ASU sustainable

ASU President Michael Crow Leads Sustainable Charge

Michael Crow is a consummate Technocrat who has created a new kind of educational experience at ASU, one that is measured by its social impact rather than traditional statistics like awards or intellectual rigor.

Notably, Crow is also Chairman of the Board of the CIA’s venture capital firm, In-Q-Tel. His In-Q-Tel bio states,

Michael M. Crow became the sixteenth president of Arizona State University on July 1, 2002. He is guiding the transformation of ASU into one of the nation’s leading public metropolitan research universities, an institution that combines the highest levels of academic excellence, inclusiveness to a broad demographic, and maximum societal impact—a model he designed known as the “New American University.”

Under his leadership ASU has established major interdisciplinary research initiatives such as the Biodesign Institute, Global Institute of Sustainability (GIOS), and more than a dozen new transdisciplinary schools, and witnessed an unprecedented academic infrastructure expansion, tripling of research expenditures, and attainment of record levels of diversity in the student body.

Crow was previously professor of science and technology policy and executive vice provost of Columbia University, where he served as chief strategist of Columbia’s research enterprise and technology transfer operations.  ⁃ TN Editor

To those who ask what ASU’s ranking “#1 in innovation” actually means, ask no further. Perhaps if you’ve seen a billboard or two (or three) on the Price Freeway, you may have noticed that Arizona State University has been rated first in innovation from US News and World Report for five consecutive years.

“Great,” says ASU student Lorenzo Rios, “so what does that actually mean?” Rios’ voice echoes that of countless other students, many of them turning the university’s capitalization on the achievement into a light-hearted joke.

Although these young scholars now exploit the ranking by sarcastically granting their friends nicknames like “innovator” when they complete insignificant tasks, the real-life accomplishments from ASU President Michael Crow are no joke.

In his recent presentation to the Chandler Chamber of Commerce, Crow highlighted he numerous ways that he and his staff have worked toward putting Arizona State at the top of America’s list of robust academic institutions.

Crow served as deputy provost and a senior faculty member of Columbia University in New York City for 12 years before coming to ASU where he has been president for 17 years. Columbia, as Dr. Crow describes, was “too small an arena in too rigid a place,” despite the incredible opportunities he had there.

The level of success we desire in the United States, he says, will not emerge from the establishment institutions like Columbia University, but rather from new places that are able to do new things like ASU.

He continues, “The opportunity here and the reason that I was hired was to take this very large public university which had not yet matured and see if you could actually build a new kind of university.”

Building this new class of education in America is something ASU certainly has accomplished, with many well-established universities following Dr. Crow’s example of innovation.

Becoming #1 in the U.S. for innovation is determined by a peer-based survey from Crow’s counterparts in other academic institutions.

According to the U.S. News and World Report, nominees must demonstrate innovative ways within their campuses to improve in categories such as curriculum, students and faculty or campus facilities and technology.

Dr. Crow describes the process of growth and development as a long and hard-fought game, but the outcome has proven to be worth the fight.

“ASU today is one of the 10 most significant patentors of all universities on the planet. We weren’t even in the top several hundred when we started that process,” he says.

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Snitch U: Don’t Say ‘Only Women Have Abortions’

If the logical end of Progressivism is total insanity, then we are very close to or at the end on most college campuses. The United Nations uses its SDG’s to incessantly push for ‘inclusiveness and equality for every person everywhere’. Be careful what you wish for.

As documented in Technocracy Rising: The Trojan Horse of Globalization, Progressivism is part of the root of Technocracy and Transhumanism. In the latter stages, Progressivism leads to  mental instability, breaks with reality and other severe emotional problems. ⁃ TN Editor

In an Iowa State University classroom recently, students began discussing the touchy issues of abortion and birth control when a student spoke up and declared those topics to be “women’s issues.”

Yet one dissatisfied student took to the university’s Campus Climate reporting website to complain that the discussion, which took place in September, was offensive to the trans community.

According to the student, declaring abortion and birth control women-centric issues “erases trans men and people who are non-binary who get abortions and/or use birth control.”

The student then reported the professor to administration, complaining “there was no push back by the professor to get students to be more inclusive and instead repeated this erasure.”

This report was one of 49 filed with Iowa State’s “Campus Climate” staff over the last year obtained last week by The College Fix through a public records act request. (The names of the individuals involved were redacted by the university to protect their identities.)

The Iowa State climate program is similar to so-called bias response teams at other universities, and it aims to “provide support for those who report being impacted by hate, intolerance or bias on campus.”

According to the university’s website, the climate team may ask those named in complaints to engage in “constructive dialogue,” although officials insist there are no “disciplinary sanctions” imposed.

Iowa State spokeswoman Angela Hunt told The College Fix that information collected from the website is “shared with campus partners who follow normal protocols for their unit.”

Hunt said the campus climate reporting process has been in effect since 2017, and noted the Campus Climate Response Team includes members from the Office of Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Inclusion, Dean of Students Office, Department of Residence, ISU Police Department, Office of the Senior Vice President and Provost, University Counsel, University Human Resources and Strategic Relations and Communications.

“Reports through the website are referred to the appropriate partner who will determine what, if any, next steps will be taken by their administrative unit,” Hunt said in an e-mail to The Fix.

In the past year, the climate reporting system, which allows students and faculty members to anonymously report one another, has been used frequently by transgender activists to inform on professors and other campus institutions. Of the 49 reports, about 20 percent dealt with issues such as “trans erasure” or “misgendering.”

In August 2018, a student reported having a discussion with their music professor about gender and pronouns, but complained the professor was still having problems with “misgendering.”

“Today was worse,” the student wrote, “in that I corrected him twice and on the second time he said ‘He, she, it, whatever.’”

A week later, a student reported another professor for joking that students should be able to tell an individual’s sex just by looking at them. “He then made a face expressing uneasiness,” the student wrote.

In another complaint, a student last fall visited Thielen psychiatric services on campus, and while filling out the paperwork, noticed only women were asked when they had their last menstrual cycle.

“Women are not the only people who have menstrual cycles,” the student wrote. “Trans-men can have menstrual cycles, as can non-binary people, etc.”

The student was concerned that merely seeing the question could be damaging to trans individuals, saying it could “trigger dysphoria in people seeking health services at Thielen.”

And in December, a transgender student changed their name in the school computer system, only to later find out the computer switched back to their “dead name.”

“This is a possibly dangerous situation for me since I am a forestry major and my program is more conservative,” the student wrote. “Seeing or hearing the name causing me [sic] intense mental grief and I literally cannot take it.”

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Pope Announces Global Compact On Education For ‘New Humanism’

Pope Francis called on global leaders to join in on May 14, 2020 to sign a new Global Compact on Education that will lead to a ‘New Humanism’. Channeling Hillary Clintons book, It Take a Village, he wants to ‘educate’ all young people into becoming global citizens. ⁃ TN Editor

In a renewed and enthusiastic endorsement of globalism, Pope Francis has announced he is hosting an initiative for a “Global Pact” to create a “new humanism.”

The global event, set to take place at the Vatican on May 14, 2020, is themed Reinventing the Global Educational Alliance.

According to a Vatican statement issued on Thursday, Sept. 12, the Pope is inviting representatives of the main religions, international organizations and various humanitarian institutions, as well as key figures from the world of politics, economics and academia, and prominent athletes, scientists and sociologists to sign a “Global Pact on Education” so as to “hand on to younger generations a united and fraternal common home.”

“A global educational pact is needed to educate us in universal solidarity and a new humanism,” Francis said in a video message to launch the initiative.

A Vatican-backed website launched to promote the pact added: “Educating young people in fraternity, in learning to overcome divisions and conflicts, promote hospitality, justice and peace: Pope Francis has invited everyone who cares about the education of the young generation to sign a Global Pact, to create a global change of mentality through education.”

The Pope’s message on the ‘Global Pact’

In a strikingly secular message containing only one throw-away reference to the Lord, Pope Francis called on people to “capitalize on our best energies” and to be “proactive” in “opening education to a long-term vision unfettered by the status quo.”

“This,” he said, “will result in men and women who are open, responsible, prepared to listen, dialogue and reflect with others, and capable of weaving relationships with families, between generations, and with civil society, and thus to create a new humanism.”

Quoting Hillary Clinton’s favorite aphorism, “It takes a village to raise a child,” Pope Francis asserted the need to create an “educational village,” in which “all people, according to their respective roles, share the task of forming a network of open, human relationships.”

At a time when the right to homeschool and the right to a free choice of school are threatened, and when countries throughout the world level taxes to provide public schooling to which no Catholic parents could safely send their child, Pope Francis omitted any reference to the prerogatives of parents as the primary educators of their children.

Referencing the “Document on Human Fraternity and World Peace for Living Together,” which he signed with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar in Abu Dhabi last February, Francis explained that, in this new global village, “the ground must be cleared of discrimination and fraternity must be allowed to flourish.”

Readers will recall that the Abu Dhabi document aroused controversy for stating that the “diversity of religions” is “willed by God.”

“In this kind of village,” the Pope also said an “alliance” must be forged “between the earth’s inhabitants and our ‘common home,’ which we are bound to care for and respect. An alliance that generates peace, justice and hospitality among all peoples of the human family, as well as dialogue between religions.”

Not everyone is convinced that peace can be achieved by promoting the Abu Dhabi document, however. Bishop Athanasius Schneider recently observed that “however noble such aims as ‘human fraternity’ and ‘world peace’ may be, they cannot be promoted at the cost of relativizing the truth of uniqueness of Jesus Christ and His Church.”

In his message, the Pope said that in order to reach these “global objectives,” as an “educating village” we must “have the courage to place the human person at the center” and to “train individuals who are ready to offer themselves in service of the community.”

He ended his message by inviting “everyone to work for this alliance and to be committed, individually and within our communities, to nurturing the dream of a humanism rooted in solidarity and responsive both to humanity’s aspirations and to God’s plan.”

Healing the Planet

Pope Francis has tasked the Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education with organizing the initiative. According to a website dedicated to the global pact, the Congregation oversees “216 thousand Catholic schools, attended by over 60 million pupils and 1,750 Catholic universities, with over 11 million students.”

In explanatory note accompanying the Pope’s message, the Congregation said that the May 14 global pact initiative seeks to involve “international organizations” and the “great ones of the earth” in helping to “heal the fracture between man and the Absolute” and the separation between “reality and the transcendent.”

It also aims to heal the “horizontal fracture” between men of difficult cultures, religions and backgrounds. And it intends to heal the “fracture between man, society, nature and the environment” in the face of an “urgent need” to create an “ecological citizenship” based on sustainability and an “austere responsibility.”

“The objectives set for the next few decades aim to set up training models that take into account a constantly increasing population, diminishing resources and the fact that climate change places everyone before a serious responsibility: that of developing our planet in a sustainable way, with an eye to the needs of future generations,” the Congregation said.

“The choice of education as a ground on which to make a global pact is a priority topic in the horizon of current and future scenarios,” it added.

Conferences and events will be held throughout the coming year to prepare for the May 14 signing of the “Global Pact” on education.

In May 2019, Pope Francis made a strong push for globalism, calling for a supranational, legally constituted body to enforce United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and to implement “climate change” policies.

More recently, during an inflight press conference on his return from a seven-day apostolic visit to Africa, Francis said our “duty” is to “obey international institutions,” such as the United Nations and the European Union.

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California Unveils Huge ‘Cradle-To-Career’ Student Tracking System

This is the height of social engineering and far beyond Common Core Education Standards data tracking. SB-75 purposes to identify and track “predictive indicators” in order to “provide appropriate interventions” and “improve outcomes.”  ⁃ TN Editor

The California legislature has approved legislation that will be signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom to set up an educational system that will use big data to track children from “cradle to career.”

Senate Bill 75 was approved by a vote of 31-7 in the Senate and 62-14 in the Assembly. It will create a “longitudinal” data system that profiles and manipulates pupils from the earliest of ages so they are guided into a career determined by the central planners.

“This is long overdue. Finally, California, the center of the tech world, has a government that is catching up to the 21st century,” said Arun Ramanathan, CEO of Pivot Learning Partners, a nonprofit that will be benefiting from this legislation.

“I’m encouraged we are moving forward and proceeding through the workgroup in a thoughtful and deliberate way,” said Hans Johnson, a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California and director of its Higher Education Center.

The state bureaucracy is now tasked with determining exactly what data is collected from children to enable Big Brother.

This is apart of a national movement that is being spearheaded by failed Georgia Governor candidate Stacey Abrams, New York Times writer David Brooks, and Barack Obama’s former deputy secretary of Education Jim Shelton.

These centralizers hope to control and shape young minds from the earliest of ages using powerful technological tools.

“We refuse to settle for a world where a child’s potential is dictated by the conditions in which the child is born. We are committed to helping every child succeed in school and in life from cradle to career, regardless of race, zip code or circumstance,” said StriveTogether CEO and President Jennifer Blatz.

StriveTogether is responsible for the national Cradle to Career Network Convening. They coach their data sweep plan to treat kids like guinea pigs in the language of social justice.

“We know the systems designed to serve our youth are failing children and families of color and those living in poverty. We exist to give every child, every chance, cradle to career. We’re here to help create possibilities — giving children opportunities to go further and do better than the generations before them,” Blatz said.

Studies have shown that more technology in the classroom actually harms student outcomes, but the end game is power, control, and profit for these rapacious bureaucrats.

Big data and technological progress are enabling leftist government officials to take totalitarianism socialism to unforeseen heights. George Orwell must be spinning in his grave.

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Beware Robot Emotions: ‘Simulated Love Is Never Love’

Humans already have a strong emotional tendency to transfer attachment to inanimate objects. If robot makers exploit this tendency, then robot owners may have no idea they are being led into an emotional addiction. ⁃ TN Editor

When a robot “dies,” does it make you sad? For lots of people, the answer is “yes” — and that tells us something important, and potentially worrisome, about our emotional responses to the social machines that are starting to move into our lives.

For Christal White, a 42-year-old marketing and customer service director in Bedford, Texas, that moment came several months ago with the cute, friendly Jibo robot perched in her home office. After more than two years in her house, the foot-tall humanoid and its inviting, round screen “face” had started to grate on her. Sure, it danced and played fun word games with her kids, but it also sometimes interrupted her during conference calls.

White and her husband Peter had already started talking about moving Jibo into the empty guest bedroom upstairs. Then they heard about the “death sentence” Jibo’s maker had levied on the product as its business collapsed. News arrived via Jibo itself, which said its servers would be shutting down, effectively lobotomizing it.

“My heart broke,” she said. “It was like an annoying dog that you don’t really like because it’s your husband’s dog. But then you realize you actually loved it all along.”

The Whites are far from the first to experience this feeling. People took to social media this year to say teary goodbyes to the Mars Opportunity rover when NASA lost contact with the 15-year-old robot. A few years ago, scads of concerned commenters weighed in on a demonstration video from robotics company Boston Dynamics in which employees kicked a dog-like robot to prove its stability.

Smart robots like Jibo obviously aren’t alive, but that doesn’t stop us from acting as though they are. Research has shown that people have a tendency to project human traits onto robots, especially when they move or act in even vaguely human-like ways.

Designers acknowledge that such traits can be powerful tools for both connection and manipulation. That could be an especially acute issue as robots move into our homes — particularly if, like so many other home devices, they also turn into conduits for data collected on their owners.

“When we interact with another human, dog, or machine, how we treat it is influenced by what kind of mind we think it has,” said Jonathan Gratch, a professor at University of Southern California who studies virtual human interactions. “When you feel something has emotion, it now merits protection from harm.”

The way robots are designed can influence the tendency people have to project narratives and feelings onto mechanical objects, said Julie Carpenter, a researcher who studies people’s interaction with new technologies. Especially if a robot has something resembling a face, its body resembles those of humans or animals, or just seems self-directed, like a Roomba robot vacuum.

“Even if you know a robot has very little autonomy, when something moves in your space and it seems to have a sense of purpose, we associate that with something having an inner awareness or goals,” she said.

Such design decisions are also practical, she said. Our homes are built for humans and pets, so robots that look and move like humans or pets will fit in more easily.

Some researchers, however, worry that designers are underestimating the dangers associated with attachment to increasingly life-like robots.

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Propaganda Coup: China Infiltration Into U.S. Education System

China has riddled U.S. education with propaganda promoting Technocracy, from universities to kindergarten. Partly for dogma and partly for espionage, these ‘Confucius Centers’ have been established throughout America with no restraint or alarm from U.S. government officials. ⁃ TN Editor

The Chinese government has infiltrated nearly every sector of the U.S. education system via a package of programs and monetary schemes that seek to indoctrinate American children and bring the Communist government’s propaganda into the classroom, according to a new report by a Senate investigatory body.

The wide-ranging report by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has found that China has spent nearly $200 million on educational entities known as Confucius Institutes. These programs have been instated in U.S. schools across the country with the mission of indoctrinating students and painting a sympathetic portrait of the Chinese Communist government, according to the report.

The institutes are shrouded in mystery and have been the cause of much consternation on Capitol Hill and elsewhere as information about their reach and power in the United States becomes clearer.

While the programs appear on their surface to be mundane—mainly focusing on language and cultural issues—the Senate committee found that these institutes constitute a threat to the United States. The Chinese government, the committee found, “is attempting to change the impression in the United States and around the world that China is an economic and security threat.”

There are more than 100 Confucius Institutes currently operating in America—the most of any country—and China has plans to open many more, according to the report.

“As China opened over 100 additional Confucius Institutes in the United States over the last 15 years, the Department of Education remained silent,” the Senate committee warns in its report.

While Confucius Institutes have become a mainstay on college campuses across the United States, the Chinese government also has plans to expand into the kindergarten through 12th grade curriculum.

“The Chinese government also funds and provides language instructors for Confucius Classrooms, which offer classes for kindergarten through 12th grade students,” according to the report. “Confucius Classrooms are currently in 519 elementary, middle, and high schools in the United States. Continued expansion of the program is a priority for China.”

Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio), a member of the Senate committee that conducted the investigation, said the bipartisan report shows a “stunning lack of transparency” about how these Chinese institutes function in the United States

“As China has expanded Confucius Institutes here in the U.S., it has systematically shut down key U.S. State Department public diplomacy efforts on Chinese college campuses,” Portman said in a statement. “We learned that schools in the United States—from kindergarten to college—have provided a level of access to the Chinese government that the Chinese government has refused to provide to the United States.”

“Absent full transparency regarding how Confucius Institutes operate and full reciprocity for U.S. cultural outreach efforts on college campuses in China, Confucius Institutes should not continue in the United States,” Portman said.

As the committee investigated these programs, it found that some U.S. schools contractually agree to uphold both Chinese and U.S. laws in order to get money for various programs.

Additionally, “the Chinese teachers sign contracts with the Chinese government pledging they will not damage the national interests of China,” according to the report. “Such limitations attempt to export China’s censorship of political debate and prevent discussion of potentially politically sensitive topics.”

U.S. school officials who spoke to Senate investigators disclosed that Confucius Institutes shun controversial topics, such as China’s poor human rights record and other hot button topics that could be damaging to the country’s reputation.

“Confucius Institutes exist as one part of China’s broader, long-term strategy,” the Senate committee concluded. “Through Confucius Institutes, the Chinese government is attempting to change the impression in the United States and around the world that China is an economic and security threat.”

There are provisions mandating that Chinese law be upheld on U.S. soil and the amount of public disclosure surrounding the institutes is extremely low. If a U.S. school were to spill the beans about these programs, the contracts—and money—would dry up.

“The Subcommittee obtained a contract between Chinese teachers and Hanban that requires Chinese instructors at U.S. schools to “‘conscientiously safeguard national interests.'” The contracts are terminated if the Chinese instructors “‘violate Chinese law’ or ‘engage in activities detrimental to national interests,'” according to the report.

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Parents Take Warning: A Generation Of Child Web Addicts

The natural  human inclination toward addiction is bad enough, but YouTube’s algorithms purposely lead youth to inappropriate and disturbing material that should not be impressed on young minds. If you have children or grandchildren, this is a must-read article. ⁃ TN Editor

Children have become such screen addicts they are abandoning their friends and hobbies, a major report warns today.

Researchers found under-fives spend an hour and 16 minutes a day online. Their screen time rises to four hours and 16 minutes when gaming and television are included.

Youngsters aged 12 to 15 average nearly three hours a day on the web – plus two more hours watching TV. The study said YouTube was ‘a near permanent feature’ of many young lives, and seven in ten of those aged 12 to 15 took smartphones to bed.

It concluded: ‘Children were watching people on YouTube pursuing hobbies that they did not do themselves or had recently given up offline.’

A growing number of parents admitted to researchers that they had lost control of their children’s online habits.

Campaigners described the report from media watchdog Ofcom as frightening.

‘In the early years, children need interaction with other people, and play – it is key to their social skills,’ said Sue Palmer of the group Toxic Childhood.

‘If that doesn’t happen when they are small, I don’t know where it leads. There is the screen time itself, and then there is what the screen time is displacing.’

The annual report, which was based on 2,000 interviews, also revealed that:

  • Children aged five to 15 spend 20 minutes more online a day than watching TV;
  • One in five pre-schoolers and two fifths of five- to eight-year-olds have an iPad or tablet device;
  • A fifth of children aged eight to 12 are on social media – despite a supposed ban on under-13s;
  • Nearly one in five children aged 12 to 16 have accidentally spent money online.

Children aged three and four still watch more television than online videos, but their TV consumption is shrinking whilst their time online is rocketing.

Many flock to YouTube and spend hours watching child-friendly videos such as how to make slime or draw animals. Others seek out ‘unboxing’ videos in which YouTube stars unwrap new products.

Some youngsters are becoming so obsessed with YouTube celebrities that they idolise them as role models, the Ofcom report said.

Some upload videos of their own, hoping to make a career for themselves. Disturbingly, many watch the lifestyle ‘vloggers’ pursuing hobbies and interacting with friends instead of doing so themselves.

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Made In USA: Chinese Schools Scanning Kid’s Brains For Attention

Technocrat engineers are attempting to disrupt education by measuring student attention/focus and giving ‘teachers’ a window into the mind.  Not surprisingly, China jumped at the opportunity for mass testing on 1.2 million students. ⁃ TN Editor
 

US-made devices could be used to collect data on 1.2m pupils in China.

Headbands that monitor concentration by reading brain signals have been trialled on thousands of Chinese schoolchildren.

The devices could soon be used on millions of students across China, according to the US tech company which designed them.

Massachusetts-based start-up BrainCo says its Focus 1 headbands can help teachers identify pupils who need extra assistance.

However, neuroscientists have questioned the devices’ effectiveness and the technology has also raised privacy concerns.

The headbands use electroencephalography (EEG) sensors to detect brain activity when the wearer is engaged in a task.

The devices were worn by 10,000 schoolchildren aged between 10 and 17 during a recent trial in China, according to New Scientist.

Teachers monitored pupils’ attention using an app which received information from the headbands. Lights on the front of the devices also show different colours for varying concentration levels, flagging to staff if students are not paying attention.

Students also played a smartphone game aimed at improving their concentration for 25 minutes at home each day.

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Weaponizing Child Protective Services To Enforce Adherence to Public Education

Public schools teach government propaganda, conditioning students to be good global citizens without questioning the rhetoric. When home schooling fails to teach the same propaganda, the state moves to force them back into public schools. Such persecution of home school parents is seen in virtually every nation on earth. ⁃ TN Editor

Schooling is adept at rooting out individuality and enforcing compliance. In his book, Understanding Power, Noam Chomsky writes: “In fact, the whole educational and professional training system is a very elaborate filter, which just weeds out people who are too independent, and who think for themselves, and who don’t know how to be submissive, and so on—because they’re dysfunctional to the institutions.”

This filtering process begins very early in a child’s schooling as conformity is rewarded and divergence is punished.

Public Schooling Breeds Obedience

Parents are increasingly required to obey, to conform to a school’s demands even if they believe such orders may not be appropriate for their child.

Most of us played this game as schoolchildren. We know the rules. The kids who raise their hands, color in the lines, and obey succeed; the kids who challenge the rules struggle. The problem now is that the rules are extending beyond the classroom. Parents are increasingly required to obey, to conform to a school’s demands even if they believe such orders may not be appropriate for their child.

In my advocacy work with homeschooling families across the country, I frequently hear stories from parents who decided to homeschool their kids because schools were pressuring them to comply with various special education plans, push medications onto their children, or submit to other restrictive procedures they felt were not in their child’s best interest. Even more heartbreaking is the growing trend of school officials to unleash child protective services (CPS) on parents, homeschooling or not, who refuse to give in to a district’s demands.

Weaponizing Child Protective Services

An investigative report by The Hechinger Report and HuffPost released last month revealed that schools are increasingly using child protective services as a “weapon” against parents. It said:

Fed up with what they see as obstinate parents who don’t agree to special education services for their child, or disruptive kids who make learning difficult, schools sometimes use the threat of a child-protection investigation to strong-arm parents into complying with the school’s wishes or transferring their children to a new school. That approach is not only improper, but it can be devastating for families, even if the allegations are ultimately determined to be unfounded.

More troubling, these threats disproportionately target low-income and minority parents. According to the report:

Such families also have fewer resources to fight back. When a family in a wealthy Brooklyn neighborhood learned roughly two years ago that their child’s school had initiated an ACS [New York’s Administration for Children’s Services] investigation against them, they sued the city education department. Parents from lower-income, majority-black and Latino neighborhoods, few of whom can afford that option, say such investigations can be a regular, even expected, part of parenting.

Bullying Proactive Parents

For parents who are unhappy with their child’s school and decide to withdraw their child for homeschooling, threats of child welfare investigations can sometimes turn to actions. In Massachusetts, a mother is reportedly suing the Worcester Public Schools after school officials called the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) on her for alleged “educational neglect,” even though the mother contends that she dutifully filed her homeschooling paperwork for her eight-year-old son mid-year.

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Rise Of The Machines: Automation Reshapes Job Markets

When the UN SDGs promise “lifelong learning experiences”, it means you will have to reinvent yourself multiple times in your lifetime in order to stay working. Your alternative will be to fall into a new class cynically called the “unemployables”.  ⁃ TN Editor

Looking at a map of California on a projector screen, Johannes Moenius, an economics professor at the University of Redlands, hovered his mouse over the Inland Empire, which glowed with a splotch of red pixels.

The colored dots signified how susceptible an area would be to job losses caused by automation. And the alarm-bell red that covered Riverside, San Bernardino and Ontario signaled high risk — roughly 63 percent of tasks performed by workers in the area could be automated in the future.

To Moenius, the rise of robots in warehouses, factories and fast-food restaurants presents danger for places like the Inland Empire, where most residents work in logistics and the service industry and just 21 percent of adults have four-year degrees. As technology transforms the nature of work in California, how do people most at risk find their way to new jobs?

“We’re facing a major challenge,” Moenius said. “If we don’t do anything, then it will turn into an apocalypse.”

Whether confronting an increasingly automated labor market or grappling with how the gig economy is reshaping the relationship between companies and their workers, California’s next governor will have to address the changing nature of work.

That could mean rethinking how to educate Californians, remaking labor laws or considering major social safety net proposals such as a universal basic income. State government might not be able to control change in the workplace, but it will have to deal with the fallout.

The coming years “will make or break California,” said Eloy Ortiz Oakley, chancellor of the state’s community college system.

“If we don’t find a way to provide the skills and education and training necessary for the majority of Californians,” he said, “there’s going to be a lot more have-nots than we have today.”

California’s economy is booming. Its 4.2 percent unemployment rate is a record low. But experts warn the state’s labor market is particularly vulnerable to disruption from widespread automation.

“We are seeing a pretty high percentage of our workforce in relatively low-paying, low-skilled jobs,” said Somjita Mitra, director of the Institute of Applied Economics at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

Since the 2007-09 recession, the prospect of getting a well-paying job with just a high school diploma is dim.

“The challenge in the economy right now is that the kind of jobs that are being created are either at the lowest wages or the very highest wages,” Oakley said.

The rise of automation has sparked considerable angst among American workers. A 2017 Pew poll found that 72 percent of adults said they were worried about a future where robots and computers can perform human jobs.

But there’s no consensus on what the future will look like. One 2013 study, which Moenius used to build his analysis, estimated that 47 percent of American jobs were at risk of being automated. A 2016 paper put that figure at only 9 percent.

A study in 2017 posited that 23 percent to 44 percent of work hours in the United States will be automated by 2030 — particularly in jobs with a high degree of repetition such as machinists, office support and retail sales. But that study also said jobs would be added, especially among care providers such as surgeons, nurses, and construction workers.

Artificial intelligence — computers performing tasks typically done by humans — takes many forms. Computer vision, which allows machines to glean information visually, can be used in agriculture to give crops water and pesticides based on a plant’s needs.

Virtual assistants such as Siri or Alexa are being used in hotels, standing in for concierges or front desk assistants. Self-driving vehicles could upend the country’s transportation and logistics sectors, but it’s not clear how quickly those cars and trucks will be widely deployed.

“Depending on who you talk to, that’s a couple of years away or 30 years away,” said Stephen Baiter, executive director of the Oakland Workforce Development Board.

It’s one thing for a technological breakthrough to be invented, and it’s another to see businesses adopt that technology on a large scale. Experts predict that the impact on jobs will not be sudden, but more like a rolling wave.

The level of upheaval could vary by region. Moenius’ research found the Bay Area — home to Silicon Valley and highly educated workers — faces relatively low risk of job loss. The threat is higher in Fresno and Orange County.

But the area most susceptible to automation in California spans Riverside, San Bernardino and Ontario. According to Moenius, it is the fourth-most vulnerable metropolitan area in the nation, just behind other service-industry-heavy cities such as Las Vegas.

During World War II, the Inland Empire city of Fontana was home to Kaiser Steel, the Pacific Coast’s first steel mill, and was a crucial cog in the state’s vast shipbuilding industry.

But the steel jobs had withered by the 1980s — Fontana, like the rest of the region, became a bedroom community outside Los Angeles. It clawed its way back from the recession due in large part to warehouse and logistics jobs, and the service industry.

Now, on the campus of California Steel Industries Inc., the successor to Kaiser Steel, the Inland Empire is trying to reinvent itself again.

The Chaffey College Industrial Technical Learning Center, or InTech, is touted as the first public-private partnership in the state community college system. Originally envisioned as a place where companies could train workers for more advanced jobs, the program’s participants are now primarily unemployed or underemployed workers.

Training programs range from basic construction to more advanced skills like computer numerical control, which enables automated operation of machines. The center is run by local community colleges, but participants don’t earn college credits. Instead, they receive certifications based on input from local industry partners.

“Everything we do is designed by industry, for industry,” said Sandra Sisco, the center’s director.

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