Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Age Discrimination in NMSU Program

Las Cruces Sun News
Wednesday, November 27, 2013

See my new and improved coloring skills in my October 21 post!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Power of the Internet

It's been interesting to me how far reaching your voice can be heard, the ease with which an audience can be reached, and who might end up hearing your story.  I put a link to my blog on my business website and I was surprised at how many of my customers took the time to check it out.  I have customers all over the United States and through a customer up in Maine I came into contact with Tucker Carlson, American political news correspondent and commentator for Fox News, and co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller!!!

Monday, November 18, 2013

What is the Purpose of Education?

Recently I heard on a local radio station an ad for New Mexico State University stating something like NMSU graduates get jobs.  To me this implies that NMSU believes the purpose of education is to be able to get a job.  In the graduate course Exploration of Education taught by Jamie Baker, Assistant Director of Secondary Education, our first assignment was to write a short paper answering the question, "What is the purpose of education?" using our own voice.  Here are a few excerpts from my paper:

The most significant objective of public education I feel is to improve the quality of life of the individual...For the average American forty plus years will be spent in the work force.  To ensure quality of life, then preparing students for the work force must be a primary goal of the public educational system...The highest level on Maslow's hierarchy is self-actualizing where personal growth and fulfillment are achieved.  In order for our students to reach this level they must be prepared to enter the work force either as a white-collar worker through a college education or blue-collar worker through a journeyman program; either one now requires a high school diploma or G.E.D....Therefore, I feel the purpose of education is to help students accomplish fulfillment in their lives by preparing them for the work force through classroom settings and extracurricular school activities.

Jamie Baker gave me an F on this paper; I received 12 points out of 25.

So which is it New Mexico State University?!

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Sanctimonious Instructor

Recently at church someone asked me how my ordeal with New Mexico State University was going and several others mentioned that they had read my editorials in the newspaper even though it has been quite some time since I had written one.  Well that rejuvenated me in my quest to be heard!

Let me share with you how Jamie Baker, instructor for the graduate course Exploration of Education and Assistant Director of Secondary Education, treated me in class.  During one class, by chance, she and I were the only two members of a group.  The facilitators for this class period had the four assigned groups go outside where they had laid four blankets out on the grass.  Jamie Baker promptly plopped down on the corner of our blanket, facing out so that wherever I chose to sit on the blanket her back would be to me.
All of the other three groups sat on their blankets facing each other.  When one of the class facilitators brought our question sheet, Jamie Baker grabbed it and proceeded to read and answer the questions out loud while writing her answers down.  She only asked for my input on the last question and even then she did not turn to look at me.

Her dislike of me was common knowledge.  One of my colleagues whom I had worked with on a group class presentation teased me on our way outside about being alone in a group with Jamie Baker.  Then she got serious and asked me if I was going to be okay and I told her yes that it would be okay.

By the end of the semester I was emotionally drained; it had been a very degrading experience.  Jamie Baker did her best to make me feel unaccepted in the class environment, an outcast, and totally belittled me through the grading process.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Jamie Baker, the PhD student extraordinaire, in a letter to the department head Dr. Jim O'Donnell stated in regard to a late assignment, "Assignment accepted for late credit as negotiated outside of syllabus expectation for no acceptance of late work".  I turned in the first assignment late because I was at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, during the first week of the semester.  I received a grade of 50% on this F.  I also received an F on the first "pedagogical notebook quick check".  Ms. Baker arbitrarily picked students each week for this quick check.  In other words, she did not have to pick me that first week but chose to do so and then marked me 50% off for being late.  Her course syllabus does state, "LATE ASSIGNMENTS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED!".

Ms. Baker also deducted 30 points, per the syllabus, because I was absent three times.

In contrast, Lydia did not turn her video in on time.  This was a large part of our grade.  In this alone, per the syllabus, Lydia should have failed the course.  In addition, the syllabus states, "We will begin on time.  Being tardy disrupts the flow of the class.  Two tardies will equal one absence.  More than three absences means that you will fail this course".  Lydia was absent three times and was late to class every single time, except when she presented her "sound byte".  Per the syllabus Lydia should have failed the course. 

Ms. Baker passed Lydia and flunked me.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Discrimination Defined.

At a lunch meeting the other day with two of my young colleagues, the conversation eventually got around to me and the other guy in our class who was discriminated against by Jamie Baker because of our age.  I told them in my case, I felt one of the things Jamie did was to establish I was incompetent in technological matters by giving me an extremely low score on my youth video.  One of my colleagues, knowing I was taking JAVA programming online, said something like, "You can't get much more technological than JAVA".

Jamie Baker gave me a score of 80 points out of 250 points (a 32%) on my youth video project.  What message do you think she was trying to convey?  We were required to spend 30 hours shadowing our youth in all their "different worlds".  I did this.  The young man I shadowed goes to my church and is very active in the church youth group and the school band.  We watched each others videos in class and Amy's video just happened to be of a youth that I also know through church.  This young lady is very active in the church youth group, and I have known her and her family for at least 15 years.  In watching Amy's video, you could easily discern that she had shot the video footage in one day; it consisted of her youth sitting there answering questions.  After watching each video we were required to fill out a critique form in which I pointed out that I knew the youth in Amy's video and that if Amy had spent any time at all shadowing her youth she would have known...etc.  I later talked to the parents of the youth in Amy's video and they confirmed Amy had spent just the one day with their child.

Amy got an A.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Go Figure!

In my second entry of my Pedagogical Notebook in the graduate course Exploration of Education that the instructor Jamie Baker gave me an F, my lesson plan started with an engaged lecture format on direct labor and material costs and concluded with "7 Learning Centers". The following are a few examples of the learning centers:

Learning Center 2:  A crossword puzzle comprised of general business math problems with a concentration on problems specific to this lesson.

Learning Center 4:  A Lego building activity where the students choose an item to build.  They will be required to follow the directions to build the item and once the item is built they will determine the COGS of their item; each Lego piece will have a cost associated with it.

Learning Center 6:  A road map for four different businesses will be laid out on a big poster board, a separate one for each business.  The poster will detail many different options available and the price of each option.  Each business will be given an initial sum of money (dimes=$100, nickels=$50, and pennies=$10) and the students will try different options, based upon the choices detailed on the poster, on spending the money until they find an option they are happy with.

Learning Center 7:  A product will need to be assembled consisting of some wood pieces with pre-drilled holes, screws, nuts, and two metal pieces with pre-drilled holes.  There will be a sample one for the students to look at.  They will practice assembling the product and then they will time how long it takes.  They will do this three times to determine an average time and then they will calculate labor cost.

Students had to go to at least four of the learning centers.  I had been taught to give students choices and to offer a variety of activities to support different learning styles.  While the instructor acknowledged the element of choice, she failed to mention my accommodation for learning styles which is a big deal (child centered learning) in the field of Curriculum & Instruction.  She did question Learning Center 2, "appropriate for 7 -12?".  I guess I should of had the students sit in a circle where Alex shares and then tosses the "ball" to Leslie who then shares and tosses the ball to Jill (see blog post dated February 19).

I did receive an 8 out of 10 on this entry which is one of the highest scores I received from the instructor; in another post I will detail all of my assignment grades from instructor Jamie Baker for comedic relief!  On the graduate level an 80% is just one point from failing, but compared to my other scores which averaged below 50%... this entry gets a big WHOO HOO.  Ironically, I used this lesson plan (with less detail in the lecture part because this time around I included additional teaching tactics that I had recently learned) in my How to Teach Business class and the professor commented, "great objective and evaluation".

I received an "A" in How to Teach Business with Dr. Lopez, a veteran professor, and an "F" in Exploration of Education with Jamie Baker, a Ph.D. student.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Who Is Smarter?!

In my last post I stated I made 100 points out of 100 on my JAVA programming assignment.  I just saw that the mean score for this assignment is 73.2.  Upon reflection of my grades, I must surmise education courses must be at a high difficulty level compared to computer science courses. Thus, education professors are so very smart and computer science professors not so much.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Boo Yah!

Former graduate student unsuccessful in $1.3 million lawsuit against Lehigh

The integrity of this process, however, rests with the institutions and their ability to maintain high standards. 

"The grades are what the academics in the academic institutions say they are," Hamburg said.

Blah, blah, blah.

In the graduate course Exploration of Education I received an F from Jamie Baker.  Compare my work, the first entry in our Pedagogical Notebook for secondary students, to a student in the same class that Jamie Baker gave an A.

HERS ("A" Student):  When students enter a classroom for the first time, a decision of where to sit is immediately presented to a circular fashion Alex shares and then tosses the "ball" to Leslie who then shares and tosses the ball to Jill. Once a student has shared, the ball needs to be passed to five other students before that student may share again.

MINE ("F" Student):  Shifting the pedagogical podium from passive learning to active learning within a high school entrepreneurial classroom juxtaposes the core academic curriculum with real world relevance...apply math concepts to business concepts by transfiguring mathematical ideas into business ideas.

This same student was in SPED 500 the following semester with me.  A major assignment was our Disability Resource Notebook.  When our grades were released for this assignment many of the students, upset with the grade they received, e-mailed everyone.  This same student (as I compared myself to above) replied saying she had received an even lower grade than they had received (they had received a C).  I was given the FULL 50 POINTS (out of 50).  

That same semester as SPED 500, my Technology and Pedagogy professor stated in regard to my postings, "Your postings were well articulated, and you incorporated the readings into the discussions to support your arguments.  I have enjoyed reading your excellent insights on these chapters - keep it up!".  

This semester I am taking Java Programming (online).  I thought there would be support like the math department does for its math students with free tutoring available in the Math Lab, but there is not this kind of support for computer science.  So I figured out how to do the first assignment all on my own by referring to the textbook.  I turned my assignment in on time as the syllabus stated, "no late assignments will be accepted".  I then got an e-mail from the instructor stating, "Some students meet difficulties in doing assignment.  There are 31/46 submissions.  I have just extended the time".  He gave us a whole other week to turn the assignment in.  I received 100 points out of 100 on this assignment that 15 students couldn't even do.

Remember, by giving me an F in Exploration of Education I cannot get a teaching license.  

The integrity of this process, however, rests with the institutions and their ability to maintain high standards. 

"The grades are what the academics in the academic institutions say they are," Hamburg said.

Blah, blah, blah.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lawsuit over bad grade

Lawsuit over Lehigh University student's bad grade to continue

Tom Shortell | The Express-Times By Tom Shortell | The Express-Times 
on February 13, 2013 at 6:10 PM, updated February 13, 2013 at 7:57 PM
Northampton County Judge Emil Giordano expressed uneasiness over potentially changing the grade of a Lehigh University graduate student suing over the mark.
But, he allowed the case to continue this afternoon over the requests of university lawyers.
"I remain unconvinced the judiciary should be injecting itself in the academic process," Giordano said.
Attorney Richard Orloski rested his case after a day and a half of calling witnesses to testify. Orloski argued his client Megan Thode unfairly received a C-plus in her therapy internship course because then-student-teacher Amanda Eckhardt disagreed with her views on gay marriage. When Thode appealed the grade, the department's faculty did not properly handle the appeals process, he argued, failing to provide her with a student advocate.
As a result, Thode earned not a master's degree in education in counseling psychology but a master's in education in human development. Thode is requesting the judge change the grade to a B so she can pursue her career goal of becoming a licensed therapist.
A licensed therapy degree would be worth $1.3 million in earnings over a lifetime, according to testimony at the non-jury trial.
Giordano said he could not find a single example of case law showing a court possessed the power to overrule an instructor. Orloski acknowledged he was not familiar with one either, but he argued the case amounted to a breach of contract, which would grant Giordano wide latitude in settling the matter as he saw fit.
Once Orloski rested, Lehigh attorney Michael Sacks asked Giordano to dismiss the case. In the hours of witness testimony and thousands of pages of evidence submitted into evidence, he argued Orloski failed to show there was a breach of conduct on behalf of the school or unfair punishment on the part of Eckhardt.

"There is no evidence this is anything other than an academic discussion with which Ms. Thode does not agree," Sacks said.
Giordano denied the request, ruling Orloski had met his burden of proof to continue with the case.
While the judge did not cite a specific example, one of the stronger pieces of evidence may be the apparently unprecedented nature of how Thode was awarded a C-plus. Eckhardt scored Thode's participation grade as a zero out of 25, bumping her from a B-plus. None of the professors who testified, including Stephen Thode, Megan Thode's father and a Lehigh University finance professor, could ever recall giving a student no points for participation.
Lehigh's legal team called two more professors from the school to the stand. Arpana Inman, program director for counseling psychology at Lehigh, said Eckhardt opted to appeal the grade rather than take steps to correct the problems Eckhardt had identified.
Arnold Spokane, a counseling professor, said Eckhardt, who taught under the name Amanda Carr at the time, reached out to him throughout the fall 2009 semester over her concerns with Megan Thode's unprofessional behavior.
Spokane said Thode tearfully came to his office for advice on how to handle the situation. When he suggested he meet with Eckhardt and discuss strategies on how she could improve, she became quiet, he recalled. He described the conversation as awkward and said he later learned Megan Thode responded to Eckhardt in a three-sentence letter defending herself, he testified.

The trial is slated to continue Thursday.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Third Time's A Charm!

One of my customers knows Tucker Carlton, Daily Caller and Fox News contributor, and I had the privilege of conversing with him.  He lined me up with one of his reporters, Eric Owens, who was doing a story on education.  Eric told me if something happened three times then you were on to something.

I have met a third person who has been discriminated against by Heather Oesterreich and Jamie Baker because of age.  The third time's a charm!

Monday, January 14, 2013

I Got An A+

I took just one Curriculum & Instruction graduate course last semester and I got an A+.  I am having a hard time finding my identity as a New Mexico State graduate student.  I have received grades of B or higher (mostly As) in my graduate courses with instructors that are African American, Asian, Caucasian, Hispanic, female, male, young, old, and in between.  Yet, I cannot be a secondary teacher because the white, lesbian, liberal elite feminist (director of secondary education) stood by the F her sidekick Jamie Baker (assistant director of secondary education) gave me.