Misconduct and the War on Colleges


Staff & Wire Reports



FILE - In this June 5, 2018, file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives to court in New York. Weinstein has been accused of a forcible sex act by a third woman in an updated indictment. District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. announced the indictment Monday, July 2. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

FILE - In this June 5, 2018, file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives to court in New York. Weinstein has been accused of a forcible sex act by a third woman in an updated indictment. District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. announced the indictment Monday, July 2. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)


NEWS

Harvey Weinstein charged with sex crime against a 3rd woman

By KAREN MATTHEWS

Tuesday, July 3

NEW YORK (AP) — Harvey Weinstein was charged Monday with a sex crime against a third woman, as New York prosecutors continue building cases against the former Hollywood studio boss whose downfall ushered in the #MeToo movement.

Manhattan’s district attorney announced the charges in an updated indictment, saying Weinstein performed a forcible sex act on the woman in 2006.

“A Manhattan grand jury has now indicted Harvey Weinstein on some of the most serious sexual offenses that exist under New York’s penal law,” District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said in a statement. “Our investigation continues. If you are a survivor of the predatory abuse with which Mr. Weinstein is charged, there is still time to pursue justice.”

Vance said Weinstein was charged with another count of criminal sexual act and two counts of predatory sexual assault. The latter carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Weinstein is scheduled for arraignment on the new charges July 9. A lawyer for Weinstein said the 66-year-old former movie mogul will plead not guilty.

“Mr. Weinstein maintains that all of these allegations are false and he expects to be fully vindicated,” lawyer Ben Brafman said.

A grand jury previously indicted Weinstein on charges involving two women. One of the alleged victims in the criminal case, who has not been identified publicly, told investigators that Weinstein cornered her in a hotel room and raped her in 2013. The other accuser, former actress Lucia Evans, has gone public with her account of Weinstein forcing her to perform oral sex at his office in 2004.

The Associated Press does not identify alleged victims of sexual assaults unless they come forward publicly.

More than 75 women have accused Weinstein of wrongdoing. Several actresses and models accused him of criminal sexual assaults, including film actress Rose McGowan, who said Weinstein raped her in 1997 in Utah, “Sopranos” actress Annabella Sciorra, who said he raped her in her New York apartment in 1992, and the Norwegian actress Natassia Malthe, who said he attacked her in a London hotel room in 2008.

The New York Times and The New Yorker jointly won a 2018 Pulitzer Prize for their reporting on Weinstein, which toppled a once untouchable star maker and helped prod women in other industries from technology to academia to factory work to tell their stories of sexual harassment by powerful men.

Mimi Haleyi, a former Weinstein Co. production assistant, made allegations against Weinstein last October that align with the charges in the updated indictment.

Haleyi said Weinstein forcibly performed oral sex on her in 2006 in what appeared to be a child’s bedroom in his Manhattan apartment. Neither the district attorney’s office nor Haleyi’s attorney, Gloria Allred, would confirm that Haleyi is the accuser in the new charges.

New York City police detectives said in early November that they were investigating allegations by another Weinstein accuser, “Boardwalk Empire” actress Paz de la Huerta, who told police in October that he raped her twice in 2010.

Weinstein has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex, with his attorney challenging the credibility of his alleged victims.

Ohio English teacher Lynnette Jimenez earns NEA’s highest honor

July 1, 2018

Jimenez is among a dozen recipients of prestigious NEA Human and Civil Rights Award

Minneapolis – As an educator dedicated to social change, English teacher Lynnette Jimenez, from R.B. Chamberlin Middle School in Twinsburg, Ohio, has broken barriers across borders to increase educational opportunities for students in poverty. Because of her unbending commitment to her students in Twinsburg and to students a world away in El Salvador, NEA bestowed upon Jimenez its highest honor, the George I. Sanchez Award.

“The human and civil rights champions we honor tonight are the epitome of the fierce urgency of now that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke about in his ‘I have a Dream speech,’” said NEA President Lily Eskelsen García. “Through their deeds and actions, they have demonstrated remarkable courage and conviction to stand up for racial and social justice. They have shown an unrelenting resolve and ferocity to make a real difference for public education, students, and our nation’s future. They are shining examples of social justice activism, fighting against injustices every day, and making sure that our great nation lives up to its promise.”

NEA recognized the work of 12 outstanding social justice heroes at its 2018 NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards, which took place on Sunday, July 1, in Minneapolis, Minn. The merger of the National Education Association and the American Teachers Association in 1966 produced the annual NEA Human and Civil Rights Awards. Since the merger, NEA has recognized and honored educators, individuals, community partners, and organizations that are advancing the mantle for human and civil rights.

On a trip to El Salvador, Jimenez saw a lack of educational opportunities for the economically disadvantaged, and committed to developing an adult and child literacy program to break the cycle of poverty. Working with local charity and religious organizations in Ohio, she established Colegio Catòlico Misioneros De Cleveland in Teopaque, El Salvador.

“I want to thank the National Education Association for recognizing me for this very prestigious award,” said Lynette Jimenez. “The George I Sanchez Memorial Award means more to me than you will ever know, because it not only recognizes the work that I have done, but it also recognizes the accomplishments of those who have come before me.”

She raised money for the school through writing grants, hosting fundraisers, collecting donations, and buying supplies out of her own pocket. She wanted to ensure the school had the resources to support the holistic role of the teacher, learn what students and their teachers need, how to motivate them, and most importantly, how to build a support system to address ongoing problems like malnutrition and gang violence. From curriculum planning to continuing education, Jimenez continues to support the principal and her staff at the elementary school.

For the last several summers, to provide cross-cultural learning opportunities, she has collaborated with former Twinsburg students interested in creating bilingual literacy opportunities for the children of El Salvador. She helps her students design lesson plans, and implement character building activities, extracurricular games and community awareness workshops that help them better understand the culture and build relationships on an international level through an adaptive and unique learning experience.

Lynnette Jimenez was among the dozen individuals and organization, including the First Lady Michelle Obama and Know Your Rights Camp, founded by professional quarterback and activist Colin Kaepernick, the NEA recognized for continuing the quest for human and civil rights in America.

To view a list of their bios and achievements, please click here. Watch a video of Lynnette in action here.

Follow the conversation on Twitter #NEARA18 #EdJustice2018 @NEAMedia

The National Education Association (www.nea.org) is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

VIEWS

Inside Sources

Point: Partisan Division Is Undermining Education

January 20, 2018 by Michael S. Roth

One thing that all too many Americans have in common these days is a loss of faith in higher education. The Pew Charitable Trusts’ most recent survey of Americans’ views of national institutions showed that in the last two years a majority of Republicans had come to believe that colleges no longer had a positive effect on the country’s direction.

The fact that confidence in higher ed among Democrats increased should provide little comfort, for even here the trend is disturbing. When attitudes toward universities become one more symptom of our partisan divide, the very mission of universities is undermined.

On the right, the condemnation of “tenured radicals” is a staple of stump speeches, but this criticism is nothing new. During the Vietnam War, conservatives looked at colleges as breeding grounds for radicalism that undermined core American values. During the culture wars of the 1980s and 1990s, higher education was accused of being responsible for the “closing of the American mind,” as students and professors alike were said to be turning their backs on enduring questions in favor of the posturing of the moment.

And now, President Trump and his advisers express satisfaction with changes in the tax code harming elite universities because they see these institutions as “playpens of the left.”

Even educators who identify as liberals can’t help becoming critics of the culture of higher education. This fall, Columbia professor Mark Lilla famously complained that campuses were controlled by social justice warriors who were more concerned with ideological purity than they were about making genuine civic contributions. And self-styled progressives on campus are quick to dismiss programs aimed at increasing equity and inclusion as just public relations ploys by administrators hoping to burnish the brands of their neo-liberal universities.

Higher education has become an appealing target for liberals and conservatives who claim to be concerned with political correctness, free speech or simply the failure of young people to act like old folks remember acting when they were young. Attacking political correctness or group think at universities is by now, at best, a vapid, smug way of piling on — a signal of one’s willingness to be a contrarian while saying nothing with which anyone would disagree. At worst, PC bashing is just a cover for persistent bigotry.

Today’s “war on universities” is a symptom of our polarized public life. The “you’re either for us or against us” attitudes that are so prevalent deny the possibility that one can engage in honest inquiry without knowing the answers in advance. These attitudes have resulted in self-satisfied cynics (on the left and right) showing only condescension toward teachers and students willing to consider alternative, complex responses to enduring issues or contemporary problems.

Higher education depends on this willingness to find unexpected answers, to develop stimulating interpretations of perennial questions. It depends on not letting partisan opinion completely control inquiry. That’s why we are seeing increased attention at universities to the cultivation of intellectual diversity, offering a wide variety of resources to undergraduates to expand their capacity to confront problems and create opportunity.

Students today know what they’re up against. Issues I hear them talking about the most are slowing economic growth, climate change and increasing inequality. They are well aware that the world they will be entering after graduation is one in desperate need of creative approaches to political and economic challenges that earlier generations failed to address adequately.

The alternative to learning, to experimenting with other points of view and new domains of inquiry, is increasing partisanship and close-mindedness. We are already seeing this in very public refusals to listen to people with contrary views; in the rejection of basic science; in the petty nastiness that comes from the resentment that other people are learning something you don’t know. But such attitudes are more prevalent in government than they are on campus.

Our colleges and universities thrive when they acknowledge viewpoint diversity as an essential ingredient for productive learning. This acknowledgment has for years fueled efforts to expand access for students from under-represented groups. By joining this continuing work with inclusive, bold and rigorous inquiry, we can ensure that American universities cultivate individuality as well as social sympathy, that they preserve what is best in our culture while stimulating pragmatic inquiry for the sake of social progress.

Higher education should never be uncontroversial, and for that very reason it deserves our respect and support.

About the Author

Michael S. Roth is the president of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. He earned his undergrad degree from Wesleyan and his doctorate from Princeton. His book “Beyond the University” has been a powerful tool for students, their families, faculty and policymakers who are wrestling with the future of higher education in America.

Counterpoint: Why the ‘War’ on College Is Justified

January 20, 2018 by Teresa Mull

Writing in The New York Times recently, Frank Bruni declared it “unsettling” and “dangerous” that college is “regarded with skepticism by many Americans and outright contempt by no small number of them.”

This widespread attitude toward college is not unfounded. It’s based on years of true education taking a beating from progressive elitists who have infiltrated many institutions of higher learning and assaulted free speech on campuses, which are supposed to be the safe havens of open debate and dialogue. The prevailing skepticism is also a consequence of federal interference and perverse incentives that have diluted once-hallowed institutions and launched millions of young people into unnecessary, debilitating debt.

No, American skepticism toward college isn’t “unsettling” or “dangerous”; it’s completely justified and should serve as a wake-up call to colleges to change course.

“Not all Americans understand how universities function as vital engines of many cities’ and states’ economies or as cradles of the very innovation that keeps America great,” Bruni wrote.

If so many modern colleges are truly great, why do we need a Times editorialist convincing us of their value?

The problem is, Bruni is painting an idealistic version of higher education — one that hasn’t existed for a long time and can’t exist so long as the status quo remains and while people like Bruni turn a blind eye to what the real problems are. Instead, Bruni makes an inaccurate and bigoted accusation, blaming part of the downfall of higher learning on “Republicans (attacking) science and intellectuals.”

It’s true that in a recent Pew poll, 58 percent of Republicans said colleges have a negative effect on the nation, while 72 percent of Democrats said they have a positive influence. It’s also true liberal professors outnumber conservative ones 12 to 1. Bruni would have you believe conservatives hate education, but what students are being taught at colleges is so far from true education, that it doesn’t deserve to be called “education.”

College curricula have digressed into unabashed brainwashing seminars. Williams College, for instance, offers a class in “Racial Capitalism,” which, according to the class’s description, aims to “interrogate the ways in which capitalist economies have ‘always and everywhere’ relied upon forms a racist domination and exclusion.”

Not even the hard sciences are immune. Indrek Wichman, a professor of mechanical engineering at Michigan State University, wrote in 2017 about how “a phalanx of social justice warriors, ideologues, egalitarians and opportunistic careerists has ensconced itself in America’s college and universities … now (reaching) engineering.”

The reason most kids go to college is because society tells them they have to if they ever want a job, and because government makes it easy by handing out student loans to young people who don’t know any better. Thus, we have the proliferation of colleges and college students, the latter handing over their “free money” to low-quality, high-quantity schools that accept students who have no interest or desire in attending college in the first place.

Bruni insists repair of the nation’s skepticism of college is “imperative, because the continued competitiveness of the American economy depends on the skills of our work force, the intellectual nimbleness of our citizens, the boldness of our scientific research and the genius of our inventions.”

Employers, however, want to hire people who are competent, reliable and trainable, not necessarily pre-programmed with the “skills” Bruni insists come with a college degree. Most college courses, especially when it comes to getting a job, are a waste of time.

The liberal arts, intended to transport a person’s soul to a higher plane, have been perverted by progressives. Those few remaining areas of study (namely, science, technology, engineering and math) that have managed to remain relatively unscathed by the left are ever-changing. (What you learn in a computer science class junior year may very well be obsolete by the time you graduate.) They also don’t require years of study or thousands of dollars to master.

College has morphed into simply another means by which progressive zealots can spread their beliefs and exert their radical influence. Americans are fed up with the intolerant nonsense spewed (sometimes violently) at so many colleges and are turned off by the ignorant, inept graduates these institutions produce, oftentimes at taxpayer expense.

There is a war on colleges, and it’s a war worth fighting.

About the Author

Teresa Mull (tmull@heartland.org) is a research fellow in education policy at The Heartland Institute.

LINK

Americans are drowning in student-loan debt. The U.S. should forgive all of it.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/americans-are-drowning-in-student-loan-debt-the-us-should-forgive-all-of-it/2018/06/19/82565218-7314-11e8-9780-b1dd6a09b549_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.e11bb894f22e

FILE – In this June 5, 2018, file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives to court in New York. Weinstein has been accused of a forcible sex act by a third woman in an updated indictment. District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. announced the indictment Monday, July 2. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
https://www.sunburynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/48/2018/07/web1_120873101-0c3a47baa3da4b9ab2332c72c01b0ea6.jpgFILE – In this June 5, 2018, file photo, Harvey Weinstein arrives to court in New York. Weinstein has been accused of a forcible sex act by a third woman in an updated indictment. District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. announced the indictment Monday, July 2. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Staff & Wire Reports