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Category : News: Education

Supreme Court Votes to End Affirmative Action at Universities!

A state’s voters are free to outlaw the use of race as a factor in college admissions, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a blow to affirmative action that also laid bare tensions among the justices about a continuing need for programs that address racial inequality in America.

The 6-2 decision upheld a voter-approved change to the Michigan Constitution that forbids the state’s public colleges to take race into account. That change was indeed up to the voters, the ruling said, over one justice’s impassioned dissent that accused the court of simply wanting to wish away inequality.

The ruling bolsters similar voter-approved initiatives banning affirmative action in education in California and Washington state. A few other states have adopted laws or issued executive orders to bar race-conscious admissions policies.

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CA Schools brace for transgender law (Referendum seeks vote to repeal)

SAN FRANCISCO — With a law that spells out the rights of transgender students in grades K-12 set to take effect in California, school districts are reviewing locker room layouts, scheduling sensitivity training for coaches, assessing who will sleep where during overnight field trips and reconsidering senior portrait dress codes.

But administrators, counselors, teachers and school board members also are watching and waiting. The law, the nation’s first requiring public schools to let children use sex-segregated facilities and participate in the gender-specific

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Police state: County censors government employee who dares criticize Obamacare

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Published on: December 8, 2013

Police state: County censors government employee who dares criticize Obamacare

A California county has banned a veteran employee from criticizing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act because a coworker who overheard the criticism was offended.

The employee is Norina Mooney, who has logged some 20 years of work experience with Santa Clara County, the epicenter of Silicon Valley.

According to Mooney’s attorneys with the Pacific Justice Institute, she made some water-cooler talk with a fellow employee about the high number people who have had their insurance policies canceled under Obamacare.

Later, a supervisor called Mooney into a private meeting and allegedly dressed her down for the attempt at chitchat because an unidentified person had overheard the small talk and been offended.

In the future, the supervisor said, Mooney must exit the government building should she have anything adverse about Obamacare or otherwise political to say.

Mooney’s attorneys noted that this edict is an odd one considering Mooney’s claim that the office environment is replete with pro-Obama paraphernalia. She noted that her coworkers openly wore Obama campaign attire to work at election time as well.

‘Genderqueer’ rising: Colleges welcome kids who identify as neither male nor female

Living in a fantasy: Skylar Crownover wants the world to pretend she is a he – or else! The weekly meetings of Mouthing Off!, a group for students at Mills College in Oakland, Calif., who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, always start the same way. Members take turns going around the room saying[...]

Peer Review Non-Existant in Modern Scientific “Study” Community (Fall of Real Science)

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Published on: October 9, 2013

A spoof paper concocted by Science reveals little or no scrutiny at many open-access journals.

On 4 July, good news arrived in the inbox of Ocorrafoo Cobange, a biologist at the Wassee Institute of Medicine in Asmara. It was the official letter of acceptance for a paper he had submitted 2 months earlier to the Journal of Natural Pharmaceuticals, describing the anticancer properties of a chemical that Cobange had extracted from a lichen.

In fact, it should have been promptly rejected. Any reviewer with more than a high-school knowledge of chemistry and the ability to understand a basic data plot should have spotted the paper’s short-comings immediately. Its experiments are so hopelessly flawed that the results are meaningless.

I know because I wrote the paper. Ocorrafoo Cobange does not exist, nor does the Wassee Institute of Medicine. Over the past 10 months, I have submitted 304 versions of the wonder drug paper to open-access journals. More than half of the journals accepted the paper, failing to notice its fatal flaws. Beyond that headline result, the data from this sting operation reveal the contours of an emerging Wild West in academic publishing.

From humble and idealistic beginnings a decade ago, open-access scientific journals have mushroomed into a global industry, driven by author publication fees rather than traditional subscriptions. Most of the players are murky. The identity and location of the journals’ editors, as well as the financial workings of their publishers, are often purposefully obscured. But Science‘s investigation casts a powerful light. Internet Protocol (IP) address traces within the raw headers of e-mails sent by journal editors betray their locations. Invoices for publication fees reveal a network of bank accounts based mostly in the developing world. And the acceptances and rejections of the paper provide the first global snapshot of peer review across the open-access scientific enterprise.

One might have expected credible peer review at the Journal of Natural Pharmaceuticals. It describes itself as “a peer reviewed journal aiming to communicate high quality research articles, short communications, and reviews in the field of natural products with desired pharmacological activities.” The editors and advisory board members are pharmaceutical science professors at universities around the world.

The journal is one of more than 270 owned by Medknow, a company based in Mumbai, India, and one of the largest open-access publishers. According to Medknow’s website, more than 2 million of its articles are downloaded by researchers every month. Medknow was bought for an undisclosed sum in 2011 by Wolters Kluwer, a multinational firm headquartered in the Netherlands and one of the world’s leading purveyors of medical information with annual revenues of nearly $5 billion.

But the editorial team of the Journal of Natural Pharmaceuticals, headed by Editor-in-Chief Ilkay Orhan, a professor of pharmacy at Eastern Mediterranean University in Gazimagosa, Cyprus, asked the fictional Cobange for only superficial changes to the paper—different reference formats and a longer abstract—before accepting it 51 days later. The paper’s scientific content was never mentioned. In an e-mail to Science, managing editor Mueen Ahmed, a professor of pharmacy at King Faisal University in Al-Hasa, Saudi Arabia, states that he will permanently shut down the journal by the end of the year. “I am really sorry for this,” he says. Orhan says that for the past 2 years, he had left the journal’s operation entirely to staff led by Ahmed. (Ahmed confirms this.) “I should’ve been more careful,” Orhan says.

Acceptance was the norm, not the exception. The paper was accepted by journals hosted by industry titans Sage and Elsevier. The paper was accepted by journals published by prestigious academic institutions such as Kobe University in Japan. It was accepted by scholarly society journals. It was even accepted by journals for which the paper’s topic was utterly inappropriate, such as the Journal of Experimental & Clinical Assisted Reproduction.

The rejections tell a story of their own. Some open-access journals that have been criticized for poor quality control provided the most rigorous peer review of all. For example, the flagship journal of the Public Library of Science, PLOS ONE, was the only journal that called attention to the paper’s potential ethical problems, such as its lack of documentation about the treatment of animals used to generate cells for the experiment. The journal meticulously checked with the fictional authors that this and other prerequisites of a proper scientific study were met before sending it out for review. PLOS ONE rejected the paper 2 weeks later on the basis of its scientific quality.

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thumbSHOCK VIDEO: College students blame Obama and Democrats for shutdown

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Published on: October 9, 2013

New Study: Children with Same-Sex Parents Fare Worse

Using Canadian census data, a very large and therefore representative database, Canadian professor Douglas Allen of Simon Frazier University finds that children raised by intact, married biological parents do better than children raised by same-sex couples. From the abstract, yes, published in a peer-reviewed journal:

Here, a 20 % sample of the 2006 Canada census is used to identify self-reported children living with same-sex parents, and to examine the association of household type with children’s high school graduation rates. This large random sample allows for control of parental marital status, distinguishes between gay and lesbian families, and is large enough to evaluate differences in gender between parents and children. Children living with gay and lesbian families in 2006 were about 65 % as likely to graduate compared to children living in opposite sex marriage families. Daughters of same-sex parents do considerably worse than sons.

California Schools Sending ‘Fat Letters’ To Parents About Overweight Children

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Published on: September 5, 2013

Many schools are sending notes home to parents, telling them their children are overweight.

Lauren Schmitt, a registered dietitian, starts the school year by checking out the weight of hundreds of preschoolers in the San Fernando Valley.

“We look at growth charts and percentiles. And when a child is at 95 percent of their…we can look at weight for age or weight for height…that child would be considered obese,” she said.

By October, CBS2’s Suraya Fadel reported that parents will get what is called “healthy or unhealthy” letters. Kids call them “fat letters.”

Schmitt said out of the 900 2 to 5-year-old children she looks at, roughly 200 are listed as obese.

“We let the parents know in a gentle fashion, but we also send out a ton of handouts to try to help that family,” she said.

Experts said 19 states around the country are cracking down on childhood obesity with similar letters.

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Schools Dump Michelle Obama’s Food Program (Vomit Like Food)

After just one year, some schools around the country are dropping out of the healthier new federal lunch program, complaining that so many students turned up their noses at meals packed with whole grains, fruits and vegetables that the cafeterias were losing money.

Federal officials say they don’t have exact numbers but have seen isolated reports of schools cutting ties with the $11 billion National School Lunch Program, which reimburses schools for meals served and gives them access to lower-priced food.

Districts that rejected the program say the reimbursement was not enough to offset losses from students who began avoiding the lunch line and bringing food from home or, in some cases, going hungry.

“Some of the stuff we had to offer, they wouldn’t eat,” said Catlin, Ill., Superintendent Gary Lewis, whose district saw a 10 to 12 percent drop in lunch sales, translating to $30,000 lost under the program last year.

“So you sit there and watch the kids, and you know they’re hungry at the end of the day, and that led to some behavior and some lack of attentiveness.”

In upstate New York, a few districts have quit the program, including the Schenectady-area Burnt Hills Ballston Lake system, whose five lunchrooms ended the year $100,000 in the red.

Near Albany, Voorheesville Superintendent Teresa Thayer Snyder said her district lost $30,000 in the first three months. The program didn’t even make it through the school year after students repeatedly complained about the small portions and apples and pears went from the tray to the trash untouched.

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Inclusion Means Excluding White Males

Dear Chancellor Miller:

On May 9, you announced that you were initiating a process to “rethink” our university’s approach to diversity and inclusion. Then, on August 16, you announced that eleven individuals agreed to serve on your Chancellor’s Committee on Diversity and Inclusion. For the following reasons, I find the composition of the committee to be deeply problematic.

1. Your inclusion committee is 0% white male. I have written three books dealing with campus diversity issues. I have been invited to speak on issues of diversity (largely ideological) at 78 college campuses. Over the last ten years, I have written nearly 900 columns, the majority of which have dealt with diversity issues. I am certainly among the most qualified people you could have invited to serve on your diversity committee. But you did not reach out to me. There is but one explanation for this. You have deliberately excluded white males from your discussions of inclusion. If there is a non-racist or non-sexist explanation for the fact that your committee is 0% white male, I’d like to hear it.

2. Your inclusion committee is 82% female. Over a decade ago, our school launched, at taxpayer expense, a new Women’s Resource Center. It was strange, given that the student body was then 68% female. Put simply, we need to stop pretending that women are a minority here at UNC-Wilmington. If you want to be inclusive then you should include more men on your inclusion committee. Men are the real minority here at UNC-Women Everywhere.

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Top ‘LGBT Friendly’ Colleges Offer ‘Gender-Free’ Bathrooms, ‘Queer Studies’ Minor

Campus Pride, a gay rights advocacy group, released its annual list of the “Top 25 LGBT Friendly Colleges and Universities” on Tuesday, which includes schools with gender-neutral bathrooms and a minor in “queer studies.”

The top 25 schools had to achieve five stars in overall, sexual orientation, and gender identity/expression categories in order to be listed in the top 25. Each school also had to be 4.5 stars or above in eight LGBT-friendly factor areas.

The final Top 25 had the highest percentage ratings and reflects colleges with student populations from 2500 to over 25,000, both public and private schools.

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Obama admin forces school district to let teenage girl use boys restroom, showers, sleeping quarters!

The Obama administration’s Justice Department has pressured a California school district into allowing an incoming high school freshman who is anatomically female but identifies as a boy to use the restroom and changing facilities assigned to her preferred sex, rather than her biological sex.

Her family filed a federal discrimination lawsuit after the school district twice refused to allow the girl to sleep in a room with boys without a chaperone.

The Obama administration pressured the school district to allow the girl to use the boys’ facilities, saying in a letter that failure to do so constitutes sexual discrimination against “students who do not conform to sex stereotypes.”

Under a new agreement, every transgender student in the district will have full access to the opposite sex’s changing rooms and sleeping quarters during school trips.

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Texas high school silences Valedictorian’s microphone during speech on Constitution, report says

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A Texas high school silenced its Valedictorian’s microphone during his speech when he diverted from his pre-approved remarks and instead spoke about the Constitution.

Joshua High School graduate Remington Reimer, who was accepted into the Naval Academy, had his microphone silenced during his speech right after he told fellow graduates that school officials apparently threatened him with the move the day before, MyFoxDFW.com reported.

Colin Radford, a fellow graduate told MyFoxDFW.com that Reimer was “talking about getting constitutional rights taken away from him, and then he said “just yesterday they threatened to turn my microphone off,” and then his microphone went off.”

Prominent Israel Hater Alice Walker Believes World Run by Reptilian Space Aliens (NOT Satire)

Alice Walker, the author of “The Color Purple” who was also a “jurist” in the kangaroo court “Russell Tribunal on Palestine,” believes that Israel is an apartheid state.

She also believes that the world is run by shape-shifting reptilian aliens who practice mind control from the Moon.

I’m not sure which opinion is more bizarre.

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Senate Ratings Changes: The Political Environment Turns on Democrats

While national polls haven’t shown a shift in the public’s opinion of President Barack Obama’s performance, recent controversies have, in my view, significantly changed the political landscape.

And changes in the landscape have led the Rothenberg Political Report to change its Senate ratings.

For the past few years, the public’s focus has been on Republicans’ opposition to the president’s agenda, their desire to shrink (even cripple) government and their conservatism. But the IRS scandal, along with controversies involving the attack in Benghazi and the Justice Department’s collecting of journalists’ telephone records, has change the political narrative.

While the Oklahoma tornado tragedy will dominate media coverage for the next few days, the new political narrative that will re-emerge when journalists return to politics involves questions about what the administration knew, said and did.

The new focus on the Obama administration puts it on the defensive and should boost enthusiasm on the political right throughout this year.

While we don’t know how long the focus will stay on the administration — or whether Republicans will stumble over the investigations or matters of public policy — between now and the November midterms, it is undeniable that recent events have altered, at least for now, the trajectory of the 2014 elections.

Given the different natures of midterm electorates, the new political narrative increases the risk for Democratic candidates in red states, where Democrats must win independent and, in many cases, Republican voters to be successful.

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