Thursday, June 27, 2024



Female Athletes, Coaches Take on Biden’s War on Title IX

The Biden administration is waging war on Title IX and, in response, a group of female athletes, coaches, and sports advocates have spent the month of June touring the country to sound the alarm.

Title IX has long served to protect girls’ and women’s education and sports opportunities. The 1972 federal education amendment requires there be equal opportunities for men and women in schools across the country, but President Joe Biden is working to undo those protections by unilaterally rewriting Title IX.

“The Biden administration has decided they want sex to be equivalent to gender identity; meaning, anyone that identifies as a woman, aka men, can take female opportunities,” former collegiate swimmer Paula Scanlan says.

Scanlan was forced to compete with a male athlete who identifies as a woman on the University of Pennsylvania women’s swim team. Now, she is speaking out against Biden’s attempted changes to Title IX because, by redefining sex in Title IX to include gender identity, Biden is swinging the door wide open for girls and women to be relegated to the sidelines in their own sports.

Scanlan says she thought it was a prank when a male swimmer, William Thomas, announced in the fall of 2019 that he would be competing on the female team the following season.

“I thought that someone was going to come out with a camera crew and say, ‘Pranked you! We’re starting a new prank TV show,’” Scanlan said, explaining that a male competing on the women’s team just sounded “so unreal.” But it was real, and soon Scanlan and the other University of Pennsylvania female swimmers were sharing a locker room with Thomas, who now goes by the name Lia Thomas.

After she graduated, and after watching Thomas take medals and opportunities from female athletes, Scanlan joined other defenders of women’s sports, among them Riley Gaines, and began speaking out about her experience.

Scanlan is one of the many female athletes who have participated in the Independent Women’s Forum Take Back Title IX Summer Bus Tour to inform Americans of the Biden administration’s bid to change Title IX, which not only threatens women’s sports, but throws open restrooms, locker rooms, and dormitories.

Scanlan and Kim Russell, the former head women’s lacrosse coach at Oberlin College, join the “Problematic Women” podcast to discuss the fight to keep women’s sports female only.

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Virginia’s Fairfax County Weighs Teaching Elementary Schoolers About ‘Gender Spectrum’

A Northern Virginia school board will vote Thursday on a proposal to add lessons on the “gender spectrum” to elementary school curriculum—despite opposition from a majority of parents and community members.

The Fairfax County School Board reviewed recommendations from the 2022-2023 Family Life Education Curriculum Advisory Committee that it had not yet acted on. That included a proposal to add instruction on the so-called gender spectrum at the elementary school level and “a more inclusive curriculum overall.”

“The exclusion of gender identify at the elementary level does not create an environment that is open and accepting of all students or provide a safe space for students to learn about themselves and others,” the recommendation reads. “Students who do not ‘see’ themselves in the curriculum do not feel valued and may feel that there is something wrong with them or they are being dismissed.”

Fairfax County Public Schools also proposed teaching kindergartners about families with “two moms” or “two dads.”

“This recommendation broadens examples of family structures to be more inclusive of the many different families in our schools,” the Family Life Education Curriculum Advisory Committee recommendations say.

The district proposed teaching 10th graders to “recognize the development of sexuality and gender as aspects of one’s total personality.”

“Why is there such an obsession in K-12 schools to waste hours on discussing issues that have nothing to do with academics?” senior adviser for Parents Defending Education Michele Exner asked.

“Schools are still lagging behind because of [COVID-19] closures, and Fairfax County was one of the slowest school districts to reopen,” Exner, a mother of two and a Fairfax County resident, told The Daily Signal. “It is unconscionable that the School Board continues to push social and political topics instead of focusing on children’s core educational needs.”

Most parents and community member do not support adding lessons on gender identity in elementary schools, the district admitted in a summary of the comments submitted.

The Family Life Committee conducted a community review of the proposed changes from May 10 to June 10. More than half of the 2,539 people who commented were local parents of students in Fairfax County schools. Other respondents included community members, school staffers, and students.

Parents shared concerns about lessons on gender identity not being age-appropriate for elementary schoolers, and expressed the belief that they should be the primary educators of their children on such topics, according to the district’s summary of comments.

Some parents said they were afraid that lessons on the so-called gender spectrum would confuse their children and cause misunderstandings.

“Instruction should focus on facts about sexual development and limit instruction on sexual-orientation and gender-identity terms,” said one of the surveyed residents of Fairfax County, located in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. “Gender identity and gender spectrum are not needed in elementary school.”

Many community members called on the school district to focus on improving academics instead of focusing on the Family Life Education Curriculum.

“Trying to normalize ideas like ‘gender is a spectrum,’ and ‘not everyone has a gender,’ is harming many of our kids and society,” another respondent said.

The changes to the Family Life Education Curriculum focus on sexualizing children, rather than family or education, Katie Gorka, chair of the Fairfax County Republican Committee, told The Daily Signal.

“They introduce mature sexual ideas at too young an age and push transgender ideology, which is deeply destructive to children,” she said. “The Fairfax County School Board needs to listen to Fairfax parents and put their radical ideology to the side.”

Fairfax County spokeswoman Julie Allen told The Daily Signal that parents can opt their children out of the Family Life Education Curriculum.

“If you wish to opt your child out of all or some of the Family Life Education lessons, please complete this form and return it to your child’s classroom teacher prior to FLE instruction,” a message on the school district’s website reads.

Virginia law requires schools to notify parents when instructional material contains “sexually explicit content” and allow parents to opt into non-explicit material.

The proposals under consideration have no neutral educational benefits, said Gorka of the Fairfax GOP.

“What the School Board is proposing is obviously a part of the broader, politically motivated move to indoctrinate America’s children and to insert radical sexual ideology into our classrooms,” she said.

Fairfax County mom of three Stephanie Lundquist-Arora said she is most concerned about the district’s “obsession with pushing early exposure to age-inappropriate and otherwise controversial topics.”

“What is their hurry to introduce young children to these issues and why are they so insistent on doing so despite substantial community and parental opposition?” she wonders. “The consideration of these absurd recommendations also raises larger questions about the purpose of public schools and demonstrates how far they’ve strayed from their actual mission in Fairfax County.”

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Australia: Physics students in catastrophic decline in senior high school

A catastrophic decline in the number of students studying physics in senior high school is ringing alarm bells, with one eminent scientist fearing Australia will lose the expertise it needs to be competitive as an advanced economy.

The University of Western Australia’s David Blair, who won a Prime Minister’s science prize for his role in the discovery of gravitational waves, said if school physics enrolments continued to fall at their current rate there would be no female school leavers qualified to study physics at university by 2032 and no males by 2035.

“We are on track to having no young medical physicists, no physicists to become tomorrow’s astronomers, no physicists to support the energy transition, no physicists to support the nuclear industry – not just submarines but crucial medical products – and no climate scientists,” he said.

“Hospitals employ medical physicists who are essential for producing the short-life radioactive isotopes for medical diagnoses and PET scans.

“Our mineral industry depends on a huge number of physicists.”

Data from WA, which Professor Blair said was representative of Australia as a whole, shows year 12 physics enrolments fell from 3868 in 2015 to 2436 in 2023. The number of girls studying physics fell even faster over the ­period. Girls made up 42 per cent of the year 12 physics cohort in 2015 but only 31 per cent by 2023.

Professor Blair and a fellow Prime Minister’s science prize winner, Susan Scott from the Australian National University, are pushing for a rethink of school ­science to keep children interested so more choose to study science in their senior years.

The pair are leaders of the Einstein First program which, backed by UWA, now operates in 55 schools, teaching year 3 to year 10 students modern physics topics that engage their interest, such as black holes.

Figures show that 14-year-olds are far more interested in physics after doing Einstein First. Before the course, only about a third of the girls and half the boys found physics interesting. After the course about 80 per cent of both girls and boys were interested.

A $1.5m Australian Research Council grant for the Einstein First team was announced on Friday for them to revitalise school science education and improve the training of teachers to teach modern science.

Einstein First and UWA have also just launched 12 Quantum Explorer STEM clubs, which are particularly aimed at sparking the interest of girls.

The Australian Academy of Science is also part of the push to improve science and maths education in schools, and on Tuesday launched two free online “toolboxes” for primary school teachers to help them teach these subjects.

Academy CEO Anna-Maria Arabia said that the science kit (Primary Connections) and the maths kit (reSolve) catered for teachers at whatever level of science understanding they had and helped them teach in effective ways regardless of where their ­students were at.

“We would love all teachers to be trained in science and maths but that is long-term,” Ms Arabia said.

The academy’s secretary for education and public awareness, Lyn Beazley, said the new resources were needed to fill a gap.

“Today’s teachers work so hard, but they are extremely time – poor, with many competing demands. This can lead to teachers preparing for what their students need to know, rather than designing how students will best learn,” Professor Beazley said.

Launching the new toolboxes at Hughes Primary School in Canberra, federal Education Minister Jason Clare said the resources were designed to take the load off teachers and engage students and help them to fall in love with science and maths.

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My other blogs: Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com/ (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs

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Wednesday, June 26, 2024



Grade Inflation and Campus Protests

By RICHARD K. VEDDER

Why the outburst of campus protests in recent years, culminating in the sizable and sometimes violent demonstrations at such prestigious universities as Harvard, Columbia, Northwestern, and Stanford? While many factors are at work, one that seldom gets mentioned: boredom. Students often have a lot of free time. TikTok, Instagram, drinking, sex, and internet porn do not provide adequate fulfillment.

Why? Most college students don’t have much to do academically. Why is that? Grade inflation. Surveys of time use by the federal government suggest that the amount of time college kids spend on their academic work has fallen from an average of perhaps 40 hours weekly in the middle of the last century to about 27 or so hours today. Since a “year” in American collegiate parlance is actually only about 32 or so weeks, college students probably average less than 900 hours annually working on school tasks, probably less than much younger elementary or high school students—and less than half as much as the highly productive professional, technical, or managerial workers that most college students aspire to be.

Harvard’s great political scientist Harvey Mansfield has taught in every decade since the 1960s—seven in total (as have I). In a great recent interview in the Wall Street Journal, Mansfield recalls how students do far less reading and writing in class than they did decades ago—but for much higher grades. Mansfield taught at the oldest and most elite of our colleges, while I had very similar experiences, teaching a bit at highly selective schools, but mostly at a very typical high mid-quality state institution with only moderately selective admission criteria, Ohio University. When I started teaching American economic history in the 1960s, students were expected to read a textbook and about five other supplemental books. In my last years of teaching (until a couple of years ago), I considered it an accomplishment if students read the text and maybe a couple of short supplemental readings. Looking at old gradebooks, in the mid-1960s, my average grade in an introductory economics class was a “C” and it was rare for even 10 percent of students to get an “A.” Mansfield notes that a majority of grades today at schools like Harvard are “A” or “A-.” Nearly all students wrongly consider themselves Masters of the Universe.

The grade system provides vital information not only to the universities themselves but to future employers wishing to separate the best and brightest from the mediocre and mundane. If everyone gets nearly the same grades, their informational value is virtually lost. Student incentives to work hard are dramatically reduced, allowing them time to form campus encampments and demonstrate for days over events occurring thousands of miles away that only very tangentially touch on their lives.

A major factor in the rise of grade inflation probably was the introduction of institutionally administered student evaluations of professors on most campuses in the late 1960s or 1970s. In an attempt to make colleges more comforting and responsive to students in order to avoid unwanted campus discontent, college administrators initiated evaluations that at many schools were perceived by the professoriate to have some importance—bad evaluations sometimes severely reduced the prospects for tenure, for example. By giving high grades, professors thought that could buy some popularity and indirectly job security.

I believe the increased role of the federal government has lowered the quality of American higher education materially in the last half century or so, but a case could be made that schools receiving federal financial support should not be allowed to have average cumulative grade point averages above 3.0 (“B”) for the undergraduate student body (exceptionally good students could still get near 4.0 averages). State governments could do the same for the universities they subsidize. Another approach would be to introduce a “grade inflation tax” whereby schools would lose a proportion of subsidies—including research support, Pell Grants, etc.,—if the accumulative grade point average of all undergraduates exceeded a “B” average. Collegiate apparatchiks, in turn, would have to harass or incentivize faculty into making the grading system useful again.

To be sure, there are other factors involved in today’s campus protests, and one can legitimately argue that peaceful protests that do not interfere substantially with the pursuit of knowledge and discovery of truths are actually good—signs of a vibrant campus with a considerable diversity of views and members of the university community interested in the broader world. The protests of the Vietnam War era, for example, occurred when grade inflation was dramatically lower. But students today are not challenged by their academic duties enough, leading to such modern phenomenon as excessive time spent on social media rather than learning the verities contributing to prosperous and long lives. College should be more than four or five “gap years” of fun between secondary school and the “real world.”

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Confidence in colleges, universities reaches all-time low, new poll indicates

Confidence in colleges and universities has reached a new all-time low, according to a recent poll commissioned by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression (FIRE) and conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago.

"In two AmeriSpeak panels representative of the U.S. household population, we asked Americans: ‘How much confidence, if any, do you have in U.S. colleges and universities?’" a press release from FIRE reads.

The question is similar to one asked by Gallup last year, which found that Americans who had a "great deal" of approval for institutions of higher education had plummeted from 57% in 2015 to 36% in 2023.

By comparison, FIRE's report indicated only 28% of Americans had "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in higher education as of May 2024.

Thirty percent similarly said they have "very little" or no confidence at all in higher education.

Democrats, women and younger Americans aged 18-34 saw "some of the largest drops," according to the report, while the level of confidence among conservatives – which was already low in the past – has "reached a floor."

On one hand, some say colleges and universities have lost their credibility as many Americans realize their return-on-investment in higher education failed to meet their expectations.

"Those of us who attended college or University in the mid 2000s (when quality started really dropping) have seen that it had little or no impact on our careers and that most of what we were taught ended up having very little value in the real world," Bobby Kittleberger, a web designer and founder and editor of Guitar Chalk, told Fox News Digital.

"Colleges are now viewed as having primarily a social agenda and not an economic or even an educational agenda. Even if you want an education driven by a social agenda, the asking price is incredibly high," he added.

He also argued that information is easily accessible on the web and the astronomical cost of a college education doesn't make much sense as an investment, especially considering that the wages for jobs that require a degree have not kept up at the same pace.

In a previous interview with Fox News Digital, Kittleberger said he actively encourages his kids to skip college because his degree in computer science has been "completely irrelevant" to his real world work.

His perspective aligns with the growing trend of skipping out on the traditional 4-year college plan. Many members of Gen Z, for instance, have shunned that path in favor of trade school, leading many to coin them as the "Toolbelt Generation."

Some contrarily speculate that partisan politics inside the classroom and recent on-campus chaos surrounding the Israel-Hamas War could be to blame for disillusionment with higher education. Last December, for instance, University of California, Santa Cruz professor John Ellis wrote in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece that the system of higher education needed to be reformed by getting left-wing activists out of the classroom.

"Never have college campuses exerted so great or so destructive an influence. Once an indispensable support of our advanced society, academia has become a cancer metastasizing through its vital organs. The radical left is the cause, most obviously through the one-party campuses having graduated an entire generation of young Americans indoctrinated with their ideas," he wrote at the time.

He cited "virulent antisemitism" that flared up following Hamas' Oct. 7 attacks against Israeli civilians as an addition to – or byproduct of – already pervasive cultural issues like censorship, DEI content and ideologies like "anticolonialism" and "anticapitalism."

In that same month, as then-Harvard President Claudine Gay was embroiled in controversy over campus antisemitism, college admissions consultant Christopher Rim told Fox News he was "completely shocked" to see students turning down their acceptances to the university for the first time in his career.

"This is the first time and first application season where I've seen a student who got into Harvard early that I've worked with for almost three and a half, four years now, starting in ninth grade — we're seeing them say, ‘You know what? I want to apply to other schools because what if I graduate and this stigma and this reputation of Harvard stays the same?’ That's their true concern," he said.

The Ivy League institution also reported a dropoff in early applications, something Bob Sweeney, a retired college counselor at New York's Mamaroneck High School, told Bloomberg he believed could have been partially caused by the antisemitism controversy.

FIRE's report additionally noted confidence had reached record-lows after "months of campus protests over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Congressional hearings about antisemitism on college campuses."

A separate FIRE/NORC poll found that 72% of Americans believed that students who participated in encampments should face punishment though those included in the poll disagreed on how severe such punishment should be.

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Australia: Physics students in catastrophic decline in senior high school

A catastrophic decline in the number of students studying physics in senior high school is ringing alarm bells, with one eminent scientist fearing Australia will lose the expertise it needs to be competitive as an advanced economy.

The University of Western Australia’s David Blair, who won a Prime Minister’s science prize for his role in the discovery of gravitational waves, said if school physics enrolments continued to fall at their current rate there would be no female school leavers qualified to study physics at university by 2032 and no males by 2035.

“We are on track to having no young medical physicists, no physicists to become tomorrow’s astronomers, no physicists to support the energy transition, no physicists to support the nuclear industry – not just submarines but crucial medical products – and no climate scientists,” he said.

“Hospitals employ medical physicists who are essential for producing the short-life radioactive isotopes for medical diagnoses and PET scans.

“Our mineral industry depends on a huge number of physicists.”

Data from WA, which Professor Blair said was representative of Australia as a whole, shows year 12 physics enrolments fell from 3868 in 2015 to 2436 in 2023. The number of girls studying physics fell even faster over the ­period. Girls made up 42 per cent of the year 12 physics cohort in 2015 but only 31 per cent by 2023.

Professor Blair and a fellow Prime Minister’s science prize winner, Susan Scott from the Australian National University, are pushing for a rethink of school ­science to keep children interested so more choose to study science in their senior years.

The pair are leaders of the Einstein First program which, backed by UWA, now operates in 55 schools, teaching year 3 to year 10 students modern physics topics that engage their interest, such as black holes.

Figures show that 14-year-olds are far more interested in physics after doing Einstein First. Before the course, only about a third of the girls and half the boys found physics interesting. After the course about 80 per cent of both girls and boys were interested.

A $1.5m Australian Research Council grant for the Einstein First team was announced on Friday for them to revitalise school science education and improve the training of teachers to teach modern science.

Einstein First and UWA have also just launched 12 Quantum Explorer STEM clubs, which are particularly aimed at sparking the interest of girls.

The Australian Academy of Science is also part of the push to improve science and maths education in schools, and on Tuesday launched two free online “toolboxes” for primary school teachers to help them teach these subjects.

Academy CEO Anna-Maria Arabia said that the science kit (Primary Connections) and the maths kit (reSolve) catered for teachers at whatever level of science understanding they had and helped them teach in effective ways regardless of where their ­students were at.

“We would love all teachers to be trained in science and maths but that is long-term,” Ms Arabia said.

The academy’s secretary for education and public awareness, Lyn Beazley, said the new resources were needed to fill a gap.

“Today’s teachers work so hard, but they are extremely time – poor, with many competing demands. This can lead to teachers preparing for what their students need to know, rather than designing how students will best learn,” Professor Beazley said.

Launching the new toolboxes at Hughes Primary School in Canberra, federal Education Minister Jason Clare said the resources were designed to take the load off teachers and engage students and help them to fall in love with science and maths.

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My other blogs: Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com/ (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs

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Tuesday, June 25, 2024


Parental Rights Group Delays Vote on Colorado School District’s Transgender Policy

A parental rights group has successfully delayed a Colorado school board’s vote on what parents call a radical transgender policy for students.

The Colorado Parent Advocacy Network gathered 335 signatures in only six hours on its petition to delay the Douglas County Board of Education’s vote on the proposal to classify female-only spaces as discriminatory. Now, the group has until August to convince the school board that public opinion is against the policy, even if President Joe Biden isn’t.

“If they had voted ‘yes’ on it yesterday, it would have cemented that biological males could be in girl spaces by policy as opposed to practice,” Lori Grimesheltyn, the network’s executive director, told The Daily Signal. “What this policy would have done, and will do if they end up voting on it, is basically submitting the Title IX changes that President Biden’s administration has pushed forward.”

Title IX is a federal law prohibiting sexual discrimination by schools or education programs that receive federal funds.

The Colorado public school district’s proposed policy prohibits discrimination by “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” at any school activity, event, or activity. This would allow boys to share restrooms and locker rooms with females and participate in girls’ and women’s sports.

Any student or parent opposed to boys’ sharing private spaces with girls and competing in girls’ sports could be accused of harassment under Title IX, the law prohibiting sex-based discrimination in schools.

The Douglas County School District prioritizes “making all kids feel safe and welcome,” spokeswoman Anna Hriso told The Daily Signal

“This, of course, includes our girls and our transgender students,” Hriso said. “We work through each situation individually in collaboration with families to ensure that each and every one of our students feels safe and welcome at school.”

When asked whether a girl who is uncomfortable sharing a restroom with a biological male could be found guilty of harassment, Hriso replied that such situations are rare.

“The situations you describe very rarely arise in our school district, but when they do we collaborate with the students and families to ensure comfort and safety for all involved,” Hriso said. “As for harassment, we always consider the totality of the circumstances—simply being or avoiding being uncomfortable without other circumstances does not constitute harassment.”

In April, the Biden administration finalized a reinterpretation of Title IX that adds prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of “gender identity.” Several states have challenged the rule, saying it is discriminatory to allow males in female-only spaces.

The Colorado Parent Advocacy Network, a parental rights group, organized a petition to pause the school board’s votes on the policy until changes to Title IX are finalized, to give the school district more time to review the proposal and engage parents and others in the discussion.

“Recent court decisions against the Title IX actions taken by the Biden administration suggest that the rules governing these actions are likely to be revised or even revoked,” the network’s petition says. “This evolving situation necessitates a careful and thoughtful approach to implementing new policies.”

The parent group’s stated goal is “to protect the safety and well-being of all students.”

The proposed policy prioritizes the comfort of transgender students over the safety of girls, the group’s executive director, Grimesheltyn, said.

“We’re just putting kids in uncomfortable situations for a special population,” she said. “We’re giving special rights to a special group. And it’s superseding the rights and safety of other children.”

The Colorado Parent Advocacy Network says it is monitoring gender ideology and related actions in each of Colorado’s school districts.

“We’re going to see this creep into all 178 school districts, and CPAN is going to be keeping a very watchful eye on the boards that do side in favor of allowing transgender students into female spaces,” Grimelshetyn said.

However, Grimelshetyn said, she is encouraged that parents on both sides of the political aisle are starting to stand up for their rights and the safety of their children.

“This is a matter of right versus wrong,” she said. “And the majority of people strongly believe that we need to get back to academic rigor, secure and safe schools, [and] parents being the experts in directing their child’s upbringing and education.”

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San Francisco Schools Let Students Change Name, Pronouns Minus Parents’ Knowledge or Consent

The San Francisco public schools allow students to change their preferred name and pronouns at school without the knowledge or consent of their parents.

San Francisco United School District’s LGBTQ Student Services department offers guidance on “Changing Your Name and/or Gender” in the district’s systems. The document offers a note “for students to think about,” recommending they wait to change their in the school records if they are not ready for their parents to find out their gender identity.

“Remember that your caregivers have the right to check out some of your school files, Google Classroom, or may end up on a Zoom call or meeting with you and staff at your school, and may see/hear that you are using a different name or pronoun,” the note reads. “If you are concerned about your caregiver’s response, you may not be ready to complete any of the above processes.”

It’s unclear why the district refers to parents as “caregivers.”

The San Francisco district says students have the right for peers and staff to use their preferred name and pronouns at school “without having to sign any forms or get your caregivers permission.”

Policies like San Francisco’s could be mandated statewide in California, as a bill that would prohibit school districts from telling parents about a child’s gender expression without the child’s permission is moving forward in the state Legislature.

Students in San Francisco also are entitled to ask school staff to use their preferred name and pronouns only in certain places or around certain people, including or excluding their “caregivers.”

That falls under the “right to be safe and respected at school,” the school district maintains.

San Francisco grants students the “right” to come out and transition at their own pace and in their own way, as well to file a report if someone purposely refers to them by pronouns they don’t prefer.

The district encourages students to tell school staff if they want to hide their gender identity from their parents so that a staff member doesn’t accidentally reveal it.

“We cannot guarantee that people will always remember which name and pronoun to use for you or when,” the document says. “There is always a risk that someone might slip up.”

“If you are not planning to change the name or pronouns you go by at home, make sure to let your teacher and school administrator know so that they can support you,” the district advises.

The San Francisco United School District did not respond to The Daily Signal’s question about whether its policy violates parental rights.

A nonbinary-identifying biology teacher named River Suh has his own method of determining whether his students’ parents support their gender identity.

Suh passes out a form for his eyes only determining the student’s name in the school record, what the student wants to be called in class, and what name and pronouns he should use when contacting the student’s parents.

The teacher posted the confidential “Name and Pronoun Onboarding Form” on his blog so other teachers can use it.

“Sometimes our students use different names and pronouns at home, in our classroom, and at school,” Suh wrote in 2020. “Welcome a student with this form and make them feel safe about their self-expression.”

Suh teaches at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco and is a writer for “Gender-Inclusive Biology,” a website with biology lesson plans that aim to “embed” so-called gender inclusion as a “recurring part of the curriculum, not a one-time lesson, an extension, or a reaction to an interaction.”

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Scientific American: Homeschooling Parents Need to Undergo Background Checks

There’s a growing list of states adopting universal school choice, and Louisiana is the most recent addition.

“The LA Gator Program puts parents in the driver’s seat and gives every child the opportunity for a great education,” said Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry, a Republican. “When parents are committed to the value of their child’s education, government should never get in the way.”

And it seems many of these parents are moving to homeschooling to ensure their children are getting a well-rounded, trustworthy education. This, however, has received pushback.

The editors of Scientific American magazine published an article last month claiming “children deserve uniform standards in homeschooling.” And what does this look like? The idea the editors had in mind is that “home­school parents could be required to pass an initial background check, as every state requires for all K-12 teachers.”

Scientific American is concerned that the growth of homeschooling is a “problem” since it’s hard to keep track of how many children are being homeschooled these days. “Some children may not be receiving any instruction at all,” the editors wrote. “In the worst cases, homeschooling hides abuse.”

But for education experts like Molly Macek of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, the article is a false alarm. The “venerable magazine’s call for restrictions isn’t based on science,” she wrote. Macek continued, “Most would find it hard to argue with the editors’ opening argument that ‘children deserve a safe and robust education.’ But they go on to use this as the reason that homeschooling should be tracked and regulated in the U.S. This conclusion just doesn’t hold water based on the evidence from studies they cite.”

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins considered Scientific American’s push against homeschooling on Thursday’s episode of “Washington Watch” with Mike Farris, founder of the Home School Legal Defense Association.

Perkins asked, “[W]hy is the Left so threatened by parents leading their children’s education?” And more specifically, how should we respond to it all? Farris replied, the “editors of the Scientific American need a basic course in constitutional law.”

He continued, “The federal government has no jurisdiction to implement the kind of plan that they are calling for,” which happens to be “a very draconian plan.” Ultimately, it seems “their motive and their operational plan … would be just, on its face, unconstitutional.”

Farris pointed out that one of the reasons for their argument is that parents who choose to homeschool often “teach their kids about creation as opposed to evolution,” which “is something, clearly, that people have the right to do.” And so, he added, for the editors of Scientific American to have a problem with that says a lot about their motivations.

“It’s almost laughable,” Perkins noted. He recalled the editors’ call for parents to undergo background checks. “[A] background check?” he hooted, “to teach your own children?”

Farris concurred, stating it’s “amazing” how parents can be with their children all day, “but if you want to teach them about math and reading and science in the Bible, then you have to have a background check. It just doesn’t make any sense.”

Farris also drew attention to the concern Scientific American highlighted about children being abused. As he explained, there are unfortunate cases of homeschool children who are being “seriously abused.” However, “The reality is, in the vast majority of cases like this … the government officials knew about the problems with the family long before there was ever any claim to be a homeschooling family.”

And so, when a homeschooling family gets caught up in abuse accusations, it’s often the case that “the officials use that as a cover-up for the fact that they failed to do any reasonable inquiry into the family when they first found out about the problems.”

Farris went on to explain the harsh reality of how “the number of cases of sexual abuse of children by public school teachers dwarfs the number of any claim relative to homeschooling, just in sheer volume of numbers. … It’s just far, far greater.”

They also claim, Perkins added, that homeschool “kids are being educationally deprived.” But if you look at the statistics and “the test scores from the public schools in the last few years,” the scores are the lowest they’ve been in decades in both math and reading.

“The reality is,” Farris urged, “homeschooling works very, very well.” He went on, “[P]eople say that the test scores are not conclusive. [But] they’re conclusive of this: that homeschooling performs adequately. That’s absolutely conclusive. I think that the test scores also show that homeschooling is the best form of education.”

And while he acknowledged there’s “more debate that could be made about that” final claim, he reasoned that homeschooling parents “don’t have to prove that we’re the best. We just have to prove that we’re at least as good as the public schools.”

Perkins also emphasized that, “given the woke ideology that’s invaded schools,” it’s becoming less and less difficult to prove that point. “But at the bottom line of this … is [that] it’s a clash of worldviews.” And more specifically, it’s a “hatred for a biblical worldview.”

Farris agreed, noting a common reason opponents give is “they want all children in America to be indoctrinated in their worldview, not the parents’ worldview.”

Perkins raised the question: When “parents make that type of investment in their education by homeschooling them,” what are the practical benefits? According to Farris, the reason most parents choose to homeschool is because “children get their values from whoever they spend the majority of their time with.” As such, parents want their children to embrace their values.

As Farris detailed, “[O]ur kids are not cookie cutters of either [my wife] or I in any respect, but they share all of our core values about God … the Bible … America … freedom … [and] the principles of protecting human life. We’ve effectively transmitted our values to our kids, and they’ve turned out just fine academically.”

Not to mention, he added, “We have a very close family. We have consistent values. We have high academic achievement. I can’t ask for anything better. And it’s just the best thing we ever did for our family.”

Perkins emphasized, “Homeschool families are close, and when we talk about close,” it’s because “they stick together. … [T]here’s a bond that takes place through that process of learning about life together.”

Given this reality, Perkins clarified that an attack such as what’s coming from Scientific American isn’t new. But “what do we need to do to make sure we don’t lose this God-given right to teach our own children?” For Farris, it’s about staying “nimble and organized.”

He discussed how a lot of people reasonably worry about their children’s schooling, which gives homeschooling families an opportunity to show how great of a practice it is.

Homeschooling brings a “kind of assurance and affinity,” he concluded. “I think we’re in a really strong position. We just got to keep putting the pedal to the metal and not letting any lackadaisical spirit come in. We got to defend our liberty day in, day out.

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My other blogs: Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com/ (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs

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Monday, June 24, 2024


The Mission Driven University is Facing a Crisis. New Accreditors Are Here to Help

Michael has written before about the value of the reforms to university accreditation implemented by the US Department of Education (ED) under the leadership of Secretary Betsy DeVos. Passed in 2019, these regulations significantly overhauled the way accreditors are recognized and governed, holding legacy agencies accountable and opening the doors for new ones to enter the space and compete with established counterparts.

In just the several years since their enactment, some states (such as Florida and North Carolina) are already moving to have their public institutions switch accreditors. Texas is considering a similar move. Meanwhile, for the first time in recent memory, new accrediting agencies are cropping up, challenging the regional monopoly formerly enjoyed by six legacy accreditors. Promisingly, some of those legacy accreditors are consequently moving outside their traditional regions and making their own cases to institutions willing to switch.

Michael has also written about the looming presence of new guidelines expected to be finalized by the current administration within the coming months. Although unlikely to be a wholesale reversal of the DeVos changes, these are still likely to pose a serious threat to much of the progress brought about by their predecessor. Among other things, the proposed regulations would make it far more risky for universities to form relationships with non-legacy accreditors by raising the bar for how they can qualify to gain recognition from ED. They would also put a cap on the number of institutions a new accreditor can take on, hindering new entrants from gaining the momentum needed to stay afloat.

All of this represents a unique challenge that will have consequences for a number of parties within the world of higher education, perhaps most notably for the newer accreditors who are just starting to make strides toward ED recognition. Last week, Michael hosted a web event with the heads of three of these agencies to talk about the work they’re doing and see how they’re thinking about the future of their roles.

Anthony S. Bieda serves as the executive director of the National Association for Academic Excellence (NAAE), an agency that he started building just several months ago. In Bieda’s words, “NAAE will be the accreditor for institutions that want to be rewarded, encouraged, and nudged towards academic excellence, towards robust scholarship, and the ability to promote independent thinking, freely from any kind of doctrine or other political influences.” It is this standard of academic excellence that, in Bieda’s view, is absent from the goals of current accreditors and in need of fulfillment.

Stig Leschly takes a markedly different approach in his role as the president of the Postsecondary Commission. He aims to provide accreditation “for institutions that want to be recognized for and held accountable for doing extraordinary things for the economic opportunity of their students.” Throughout the event, Leschly emphasized the importance of universities providing their students with high returns on investment and how the Postsecondary Commission intends to reward institutions that generate the best results in this dimension.

Robert Manzer, the president of the American Academy for Liberal Education, aims to tackle a more narrowly tailored educational goal in his role as an accreditor, serving universities that specifically wish to advance the principles of liberal education. “Liberal education is the cornerstone of higher education,” Manzer said, “we believe that the disappearance of this notion has a lot to do with higher education’s sinking reputation and the perception of politicization that is so widespread.”

Manzer was particularly optimistic about the potential for inter-accreditor competition fostered by the 2019 regulations. “The opportunity,” he noted, “is to have accreditors that are actually interested in the quality of academics, the quality of academic programs, [and] the quality of the student outcomes.” This particular insight seemed to resonate with his co-panelists, who agreed that it’s high time to move beyond a one-size-fits-all solution to accreditation.

The debate over the primary goals of higher education is having something of a moment right now in the public sphere. Despite their organizations’ missions reflecting very different answers to this question, a shared attitude toward how the debate should be settled is perhaps the common thread joining our three guests together. Not only is there room for different approaches regarding higher education’s aims, they might agree, but variance ought to be actively fostered among competitors. Only when universities are given the ability to freely pursue their aims will hundreds of flowers be able to bloom and consumers have the power to collectively decide which actors thrive.

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Ivy League school to offer course on ‘Politics Of Fatness’ to examine how fatphobia intersects with oppression

Brown University is offering a summer course on the "Politics of Fatness," providing students with the opportunity to explore the concept of "fatphobia."

The pre-college course at the Ivy League school, "The F-Word: Examining the Science, Culture, and Politics of Fatness," will teach students "about the many perspectives surrounding fatness throughout history and across cultures," according to the course description.

"You will consider the pathologization of fatness in the medical community and the rising prevalence of eating disorders, as well as how fatphobia intersects with other systems of oppression," the description states.

By the time they complete the course, students will understand "the social, medical and cultural implications of fatness," "apply major theoretical lenses to the study of fatness, including the feminist/gender lens, reader-response lens, historical lens and race lens" and "think critically about differing perspectives relating to the stigmatization of fatness in modern society," according to the description.

"Ten years ago, you could hardly open a magazine without seeing an advertisement for a fad diet," the course description reads. "Today, you can hardly open TikTok without seeing a self-proclaimed ‘body-positive’ influencer, with some even going as far as to call themselves ‘fat-positive.’ Despite these creators' best efforts, the word ‘fat’ still holds an overwhelmingly negative connotation."

The description states that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with thousands of dietitians, continue to speak of "the so-called ‘obesity epidemic.'" It also noted that "several recent sociological publications have gained recognition detailing the racial origins of fatphobia, condemning the anti-fat sentiment of so many authorities."

"All of this begs the question: is this a public health or social justice issue? An introduction to the emerging academic field of ‘Fat Studies,’ this course does not seek to indoctrinate students with the tenets of the body positivity community but rather to provide you with the information and skills necessary to think critically about how fatphobia permeates the fabric of our society," the description continues.

Brown's pre-college programs are for high school students "to explore the challenges and opportunities of the college experience," according to the school's website. The classes are meant to allow them to balance academics with social activities "without the pressure of formal grades."

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Fresh warning over ‘politicised’ schools

Lowering the voting age to 16 could “politicise” schools and divide teachers and students, a leading constitutional law expert has warned.

University of Sydney professor Anne Twomey, appearing before a House of Representatives inquiry into civics education in Australia, said a push to lower the democratic franchise from 18 to 16 had some “upsides” but also contained a sweep of risks.

Chief among them, schools could become political zones, as “political parties see a new market for voters”, she said.

The professor added teachers could be swept up into politics and find themselves accused of political activism.

The inquiry, chaired by Labor Jagajaga MP Kate Thwaites, is conducting hearings into how to support greater democratic engagement and participation in an era of escalating misinformation and disinformation.

“In a time when we’re seeing challenges for democracies across the world, and a rise in mis and disinformation, it’s important that every Australian has the opportunity to be informed about and engaged in our democracy,” Ms Thwaites said when starting the inquiry.

“The committee wants to hear Australians’ experiences of civics education and what we can do better to support democratic engagement and participation.

“So many young Australians are passionate about social and political issues, but they may not have access to relevant and reliable information about democratic and electoral processes.”

Some witnesses, including youth democracy organisation Run For It, have argued the voting age should be lowered to engage youngsters in the democratic process.

“Lowering the voting age is not a groundbreaking idea – this policy has already been implemented across many countries,” the group said in its submission to the committee.

“Argentina, Ecuador and Brazil, who also have compulsory voting, have all lowered the voting age to 16.

“Other countries that have enfranchised 16 and 17-year-olds include Cuba, Nicaragua, Austria, Ecuador, Argentina, Malta, Scotland and Wales.

“These countries have seen meaningful benefits as a result of lowering the voting age, including increased political engagement from young people. In some cases, young people participated in elections at higher rates than older age groups.”

The Greens Party supports lowering the voting age, and independent Kooyong MP Monique Ryan has also expressed support for the idea.

Professor Twomey, a leading expert in constitutional law, said the move could make voting seem more important to 16 and 17-year-olds and trigger more interest in civics education.

But she also said it would be “wrong” to fine school-age teens for not voting, the current system in place for Australia’s compulsory voting laws.

She also flagged issues of “maturity and influence” and said young people were sometimes not as sophisticated as they might believe themselves to be.

“I am very embarrassed by some of the views I had at that age,” she said. “That also gives me some pause to think as well. “I really wasn’t as sophisticated as I thought I was.”

Professor Twomey recommended critical thinking courses be included in school curriculums to help youngsters defend themselves from wild conspiracy theories and slovenly thinking on the internet.

She also argued social media companies had a “responsibility” to keep discourse civil.

She said anonymity on the internet was “corrosive” and those participating in online discussion should also post their names.

“You need to do that openly, you need to do that with your name and your face,” she said.

She said social media companies should accept they were a “part of the community” and uphold civil standards on their platforms.

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My other blogs: Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com/ (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs

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Sunday, June 23, 2024

UK: VAT [sales tax] on private schools: a spiteful policy?

As my stepson in Scotland remarked to me the other day: "In typical leftist style, Labour's attempts to "close the class divide" will only widen it!". It will make private education an option for the very rich only. At the moment, a lot of middle class parents have managed to afford independent schooling by cutting back on other things.

And the claim that it will raise tax income to the government is very shallow. Many parents will instead send their kids to the better-run of the government-funded schools, thus putting their budgets under presure, which government will have to fund. And the tax will raise NOTHING from them

In good Leftist style, the underlying intention is clearly to hurt rather than help


"Another day closer to the general election and I'm at my daughter's prep school in Oxfordshire," said Arabella Byrne in The Spectator. Once again, "I'm having a 'VAT chat' with a fellow mother".

We've known about Labour's plan for months – stripping the VAT exemption from private school fees. But as the election draws near, the reality is starting to sink in. It will lead to a likely 20% rise in fees, which for many parents, including me, will be unaffordable. "I will have to take my daughter out of the school that she loves."

This is an appalling policy, motivated by "the politics of envy" and "simple spite", said Martin Stephen in The Daily Telegraph. The success of independent schools has always been "an embarrassment" to Labour. The policy will be a "hammer blow", ensuring that in future, they are only for "the super-rich".

No 'mass migration' from sector

This "niche" issue has been given an amazing amount of coverage by the right-wing press, said Catherine Bennett in The Observer. There are endless "sob stories" about this "formerly obscure minority of a minority": private school parents who now "face the brutal prospect of state education". We hear about all the sacrifices they've had to make to pay fees, driving old bangers, denying themselves West End shows, and so on. But let's not forget that Labour's policy is actually a moderate "compromise": private schools are not being abolished or stripped of charitable status, they're just having their VAT rules changed.

Most services, after all, have to charge VAT, said Daniel Freeman on CapX. And I am unconvinced that this policy will lead to a "mass migration" from the sector. Private schools have provided clear evidence that parents aren't sensitive to fee hikes. Since 1997, average fees have more than doubled in real terms. The effect? "Essentially none." Besides, there is little reason to believe that schools will pass on the full cost of VAT, at least in the short term. They're more likely to cut the lavish facilities they provide.

A 'counterproductive' plan

Bigger, richer schools will be able to take the hit, said Anne McElvoy in The i Paper. Others won't. For example, Downham Preparatory in Norfolk, which gives a third of its places to autistic children, says it will not survive the VAT hike.

Admissions to private schools have already fallen by nearly 3% in the past year, said Mike Harris in The Guardian. Labour says the policy will raise £1.6bn to pay for more state school teachers. But every child who leaves a private school, so their parents can avoid £3,000 of VAT, will cost the schools budget £8,000. So Labour's plan risks being "counterproductive".

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School District Evaluates Parent Knowledge of Child’s Transition

A Colorado school district uses a form asking staff whether a student’s parents know their child identifies as transgender and support that decision.

St. Vrain Valley Schools, in a Denver suburb, developed a so-called Gender Identity Guidance form for “counselors, interventionists, and administrators to support students dealing with issues related to gender identification.”

The document, found on the public school district’s website and reviewed by The Daily Signal, includes questions about students’ preferred name, birth name, sex at birth, and gender identity. A section asks whether parents are aware of their child’s gender identity and if they support that, as well as who can advocate on behalf of the child if his or her parents won’t.

Gender-Identity-Guide Download

“Do I understand the parent/guardian support and am I able to identify other supports for the student?” the form asks.

Follow-up questions on the school district’s form include:

— “Do student’s parents/guardians know of the gender identity?”

— “Do parents/guardians support the gender identity?”

— “Who can advocate or support the student if not the parents/guardians?”

— “What are the communication methods/issues/challenges between school and home?”

— “Who are the adult contacts at school for support, concerns, etc.?”

Gender policies such as this one at St. Vrain Valley Schools, which allows children to hide their gender identity from parents, undermine parental authority and rights, Lori Gimelshteyn, executive director of the Colorado Parent Advocacy Network, told The Daily Signal.

“As parents, our priority is our children’s well-being and safety,” Gimelshteyn said. “No institution should intervene between us and our children, especially during critical times like mental health crises.”

St. Vrain Valley Schools did not respond to The Daily Signal’s request for comment about whether the district conceals students’ gender transitions from parents.

Another section of the Gender Identity Guidance form inquires about others’ awareness of a student’s gender identity.

The school employee who fills out the form must indicate the status of the child, who currently knows about the child’s transition, whether the transition is public or private, and who else needs to know.

The form lays out how schools in the St. Vrain district should handle communication related to the child’s gender, including how to discuss the transition in an “age appropriate” manner with classmates.

The form also tracks a child’s preferred personal pronouns and how to refer to that student in school records.

A bill in the Colorado House of Representatives would require educators statewide to call students by their preferred name upon request.

The Gender Identity Guidance form reviews a student’s use of facilities to determine whether the child is using restrooms and locker rooms in line with his or her gender identity.

The St. Vrain district also connects students with “outside resources,” such as Rocky Mountain Equality, the Human Rights Campaign, and other LGBTQ+ activist groups.

Rocky Mountain Equality offers programs for LGBTQ+ youth ages 11 to 18. Only those under 12 need parental permission to participate. The group provides children with “gender-affirming clothes” such as chest binders. (“Binders are reserved for those ages 11 to 18,” the website says.)

The school district’s form considers “the social dynamics with other students/families/staff” and addresses potential challenges with extracurricular activities, such as sports and clubs. The Colorado High School Activities Association reviews students’ requests to play sports in accord with their “gender identity” if it “differs from their sex assigned at birth.”

A bill requiring student athletes to play sports in line with their biological sex failed to pass the Colorado House last year.

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Fury at Sydney University’s ‘capitulation’ to protesters

The University of Sydney’s concessions to some anti-Israel protesters for closing their campus encampment peacefully have been met with fury from Jewish groups and the federal opposition.

Australia’s oldest university on Friday night announced it had struck an agreement with the last of the Gaza war encampment protesters, the Sydney University Muslim Students Association.

The agreement would see the students end their near-two months-long protest in return for a suite of measures, including a seat at a working group to review the university’s defence and security investments.

The Muslim Students Association earlier on Friday said their defiance of university orders to vacate had “worked in our favour across many fronts, most particularly being the catalyst for the negotiations with the uni”.

The social media post was made in conjunction with stand4palestineaus, which was recently implicated with extremist organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir in a report in the Nine newspapers.

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies president David Ossip lashed the management of the university and accused it of “thoroughly deceptive and misleading” engagement with the Jewish community.

“This is nothing short of a scandal. [Vice-chancellor] Mark Scott, his offsider Darren Goodsir, Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson and the University of Sydney have hideously capitulated and done a deal with a group dominated by Hizb ut-Tahrir – an organisation proscribed as a terrorist organisation in much of the world including the UK,” Mr Ossip told The Australian.

“In a sign of how futile this appeasement is, Hizb ut-Tahrir have already announced that they are planning future activities to put pressure on the university and have not ruled out a further encampment,” he said.

Sydney University’s administration has responded that “our campuses must be welcoming and safe for all our community, including our Jewish and Muslim students … our focus from the beginning has been to de-escalate tensions – not fuel them”

“The university’s engagement with the Jewish community has been thoroughly deceptive and insulting,” Mr Ossip said.

“Despite assurances to the Jewish community that any offer to the encampment was off the table and that the university would be pursuing alternate options to clear the encampment, the university instead reopened negotiations with a group dominated by Hizb ut-Tahrir.

“When we found out about these negotiations on Wednesday and formally requested immediate crisis talks, Mark Scott ignored this request and has still not picked up the phone to us.

“Instead the university negotiated with only one side, reached an agreement with a group dominated by Hizb ut-Tahrir, sought to bury the story on a Friday night (the Jewish Shabbat) and allowed the radical protesters to first announce the deal.

“No amount of mealy mouthed, pro-forma spin from the university should be allowed to distract from the utter shame of the university’s behaviour or the pathetic terms they have agreed to.

“This deal is not just about ‘transparency’ as the university claims. It goes beyond the terms agreed by any other institution and effectively gives Hizb ut-Tahrir influence over the university’s research and investment activities.

“Be in no doubt – whilst the university may be enjoying its new collaboration with Hizb ut-Tahrir, the university’s relationship with the Jewish community is in absolute tatters.”

Opposition Liberal education spokeswoman Sarah Henderson said the “capitulation to activists, including people linked to the extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, is untenable”.

“The government must step in and overturn all such agreements, particularly those struck with groups which are listed terrorist organisations in some other countries,” Ms Henderson said.

“How can students and staff be safe on a university campus when vice-chancellors are bargaining with extremists?”

Liberal federal member for Berowra and prominent Jewish MP Julian Leeser accused Professor Scott of having “ceded control to radical extremist groups” and he repeated calls for a judicial inquiry into campus anti-Semitism.

“Why, when there is clear evidence that extremist groups like Hizb ut-Tahrir are infiltrating our universities, has the Albanese government refused to take action,” Mr Leeser said.

“Instead of demonstrating leadership and providing a safe and cohesive learning environment, the University of Sydney’s vice-chancellor Mark Scott has ceded control to radical extremist groups.

“Sydney University’s actions are setting a terrible example for the next generation that Jewish students and staff don’t count and that if you intimidate people enough you can get whatever you want.

“The Albanese government proves every day how weak they are in combating anti-Semitism.

“It is time Labor took campus anti-Semitism seriously and supported my bill for a judicial inquiry into anti-Semitism in Australian universities.”

Executive Council of Australian Jewry co-CEO Alex Ryvchin lashed the agreement with the “anti-Israel fanatics”.

“This dismal decision by the university shows that unlawful conduct, intimidation and extremism are effective tactics against weak leadership,” he told The Australian.

“Today, there will be celebrations among those who have turned one of our finest institutions into an eyesore and created no-go areas on the campus.

“Meanwhile, Jewish students and staff will feel that once again their basic rights and equality mean less than the outrageous demands of anti-Israel fanatics,” Mr Ryvchin said.

The deal, announced by the Muslim Students Association and confirmed by the university on Friday evening, would see the university disclosing details of defence and security-related research and investments.

The University of Sydney will also double its expenditure over the next three years to support academics under its scholars-at-risk program, with a particular focus on Palestinians, the SUMSA president said.

Most significantly, the university committed to set up a working group to review its defence investments and research disclosures, and granted protesters a seat at the table.

The deal is similar to the offer the university made weeks ago that sparked backlash from Jewish leaders and calls for vice-chancellor Mark Scott to resign.

When contacted for comment, a University of Sydney spokeswoman said: “Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our community. Our campuses must be welcoming and safe for all our community, including our Jewish and Muslim students.”

“We understand there is deep trauma on both sides of this conflict and a wide range of views exist. Our focus from the beginning has been to de-escalate tensions – not fuel them. It is worth acknowledging we have not seen the violence that we have seen on other campuses during these challenging times.

“Our priority has always been a peaceful resolution and we are pleased our proposal has been accepted,” the University spokeswoman said.

“Our position aligns with similar offers made at leading universities from around the world including Harvard University and the University of Melbourne.

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My other blogs: Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com/ (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

http://jonjayray.com/blogall.html More blogs

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