And Indiana University handles it beautifully.
So Indiana University Professor Eric Rasmusen is a bigot.
Rasmusen is a tenured professor at IU's Kelley School of Business. And he has written many things indicating he is not a fan of women, people of color, LGBTQ people, Muslims, or really anyone who isn't a cis white man. As an old cis white man, he apparently believes that only cis white men are entitled to dignity, basic human rights, and respect.
Earlier this month, Rasmusen tweeted an essay published by the alt-right Unz Review titled "Are Women Destroying Academia? Probably." But retweets are not endorsements, you say! Well when he shared this piece of garbage, he also felt the need to highlight this wonderful little assertion: "geniuses are overwhelmingly male because they combine outlier high IQ with moderately low Agreeableness and moderately low Conscientiousness."
Of course, there's never just one. Over the years, he has repeatedly denigrated all sorts of protected classes of people. He's a real sweetheart, as you'll learn below.
Why does this guy have a job?
Our religious beliefs declare this post brilliant.
Ohio just decided to make their kids dumber. The state House of Representatives passed the Student Religious Liberties Act this week. The legislation will permit students to answer questions with any nonsense they want as long as it's what they think Jesus would do.
The bill passed the Republican-controlled House 61 to 31 or eleventy million to zero if you reject Satan's math. It will now move to the Senate, which religious-pandering Republicans also control. This is the relevant crazy-making portion of the text:
No school district board of education (...) shall prohibit a student from engaging in religious expression in the completion of homework, artwork, or other written or oral assignments. Assignment grades and scores shall be calculated using ordinary academic standards of substance and relevance, including any legitimate pedagogical concerns, and shall not penalize or reward a student based on the religious content of a student's work.
Ohio Rep. Timothy Ginter insists critics of the law are just possessed by liberal demons. The law will not in fact permit what it clearly says it will allow. Don't worry. Students can't refuse to answer test questions because the material conflicts with their religious views, but they can denounce their teachers as heretics. Gitner offers as a hypothetical Christian and Jewish students who believe (incorrectly) that the world was created just 6,000 years ago and is barely older than The Phantom of the Opera. He doesn't even bother to include anything a Muslim student might believe that also ignores observable scientific evidence.
The Simpsons - Bonerland youtu.be
The after-school special is inside the school!
Sen. Kamala Harris introduced a bill yesterday that would fund schools to experiment with making school schedules better meet the needs of working parents. Called the Family Friendly Schools Act, the proposal would relieve the child care burden for working families, which is considerable, as Mother Jones reporter Kara Vogt explains:
The majority of schools days end around 3 p.m., two hours before the end of 70 percent of parents' workdays. And most schools don't have a way to make up the difference. Fewer than half of all elementary schools—and fewer than a third of low-income schools—offer after-school care. Beyond that misalignment, schools shut down, on average, for 29 days during the school year, the majority of which are reserved for professional development, parent-teacher conferences, and myriad vacations and minor holidays the federal government doesn't recognize. That's a full two weeks' worth of days more than what the average American has in holidays, vacation, and paid leave combined.
On top of that, there's summer vacation, which was a fairly useful idea when America was mostly rural and kids were needed on the farm, but mostly leaves working parents desperate to find something to keep the kids safe and occupied for two or three months while they forget everything they learned. Thank Crom there's TV, video games, and friendly internet Nazis willing to keep the kids busy!
As a result, Vogt notes, during the school year, "3 percent of elementary-school students and 19 percent of middle-school students look after themselves from 3 to 6 p.m. on school nights," and parents who can afford to pay for after-school childcare shell out an average of $6,000 a year for it. (See also Vogt's longread on the problem at the Atlantic.)
Instead of solving the problem by blaming single moms for all social problems, Harris's bill would establish a five-year pilot program to fund grants of up to $5 million in 500 elementary schools that mostly serve low-income families. The schools, working with parents and community groups, would develop programs that would keep the schools open from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Friday during the school year, with no closures apart from federal holidays and emergencies. No school closures for in-service days or parent-teacher conferences; those would still go on, but the community partners would provide enrichment and activities for kids while they took place. And already overworked teachers won't simply be forced to work longer hours -- if they choose to, they'll be compensated for it.
Let's get out the washable markers and the butcher paper, spread out around the room, and take a look at how this would work, shall we?
Have we used that before? It still fits!
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was held in contempt in federal court last Thursday and fined $100,000 for failing to follow a court order to lay off debt collection from students who had applied for forgiveness of their student loans to a for-profit college. The students were supposed to be eligible for relief of their debts to schools run by super-fraudy Corinthian Colleges, which went belly-up in 2014.
Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim, in the San Francisco Federal District Court, ordered the Ed department to cough up $100,000, and while we wish it could come out of DeVos's own deep pockets, it will at least go to compensate students screwed over by DeVos and her merry band of fraud enablers, who have been entitled to debt relief since the Education Department under Barack Obama found Corinthian had defrauded them.
The New York Times story on DeVos's utter incompetence -- or outright malice? -- in handling the mess is a jaw-dropper. Almost every paragraph will leave you cursing.
Free school lunch for all: The Rich.
Jonathan Kozol published his landmark exposé of the horrifying gaps in how America funds its public schools, Savage Inequalities, in 1991. That's long enough ago that children born the year it was published have had time to get degrees in education (and accumulate a load of debt), go into teaching, and perhaps become burned out by the very economic and racial inequities Kozol documented, which are still very much with us. In her latest campaign policy proposal, Elizabeth Warren offers a plan to massively overhaul how America funds K-12 public education, to make sure that -- for once -- the kids who start life with the fewest advantages can at least have a shot at an equal education to their peers from wealthier families in "better" neighborhoods. The plan has been getting a lot of attention for its pledge to stop the diversion of public school funds to for-profit schools, but Warren's call for progressively funding public schools is probably far more radical -- and important to get behind, whoever wins the nomination.
Let's just start with this. It is a hell of a thing, and a national disgrace, that in the Year of Our Lord 2019, a presidential candidate even needs to say this:
His pen name may or may not be 'Magus Incognito'.
We can no longer say that Donald Trump has never done anything for us. Why? Because he has given us the gift of appointing one George Mentz to the Commission on Presidential Scholars, a board that selects and honors 161 Presidential Scholars from across the country.
Why is this such a beautiful gift, you ask? Well, I think we all know that anyone Trump appoints is going to be terrible. He does not pick the best people, for anything. He picks the worst people, for everything. And you can be assured that George Mentz is, indeed, also the worst. But he is also a purveyor of some of the most hilarious batshittery I have ever seen in my life — and heck, if everyone Trump is going to appoint to everything is terrible, the least we can ask for is some quality entertainment.
The omissionary position isn't helping.
Congratulations, America! With a giant festering pustule occupying the White House and getting an infectious ooze on everything he touches, America in 2018 achieved a record high number of infections from three sexually transmitted diseases, according to a new report from the US Centers For Disease Control. The CDC reports more than 2.1 million combined cases of gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia! Way to go! Now that the Trump administration's gag rule on family planning funding for groups that so much as mention abortion has led Planned Parenthood to drop out of the Title X program, we can certainly look forward to a quick end to STD outbreaks, as crisis pregnancy centers take up the slack and tell people not to fuck, ever.
I mean, okay.
Joe Biden yesterday released a higher education plan focused on strengthening community colleges, historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority-serving institutions, and workforce training. The central features include making public community college tuition-free to all students enrolled in a two-year program and tweaks to Pell Grant and student loan programs that would make college more affordable.
The Biden plan is decidedly more modest than proposals from Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Julián Castro, who all call for federal support for free tuition at four-year state colleges and universities. Instead, Biden's plan builds on Barack Obama's second-term community college proposal, from around the time Sanders was talking free college for everybody. We were originally planning on saying Biden wants to Make America 2015 Again, but Biden's proposal does have good ideas in it -- and may be more likely to actually get passed. And it is a ton better than what we have now. Let's dig in!
Elizabeth Warren appropriated her pregnancy.
With election season and impeachment both heating up, the (mostly) rightwing bullshit factory is swinging into gear and trying to find stuff that might tarnish Democratic candidates. At the moment, those without too many critical thinking skills are giddily announcing they've caught Elizabeth Warren in a HUGE LIE about having been fired from her first teaching job for being pregnant, because the school never wrote down "Fired for being a pregnant married lady" as the reason for her dismissal. It's bullshit, of course, and for the most part, respectable media outlets aren't buying into the wingnut (and a few unfortunate leftists') gaslighting. But as with the Obama birther conspiracy bullshit, just the existence of the gaslighting campaign makes a debunking necessary. Doing that debunking without reinforcing the bullshit is the trick -- and believers in (mostly) rightwing bullshit are remarkably resistant to mere facts. Which is, not for nothing, why it's taken 40 years to start doing anything about climate change. Worse, some supporters of other Democratic and/or Democrat-caucusing independent candidates are piling on, advancing the rightwing bullshit, because some people never learn.
Yes, it's all incredibly stupid, and relies on deliberately presenting misleading partial information and insisting minor differences in what Warren has said about the firing -- decades later -- constitute a "lie," even when there are no real inconsistencies in her statements. Let's unwind this fucktangle, shall we? We shall.
And how did the school think arresting a six-year-old is a good idea?
A school resource officer in Orlando, Florida, has been suspended after arresting two children at a charter school last Thursday and trying to send them to juvenile detention. One of the kids, a 6-year-old, was cranky after not sleeping well, and had kicked at someone in the school office during a tantrum. (It's not clear yet what the other child, aged 8, supposedly did to deserve also being handcuffed and arrested.) Her grandmother, Meralyn Kirkland, was called and informed the girl would be charged with battery and was on the way to juvie, which is about as America in 2019 as a story can get. No, hold on, it won't be that until Donald Trump praises the cop's quick action to protect the community from a young thug.
And we thought she was just there for the for-profit scam colleges!
Betsy DeVos wants North Carolina students to know what a friend they don't have in Allah. Duke and the objectively superior University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill jointly run a Middle East studies program. The Education Department under DeVos's crackpot leadership contends that the program offers students as "biased curriculum" and has ordered Duke and UNC to remake the program (and reality while they're at it) to present more "positive" images of Christianity and Judaism in the region. If they don't, they risk losing their funding.
This federal intervention into college course content is both rare and fucked up. The Education Department argues the Middle East studies program "violated the standards of a federal program that awards funding to international studies and foreign language programs." We doubt DeVos knows what those standards are or would understand them if you told her. But the fundamentalist Christian won't stand for any perceived anti-Israel bias in higher education.
Leading the charge is
Kenneth L. Marcus. He's Donald Trump's assistant secretary for civil rights in the Education Department, so you know you're getting screwed. The position traditionally confronts racial bias and sexual violence. Marcus has as much use for that as Ben Shapiro does for an item on the top shelf. Marcus is obsessed with what he sees as a rising tide of anti-Semitism on the "campus left." He conflates Jews and Israel, which we personally think is itself anti-Semitic. But so it goes. When working in the George W. Bush administration, Marcus did reinforce protections for Muslims and Sikhs who were discriminated against during that brief period of love and harmony everyone claims happened after 9/11. He's over that phase now. He currently seeks to "delegitimize and defund" Middle East studies programs with "an anti-Israel bias." He probably defines "bias" as recognizing that Israel is populated with human beings who aren't perfect and occasionally make Netanyahu-shaped mistakes.
Trigger warnings, in all senses of the term.
The massacre-prevention group Sandy Hook Promise, founded by parents of some of the kids murdered in Newtown, rolled out an absolutely horrifying public service announcement today. The online ad, titled "Back-To-School Essentials," is a dark twist on back-to-school supplies, featuring kids enjoying the nice things their parents got them for school. In the midst of a school shooting.
Content warning: This one is not something you want to watch if the subject is difficult for you. It's not explicitly gory, but includes sounds and visuals of a dramatized school shooting. You might want to skip the next three paragraphs, too. In fact, those of us who do watch it may decide to have a nice big glass of bourbon and lie down on this nice kitchen floor for an hour or two or all day.
No, nobody else knew what Sean Duffy was talking about either.
The House held hearings yesterday on the student loan crisis that will likely result in a generation dying in debt. You could tell Congress doesn't take the issue that seriously because they let some random MTV reality star participate. We don't mean comedian Hasan Minhaj, who once appeared on MTV's "Disaster Date." His testimony was actually informative. No, "Real World: Boston" alum Sean Duffy, who is still somehow a congressman despite promising us all he was quitting, shared some meritocracy-based nonsense that was stunningly ignorant of reality and current events.
DUFFY: Would you agree that the smarter the kid, the better school they get into? Maybe the less smart the child, the not-so-great school they get into.
An unfrozen caveman congressman could assemble a better sentence. We have no idea what this has to do with the $1.5 trillion in debt that's breaking the backs of students who were reckless enough to get hooked on "education." Our girl Ayanna Pressley literally said, "WOW!" with an eye roll set to kill. She looked at Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as if to say, "You believe this asshole?"
Panelists Ashley Harrington and Persis Yu politely pointed out that everything Duffy just said was bullshit. Harrington is Senior Policy Counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending. Yu is an attorney at the National Consumer Law Center and the director of its Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project. They're only subject matter experts, which is why Duffy dropped a firm "here's the deal" on the ladies. That's what men say when they want their uninformed opinion to trump girly facts and data.
Also there's some inspiring stuff about empowerment, and we just missed the point didn't we?
Michelle Obama took to the Instagrams Thursday to mark the first week of school and something called the "International Day of Charity" that we wouldn't have heard about otherwise. Posting a photo of herself as a little girl, Obama called for greater educational opportunities -- like any at all, in some cases -- for the "more than 98 million adolescent girls around the world" who aren't attending school. Gee, she was promoting the interests of people who need help? Didn't she have any weather forecasts to yell about? There go the Obamas again, making everything about themselves.
Noting that it's easy for Americans to "take our education for granted," the most admired woman in the world said it sure would be nice if girls around the world were so lucky:
Yay for public outcry fixing shit that shouldn't have been broken to start with.
Here's the good-news update to that awful story of Trumplandia in Action! Ismail Ajjawi, the 17-year-old Palestinian refugee kid who was deported from the US in late August after a customs inspector at Logan Airport didn't like things written by Ajjawi's Facebook friends, finally made it back to the USA in time to start classes at Harvard on Tuesday.
The group that sponsored Ajjawi, Amideast,
said in a statement that the United States Embassy in Beirut reviewed Mr. Ajjawi's case and reissued a visa. Harvard officials confirmed that Mr. Ajjawi was on campus.
Ajjawi's attorney, Albert Mokhiber, thanked Harvard and Amideast for all their efforts to get the kid on campus in time for the beginning of classes.
"The anxiety was beyond belief for everybody," Mr. Mokhiber said. "Thank God it all worked out."
Mr. Ajjawi made it to Harvard on Monday in time to appear in his class photo, Mr. Mokhiber said, adding that Mr. Ajjawi was taken aside by Lawrence Bacow, the president of the university.
"I told his dad, the hard part begins today, he's at Harvard, and we had a little chuckle over that," Mr. Mokhiber said.
Hooray for a brief victory for sane people!
Did we mention this was during a lockdown drill? It was during a lockdown drill.
A math teacher at Lakeland Senior High School in Florida is on administrative leave after he explained to his class how he could rack up a "1,000 person body count" if he were ever to decide to do a school shooting, because he's a guy who thinks through all the details. Why, yes, he did outline his excellent ideas while the school was holding a lockdown drill on August 16. You have to pass the time somehow.
The teacher, former Marine Keith Cook, told police his comments about being "the best school shooter" were only a "joke," so we don't see why this is even news. Why is everyone so serious all the time?
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