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Barnard Junior: Obama “Stereotyped, Simplified, and Used” Us.


Looks like Obama’s commencement address didn’t go over well with at least one Barnard student, Ayelet Pearl:

The oppressive and suffocating categorization of women as this uniformly thinking block is even more rampant at a women’s liberal arts college in New York City, where many women do hold similar political viewpoints. Barnard President Debora Spar, in an interview on MSNBC, boldly told the show’s hostess that “they’re [Barnard students] all huge fans [of Obama].”  Is that true? Can the president of Barnard College say, in good faith, that every single one of her students is a fan of President Barack Obama? Are we that unindividual? Or are we just a liberal student body, and, as women, a key component of the Democratic vote? Too often, the assumed answer is yes.

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Massachusetts Bans School Bake Sales


Just when you thought the lefty haven of Massachusetts couldn’t get any more wacky, they come up with something like this:

Bake sales, the calorie-laden standby cash-strapped classrooms, PTAs and booster clubs rely on, will be outlawed from public schools as of Aug. 1 as part of new no-nonsense nutrition standards, forcing fundraisers back to the blackboard to cook up alternative ways to raise money for kids.

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Hero Worship 101: Harvard To Offer “Understanding Obama” Course


More evidence that to the left, Obama is “Sort of God” (as if more were needed):

According to the Harvard Law School course catalog, professor Charles Ogletree will be teaching a reading group called “Understanding Obama” for one classroom credit during the 2013 spring term.

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Professor Obama On Judicial Review


A former student of then-Professor Obama talks about what he was taught:

Imagine if you picked up your morning paper to read that one of your astronomy professors had publicly questioned whether the earth, in fact, revolves around the sun.  Or suppose that one of your economics professors was quoted as saying that consumers would purchase more gasoline if the price would simply rise.  Or maybe your high school math teacher was publicly insisting that 2 + 2 = 5.  You’d be a little embarrassed, right?  You’d worry that your colleagues and friends might begin to question your astronomical, economic, or mathematical literacy.

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Massachusetts School Removes “God” From “God Bless The USA”


Speaking of deep blue Massachusetts, one school has decided to edit Lee Greenwood’s hit song to fit their lefty perceptions of how things should be.

Parents at a Massachusetts elementary school are furious after educators first removed the word ‘God’ from the popular Lee Greenwood song, “God Bless the U.S.A.” and then pulled the song all together from an upcoming concert.

Fox 25 in Boston is reporting that children at Stall Brook Elementary School in Bellingham were told to sing, “We love the U.S.A.” instead of “God Bless the U.S.A.”

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Federal Court Upholds Affirmative Action Ban


Another defeat for those that want to divide Americans by color:

Affirmative action proponents took a hit Monday as California’s ban on using race, ethnicity and gender in admitting students to public colleges and universities was upheld by a federal appeals court panel.

The ruling marked the second time the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals turned back a challenge to the state’s landmark voter initiative, Proposition 209, which was passed in 1996.

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Associated Press Trashes A Third Obama Speech


This is getting to be a habit

It’s a startling statistic on the state of American schools: An estimated 280,000 teaching and other education jobs could be lost in the coming year, according to the White House.

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Wisconsin Teacher’s Union Lays Off Staff


Victory, or perhaps, a necessary weaning off the public trough:

On Monday, the Wisconsin Education Association Council announced it will lay off about 40% of its staff, a change executive director Dan Burkhalter blamed on Mr. Walker’s “union-busting legislation.” In December the union will face another reality check, as 51% of its members must vote to recertify it as their representative. With members no longer captive dues payers, the union has been forced to begin new outreach efforts, including home visits, to sell its relevance to workers.

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Tennessee Democrat Needs To Find A Sense Of Humor


Maybe he could take some of his legislator’s salary and buy one, because he sure doesn’t have one now.

KNOXVILLE – Breath mints packaged in a tin can poking fun at President Barack Obama have been pulled from the shelves at the University of Tennessee bookstore after local legislator Joe Armstrong told store officials he was offended by the mints.

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Harvard Ethics Fellow Hacked Electronic Document Store


What kind of ethics are they teaching at Harvard these days anyway?

BOSTON (AP) — A Harvard University fellow who was studying ethics was charged with hacking into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s computer network to steal nearly 5 million academic articles.

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SCOTUS Says Tax Credits For School Vouchers Constitutional


Good news for school choice fans!

The decision, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy and joined by the court’s more conservative members, preserves Arizona’s school voucher program that is funded by tax credits offered to state taxpayers. Most of the students who use the voucher money attend parochial schools.

Opponents of the Arizona system filed a lawsuit claiming the $500 tax credit violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause that prohibits the government-backed endorsement of religion. The high court in 1968 said taxpayers could bypass the prohibition against lawsuits if they lodge an Establishment Clause claim.

But on Monday the court ruled that taxpayers could not sue based on a generalized First Amendment complaint but rather need to show specific individual harm to get into a courtroom. “The [Arizona] tax credit is not tantamount to a religious tax or to a tithe and does not visit the injury identified in [1968],” Kennedy wrote.

The distinction between a tax credit and an actual tax or appropriation from general income tax revenues was a key factor in the case, with Kennedy writing that “awarding some citizens a tax credit allows other citizens to retain control over their own funds in accordance with their own consciences.”

Cato has a good explanation:

As Andrew Coulson explained in detail earlier, the Court ruled that education tax credits are not government funds, and the plaintiffs therefore have no standing to bring suit in the first place. They were not harmed because none of their money was collected and then disburse by the state.

Sorry, public education unions, you lose again.

Here’s A Radical Idea: Restrict School Superintendents’ Salary To That Of The Governor


And yet that proposal is actually getting pushback:

Everything’s bigger in Texas – so the saying goes. It especially rings true for super-sized public school superintendent salaries in the Lone Star State. The Texas Association of School Boards and the Texas Association of School Administrators are sponsoring the rally on March 30 at the Capitol.

This week, hundreds of school board members and superintendents will rally in Austin opposing any cuts to education funding in Texas.

TASB has said that as many as 100,000 teaching jobs must be cut in order to make up for the $9 billion in proposed state education funding cuts.

We disagree. School districts have ample room to make cuts on spending outside of the classroom, without eliminating teaching positions or short-changing students.

In Texas, 214 superintendents take home an annual salary more than the Governor of Texas, whose salary is set at $150,000 a year. If superintendents in Texas were paid no more than the Governor, schools would save $20 million each biennium.

[...]

Beaumont ISD has less than 20,000 students enrolled in the district, yet is home to the highest-paid superintendent in the state. Dr. Carrol Thomas takes home an annual base salary of $347,834. That is two-and-a-half times more than what the governor of our state earns!

So why should a school superintendent make twice what the governor does? The responsibilities of the governor are far heavier than that of a school superintendent, and that’s not arguable.

But, of course, the usual defenders of pigs in the public trough are trying to keep this common-sense proposal from being enacted, because it would dry up their political warchest.

High Schools Not Clamoring For The President At Graduation


Speaking of Obama being abandoned:

An internal White House memo indicates that the White House is facing a shortage of applications less than a week before the deadline.

The competition was extended from the February 25 deadline until Friday, March 11 after few schools met the original application deadline. CBS News has learned a White House Communications Office internal memo dated February 22 noted “a major issue with the Commencement Challenge.”

“As of yesterday we had received 14 applications and the deadline is Friday,” the memo said. The memo also urged recipients to, “please keep the application number close hold.”

A follow-up memo on February 28 reported receipt of 68 applications. Noting the competition among more than 1,000 schools last year, the memo said, “Something isn’t working.” It called on staffers to ask “friendly congressional, gubernatorial and mayoral offices” to encourage schools to apply.

Seems the youth of America has discovered what hopenchange means to their future, since they’re gonna have to foot the bill for the Obamacrats’ spending spree the last few years.

The Heat Is On In WI


Well, the WI Senate offered their AWOL members one last chance to return by 4pm Wisconsin time today, or they’d be held in contempt. And, well, let’s let WTMJ tell the rest of the story:

The Republican leader of the Wisconsin Senate has signed orders finding 14 AWOL Democrats in contempt. The orders signed Thursday allow the sergeant at arms to detain the missing senators and use police force if necessary.

The Democrats say they are all in Illinois and won’t return.

And today we also learned exactly why the weasels packed up and ran from another local Wisconsin media outlet:

Before protesters stormed the capitol, the mayor of the city of Madison tried to pull a fast one. The governor’s budget repair bill was on the fast track, and Madison Mayor Dave Ciesliewicz was racing against the clock to pass new union contracts first.

E-mails obtained by the FOX6 Investigators show that the mayor enlisted the help of State Senator Mark Miller. They both tried to convince the Secretary of State to hold up the bill by taking the maximum 10 days allowed by law before publishing the bill.

They were trying to buy some time so they could ratify new contracts to protect workers from benefit cuts. Citizens for Responsible Government Rep. Chris Kliesmet says, “This suggests, and this is a harsh word, collusion. There is collusion between some politicians and public sector employee unions. Period.”

Ed Morrissey at HotAir explains why the order of the contract and the bill matter:

To make matters worse, if the state law goes into effect first, the amendments to the agreements will make them null and void under the provisions of the new law. If that happens, all our employees will be subject to the benefit cuts immediately, instead of at the end of the current contract.

In other words, in order to keep the Democrat-union gravy train rolling for at least the length of the current contract, they had to finalize the contract before the law got signed. So the Democrats ran away to keep the law from going into effect, and in the process, they thumbed their nose at the voters of Wisconsin.

Let’s hope the Wisconsin voters return the gesture the next time these Democrats are up for reelection.

More Thuggery… In Idaho!


Okay, now it’s moving out of the midwest:

- On Saturday evening, [Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom] Luna said, he encountered an angry man outside his mother’s house in Nampa. The man reportedly identified himself as a teacher opposed to Luna’s plans to increase class sizes and said he had planned to speak to Luna’s mother. Luna reported the incident to Nampa police.

- Late Monday or early Tuesday, someone slashed two tires on Luna’s vehicle at his Nampa home and spray-painted the word “Luna” with an X through it on the white truck’s passenger door. Nampa police are investigating.

- After Luna reported the vandalism early Tuesday morning, he went to a Downtown Boise coffee shop for an appearance on live morning television. He was approached by a man who loudly called him “a liar and other choice words” before a police officer intervened and calmed the man down, Luna spokeswoman Melissa McGrath said.

Of course, we have no evidence that the teachers or teachers’ unions are behind some of these attacks… except the first one where the miscreant self-identified… but the list of other people that would do this to this particular elected official is pretty darned small.

And the reforms?

Luna’s plan, which is still in the Senate Education Committee, would replace teacher tenure with rolling two-year contracts, force unions to prove they represent 50 percent of the teachers in a district, limit collective bargaining to salaries and benefits and not allow collective bargaining agreements to extend beyond the end of the state fiscal year.

In other words, it’s pretty close to the Wisconsin plan. And for this he–and his mother–get subjected to all this.

At least the Idaho Democrats haven’t snuck across the border to Oregon–the closest Democratic state to Boise–yet.

Those Wonderful Wisconsin Teachers…


…apparently can’t teach basic reading:

Two-thirds of the eighth graders in Wisconsin public schools cannot read proficiently according to the U.S. Department of Education, despite the fact that Wisconsin spends more per pupil in its public schools than any other state in the Midwest.

In the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests administered by the U.S. Department of Education in 2009—the latest year available—only 32 percent of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders earned a “proficient” rating while another 2 percent earned an “advanced” rating. The other 66 percent of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders earned ratings below “proficient,” including 44 percent who earned a rating of “basic” and 22 percent who earned a rating of “below basic.”

The test also showed that the reading abilities of Wisconsin public-school eighth graders had not improved at all between 1998 and 2009 despite a significant inflation-adjusted increase in the amount of money Wisconsin public schools spent per pupil each year.

And these are the people that are supposed to be so essential to Wisconsin’s success that they can’t have their precious union privileges (not rights, privileges) even slightly curtailed by Governor Walker?

And I Thought Crosshairs On Political Things Was Bad


I guess not when you’re a teacher’s union protesting a Republican governor, to wit, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin:


I eagerly await all the lefties that denounced Sarah Palin’s map with crosshairs also denouncing this sign.

But holding my breath, I am not.

Union Fires Employee–For Trying To Form A Union!


Hypocrisy alert!

Jim Callaghan, a veteran writer for the teachers union, told The [New York] Post he was booted from his $100,000-a-year job just two months after he informed UFT President Michael Mulgrew that he was trying to unionize some of his co-workers.

“I was fired for trying to start a union at the UFT,” said a dumbfounded Callaghan, who worked for the union’s newsletter and as a speechwriter for union leaders for the past 13 years.

Callaghan said he personally told Mulgrew on June 9 about his intention to try to organize nonunionized workers at UFT headquarters.

“I told him I want to have the same rights that teachers have,” said Callaghan, 63, of Staten Island. “He told me he didn’t want that, that he wanted to be able to fire whoever he wanted to.”

The UFT has long strenuously resisted city efforts to make it easier for school administrators to fire teachers.

“This is the exact antithesis of what they preach, and Michael Mulgrew is the biggest hypocrite out there,” Callaghan fumed.

[...]

Callaghan said that yesterday morning, he was hauled into a meeting with UFT officials, including CFO David Hickey, and told only that he was being fired from his job and had a half-hour to clear out of the office.

“They gave me no reason, no letter, no cause at all,” said Callaghan, who insisted that he has received no reprimands or notices about problems with his work. He noted that he wrote six stories in the most recent newsletter for teachers.

Callaghan said the union-busting bullying continued after he was told he was fired, when UFT leaders called in a detail of six uniformed cops to remove him from his office because he wasn’t leaving fast enough.

Callaghan said he decided to unionize the 12 UFT writers after a colleague was fired last year without cause.

“We have no protections and no disciplinary process,” he said.

When even unions resist employees forming a union, it sure looks like the era of unions is coming to a close.

H/T: The one and only Instapundit.

Teacher’s Union Boss Prays For Death Of Governor


The next time some lefty tells you we need to move away from acrimony, ask them to condemn Joe Coppola and the Bergen County (NJ) Education Association for this memo:

The Bergen County Education Association sent out the combative memo to supporters this week. It closes with a mock prayer that reads:

“Dear Lord … this year you have taken away my favorite actor, Patrick Swayze, my favorite actress, Farrah Fawcett, my favorite singer, Michael Jackson, and my favorite salesman Billy Mays…. I just wanted to let you know that Chris Christie is my favorite governor.”

Christie reponded to the fake prayer at a news conference in New Brunswick Friday.

“To have the leader of the union send out an email to 17,000 members to tell them to pray for my death just goes beyond the pale,” Christie said.

When the death wish joke became public, the union backpeddled.

“Obviously, it’s inappropriate. I would never wish anybody dead,” said Joe Coppola, who is President of the BCEA. Coppola signed the firey memo which also encourages union members to “get some dirt” and “go public” with attacks on Christie and the state’s Education Commissioner, Bret Schundler.

Any lefties here wanna try to defend this?

Union leaders emphasized that the fake prayer was a joke and was never intended to be made public. Christie wasn’t convinced.

“So private prayer for my death would have been okay, but public prayer for my death would have been wrong,” he quipped.

Come on, lefties… explain this away.

Hat Tip: Weekly Standard

Excuse Me, What Does The US Department Of Education Need 12-Gauge Shotguns For?


Weasel Zippers has the story. Apparently the Department of Education (ED) is trying to lay their hands on 27 such shotguns before 22 March.

Just one question: What the blazes are they gonna use them for?

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