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UVA Sullivan sends Greek life to time out until Jan. 9

November 23rd, 2014 8 comments

Her decision will not be popular. UVA President Teresa Sullivan has banned fraternities and sororities at UVA until Jan. 9. No one is quite sure what “Ban” means at this point. For now, all we can do is speculate. Since students live in fraternities and sororities, it would be fairly difficult to re-house all of them. However, Sullivan can and should shut down all social activities until January 9.

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UVA assaults: A national disgrace

November 22nd, 2014 38 comments

phi psi 2

Washingtonpost.com:

The harrowing account of a gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house described in a new Rolling Stone article roiled the campus Friday, with students, faculty members and parents questioning the administration’s response to the allegations.

The article, in the pop culture magazine’s December issue and posted online this week, describes a brutal sex assault that allegedly occurred in the Phi Kappa Psi house in 2012. The victim, who is given an alias in the article, said a member of the fraternity led her upstairs during a party and took her to a dark room, where numerous men pinned her to the floor and attacked her.

The victim later describes a underwhelming response from university officials, whom she contacted about the attack, according to Rolling Stone. She did not file a police report.

After the story appeared online, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) called for the university to begin a thorough investigation into the matter, and Charlottesville police said they are investigating the allegations at the request of the university’s president, Teresa Sullivan.

U-Va. Vice President Patricia Lampkin said the article has “deeply affected” the university community.

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N.Y. Teacher sues over evaluation

November 2nd, 2014 7 comments

Washingtonpost.com:

Sheri G. Lederman has been teaching for 17 years as a fourth-grade teacher  in New York’s Great Neck Public School district. Her students consistently  outperform state averages on math and English standardized tests, and  Thomas Dolan, the superintendent of Great Neck schools, signed an affidavit saying “her record is flawless” and that “she is highly regarded as an educator.”

Yet somehow, when Lederman received her 2013-14 evaluation, which is based in part on student standardized test scores, she was rated as “ineffective.” Now she has sued state officials over the method they used to make this determination in an action that could affect New York’s controversial teacher evaluation system.

How is it that a teacher known for excellence could be rated “ineffective”?

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Major cheating at UNC: NO Class

October 23rd, 2014 10 comments

no class unc

According to businessweek.com:

The University of North Carolina on Wednesday admitted its academic-fraud-for-athletes scandal was worse than the public has previously been told. That’s saying something. After all, the practice at Chapel Hill of steering football and basketball players into fake classes had already made North Carolina the epicenter of a national debate about the corrupting effects of the $16 billion college athletics industry.

Several considerations regarding this widespread

1.  The deceit was widespread and aimed at keeping athletes eligible. For years, UNC officials have resisted the obvious indications that academics were compromised to promote sports. That resistance has finally collapsed. The latest in a series of university-sponsored investigations revealed that over 18 years—from 1993 through 2011—some 3,100 students took “paper classes” with no faculty oversight and no actual class attendance. Almost half the students enrolled in the phony courses were athletes. Many of the basketball and football players “were directed to the classes by academic counselors” assigned to advise athletes, UNC said in a written statement. “These counselors saw the paper classes and the artificially high grades they yielded as key to helping some student-athletes remain eligible.”

In other words, to keep members of UNC’s top-rated basketball team on the court, professional “counselors” encouraged flat-out academic fraud.
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Pete Candland Attempts to Retread the Immigration Issue

October 14th, 2014 33 comments

Dear Pete,

I would never have guessed that you too would have fallen so quickly into using children to propel you into the “immigration” spotlight.  I realize that you were probably not paying attention back in 2007 when this now, recycled tactic, was originally used and abused.

So allow me to take this public opportunity to educate you.  Back in 2007 John Stirrup, along with Corey, focused much of their attention on the “invasion” of children from South America into our public schools system.  They also wanted reimbursement for the supposed “free” education.  Only here is the problem, it wasn’t free (if you live in the county, in a house or apartment)there is a real estate tax being paid on that dwelling.  In case you weren’t aware, THAT is what pays for our schools.

Also, now pay attention, this is another critical piece of information, there is this pesky Supreme Court ruling, Plyler v Doe.  We HAVE to educate all children, I know, so irritating, but hey, I guess we could live in Afghanistan where no one has to be educated.

HHS is providing funds to house and educate these kids while we determine if sending them back home is a death sentence.  It may be, ultimately, this is the critical difference between you and me, you see, I see them as refugees.

You can’t claim “compassion” for children and yet have your actions be self-serving while possibly inciting another chapter of Help Save Manassas.

You are going down a dangerous moral path,  my friend, and I sincerely hope you rethink this journey you have chosen to embark upon.

 

Limiting classroom discussion: Censorship or prudence?

August 29th, 2014 3 comments

Washingtonpost.com:

 

The superintendent of a school district in Illinois has issued a directive banning any discussion in classrooms of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teen killed Aug. 9 by a white police officer, or the civil unrest that followed in Ferguson, Mo.

KMOX-TV reports that Superintendent Ed Hightower of Edwardsville District 7 Schools made the decision after some parents complained that some teachers were expressing personal opinions during discussions with students in their classrooms. The station report says:

Superintendent Ed Hightower says normally there would be an open discussion of current events.

“However, this situation in Ferguson-Florissant has become a situation whereby there are so many facts that are unknown,” he says.

He says teachers have been told not to discuss it and if students bring it up, they should change the subject.

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Maybe principals should not have degrees…..?????

August 13th, 2014 10 comments

Washingtonpost.com:

Robin Anthony Toogood II was an admired educator, the kind of principal who inspires loyalty among other teachers for his compassion and positive attitude. To his students, he was a role model who commanded respect, a leader who handled discipline infractions with a gentle hand.

But according to local schools officials, Toogood harbored a secret throughout his 15-year career in Maryland, D.C. and Virginia schools: Although he claimed to be highly educated — saying he had a doctorate — in reality he was a college dropout.

Former colleagues said they were surprised that Toogood appears to have repeatedly landed teaching and administrative jobs while providing fake or embellished credentials, as Virginia education officials have alleged. Those who worked with him said Toogood was known for his gregarious charm, warm smile and innate leadership qualities.

“He would have been the last person you would have ever expected to lie,” said Katie Holland, a former substitute teacher at St. Michael the Archangel, a Catholic elementary school in Silver Spring where Toogood worked as an assistant principal during the 2007-2008 school year.

You know, this sort of thing probably goes on more frequently than we know about.  Granted, it takes real cajones to pull off an educational heist such as this one but there is a valuable lesson to be learned here.  Listen to how Mr. Toogood is described.  He sounds like the ideal principal, doesn’t he?

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School board considers scrapping 11th grade writing project

June 6th, 2014 12 comments

Let’s see what Calvin has to say about writing:

calvin-writing2

Bristowbeat.com:

If the School Board approves, 11th grade students in Prince William County schools will no longer be required to submit and pass a formal research paper as a requirement for graduation.

School Board members heard arguments from teachers and administrators Wednesday night as to whether they should delete Regulation 600-1, which dictates the research paper requirement.

Supervisor of Language Arts Roberta Apostolakis said she believes deleting the graduation requirement and allowing for more writing within the curriculum would “absolutely strengthen” writing within language arts classes.

In her presentation, Roberta Apostolakis emphasized that the rigorous research-based writing, which is embedded throughout the K-12 curricula and the evidence collected throughout a student’s career, exceeds one “narrowly defined assignment.” She asked that the School Board approve making the English 11 research paper “an embedded part of the English curriculum rather than a separate graduation requirement.”

According to Apostolakis, the research paper took too much time out of the 11th grade curriculum, was weighted too heavily and did not vary the assignment to the level of the student.

No kidding.  From a parent point of view, this requirement is worse than a science fair project on steroids.  In fact, I would venture to say the graduation requirement is tantamount to child abuse.  Can we start with the notion that not everyone is going to college?

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55 Colleges under scrutiny for handling of sexual violence intestigations

May 2nd, 2014 5 comments

no

Washingtonpost.com:

The release Thursday of a federal list of 55 colleges with open “sexual violence investigations” underscores that the twin problem of how to prevent and respond to sex assaults on campus has become a national question, touching schools from elite privates to large publics to small regional schools.

The list from the Education Department continues the Obama administration’s push to shine a spotlight on sex assault in response to questions raised in recent years about how prominent colleges have handled rape allegations and related issues. This week, a White House task force released a report aiming to help colleges prevent sex assaults.

There were four schools listed from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia: Catholic University of America, Frostburg State University, the College of William and Mary and the University of Virginia.
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Loudoun County suffer school money woes–face sex ed cuts

April 22nd, 2014 1 comment

Washingtonpost.com:

Budget cuts being considered by the Loudoun County School Board this week are far-reaching. They could affect class size, foreign language offerings and the availability of full-day kindergarten.

They could also affect sex education.

The county has 19 specially trained Family Life educators who could lose their positions, as the board tries to reconcile a $38 million gap between its proposed budget and what county supervisors appropriated this month.

 

In many Virginia counties, trained health and physical education teachers cover the state Family Life Education standards, which include lessons about healthy families and relationships, as well as human reproduction and sexuality. In Loudoun, Family Life teachers who specialize in the curriculum, which was adopted in 1990, rotate among schools.

LeGrys said that the Loudoun program is often considered a model in the state. Parents are able to have their children opt out of classes addressing sensitive topics, but only about 2 percent do, LeGrys said, indicating a high level of trust in the county’s program.

Some Family Life Education teachers have addressed the board during budget hearings to stress the benefits of having specialized teachers leading sensitive discussions. The teachers have helped identify children who are victims of sexual abuse, and the county’s teenage pregnancy rate has plummeted over the past 20 years, they said.

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