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Defensive Womaning and Navigating Missing Stairs

 

My husband and I met a potential new landlord yesterday, and without either of us realizing it, each of us walked away with very different impressions of what had happened during the meeting. The meeting was an ambiguous image, like the rabbit-duck or old-woman-young-woman illusion. Many human meetings are like that, particularly between the sexes.

Those of us who occasionally follow what feminists are saying, if only as reconnaissance, may have heard of the “missing stair problem” (warning: link not entirely SFW). Imagine a house with a poorly-lit stairway containing a missing stair. Everyone who lives there knows to step over the missing stair. Everyone who visits regularly knows about the stair, too. But a new visitor would not know, and if not told in time, might stumble and fall. Some people, the analogy goes, are like that missing stair – others must carefully work around them to avoid getting hurt, and the hazard they pose is simply taken for granted by those in the know. Sexual predators, in particular, are likened to the missing stair, especially sexual predators who aren’t “lone wolves” but who have ingratiated themselves into a community, where they become a fixture, and others take on the duty of attempting to protect innocent members from the predator (while also protecting the predator from social ostracism or having to change his ways) rather than “fixing the stair” by refusing to tolerate his predatory behavior.

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This week on Banter we’re joined by Mike McShane for a discussion on education reform in the Bush and Obama administrations. Dr. McShane is the director of national research at EdChoice and a former research fellow in education policy studies at AEI. He cohosted a public event on the history of education reform in the Bush and Obama years, which featured a keynote address from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. You can watch the full event video at the link below.

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Max Eden joins Seth Barron to discuss student discipline and suspension policies, and how discipline “reform” has led to chaos in many classrooms.

In January 2014, in an attempt to reduce out-of-school suspensions, an Obama administration directive forced thousands of American schools to change their discipline policies. Proponents of the new discipline rules say that teachers and school administrators have been racially discriminatory in meting out punishments, creating a massive disparity in suspension rates between white and black students. Their claims, however, ignore the significant discrepancies in student behavior.

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In Banter’s seventh installment of the “Bridging the Dignity Divide” series, AEI Morgridge Fellow in Education Studies Andy Smarick joins the show to discuss the unique challenges and opportunities facing rural education in America. In addition to his role at AEI, Smarick also serves as president of the Maryland State Board of Education. With AEI Research Fellow Angela Rachidi and Resident Scholar Nat Malkus, Smarick hosted an event at AEI with authors of a forthcoming edited volume on rural education in America. The volume includes pieces on topics such as rural poverty, the opioid crisis, and education policy in rural communities. The link below will take you to the full event video including links to selections from the volume.

About the “Bridging the Dignity Divide” Series

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Bill explains why he thinks Pres. Trump’s first year has been one of the most consequential years of a presidency in modern history. Then, he dissects Pres. Trump’s new national security strategy with Brian Kennedy, president of the American Strategy Group. Next, Bill reviews the highs and lows of American education in 2017 with education expert Checker Finn.

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In Banter’s fifth installment of the “Bridging the Dignity Divide” series, AEI Visiting Scholar Mark Schneider joined the show to discuss alternatives to the traditional bachelor’s degree, such as associate and certificate programs, and the differing earnings outcomes of these programs. This research was featured in the new report “Degrees of Opportunity: Lessons Learned from State-Level Data on Postsecondary Earnings Outcomes.” In addition to his role at AEI, Schneider is Vice President at the American Institutes for Research. He is the author and editor of numerous articles and books on education policy and has been working to increase accountability by making data on college productivity more publicly available.

About the “Bridging the Dignity Divide” Series

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In Banter’s third installment of the “Bridging the Dignity Divide” series, AEI Resident Fellow Gerard Robinson once again takes over as guest host. On this episode, he is joined by Grant Duwe of the Minnesota Department of Corrections to discuss prison education and evidence-based criminal justice reform. Duwe also serves as an academic adviser to AEI for criminal justice reform. He joined last week’s guests, Renita Seabrook and Ames Grawert, in an event at AEI hosted by Robinson and AEI Resident Scholar Stan Veuger on prison education reform policies.

About the “Bridging the Dignity Divide” Series

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Welcome to the Harvard Lunch Club Political Podcast for November 28, 2017 it is the “Trump First Things” edition of the podcast with your hosts radio guy Todd Feinburg and nanophysicist Mike Stopa.

This week we are very lucky to have the senior editor of First Things magazine and Emory University English Professor Mark Bauerlein as our guest for an extended discussion on dumbing down of English departments and conversations at Thanksgiving when you are the only Trumpkin and what’s wrong with Western civilization anyway and a wide array of other topics.

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Why Have Professors Intentionally Destroyed the Prestige of Their Own Institutions?

 

Most kids are idiots. Always have been. I certainly was. There is a reason that those trying to start mass movements for crazy ideology always start in the schools. Kids are emotional, inexperienced, and impulsive. So schools have always been a bit different than the rest of the world. But recently schools have changed from “a little odd” to “dangerously insane.” Why is that? Again, kids are kids. Always have been. What’s different now?

@songwriter wrote a typically insightful comment on another thread recently:

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