education

Millions

The powerful New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) are spending a million bucks to run this ad.  Their strawman villian is a stereotypical greedy "fat cat" who is supposedly stealing the education of children, one of whom scolds "you need a time-out."

The "millionaires tax" the union is promoting applies to anyone earning $200,000 per year and up, including the partnerships, LLCs and corporations that report their business income on a personal tax form.  These are the entrepreneurs and small businesses that create jobs and keep young upstate New York families from moving away. 
 
With the attack on the "millionaires," the New York union hopes to deflect a Wisconsin-style clawback of their unsustainable pension and benefit packages.  Ironically, if they are successful, they will only be decreasing the demand for their services, as the entrepreneurs and younger upstate families who pay taxes and fill the schools leave for better economic climes.  Their position is lose-lose for New York.
 
Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton was echoing the teacher position in her town hall yesterday, insisting that people won't move away as taxes are increased.  I think she needs a time-out.

WI in NY

As of this writing, 73% of the respondents to a (non-scientific) poll on auburnpub.com answer YES to:

Auburn Enlarged City School District Superintendent J.D. Pabis has asked district employees to take a voluntary wage freeze for the 2011-12 school year. Should district employees agree to the wage freeze?

The wage freeze is one option to help close a potential $6.5 million budget gap in Auburn.  How would such a poll come out in Dryden?  Ithaca?

Socratic method

"When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser."—Socrates  

Even notorious RINO Lindsey Graham recognizes that the November elections in Wisconsin, in which Scott Walker won the governorship running on exactly the "budget-repair bill" agenda that's now causing all the ruckus, amounted to a referendum in which the unions lost

And so now the sore losers have rounded up their non-violent, vitriol-free buds for some fun and games.  Michelle Malkin has the schedule for the coming week's "nationwide tantrum."

Just to stir things up some more, Michael Moore has created a leftist, online "high school newspaper."

Then there are the lovely, peaceful signs made by union members in Madison (language warning).

But wait—there's more!  NYSUT's website has a column entitled, "From New York’s Capitol to Wisconsin’s." The comments are interesting, too.

And remember that Rhode Island school district whose entire faculty was fired last year for poor performance?  At least that went well, didn't it?  Er, not so much.

With respect to the goings-on in Wisconsin, Pundette writes, "Parents who think homeschooling is somehow beyond them should think again. Merely removing children from this environment will be a step up."  Just sayin'...

I'm sick of this stuff

As the parent of a UC Davis grad, I decided to just print this post from Weasel Zippers in its entirety.  But that's California, you say.  Believe me, it could just as easily be publicly-funded education anywhere in the US. My only disagreement with this post is the last sentence, "Might be a good idea to debrief your kids when they come home from school before any of this garbage sinks in and takes hold."  "Zip" must not have kids or he'd realize that it's too late for that kind of advice.

UC Davis Defines Christians as “Oppressors”

Update: University Scrubs Website…

This isn’t political correctness run amok, it’s leftist academia pushing its anti-Christian agenda on the rest of society.

(Fox News Radio/Todd Starnes) — More than two dozen Christian students at the University of California at Davis have filed a formal complaint over a university policy that defines religious discrimination as Christians oppressing non-Christians.

The definition is listed in a document called, “The Principles of Community.” It defines “Religious/Spiritual Discrimination” as “The loss of power and privilege to those who do not practice the dominant culture’s religion. In the United States, this is institutionalized oppressions toward those who are not Christian.”

“This is radical political correctness run amok,” said David French, senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund. The conservative advocacy group has written a letter on behalf of more than 25 students who object to the policy and want it revised. He said it’s absurd to single out Christians as oppressors and non-Christians as the only oppressed people on campus.

A spokesperson for UC-Davis directed comments about “The Principles of Community” to Raheem Reed, an associate executive vice chancellor. Reed did not return numerous phone calls.

“Christians deserve the same protections against religious discrimination as any other students on a public university campus,” French told Fox News Radio. “The idea that a university would discriminate against Christians is a very old story unfortunately and one that we see played out every day.”

One student, who asked not to be identified, said university officials asked her to reaffirm “The Principles of Community” last semester. She refused to do so when she realized that Christians were not protected under the policy.

Update: UC Davis has scrubbed their website, here’s the Google cache snapshotas of Feb 14, 2011 06:53:46 GMT:

While you’re at it, check out their definition of racism.

The institutionalization of collective prejudice resulting in a system of advantage based on one race having power over others. In the United States, it is the systematic oppression of people of color by white people.

This is what leftist academia is indoctrinating America’s youth with. Might be a good idea to debrief your kids when they come home from school before any of this garbage sinks in and takes hold.

Thanks to Margaret for a great catch.

The value of an education

In an area that tends to be education-centric thanks to the nature of major employers in the county, it's not unreasonable to ask what exactly is the value of a four-year degree these days.  I've had conversations with fairly recent (as in the last few years) college graduates that have caused me to wonder, "You have a bachelor's degree?" Well, apparently the evidence is no longer just anecdotal:

Report: First two years of college show small gains

By Mary Beth Marklein, USA TODAY

Nearly half of the nation's undergraduates show almost no gains in learning in their first two years of college, in large part because colleges don't make academics a priority, a new report shows.

I don't think the situation improves much thereafter, frankly, but you can read the whole thing.

Thinking back, I now realize that everything I needed to know I learned by the end of 8th grade. Really. High school (and I attended one of the specialized public high schools in NYC that you had to take an entrance exam to get into) and college (the college also served as the convent for the same sisters that taught me through the 8th grade—and they were not a bunch of habited nimrods, but highly intelligent and degree-laden women who taught courses at the college as well as the classes in our otherwise quite typical and unexceptional parochial school) were just the icing on the cake.  Isn't that the way it should be, for everybody, everywhere? Instead we are, societally speaking, like food photographers who take pictures of luscious-looking "cakes" whose fondant décor has been carefully applied to a cardboard base. And at great expense, in terms of both money and opportunity cost.  Honestly, now—does this make sense?

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