College Exploration of Learning?

Victor Davis Hanson:What do campus microaggressions, safe spaces, trigger warnings, speech codes and censorship have to do with higher learning?

American universities want it both ways. They expect unquestioned subsidized support from the public, but also to operate in a way impossible for anyone else.

Colleges still wear the ancient clothes of higher learning. Latin mottos, caps and gowns, ivy-covered spires and high talk of liberal education reflect a hallowed intellectual tradition.

In fact, today’s campuses mimic ideological boot camps. Tenured professors seek to indoctrinate young people in certain preconceived progressive political agendas. Environmental studies classes are not very open to debating the “settled science” of man-caused, carbon-induced global warming — or the need for immediate and massive government intervention to address it. Grade-conscious and indebted students make the necessary ideological adjustments.

It’s their way or the highway. It’s not like Liberals are tolerant of people disagreeing with them. 🙂 Diversity is Progressive. 🙂

Few sociological courses celebrate the uniquely American assimilationist melting pot. Race, class and gender agenda courses — along with thousands of “studies” courses — have been invented. A generation of politicized professors has made the strange argument that they alone have discovered all sorts of critical new disciplines of knowledge — apparently unknown for 2,500 years — to ensure that graduates would be better educated than ever before.

Universities have lost their commitment to the inductive method. Preconceived anti-Enlightenment theories are established as settled fact and part of career promotion. Evidence is made to fit these unquestioned assumptions.

A former student government leader at American University is disdainful of a student group’s decision to host Karl Rove, arguing that conservative views are anathema to the school.

“AU is a very liberal-leaning community,” William McNamara writes in an op-ed for The Rival, a student publication unaffiliated with the university. “Which begs the important question many are asking which is, why is KPU bringing a speaker that the majority of the campus doesn’t care for?”

“I am fucking sick of my student activity fee going to individuals, ideologies, and organizations that neither I, nor a majority of student organizations support,” said SIS student and notable KPU malcontent Bill Kakenmaster. “Karl Rove may well be sought after, but to call him a political ‘brain’ is to discredit valid political intellectualism.”

A professor from Temple University,the professor said sex markers are “poor proxies” because “maleness and femaleness” are characteristics we share with many other people.

“heterosexist in assumption” and something which seemed “like a relic from another time…nonsensical,” saying it “has been discontinued, thankfully.”

He cited the labeling of mother and father as “harmful” because these parents don’t “self-identify” that way and “some transgender men can bear children.”

While the talk had approximately 50 student, faculty, and Charlottesville residents in attendance, some students came to the event to fulfill a requirement imposed by the University of Virginia’s Intro to Gender and Sexuality class. Campus Reform also spotted an attendance sheet, on which six students of the Anthropology department’s Language and Gender course had written their names. (Campus Reform)

Two unfortunate results have predictably followed.

Students now leave campus largely prepped by their professors to embrace a predictable menu: the glories of larger government, income redistribution, greater entitlements, radical environmentalism, abortion, multiculturalism, suspicion of traditional religion, and antipathy to the international role of the United States in the past and present.

Unfortunately, this costly indoctrination comes at the expense of what is increasingly less taught: traditional mastery of foreign languages, great works of literature, philosophy, history, mastery of grammar and composition, and the Socratic method.

Careerism often drives campus politics. If poor, minority or first-generation college students could obtain the traditional tools of success — English and mathematic literacy, acquaintance with American history and protocols, oral and written language mastery — they would succeed as individuals without need for the college industry of collective victimology that assumes a permanent lack of parity.

Employers and the adult world no longer equate a bachelor’s degree with proof of a well-rounded education. Yet chastised universities usually oppose any objective measurement of their effectiveness. They certainly want federally insured student loans, but they do not want proof of their competency through national exit tests, which might help ensure that all graduates leave college able to compute, read and write well. How odd that standardized tests are permissible to judge entering students but not to certify exiting ones.

Colleges are schizophrenic in lots of other ways. They claim they are special institutions that should be free to form their own curricula, enjoy ancient rites such as faculty tenure, not worry much how much they charge students or treat part-time faculty, and establish radical new legal protocols that run contrary to the Constitution.

When colleges create “safe spaces” designated by race and gender, they butt up against U.S. law. Assuming the guilt rather than innocence of students accused of bad behavior does not stand up in court.

Most Americans who work in a mall or shop are not awarded lifelong guaranteed employment. Nor are our newspapers censored with “trigger warnings” in fear that readers might become hurt by depressing news stories.

Universities ask the public to subsidize these strange rituals by making endowments tax-exempt. The government extends federally guaranteed loans and ensures write-offs for charitable giving.

 

In the past, there was a clear bargain. The university said, “Leave us alone to do our business that we know best, and we promise to turn out the best-educated and most inductive generation of American youth.”

Universities are now breaking their word. Students, if they even graduate (about four in 10 do not, even after six years), are not “universally” educated. Instead, they are the least prepared yet most politicized graduates in memory. Arrogance and ignorance are a bad combination.

But make excellent Democrats. 🙂

If the university cannot fulfill its original compact of broadly educating youth while keeping within bounds of American laws and protocols, then it will either have to change or slowly become irrelevant.

The market is already sensing a void — and thus opportunity. Online degree programs proliferate. Private vocational and trade schools sprout up around college campuses. Even Ivy League degrees have become mostly empty brand names, like Gucci or Versace, that convey status and open doors but hardly guarantee that graduates are knowledgeable or inductive thinkers.

All of these growing alternatives to borrowing a collective $1 trillion for university education reflect that it may not only be a bad deal, but a rigged one as well.

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez
Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson
Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

It’s Worse than We Thought

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez
It’s reality but not as we know it

John Hawkins: How radical, weird and out of touch have liberals on college campuses gotten since Obama came into office? It’s worse than you ever thought and although there is an almost unlimited number of problematic incidents to choose from, these 15 are particularly effective at getting across how bad things have become.

1) “College Students Say Remembering 9/11 Is Offensive to Muslims…. The everything-is-offensive brand of campus activism has struck a new low: Students at the University of Minnesota killed a proposed moment of silence for 9/11 victims due to concerns—insulting, childish concerns—that Muslim students would be offended.”

2) “Portland State University Offers Course Teaching How to ‘Make Whiteness Strange’…According to Portland State University Professor Rachel Sanders’ ‘White Privilege’ course, ‘whiteness’ must be dismantled if racial justice will ever be achieved. The course description states that ‘whiteness is the lynchpin of structures of racial meaning and racial inequality in the United States” and claims that ‘to preserve whiteness is to preserve racial injustice.’ Students taking the course will ‘endeavor to make whiteness strange.’ In order to make whiteness strange, the description says students must ‘interrogate whiteness as an unstable legal, political, social, and cultural construction.’”

 

3) “A University in the San Francisco Area Actually Told Students To Call 911 if They Were Offended….Administrators at a Catholic university in the San Francisco Bay Area have rescinded an official school policy instructing students to clog up the regional 9-1-1 emergency reporting system to report ‘bias incidents.’

The school is Santa Clara University, reports Campus Reform…Until this month, however, Santa Clara administrators have been instructing students to report ‘bias incidents’ using the emergency service reserved for dispatching police, firefighters and ambulances.

‘If the bias incident is in progress or just occurred: ALWAYS CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY,’ the Santa Clara website instructed students in fierce, all-capital letters.”

4) “Educators in the Volunteer State are very concerned that students might be offended by the usage of traditional pronouns like she, he, him and hers, according to a document from the University of Tennessee – Knoxville’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

…For all you folks who went to school back when there were only him and her – here’s a primer: some of the new gender neutral pronouns are ze, hir, zir, xe, xem and xyr.”

5) “A Professor at Polk State College has allegedly failed a humanities student after she refused to concede that Jesus is a ‘myth’ or that Christianity oppresses women during a series of mandatory assignments at the Florida college. According to a press release from the Liberty Counsel, a non-profit public interest law firm, Humanities Professor Lance ‘Lj’ Russum gave a student a ‘zero’ on four separate papers because the 16-year-old did not ‘conform to his personal worldviews of Marxism, Atheism, Feminism, and homosexuality.’ The law firm has called for a full, private investigation of the professor and the course curriculum.”

6) “College Codes Make ‘Color Blindness’ a Microaggression…wait, what?…. UCLA says “Color Blindness,” the idea we shouldn’t obsess over people’s race, is a microaggression. If you refuse to treat an individual as a ‘racial/cultural being,’ then you’re being aggressive.”

7) “The phrase ‘politically correct’ is now a microaggression according to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The university’s ‘Just Words’ campaign is the work of UWM’s ‘Inclusive Excellence Center’ and aims to ‘raise awareness of microaggressions and their impact’—microaggressions like ‘politically correct’ or ‘PC.’”

 

8) ) “‘American,’ ‘illegal alien,’ ‘foreigners,’ ‘mothering,’ and ‘fathering’ are just a handful of words deemed ‘problematic’ by the University of New Hampshire’s Bias-Free Language Guide….Saying ‘American’ to reference Americans is also problematic. The guide encourages the use of the more inclusive substitutes ‘U.S. citizen’ or ‘Resident of the U.S.’ The guide also tries to get students to stop saying ‘Caucasian,’ ‘illegal Immigrant,’ ‘mother,’ ‘father’ and even the word ‘healthy’ is said to shame those who aren’t healthy.”

9) “Late yesterday afternoon, ACLJ filed a lawsuit on behalf of Brandon Jenkins against officials of The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) in Maryland for denying Brandon admission to its Radiation Therapy Program in part due to his expression of religious beliefs. As one faculty member explained to Brandon, on behalf of CCBC, the ‘field [of radiation therapy] is not the place for religion.’”

10) “A California school co-founded by a firebrand who once called for an ‘intifada’ in the U.S. has become the nation’s first accredited Muslim college.”

11) “According to Coastal Carolina University, sex is only consensual if both parties are completely sober and if consent is not only present, but also enthusiastic. This is a troubling standard that converts many ordinary, lawful sexual encounters into sexual assault, and it should frighten any student at CCU.”

12) “Clemson University apologizes for serving Mexican food…Students took to Twitter to call the event culturally insensitive and to question the school’s efforts to promote diversity….Clemson Dining issued an apology to ‘offended’ students after hosting a ‘Maximum Mexican’ food day.”

13) “All-Women’s College Cancels ‘Vagina Monologues’ Because it Excludes Women Without Vaginas.”

14) “The ‘Black Lives Matter’ leader who landed a teaching gig at Yale University delivered a lecture this week on the historical merits of looting as a form of protest, backing up his lesson with required reading that puts modern-day marauders on par with the patriots behind the Boston Tea Party.”

15) “Assistant Dean (at Cornell) Tells a Project Veritas Investigative Journalist that the University Would Allow an ISIS Terrorist to Hold a ‘Training Camp’ on Campus, Saying: ‘It Would be Like Bringing in a Coach to do a Training on a Sports Team.'”

 
BE AFRAID of the Crybaby Generation, Be very Afraid.

Right to Offend

Mike Adams, a professor at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington is not your stereotypical left-wing teacher. On the heels of a report that showed that liberal arts professors overwhelmingly support Democrats, Adams’ semester-opening statement to his students has gone viral.

[Trigger warning: The following is extraordinarily insensitive and its candor may cause some students to be highly offended. Symptoms of being confronted with viewpoints other than one’s own may cause one to get “the vapors” and students have even been known to collapse in a fainting spell upon reading offensive literature. Reader discretion is advised.]

Here is what he said to his students:

Welcome back to class, students! I am Mike Adams your criminology professor here at UNC-Wilmington. Before we get started with the course I need to address an issue that is causing problems here at UNCW and in higher education all across the country. I am talking about the growing minority of students who believe they have a right to be free from being offended. If we don’t reverse this dangerous trend in our society there will soon be a majority of young people who will need to walk around in plastic bubble suits to protect them in the event that they come into contact with a dissenting viewpoint. That mentality is unworthy of an American. It’s hardly worthy of a Frenchman.

Let’s get something straight right now. You have no right to be unoffended. You have a right to be offended with regularity. It is the price you pay for living in a free society. If you don’t understand that you are confused and dangerously so. In part, I blame your high school teachers for failing to teach you basic civics before you got your diploma. Most of you went to the public high schools, which are a disaster. Don’t tell me that offended you. I went to a public high school.

Of course, your high school might not be the problem. It is entirely possible that the main reason why so many of you are confused about free speech is that piece of paper hanging on the wall right over there. Please turn your attention to that ridiculous document that is framed and hanging by the door. In fact, take a few minutes to read it before you leave class today. It is our campus speech code. It specifically says that there is a requirement that everyone must only engage in discourse that is “respectful.” That assertion is as ludicrous as it is illegal. I plan to have that thing ripped down from every classroom on campus before I retire.

One of my grandfathers served in World War I. My step-grandfather served in World War II. My sixth great grandfather enlisted in the American Revolution when he was only thirteen. These great men did not fight so we could simply relinquish our rights to the enemy within our borders. That enemy is the Marxists who run our public universities. If you are a Marxist and I just offended you, well, that’s tough. I guess they don’t make communists like they used to.

Unbelievably, a student once complained to the Department chairwoman that my mention of God and a Creator was a violation of Separation of Church and State. Let me be as clear as I possibly can: If any of you actually think that my decision to paraphrase the Declaration of Independence in the course syllabus is unconstitutional then you suffer from severe intellectual hernia.

Indeed, it takes hard work to become stupid enough to think the Declaration of Independence is unconstitutional. If you agree with the student who made that complaint then you are probably just an anti-religious zealot. Therefore, I am going to ask you to do exactly three things and do them in the exact order that I specify.

First, get out of my class. You can fill out the drop slip over at James Hall. Just tell them you don’t believe in true diversity and you want to be surrounded by people who agree with your twisted interpretation of the Constitution simply because they are the kind of people who will protect you from having your beliefs challenged or your feelings hurt.  🙂

Second, withdraw from the university. If you find that you are actually relieved because you will no longer be in a class where your beliefs might be challenged then you aren’t ready for college. Go get a job building houses so you can work with some illegal aliens who will help you gain a better appreciation of what this country has to offer.

Finally, if this doesn’t work then I would simply ask you to get the hell out of the country. The ever-growing thinned-skinned minority you have joined is simply ruining life in this once-great nation. Please move to some place like Cuba where you can enjoy the company of communists and get excellent health care. Just hop on a leaky boat and start paddling your way towards utopia. You will not be missed.

Earlier this year, Adams won a court victory against the school, when he sued, asserting that he was not promoted due to his outspoken conservatism. (IJR)

AMEN.

Free Speech

“Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”– George Orwell

Trigger warning: This column will include discussion of ideas that may conflict with your own and some might find “offensive”. 🙂

There is one area where suppression of free speech has blossomed. That is at our universities and colleges. It started ages ago. In 1993, it exploded into the consciousness of America when Eden Jacobowitz, a student at the University of Pennsylvania, disturbed by noise outside his dorm room yelled out his window “Shut up, you water buffalo.” The case challenged the right of free speech against a campus harassment code.

These speech codes created by the professors and left-wing administrators (mainly former professors) were being used to control two principal groups. First and foremost, fellow scholars seeking to become colleagues that had to run the gauntlet of becoming tenured. Second, students who wished to express contrary views in a classroom or in a paper. To a point those wielding these policies succeeded on campuses, but they created their own uncontrollable monstrosity.

The students started their own efforts to suppress freedom of speech. It became overtly public whenever a speaker deemed inappropriate in their positions was invited to a college campus. People like Ann Coulter or David Horowitz were being harassed off campuses. If they were allowed to speak they would be heckled instead of respectfully listened to or ignored. An opposing opinion became repugnant. The expression of open thought that universities for which were formed had become the suppressor. The guardians of free speech had been thrashed.

It then spread to college commencement speeches. People like former Secretary of State Condi Rice were run out of addresses. The professors and their minions would not allow an unapproved thought to pierce their ears. Only properly-vetted speakers who spoke “the gospel” were allowed.

Next it spread to comedians. You know — those people who have the job in our society to make fun of our worst tendencies. They make sure that we do not take ourselves too seriously. Not at colleges. Jerry Seinfeld, possibly the leading stand-up comedian of his generation, abandoned performing on college campuses because of the obliteration of free speech. When it went public he made clear he was not the only one when he said “I hear that all the time, ‘I don’t play colleges,’ but I hear a lot of people tell me, ‘Don’t go near colleges. They’re so PC.” Chris Rock deserted the circuit and so has Larry the Cable Guy. The students don’t want to be offended.

The narrowest, most repressive minds are the closed minded Liberals who preach “diversity” and “tolerance”. Orwell could not better.

The students are now demanding what they call “triggers” (warnings about upcoming material) from their professors. The American Association of University Professors stated in a committee report, “A current threat to academic freedom in the classroom comes from a demand that teachers provide warnings in advance if assigned material contains anything that might trigger difficult emotional responses for students. This follows from earlier calls not to offend students’ sensibilities by introducing material that challenges their values and beliefs.” The professors are now experiencing the wrath of their creation.

The term “Microagression” was coined by Harvard Professor Chester M. Pierce in 1970 to describe insults and dismissals he said he had regularly witnessed non-black Americans inflict on Blacks. It has now been expanded to include any perceived insult against anyone who feels they have been insulted. As you know the largest university system in the United States (University of California) issued guidelines for professors to help them from hurting the feelings of their students. It was stated by the UC administration that they are just guidelines, but no one believes that and speech is once again suppressed as the students stomp out academic freedom in the name of protecting their little hearts from being hurt.

LGBTQI Departments at Universities,a whole vast bureaucracy dedicated to the prevention of “offense” in the name of “tolerance” and “diversity”.

Orwell could never have done better. The Doublespeak is breathtaking.

It used to be that the universities were the center of free thought. Scholars were the center of that going back to Socrates. Colleges were the center of the defense of free speech and resistance. If it was a revolt, it started with the students. The U.S. anti-war movement on college campuses in the 1960s was the center of the free speech movement. So were the fights against Communist regimes. The fights to overturn the dictatorships in Egypt and Iran were led by the students.

The most famous resistance within Nazi Germany was The White Rose (a film of the same name was made). White Rose were students from Munich University. The Nazis always feared the free speech of the intellectuals. Hitler would not have to do such today. In America the students are the center of the suppression of free speech.

Instead of defending the First Amendment the professors have created a monster which is halting the First Amendment and their own right of free speech. The people who are historically the highest advocates for free expression have become the shock troops of abolition of such. Never would dictators think the universities and their students would be the principal source of free speech suppression. Never would they dream that their main source of grief would self-inflict the squelching of speech.

Hitler would be proud. So would Stalin, Mao, the Ayatollah…….. (Bruce Bialosky)

And Orwell.

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

“So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don’t even know that fire is hot.”

“The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.”

Perfect example: Commentor Monty Hebert on a WP article about this very topic:

<Kathleen> Parker is in agreement here with a book asserting that both college campuses and “the liberal media” suppress free speech! Her concern seems more than a little disingenuous given that some (though certainly not all) colleges are among the last places left where liberal is not a dirty word. Free speech on college campuses is about as big a problem as the so called war on Christmas and Christians or discrimination against white males. If Parker wants to address a real problem she should express alarm and outrage at the way millions of people in my home state of Texas and across the South have been manipulated via Fox News, radio talk shows and truly vicious internet sites into distrusting and even hating the federal government, and demonizing the president of the United States. It is not the left that has profited from abolishment of the Fairness Doctrine.

The Ministry of Truth’s perfect warrior for the faith.

A mind is a terrible thing to waste. Yet, there are on college campuses all over the country.

And this is our future.

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid.

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez
Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson
Political Cartoons by Dana Summers
Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Succumb to Denial

Ah, the Ministry of Truth’s Education Indoctrination Division has been hard at work. The new line, since scaring them hasn’t worked with 100% efficiency…

If educators scare students too much about the threat of climate change, they may “succumb to denial,” a teachers’ guide by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) warns. In its guide, “Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness,” NOAA presents seven “essential principles”:

  1. Sun is primary energy  (and anything else used by man is evil)
  2. Climate is complex (gee I thought Liberals made it very simple-Man is Evil)
  3. Life affects climate; climate affects life  (And Man is Evil so do as you’re told)
  4. Climate is variable (Cooling,Warming,Change, Disruption…but we are never wrong)
  5. Our understanding of climate  (is that man is evil and Liberals will save you all from yourself if only you give up all your freedom for the security of knowing they are in control of everything!)
  6. Humans affect climate  (and the world is fragile and can be broken by man’s evil)
  7. Climate change has consequence  (mostly in your loss of freedom)

Principle 7 – “Climate Change Will Have Consequences for the Earth System and Human Lives” – warns educators that scaring students can cause them to succumb to denial:

“Alarming students and the public about the impact of climate hazards, such as droughts and extreme events, can be counter-productive and cause people to ignore the warnings or succumb to denial.”

Marc Morano, publisher of Climate Depot and producer of upcoming documentary ‘Climate Hustle,’ tells MRCTV the guide is making it sound like disagreement on climate change is a disease:

“Does our government now think that the greatest threat kids face is ‘succumbing” to climate ‘denial?!’ They make it sound as bad as succumbing to Ebola.

Parents need to be very vigilant when it comes to their children’s education about man-made global warming.”

“Despair Deficit” is another challenge facing teachers trying to indoctrinate students about climate, the teachers’ guide warns:

“However, just glossing over the severity of the impacts and the enormous social and environmental ramifications of climate change can lead to a society that is ill-prepared to deal with change. Finding a balanced approach and avoiding a ‘despair deficit’ is clearly a good practice, both inside and outside of the classroom.”

The guide suggests some tactics for teachers to employ:

  • Drawing on case studies showing successful emissions reduction strategies.
  • Examining adaptation strategies for humans, plants and animals.
  • Creating an atmosphere of creativity and problem-solving as we all strive to meet this grand challenge.

It also recommends varying tactics based on the student’s age. In middle school, for example, the guide suggests teachers focus on the plight of “polar bears and penguins.”

You mean the polar bears that are starving because there’s TOO MUCH ICE?  No, of course you don’t.

But don’t worry, this is about science, not emotions. 🙂

In high school, teachers should incorporate climate doctrine into “traditional courses” such as geography, biology and chemistry.

College professors should expose students to climate change theory via blogs, Google Earth, and climate websites, the guide says. And, “upper-level college students” should be put to work researching the impacts of climate change, it says.

And if they find out it all smoke and mirrors crush them like the moron they are. That’s an E for you, dearie, sorry.

You need to be ‘re-educated”.

Principle 6 – “Human Activities are Impacting the Climate System” – also warns that teaching climate threat theory “can result in denial’ if not handled deftly:

WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE BY 2054 IF YOU DON’T DO EXACTLY AS WE SAY RIGHT F*CKING NOW YOU MORONS!!!!!

Oops, sorry… 🙂

“Quite simply, this principle is challenging to teach because some sectors of the public continue to debate whether these ideas can be true, despite the well-established science. There are several possible reasons why students may resist the conclusion that humans are altering the climate.”

Yeah, actually science that doesn’t fit The Ministry’s conclusions must be stopped, can’t allow truth into the equation. This is “science” after all, where you gather evidence to prove your preferred conclusion only all other data is heresy.

“This concept may be uncomfortable to students due to feelings of guilt, political resistance or genuine lack of scientific understanding.

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.

You don’t want them to have impure thoughts now do we…

Furthermore, projections of the effects of climate change on our society can frighten, overwhelm, or discourage students. This can result in denial or resistance to learning. “ (CNS)

Yeah, the truth usually does that for The Left. 🙂  They hate The Truth. After all, The Ministry of Truth is about Lies.

After all, it’s about science, not politics….right? 🙂

<<snicker>>

It is fascinating that The Left makes pleas to be less emotional and more scientific on Ebola, but when it comes to Global Warming if Science get’s in their way they get all emotional.

Fascinating.

Now you don’t want to scare the kiddies with the Global Warming Monster under the bed or in the closet now do we…

BOO!

There are Liberal Progressives under your bed!

Now that’s scary! No denying that… 🙂

Lunch Politics

First off, I am for healthy foods. Pre-packaged foods are bad for you and you should have more fruits and vegetables. But I’m just not for the Government mandating it. What’s next, the Adults? 🙂

New school lunch standards implemented as a result of First Lady Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign have led to more than 1 million children leaving the lunch line, according to a new report.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a wide-ranging audit of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act nutrition standards last week, finding 48 out of 50 states faced challenges complying with Mrs. Obama’s Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act.

The new standards led to kids throwing out their fruits and vegetables, student boycotts, higher lunch costs, and odd food pairings such as “cheese stick with shrimp” in order for schools to comply with the complicated rules.

The National School Lunch Program saw a sharp decline in participation once the healthy standards went into effect during the 2012-2013 school year. A total of 1,086,000 students stopped buying school lunch, after participation had increased steadily for nearly a decade.

The report found that 321 districts left the National School Lunch Program altogether, many of which cited the new standards as a factor.

The decline was “influenced by changes made to comply with the new lunch content and nutrition standards,” state and local officials said.

Though the USDA has claimed the standards were “proving popular,” the GAO report cited numerous cases where kids are unhappy with their new menus.

In Georgia, kids resisted the loss of their beloved fried chicken. In New Mexico, whole-wheat tortillas went straight to the trash can. And in Tennessee, after schools replaced familiar flaky white biscuits with a whole-grain variety, one official reported a “severe amount of rejection.”

What began as an effort led by first lady Michelle Obama to serve more-healthful food to American schoolchildren has turned into a clash of cultures across the country — and, now, a high-profile Washington lobbying battle.

So it’s gone Political. YOU will comply with MAMMA Government!! 🙂

Some school officials, particularly in rural communities, have complained about the White House seeking to impose costly food standards on districts that don’t want them. Several of these critics, speaking with reporters this week, complained about cafeteria garbage cans swelling with fruits, veggies and other healthful foods rejected by students.

“We can’t force students to eat something they don’t want,” said Lyman Graham, food service director for consolidated schools near Roswell, N.M. “Many families in the Southwest will not accept whole-grain tortillas.

“Schools can’t change cultural preferences,” Graham added. “And with sky-high produce costs, we simply cannot afford to feed our trash cans.”

BUT WE ARE FROM THE GOVERNMENT AND WE ARE SANCTIMONIOUS CRONY LIBERALS WE KNOW BEST!! So just shut up and eat your government prepared food and like it or else!

So what if your food costs go sky high why the hell would we care? Look what we’re doing to your Gasoline and Electric Bills!

It’s for your Own Good! Government knows Best!  Momma Obama knows best!

And you don’t want to make Momma mad now do you?! 🙂

The standards forced some schools to stop serving peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and led middle school and high school students to opt for vending machines or buying food off campus to avoid the lunch line.

Jonathan Dickl, school nutrition director in Knox County, Tenn., described anger over the demise of traditional biscuits, a food he called a “mainstay” in the South.

The GAO conducted a nationwide survey of nutrition directors and visited 17 schools in eight school districts for the audit. In each district, “students expressed dislike for certain foods that were served to comply with the new requirements, such as whole grain-rich products and vegetables in the beans and peas (legumes) and red-orange sub-groups, and this may have affected participation.”

The standards brought “negative student reactions.” In one case, middle school and high school students organized a three-week boycott after their school changed their sandwiches to comply with the rules.

All eight School Food Authorities (SFAs) the GAO visited “modified or eliminated” popular food items. One district had to cut cheeseburgers because “adding cheese to the district’s burger patties would have made it difficult to stay within the weekly meat maximums.”

The new standards are exhaustive, including calorie ranges for each age group, sodium limits, zero tolerance for trans fats, and specific ounce amounts for meats and grains. White bread will be mostly phased out beginning in 2014 because only “whole grain rich” items will be allowed.

Portion requirements and calorie limits are also in conflict, leading some SFAs to add unhealthy food such as pudding or potato chips to the menu, and serve odd food combinations in order to meet the rules.

“For example, one SFA served saltine crackers and croutons with certain salads to meet the minimum daily grain requirement and a cheese stick with shrimp to meet the minimum daily meat requirement,” the GAO said.

Unappetizing food led to the biggest problem school officials faced: food waste.

“Students may take the food components they are required to as part of the school lunch but then choose not to eat them,” the GAO said. As a result, 48 out of 50 states cited waste as a challenge.

“In our lunch period observations in 7 of 17 schools, we saw many students throw away some or all of their fruits and vegetables,” the GAO said.

The “morale” for cafeteria workers has also suffered under the new standards.

“Staff in one SFA noted that the increased amount of time and effort to prepare fruits and vegetables also led to morale issues when staff saw students throw the fruits and vegetables in the trash,” the GAO said.

Lunchroom costs are also going up due to the need for “new spoons and ladles to match the new portion size requirements.” Thirty-one percent of SFAs nationwide said they needed additional kitchen equipment to comply with the new lunch requirements last school year.

The law mandated that schools increase the price of school lunches, causing students to stop buying “because they felt they were being asked to pay more for less food.” Kids who pay full price for meals declined by 10 percent last school year, the lowest rate in over a decade.

Challenges with the school lunch program, which cost $11.6 billion in 2012, are expected to continue, as further regulations go into effect. The “first of three” sodium limits starts in 2014-2015, though “many of the foods available from manufacturers do not yet comply with these limits.”

School officials noted, “it will be very difficult” to serve food that is “palatable to students” under the sodium standards.

As for the other requirements, the GAO said students would get used to it.

“Although school lunch participation has declined, it is likely that participation will improve over time as students adjust to the lunch changes,” they said.

Because they will have no choice. Eat Momma Government’s porridge or Starve!

The Adults are next!

<<maniacal Laugh>>

 

For the Children

Thomas Sowell: If anyone wanted to pick a time and place where the political left’s avowed concern for minorities was definitively exposed as a fraud, it would be now — and the place would be New York City, where far left Mayor Bill de Blasio has launched an attack on charter schools, cutting their funding, among other things.

These schools have given thousands of low-income minority children their only shot at a decent education, which often means their only shot at a decent life. Last year 82% of the students at a charter school called Success Academy passed citywide mathematics exams, compared to 30% of the students in the city as a whole.

Why would anybody who has any concern at all about minority young people — or even common decency — want to destroy what progress has already been made?

One big reason, of course, is the teachers’ union, one of de Blasio’s biggest supporters.

But it may be more than that. For many of the true believers on the left, their ideology overrides any concern about the actual fate of flesh-and-blood human beings.

Something similar happened on the West Coast last year. The American Indian Model Schools in Oakland have been ranked among the top schools in the nation, based on their students’ test scores.

This is, again, a special achievement for minority students who need all the help they can get.

But, last spring, the California State Board of Education announced plans to shut this school down!

Why? The excuse given was that there had been suspicious financial dealings by the former — repeat, former — head of the institution. If this was the real reason, then all they had to do was indict the former head and let a court decide if he was guilty or innocent.

There was no reason to make anyone else suffer, much less the students. But the education establishment’s decision was to refuse to let the school open last fall. Fortunately a court stopped this hasty shutdown.

These are not just isolated local incidents. The Obama administration has cut spending for charter schools in the District of Columbia and its Justice Department has intervened to try to stop the state of Louisiana from expanding its charter schools.

Why such hostility to schools that have succeeded in educating minority students, where so many others have failed?

Some of the opposition to charter schools has been sheer crass politics. The teachers’ unions see charter schools as a threat to their members’ jobs, and politicians respond to the money and the votes that teachers’ unions can provide.

The net result is that public schools are often run as if their main function is to provide jobs to teachers. Whether the children get a decent education is secondary, at best.

In various parts of the country, educators who have succeeded in raising the educational level of minority children to the national average — or above — have faced hostility, harassment or have even been driven out of their schools.

Not all charter schools are successful, of course, but the ones that are completely undermine the excuses for failure in the public school system as a whole. That is why teachers’ unions hate them, as a threat not only to their members’ jobs but a threat to the whole range of frauds and fetishes in the educational system.

The autonomy of charter schools is also a threat to the powers that be, who want to impose their own vision on the schools, regardless of what the parents want.

Attorney General Eric Holder wants to impose his own notion of racial balance in the schools, while many black parents want their children to learn, regardless of whether they are seated next to a white child or a black child.

There have been all-black schools whose students met or exceeded national norms in education, whether in Louisiana, California or other places around the country. But Holder, like de Blasio, put his ideology above the education — and the future life — of minority students.

Charter schools take power from politicians and bureaucrats, letting parents decide where their children will go to school. That is obviously offensive to those on the left, who think that our betters should be making our decisions for us.

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel