Wanna get into Harvard? Just ask your parents to donate a building.

A batch of internal Harvard admission-related emails have come into the public domain as part of a lawsuit alleging that Harvard discriminates against Asian applicants, and they reveal that the admissions process is tilted in favor of members of families who are major donors to Harvard. Read the rest

Texas high-school students can't graduate without watching a video on not triggering snowflake cops

The "Civilian Interaction Training Program" is a project of the Texas Commission On Law Enforcement, aimed at teaching children how not to terrify heavily armed, easily-spooked Texas law enforcement officers, who, when triggered, are at risk of murdering children during traffic stops. Reviewing these training materials is mandatory for anyone hoping to receive a diploma from a Texas high school. The bill's author, Texas state senator Royce West, says the curriculum's purpose is to end "distrust for law enforcement." Read the rest

Riot grrrl Kathleen Hanna's new t-shirt line pays for girls to attend school in Togo

OG riot grrrl Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre has launched a new t-shirt line with all the money going to Peace Sisters, a non-profit that helps pay school tuition for underprivileged young girls in the West African nation of Togo. The shirts feature the likes of Kim Gordon, Jill Soloway, Chuck D (all seen below), Patton Oswalt, W. Kamau Bell, and Carrie Brownstein. The money from each $40 t-shirt sends a girl to school for a year. Buy 'em at Tees 4 Togo.

From Rolling Stone:

Hanna devised the concept after meeting Peace Sisters founder Tina Kampor. A former teacher in Togo, Kampor immigrated to Pasadena 15 years ago, where she would become a full-time registered nurse. Still, she could not forget her students back home: “[Tina] grew up there and she just saw all these girls who weren’t able to go to school,” explains Hanna. “A lot of them are orphans, or very poor. Past the fifth grade in Togo, you have to pay for [education]. She saw all these girls dropping out in the sixth grade. So when she came to California she started sending money home, then opened it up for other people to help. She’s put 130 girls through school herself and supported members of her family at the same time. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and [said], ‘I want to be a part of this!'”

Read the rest

One in ten of New York's public school students is homeless

114,659 of New York's public school students is homeless, bouncing from shelters to relatives' beds: homelessness is a predictor of poor academic performance for all the obvious reasons, including very long commutes to school (some students' families have ended up at shelters that are two boroughs away from their schools). Read the rest

Notre Dame and 73 other institutions secretly conspired with the Trump administration to deny birth control

When Obamacare came into effect, Notre Dame and other religious institutions forced the administration into a baroque arrangement whereby the US government would insure birth control prescriptions for women otherwise covered by the institution, so that the institution could hew to a religious doctrine that abhors the idea of women controlling their own fertility. Read the rest

Since 2007, debt-haunted grads have been doing public service to earn loan forgiveness, which they won't get

The roster of people carrying student debt is really just "a list of people liable to additional taxation after graduation"; in 2007, GW Bush signed into law the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program that would allow debt-haunted grads to earn loan forgiveness by foregoing the private sector and working for lower wages in public service for a decade. Read the rest

Middle school cop who arrested seventh graders "to prove a point" may yet face consequences

In 2013, Deputy Luis Ortiz was the "school resource officer" at Etiwanda Intermediate in San Bernardino County, California, when he arrested a group of 12- and 13-year-old girls, cuffing them and taking them to jail in a police vehicle; at the time and afterward, Ortiz said he arrested them "to prove a point" because he felt they were "unresponsive and disrespectful" and in his belief, introducing them to the criminal justice system would make them "mature a lot faster." Read the rest

Rice University eliminates tuition for all but wealthiest students, makes housing free for poorest

From its founding in 1912 until 1965, Houston's Rice University was free to attend; but today, Rice has joined other US universities in saddling its students with ghastly, inescapable mountains of debt, with annual attendance costing $61,350, $40,000 of which is tuition. Read the rest

Korean 'Uncle Service' lets you hire thugs to intimidate your kids' bullies

For 500,000 KRW (443 USD), an Uncle Service will send a rough-looking, hulking man to your bullied kid's school to warn the bullies to stop picking on them -- or else. This is called the "Uncle Package." Read the rest

School apologizes for promo photo manipulated to darken students' skin for "diversity"

Art school Émile Cohl in Lyon, France formally apologized after students noticed that a group photo on the school's United States promotional web site had been manipulated to make several of the people appear to have dark skin. The manipulated photo is at the very top of this post. Below it is another image, without the alterations, from the same series of snapshots. From The Guardian:

Antoine Rivière, the college director, told L’Express he was only made aware of the altered photo when he was contacted by some fifth-year students who appeared in it.

“We had sent a certain number of documents to an American communications agency in order to highlight our college,” he said. One of the photographs had been doctored without the school’s knowledge...

The school is planning to open a branch in the US in the near future.

Read the rest

UC Santa Cruz asks professors to rent their spare rooms to students who couldn't get housing guarantees

The director of housing for UCSC's Silicon Valley campus asked the university's 6,000 professors to consider sheltering their students to help bridge the shortfall between university-subsidized housing and the student body's needs, amidst the whitest of white-hot property markets in the nation. Read the rest

Michigan school board members recalled for enacting LGBTQ-friendly policies

John Frost writes, "Four members of the Williamston, Michigan Board of Education are being recalled because they enacted policies that enable schools to treat children with respect regardless of their gender identities." Read the rest

Kindergarten principal fired after welcoming back students with pole dancers performance

The principal of Xinshahui kindergarten in Shenzhen, China was fired after bringing pole dancers to perform for the students during back-to-school celebrations. From CNN:

"The district education bureau believes performing pole dancing for kindergarten children is not appropriate," the statement (from the local education board) said, adding the school had been asked to apologize to students and parents.

Principal Lai (Rong) told state tabloid Global Times that while "a few parents" had requested a refund (for tuition), others wanted to "learn a new type of dance."

She said she arranged the dance because of the dancer's "excellent skills."

Read the rest

Catholic high school suppressed student newspaper article, drawing wide attention to it

I have no idea why teenage girls would be suddenly removed from certain roles at a Catholic high school in a Denver suburb. But now I'm wondering, like many others, because the school administrators removed an article about it from the school's low-circulation newspaper, suppressed publication of the newspaper itself, threatened and then removed a newspaper advisor from her post, and sent principal Matt Hauptly to go out in public and explain why this isn't technically censorship and to lecture curious reporters about proper journalism and to scream shut up SHUT UP SHUT UP. [Via Adam Steinbaugh]

The Denver Post obtained a mock-up of the Holy Family Lamp Post page that never saw its intended Christmas-edition print publication. The un-bylined article, bearing the headline "Where are the girls? Holy Family prohibits girls from serving at the altar," features an interview with Father Joseph McLagan, a priest new to the school who decided girls would no longer be allowed to serve at the altar during Mass.

And:

In a statement provided by the Archdiocese of Denver, Holy Family High Principal Matt Hauptly said the article "was implying" the school was breaking Title IX laws when altar serving is a religious and liturgical function within Catholic Mass that does not fall under federal gender-equity protection.

"Removing an article that falsely accused the school of breaking the law is not censorship," Hauptly said in the statement. "It is actually a lesson in the responsibility that comes with being a journalist."

On the contrary, Principal Streisand. Read the rest

AI robots to help teach English in Japan

Next year around 250 million yen will be spent to insert AI robots into 500 classrooms across Japan in an effort to improve children's English skills. An unnamed official in charge of international education gave the example of having the robots check students' pronunciation, something Japanese teachers have trouble doing. Read the rest

Touring the haunting ruins of abandoned Second Life university campuses

Second Life is many things, but among them is an attempt to build a virtual world that works more like the web (where anyone can add a site or a page) than a finished product that can only be modified by the corporation that manufactured it. Read the rest

NYU makes med school free for all students

The median US med-school grad has $195,000 in loans; all 93 of NYU's freshman med-school class will have free tuition for their entire degree program, as will all future students (the 350 currently enrolled students will no longer pay tuition, same goes for the school's 9 grad students) Read the rest

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