Author Topic: The Politics of Education  (Read 5634 times)

Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Politics of Education
« Reply #50 on: December 26, 2023, 08:00:46 AM »
Tangent:  I saw a meme hypothesizing that Gay is the outcome of Obama going tranz.

DougMacG

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Re: The Politics of Education
« Reply #51 on: December 26, 2023, 08:12:24 AM »
Tangent:  I saw a meme hypothesizing that Gay is the outcome of Obama going tranz.

Academically, I can't believe they tolerate the blatant plagiarism in a place like that, even if they accept anti-Semitism and genocide speech.

Mentioned before, I think Poison Ivy is a permanent label for woke elite education.

The whole thing reminds me of Yassir Arafat, and even Barack Obama, winning the Nobel Peace Prize, NYT and Wash Post winning Pulitzer Prize for a long series of false narratives, Taylor Swift is 'Man' of the Year.  What was once prestigious and revered is becoming less than worthless, a contrary indicator.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Politics of Education
« Reply #52 on: December 26, 2023, 09:28:55 AM »
I used to be proud of the prestige of an Ivy League education. (Penn, Columbia) but that faded years ago.  Now, with "Poison Ivy League" I have a name for it.

Body-by-Guinness

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Re: The Politics of Education
« Reply #53 on: December 26, 2023, 11:05:56 AM »
data again in question.  Agree BBG, very suspicious

when someone refuses to share the data something is rotten .

numbers on a page by themselves mean little.

look at government data  :wink:

The crazy part is how these nitwits SPRINT to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Without consistency, transparency, replicability, et al higher ed has no product to sell. And these idiots have proven willing to chuck it ALL to preserve a third rate scholar who isn’t even competent enough to cover her tracks.

This abject embrace of and shade thrown at unabashed failure will have consequences. Perverse incentives beget unexpected outcomes. It’s gonna be fun to see what those outcomes are, upon whom they land, and how hard the deserving get smacked for so poorly playing the game.

DougMacG

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Politics of Education, Obama intervened
« Reply #54 on: December 30, 2023, 12:32:39 PM »
https://dailycaller.com/2023/12/22/barack-obama-harvard-claudine-gay/#:~:text=Former%20President%20Barack%20Obama%20reportedly,faced%20calls%20to%20step%20down.

Obama, no longer in politics ha intervened to save the president at Harvard, allegedly. I wonder if it was because of his support of anti-Semitism or because of his support of plagiarism.

Sorry to keep ripping Poison Ivy, I'm not happy with my alma mater either.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2023, 10:16:29 PM by DougMacG »

Body-by-Guinness

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Perspective of an Educational Train Wreck
« Reply #55 on: January 03, 2024, 12:23:57 PM »
A fine deconstruction of the whole Gay/Harvard mess:


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Conversation

Bill Ackman
@BillAckman
In light of today’s news, I thought I would try to take a step back and provide perspective on what this is really all about.

I first became concerned about @Harvard when 34 Harvard student organizations, early on the morning of October 8th before Israel had taken any military actions in Gaza, came out publicly in support of Hamas, a globally recognized terrorist organization, holding Israel ‘solely responsible’ for Hamas’ barbaric and heinous acts.

How could this be? I wondered.

When I saw President Gay’s initial statement about the massacre, it provided more context (!) for the student groups’ statement of support for terrorism. The protests began as pro-Palestine and then became anti-Israel.  Shortly, thereafter, antisemitism exploded on campus as protesters who violated Harvard’s own codes of conduct were emboldened by the lack of enforcement of Harvard’s rules, and kept testing the limits on how aggressive, intimidating, and disruptive they could be to Jewish and Israeli students, and the student body at large. Sadly, antisemitism remains a simmering source of hate even at our best universities among a subset of students.

A few weeks later, I went up to campus to see things with my own eyes, and listen and learn from students and faculty. I met with 15 or so members of the faculty and a few hundred students in small and large settings, and a clearer picture began to emerge.

I ultimately concluded that antisemitism was not the core of the problem, it was simply a troubling warning sign – it was the “canary in the coal mine” – despite how destructive it was in impacting student life and learning on campus. 

I came to learn that the root cause of antisemitism at Harvard was an ideology that had been promulgated on campus, an oppressor/oppressed framework, that provided the intellectual bulwark behind the protests, helping to generate anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hate speech and harassment.

Then I did more research. The more I learned, the more concerned I became, and the more ignorant I realized I had been about DEI, a powerful movement that has not only pervaded Harvard, but the educational system at large. I came to understand that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion was not what I had naively thought these words meant.

I have always believed that diversity is an important feature of a successful organization, but by diversity I mean diversity in its broadest form: diversity of viewpoints, politics, ethnicity, race, age, religion, experience, socioeconomic background, sexual identity, gender, one’s upbringing, and more.

What I learned, however, was that DEI was not about diversity in its purest form, but rather DEI was a political advocacy movement on behalf of certain groups that are deemed oppressed under DEI’s own methodology.

Under DEI, one’s degree of oppression is determined based upon where one resides on a so-called intersectional pyramid of oppression where whites, Jews, and Asians are deemed oppressors, and a subset of people of color, LGBTQ people, and/or women are deemed to be oppressed. Under this ideology which is the philosophical underpinning of DEI as advanced by Ibram X. Kendi and others, one is either an anti-racist or a racist. There is no such thing as being “not racist.”

Under DEI’s ideology, any policy, program, educational system, economic system, grading system, admission policy, (and even climate change due its disparate impact on geographies and the people that live there), etc. that leads to unequal outcomes among people of different skin colors is deemed racist.

As a result, according to DEI, capitalism is racist, Advanced Placement exams are racist, IQ tests are racist, corporations are racist, or in other words, any merit-based program, system, or organization which has or generates outcomes for different races that are at variance with the proportion these different races represent in the population at large is by definition racist under DEI’s ideology.

In order to be deemed anti-racist, one must personally take action to reverse any unequal outcomes in society. The DEI movement, which has permeated many universities, corporations, and state, local and federal governments, is designed to be the anti-racist engine to transform society from its currently structurally racist state to an anti-racist one.

After the death of George Floyd, the already burgeoning DEI movement took off without any real challenge to its problematic ideology. Why, you might ask, was there so little pushback? The answer is that anyone who dared to raise a question which challenged DEI was deemed a racist, a label which could severely impact one’s employment, social status, reputation and more. Being called a racist got people cancelled, so those concerned about DEI and its societal and legal implications had no choice but to keep quiet in this new climate of fear.

The techniques that DEI has used to squelch the opposition are found in the Red Scares and McCarthyism of decades past. If you challenge DEI, “justice” will be swift, and you may find yourself unemployed, shunned by colleagues, cancelled, and/or you will otherwise put your career and acceptance in society at risk.

The DEI movement has also taken control of speech. Certain speech is no longer permitted. So-called “microaggressions” are treated like hate speech. “Trigger warnings” are required to protect students. “Safe spaces” are necessary to protect students from the trauma inflicted by words that are challenging to the students’ newly-acquired world views. Campus speakers and faculty with unapproved views are shouted down, shunned, and cancelled.

These speech codes have led to self-censorship by students and faculty of views privately held, but no longer shared. There is no commitment to free expression at Harvard other than for DEI-approved views. This has led to the quashing of conservative and other viewpoints from the Harvard campus and faculty, and contributed to Harvard’s having the lowest free speech ranking of 248 universities assessed by the Foundation of Individual Rights and Expression.

When one examines DEI and its ideological heritage, it does not take long to understand that the movement is inherently inconsistent with basic American values. Our country since its founding has been about creating and building a democracy with equality of opportunity for all. Millions of people have left behind socialism and communism to come to America to start again, as they have seen the destruction leveled by an equality of outcome society.

The E for “equity” in DEI is about equality of outcome, not equality of opportunity.

DEI is racist because reverse racism is racism, even if it is against white people (and it is remarkable that I even need to point this out). Racism against white people has become considered acceptable by many not to be racism, or alternatively, it is deemed acceptable racism. While this is, of course, absurd, it has become the prevailing view in many universities around the country.

You can say things about white people today in universities, in business or otherwise, that if you switched the word ‘white’ to ‘black,’ the consequences to you would be costly and severe.

To state what should otherwise be self-evident, whether or not a statement is racist should not depend upon whether the target of the racism is a group who currently represents a majority or minority of the country or those who have a lighter or darker skin color. Racism against whites is as reprehensible as it is against groups with darker skin colors.

Martin Luther King’s most famous words are instructive:

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

But here we are in 2024, being asked and in some cases required to use skin color to effect outcomes in admissions (recently deemed illegal by the Supreme Court), in business (likely illegal yet it happens nonetheless) and in government (also I believe in most cases to be illegal, except apparently in government contracting), rather than the content of one’s character. As such, a meritocracy is an anathema to the DEI movement. DEI is inherently a racist and illegal movement in its implementation even if it purports to work on behalf of the so-called oppressed.

And DEI’s definition of oppressed is fundamentally flawed.

I have always believed that the most fortunate should help the least fortunate, and that our system should be designed in such a way as to maximize the size of the overall pie so that it will enable us to provide an economic system which can offer quality of life, education, housing, and healthcare for all.

America is a rich country and we have made massive progress over the decades toward achieving this goal, but we obviously have much more work to do. Steps taken on the path to socialism – another word for an equality of outcome system – will reverse this progress and ultimately impoverish us all. We have seen this movie many times.

Having a darker skin color, a less common sexual identity, and/or being a woman doesn’t make one necessarily oppressed or even disadvantaged. While slavery remains a permanent stain on our country’s history – a fact which is used by DEI to label white people as oppressors – it doesn’t therefore hold that all white people generations after the abolishment of slavery should be held responsible for its evils. Similarly, the fact that Columbus discovered America doesn’t make all modern-day Italians colonialists.

An ideology that portrays a bicameral world of oppressors and the oppressed based principally on race or sexual identity is a fundamentally racist ideology that will likely lead to more racism rather than less. A system where one obtains advantages by virtue of one’s skin color is a racist system, and one that will generate resentment and anger among the un-advantaged who will direct their anger at the favored groups.

The country has seen burgeoning resentment and anger grow materially over the last few years, and the DEI movement is an important contributor to our growing divisiveness. Resentment is one of the most important drivers of racism. And it is the lack of equity, i.e, fairness, in how DEI operates, that contributes to this resentment.

I was accused of being a racist from the President of the NAACP among others when I posted on
@X
 that I had learned that the Harvard President search process excluded candidates that did not meet the DEI criteria. I didn’t say that former President Gay was hired because she was a black woman. I simply said that I had heard that the search process by its design excluded a large percentage of potential candidates due to the DEI limitations. My statement was not a racist one. It was simply the empirical truth about the Harvard search process that led to Gay’s hiring.

When former President Gay was hired, I knew little about her, but I was instinctually happy for Harvard and the black community. Every minority community likes to see their representatives recognized in important leadership positions, and it is therefore an important moment for celebration. I too celebrated this achievement.  I am inspired and moved by others’ success, and I thought of Gay’s hiring at the pinnacle leadership position at perhaps our most important and iconic university as an important and significant milestone for the black community.

I have spent the majority of my life advocating on behalf of and supporting members of disadvantaged communities including by investing several hundreds of millions of dollars of philanthropic assets to help communities in need with economic development, sensible criminal justice reform, poverty reduction, healthcare, education, workforce housing, charter schools, and more.

I have done the same at Pershing Square Capital Management when, for example, we completed one of the largest IPOs ever with the substantive assistance of a number of minority-owned, women-owned, and Veteran-owned investment banks. Prior to the Pershing Square Tontine, Ltd. IPO, it was standard practice for big corporations occasionally to name a few minority-owned banks in their equity and bond offerings, have these banks do no work and sell only a de minimis amount of stock or bonds, and allocate to them only 1% or less of the underwriting fees so that the issuers could virtue signal that they were helping minority communities.

In our IPO, we invited the smaller banks into the deal from the beginning of the process so they could add real value. As a result, the Tontine IPO was one of the largest and most successful IPOs in history with $12 billion of demand for a $4 billion deal by the second day of the IPO, when we closed the books. The small banks earned their 20% share of the fees for delivering real and substantive value and for selling their share of the stock.

Compare this approach to the traditional one where the small banks do effectively nothing to earn their fees – they aren’t given that opportunity – yet, they get a cut of the deal, albeit a tiny one. The traditional approach does not create value for anyone. It only creates resentment, and an uncomfortable feeling from the small banks who get a tiny piece of the deal in a particularly bad form of affirmative action.

While I don’t think our approach to working with the smaller banks has yet achieved the significant traction it deserves, it will hopefully happen eventually as the smaller banks build their competencies and continue to earn their fees, and other issuers see the merit of this approach. We are going to need assistance with a large IPO soon so we are looking forward to working with our favored smaller banks.

I have always believed in giving disadvantaged groups a helping hand. I signed the Giving Pledge for this reason. My life plan by the time I was 18 was to be successful and then return the favor to those less fortunate. This always seemed to the right thing to do, in particular, for someone as fortunate as I am.

All of the above said, it is one thing to give disadvantaged people the opportunities and resources so that they can help themselves. It is another to select a candidate for admission or for a leadership role when they are not qualified to serve in that role.

This appears to have been the case with former President Gay’s selection. She did not possess the leadership skills to serve as Harvard’s president, putting aside any questions about her academic credentials. This became apparent shortly after October 7th, but there were many signs before then when she was Dean of the faculty.

The result was a disaster for Harvard and for Claudine Gay.

The Harvard board should not have run a search process which had a predetermined objective of only hiring a DEI-approved candidate. In any case, there are many incredibly talented black men and women who could have been selected by Harvard to serve as its president so why did the Harvard Corporation board choose Gay?

One can only speculate without knowing all of the facts, but it appears Gay’s leadership in the creation of Harvard’s Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging and the penetration of the DEI ideology into the Corporation board room perhaps made Gay the favored candidate.  The search was also done at a time when many other top universities had similar DEI-favored candidate searches underway for their presidents, reducing the number of potential candidates available in light of the increased competition for talent.

Unrelated to the DEI issue, as a side note, I would suggest that universities should broaden their searches to include capable business people for the role of president, as a university president requires more business skills than can be gleaned from even the most successful academic career with its hundreds of peer reviewed papers and many books. Universities have a Dean of the Faculty and a bureaucracy to oversee the faculty and academic environment of the university.  It therefore does not make sense that the university president has to come through the ranks of academia, with a skill set unprepared for university management.

The president’s job – managing thousands of employees, overseeing a $50 billion endowment, raising money, managing expenses, capital allocation, real estate acquisition, disposition, and construction, and reputation management – are responsibilities that few career academics are capable of executing. Broadening the recruitment of candidates to include top business executives would also create more opportunities for diverse talent for the office of the university president.

Furthermore, Harvard is a massive business that has been mismanaged for a long time. The cost structure of the University is out of control due in large part to the fact that the administration has grown without bounds. Revenues are below what they should be because the endowment has generated a 4.5% annualized return for the last decade in one of the greatest bull markets in history, and that low return is not due to the endowment taking lower risks as the substantial majority of its assets are invested in illiquid and other high-risk assets.

The price of the product, a Harvard education, has risen at a rate well in excess of inflation for decades, (I believe it has grown about 7-8% per annum) and it is now about $320,000 for four years of a liberal arts education at Harvard College. As a result, the only students who can now afford Harvard come from rich families and poor ones. The middle class can’t get enough financial aid other than by borrowing a lot of money, and it is hard to make the economics work in life after college when you graduate with large loan balances, particularly if you also attend graduate school.

The best companies in the world grow at high rates over many decades. Harvard has grown at a de minimis rate. Since I graduated 35 years ago, the number of students in the Harvard class has grown by less than 20%. What other successful business do you know that has grown the number of customers it serves by less than 20% in 35 years, and where nearly all revenue growth has come from raising prices?

In summary, there is a lot more work to be done to fix Harvard than just replacing its president. That said, the selection of Harvard’s next president is a critically important task, and the individuals principally responsible for that decision do not have a good track record for doing so based on their recent history, nor have they done a good job managing the other problems which I have identified above.

The Corporation board led by Penny Pritzker selected the wrong president and did inadequate due diligence about her academic record despite Gay being in leadership roles at the University since 2015 when she became dean of the Social Studies department.

The Board failed to create a discrimination-free environment on campus exposing the University to tremendous reputational damage, to large legal and financial liabilities, Congressional investigations and scrutiny, and to the potential loss of Federal funding, all while damaging the learning environment for all students.

And when concerns were raised about plagiarism in Gay’s research, the Board said these claims were “demonstrably false” and it threatened the NY Post with “immense” liability if it published a story raising these issues.

It was only after getting the story cancelled that the Board secretly launched a cursory, short-form investigation outside of the proper process for evaluating a member of the faculty’s potential plagiarism. When the Board finally publicly acknowledged some of Gay’s plagiarism, it characterized the plagiarism as “unintentional” and invented new euphemisms, i.e., “duplicative language” to describe plagiarism, a belittling of academic integrity that has caused grave damage to Harvard’s academic standards and credibility.

The Board’s three-person panel of “political scientist experts” that to this day remain unnamed who evaluated Gay’s work failed to identify many examples of her plagiarism, leading to even greater reputational damage to the University and its reputation for academic integrity as the whistleblower and the media continued to identify additional problems with Gay’s work in the days and weeks thereafter.

According to the NY Post, the Board also apparently sought to identify the whistleblower and seek retribution against him or her in contravention to the University’s whistleblower protection policies.

Despite all of the above, the Board “unanimously” gave its full support for Gay during this nearly four-month crisis, until eventually being forced to accept her resignation earlier today, a grave and continuing reputational disaster to Harvard and to the Board.

In a normal corporate context with the above set of facts, the full board would resign immediately to be replaced by a group nominated by shareholders. In the case of Harvard, however, the Board nominates itself and its new members. There is no shareholder vote mechanism to replace them.

So what should happen?

The Corporation Board should not remain in their seats protected by the unusual governance structure which enabled them to obtain their seats.

The Board Chair, Penny Pritzker, should resign along with the other members of the board who led the campaign to keep Claudine Gay, orchestrated the strategy to threaten the media, bypassed the process for evaluating plagiarism, and otherwise greatly contributed to the damage that has been done. Then new Corporation board members should be identified who bring true diversity, viewpoint and otherwise, to the board.

The Board should not be principally comprised of individuals who share the same politics and views about DEI. The new board members should be chosen in a transparent process with the assistance of the 30-person Board of Overseers. There is no reason the Harvard board of 12 independent trustees cannot be comprised of the most impressive, high integrity, intellectually and politically diverse members of our country and globe. We have plenty of remarkable people to choose from, and the job of being a director just got much more interesting and important. It is no longer, nor should it ever have been, an honorary and highly political sinecure.

The ODEIB should be shut down, and the staff should be terminated. The ODEIB has already taken down much of the ideology and strategies that were on its website when I and others raised concerns about how the office operates and who it does and does not represent. Taking down portions of the website does not address the fundamentally flawed and racist ideology of this office, and calls into further question the ODEIB’s legitimacy.

Why would the ODEIB take down portions of its website when an alum questioned its legitimacy unless the office was doing something fundamentally wrong or indefensible?

Harvard must once again become a meritocratic institution which does not discriminate for or against faculty or students based on their skin color, and where diversity is understood in its broadest form so that students can learn in an environment which welcomes diverse viewpoints from faculty and students from truly diverse backgrounds and experiences.

Harvard must create an academic environment with real academic freedom and free speech, where self-censoring, speech codes, and cancel culture are forever banished from campus. 

Harvard should become an environment where all students of all persuasions feel comfortable expressing their views and being themselves. In the business world, we call this creating a great corporate culture, which begins with new leadership and the right tone at the top. It does not require the creation of a massive administrative bureaucracy.

These are the minimum changes necessary to begin to repair the damage that has been done.

A number of faculty at the University of Pennsylvania have proposed a new constitution which can be found at http://pennforward.com, which has been signed by more than 1,200 faculty from Penn, Harvard, and other universities. Harvard would do well to adopt Penn’s proposed new constitution or a similar one before seeking to hire its next president.

A condition of employment of the new Harvard president should be the requirement that the new president agrees to strictly abide by the new constitution. He or she should take an oath to that effect.

Today was an important step forward for the University.  It is time we restore Veritas to Harvard and again be an exemplar that graduates well-informed, highly-educated leaders of exemplary moral standing and good judgment who can help bring our country together, advance our democracy, and identify the important new discoveries that will help save us from ourselves.

We have a lot more work to do. Let’s get at it.

Body-by-Guinness

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The Fruit of the Poisoned Tree
« Reply #56 on: January 03, 2024, 01:06:54 PM »
2nd post. Great piece tearing down the work of Gay’s thesis advisor and source for many of her “scholarly” methods:

https://www.karlstack.com/p/the-king-has-no-clothes-claudine?utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web&fbclid=IwAR05BRLGmtbTZRrQj8lXVi-_ZTrg6y2YNtXqt4zi5lYZcopmvi0K7gdpNDI

Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Politics of Education
« Reply #57 on: January 03, 2024, 02:45:31 PM »
"Today was an important step forward for the University.  It is time we restore Veritas to Harvard and again be an exemplar that graduates well-informed, highly-educated leaders of exemplary moral standing and good judgment who can help bring our country together, advance our democracy, and identify the important new discoveries that will help save us from ourselves.  We have a lot more work to do. Let’s get at it."

The Progs/Woken Dead/DEI folks may have had their nose bloodied (and that is a very important thing for busting the aura of omnipotence!!!) but IMO they have learned nothing. Read Gay's statement of resignation-- and, if I am not mistaken, she still has a tenured professor gig.  Their next step will not be to change, but to hunker down, circle the wagons into an ever tighter echo chamber, and obfuscate to the larger world.

The real attack on our part, IMHO, is not to save Harvard from itself, but rather to challenge its validity-- which I am glad to say we are seeing from many of us.


« Last Edit: January 03, 2024, 02:50:28 PM by Crafty_Dog »

Body-by-Guinness

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Re: The Politics of Education
« Reply #58 on: January 03, 2024, 02:47:40 PM »
"Today was an important step forward for the University.  It is time we restore Veritas to Harvard and again be an exemplar that graduates well-informed, highly-educated leaders of exemplary moral standing and good judgment who can help bring our country together, advance our democracy, and identify the important new discoveries that will help save us from ourselves.  We have a lot more work to do. Let’s get at it."

The Progs/Woken Dead/DEI folks may have had their nose bloodied (and that is a very important thing for busting the aura of omnipotence!!!) but IMO they have learned nothing. Read Gay's statement of resignation-- and, if I am not mistaken, she still has a tenured professor gig.

Correct on all counts. Moving forward, however, I think these incidents will be well worth citing every time DEI horseshit rears its head.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Politics of Education
« Reply #59 on: January 03, 2024, 02:50:55 PM »
Absolutely!

Body-by-Guinness

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DEI in the ICU
« Reply #60 on: January 03, 2024, 07:57:33 PM »
3rd post:

One of the most important political developments of 2023 was the growing pushback against “diversity, equity and inclusion.” Those DEI programs and the ideology that underpin them are under siege politically and legally, and they are losing. They had grown rapidly, thanks to a mixture of support, indifference and timidity. But that began to ebb last year and will continue to recede in 2024.

The wounded patient was wheeled into the intensive care unit when the Supreme Court undermined a crucial foundation for DEI and related affirmative action programs. The decision came in Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and a similar case against the University of North Carolina. SCOTUS ruled the universities were illegally discriminating when their admissions favored some minorities and effectively penalized others. Neither public nor private universities had the right to do that.

Those lawsuits were brought against universities on behalf of Asian-Americans, but their victory has reverberated through the world of corporations, non-profits and government agencies. That’s not surprising since those institutions have a host of programs and practices similar to those at Harvard and UNC. They, too, discriminate in hiring and promotion, in hopes their “affirmative” policies will create more inclusive, racially-diverse workplaces. One question sure to reach the High Court is whether these programs are illegal.

The programs also raise practical questions. One is whether they actually achieve their aim of creating more inclusive workplaces. Or do they create more hostile, racially-divided ones and wider public resentment beyond them? Another question is whether institutions committed to these programs can find ways to work around the court decisions and hide their efforts.

The policies used to pursue these goals are sometimes called “reverse discrimination” because they benefit groups, primarily African-Americans, who had long been subjects of pernicious discrimination, segregation, and, indeed, racial hatred.

The terminology of “reverse discrimination” is outdated and misleading. We live more than half a century after the tectonic changes of the mid-1960s, when President Lyndon Johnson and a supportive Congress passed the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act and a series of massive government programs, many of them meant to assist historically-disadvantaged groups. After that long span, the beneficiaries today are the children and grandchildren of those who were harmed by segregation and Jim Crow laws.

The losers are not just the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the beneficiaries of that invidious system. They are often the descendants of people who didn’t live in America during those years. If those descendants are subject to bias today, it is not “reverse discrimination.” It is “discrimination,” plain and simple.

This unadorned description is true no matter who benefits or loses from today’s bias, whether it is based on race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin or anything besides merit. Restoring this ideal of equal treatment and equal opportunity would return American to its long-cherished ideals.

Those ideals are far different from equal outcomes, misleadingly called “equity,” as mandated by some government agency. In fact, the switch from America’s traditional goal “equal treatment” to the socialist aspiration of “equity in outcomes” is an ideological sleight-of-hand.
It is true, of course, that America often fell painfully short of its highest ideals. Sometimes it abandoned them entirely, as it did in Jim Crow laws, segregation in housing, employment and public accommodations, and, worst of all, chattel slavery. But our country will not come closer to achieving our ideals or creating a “more perfect Union” by turning its mistakes on their head. It certainly won’t do that now, after several decades of pursuing major programs to remedy past injustices.

Increasingly, that’s the conclusion the public and courts have reached. The left disagrees, and that includes nearly all intellectuals.
The rising resistance to affirmative action and race-based discrimination will have a crushing impact on DEI programs. It will reach well beyond universities to affect corporations, non-profits, and government agencies at the city, state and federal levels. All of them have similar programs. All are at risk.

The widening gyre of the SCOTUS decision has already begun to affect practices at these other institutions. Take the Small Business Administration, which has a loan program known as 8(a). Originally designed to help all disadvantaged people, the SBA decided years ago that some applicants would automatically qualify as “disadvantaged” if they were black, Hispanic, Asian or Native American. That rule would designate the founder of NVIDIA, Jensen Huang, as disadvantaged. He is worth about $16.7 billion.

A federal court struck down the SBA’s formulaic approach last summer. The agency temporarily suspended loan applications until it could come up with new rules and application procedures. When it issued them two months later, the message was that potential borrowers had to show how each one had been “disadvantaged.”

SBA has updated the application by adding a plain language fillable questionnaire for applicants to identify social disadvantage. Firms continue to have the option to prepare a social disadvantage narrative.

That’s right: the government is now asking for “social disadvantage narratives,” to be judged by mid-level federal bureaucrats.
The court ruling that upended the SBA minority-loan program is just the beginning. The SCOTUS decision on university admissions will unleash a torrent of legal disputes. Individuals will file suits claiming they lost jobs, admissions, scholarships or promotions to less-qualified candidates because they came from the “wrong” race. Corporate and government programs directed at minorities will be challenged when they include race-based criteria. Ultimately, the courts will have to flesh out the implications and limits of the Supreme Court ruling against Harvard and the University of North Carolina.

These cases, plus rising public resistance to DEI, are bound to have a far-reaching impact since the disputed programs are embedded in so many organizations. They are part of a broad push to create more diversity by hiring and promoting the “right kind of minorities,” particularly African Americans. Asian Americans were apparently not the right kind, as the evidence they presented in court showed convincingly. There is an equally strong push to admit favored minorities to academic programs, both as students and faculty. The controversy arises when they fall below the standard metrics used for other candidates. (Many, of course, surpass those metrics and don’t need “affirmative action.”)

Since it is illegal to use race as a basis for hiring, admission and promotion, the institutions that hope to continue using it, as many do, will have to evade detection. They are already working hard to do just that. That’s why thousands of universities have made standardized tests for academic merit “optional.” The officials who handle admissions don’t want courts looking over their shoulders and limiting their autonomy. They certainly don’t want to leave a damning statistical trail if they practice illegal discrimination. Covering up that trail is a major reason standardized tests are now optional. Without them for every candidate, it is harder for courts and litigants to compare the qualifications of those who were admitted and those who weren’t.

It is easy to see how some individuals are helped and others harmed by these efforts to increase “diversity, equity and inclusion.” But it also important to see how these efforts reshape the institutions that implement them. One of the most important is that they create large, entrenched and expensive bureaucracies. The goal of those bureaucracies is to set detailed regulations and then enforce those rules. They are typically given the investigative authority and coercive power to do it.

Since universities have been the focus of so much of this controversy, it is worth considering how DEI programs impact them specifically. The short answer is two ways. One is costly administrative bloat. The other is ideological meddling in every aspect of campus life, from student activities to academic matters that were once the exclusive preserve of faculty.

DEI administrators gain additional power because other administrators agree with them. These fellow administrators typically endorse DEI goals, oppose race neutrality and buttress their colleagues’ authority rather than contesting it. Senior university officials almost always go along, either because they agree or because they know that opposing it would end their upward trajectory. As politicians used tell patronage workers in the old city machines, “You need to go along to get along.” That advice still works for deans and provosts.

Of course, DEI bureaucracies are not the only reason why so many universities are weighed down with more administrators than students or faculty. Far from it. The main reason is that universities, like all institutions, must comply with a tangle of complex federal regulations, nearly all of them established, implemented and enforced by yet another set of bureaucrats —those in Washington.

The result is a pervasive regulatory web on every campus, requiring hundreds of administrators to ensure compliance and provide the federal government with data to prove it. That web is even thicker at university research hospitals, which grew out of the biological sciences and soon became profit centers in their own right.

For now, there is little hope of significantly reducing this blob of government regulations and the bureaucracies associated with them. But there is one important exception: programs involving DEI and affirmative action. Opponents of those programs now believe they can be cut. Supporters see the same trend and fear it means the loss of opportunities for historically-disadvantaged groups.
This debate won’t end soon, but the bureaucracies that implement these race-based programs might. DEI is still alive, but it’s on feeding tubes in the ICU. Its initials might soon be transposed to “die.”

By
Charles Lipson
Charles Lipson is the Peter B. Ritzma professor of political science emeritus at the University of Chicago, where he founded the Program on International Politics, Economics and Security, and a Spectator contributing writer.

https://thespectator.com/topic/code-red-dei-is-in-the-icu/


Body-by-Guinness

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Get Them Hating While They're Young
« Reply #62 on: January 04, 2024, 06:08:05 AM »
Perplexing piece regarding Progressive efforts to inculcate anti-Israeli hatred in school kids.

I can't help but notice that outcomes of inculcating hatred early and often as well as a concurrent effort to eschew the tools of reasoned discourse show up in higher ed on a regular basis, with one major outcome being students arriving at college that have yet to grasp basic math, English, and science concepts, leading to all sorts of remedial needs and efforts. Bottom line appears to be that, for many on the Progressive left, the little ability to manifest little more than autistic screeching when one's beliefs are challenged is a feature rather than a bug, with narrowly read nitwits able only to accuse you of racism or some other DEI sin should you point out a hole among many in their argument being one result.

https://melaniephillips.substack.com/p/the-manipulation-of-innocence?r=1qo1e&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=email&fbclid=IwAR1U0z4TJzcu_svG-QvcSW4qAY7-Vx7iUzPCgqvszWjLlAqEeUZSdERCDiQ
« Last Edit: January 05, 2024, 09:20:19 PM by Body-by-Guinness »

Body-by-Guinness

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Alan Sokal’s Joke Is on Us as Postmoderism Comes to Science
« Reply #63 on: January 05, 2024, 09:22:44 PM »


When I taught physics at Yale in the 1980s and ’90s, my colleagues and I took pride in our position on “science hill,” looking down on the humanities scholars in the intellectual valleys below as they were inundated in postmodernism and deconstructionism.

This same attitude motivated the mathematician Alan Sokal to publish his famous 1996 article, “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity,” in the cultural-studies journal Social Text. He asserted, among other things that “physical ‘reality,’ no less than social ‘reality,’ is at bottom a social and linguistic construct” and that “the scientific community . . . cannot assert a privileged epistemological status with respect to counter-hegemonic narratives emanating from dissident or marginalized communities.”
Mr. Sokal’s paper was a hoax, designed to demonstrate that postmodernism was nonsense. But today postmodern cultural theory is being infused into the very institutions one might expect to be scientific gatekeepers. Hard-science journals publish the same sort of bunk with no hint of irony:

• In November 2022 the Journal of Chemical Education published “A Special Topics Class in Chemistry on Feminism and Science as a Tool to Disrupt the Dysconscious Racism in STEM.” From the abstract: “This article presents an argument on the importance of teaching science with a feminist framework and defines it by acknowledging that all knowledge is historically situated and is influenced by social power and politics.” The course promises “to explore the development and interrelationship between quantum mechanics, Marxist materialism, Afro-futurism/pessimism, and postcolonial nationalism. To problematize time as a linear social construct, the Copenhagen interpretation of the collapse of wave-particle duality was utilized.”

• In March 2022 Physical Review Physics Education Research published “Observing whiteness in introductory physics: A case study.” From the abstract: “Within whiteness, the organization of social life is in terms of a center and margins that are based on dominance, control, and a transcendent figure that is consistently and structurally ascribed value over and above other figures.” The paper criticizes “the use of whiteboards as a primary pedagogical tool” on the grounds that they “play a role in reconstituting whiteness as social organization. . . . They collaborate with white organizational culture, where ideas and experiences gain value (become more central) when written down.”
 
• A January 2023 paper presented at the Joint Mathematics Meeting, the world’s biggest gathering of mathematicians, was titled “Undergraduate Mathematics Education as a White, Cisheteropatriarchal Space and Opportunities for Structural Disruption to Advance Queer of Color Justice.”

Undergraduates are being exposed to this stuff as well. Rice University offers a course called “Afrochemistry: The Study of Black-Life Matter,” in which “students will apply chemical tools and analysis to understand Black life in the U.S. and students will implement African American sensibilities to analyze chemistry.” The course catalog notes that “no prior knowledge of chemistry or African American studies is required for engagement in this course.”

Such ideas haven’t totally colonized scientific journals and pedagogy, but they are beginning to appear almost everywhere and are getting support and encouragement from the scientific establishment. There are also indications that dissent isn’t welcome. When a group of physicists led by Charles Reichhardt wrote to the American Physical Society, publisher of the Physics Education Research journal, to object to the “observing whiteness” article, APS invited a response, then refused to publish it on the grounds that its arguments, which were scientific and quantitative, were based on “the perspective of a research paradigm that is different from the one of the research being critiqued.”
“This is akin to stating that an astronomer must first accept astrology as true before critiquing it,” the dissenters wrote in the final version of their critique, which they had to publish in a different journal, European Review.

That sounds like an exaggeration, but in 2021 Mount Royal University in Canada fired a tenured professor, Frances Widdowson, for questioning whether indigenous “star knowledge” belonged in an astronomy curriculum. The same year, New Zealand‘s Education Ministry decreed that Māori indigenous “ways of knowing” would have equal standing with science in science classes. The Royal Society of New Zealand investigated two scientists for questioning this policy; they were exculpated but resigned. The University of Auckland removed another scientist who questioned the policy from teaching two biology classes.

In 2020, Signs Journal of Women in Culture and Society published an article by physicist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein titled “Making Black Women Scientists under White Empiricism: The Racialization of Epistemology in Physics.” Ms. Prescod-Weinstein wrote: “Black women must, according to Einstein’s principle of covariance, have an equal claim to objectivity regardless of their simultaneously experiencing intersecting axes of oppression.” This sentence, which dramatically misrepresents Einstein’s theory of general relativity, wouldn’t have been out of place in Mr. Sokal’s 1996 spoof.

Had an article like this appeared in 1996, it would have been dismissed outside the postmodernist fringe. But last year Mr. Sokal himself, noting that the article was No. 56 in the Altmetric ranking of most-discussed scholarly articles for 2020, felt the need to write a 20-page single-spaced rebuttal. The joke turns out to be on all of us—and it isn’t funny.

Mr. Krauss, a theoretical physicist, is president of the Origins Project Foundation and author of “The Edge of Knowledge: Unsolved Mysteries of the Cosmos.”

https://apple.news/AoNrOPBq0RO6_XhaqoZUs5w

Crafty_Dog

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Re: The Politics of Education
« Reply #64 on: January 06, 2024, 02:07:54 AM »
 :-o :-o :-o



DougMacG

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U Mich >500 jobs dedicated to DEI, payroll costs exceed $30 mill
« Reply #67 on: January 10, 2024, 06:32:18 AM »
https://www.thecollegefix.com/umich-now-has-more-than-500-jobs-dedicated-to-dei-payroll-costs-exceed-30-million/

But tuitions and subsidies must keep going up while enrollment tanks.

My view of "higher education" has tanked.  Poison Ivy inflicts all these schools, and the private colleges too with VERY few exceptions.

They say they teach critical thinking, not just memorize facts, so why aren't the students thinking critically about the hogwash they are "taught"?

In fact, they are PREVENTED from thinking critically and hearing different views.


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ccp

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Re: The Politics of Education
« Reply #69 on: January 17, 2024, 07:02:36 AM »
Is not grade inflation based on DEI a civil rights issue?

Maybe hard to prove but I would think this practice could/should be legally challenged.


Crafty_Dog

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Islamist penetration of Education
« Reply #70 on: January 21, 2024, 09:25:24 AM »

Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: Harvard
« Reply #71 on: January 26, 2024, 05:29:57 AM »
No Task Force Can Save Harvard
What hope is there for an institution where nobody can be fired for promoting antisemitism and other stupid and wicked ideas?
By Dominic Green
Jan. 25, 2024 5:15 pm



Harvard is the Boeing 737 MAX of higher education. A great American brand is squandering the public’s trust. Failures of quality control are damaging its market dominance. Like any corporation, Harvard is looking for new management and working to burnish its image. Unlike most corporations, Harvard has no idea what it is doing. Boeing still has engineers; Harvard has only professors. When the wheels came off at Chrysler in 1978, the company brought in Lee Iacocca. Harvard has brought in Derek Penslar.

Mr. Penslar is a professor of Jewish history. He calls Israel a “settler colonial” state and compares the Jewish state’s establishment to France’s colonial takeover of Algeria. In August he signed an academic petition called “The Elephant in the Room.” It endorsed the conspiracy theory that the Netanyahu government’s proposals for judicial reform mask a plan to “ethnically cleanse all territories under Israeli rule of their Palestinian population.” It asserted that Israel imposes a “regime of apartheid” on Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza and accused the country of “Jewish supremacism.”

“Jewish Supremacism: My Awakening to the Jewish Question” is the name of a book by white supremacist David Duke. If you go far enough left, you go far right without knowing it. Mr. Penslar leads Harvard’s Center for Jewish Studies and has been named a co-chairman of the university’s Presidential Task Force on Combating Antisemitism. The latter appointment was an “unforced error,” Deborah Lipstadt, the U.S. special envoy for monitoring and combating antisemitism, told the Journal Wednesday.

The spontaneous campus celebrations after Hamas’s massacre, rape and kidnapping of Israelis on Oct. 7 meant that Harvard could no longer ignore its problem with Jews, and especially the Jewish state. Prodded by donors and shamed by the media, the university’s then-president, Claudine Gay, commissioned a committee.

Then Ms. Gay told lawmakers that calling for the genocide of Jews was sometimes acceptable at Harvard, depending on the “context.” The head of the advisory committee, Rabbi David Wolpe, resigned. He said Harvard was gripped by an ideology “that works only along axes of oppression and places Jews as oppressors and therefore intrinsically evil.” Like a real president sending in the Navy SEALs, temporary president Alan Garber launched the task force, jointly commanded by Mr. Penslar and a social scientist from Harvard Business School who researches driverless cars.

I’m an inmate of the open-air asylum that is Cambridge, Mass., and some of my best friends are professors. All of them are from the shrinking minority of classical liberals and liberal conservatives. We meet in private, lest their colleagues spot them. They know the battle of ideas is lost. The ship of fools was hijacked decades ago by the radical left. It floats down the River Charles on a tide of donor cash, dissenters thrown overboard.

Like the real America, Harvard is federal by design but paralyzed by the administrative state. Each of its undergraduate colleges and professional schools has its own fundraising machinery and endowment. Each has its boutique DEI commissariat that corrupts the academic hiring process and pollutes the intellectual atmosphere with what Rabbi Wolpe calls the “toxicity of intellectual slovenliness.” The president and the Harvard Corp. resemble the U.S. government before the creation of the Federal Reserve and the New Deal: strong enough to speak on everyone’s behalf but struggling to impose their orders.

I’m told that Mr. Penslar’s faculty colleagues are rallying in his support and preparing that deadliest of academic weapons, a letter that everyone signs to prove his independence of mind. I’m also told that when the advisory committee asked for data on anti-Jewish speech and conduct at Harvard, none was available. The same went for “Islamophobia,” which is obligatorily regarded as being a problem of equal magnitude, even though it isn’t.

Here are a couple of questions for the task force to investigate. Among all America’s sectors of public life, only its elite universities feature mass protests, incitement and even physical assaults against Jews. Could this be related to the subversion of the academy by the left? Is there a correlation between high levels of foreign donations and the addition of Jew-baiting to the curriculum?

In Florida, Republicans have used their funding leverage to expel the DEI merchants from the temple of learning at Sarasota’s New College. Market forces are closing liberal-arts colleges whose ideological mania outstrips their endowments and brands. But as Princeton dropout F. Scott Fitzgerald observed, the rich are different. At Chrysler, Iacocca worked with the federal government on a bailout, then rapidly rebuilt the company from the bottom up.

Harvard knows better. It already takes hundreds of millions from the federal government, but it can’t rebuild itself quickly. Its reputation sinks, but it is buoyed by its wealth. Donor campaigns can pressure some of Harvard’s schools to raise standards in hiring. Administrations can tell professors to keep politics out of the classroom, but they can’t keep the professors out. Radical politics are now as much a part of the job as the tweed coat and pipe used to be.

In the old days, ships were quarantined for 40 days in times of plague to avoid infecting the landlubbers. Harvard needs to be quarantined for 40 years. That’s how long it’ll take for the latest recipients of tenure to vacate their plush perches. They might be fired for making students feel “unsafe” by suggesting that a man can’t become a woman. They can’t be fired for promoting stupid or wicked ideas. Their colleagues gave them tenure for doing just that. It’s Claudine Gays and Derek Penslars all the way down.

I paid good money for my Harvard master’s degree. My principal is dwindling by the day. My children aren’t applying to Harvard or Yale. Don’t send your kids and your checks. Do your homework. Invest in new institutions whose curricula give real value. If your alma mater has become the mother of all leftists, practice some tough love. Truth is the daughter of time, but investor preferences can hurry it along. As the Gandhi bumper sticker on the professorial Subaru Forester says, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Mr. Green is a Journal contributor and a fellow of the Royal Historical Society

Body-by-Guinness

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Re: WSJ: Harvard
« Reply #72 on: January 26, 2024, 08:38:35 AM »
No Task Force Can Save Harvard
What hope is there for an institution where nobody can be fired for promoting antisemitism and other stupid and wicked ideas?
By Dominic Green
Jan. 25, 2024 5:15 pm



Harvard is the Boeing 737 MAX of higher education. A great American brand is squandering the public’s trust. Failures of quality control are damaging its market dominance. Like any corporation, Harvard is looking for new management and working to burnish its image. Unlike most corporations, Harvard has no idea what it is doing. Boeing still has engineers; Harvard has only professors. When the wheels came off at Chrysler in 1978, the company brought in Lee Iacocca. Harvard has brought in Derek Penslar....


Great piece. Though my institution is not as far gone, a touch of PTSD reared its head as I read it.

Crafty_Dog

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Teaching George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, prohibited
« Reply #73 on: January 26, 2024, 05:38:29 PM »


‘An employee or staff member of a school . . . may not provide instruction’ on Christopher Columbus or ‘a President of the United States who owned an enslaved person.’
Jan. 26, 2024 6:16 pm ET



From House Bill No. 1017, introduced in the Indiana Legislature Jan. 8 by Rep. Vernon Smith, a Gary Democrat:

Sec. 5. (a) Except as provided in subsection (b), a school, an employee or staff member of a school, or a third party vendor used by a school to provide instruction may not provide instruction to a student in kindergarten through grade 12 concerning:

(1) Christopher Columbus; or

(2) a President of the United States who owned an enslaved person.

(b) Instruction concerning a person described in subsection (a)(1) or (a)(2) is permitted if the instruction concerns the person’s involvement in the:

(1) institution of slavery;

(2) harmful effects of colonialism; or

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(3) decimation of indigenous populations throughout the world.

Body-by-Guinness

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College & Curiosity Requires Free Speech
« Reply #74 on: January 26, 2024, 07:50:47 PM »
Love to read the whole piece given how good this excerpt is, but I refuse to register with the Old Gray Hag.

https://reason.com/volokh/2024/01/26/college-is-all-about-curiosity-and-that-requires-free-speech/

Body-by-Guinness

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Kafka Comes to College
« Reply #75 on: January 26, 2024, 08:01:17 PM »
2nd post.

Palestinian activist uses Princeton issued administrative no contact order to student reporter covering protest. Every adult along the way not only abdicated acting like an advocate for free inquiry, but also further turned the screws:

https://reason.com/volokh/2024/01/25/princeton-allegedly-told-student-journalist-not-to-write-about-activist-who-got-no-contact-order-against-journalist/

Body-by-Guinness

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The Trajectory of Cancel Culture
« Reply #76 on: January 28, 2024, 11:22:27 AM »
This piece with links to numerous primary sources charts cancel culture from its mid-80s “political correctness” genesis to what it has shamelessly morphed into now:

https://quillette.com/2024/01/23/looking-back-on-a-decade-of-cancel-culture/

Body-by-Guinness

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Yes Virginia, De Facto Higher Ed Loyalty Oaths Impinge on Academic Freedom
« Reply #77 on: January 29, 2024, 06:29:32 AM »
Behind an educrat paywall so pasted in full below. It’s somewhat heartening to see items like the appearing in the in-house journal of the professortariat, though it’s more than a day late and dollar short:

By  Keith E. Whittington
JANUARY 26, 2024

Barnard College has become the site of the latest flare-up in an ongoing struggle between faculty and university leaders for the control of university communication platforms. On October 23, the department of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies posted a statement of solidarity: “We support the Palestinian people who have resisted settler colonial war, occupation, and apartheid for over 75 years, while deploring Hamas’s recent killing of Israeli civilians.” The statement was to be followed by links to resources for understanding the “genocidal violence and ethnic cleansing that we are now witnessing.”

Shortly afterward, the university removed the statement from the departmental website. The move was in pursuit of the university’s “website governance policy” (established in November, after the department’s initial statement), which specifies that all subdomains of barnard.edu Internet domain are property of the college and all of its content “constitutes speech made by the College as an institution.” Barnard resources such as “College letterhead, College website, College-sponsored campus communication tools or systems” may not be used to “post political statements.”

Members of the department created a private website where they republished their statement of solidarity and protested the “increasing curtailment of free speech and academic freedom at colleges and universities across the U.S.” They and their supporters issued a public letter decrying the “overt act of censorship” by the university in removing the statement from the departmental website. The New York Civil Liberties Union sent a letter to Barnard’s president characterizing the website policy as a form of “prior restraint” inconsistent with academic freedom.

Barnard is hardly alone in debating such issues. Princeton University recently tabled a policy aimed at formalizing procedures for units of the university to issue political statements. The University of California system has been mired in a debate over whether to ban such statements, which would supplement a longstanding policy against the use of “university equipment” for “political purposes or activities.” Institutions across the country have been having similar debates. The events since October 7 have provided a new context for those debates, but the issue has been brewing for years.

It is a fundamental tenet of American principles of academic freedom that individual scholars must be afforded the fullest freedom to engage in research and publish scholarship and to introduce controversial but germane material into their classes without fear of university reprisal or censorship. Likewise, members of the faculty are not to suffer institutional consequences for their private political expression or activities.

Given these longstanding principles, Barnard College unsurprisingly exempts from its restrictions on “political activity” the creation and publication of faculty research or “academic materials” and allows the posting of research and “academic resources” on its website. It likewise protects political activity “in a personal capacity” that is “not attributable, in reality or perception, to the College.” There are no doubt some gray areas in such policies, and it is essential that universities apply them in a consistent and content-neutral fashion.

On the whole, academic freedom and the freedom of expression of professors will be better protected if institutional actors like academic units and university presidents refrain from issuing political statements and units of the university avoid using their tools of communication for political expression.

For decades, universities have sought to protect individual professors from demands that they be disciplined for expressing controversial opinions by emphasizing that those professors only speak for themselves in their personal capacity. The institution houses individuals with a wide array of conflicting views, and none of those individuals speak for the institution as such. If a politician or donor is unhappy with something that an individual on campus has said, there is no proper institutional response to the private activities of those individuals. The university as such is concerned only with its institutional operations, and not with the private lives of its employees.

For departments qua departments to issue political statements is to assert that those sentiments are not just personal, but professional.
Institutional statements put that modus vivendi at risk. Universities cannot distance themselves from political expression that professors might engage in while conducting their teaching duties or in utilizing university resources like web pages and social-media accounts. When professors use their privileged access to university-provided platforms to express political opinions, the university is forced to take ownership of the resulting speech. Professors who act in their role as university employees are necessarily liable for discipline for that conduct. Professors shield themselves from those repercussions by speaking as private individuals and not as employees.

Institutional speech will necessarily be held against the institution. If the institution engages in controversial political activities, other political actors can and will push back. As colleges attempt to navigate an increasingly hostile political environment, silence is often golden. If individual units on campus can easily go rogue and engage in institutional speech on their own initiative, it is the university that will suffer the political consequences. An individual department posting controversial political statements on its official website invites political retaliation not only against itself but against the university as a whole. Self-preservation dictates that the university be able to control its own institutional speech.

Another set of concerns involves the direct pressure put on individual scholars by the proliferation of institutional political statements. Individual members of the faculty are free to engage in individual political expression or to associate with others to express themselves collectively, and universities should be diligent in protecting the freedom of individual professors to do so. But individual members of the faculty also have the freedom to remain silent on matters of controversy and to choose their own time and manner of expressing their political views. They should not, as a condition of employment at a university, be dragooned into the political activities of others. Departmental statements make that impossible. Dissenting individuals are forced either to hold their tongue and allow statements to be issued in their name or to wade into a political controversy when they would prefer not to do so. Faculty members can always speak in their own name. That is an exercise of free expression. To attempt to speak in the name of others is rather an infringement on free expression.

For departments qua departments to issue political statements is to assert that those sentiments are not just personal, but professional. As such, they may also become professionally relevant to evaluation of current and future members of the faculty. It is an important protection of the academic freedom of individuals that institutions not take the personal political views and activities of professors into account when making decisions regarding hiring and promotion. It is possible to construct a firewall protecting professors from being punished for their political opinions by distinguishing such personal activities from professional activities. If, however, a department as such has specific political views, then the political views of prospective members of the faculty are suddenly professionally relevant and cannot be regarded as off-limits. Junior faculty would justly worry that their professional future will be damaged if they do not go along with the political activities of their senior colleagues. Dissenting members of the faculty will justly believe that they are made outsiders to their own department as a consequence of their political beliefs.

Universities protect a realm of academic freedom and free expression by limiting the domain of institutional speech. The institution as such does not weigh in on either scholarly or political controversies. Individual members of the faculty should be left free to develop and express their own views — because the university does not elevate orthodoxies. When universities cross that line and expand the realm of institutional speech, they threaten to shrink the freedom of the scholars who work within those universities.


Body-by-Guinness

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STEM Scores Crater
« Reply #79 on: February 03, 2024, 06:26:36 PM »
This is a big deal. Colleges will have to spend more time delivering remedia education … or lowering standards lest racism be claimed when the inevitable disparate outcomes occur. Employers will also have to invest more in training … or outsource jobs to machines, AI, etc. And hey, will those that foisted the Covid scam be held accountable? Not much indication they will in the piece below:

America is facing a STEM and data education crisis

The Hill News / by Elena Gerstmann and Laura Albert / February 03, 2024 at 11:21AM

The legislation would authorize $10 million annually for schools at all levels, from pre-K to college, to increase access to data science and literacy education.

Math scores of K-12 students in the U.S. plummeted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopes that these scores would rebound among teenagers after the pandemic have proven vain. In 2023, U.S. News & World Report reported that math scores among teenagers are the worst they’ve been since the 1970s.

The New York Times likewise reports that U.S. students’ performance in math plunged in a 2023 global exam. Although scores fell across the globe, there was a 13-point drop among 15-year-olds in the U.S. — a much sharper drop than observed in other countries. U.S. students fell behind peers in similar industrialized democracies such as the United Kingdom, Australia and Germany, and trail far behind students in the highest-scoring countries, including Singapore, South Korea and Estonia.

These results provided the first global comparison since 2020.

This should sound alarm bells for parents, teachers, lawmakers, the teenagers of the world and all who will listen. This country is in the midst of a STEM and data literacy crisis. We may not feel the effects now, but they will be felt immensely in the future. This crisis threatens our science and technology leadership as well as our economic security.

Declining math scores among America’s youth point to a data literacy crisis that threatens our shared security and prosperity. Data literacy is the ability to read, understand, interpret, engage with, and communicate data. The data-literate can evaluate the quality and reliability of data, ask informed questions, and effectively communicate data-driven findings.

Preparing today’s children to make tomorrow’s scientific breakthroughs for a better future requires a new national commitment that demands the attention, action and commitment of policymakers and leaders in Washington, D.C., and beyond.

The Mathematical and Statistical Modeling Education Act and the Data Science and Literacy Act are important pieces of legislation. If enacted, they would help modernize secondary mathematical and STEM education to better prepare students for more advanced STEM educational and career opportunities. The legislation would authorize $10 million annually for schools at all levels, from pre-K to college, to increase access to data science and literacy education. These bills would make data science literacy a primary strategy to increase representation and diversity in emerging technology.

Although $10 million won’t immediately change the world, it will make a big difference. It sets forth a path for national commitment to become a data-literate society. By restructuring how parents, stakeholders, educators and our children think about and study math and science, we can better connect them to the significant and practical needs of modern society.

We need a data-literate workforce, data-literate policymakers and, ultimately, a data-literate population. To get there, we must start in schools and on campuses.

The Society for Human Resource Management said the country has a need to “boost STEM education to be prepared for the nearly 3.5 million STEM jobs that need to be staffed by 2025.”

In recent years, many universities have added or expanded programs around data science, analytics, computer science and similar disciplines. But that’s not enough. Meaningful data literacy that can shape the trajectory of future generations requires building data literacy into the fabric of our educational systems at the start of a child’s education. We must integrate data- and analytics-driven technologies into classrooms and curricula to inspire the next generation.

It is not easy to implement such a systemic educational change is not easy. We are all aware of the breadth and depth of the issues facing schools and children worldwide. Without a guiding light to lead us and show us the types of meaningful career opportunities and societal imperatives that await our children and grandchildren, America is at risk of being unprepared and vulnerable in the years to come.

First, we must properly educate students and ingrain in their education the importance of STEM and data literacy. Even if we do that, however, few prospective STEM students understand how their skills can be transferred and powerful enough to solve societal problems.

Operations research, one of the fastest-growing STEM fields, enables students to use their data skills to save lives, save money and solve problems. Though its name might not have significant meaning to you, operations research is a dynamic and significant field that turns data into decisions. As of late, there has been an abundance of new applications of operations research, such as humanitarian logistics, disrupting human trafficking and addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If more young people, motivated by STEM, understood the impact of operations research and analytics, and more people in academia could advise them about meaningful and rewarding career paths in this incredible field, there’s little doubt these students would eagerly seek out operations research and analytics programs, as well as careers in science and technology.

Operations research and analytics practitioners and educators must rally to help those around us understand the need for more thoughtful and effective educational resources and guidance.

It is imperative that our country commit to preparing the workforce of tomorrow with sufficient data literacy skills to ensure economic prosperity for future generations.

Elena Gerstmann is executive director of INFORMS, where Laura Albert served as a past president.

https://thehill.com/opinion/education/4443710-america-is-facing-a-stem-and-data-education-crisis/

Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: Dartmouth brings back the SATs
« Reply #80 on: February 06, 2024, 09:08:10 AM »

Dartmouth Sees the Value of the SAT
The Ivy league college follows the evidence and reinstates test scores in admissions.
By The Editorial Board
Feb. 5, 2024 6:37 pm ET

What do you know: Standards make a comeback in the Ivy League, as Dartmouth College says it is reinstating standardized tests as an admissions requirement. Like many of its peers, the college had made the SAT and ACT optional in 2020.

“The evidence supporting our reactivation of a required testing policy is clear,” the college said Monday. “We believe a standardized testing requirement will improve—not detract from—our ability to bring the most promising and diverse students to our campus.”

On commission from President Sian Leah Beilock, Dartmouth faculty studied the role of standardized tests in admissions and produced a report finding them to be an “essential method by which Admissions can identify applicants who will succeed at Dartmouth.” Test scores are more useful than a high-school GPA, they found.

The report found that test scores “better position Admissions to identify high-achieving less-advantaged applicants.” Without test scores, admissions officers must “place more weight on other factors that have been shown to be biased toward higher-income students,” such as “guidance counselor recommendations and non-academic ratings.”

Dartmouth considers scores in the context of the socioeconomic status of a student’s high school or community. Some lower-income students who didn’t report scores because they believed them too low might have benefited from sending the scores.

The faculty researchers also found that a test-optional policy does “not necessarily increase the proportion of less-advantaged students in the applicant pool.” Colleges made the SAT and ACT optional in an effort to appear more equitable, but they likely did the opposite. Students who face socioeconomic disadvantages need more opportunities to demonstrate academic ability.

The University of California also commissioned a 2020 report on test scores in admissions but ignored its own advice that they were useful, non-discriminatory measures. Dartmouth is so far the only Ivy League school to make the tests mandatory again, though Yale says it will issue a long-term policy this winter and Princeton’s website says the admissions office “continue to assess” the role of test scores. They would be wise to follow the Big Green.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2024, 09:10:10 AM by Crafty_Dog »

Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: Cancel Culture and Children's Books.
« Reply #81 on: February 06, 2024, 09:09:47 AM »


In 2016 Scholastic canceled the children’s book “A Birthday Cake for George Washington” two weeks after publishing it. The book’s images of smiling enslaved people set off a social-media tsunami and a petition demanding cancellation. It didn’t matter that the illustrator was black, or that the editor, Andrea Pinkney, was black and also a towering figure in the children’s book world.

What mattered was that a social-media mob could force a major publisher to stop distributing a book. When the news broke, one of my editors phoned. I had a contract with him for a children’s book about slavery, and though he’d approved the final draft, he was nervous. It didn’t matter that my manuscript did the opposite of sugarcoating slavery. It didn’t matter that I had won awards for “Lillian’s Right to Vote,” one of many books I’d written on racial justice. My editor worried about public perception of a book “by a white male author, edited by a white male editor, about a white male slave owner.” Seventeen months later, after many pointless revisions, the contract was canceled. No book.

Scholastic’s cancellation marked the beginning of a brave new children’s book world, as detailed in PEN America’s 2023 report, “Booklash.” So-called progressive activists discovered they had power through social media, and they wielded it, assailing book after book with charges of offensiveness and demands for cancellation. Children’s publishers now live in fear of these activists, terrified of showing up on their radar with a book or author that could be deemed “problematic”—meaning out of alignment with the activists’ puritanical code.

According to that code, an author’s identity must match a book’s subject matter. Further, certain books can harm children, the activists believe, and books they deem harmful must be removed. If that sounds eerily similar to the right-wing activists’ mission, it’s because it is. The only difference is that while right-wing activists merely want certain books removed from particular schools, left-wing activists want the books they target annihilated.

In 2017 an initially much-praised book of mine about the atom bomb was attacked with the inaccurate charge of having “erased” American Indians. The social-media mob weighed in and the book went from getting rave reviews and being predicted as a Caldecott Medalist to fading into obscurity. I wrote an essay describing my experience, which was published in February 2019. Two months later, Debbie Reese, the blogger who had led the campaign, attacked me again—in her Arbuthnot Lecture, awarded to her by the powerful American Library Association—for not withdrawing my book after what she called her “criticism” of it.

One month later, I wound up on a sort of blacklist on a blog called Reading While White. The contributors—liberal white people who call out other liberal white people for racism—accused me and some other white authors, with no evidence, of “racism—in words, works, and deeds.”

That same year, Time Magazine named one of my books, “The Sad Little Fact,” a Best Book. The Washington Post named my biography of Justice Thurgood Marshall a Best Book. Yet since then I’ve amassed a pile of rejections on a wide range of topics. Editors tell me they can’t publish anything by me about “people of color or women”—the subjects of my most popular works. Editors say publishers mainly want books about “marginalized people,” but the authors’ identities must match the subject matter. My former main editor praised my writing but suggested that if he gave me a contract he would be taking away a “slot” from “previously underrepresented minorities.”

It is mind-blowing that this happened to me—an author who devoted his career to promoting diversity long before it became publishers’ singular focus. And it’s ironic that most of the people behind the pile-ons, petitions and cancellations are white—and privileged. Even more ironic: Many victims of cancel culture are “previously underrepresented minorities”—nonwhite, gay or lesbian authors, who have tended to self-cancel after being targeted by social-media pile-ons. Among them are Kosoko Jackson, E.E. Charlton-Trujillo and Amélie Wen Zhao.

This isn’t progress. The campaign to bring diversity to children’s books must be separated from cancel culture, from social-media mobs, from the vitriolic intolerance toward any dissenting opinions that veer at all from the new orthodoxy.

I say this as a lifelong liberal, whose books have been removed from library shelves in right-wing school districts. This happened last year in Florida to my 2005 book about Roberto Clemente. Note that because I am white, I wouldn’t be able to publish a book about Clemente today, thanks to “progressive” activists’ illiberal code.

My career will likely suffer more damage because of what I’ve written here. So be it. Many of those leading the charge to cancel books and authors have done so to promote or protect their careers. Some things are more important than protecting one’s own career, such as protecting everyone’s right to be heard.

Mr. Winter is author of “Banned Book.”

Body-by-Guinness

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College Drops Failing Grades
« Reply #82 on: February 06, 2024, 05:07:04 PM »
Hell, perhaps they should get rid of classes altogether and just vend sheepskins while they are at it.

No more 'D' or 'F' grades? Grade inflation is masking a looming crisis of ignorance
Oregon university eliminates failing grades
•28The Hill News by Liberty Vittert, Opinion Contributor / Feb 6, 2024 at 9:11 AM//keep unread//hide

I told my students on the first day of class this semester that I do not accept late work under any circumstances. Instead, I’m going to treat them like adults. They can drop their worst two homework grades during the semester, so they are to use those drops wisely. After that, they are out of luck.

The second week of school, I received no fewer than 15 emails from different students asking for extensions.

What is wrong with students today? For one thing, they have learned from experience that professors will roll over and give them better grades and no consequences for poor or late work.

This is the educators’ fault, of course. We have created a generation with no concept of what it takes or what it means to succeed.

Take the Oregon university that just announced it will no longer give students failing letter grades. That's right — no more "D" and "F" grades, because failing grades supposedly mask students' “demonstrated abilities.” If you fail, then no grade goes on your record. This is their plan to mask your demonstrated inability to keep up and do the work.

This is how our educational establishment is choosing to fail our kids upward. And there will be consequences for all of us.

Do you want your nurse to know what drugs can and cannot be mixed together? Do you care if your doctor can distinguish different parts of the anatomy inside your heart? Do you care if the engineer who built the bridge you are driving over can do basic physics? If we keep going this way then you’re going to be out of luck, and it seems that educators have done a great job of keeping that information from you.

We educators are failing an entire generation of kids, and you, their parents, probably don’t even know about it. This is partly because these students have been bringing home As and Bs for mediocre and failing work ever since kindergarten.

According to Gallup, over 90 percent of parents believe their children are performing at grade level. But based on their test scores, only about 50 percent are. This disconnect is a direct result of grade inflation, and now, with the removal of failing grades, it is just going to get worse.

This complete degradation of the concept of a GPA and basic standards of success comes at a time when some top colleges are realizing what a mistake it has been to remove standardized testing. MIT removed its requirement for the SAT/ACT in 2020, only to reinstate it in 2022. Dartmouth has just done the same. Why? Because colleges need a reliable, objective metric by which to determine whether applicants will succeed or wash out. There's no way of guessing whether their grades are reflective of their actual ability or performance.

The urge to give everyone an "A" is understandable. Good parents would do anything for their children. They want to alleviate their stress, and in any way they can. But part of growing up is to learn to fail — and frankly, this is a large part of what college is for.

If we have no metrics to measure success (and failure), then we are truly doing our children a disservice. We will not be here forever to coddle our children. At some point, they have to become productive citizens capable of earning a living. We owe it to them to teach them what it means to earn something.

The goal of a public education is to give all children, regardless of socioeconomic status, a chance at social and economic mobility — to break the cycle of whatever their socioeconomic status is at birth. Unfortunately, the kids who are going to be most hurt by this are the poorest.

When it comes time to get a real job, and they can’t cut it because the education system has spent two decades failing them upward, they will end up jobless and hopeless, wondering how this could be when they were "A" students all along.

Liberty Vittert is a professor of data science at Washington University in St. Louis and the resident on-air statistician for NewsNation, a sister company of The Hill.

https://thehill.com/opinion/education/4444824-no-more-d-or-f-grades-grade-inflation-is-masking-a-looming-crisis-of-ignorance/

Body-by-Guinness

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Institutionalizing Brain Drain
« Reply #83 on: February 07, 2024, 09:58:29 PM »
Piece links to a paper discussing an increase in university hiring of research scientists (4 to 15 percent of college staff, IIRC) with a corresponding decrease in productivity as this science staff is pulled from more productive roles in the private sector, with an inability to apply research findings due to the brain drain schools underwrite. Hmm, let’s mull all the brain octane applied to the “climate change” scam in this context….

Here’s the money shot:

Arora et al. present detailed empirical evidence causally linking the productivity slowdown to the expansion of government science. Government science has yielded smaller-than-expected productivity improvements due to significant trade-offs. Subsidies have moved heads out of firms and into universities and for many firms this shift of talent has not only reduced the firms’ capacity to generate ideas (crowding out) but has also impaired their ability to adopt academic innovations. As the authors write:

…productivity growth may have slowed down because the potential users—private corporations—lack the absorptive capacity to understand and use those ideas.

https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2024/02/is-science-a-public-good.html?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=is-science-a-public-good