Sometimes when you are teaching, you have to simplify a problem so that students can understand the concepts involved. I will explain. When I was a teacher, I was trying to explain to my Honors Class (I think chemistry, might have been physics. It’s been awhile) how to do a unit conversion using a method called dimensional analysis. It’s a pretty common way of solving equations that is used in the physical sciences.

I first learned the dimensional analysis when I was in the Navy at NucField A school and at Nuclear Power School. It’s handy for solving a lot of things. Dimensional analysis is a method for solving various problems that, once mastered, allows for the rapid solution to unit conversions, various physical problems (like Ohm’s law), medication dosage calculations, and more. It reduces calculation errors and is a very handy skill to have. I use this method all the time to calculate drug dosages, and used it as a firefighter to calculate hose pressures and other useful numbers.

I was teaching it to my students by giving the students a list of things I wanted converted from one item to another. The worksheet that I gave them was a list of problems that were easy to solve, but included the following instruction:

Show all of your work, including the proper setup of the dimensional analysis method. Your work is part of your answer, and any problem that does not include the showing of your work in the proper format will be marked as incorrect and will receive no credit.

The questions were things like:

  • Convert a $5 bill to nickels
  • How many toes would 22 people have?
  • How many legs would 123 ants have? (they each have 8 legs)
  • etc

So one of my students answered:

  • 100
  • 220
  • 984

And promptly got a zero for a grade. Yes, the math was correct, but I wasn’t looking for the mathematical solution, but a solution that showed me that he had mastered the method of dimensional analysis. Anyone with fourth grade understanding of arithmetic can tell you that 22 people have 220 toes. I knew that they could do simple math, because it was a requirement to have already passed Algebra and Geometry as a prerequisite to even be in my class. This was an honors course where students could receive college credit at the end of the course.

It was important that they understood the concept so when we went on to more complicated problems, they would have the skills needed to solve them. It wasn’t about the math of that particular problem, it was about knowing HOW to use dimensional analysis. That way, when you get a problem that goes like:

A sample of calcium nitrate, Ca(NO3)2, with a formula weight of 164 g/mol, has 5.00 x 1027 atoms of oxygen. How many kilograms of Ca(NO3)2 are present?

The problem can be solved without too much difficulty. The easy problems were not a test of math ability, they were a means of learning a new method for applying math skills that the student already has. A “learn to walk before you try to run” sort of thing.

The child’s parent wrote me and demanded that he receive full credit because he got the correct answers. I tried pointing out the instructions and explaining the reasons behind showing your work. No go. The parent argued that “in the real world” no one cares how you got the answers, just that you ended up with the correct answers. I tried pointing out that, this being school, demonstrating that you have mastered the method is more important than getting the correct answer. The parent continued to argue and demanded that the student receive credit. I refused. They even told me that they would get a lawyer involved. I told them “good luck finding anyone that will support you not showing your work on math homework, when the instructions clearly required it.” Then I told them if lawyers were to be involved, I would be happy to give them my attorney’s number, and their attorney could call mine to arrange a meeting. They hung up on me.

So the parents went to the principal. Nope. They went all the way to the school board, to no avail. The parent finally pulled the kid out of my class and put them into a low level environmental science class.

In this case, the parent did the child no favors.

EDIT: I am editing this to give an example of how dimensional analysis works. Here is the example:

Convert 1 week into seconds:

*Terms on the top AND bottom of the equation cancel out, leaving: (1*7*24*60*60s)/1=604,800 s

Woke College

The Florida legislature is looking at a bill that would eliminate majors in useless subjects like Critical Race Theory, Gender Studies, or Intersectionality at all state funded universities and colleges. The left is losing their shit and calling it a ban that threatens academic freedom. Bullshit. It isn’t a ban. If you want to spend five figures on a major like Women’s Studies, knowing that you will never get a job as a result of that degree, you can do so. Just not at a taxpayer funded college.

Another part of the same bill changes how universities will be able to hire their professors. In the future, professors would be recommended for hiring by the college President, but the board of trustees would have the final say in hirings and firings. The bill would also allow a professor’s tenure to be revoked. The bill explicitly bans state colleges or universities from using woke policies like diversity, equity, and inclusion statements, Critical Race Theory rhetoric, or other forms of political identity filters as part of the hiring process, including as part of applications for employment, promotion and tenure, conditions of employment, or reviewing qualifications for employment.

In other words, there will be accountability, and college professorship will no longer be a liberal jobs program and professors will not be eliminated for failure to be woke enough.

Additionally, the bill bans use of university resources to “promote, support, or maintain any programs or campus activities…that espouse diversity, equity, and inclusion or Critical Race Theory rhetoric,” whether directly or through grants, contracts, or service agreements. Done are the days when taxpayer money can be used to support liberal causes.

The times, they are a changin’

Accommodations, Certifications, and Standards

A diploma, whether it is for high school, medical school, or barber college, is a certification from the school that issued it. That diploma states that the school is certifying that the person thereupon named has met the standards for that diploma. Or have they?

Nowadays, that isn’t what a diploma means. It was decided years ago, with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that it was unfair and discriminatory to treat students with intellectual disabilities (what used to be referred to as retarded) the same as other students. So this law was passed to make things more equitable. (Not equal, which is the same standard, but equitable, meaning that they have the same outcome.)

In order to make students with disabilities more likely to have the same outcome, they are granted accommodations. These accommodations can vary. It can mean that they are granted extra time, or are allowed to test in a private room with no one watching them, or that they are even give multiple choice tests with one or more of the wrong choices eliminated. Furthermore, the law goes on to say that there can be no mention of the accommodations on the student’s transcript, diploma, or other certifications. Don’t want them having the stigma of people thinking they had it easier than other students, you see.

As a result, not every student is being evaluated by the same standard. This means that a diploma is no longer a certification, as there is no guarantee that two students who have received that diploma were measured against the same yardstick. Remember that next time you are having your hair cut or being treated by a healthcare professional.

There was a student in my nursing class who received the accommodation of testing in a private room, and was also allowed to have her cell phone in the room with her. She graduated with a 94% test average, the highest in the class. I wonder why. No one on staff could challenge her on it, or she would scream about IDEA and racial discrimination.

The same happened when I was a teacher. All a student needed was a letter from a physician, saying that a student had a learning disability, and the student got all kinds of accommodations. There were some families who had 4 or 5 kids, all with extensive accommodations. It’s the newest way to get your kid that high GPA they’ve always wanted.

It doesn’t just extend to the classroom. Even licensing exams are given with accommodations. The implications are obvious. Your doctor or nurse might be wholly unable to provide you with competent care, but at least we didn’t hurt their feelings by making them seem inadequate.

This also makes licensure and the certification that goes with it wholly worthless.

Not New

A parent is claiming that a new law (trying to be sneaky and make it seem new) is preventing her from teaching students about holidays by preventing her from talking about Hanukkah because supposedly a new law says that teachers can’t talk about Hanukkah, Christmas, or even that made up stupid one, Kwanzaa*.

No, this isn’t a new rule. You can’t espouse religion in school, but nothing prevents you from explaining that different people celebrate different holidays. The problem here is that a parent wanted to come in and talk about her religion. It’s always been a delicate balance, and I can understand a school not wanting parents on the warpath because someone is engaged in what is a political minefield.

*Kwanzaa was made up in 1966 by a black American asshole after the Watts riots as a black people’s holiday. It is also celebrated in Great Britain, Jamaica, France, Canada, and Brazil. Note that not one African country celebrates it. Why not? Because it isn’t a real fucking holiday. The stated goal was to give black people an alternative to Christmas (which the inventor of Kwanzaa called a “religion for white people”) so they could celebrate black culture, rather than simply assimilate into American culture. Anytime a black man is successful, he is called names like “Oreo” and made fun of for “acting white,” which is why so few blacks do well. As an aside, the asshole who invented it was a convicted felon. He held women against their will as his slaves and tortured them.

Reading this, now you know why I didn’t like being a teacher. It’s all bullshit.

Not Surprising

University of Florida had some woke bullshit BLM stuff on their medical school webpages. That doesn’t surprise me in the least. I didn’t go to UF, but this is widespread throughout US colleges. I had to listen to and report on Podcasts talking about Health Equity and how all white people have privilege and are racist.

One of those podcasts talked about how black women have worse outcomes in healthcare than do white women, and this is proof of racial bias. As evidence, the podcast offered Serina Williams’ issues during childbirth to show that black women can’t get quality care, even when rich and famous.

Except that isn’t what happened. Ms. Williams has a preexisting condition requiring that she take anticoagulants to prevent blood clots. When she was to give birth by Caesarian section, the hospital told her to stop taking the anticoagulants, as they increase the chances of severe bleeding during surgery. After the surgery, she developed blood clots because she wasn’t on her medication. That happens and had nothing to do with her race.

That doesn’t matter to the woke professors that have infected our colleges. What do you do as a student? Well, you can do what I did when I was in grad school to be a PA, which was be loud and defend your opinions, but all that does is make an enemy of the professor who will then run you out of school and make certain you won’t ever be accepted to another grad school. Or, you can do what I did when I went to nursing school: keep your mouth shut, parrot the woke party line, and try to not be noticed.

Say What?

The vice principal of a Cleveland high school let three ski mask wearing, armed gunmen into the locked school with students inside, because he saw that police were chasing them and was afraid the police would shoot them.

A school security officer called 911 while watching teens with masks and guns. They had pulled up in three stolen cars and walked up to the school. The school went into lockdown. The police pursued the three, and one of them was able to escape.

The vice principal made a statement to police: “I confirmed the interior doors were locked and instructed the four suspects to come to the vestibule because it was unsafe to be outside because I saw police officers.”

The school district defended them by saying that the principal made sure that the doors to classrooms were locked, so the gunmen were not able to threaten students. Here is the official statement from the school district:

As one of the witness statements indicates, the males entered a controlled, secured area that is specifically designed to prevent access to the rest of the building. Cleveland police had already arrived on the scene and were able to make arrests. The staff member made a split-second decision that the individual thought was the best way to keep students and staff safe.

At the very least, the two vice principals are guilty of aiding a fugitive, or perhaps accessory after the fact. After all, he made an official statement that his purpose was in helping three masked gunmen avoid the police.

The police union had the best quote:

administrators at Garrett Morgan HS allowed MASKED GUNMEN to enter the school in order to protect the gunmen from wait for it police officers outside. They risked the lives of CHILDREN to show how woke they are. Can’t make it up.

Parents need to be down there at the next school board meeting and demanding some answers.

Making Math Racist

A few days ago, I posted about Florida refusing to buy certain math textbooks because they contained CRT and SEL propaganda, and the state is trying to keep political topics out of elementary school. No groomers allowed, to put it bluntly.

Now the state has finally given some examples and reasons for why they rejected some textbooks. Take a look:

It’s subtle, but they are grooming the kids in their care, so that they grow up to be good little communists.

Grooming kids to become little communists. That is why these books were rejected. I took the Implicit Association Test, and it is garbage. It asks questions like “Are those that you are sexually attracted to mostly of a similar skin tone?” and “Do you think that certain skin tones have an advantage over others in making money?”

Garbage. This isn’t math, and it isn’t science. It’s propaganda.