A Blow for Standards

And it’s struck by California’s state Supreme Court, yet, which is the controlling factor in setting the passing score, the cut score, on the State’s bar exam which prospective lawyers must pass in order to practice in California.

The Court has decided to keep the cut score at its current level, which is the second highest in the US.  The State’s law school deans are in an uproar over that; they wanted the cut score significantly lowered.  They’re complaining that

many competent graduates will continue to suffer the consequences of not being able to become certified to practice….

Integration

It seems a New Jersey high school, Cliffside Park High of the town of Cliffside Park, has a teacher who insists English—or as she put it, American—be spoken in her classroom.

…men and women are fighting. They are not fighting for your right to speak Spanish. They are fighting for your right to speak American[.]

Of course, she’s being called a racist for insisting that folks assimilate into American culture rather than our culture be bent into the home country’s—every home country’s—culture.

One More Reason

…for charter and voucher schools, this time provided by the Biloxi (public) School District.  They’ve banned Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird from its 8th grade classrooms.  Why?

…some of the book’s language “makes people uncomfortable.”

Never mind that proper education must make people uncomfortable because it challenges their preconceived notions, it makes them think, it makes them think for themselves.  It even confronts students with uncomfortable aspects of our history, like Atticus Finch explaining to his daughter, Scout, the term “nigger-lover.”  Or Tom Robinson referring to himself, ironically, as a nigger.

Projecting

KKK robes are on display as part of Baltimore artist Paul Rucker’s installation entitled “Rewind,” now installed at York College’s Wolf Hall in York, PA. The college barred the public from seeing the art exhibition on slavery, white supremacy and racist violence against blacks, deeming it “potentially disturbing to some.”

York College spokeswoman Mary Dolheimer issued this statement, and she actually was serious:

The images, while powerful, are very provocative and potentially disturbing to some. This is especially the case without the benefit of an understanding of the intended educational context of the exhibit[.]

Due Process and Colleges/Universities

Recall the Department of Education’s 2011 egregious and cynically biased Dear Colleague Letter and its attack on due process and equal protection under law.  Things are being restored to legitimacy under the  Betsy DeVos DoEd via interim guidance just issued.

Colleges can now apply a higher standard of proof when determining guilt in sexual misconduct cases and must offer equal opportunity for the accused and accuser to have legal advisers participate in their hearings, according to interim recommendations issued by the US Department of Education on Friday.

Because

The Education Department on Friday formally rescinded guidelines issued by the Obama administration in 2011 and 2014….

Our Pledge of Allegiance and God

A Detroit teacher is forced onto leave now because she forced a student to stand for the class’ routine recital of our Pledge of Allegiance.  Used to be, such disrespect was handled in exactly this way, and quite properly so.

The boy actually had a good reason, though, even if he misunderstood what the pledge of allegiance is about:

God said don’t worship anything other than me, don’t worship any idols, and pledging to a flag would kind of be like worshiping it[.]

What Else?

Adjunct Professor Michael Issacson at the John Jay College, a part of the City University of New York system and a used-to-be prestigious school has expressed his disdain for and hopes for violence against police officers, tweeting

He then showed he meant it, telling the New York Daily News regarding his tweet,

Oh, that s—?  Everybody dies.

The college management’s response?  President Karol Mason in her press release:

A Misconception

The Wall Street Journal wrote an op-ed about Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ speech at George Mason University regarding her intent to withdraw the Obama administration’s infamous Dear Colleague Letter that threatened the due process rights of students accused of sexual assault.  In it, though, the WSJ included a misconception.

The Obama Education Department’s response was to circumvent Congress and neglect normal executive-branch rule-making procedures mandated in the Administrative Procedure Act, such as soliciting public comment. Instead, it simply jammed the policy through by sending out a “Dear Colleague” letter, including an explicit threat that noncomplying schools could lose federal funding.

College Pupils and Administrators

Jean Twenge, a Psychology Professor at San Diego State University, theorizes that the problems the current generation of college pupils has with free speech stems from their having spent “their entire adolescence with smartphones in their hands,” thereby avoiding missing the rough and tumble of face to face interactions with other children, and from their having led an otherwise dismayingly soft life:

iGen’ers grew up in an era of smaller families and protective parenting. They rode in car seats until they were in middle school, bounced on soft-surface playgrounds and rarely walked home from school. For them, unsurprisingly, safety remains a priority, even into early adulthood.

What Do Teachers Unions and the NAACP Have Against Poor Children?

Richard Whitmire, a contributor to The 74, offered some information that might bear on the question in his piece in The Wall Street Journal.  The National Education Association and the NAACP both oppose charter schools, the one because they don’t use union teachers and the other because they attract poor kids to charters and away from inner city public schools in which the NAACP is so politically invested.  In other words, because as Whitmire put it, charters upset the comfortable status quo of these adults.