Profanity is useful. People need those words to express things that cannot otherwise be expressed. There are times when the artful use of non-profanity works better and there are times when you simply must have the quick punch of a “bad” word. And to have profanity, you need to maintain at least a loose taboo on certain words.
Somehow in the last few years it has become popular to have traditional graduation ceremonies—caps, gowns, Elgar—for increasingly younger students at increasingly inconsequential stages in their education. Apparently this idiotic tendency has also taken up the traditional valedictorian and speech.
Last week, [Wendy] Portillo held a vote in her classroom in which the students “voted out” 5-year-old Alex Barton, who is in the process of being tested for Asperger’s Disorder, a type of high-functioning autism, said his mother, Melissa Barton.
After each classmate was allowed to say what they didn’t like about Alex the teacher said they were going to take a vote, Barton said. They said he was “disgusting” and “annoying,” Barton said.
Kids are mean enough to each other without calculated help from their teachers. Ridiculous.
“The [New York State teachers’] unions late Tuesday were successful in banning student performance in the classroom from the tenure process.”
Say what?! News stories like this drive me nuts. There should be no such thing as tenure for teaching faculty who are not also professional researchers. The latter need tenure to protect them from malicious firing related to unpopular research topics, methodology, or results. Educators who exclusively teach should be held accountable for how well they do their jobs, just like anyone else in any other job. If you are a poor teacher who fails to adequately educate children, your boss should have the right to fire you. Period.
On a tangentially related note, I hate the idea of closed shops. Unions should have to compete with other unions and individual workers. A monopolized workforce is as bad as a monopolized industry.
The Pitt News, like most college newspapers, is know more for articles written by liberals and libertines than libertarians. Nevertheless, in the last few months I’ve noticed several editorials that present or at least hint at libertarian ideals. Here’s a sampling. Give me your impressions in the comments.