Thursday, October 26, 2023

Woman, 25, sparks fierce debate after slamming college as a SCAM - revealing it left her $80,000 in debt and unable to find a job that pays more than her role as a SUSHI waitress

A woman, 25, has sparked a fierce debate after she branded college as a scam —revealing that it left her $80,000 in debt and struggling to land a job in her field that would only pay her enough to get by.

College grad Alison Johnson, from Huntsville, Alabama, took to TikTok last month to share her frustration over her long and strenuous hunt for work.

She explained that she had been applying to marketing jobs for 'weeks' with no avail, despite spending four years studying the topic and forking over tens of thousands of dollars to earn her degree.

Alison also pointed out that most entry-level positions offered such a small salary that she would make more at her current job as a waitress, which left her wondering if the time and money she spent on school was even worth it.

Her rant launched a massive argument between viewers, some of whom felt for Alison's predicament, and others who were not a fan of her point of view.

'I have a bone to pick with America,' she began in the clip, which was first shared to her TikTok account last month and got more than 539,000 views.

It was also reposted on X - formerly known as Twitter - this week by the account DramaAlert, where it went viral again.

'I'm headed to my serving job and I f***ing hate it. Meanwhile, I make more money serving [than I would at an entry-level marketing job],' Alison continued.

'I have my literal business marketing degree, which put me $80,000 in debt, and I make more serving sushi rolls.'

Alison explained that she would have to take an 'insane pay cut' if she did get an entry-level marketing job, and that all of the positions that offered a decent salary only wanted people with 'experience' in the field.

'The jobs that are $150,000-$200,000 a year, I'm not getting those,' she added. 'I'm a 25-year-old chick going against corporate America, people with so much experience.

'All I got is my degree. People say, "Get your degree," but then they don't talk about how you need experience [to get a job]. The degree was experience.'

'I have my literal business marketing degree, which put me $80,000 in debt, and I make more serving,' she said. 'The jobs that are $150,000-$200,000 a year, I'm not getting those'

Thousands of viewers took to the comment section to share their thoughts on the subject.

Many admitted that they too were in similar situations, while others reminded her that she has to 'start somewhere' and will 'work her way up.'

'The degree is not the experience. You have to start entry level,' one person replied. 'My first job at 22 was $75K a year. I did three marketing internships in college and started doing contract work my senior year. Experience is experience,' someone else said.

Another user added, 'After you get your degree you work entry level and work your way up... Isn't that how it works?'

'At 25 my first corporate job paid me $30K and at 32 I make over six figures. Start SOMEWHERE. Start small. You will get there,' a different TikToker urged.

'This issue is people think you get out of college and instantly make the top dollar amount for your career,' a fifth comment read.

A sixth said: 'This is a good lesson. Get internships during college. It starts to give you the experience and connections needed to move through any career.'

'I was in the position for so long. At some point you just have to take the pay cut and it will eventually pay off! It sucks at first but so necessary,' someone else suggested.

'24 turning 25 soon. Stuck in the serving/bartender gig because it pays more,' one person revealed.

'Hey, I'm sorry you're in a tough spot right now, but thank you for sharing this. More people relate to you than you know. You are doing just fine,' a supporter wrote.

'Me as a new grad nurse and I just got my first paycheck and wanted to cry cause I make more at the bar,' another user replied.

'Same. I would take at least a $500 pay cut A WEEK if I used my masters degree. I feel you,' a different viewer commented.


Cornell professor who called Hamas attacks on Israel 'exhilarating' and 'energizing' takes a leave of absence after admitting the language he used was 'reprehensible'

A Cornell University professor who called the Hamas terror attacks 'exhilarating and energizing' has taken a leave of absence and will not return to class for the remainder of the year.

Russell Rickford told an October 15 rally at Ithaca Commons, the downtown shopping district in the upstate New York city, that he was thrilled by Hamas' October 7 attack on Israel, in which 1,400 Israelis were killed.

His words were met by anger, and Rickford, a history professor, attempted to explain - and doubled down of his outrageous views.

He said he condemned the killing of any civilians, but said he was angered by 'the injustice and the hypocrisy of Western support in celebration of Israeli war crimes, and the equation of any form of Palestinian resistance with terrorism.'

Rickford later apologized, saying on October 18 that he was sorry 'for the horrible choice of words that I used', and calling his language 'reprehensible'.

On Tuesday it emerged Rickford had pulled out of teaching his history class for the rest of the semester.

The university confirmed he would not be teaching for the remainder of the semester.

'Professor Russell Rickford has requested and received approval to take a leave of absence from the university,' the university's spokesperson said.

Claudia Tenney, a Republican congresswoman whose district borders that of Cornell, said Rickford's leave of absence was insufficient, and he needed to resign.

But others have rallied to Rickford's support. Five members of the Cornell University chapter of the AAUP - American Association of University Professors - wrote a letter to The Cornell Daily Sun defending him.

'Professor Rickford's extramural speech at the Oct. 15 rally falls squarely within the protections of academic freedom to comment on political matters,' they wrote.

'That his speech offended or shocked does not lessen its protection, as academic freedom is most needed for speech that others find offensive.'

They pointed out that Rickford's words were spoken off campus, and he apologized.

On October 18, Rickford sent a letter to The Cornell Daily Sun and said he was deeply sorry for his words.

Rickford concluded that he 'unequivocally oppose and denounce racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, militarism, fundamentalism and all systems that dehumanize, divide and oppress people.'

University president Martha Pollack, asked about his comments the next day, said she was 'sickened by statements glorifying the evilness of Hamas terrorism.'

She added: 'Any members of our community who have made such statements do not speak for Cornell; in fact, they speak in direct opposition to all we stand for at Cornell.

'There is no justification for or moral equivalent to these violent and abhorrent acts.'

The following day, October 17, a second statement was sent out, condemning Rickford by name.


Abbott Enlists Parents to Get School Choice for Every Texas Student ‘Across the Finish Line’

Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas on Tuesday called for parents to contact their state representatives and encourage them to get school choice “across the finish line.”

The Republican governor posted on X, formerly Twitter, “Texas has an obligation to deliver the best possible education for each child. School choice will help achieve that.”

He then asked that parents visit as a means of contacting lawmakers.

Abbott called for a special session on Oct. 5 to provide education savings accounts, or ESAs, for “all Texas schoolchildren.”

“Now is the time to expand ESAs to every child in the state. That will give all parents the ability to choose the best education option for their child,” he said.

Texas’ governor isn’t the first to call for a major overhaul to the state’s school choice legislation.

A Heritage Foundation report, released in September, identified Texas as ranking No. 35 among the states for school choice, trailing behind more liberal states like California, Illinois, and Vermont. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)

“Texas could improve its ranking by establishing K-12 education savings accounts, making it easier for more charter schools to open and operate, and giving families more choices among traditional public schools,” noted the Heritage Foundation report.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called school choice “the civil rights issue of the 21st century,” pointing out the massive disparity of opportunity between students from lower-income homes versus families that are able to afford more expensive and academically rigorous private options.

Republicans from rural parts of Texas blocked school choice reform in the spring, and not for the first time. In 2017, several of these rural state legislators joined with urban Democrats to vote down a voucher bill that had already passed Texas’ Senate.

One of the representatives, Suleman Lalani, D-Fort Bend County, called vouchers and school choice options a “scam that threatens everything we love about public schools.”

According to Corey DeAngelis, a senior fellow at the American Federation for Children, Lalani sent his children to a private school.

Rep. Ellen Troxclair, R-Blanco, who represents several rural areas, told The Daily Signal that school choice wouldn’t harm good public schools, but would allow parents to choose the best education option for their children:

The bridge being built in the Texas Legislature right now is that supporting public schools and universal school choice do not have to be mutually exclusive—we can support good public schools while also allowing parents the freedom to choose the education that best fits their child’s needs.

Abbott seems very serious about getting education reform passed. Though Texas special sessions are only allowed to last a maximum of 30 days, the governor promised to bring the legislators back for another special session until education freedom is achieved.

At a Parent Empowerment Rally on Oct. 16, the governor told a large crowd, “I can play this game longer than [the legislators] can play this game.”

Now, Abbott has called on Texas families to directly demand action from their representatives.

Sen. Mayes Middleton, R-Galveston and Harris Counties, told The Daily Signal it’s essential that legislators “answer the call” from parents:

Our rights as parents come from God, not government. Parents matter, and they are demanding their voices be heard. We must answer that call and pass a school choice bill that allows every parent to decide which education option works best for their children according to their unique needs.

Many have been calling for school choice options over the last decade because of underperforming public schools, alternative education needs, and how schools are pushing certain social issues. These social issues include critical race theory and radical gender ideology. Texas parents have expressed dismay over finding these ideologies being taught in public school classrooms.

One Arlington father, Drew Smith, told NBC 5 DFW that a “classical-style education” with a focus on learning—not on social issues and sexual content—was the key reason he wanted to move his three children to private schools. Recent undercover investigations by Accuracy in Media have shown Texas public school administrators bragging about still teaching inappropriate content despite state bans on doing so.

At this time, the Texas House and Senate have both put forward bills expanding school choice, but the fight isn’t over yet. Abbott has made clear that he will continue to call special sessions until universal school choice is a reality for all Texas school children.




Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Bill Maher mocks Ivy League schools for ‘indoctrination’ and anti-Israel hate: College ‘makes you stupid’

HBO host Bill Maher skewered America’s Ivy League universities Friday night, accusing them of being hotbeds of "indoctrination" after many student groups have been hammering Israel in the wake of Hamas’ deadly attack against that country.

Citing antisemitic rallies and statements cropping up in academia following the attack, the "Real Time with Bill Maher" host advised that young people should avoid attending these schools.

At the outset of the segment, Maher stated, "As an Ivy League graduate who knows the value of a liberal education, I have one piece of advice for the youth of America: Don’t go to college."

Showing images of Pro-Palestinian/anti-Israel demonstrations at Harvard University, the comedian continued, "And if you absolutely have to go, don’t go to an elite college, because as recent events have shown, it just makes you stupid."

Maher stated that the tragedy in Israel revealed "how higher education has become indoctrination into a stew of bad ideas, among them the simplistic notion that the world is a binary place where everyone is either an oppressor or oppressed, in the case of Israel, oppressors being babies and bubbes."

The host was referring to Palestinian supporters on these campuses that have insisted that the Hamas attack was Israel’s fault for oppressing Palestinians.

Finding a double standard of many elite college students on this issue, he said, "The same students who will tell you that words are violence and silence is violence, were very supportive when Hamas terrorists went on a rape and murder rampage worthy of the Vikings."

"They knew where to point the finger, at the murdered, and then it was off to ethics class," he quipped with a sarcastic smile.

During a previous episode of his HBO late night show, Maher took issue with media people and others insisting there is a "moral equivalency" between Israel and the Palestinian people in their ongoing conflict, even in the wake of the Oct. 7th attack.

At the time he said, "I think the Israelis have always had the moral high ground and I think they still do." He did urge the Jewish state to keep the moral high ground in its response to the Hamas attack, advising them to not go to kill Palestinian babies.

During his Ivy League takedown, Friday, Maher targeted pro-Palestine student groups at Harvard, stating, "34 student groups a Harvard signed a letter that said the apartheid regime is the only one to blame, proving they don’t know what constitutes apartheid."

"They don’t know much of anything actually, but it doesn’t deter them from having an opinion," he continued, adding, "They’ve convinced themselves Israel is the most repressive regime in history because they have no knowledge of history or even a desire to know it. And actual history doesn’t come up in their intersectionality of politics and genderqueers identities class."

Elsewhere in the segment he attacked higher learning institutions in general, stating, "Because college life today is a day spa combined with North Korean re-education camp. It’s a daycare center with a meal plan, except the toddlers can fire the adults."

He also quipped, "If ignorance is a disease, Harvard Yard is the Wuhan wet market."


Watchdog Says Texas Schools ‘Some of Worst in Country’ in Teaching Critical Race Theory

Public schools in Texas continue to teach racially discriminatory content to children in violation of state law and without parents knowing, Accuracy in Media President Adam Guillette said in an exclusive interview with The Daily Signal.

“What we’ve found in Texas is almost worse than anywhere else in the country,” Guillette said, referring to how entrenched this racial content is.

“The only solution is universal school choice,” he told The Daily Signal later in the interview.

Accuracy in Media, an investigative media watchdog, is in the process of releasing videos from its undercover investigations, which found public school administrators in Texas boasting about hiding instruction in critical race theory and racial equity from parents.

“All over Texas, administrators are pushing critical race theory into every facet of public education,” Guillette said in the interview Wednesday.

Critical race theory, also called CRT, is a sociological theory that suggests every individual and collective action is driven by race, assigning historically negative outcomes of any kind to the oppression of white supremacy. Applying critical race theory includes rewriting history to bolster claims of victimization by white supremacy, such as in The New York Times’ 1619 Project.

Accuracy in Media’s most recent investigations in the Texas cities of San Antonio, Austin, and Corpus Christi showcase public school administrators who admit to teaching critical race theory despite a state ban in 2021 at the insistence of Gov. Gregg Abbott, a Republican.

An undercover reporter for Accuracy in Media asked Marissa Perez, a content coordinator for English, language arts, and reading in Edgewood Independent School District, how the new ban on critical race theory affected her school.

“We do not follow much of, like, what Abbott is trying to get us to do,” Perez replied.

“The superintendent really does what he believes is best for kids,” she said, referring to the interpretation of state curriculum requirements.

In the past decade, trying to hide segregationist “equity” curriculum from parents has become a significant trend among public school administrators even in red states or conservative areas.

Administrators often make these decisions because they believe they’re taking a moral and even “religious” stand in spite of what parents want for their children, Guillette told The Daily Signal.

“As we heard again in Fort Worth, they tell [our undercover reporter] that they can close the door and ‘do what’s right,’” he said, referring to administrators in another Texas district.

Accuracy in Media has released several reports over the past two years in which school administrators admit they break state laws forbidding divisive and segregationist content such as critical race theory and the 1619 Project.

One series of undercover videos in Indiana resulted in the firing of three public school administrators and a healthy dose of damage control in those three districts.

When I was science coordinator for Indianapolis Public Schools, my superiors explicitly told me to inform parents and teachers that our district didn’t use critical race theory—we just focused on “racial equity.” As soon as the doors were closed, though, my colleagues would cackle over parents’ naivete as our school district hosted a critical race theory scholar, Gloria Ladson-Billings, who praised their deception.

School administrators’ determination to do what they want behind closed doors isn’t fading away as states pass bans on critical race theory, either. Accuracy in Media’s latest undercover interview series from schools in Corpus Christi confirm that some administrators aren’t ready to comply with Texas law.

Karen Mircovich, director of instructional programs at Ingleside Independent School District, told Accuracy in Media’s undercover reporter that their “power” allowed administrators to bend or break state law.

“We have a lot of power because of where we are,” Mircovich told the reporter, going on to say administrators are “very open” to teaching racial equity and will “support teachers” who do so.

The reporter from Accuracy in Media sought clarification, asking, “You’re confident that your teachers would close the door and teach what’s right? Regardless of what the new laws [say]?”

“Right,” Mirchovich responded.

Jodi Ferguson, curriculum director for Calallen Independent School District, told Accuracy inMedia’s undercover reporter that the district doesn’t explicitly use terms such as “1619 Project.”

But, she said, “some of the concepts” and “the way we’re teaching” incorporate the 1619 Project and the ideology of racial equity rather than equality.

The Daily Signal sought comment from Ferguson, Mircovich, and Perez, but received no response by publication time.

Guillette told The Daily Signal that these interviews and dozens like them suggest that states’ “anti-CRT” laws are “worse than worthless.”

“They provide a false sense of security to parents in Texas,” Guillette said. “Legislators are just passing laws to virtue-signal and placate concerned parents. The only solution is universal school choice.”

Abbott called a special legislative session, which began Oct. 9, to pass school choice legislation that the governor said would help Texas families.

“Empowering parents means giving them the choice to send their children to any public school, charter school, or private school with state funding following the student,” Abbott said, adding that school choice “is going to give all Texas children a better chance to succeed.”

Guillette told The Daily Signal that Accuracy in Media plans to continue publishing investigations from Texas to expose conservative areas as rife with racial equity ideology in K-12 schools.

“Most Texans assume, ‘This junk is in Austin, but not here,’” Guillette said, yet that’s not so.

“The reddest areas are the worst,” he said. “San Antonio, an Air Force town, has some of the worst deceit I’ve ever seen.”

Many school districts in Texas have dedicated staff positions for diversity, equity, and inclusion, or DEI, to incorporate racial equity into curriculum and instruction.

Guillette told The Daily Signal that Fort Worth public schools have 12 positions designated as DEI staff, and it isn’t uncommon to see such staff making $250,000 annually. The goal isn’t to fire these staff, he said, but to “eliminate DEI positions, period.”

“If this is unacceptable on college campuses, why is it acceptable in K-12 education? There’s no reason Texas should be funding this,” Guillette said.

A Texas law passed earlier this year forbids any state-funded university from having DEI offices or engaging in any kind of racial discrimination or promotion.

Accuracy in Media’s additional investigations in Texas public schools will be published at the link, Guillette said.


University of Michigan Law School EXPOSED — Rotten to the Core

If you want to spend almost $100,000 a year to turn your son or daughter into a radical, America-hating extremist whose goal is to bring down our republic, particularly our supposedly white supremacist legal system, then Ann Arbor is the place to go.

None of this is surprising given the recent news about student organizations at various colleges, including law students, supporting Hamas terrorists and their kidnapping and murder of Israeli civilians, the same way the infamous, anti-Semitic German American Bund of the 1930s supported the Nazis. Law students at three of the law schools we have covered — Harvard, NYU, and Columbia — have had job offers from law firms withdrawn because of their support for these terrorists.

No shock that the University of Michigan has such groups, too, like the “Young Democratic Socialists of America,” who applaud Hamas’s killing spree as the “revolutionary will of the people,” and “Students Allied for Freedom and Equality,” who call on “honor[ing] our martyrs” in “resist[ing] imperialism.”

Given the militantly leftist curricula and faculty at those schools, the student support for Hamas is no surprise. The only surprise is the politically correct Big Law culture actually doing the right thing and canceling job offers to students who have neither the character nor the fitness to practice law.

If you are going to attend UMich, you had better be prepared to agree, as stated by the law school’s “Advisory Board on Race and Racism,” that there is “systemic, institutional racism and discrimination within the Quad.” According to the school’s interdisciplinary “Program in Race, Law, and History,” the law school’s work “is grounded in scholarship that has established race as at the core of interpreting the history of the Americas.” Apparently, race drives everything we do in “religion, culture, labor, biology, and politics,” which is why we, as a society, have “rationalized profound inequality.”

Speaking of biology, the law school administrators obviously need a basic lesson in biology, since their 2025 class profile says that 1% of the class are neither men nor women but “nonbinary or other genders.” Maybe they should add a third category for the class profile labeled “confused.”

Of course, UMich knows all about racist behavior since it has been one of the leading law schools in promoting race-based admissions for decades. Under “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Information,” the school brags about its leading role in Grutter v. Bollinger, the 2003 Supreme Court decision that approved the law school’s racial preference admissions policy in the name of “diversity.” The law school criticizes the voters of Michigan for approving the 2006 proposition that outlawed such preferences, and the president of the university, Santa Ono, issued a statement after the Supreme Court finally ruled against such discrimination in the Harvard/University of North Carolina cases expressing how “deeply disheartened” she was by the ruling — no doubt as disheartened as George Wallace was by Brown v. Board of Education.

Ono brags about the university’s “diversity, equity and inclusion strategic plan, DEI 1.0,” and the development of its “next strategic plan, DEI 2.0.” Those are code words for discrimination, exclusion, and indoctrination.

This perverse, distorted view of America and the law pervades the coursework at UMich. The class on “Critical Race Theory” will brainwash — sorry, I mean teach — students that our legal system and laws are “historically central to and complicit in upholding racial hierarchy as well as other hierarchies of gender, class and sexual orientation.” A similar course, “Race and the Law,” posits that the law “has created and maintained a regime of white supremacy in the United States” and will provide students with “the tools essential to resist that regime.”

Haven’t had enough? You can take “Civil Rights: Slavery & Trafficking,” which among other things, explains the “loopholes” in the 13th Amendment that are “used to justify prison labor.” Bet you didn’t realize that when convicted felons are given the opportunity to work to earn some income and develop skills, that is tantamount to the slavery we fought a Civil War and passed the 13th Amendment to end. In fact, according to UMich, such modern work programs are “traceable to the convict leasing schemes of the Jim Crow era.” You’ll learn all about “morality, femininity, and whiteness” and “explore race, gender, indigeneity, anti-Blackness…colonialism, globalization, and federalism.”

I am sure that learning all about colonialism will help a fledgling lawyer pursue a tort case for personal injuries, draft a contract for a business client, close a real estate deal, or prosecute someone in a criminal case. Right? Wrong.

Speaking of prosecutions and trying to protect the public from dangerous criminals, don’t expect to get that training at UMich. Instead, you will get “Progressive Prosecution: Law and Policy,” where you will learn how the role of prosecutors is not to put away criminals who break the law and victimize the innocent. No, according to the course description, prosecutors should “see their role as combatting overincarceration, eliminating racial and socioeconomic inequity, and changing a criminal legal system that too frequently exacerbates those inequities.” You will hear all about the “progress” the “progressive prosecutor” movement has made.

Progress? As my colleagues Cully Stimson and Zack Smith outline in painful detail in their new book, “Rogue Prosecutors: How Radical Soros Lawyers Are Destroying America’s Communities,” the progressive prosecutor movement has led to dramatic increases in crime in cities throughout the country where these rogue prosecutors have gotten elected. Their refusal to prosecute misdemeanors and many felonies, when combined with their push for no-cash bail and no detention for criminals awaiting trial, has devastated urban communities and victimized the very individuals they claim they are trying to help—law-abiding citizens in poor, often majority-minority urban neighborhoods.

And we can’t forget the need to turn law students into environmental justice warriors. For that, you can take “Environmental Justice,” which will teach you about the environmental decisions that “disproportionately impact people of color, indigenous peoples, and the poor.” The course will address “environmental racism and other form of environmental injustice.”

No modern socialist training camp would be complete without a course like “Life, Death, Love, and the Law.” This course “will inquire into the ethics of reproduction” including the “choice to have children and the choice to terminate a pregnancy.” The course will “think about death, what it is, whether it is bad.” Wait. What? No, really, that is from the course description.

I don’t think anyone who knows the realities of life and has lost a loved one or a friend needs a law school course to know what death is or whether “it is bad.” Israeli families that have had their loved one tragically murdered could also tell the students at UMich who support Hamas everything they need to know about this topic, too.

Christian and I graduated from law school back when these institutions were still trying to teach their students how to practice law, not indoctrinate them with socialist, racist, anti-American propaganda that defames our legal and justice system and trains them to be revolutionaries who will overthrow our system. Going through the course catalogs and programs of the supposedly best law schools in the country has been very depressing.

As Christian said in our first article, these schools are no longer trying to produce “lawyers capable of helping clients” with practical legal problems. They’re churning out a generation of lawyers with contempt for our Constitution and the rule of law who will “destroy treasured American institutions such as tolerance, liberty, and free speech.”

The only piece of advice we have for students is this: quit looking at the elite, expensive law schools thinking they will somehow turn you into a competent, highly professional lawyer, and that you need to go there to get a good job. They won’t make you good lawyers, and the “education” you will receive is probably not worth the exorbitant amount you will pay for it. There are many other fine law schools, including many state schools, that are far more affordable and have not yet become socialist training camps. Do well there, and you will be able to get hired.

Not only will you get a better education at those schools, but you might also actually get through them without being persecuted for being a patriot who believes in the Constitution and rejecting the racist, elitist political orthodoxy that passes for normal in the woke law schools that are living on their past reputations for excellence and masquerading as institutions of higher learning.




Monday, October 23, 2023

Professor Threatens Children of Pro-Israel Journalists With Violence

Another day, another member of our esteemed intellectual elite goes on an unhinged rant about Israel and Jews.

This time it was Jemma Decristo, a transgender African American Studies professor at the University of California at Davis, who decided to take to social media and advocate for violently attacking neighbors.

Decristo’s post on Oct. 10 was even more deranged than the Cornell professor who earlier this week said that he felt “exhilarated” by Hamas’ Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel.

Here’s what Decristo wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter:

“one group of ppl we have easy access to in the US is all these zionist journalists who spread propaganda & misinformation they have houses w addresses, kids in school they can fear their bosses, but they should fear us more.”

That was followed by a knife, an ax, and several blood emojis.

Decristo had a few other unhinged follow-up posts as well.

Decristo’s X account has since been privatized.

There’s a lot to break down here.

First, how is it that a professor at a prestigious university writes with such atrocious spelling and grammar? The post reads like the poorly written ravings of a random lunatic on a fetid Reddit forum. Standards in higher education have apparently fallen so far that professors, let alone students, struggle to write at a high school level.

Second, there’s the question of what UC Davis is going to do about one of its faculty members calling for violence and targeting not just people who disagree, but their children, too.

One would think the school should take action to ensure members of the community are safe.

The school is so worried about making UC Davis an “inclusive” and welcoming environment that it has an entire guide for teachers and students to avoid microaggressions. Surely, calling for a knife or ax to be plunged into a member of the community is just a bit out of bounds, right?

UC Davis Chancellor Gary May put out a statement condemning violence.

“I absolutely condemn the posts attributed to a UC Davis faculty member that recently appeared on the social media platform X. I find the comments revolting in every way, and I disagree wholeheartedly with them,” May wrote., adding:

UC Davis rejects all forms of violence and discrimination, as they are antithetical to the values of our university. We strive to foster a climate of equity and justice built on mutual understanding and respect for all members of the community.

I’d add here that UC Davis isn’t really against all forms of discrimination as May suggests. The school has committed itself to widespread “anti-racism” actions based on the ideology of left-wing author-activist Ibram X. Kendi, among others.

“The only remedy to racist discrimination is anti-racist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination,” Kendi wrote in his book “How to Be an Antiracist.”

A quibble, perhaps, but it needed to be said.

As to what would be done about the offending professor, May refused to commit to anything and called it essentially a private matter at the public school.

“The University of California system has specific procedures for the review of complaints of faculty misconduct consistent with universitywide policies and bylaws,” he said. “The status of complaints lodged against faculty members are confidential personnel matters, so we are unable to publicly comment on the steps we are taking.”

The Daily Signal reached out to UC Davis for further comment, but it had not responded as of publication time.

This episode at my alma mater is just one of many that has exposed the pervasive rot inside our institutions of higher education. Most Americans were rightly horrified by the Hamas terrorist attacks and support Israel.

That’s apparently not the case in academia, however.

There appears to be more terrorist-supporting fanatics and antisemites at these self-styled proud bastions of tolerance and diversity than at a Ku Klux Klan rally.

Institutions that have been most relentless in condemning America for its alleged past sins have been exposed as dens of genocidal hate.

At George Washington University, for example, the Colonials mascot was removed, supposedly for being “offensive.” The Washington, D.C., school said that it wasn’t a unifying symbol for the institution. Yet, one of its professors, Lara Sheehi, went on several pro-Hamas tirades after the Oct. 7 terrorist attack. On social media, she reportedly praised a statement critical of “anyone condemning the Palestinians’ armed resistance.”

Colonizing is bad and offensive, but “decolonizing” through threats, terrorism, and torture is apparently a reasonable position to hold at our elite schools.

Maybe we should stop giving higher education a blank check to promote such values to the next generation of American elites.


Israeli Jewish Student Attacked at Columbia University Amid Pro-Palestine Protests

Columbia University has tightened access to campus beginning Thursday amid news that a Jewish student was attacked on campus by an allegedly pro-Palestine student.

The New York Police Department confirmed to The Daily Signal on Thursday that officers responded to an assault on Wednesday around 6:10 p.m. in front of 600 West 116th Street.

Upon arrival, officers were informed that the victim, a 24-year-old male, “was engaged in a dispute with an unknown individual,” the police statement said. “The dispute became physical and the individual struck the victim in the hand with a wooden stick.”

Police arrested 19-year-old Maxwell Friedman, a young woman. The statement also said that the victim refused medical attention on scene.

According to the Columbia Spectator, the victim is a 24-year-old Israeli School of General Studies student. That student spoke with the Columbia Spectator on condition of anonymity citing fears for his safety, and the publication identified him as “I.A.”

The publication reported that earlier in the day, “the suspect approached him and other students who were in Uris Hall putting up posters with names and photos of Israelis that Hamas has reportedly taken as hostages.”

The friend said the suspect asked to join them, telling the students she was Jewish. Throughout the morning, the suspect continued to stay with the group, I.A. said.

Around 5:30 p.m., I.A. said he was outside Butler with four other friends and noticed the suspect, now with a bandana covering her face, ripping the flyers off the wall.

When they approached her, I.A. said the suspect screamed obscenities toward the students and hit I.A. with a stick. I.A. said he defended himself when the suspect allegedly tried to punch him in the face. After the incident, I.A. said that one hand was bruised and his ring finger on the other hand was broken.

The group of students went to Columbia Public Safety, who contacted the NYPD, I.A. said.

The student told the Columbia Spectator that the suspect attacked him because he is Jewish.

“This is because me being an Israeli these days. Not me because being myself,” he said. “It is because me being an Israeli who is under a certain kind of threat.”

In a late Wednesday statement, Columbia University Executive Vice President David Greenberg noted that “as a follow up to the Provost’s email earlier today related to safety and free expression on campus, beginning at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow (October 12) access to the Morningside campus will be open to valid Columbia University ID holders only.”

“This condition is in place to help maintain safety and a sense of community through planned demonstration activities,” he said.

The university did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Daily Signal. At 4:30pm on Thursday, the campus Students for Justice in Palestine group plans to hold a “Call to Action for Palestine” event where they intend to pressure Columbia to meet their demands for Palestine.

The student pro-Palestine group has expressed solidarity with the attacks on Israel by Hamas terrorists.


Education boss calls for doubling down on explicit teaching in Australian schools

The head of the NSW public education system has called on schools to double down on the use of explicit instruction – a teaching method that gives students step-by-step and clear instructions – in a bid to boost results and close the stark achievement gap.

Murat Dizdar, who was appointed secretary of the NSW Education Department in June, told the Herald that evidence shows schools using explicit teaching practices have the most sustained improvements in academic outcomes.

The department will release a new public education plan on Monday that will outline six focus points, including plans to boost school staff numbers, raise attendance rates and lift the number of students completing year 12.

“Equity is also a big focus – we want to close the gaps for those students who are struggling,” Dizdar said.

The plan comes as 45 high-profile reading experts send an open letter to Australian education ministers, calling on governments to reduce the number of pupils leaving primary school without proficient reading skills.

The department’s four-year blueprint calls out the use of explicit instruction to help improve reading and maths results. The approach favours clear direction from teachers over student-led learning, and involves breaking down topics into small parts and regularly spot-checking to assess how students are doing.

“One of the reasons I believe in explicit teaching so much is because it does not discriminate,” Dizdar said. “It applies to all age levels and abilities when learning new or complex skills.”

“I’m going to be stronger around it, and I’m looking to reinforce that practice and drive our professional learning around that.”

But Dizdar said HSC and NAPLAN performance targets set for every school – benchmarks for the number of students achieving in the top two bands – will no longer be mandated. There will also be no individual phonics achievement targets for schools.

Instead, schools will have “improvement measures” in reading, numeracy, attendance and post-school pathways.

“We will start discussions with schools about improvement measures this term, and they will be set for every school by the end of term 1 next year,” Dizdar said. “They won’t be top down; rather they will be growth-based, discussed with schools and will consider their context and trajectory.”

Targets were outlined under the department’s School Success Model, an expansion of the 2016 Bump It Up strategy that aimed to boost the number of students achieving in the top performance bands.

Dizdar said feedback from teachers and principals was that “the top two band measures had inadvertent consequences, and that schools may not be focusing on all students”.

The ambassador schools program, which was designed to study the state’s best schools to work out the secrets of their success, will also be wound up.

Meanwhile, an open letter signed by reading experts and sent to education ministers has pushed for immediate action to tackle the achievement gap and set national targets for reading.

The letter, signed by cognitive science expert Anne Castles, Pam Snow and education expert Bill Louden, calls for urgent reforms to “set ambitious but achievable reading proficiency targets” and address the substantial achievement gaps between students from advantaged and disadvantaged families.

“The next National School Reform Agreement must clearly outline targets for reading based on the new NAPLAN proficiency benchmarks,” it says.

The latest NAPLAN data shows almost one-third of Australian students are failing to meet proficiency standards in reading, writing and maths, with a vast achievement gap between students in cities and regions.

“This means well over 1 million children in school today do not have the literacy skills to navigate the world with confidence, proficiency and dignity,” the letter says.

The head of the Australian Education Research Organisation, Jenny Donovan, said highlighting explicit instruction in the NSW public education plan was “commendable in its direction” but the department will “need to hold a line, and be clear about the practices that don’t work, such as over-reliance on inquiry-led learning”.

“You can use inquiry-led or student-led learning, but [it] can’t be the main approach,” she said.

The plan for public education involved an eight-week consultation period with thousands of teachers, principals, parents and stakeholder groups.

It outlines six key focus areas: ensuring high quality, evidence-based teaching; improving literacy and numeracy outcomes; lifting student wellbeing; increasing the proportion of children in preschool; strengthening respect for the teaching profession; and lifting the proportion of students going into university, training and work after school.

NSW Education Minister Prue Car said addressing teacher shortages and delivering high-quality, evidence-based learning was at the centre of the document.

“I am proud to deliver this blueprint for the next four years, which reflects the aspirations of teachers, parents and students,” Car said.

But opposition spokeswoman for education Sarah Mitchell said the plan contained no detail around how the goals within it would be achieved in NSW schools.

“Key policy areas like phonics, delivery of free universal pre-kindergarten and increasing the number of students in the top two NAPLAN bands for literacy and numeracy appear to have been dropped, which indicates the new Labor government is watering down transparency and accountability measures in schools.”

Federal education minister Jason Clare has commissioned a root-and-branch review that will examine targets and priorities for the next National School Reform Agreement, which will also look at transparency and accountability around public funding. A report is due by the end of the year.

The Productivity Commission has said targets should be developed to reduce the proportion of students who do not meet basic levels of literacy and numeracy.




Sunday, October 22, 2023

Another Big-Name Law Firm Has a Message for Pro-Hamas Students

Proving that, at least in some corners of the world, actions still have consequences, another big-name law firm has announced that it revoked job offers provided to law students after they signed on to pro-Hamas statements in the wake of barbaric attacks that saw more than one thousand Israelis slaughtered by the Iran-backed terrorists.

The U.S.-based international law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell — described by The Daily Beast as "revered" — said on Tuesday that it had revoked its employment offers to three law students from Harvard and Columbia citing the students' "contravention of our firm's value system" with their statements blaming Israel for the horror that befell its people.

"The views expressed in certain of the statements signed by law school student organizations in recent days are in direct contravention of our firm's value statement," Davis Polk & Wardwell said in a statement to Bloomberg Law, through the firm did not name the three students whose offers were revoked.

Another internal email viewed by Bloomberg Law showed the firm's chair and managing partner Neil Barr calling the anti-Israel statements "simply contrary to our firm's values" and explaining "we thus concluded that rescinding these offers was appropriate in upholding our responsibility to provide a safe and inclusive work environment for all Davis Polk employees."

As Leah reported previously, the firm of Winston & Strawn similarly withdrew a job offer for a law student at NYU who wrote in a newsletter that "Israel bears full responsibility for this tremendous loss of life" which was, of course, actually caused by barbaric Hamas terrorists.

Townhall has also worked to document the leaders of student groups at Harvard, Columbia, and the University of Virginia who authored or signed on to similar statements blaming Israel for the rape and slaughter of its citizens.


UK: Girls hatched a 'playground plot' to get maths teacher Jonathan Hawker sacked

This is the male teacher who was awarded almost £45,000 after he was sacked from his job at an all-girls grammar school when pupils allegedly made up sex assault claims ‘for fun’.

Jonathan Hawker, a maths and computer teacher, can be seen smiling in a series of pictures with family and his pet golden retriever Ralph.

But his world was turned upside down when pupils at all-girls school Devonport High School for Girls in Plymouth, Devon, made the ‘career-ending allegations’ against him in 2021.

Despite having an unblemished disciplinary record during his five years at the school Mr Hawker was suspended, arrested and then fired for ‘gross misconduct’. It came despite reports that the girls had admitted they lied about everything ‘because it was fun’.

The teacher has now been awarded £44,868 after a tribunal in Bristol decided that the school had carried out a ‘wholly inadequate’ investigation and failed to ‘provide a safe working environment for its staff, in particular the men.’

Mr Hawker, a father as well as a keen skier and mountain biker from Plymouth, is understood to have since found a new job but could not be reached for comment on the verdict.

Employment Judge Martha Street slammed the school’s investigation into the girls’ allegations, saying: ‘A fair investigation would at the least have included a transcript of the interviews with them.

‘I make no finding on whether Mr Hawker committed the misconduct alleged.

‘What I can say is that if he is innocent, and a playground plot can end a career and destroy a reputation, the school is not providing a safe working environment for its staff, in particular for its male staff.

‘No reasonable employer would conclude that the younger girls were giving truthful evidence in good faith without question; that is, without exploring the contrary evidence including the contemporary evidence from the older girls of a plot against Mr Hawker.

‘In a career-ending case, the investigation has to be as full as possible.

‘This fell well short of that. The school accepted the evidence of the younger pupils without challenge or exploration and discounted, ignored or avoided finding contrary evidence.’

In June 2021, a student wrote a statement to her tutor that another girl – identified only as Student H – had said Mr Hawker had touched her leg, the hearing was told.

Ruth Morgan, the head of safeguarding, spoke to Student H, who said that during a lesson Mr Hawker had knelt down next to her and put his hand on her thigh, the tribunal heard.

In further discussions with other pupils, Mrs Morgan heard of a ‘similar incident’ described by students, as well as false rumours Mr Hawker had previously been suspended for ‘touching a Year 9 student’ and had an affair with a sixth former.

The hearing was told that on the instruction of the school’s acting head, Beverly Bell, Mrs Morgan took statements from the girls.

One girl, Student D, reported that Mr Hawker had made her feel ‘very uncomfortable’, by ‘massaging my shoulders and stroking my arms’.

She said she had seen Mr Hawker stroking other girls’ thighs and that other girls, Student G and Student F, had said that happened to them.

The teacher was also accused of winking at girls.

As a result of numerous other reports from the girls, which all alleged serious misconduct, Mr Hawker was suspended pending investigation on June 28, 2021.

However, in July, two girls from the year above said they had been stood with the group of accusers when they admitted they tried to get Mr Hawker fired ‘for fun’.

When the older pair asked why, one of the girls had told them ‘because it was fun’ and another one added: ‘Yeah we said he touched our thighs trying to get him done for sexual assault’.

This was reported to Mrs Bell on July 9, before school year ended on July 23.

However, the tribunal heard that the school ‘appeared to reject’ the older students’ account.

In September 2021, Mr Hawker was arrested in a ‘brutal experience’ after two of the original group agreed to police involvement, the hearing was told. It was his first knowledge of the allegations.

An internal investigation was launched at the school in November.

Mrs Morgan interviewed Students D, E, F and G – during which Student D withdrew some allegations and said she no longer wanted to be involved.

She didn’t interview the older students, L and M, about what they had spoken to the girls about – instead categorising it as ‘facts that had not been established’.

In December 2021, Mr Hawker was invited to an ‘investigatory interview’, where he said Student F and G had ‘concocted’ stories after he separated them for doing no work.

Mrs Morgan’s report concluded Mr Hawker ‘overstepped the boundaries and failed to consider the welfare of the students’ and ‘repeatedly recited’ her opinion he was guilty of each allegation.

At a disciplinary hearing in February last year, Mr Hawker was dismissed for gross misconduct.

In March 2022, police decided the charges against him would not proceed.

In the following April a temporary prohibition order by the Teachers Regulation Agency banning him from the classroom was lifted.


Anxiety, ADHD, ‘snowplough parents’: Behind Australia's worsening school discipline crisis

With her booming voice, no-nonsense attitude and gaze that could wilt cactus, Megan*, a 30-something teacher, oozes authority. The untrained eye might see her as petite, but to students she’s towering. One day, as she walked down a corridor of her boxy, ageing Sydney public high school, she heard a six-foot, year 12 boy curse. “F---, you’re short!” he said in surprise. “It’s so weird. You don’t seem like that in front of the classroom.“

Megan is one of the lucky ones; a teacher born to run a room. Eyes in the back of her head. A look that stings. An instinct for weaponising silence. And yet even Megan, who is using a pseudonym because she would be fired for speaking out, is struggling to manage student behaviour. “When I first got to this school, I was like, ‘This is unbelievable,’ ” she says. “I’m pretty strong, but it’s been so bad that I’ll sit at the front with my laptop and say, ‘Teach yourselves.’ “

There’s the occasional crisis – fights, knives, drugs – but there always has been. The pressing problem is disruption. In a high school such as Megan’s, it might be boys streaming cage fights in class or girls ignoring the teacher to chat among themselves. They swear at each other, harass peers, refuse to participate. “It’s getting worse, yes – a thousand per cent,” Megan says. “If the media really knew what happened inside schools, the places would be shut down.”

Students tell us themselves that Australian schools are among the most disorderly in the world. When 15-year-olds were last surveyed by the OECD in 2018 about noise and disruption in their classrooms alongside peers from 75 other countries, Australia was eight places from the bottom. Local studies also show teachers are struggling with behaviour, and a long-term, annual survey of principals suggests disrespect and aggression are getting worse.

The reasons are myriad. Complications of technology, such as social media fights and bullying spilling over into school; the lingering effects of COVID-19 lockdowns on social development; scant resources to deal with skyrocketing diagnoses of autism, anxiety and ADHD; a “crisis of adult authority”, as one expert described it; and a more diverse social landscape than ever before, in which children bring wildly differing family norms to the classroom.

Sceptics dismiss the behaviour crisis as a moral panic fuelled by reactionaries worried that a spared rod has left children spoilt. But there is a tangible problem at its heart: disorderly classrooms are bad for learning. Some believe this is why Australia’s academic results are falling. If disruption halts a lesson 10 times, even for just a minute on each occasion, that’s “10 minutes of teaching time you lose out of 50”, says Lisa Holt, the principal of Rosebud Secondary College in Victoria, whose students had forgotten “basic manners and courtesy” when they returned from lockdowns.

Many teachers don’t have Megan’s natural gifts. Controlling a classroom might seem like an educator’s core business, but they were never taught how to do it. Old-fashioned discipline, with its connotations of harsh, corporal punishment, has been replaced by a decades-old creed that behaviour is the language used by young people to communicate their needs and improves when those needs are met. With four million Australian students, each with their own needs, that puts a lot of pressure on teachers.

The backlash against the behaviour-as-language philosophy is gaining momentum across the English-speaking world. Proponents of what’s being called the “neo-strict” movement – rules and routines with the “neo” addition of positive reinforcement – say it misinterprets human nature. Misbehaviour is not a pathology nor a symptom of a more profound problem, says Tom Bennett, the adviser to England’s education department, who has been dubbed Britain’s behaviour tsar. Students, he says, “usually misbehave because they feel like it, and they think they can get away with it”.

Politicians admit there’s a problem. A Senate inquiry considering “the issue of increasing disruption in Australian school classrooms” is set to report next month, and a federal government-ordered report this year ruled that universities must include lessons in how to control classrooms in their education degrees. But those are longer-term fixes, and right now, many students are having their one shot at education curtailed by constant interruptions. Schools need to act, but they can’t agree on how: is the answer to toughen up – or try a little more tenderness? After decades in the doghouse, the discipline debate is back.

It’s late Monday afternoon, and three teachers from different primary schools slump, exhausted, over tea and biscuits in a suburban Sydney kitchen. They’re nervous because they are taking a risk; their employers’ ban on contact with journalists means they could be fired for speaking to Good Weekend. But they’re fed up. Not with the kids, but with what they say is a lack of help with the behavioural issues wearing them down.

Mondays can be difficult in schools. Students might have spent their weekend cooped up in units playing computer games and are full of pent-up energy when they arrive in the classroom. Some hate returning to class because they’re falling behind, and their shame manifests in aggression and defiance. For others, home is far more permissive than school, and they struggle to adjust to different expectations.

As he munches on a biscuit, one of the teachers around the kitchen table, a softly spoken, blond 30-something called Mike* recalls explaining to a puzzled father that it’s not okay for a student to yank down another’s shorts at school, even if it’s a favourite prank at home. “He looked at me like I was an extremist prude,” he says. Another teacher – Mary*, a pretty, studious 30-something who works in an underprivileged area – called one mother to say her primary-aged son had been in a fight; the mother responded with relief that her son wasn’t a wimp. “She’d told her child that if someone is disrespectful, you punch them.”

Dysregulation leads to big arguments over little things. “Disagreeing over the rules in footy ends in physical violence, rather than just working it out,” says Kate*, an empathetic and passionate young woman. “They’ll come into class very unsettled, to the point where oftentimes it’ll be yelling, screaming, swearing at staff.” (Some schools have restricted before-school play for this reason.) When such students arrive in the classroom, the teacher has to help them calm down. “Often they can’t self-regulate and you have to intervene, which takes you away from the rest of the class,” she says. “The others get restless. It snowballs.”

The restlessness, says Mary, manifests as chatter, rolling around on the floor and calling out. One child says, “I’m not doing that,” and their friends follow. They’re more likely to behave for their main teacher, who knows them better, than a casual or once-a-week art teacher. “Generally speaking, they wouldn’t say ‘F--- you’ to a classroom teacher – although some do,” Mary says. “It’s when they have [different] staff, with whom they don’t have as strong a relationship. They might see them twice a week but don’t, for some reason, want to show them any respect.“

Parents used to back schools when it came to discipline. Some still do. But others don’t and will believe their child’s version over the teacher’s, or complain about the unfairness of consequences – something teachers say is more common in wealthier areas where there’s more “snowplough parenting” (trying to remove obstacles facing their children). One principal tells of a mother who offered to sit her daughter’s detention. Another says students use their mobile phones to text Mum or Dad straight after a ticking-off and, within minutes, the parent calls the office. “It undermines school authority,” she says.

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