The nannies among us never stop. The latest example is an ad campaign out in California by First 5 California, also known as the California Children and Families Commission, which is seeking to encourage parents to feed their children healthier food. Their ads include photoshopped pictures of children to make them look obese.
This year, the California government funded ads were posted in convenience stores and in certain parts of the state deemed as "food deserts," areas where people have less access to healthy food, according to a First5 spokesperson. The ads were intended to "show parents the real-life consequences of obesity and what sugar can do to our children's lives," the spokesperson added.
These food deserts were created by the government, by the way. They are another product of central planning and the so-called "war on poverty." The government should have called it the "war for poverty" because all it did was create more impoverished people. more >>
School officials all over the country are misusing zero-tolerance policies about violence in schools as a means to bully children and teachers. Their actions are over-the-top and they should be reprimanded or fired.
Consider Hunter Spanjer, a 3 year-old deaf boy in Lincoln, Nebraska, who was bullied by public school officials to change his name because the hand sign for "Hunter" looks like a weapon. The Grand Island school district's policy forbids children from bringing to school "any instrument ... that looks like a weapon." (Even though Hunter was not bringing anything to school; he was only using his hand to sign.) The sign for his name can't be changed because it's the official hand sign registered through S.E.E. (Sign Exact English).
Pressure from the National Association of the Deaf and the public compelled the district to allow Hunter to keep his name. How kind of them. Sadly, district authorities have expressed no sense of sense of shame for how they treated Hunter, who cannot help that he is deaf, nor can he control what he was named. Neither the district superintendent nor the school principal was fired. more >>
There is some truth to conservative concerns that there is a liberal bias in the humanities, claims a new report on the state of humanities education at Harvard University.
Professors "committed to criticism as critique might recognize a kernel of truth in conservative fears about the left-leaning academy," states the report, "The Teaching of Arts and Humanities at Harvard College: Mapping the Future."
The report was one result of an 18-month review of the humanities division at Harvard. Ten humanities professors were involved in writing the report, which was headed by Professor James Simpson from the English department and Professor Sean Kelly from the Philosophy Department. more >>
A spokesman for the public school district where a student recently decided to recite the Lord's Prayer instead of give a planned graduation speech has stated that students' rights should not be restricted.
On June 1, Liberty High School valedictorian Roy Costner IV ripped up his pre-approved speech and chose to deliver a speech that included the Lord's Prayer at his graduation ceremony. John Eby, public information specialist for the School District of Pickens County, S.C., told The Christian Post that a student's right to religious expression cannot be restricted.
"We also cannot pre-approve a message from the school – whether delivered by a student or a staff member – that endorses a religion," said Eby. more >>
The teachers who deliver the most engaging and interesting lectures may have been your favorite, but a new study suggests they probably did not help you learn more than your "boring" teachers. The study raises questions about the value of student evaluations of teachers.
For the study, researchers conducted an experiment in which two classes each watched a different instructor give the same lecture explaining a scientific concept. In one class, the "fluent" instructor used all the techniques one would expect from a good public speaker: "the instructor stood upright, maintained eye contact, and spoke fluidly without notes." In the other class, the "disfluent" instructor did everything public speakers are not supposed to do: "the instructor slumped, looked away, and spoke haltingly with notes."
The class with the fluent instructor said their teacher was better prepared and more effective, and their predictions of how they would do on the exam were higher, than the class with the disfluent instructor. The fluent instructor class did not, however, learn significantly more than the disfluent instructor class. Also, the disfluent instructor class was much closer to predicting how much they had learned. more >>
Conservatives have long suspected there is discrimination against conservative professors in academia, and now there is evidence to prove it. Sociology professor Neil Gross, a self-described liberal, reveals the results of surveys showing this bias in his new book, Why Professors are Liberal and Why do Conservatives Care?
Sociologist George Yancey asked professors if they would be more or less likely to hire someone if they were a Republican, evangelical or fundamentalist.
Three-quarters said political affiliation would not affect their hiring decision. But the one-quarter that did say it would influence their decision virtually all said they would favor a Democrat over a Republican. Almost half of the sociology professors surveyed said they would look unfavorably upon evangelicals and fundamentalists trying to get a job in their department! more >>