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McPhD?

Thursday, May 14, 2009
From News.com.au:
FAST food giant McDonald's is hoping to offer PhDs, after receiving approval to award its own nationally recognised qualifications in Britain, the company's "chief people officer" said...He cautioned, however, that the company wanted to perfect its current training regimen, which includes courses in shift management that are equivalent in level to high school courses, before putting together a post-graduate qualification...The company has long sought to challenge the perception that it only creates low-level, poorly-paid "McJobs".

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Good Cop/Bad Cop - Good Cop = Dexter Yarbrough

Thursday, January 22, 2009
According to the Rocky Mountain Collegian, after having been accused of "improprieties ranging from falsifying police documents, to mandating the special treatment of student athletes, to teaching students illegal police tactics," Colorado State University Police Chief Dexter Yarbrough has finally been suspended. Despite claims by several of Yarbrough's fellow officers that "the President's Office had plenty of alarming evidence to take action long ago," the school administration "turned a blind eye" to the man's gross abuses of power and, "[d]espite a consistent flow of complaints of harassment, fraud and threatening behavior to the school's Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (OEOD) and to former CSU President Larry Penley, Yarbrough was promoted last year to vice president of public safety in addition to being chief of police," a position "with a $156,000-a-year salary, easily making him the highest paid law enforcement officer in the state" of Colorado.

Bolstered by damning audio recordings of Yarbrough's lectures to aspiring law enforcement officers, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation alleges that the Chief supports such questionable tactics as paying police informants for their help with rocks of crack cocaine, lying, and "bending" the law to accommodate excessive force. After Yarbrough allegedly "condoned rape," a disgusted graduate student began recording lectures for a complaint he intended to lodge against an officer whose colleagues had long claimed "established a culture of oppression, fear and intimidation within his ranks."

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Ratemyprofessors.com Rates Your University

Saturday, November 8, 2008
Ratemyprofessors.com, a website on which students may anonymously leave comments on a given professor's relative strengths and weaknesses, has recently released a list of the fifty highest ranked colleges based on student assessments of each institution's respective faculty. "Selecting only schools with a minimum of at least 30 rated professors," the website informs us, they "computed the average professor rating for each school (only professors with 30 ratings or higher)" before they were "ranked from high to low according to their average rating."

Although the authority of the list is no doubt limited by its having been based upon the voluntarily offered rankings of individual instructors by students who have sought out the website (clearly, a student could submit multiple ratings for the same instructor and those that visit the website are not necessarily representative of a school's entire student body), it does provide us with some food for thought. For instance, schools most often ranked highest by US News & World Report, say, or the Princeton Review, are conspicuously absent from the Ratemyprofessors list (a single Ivy League institution -- Cornell University -- clings on to the last spot, for instance). One possible interpretation of this fact is that research-oriented universities tend to hire faculty less for their ability to teach then for their ability to produce journal articles or conduct research. The problem with such a scenario, of course, is that while students are drawn to certain institutions for the quality of education its reputation seems to promise, they are often met with indifferent or ineffectual scholars wholly uninterested in teaching. Naturally, this is but one possible way of interpreting a thoroughly unscientific body of data. . .

The rankings, as determined by the website's users (italics denote schools likely to appear very high in other rankings):

1. Brigham Young University
2. Southeastern Louisiana University
3. Christopher Newport University
4. Stephen F. Austin State University
5. University of Houston
6. Texas Christian University
7. Augusta State University
8. University of Central Oklahoma
9. College of William and Mary
10. Grove City College
11. James Madison University
12. Grand Valley State University
13. Florida International University
14. University of Texas at San Antonio
15. University of Virginia
16. Florida State University
17. Louisiana Tech University
18. Liberty University
19. University of North Florida
20. George Mason University
21. West Virginia University
22. University of Delaware
23. University of Central Florida
24. Utah Valley State College
25. University of Northern Iowa
26. York College of Pennsylvania
27. Marist College
28. College of Charleston
29. University of South Florida
30. Jacksonville State University
31. Oakland University
32. American University
33. San Francisco State University
34. Appalachian State University
35. Indiana University of Pennsylvania
36. Northeastern University
37. Radford University
38. Towson University
39. Bradley University
40. University of Tennessee at Martin
41. Virginia Commonwealth University
42. Old Dominion University
43. Nicholls State University
44. Oregon State University
45. Boston University
46. Northwest Missouri State University
47. University of Florida
48. Edinboro University of Pennsylvania
49. Kutztown University of Pennsylvania
50. Cornell University

Among the "elite" schools missing from the list are Duke, Harvard, Brown, Penn, Dartmouth, Columbia, Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Emory, University of California-Berkeley, University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Chicago, Stanford, UNC-Chapel Hill, and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Interesting.

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Cop Provides Sex Offender With "Slutty" Photos of High School Girl

Thursday, August 21, 2008
An internet safety program presented by John F. Gay, III at a high school in Windsor, Colorado has outraged parents by singling out students' MySpace pages for criticism. According to the DenverChannel.com:
A police officer giving an Internet safety course sparked criticism for calling student MySpace pages "slutty" and telling one student a sexual predator in prison masturbated to her photo.

[ . . . ]

One female student was told by Gay that he shared her online personal info with an (sic) state inmate who said he gratified himself with her photo and would "tear her apart."
The student, who was singled out, left the assembly in tears. That's when Gay showed her telephone number that he got from the Internet and called her. He hoped to show how easy it is for anyone to track down someone posting personal information on MySpace or other social-networking sites.
[Full Story]

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Scared Sober?

Sunday, June 8, 2008
From Reason's Hit and Run:

"Many juniors and seniors were driven to tears -- a few to near hysterics -- May 26 when a uniformed police officer arrived in several classrooms to notify them that a fellow student had been killed in a drunken-driving accident."

"About 10 a.m., students were called to the athletic stadium, where they learned that their classmates had not died. There, a group of seniors, police officers and firefighters staged a startlingly realistic alcohol-induced fatal car crash. The students who had purportedly died portrayed ghostly apparitions encircling the scene."

From the comments following the post:
Gahan: "This sort of crap makes me want to call that police officer's family and tell them he was killed in the line of duty, just for kicks."

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Utah Teacher Breaks Utah Law By Teaching

Wednesday, June 4, 2008
According to the Salt Lake Tribune's Roxana Orellana, "a seventh- and eighth-grade health teacher violated [Utah's] sex education statute by responding to questions from students about topics beyond the curriculum, including homosexual sex, oral sex, and masturbation."

Okay, let me get this straight. A teacher is asked a question to which she has an answer, but it relates to oral sex or homosexual sex, so she is supposed to say "I dunno"?

Way to go, Utah!

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Most Moronic Teacher Award?

Saturday, May 10, 2008
Japan's Mainichi Daily News reports that the parents of a junior high school student in Chiba have joined their son in filing a lawsuit for ten million yen "for emotional distress after a teacher announced him as the most disliked person in his class" according to a survey the elementary school teacher passed out to the class.

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SDSU Appears to Be a Normal School, Sadly

Tuesday, May 6, 2008
From CNN.com:

"Among those arrested were 75 students, some of them working toward criminal justice or homeland security degrees. One criminal justice major was charged with possession of guns and cocaine, authorities said."

"Authorities say they infiltrated seven campus fraternities and found that in some, most of the students were aware of drug dealing by fraternity brothers."

"One student allegedly dealing cocaine was a month short of obtaining a master's degree in Homeland Security and worked with campus police as a student community service officer."
[Full story]

Is it bad that I am wholly unsurprised by the idea of cops-to-be breaking laws and frat brothers selling drugs?

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Stupid Teacher and a Stupid Tattoo

Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Unfortunately, this looks all-too-familiar:

Fortunately, this doesn't look all that familiar:

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For All The English Majors Out There...

Friday, April 18, 2008
From The Chronicle of Higher Education:

"In literary studies, M.H. Abrams is an iconic name. It appeared as 'general editor' for 40 years on nearly nine million copies of The Norton Anthology of English Literature, and has also, in a detail that only scholars would know, led the indexes of many a critical book for a half-century. (In fact, one scholar I know cited 'Aarlef' just to avoid that custom.) In addition, Abrams, now 95, stamped the study of Romantic literature: His book The Mirror and the Lamp: Romantic Theory and the Critical Tradition (Oxford University Press, 1953) was ranked 25th in the Modern Library's list of the 100 most important nonfiction books of the 20th century, and he was a prime participant in debates over literary theory, especially deconstruction, during the 1970s and 80s."

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Don't Mess With Texan Principals

Saturday, April 5, 2008
From the San Antonio Express-News, via MySA.com:

"A middle school principal threatened to kill a group of science teachers if their students did not improve their standardized test scores, according to a complaint filed with the New Braunfels Police Department."

"'He said if the TAKS scores were not as expected he would kill the teachers,' White said. 'He said 'I will kill you all and kill myself.' He finished the meeting that way and we were in shock. Obviously, we talked about it among ourselves. He just threatened our lives. After he threatened to kill us, he said, 'You don't know how ruthless I can be.'''

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School Days, School Days

Thursday, April 3, 2008
From Local6.com (Orlando):

"A recent survey that found some Florida teens believe drinking a cap of bleach will prevent HIV and a shot of Mountain Dew will stop pregnancy has prompted lawmakers to push for an overhaul of sex education in the state."
[Full story]

Evidentially abstinence-only sex education adds another feather to Florida's already thickly-plumed graduation cap...


"Three out of 10 US public school students do not graduate from high school, and major city school districts only graduate one out of two students, according to a study released Tuesday."

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