Education Briefs

Back to April 2014 Ed Reporter

Education Briefs

Indiana is the first state to reverse its decision to use Common Core standards, but drafts of the replacement standards are disappointing. Dr. Sandra Stotsky, creator of the excellent (former) Massachusetts standards, finds that more than 70% of Indiana’s revised 6th- to 12th-grade standards in English “come directly from Common Core,” while 20% are “edited versions of Common Core.” Stotsky, who was hired by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence to review the standards, claims that the governor stands to be “embarrassed by his own Department of Education if the final version is too close to Common Core.” (Fox News, 3-25-14)

Facebook, the popular social networking site, has new options for those who don’t wish to identify as male or female. Users may opt for androgynous, bi-gender, intersex, gender fluid, transsexual, gender questioning, or another of the 50 possibilities chosen by Facebook “after consulting with leading gay and transgender activists.” Reaction was mostly favorable at the site’s diversity website, although some users say further steps should be taken to replace relationship terms like “son” and “daughter” and others want “sexual orientation options.” According to the Associated Press, “there was no debate within Facebook about the social implications at all.” The director of Facebook growth said, “It was simple: Not allowing people to express something so fundamental is not really cool, so we did something.” (AP, 2-13-14)

Two sisters holding anti-abortion signs in the free-speech zone at the University of California-Santa Barbara were approached by a feminist professor who grabbed one of their signs and walked away with it. When the sisters followed and attempted to retrieve the sign, the professor allegedly scratched and kicked one of the girls. Feminist Studies professor Mireille Miller-Young, who specializes in “black cultural studies, pornography, and sex work,” was charged with theft, battery, and vandalism. (TheCollegeFix.com, 3-12-14)