In this seven minute video, a physiology (a branch of biology) major at UC Berkeley says that one of her classes had 700 students, there were not enough chairs, she had to stand behind the professor, and so she could not see what the professor was showing on the overhead projector.
Was Buffalo mom jailed over homeschooling decision?
February 6, 2017
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) – Single mother Kiarre Harris started researching homeschooling last November. She says her two elementary school aged children weren’t excelling at their failing Buffalo Public Schools.
“I felt that the district was failing my children and that’s when I made the decision to homeschool,” she said.
Harris says she filed documents at Buffalo City Hall, following all the steps, informing the district of her intent to homeschool her children. According to documents she provided to 7 Eyewitness News, they’re dated December 7th and the district says it received her paperwork.
“I spoke directly to the homeschool coordinator and she told me from this point on my children were officially un-enrolled from school.”
Things took a turn when she says a week later, Child Protective Services called, wondering why her kids weren’t in school.
“I told them that my kids were homeschooled now and that I could furnish the documents if they need to see them.”
Thinking everything was fine, Harris says she went on with her homeschooling, but then, less than a month later she says she was confronted by CPS workers and police. According to Harris, they told her they had a court order to take her children and when she told them no, she was arrested for obstruction.
She says she hasn’t seen her kids in three weeks, and they’ve been in a foster institution.
The Buffalo Public School District says it cannot comment on this case due to Federal Laws but says in order for a parent to file for homeschooling, they must have full custody of the children.
Harris says she’s a single parent and has always had full custody until her kids were taken away.
This case is far from finished. The Buffalo Common Council will be addressing it tomorrow.
School Employee Fired for Tweet Aimed at Student’s Spelling
January 14, 2017
Frederick, Md. – A school system employee in Maryland who had a lighthearted quarrel with a student on Twitter over the student’s spelling has been fired.
Katie Nash tells The Frederick News-Post that she was fired on Friday afternoon from her $44,000-a-year job. A Frederick County Public Schools spokesman confirmed that Nash had been let go, without providing details.
Nash ran the school district’s Twitter account. On Jan. 5, a student tweeted to the account, asking that schools be closed “tammarow.”
Nash responded from the district’s account, “But then how would you learn how to spell ‘tomorrow?'”
She says she was told not to tweet anymore after the interaction.
Nash says she understands why she was let go and that she didn’t “want to be a distraction to the school system.”
Pa. high school math question asked which member of family sexually assaulted girl
January 13, 2017
The students at Pennridge High School in Perkasie were given a homework assignment that involved trying to figure out which family member assaulted a young girl.
In a statement, Superintendent Jacqueline A. Rattigan apologized and said the question was “downloaded from a website that allows teachers around the world to share educational resources.”
They were given the question: “y = x+2, 3x+6y = 12, Angelou was sexually abused by her mother’s ___ at age 8, which shaped her career choices and motivation for writing.” The multiple choice answers were boyfriend, brother or father.
“It is not part of our approve curriculum,” Rattigan said. The district has taken “steps to avoid such occurrences in the future.”
UC Berkeley says the Obama administration might force it to remove 13,800 hours of free educational videos from YouTube
This is the YouTube channel for University of California, Berkeley: https://www.youtube.com/user/UCBerkeley/videos
It has 13,800 hours of free educational content.
Recently, the Department of Justice sent this letter to the school, which criticized the videos for not being closed captioned, and for not having audio descriptions of content that was visible on chalkboards.
The school responded by issuing a statement which said it might have to remove the videos because of this. Specifically, the school’s statement said:
“… we might not be able to continue to provide free public content under the conditions laid out by the Department of Justice to the extent we have in the past.”
“In many cases the requirements proposed by the department would require the university to implement extremely expensive measures to continue to make these resources available to the public for free…”
The same letter from the Justicte Department also ordered the school to pay “compensatory damages” to deaf people because these free educational videos were not closed captioned.
However, the Justice Department did not explain how it was possible for the school to pay “compensatory damages” for something that the school had given away for free.
Elementary school cancels mock election after kids chant ‘Trump’
November 3, 2016
A New York elementary school has canceled its traditional mock presidential election after kids chanted “Trump” and repeated “negative rhetoric about minorities,” according to the school principal.
Children at Jericho Elementary School in Centereach will be voting for their favorite school lunch instead of their favorite presidential candidate after their mock campaign season got too heated.
“Some people were getting angry because some people like Trump and some people like Clinton,” fifth-grader Miranda Waters told a local ABC News affiliate. “Some people think Clinton’s not good. Some think Trump’s not good. So there’s a lot of arguments going on, and I don’t like that.”
School officials decided to cancel the mock election to prevent minority students “from feeling uncomfortable,” according to Glen Rogers, the school’s principal.
“Teachers have said they’ve heard some kids in the cafeteria chanting ‘Trump! Trump! Trump!’ or saying they don’t want Muslims here,” Mr. Rogers told ABC News.
“I mean, kids often repeat what they hear on the TV or the news, but it doesn’t mean it’s OK,” he said. “We have a diverse community here. We want all our students to feel valued.”
Campus police to probe ‘offensive’ Halloween costumes, students told
October 25, 2016
Members of Tufts University’s Greek system have been told they could face “serious disciplinary sanctions” — including a possible investigation by the campus police — for wearing Halloween costumes that offend peers or make the campus community “feel threatened or unsafe.”
The warning was part of a letter to the presidents of fraternities and sororities on campus signed by various Greek Life council leaders, who asked the chapter presidents to relay the message to their members.
The letter stated in part that “Greek Brothers and Sisters have worn costumes that appropriate cultures and reproduce stereotypes on race, gender, sexuality, immigrant or socioeconomic status. Outfits relating to tragedy, controversy, or acts of violence are also inappropriate. … It is our mission to promote spaces that allow members of the Tufts community to have fun without feeling as though any part of their identity is being misrepresented or targeted.”
The letter went on to warn “there are consequences for wearing an offensive costume.”
It states: “Mary Pat McMahon, the Dean of Student Affairs, described the consequences as follows: ‘The range of response for students whose actions make others in our community feel threatened or unsafe, or who direct conduct towards others that is offensive or discriminatory, includes [Office of Equal Opportunity] and/or [Tufts University Police Department] investigation and then disciplinary sanctions from our office that could run a wide gamut depending on what is brought to our attention and the impact of these actions on others. Any complaints will result in full investigation by University officials and could result in serious disciplinary sanctions through Judicial Affairs.’”
The letter then encouraged students to report each other if they “encountered someone who is wearing an inappropriate and offensive costume,” providing the URL to Tufts’ “Incidents of Bias, Intolerance, Discrimination and/or Hate Reporting Form.”
Signed by the Inter Greek Council, Multicultural Greek Council, InterFraternity Council, and Panhellenic Council, the letter also reminds students to obtain consent before any sexual encounters during Halloween, citing a traditional increase in assaults during this time.
In a statement emailed Monday to The College Fix, campus spokesman Patrick Collins clarified that “Tufts University does not have a ‘Halloween costume policy.’”
“The letter was written by students, for students, to encourage a thoughtful and considerate celebration of Halloween within our diverse and inclusive community and to stress the importance of alcohol safety and sexual consent,” Collins said. “We commend the leaders of our Greek Life councils for proactively raising these important issues with their fellow participants in Greek Life and encouraging responsible behavior. As is the case at any time, students whose actions are discriminatory or threaten others can face a range of disciplinary sanctions. Depending on their seriousness, such actions, when called to our attention, can prompt investigations by the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs, the Office of Equal Opportunity or, in certain circumstances, the Tufts University Police Department.”
Jake Goldberg, a student at Tufts University and founder of Students Advocating for Students, a free speech advocacy group which first reported on this issue, told The College Fix that “this campus, as well as many other universities around the country, have fundamentally inverted the meaning of tolerance.”
“Many of my friends have felt compelled to alter their costume plans out of fear of administrative retaliation,” Goldberg told The Fix. “Merely unintentionally offending somebody with your costume could cause a Tufts student to face severe discipline … . A truly tolerant campus would ignore unfavorable costumes, a truly totalitarian campus would censor them. It seems quite clear based off of Tufts’ policy which category the university falls into.”
There is no academic subject that is more meritocratic, and less discriminatory, than math. What this college is doing is wrong.
For their entire careers at this university, these women will be known as the math professors who got hired not because of their abilities at math, but because of their gender.
What this school is doing is condescending and sexist, and it reinforces the false stereotype that woman are not good at math.
Melbourne University advertises female-only jobs in bid to remedy gender imbalance in maths
May 18, 2016
The University of Melbourne has taken the extraordinary step of opening up jobs to female applicants only in an attempt to drive change in the male-dominated area of mathematic academia.
Only about a quarter of all mathematics academics in Australia are female, and the university is now advertising three positions in its School of Mathematics and Statistics for female applicants only.
It is believed to be the first time it has limited applications to women only for permanent academic positions.
The jobs, in pure mathematics, applied mathematics and statistics, may range in level from lecturer, to senior lecturer, to associate professor, depending on the candidate’s experience.
The head of the School of Mathematics and Statistics, Professor Aleks Owczarek, said the decision had been taken to promote change.
“We clearly have an issue with attracting female applicants appropriately to our workforce,” Professor Owczarek said.
“So this is an agenda to attempt to address that.” Reaching gender equality in maths stubbornly slow
Women are notoriously underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, but mathematics has the lowest representation of all studies.
Lesley Ward, an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of South Australia, and chair of the Women in Maths Special Interest Group of the Australian Mathematical Society (WIMSIG), told ABC’s PM it gets worse the more senior the rank.
“At the first academic rank of associate lecturer it’s still only 30 per cent women, by the time you get up to the second highest rank of associate professor it’s down to under 20 per cent women,” Professor Ward said.
“At the highest rank, of professor, it’s 9 per cent women, according to the most recent data we have from 2014.”
She said there were many reasons for the low percentages, but a key cause was unconscious bias which sees men promoted more often than women.
Because of that, Professor Ward welcomed The University of Melbourne’s move, saying change so far had been slow.
“There have been many measures taken by universities and by individuals and by professional societies to help the advancement of women and the achievement of gender equity in these disciplines,” she said.
“In some disciplines it’s been harder than others and in mathematics it’s one where it’s taken a particularly long time.”
Equal Opportunity Act allows for positive discrimination
The University of Melbourne positions have been advertised using a special measure of the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act.
“The use of this kind of special measure that we’re using has been used with regards to Indigenous employment,” Professor Owczarek said.
“For this kind of positions, permanent continuing academic positions, I believe it might be the first time it’s been used,” he added.
Discrimination lawyer Rowan Skinner said the Act allows organisations to take actions to promote equality.
“The Act specifically permits an organisation to engage in what is overtly a discriminatory act, but for the purposes of ensuring that there is equal opportunity overall,” Mr Skinner said.
With so many college students, and especially so many blacks and women, majoring in fake, useless, worthless subjects that will leave them with nothing but huge amounts of debt that they will never be able to pay back from the low wages they will get from working at coffee shops and fast food restaurants after they graduate from college, here’s a wonderful story about someone who chose to study something that is actually useful in the real world. More people should follow Jasmine Burton’s lead and study STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects:
This plastic toilet could save lives
Jasmine Burton helped design an inexpensive, portable plastic toilet to address the lack of basic sanitation around the world.
January 22, 2016
Everybody poops. But not everyone has access to a toilet.
“It’s shocking that this basic necessity is unavailable to nearly half of the world,” said Jasmine Burton, founder and president of Atlanta-based Wish for WASH.
Burton, 23, was a freshman at Georgia Institute of Technology when she learned that as many as 2.5 billion people don’t have access to a toilet.
It bothered her even more that this sanitation problem disproportionately affects women and young girls.
“Young girls in the developing world frequently drop out of school because there isn’t a toilet,” she said. “It angered me as a woman in higher education and as a product designer.”
Just 18 at the time, Burton channeled her feelings into a mission: She would design a toilet.
While at Georgia Tech, she collaborated with three other students to invent an inexpensive, eco-friendly mobile toilet that could convert waste into renewable energy. They called their sanitation system SafiChoo Toilet.
Made of plastic, the toilet is designed for sitting or squatting, which is a common practice in some countries. It can be placed directly on the ground, or it can be elevated by adding an attachable base. It can also function with or without water.
The system features a waste collection unit (that can go above or below ground), which separates the waste into liquids and solids. There’s also a manually-operated bidet that can be attached.
Burton said these features are intended to help curb contamination and the spread of diseases.
The SafiChoo toilet costs about $50. “That’s the highest price point we want it to be,” she said.
In 2014, Burton and her team won first place and $25,000 at the Georgia Tech InVention competition, the nation’s largest undergraduate invention competition.
“We didn’t think we’d win because products at the contest were always high-tech with super sexy designs,” she said. “Ours was a simple toilet.”
The win enabled Burton to pilot SafiChoo (which means clean toilet in Kiswahili) at a Kenyan refugee camp. She also launched Wish for WASH, the parent company of SafiChoo.
John Zegers, director at Georgia Center of Innovation for Manufacturing, contacted Burton after her InVention competition win. “We thought it was a great product that needed a little bit more development,” he said.
The Center gave a grant to Georgia Tech to develop a SafiChoo prototype and helped Burton’s team find an Atlanta-based manufacturer.
Zegers said he hopes that Wish for WASH is able to keep the toilet a Made in America product.
Burton is currently living in Lusaka, Zambia, as she tests the toilet there. The company is also running an Indiegogo campaign to support the Zambia pilot.
She hopes to begin selling the toilet to U.S.-based customers and to NGOs in 2017.
“It’s amazing when you see how many people have never used a toilet before and what [the SafiChoo Toilet] could mean for them,” she said.