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The Education Thread
The Governor of Alaska has announced a 41% budget cut for the University of Alaska system:

Quote:This essay may appear to be on the far edge of my journalistic "swim lane" of weather and climate, but I promise you there is a connection. While browsing social media this morning, I stumbled upon a letter to the University of Alaska community dated June 28th by University of Alaska President James Johnsen. He was conveying that Governor Mike Dunleavy's budget veto combined with previous cuts by the Legislature will result in a 41% budget cut to the state's university system. A particularly urgent warning within the letter stated that without an override, the system faces an "institutional and reputational blow" that may cause permanent and irreparable damage. While this language may sound inflated and harsh, it is a reality. The reach of universities extends beyond the campus, and such cuts could severely impact the education of students, important research, and service to the state of Alaska (and beyond).


Quote:As budget models continue to shift in all states, universities most aggressively share the narrative of how academic institutions benefit citizens even if they never step foot on the campus. We must be wary of ivory tower aloofness and engage.

Universities in Alaska certainly take on similar roles. According to a presentation from the Anchorage Economic Development Corporation's Alaska Common Ground meeting (found here):

- the University of Alaska system provided $714 million (directly) and $402 million (indirectly) to the statewide economy (year 2012 numbers)
- Alaska businesses rely on local talent from University of Alaska for their workforce needs as studies show that 68% of two-year graduates and 42% of four-year graduates remain in the state.
- University of Alaska-Anchorage alone generated $40.2 million in research dollars in fiscal year 2016

It is clear that a 41% cut places all of these things at risk. It also threatens university leadership in serving the energy, seafood, natural resources, health, transportation and education sectors of the region. Candidly, gutting higher education will not be an effective tool for recruiting bright new talent and industries to the state either. In fact, it probably belongs on "a top 5 list" of how not to attract new people to the state.
Since busing is becoming a big part of the Democratic primary discussion, here's a good article:

Quote:Two miles from my office in Syracuse, N.Y., Westside Academy Middle School has been in need of repairs for decades. Located in one of the nation’s poorest census tracts, 85 percent of its students are black or Latino, and 86 percent are poor enough to qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. The 400 students have limited creative outlets, with no orchestra or band and just two music teachers.

Ten miles away, Wellwood Middle School, in a suburban district, offers students a stately auditorium and well-equipped technology rooms. There, 88 percent of the students are white and only 10 percent qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. The 700 students have at least five music teachers, band, orchestra, choir, musical theater and dozens of other clubs and activities.

Fifty percent of Wellwood’s eighth graders passed the state math assessment. At Westwood, none did. The disparate student outcomes are no surprise.

Since the Reagan administration’s “A Nation at Risk” report pronounced that schools across the country were failing, every president has touted a new plan to close the racial academic achievement gap: President Obama installed Race to the Top; George W. Bush had No Child Left Behind; and Clinton pushed Goals 2000. The nation has commissioned studies, held conferences and engaged in endless public lamentation over how to get poor students and children of color to achieve at the level of wealthy white students — as if how to close this opportunity gap was a mystery. But we forget that we’ve done it before. Racial achievement gaps were narrowest at the height of school integration.

U.S. schools have become more segregated since 1990, and students in major metropolitan areas have been most severely divided by race and income, according to the University of California at Los Angeles’s Civil Rights Project. Racially homogenous neighborhoods that resulted from historic housing practices such as red-lining have driven school segregation. The problem is worst in the Northeast — the region that, in many ways, never desegregated — where students face some of the largest academic achievement gaps: in Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.

More than 60 years after Brown v. Board of Education, federal education policies still implicitly accept the myth of “separate but equal,” by attempting to improve student outcomes without integrating schools. Policymakers have tried creating national standards, encouraging charter schools, implementing high-stakes teacher evaluations and tying testing to school sanctions and funding. These efforts sought to make separate schools better but not less segregated. Ending achievement and opportunity gaps requires implementing a variety of desegregation methods – busing, magnet schools, or merging school districts, for instance – to create a more just public education system that successfully educates all children.

Public radio’s “This American Life” reminded us of this reality in a two-part report this summer, called “The Problem We All Live With.” The program noted that, despite declarations that busing to desegregate schools failed in the 1970s and 1980s, that era actually saw significant improvement in educational equity. When the National Assessment of Educational Progress began in the early 1970s, there was a 53-point gap in reading scores between black and white 17-year-olds. That chasm narrowed to 20 points by 1988. During that time, every region of the country except the Northeast saw steady gains in school integration. In the South in 1968, 78 percent of black children attended schools with almost exclusively minority students; by 1988, only 24 percent did. In the West during that period, the figure declined from 51 percent to 29 percent.

But since 1988, when education policy shifted away from desegregation efforts, the reading test score gap has grown — to 26 points in 2012 — with segregated schooling increasing in every region of the country.
A Tennessee lawmaker says the state House speaker attempted to buy his vote on a school vouchers bill by promising to promote him to the rank of general in the Tennessee National Guard:

Quote:A veteran Tennessee state representative says he rejected an effort by House Speaker Glen Casada to "buy" his vote on the controversial school vouchers legislation proposed by Gov. Bill Lee.

Rep. John Mark Windle, D-Livingston, confirmed information obtained by NewsChannel 5 Investigates that another lawmaker had overheard Casada suggesting that - in exchange for his vote - Windle could promoted to the rank of general in the Tennessee National Guard.

Windle, an Iraq war veteran, currently serves a colonel.

"In response to your question, your characterization of the conversation is correct," Windle said in a written statement.

"I voted against the bill as a matter of principle, and that vote decision did not change. The people of Fentress, Jackson, Morgan, and Overton counties are fiercely independent, and their vote is not for sale."

Windle said that, "after the vote, as a former prosecutor, I sought the guidance of Tennessee ethics authorities and followed their recommendations."

It is not clear what those recommendations were, and Windle did not elaborate.
Chicago Public Schools has to step it up in various ways regarding sex education:
Both parents and schools need to step it up in regards to sex education. Because I can tell you most kids these days are getting it through a mixture of movies and porn. And since Porn is so very much filmed almost exclusively for the men's pleasure, and don't adequately deal with consent, there's a lot of guys think sex is only about putting it in and that's that.
"Why did she do it?"
"Why are you the fucking Police?"

Breitbart unearthed some old tweets from Jamie R. Riley, the assistant vice president and dean of students for the University of Alabama, that linked police to racism.

He resigned:

Quote:Jamie R. Riley, the University of Alabama’s assistant vice president and dean of students, resigned from his position on Thursday after less than seven months on the job, UA officials confirmed. 

His resignation comes a day after Breitbart News published an article detailing images of past tweets from Riley, in which he criticized the American flag and made a connection between police and racism.

Jackson Fuentes, press secretary for the UA Student Government Association, confirmed at 4:15 p.m. that Riley is no longer working at the University. 

“For us right now, basically all I can tell you is that the University and Dr. Riley have mutually agreed to part ways,” Fuentes said. “So yeah, that’s true, and we do wish him the best.” 
Even Reason is defending Mr. Riley:

Quote:Fainting-couch conservatism strikes again: A University of Alabama dean of students is out of a job after conservative media dug up some of his old tweets.

Jamie Riley had dared to criticize the American flag and the police, writing in 2017 that they represent "a systemic history of racism for my people."

Breitbart decided that this and other tweets of Riley's merited an article. Reporter Kyle Morris wrote that "a series of resurfaced tweets from Dr. Jamie R. Riley, the University of Alabama's assistant vice president and dean of students, show he once believed the American flag and police in America are racist." But the tweets didn't just resurface on their own—they were publicized by the right-wing news site in order to send a social media mob after Riley.

Just 24 hours later, Riley lost his job


Quote:It seems clear that it was bad publicity from Breitbart that got Riley terminated. This was an entirely foreseeable consequence of writing such an article.

Many pundits on the right constantly inveigh against cancel culture: the drive to shame, punish, and ultimately destroy people for having said something trivially offensive at some point. Comedian Dave Chapelle torched cancel culture in his recent Netflix special, and conservatives applauded. The clip of Chapelle scornfully imitating cancellers has been all over right-leaning media for the last two weeks.

I very much agree that cancel culture is bad. (In fact, it's one of the main themes of my book.) But as long as the right is perfectly willing to enforce its own version of political correctness, it is difficult to to believe that they really agree in principle that you shouldn't do this kind of thing. If you only defend the cancelled when you agree with them, then you're not actually against cancelling. You're just protecting your tribe.

Conservatives, please condemn Breitbart for this hit job and demand the immediate reinstatement of James Riley.

For the record, there's a big difference between "cancelling" a racist asshole or misogynistic jerk than a person of color having opinions that might rile up conservatives.
There's not really that big of a difference, though. If an employer isn't violating a contract, they're free to fire someone for whatever reason they want to stand for.

It's just that in this case, the U of Alabama is proudly standing for racism.

I'm just surprised they had time to fire him while preparing for that Hurricane their glorious leader warned them about.
Gamertag: Tweakee
The inquiry into a Middle East studies program at Duke and UNC was part of a far-reaching investigation by the Education Department.  Under Betsy DeVos, the department has become increasingly aggressive in going after perceived anti-Israel bias in higher education:

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