Currently Browsing: Colorado Education

Those Outrageous English Class Mouth-Frothers

girl confuses animal with president bush

Your assignment: Anti-Palin research. The WorldNetDaily piece didn’t explain well what the purpose of this English class was – just that the Professor Andrew Hallam, his assignments and his approach are unacceptable. The classroom environment seems to have a bit of tension, too:

“When Hallam handed out the Palin writing assignment, the students reported “he said he would give the Republicans a chance to speak about it and asked who in the class was a Republican. Five of us raised our hands. When we did, [one other student] … said ‘F*** you!’ Mr. Hallam did nothing about this. At the end of the class period, after a lot of the Republicans had voiced their side of the issue, another kid said, ‘They’re full of s***, but we let them talk anyway.’”"

I had an incident like this once – and in an English class, too. I said something, though I forget what, and a student stood up and yelled, “You’re a bastard!” The teacher did nothing.

The next day, that teacher apparently felt guilty. She announced that the following day would include a few minutes for anyone in the class to speak on the “disturbance.” A couple kids talked about how we needed to respect one another and not lash out.

I came prepared with photocopies of my birth certificate and my parents’ marriage license. I passed them around, explained the timeline, and assured the class that I was not, in fact, a bastard.

Hallam teems with professionalism, class and scholarship:

“The students had documented a series of incidents in which Hallam reportedly told his class, “Bush-bashing is one of my favorite things to do.”

In another class, the students report, Hallam said he loved swearing and the f-word was his favorite word.”

Does he mean frak? I bet he means frak.

Today’s Reads, Mostly Education, Some Educational

Working on other projects. I still read, though.

“Democrats are Standing up to the Teachers Unions: Can this be True?” asks little Ed over at Ed is Watching. Maybe he’ll get some answers on September 19th [if the event doesn't run past his bedtime]. Yet another thumbs up for the DFER folks.

From RightWingProf, who came across this dandy fop opining out of San Diego: “Sarah Palin often uses lots of notes when she speaks, even going so far as to use tabs and different colors of notecards. This is just so unbelievably tacky and small town I am considering killing myself.” Yipes. I know that frustration, though. I see it every time I obliterate, shame, or otherwise invalidate an argument made by someone who has contempt for ignorant, small town rubes [like  me].

Brown University reformed its curricula in the late 1960s. I wouldn’t have done it, and not the way they did, but no one asked me then. They’re reforming things now – and ACTA says that it’s not perfect, but that it’s a step in the right direction.

Mike S. Adams has founded F.A.S.H.I.S.T. at UNC-Wilmington – Faculty Against Sexual Harassment Initiatives and Sensitivity Training. He asks whether “mandate” is sexist, and then says, “Five years ago the administration chipped in $60,000 to help bring Ludacris to campus. He sang a lot about hos. Shouldn’t we be forcing the administration to attend mandatory sexual harassment training not the other way around?”

Haaaaaaaaaaaahahahha. Awesome.

An interesting video about Senator Obama and edu-huckster extraordinaire, Bill Ayers.

The Onion: The Word “Presumptive” Prepares for Another 4-year Hibernation.

BIG NEWS: Detroit Superintendent hung up the phone on someone. My school board members barked at me like junkyard dogs, used school facilities/organizations to campaign against me, and school employees used in-house computers to suggest that I was a drug dealer. I don’t hang up on anyone [nor do I take or sell drugs].

Today is Battle of Britain Day in the United Kingdom. British resilience is a trait I love, and one that we in Upstate New York share. Let us hope that steely resolve makes a comeback in the wake of Sharia law.

Anyone Hiring? Ward Churchill Needs a Job

ward churchill, warrior scholar

Shamed pseudoscholar Ward Churchill – that charming mix of self-proclaimed Native American, left-wing militant, radical feminist, 9/11 Truther, and every other oppressed subgroup fashionable in identity politics – has finally been terminated.

Remember – though his politics are distasteful to most, the impetus for his discipline came from scholarly plagiarism and fabrication. I don’t care how inflammatory or mundane your politics are, there’s no place in scholarship for cheating.

There’s no need for me to parse Churchill’s circumstances [I highlighted Anne D. Neal's take on it a few weeks ago]. That one’s been around the Victrola more than a few times. There is, however, an excellent – and, at times, troubling – discussion in the comments of’s coverage of the firing. One need not be a particularly interested party to find value in the exchange.

Robert at Casting Out Nines threw his hat into that comment ring and gives his opinion, as well as some reasoning for his comment on IHE, on his own site.

UPDATE at 7.26.07, 4.18pm: Want to know why UC President Hank Brown terminated Churchill? Read his explanation called “Why I Fired Professor Ward Churchill” on the Wall Street Journal Online, no subscription required.

And, since I’m feeling slightly pedomorphic and snarky this afternoon, I can’t help but post the following video – it’s not unlike Ward Churchill’s wake-up call when the ruling came down from the Board of Regents. [If you're reading this in an RSS reader, just give a click here]

Anne D. Neal on Ward Churchill and Academic Freedom :

ward churchill, ethnographer and commando

Anne D. Neal has written an excellent piece on Ward Churchill, discredited professor of God-knows-what at the University of Colorado. I was disappointed when Churchill gained public attention because of his politics; while troubling and unsound, his political views aren’t the real problem with his place in academia.

Ward has been proven to be a meritless scholar with no business teaching others. He lied, plagiarized, fabricated research, and cheated a University and its students out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in resources and wasted time. To put it more succinctly, he defrauded their entire system and then pleaded for leniency based on academic freedom.

Neal sees through it all:

When the Boulder campus’s Standing Committee on Research Misconduct issued its report on Churchill last summer, it unanimously found Churchill guilty of severe, sustained, and deliberate breaches of professional integrity. It further noted that the evaluative system that nurtured and rewarded Churchill needed an overhaul…

… Of course, Churchill and his defenders claim that Colorado’s two-year investigation was an assault on academic freedom because it arose from a public scandal about Churchill’s speech. Churchill’s lawyer even suggested to The Rocky Mountain News that “[a]ny discipline is wrong” in this case. But to suggest that notoriety somehow exempts Churchill from scrutiny is risible. Scrutiny should be applied to scholarly work – as a matter of practice …

… As the decision-making process winds down in Colorado, Churchill’s career hangs in the balance. But so does the integrity of academia.

I don’t think that Neal overstates the importance of this case. The rabid comments at the end of the piece suggest that we’re in the minority, though.

Also, take a look at The New Criterion’s quick take on the reasoning that underlies Churchill’s punishment-to-be. Maybe there isn’t as much hope as I thought.