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Education Tag

The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) serves as a de facto authority on academic freedom, having published the guidelines by which most higher education institutions agree to abide, at least in principle if not legally. AAUP, however, has no legal power to enforce its guidelines. The most it can do is put an institution on a "Censure List," which supposedly impacts the ability to recruit top faculty. I don't know whether it actually has that impact, but that's what's claimed. The University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign (UIUC) was put on AAUP's Censure List after it refused to give a tenured position to controversial hate-tweeting Prof. Seven Salaita. There was a lawsuit by Salaita that was settled for less than the cost of defense without any job. AAUP now is considering whether to remove UIUC from its Censure List. AAUP is jumping to the defense of Melissa Click, the world-famous "muscle prof" who recently was terminated by the University of Missouri after she was caught on video bullying a student journalist and calling for some "muscle" from the crowd to deal with him.

Melissa Click, the Missouri professor who famously advocated for "using muscle" against student journalists at a campus protest has lost her termination appeal. Following the encounter that was captured on tape, Click was charged with third-degree assault and suspended with pay before being canned. The Wall Street Journal reports:
The board of curators said the appeal, which Melissa Click filed shortly after her Feb. 24 firing, “brought no new relevant information.” Ms. Click’s job paid $58,000, and she was up for tenure this year.

We reported earlier this week that conservative author Ben Shapiro was banned from speaking at California State University LA by the school's president. The school then relented and said Shapiro could come after all. Then things got crazy. Students who wanted to hear Shapiro speak had to be ushered quietly into the lecture hall through a back door while unhinged student activists and faculty members screamed and tried to force their way through a police barricade protecting the front door.

Conservative author and speaker Ben Shapiro has been banned from making an appearance at California State University Los Angeles by the school's president. Shapiro would apparently present too great a threat to the safe spaces of CSULA's sensitive snowflake students. Christine Rousselle reported at Townhall:
Conservative Writer Ben Shapiro Banned from CSULA Early Tuesday morning, conservative writer Ben Shapiro revealed on Twitter that his planned speech on February 25 at California State University-Los Angeles had been canceled by the university's president.

Have you noticed that when liberals win it's the "law of the land" and when liberals lose it's an injustice which needs to be corrected? A new Texas law allows college students to carry guns on campus but opponents aren't happy. FOX News reports:
Showdown looms in Texas over university's reading of campus carry law Texas' new law allowing college students to carry guns on public campuses doesn't take effect until August, but it's already triggered a showdown. University of Texas-Austin President Gregory Fenves declared this week that he'll comply with the law, but claimed a loophole allows him to ban firearms in dormitories.

Last year, Professor Jacobson posted about a Texas school posting a sign that the staff is armed, and now, one Oklahoma school district is following suit and allowing teachers and staff to carry and to use whatever force is necessary to thwart potential attacks. The Muskogee Phoenix reports:
New signs posted on the grounds of Okay Public Schools announce an "Armed School Employees" policy in place. The Okay Public Schools Board of Education passed an “Armed School Employees” policy in August. On Monday, the district publicized that policy with signage in front of the school. “The signs are more or less a deterrent,” Superintendent Charles McMahan said. “We don't want to be a soft target.” McMahan said his administration looks for ways to keep students safe and secure, particularly since the Okay Police Department was disbanded in December 2014. Although Wagoner County sheriff's deputies are available, McMahan said it is “seconds, not minutes, that matter.”
Gun-free zones are soft targets; indeed, one former sheriff describes them as a "helpless victim zones." This move in the Okay school district is very likely to serve as a deterrent.  So far, however, there is only one Okay employee currently approved to carry in Oklahoma and now at school.

University of Missouri professor Melissa Click who famously called for "some muscle" to remove a student journalist from a campus protest was charged with assault on Monday and has now been suspended. Reuters reports:
Missouri suspends professor who called for 'muscle' against student reporter A University of Missouri communications professor who called for "some muscle" to get a student journalist to back off during campus protests in November, was suspended by the school on Wednesday, days after she was charged with misdemeanor assault. The university's board of curators said Melissa Click was suspended with pay pending further investigation and it ordered an investigation to determine promptly whether additional discipline would be appropriate.

We covered this a few days ago at College Insurrection but the story has gone national. This all springs from a report by the Council of Trustees and Alumni called A Crisis in Civic Education. Among many troubling findings, the report revealed:
There is a crisis in American civic education. Survey after survey shows that recent college graduates are alarmingly ignorant of America’s history and heritage. They cannot identify the term lengths of members of Congress, the substance of the First Amendment, or the origin of the separation of powers. They do not know the Father of the Constitution, and nearly 10% say that Judith Sheindlin—“Judge Judy”—is on the Supreme Court.

Recent remarks by Liberty University president Jerry Falwell, Jr. are going viral. In an address to a large audience, he urged students to obtain gun licenses and arm themselves. Falwell was obviously talking about the terrorists who carried out the attacks in San Bernardino, but as you'll see below, he had to clarify his statement. Bradford Richardson reports at The Hill:
Liberty University president urges students to carry guns, ‘end those Muslims’ The president of the Liberty University is urging students to carry concealed weapons on campus in order to “end those Muslims” who would attack the campus. “Let’s teach them a lesson if they ever show up here,” President Jerry Falwell, Jr., told students at convocation Friday, according to the News & Advance.

For many years, progressives and assorted leftists have been threatening (and pursuing) law suits against schools, cities and towns, and cemeteries and memorials in an attempt to remove all evidence of religious faith from the public sphere. The result has been a series of knee-jerk reactions by scared administrators who've preemptively banned prayer at senior centers or who've barricaded a mall Santa in a "glacier display."  The list is long (and silly, note the ban on the colors red and green). The right has been slow to respond, but there are groups who are fighting fire with fire.  According to the Cap Times, a local publication in Madison, Wisconsin, a school has canceled the reading of a transgender book to elementary school students.  This decision was taken after the Liberty Counsel weighed in and threatened to take action.

This is the next battlefield, which already has arrived. As far as the feds are concerned, it is unlawful discrimination if a school provides anything less than full, unrestricted access for male transgender students to areas previously deemed private girls-only areas, such as showers and locker rooms. The NY Times reports, Illinois District Violated Transgender Student’s Rights, U.S. Says:
Federal education authorities, staking out their firmest position yet on an increasingly contentious issue, found Monday that an Illinois school district violated anti-discrimination laws when it did not allow a transgender student who identifies as a girl and participates on a girls’ sports team to change and shower in the girls’ locker room without restrictions.
These threats are being made by the same Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Education whose threats of action against universities led to the current kangaroo court situation on campuses, where accused students (almost always male) have few procedural protections. In the letter, the feds made clear that the limitation of access to the showers and locker room was the only issue. In all other respects, the feds acknowledged, the District "has honored" the student's "request to be treated as female," including access to girls' restrooms. The school even allowed the student -- who has not undergone a sex change operation -- to change in the girls locker room, but behind a curtain, the Times reported:

This story just keeps getting weirder. Remember Ahmed Mohamed? He's the Texas teen who sailed into his (extended) 15 minutes of fame after one of his teachers mistook a "homemade clock" for a homemade bomb. The Social Justice Warriors rushed to Ahmed's cause, crying racism; President Obama even invited him to the White House. After the incident, Ahmed used the media attention to his advantage, saying that his teacher and the authorities made him "feel like he was a criminal," and that the whole thing seemed contrary to America's live-and-let-live spirit.

By now, you may have heard that University of Pennsylvania religious studies professor Anthea Butler is under fire for comments she made about Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson. Butler suggested that Carson, a renowned pediatric brain surgeon, should get the ‘coon of the year’ award. We covered the story at College Insurrection. In fact, we've written extensively about Professor Butler at College Insurrection over the years: Surely, a professor who said something similar about Obama would face a backlash. Most media is ignoring the racist taunt. The panel on The Five discussed the issue yesterday and ironically it was Juan Williams, easily the most liberal participant, who felt that Butler should be dismissed from her position.

Susan Brownmiller wrote the 1975 book Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape which set the stage for much of today's feminism. She is not, however, a huge fan of everything espoused by today's feminists, including slut walks and rape culture activism. Katie Van Syckle of New York Mag recently interviewed her. Hat tip to Ann Althouse:
I was wondering if you have been following the discussions of rape activism on college campuses. Yes, very closely. In the 1970s we had an extraordinary movement against sexual assault in this country and changed the laws. They [the campus activists] don't seem to know that. They think they are the first people to discover rape, and the problem of consent, and they are not. They have been tremendously influenced by the idea that "You can drink as much as you want because you are the equal of a guy," and it is not true. They don't accept the fact there are predators out there, and that all women have to take special precautions. They think they can drink as much as men, which is crazy because they can't drink as much as men. I find the position "Don't blame us, we're survivors" to be appalling. Also, they [college women] are not the chief targets of rapists. Young women and all women in housing projects and ghettos are still in far greater danger than college girls.

Yesterday a Texas teenager, who happens to be a Muslim, brought a homemade clock to school and was arrested because the clock was mistaken for a bomb. Some people are blaming racism but zero tolerance policies are the real problem. NBC News reports that he won't be charged:
No Charges For Ahmed Mohamed, Teen Arrested After Bringing Homemade Clock to School Police in Texas said Wednesday that charges will not be filed against a 14-year-old Muslim high school student who was arrested after he brought in a homemade clock that a teacher said looked like a bomb. The arrest drew an outcry on social media. Hundreds of thousands of people used the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed — and President Barack Obama invited the teen to the White House. Ahmed Mohamed, who is Sudanese-American, was arrested on Monday in the Dallas suburb of Irving after he took the clock to his high school. He told The Dallas Morning News that he had been in robotics club in middle school, and he wanted to show his new teacher what he could do.

The Atlanta educators who were convicted on April 1 of racketeering and other charges related to purposely inflating test scores in poorly performing schools were sentenced in the Fulton County Court today:
One by one, they stood, alongside their attorneys, before Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter. In this system, a jury decides guilt or innocence, the judge metes out punishment. Throughout the five-month trial, Baxter has been pointed. Until Monday, he said he planned to sentence the educators to prison. When verdicts were reached, he ordered them directly to jail. But on Monday he changed his mind and decided to allow prosecutors to offer them deals that would have allowed them to avoid the possible 20-year sentence that racketeering carries.

Today, President Obama unveiled a new plan to make two years of Community College free "to responsible students across America"---and it's just as flawed as that knee-jerk gut reaction you just had told you it is.
So, the first two years of community college would be free "for anybody who's willing to work for it." He says it will help train a stronger workforce---but at what cost? Under the proposed program, the federal government would cover three-quarters of the average cost of community college. The states would then have to cover the remaining tuition, meaning the bill would be paid in full for "eligible students." For the program to fit with Obama's vision, community colleges would have to change their programs to fit educational standards that haven't even been written yet (emphasis mine):
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