors," he continued.

Some suggested alternative paths.

"I think going to a trade school would probably be better off," one man said in Philadelphia. "I think right now the opportunities in that field are probably outstanding."

A few in the arts told Fox News they found their passion.

"I got a bachelor of fine arts in musical theater and I don’t regret it because that’s my job," one woman said. "I live here in New York. I’m a Broadway actor."