(NewsNation) — There are several situations that I think you need to pay attention to right now.
The first is the war in Ukraine. This is a crucial time. Whatever good or bad will happen, it will happen soon because as soon as the weather gets cold, positions will be locked. It’s not about how many dollars we send, it’s about what makes sense. Russia is just getting started.
Next is Iran. People are dying there for the freedom we have here. Just as with Russia, the chances of Iran’s arrogance being translated into action in the region and with nuclear weapons are high. This is essential for freedom and the balance of power.
Third, don’t stop watching Hurricane Ian. The cameras are leaving Florida, but the hardest part is just beginning. Now come the uninsured who have nothing, and then the unpaid claims. That’s when it matters, and we have to be there.
Now, the no-brainer: Herschel Walker. The great, hard-line anti-abortion rights candidate running for the US Senate in Georgia is reported pay for ex-girlfriend’s abortion. Why are you surprised? This issue changes when you talk about yourself or your daughter or wife. It’s easy to become hard-line in taking the rights of others; that’s why we almost never allow it. How can a Republican who lacks government feel comfortable letting the government control what a person can do with their body? Let’s see what voters say.
Now that we’ve past those quick hits, onto something a little more detailed. We must work together to stop America’s stupidity.
The New York Times on Monday publish a story about a New York University professor who was fired after his students complained that his classes were too loud. The caption reads: “At NYU Students Fail Organic Chemistry. Who is to blame?”
See the headline: “Who’s to blame,” as if it were a mistake.
Putting aside the fact that the work doesn’t come close to answering that question, the story ignores a key issue: Why do we lower our standards of achievement?
The first is a cultural issue. The New York Times doesn’t seem concerned that the professor isn’t given due process. Of course, the university can cancel the contract at will, but it states as an excuse that the professor “does not meet the standards we require from our teaching faculty.”
How did they decide that?
According to the article, there were no real reviews involving professors, only complaints notifications by students about petitions they circulated when they didn’t like their grades.
Twenty-three percent of the class, 82 of 350 students, signed the petition and got this person fired. Talk about crowd-sourced consequences. Times is fine with that, I guess.
It would be one thing if professors were bad—and that’s what the school would want you to think about—but there’s a side to this mentioned here that this guy was at Princeton and NYU for years and was given many teaching awards, including the “coolest professor” at the school that fired him.
Often when something doesn’t make sense, it’s because it’s about something different than it seems: a drop in our standards. This is “everyone gets a trophy” taken to an exponential level.
If it’s hard, make it easier. Can’t get good grades? Makes assessment easier. This is not English literature, this is organic chemistry. If you want to be a doctor or a scientist, you have to master this.
That’s why it’s hard and always has been. It’s a course that separates those who have and don’t have the right thing.
For proof of my proposition, just look at where we are in the STEM (Science, Technology, Mathematics and Engineering) field. In a study of 35 developed countries, the Pew Research Center showed US students ranked 30th in math and 19th in science.
And while the number of US jobs in STEM is growing, only 11% of Americans have a degree in a STEM field. These are the areas that dominate the new economy, and this story is a good illustration of why even though we have so much to gain, we embarrass ourselves.
I have kids in college. He went to a good school, and he talked about how much work there was. We talked about different strategies for him, different ways of learning, different sets of expectations. But what we never discussed was that it was the teacher’s fault.
We have to teach our children to take responsibility for themselves, to work as hard as they can and not to make excuses when things don’t work out. That is life. All you control is your effort, not the outcome. And if you let these kids change the standard here, what are you really teaching them?