Education

Kansas Legislators and fellow Kansans, I am writing to you today in regard to Senate Bill 56, the so-called “teacher prosecution bill,” which puts teachers at risk of criminal charges for using “harmful” materials in the classroom. I am not affiliated with any teachers’ unions, and I don’t pretend to speak for all teachers. However, as a Kansas English teacher, educated in Kansas myself, I find this bill personally offensive--not because I have an unhealthy attachment to “harmful” classics like Catcher in the Rye and To Kill a Mockingbird. I am offended that my peers in the Capitol find me incapable of teaching such works with responsibility, integrity, and sensitivity. I don’t know when my fellow teachers and I became your enemies, Kansas. I know that you want to protect your...
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Dear Sir: We are writing in respect of the recent results for September/October examination of 2014. Firstly, it is important to state that this is not the first time we are voicing our dissatisfaction on this matter. But the university, in its usual fashion, could not listen to our cries, so we resorted to weep before the public so that the world might become aware of our escalating plight. It is paramount to point out that this letter revolves around the gross inefficiency associated with the university in grading pen-on-paper examination (POP). We are officially "made to believe" that our Tutor Marked Assignments (TMA) makes 30% of our grades while a score of 70% in examination guarantees a total of 100%. Yet, it is unfathomable how, for example, a student would score 25% out of...
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Dear King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz, Assalamu-alaikum. I am a 52-year-old Malaysian-born Muslim. I was raised in a harmonious interracial and interfaith society that accepted and respected other religious practices. The existence of different faith groups was viewed simply as different ways of connecting to the same God. Saudi Arabia started exporting its Wahhabi ideology in the 1970s, and it spread around the world, turning existing interpretations of Islam into one that is dogmatic and violent. The result is a nearly unrecognizable form of Islam. It appears to get worse by the day. Murders, suicide bombings, sectarianism and religious hatemongering have become commonplace. We cannot continue on this path of religious-based mayhem in the name of Islam. The Muslim world needs a...
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January 15, 2015 An Open Letter to Presidents and Deans of Theological Schools in the United States, At its annual meeting at Shaw University Divinity School in Raleigh, NC, African American Presidents and Deans of theological schools in the United States issued a call for action in light of the current state of social justice in the United States of America. One of our leaders, a founding member of the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), noted that the socio-economic and political realities that led to the establishment of SNCC at Shaw University 54 years ago are actually eclipsed by the realities of this day. In 1960 there were lynchings and robe-wearing Klansmen. Today lynchings occur, but in different forms. Klansmen today bivouac without robes and hoods....
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Dear William - Thank you for your email. Let’s look…. What we have There are numerous publicly funded data research institutions. “…INSIGHT [DERI, CLARITY, CLIQUE, 4C, TRIL] represent an investment in excess of €150,000,000 over the past 10 years, hosting more than 300 researchers, and collaborating with more than 150 industry partners….””…. to create a healthier, safer, more productive world by empowering a data-driven society to enable better decisions by individuals, communities, business and governments…” (here) Taking into consideration a generous investment of public and private money into data excellence in Ireland, we should be leading in the open data world, right? Where we are? Lets have a quick look where is Ireland positioned in the world of open data...
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W.E.B. DuBois March 1913 Sir: Your inauguration to the Presidency of the United States is to the colored people, to the white South and to the nation a momentous people, to the white South and to the nation a momentous occasion. For the first time since the emancipation of slaves the government of this nation — the Presidency, the Senate, the House of Representatives — passes on the 4th of March into the hands of the party which a half century ago fought desperately to keep black men as real estate in the eyes of the law. Your elevation to the chief magistracy of the nation at this time shows not simply a splendid national faith in the perpetuity of free government in this land, but even more, a personal faith in you. We black men by our votes helped to put you in your high...
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Dear Mom and Dad, I’ve decided that I want to go to graduate school to get my Ph.D. in the biological sciences. I want to make a real difference in the world by contributing to society’s understanding of the cells that make up our bodies and hopefully make a discovery that helps ease suffering or even saves lives. While this sounds like a noble endeavor, I’ve heard that it doesn’t come without challenges and consequences. For example, I’m probably going to be behind on the usual timeline for things like financial independence and starting a family. I’m looking at roughly five more years of school to get the Ph.D. — the amount of time depends on whether my experiments are successful, which is impossible to predict. Nature is a tricky beast, and most of our guesses about how...
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January 2015 To anyone hoping that the year just past would see a return to “normalcy” in the once-secure world of American higher education, 2014 brought no comfort. Each of the difficulties and criticisms that have arisen over the last few years continued and if anything were amplified. Total national enrollments fell by more than a percentage point for the third straight year. Community colleges and proprietary schools were hit the hardest, but no sector was immune. Even Ivy League universities saw drops in applications, with Dartmouth’s down 14%. "... our university, so far, has stood somewhat apart from these dreary trends, sometimes by virtue of inherent strengths, in some instances because of actions we have all taken together." A host of schools, public and private,...
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Open Letter To Kansas School Board I am writing you with much concern after having read of your hearing to decide whether the alternative theory of Intelligent Design should be taught along with the theory of Evolution. I think we can all agree that it is important for students to hear multiple viewpoints so they can choose for themselves the theory that makes the most sense to them. I am concerned, however, that students will only hear one theory of Intelligent Design. Let us remember that there are multiple theories of Intelligent Design. I and many others around the world are of the strong belief that the universe was created by a Flying Spaghetti Monster. It was He who created all that we see and all that we feel. We feel strongly that the overwhelming scientific evidence...
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