Category Archives: Issue 67.2

Forget oil, education is where the real money is

Pearson leads the education industry, but that isn’t good
Nick “Chico” Hernandez
Managing Editor
pearson 2DSC_0519Nothing in this country is safe from monopolization and corporate greed, and the education industry is no exception. All over social media, students of every age are voicing their dislike for today’s education industry, and the rising obsession with standardized testing.
Walk into a school book store, and all over the shelves will be Pearson published books. Attend any number of classes, and it might use Pearson’s MyLab (MyMathLab, MyITLab, MyHistoryLab, etc.) website. Talk to a teacher, and many of them are certified by Pearson. Take an ADHD test, and Pearson probably made it. In addition, high school drop outs can take a GED test made by Pearson.
Pearson sits at the top of the American education industry, with bad publicity littering the ground below them.
According to prwatch.org (a watchdog site), “Apart from $8 million spent lobbying from 2009 to 2014, Pearson also underwrote untold sums on luxury trips for school officials. A crackdown by the New York attorney general led to a $7.7 million settlement in 2013, and the shuttering of the ‘charitable’ organization used for the scheme”.
With the lobbying from Pearson and other big name education corporations (ETS, Houghton Mifflin, McGraw-Hill) the “expanded testing has fueled a testing boom worth nearly $2 billion annually, giving the main corporations getting the testing contracts a huge return on investment for their lobbying” as stated in a report by prwatch.org. Lobbying is no new tactic for big corporations trying to get their way when it comes to Congress, the Senate, or any other high-ranking area of government. Keep in mind this is an education corporation.
On November 29, 2012 Pearson was trying to hire people to score the tests (tests that Pearson writes and administers as well) through many means, including Craigslist. The ad offered $12 and said “Bachelor degree required – any field welcome.” This was brought to light by a coalition of people in Texas that wanted to reform standardized testing in the state.
Jennifer White is an elementary school teacher with 15+ years of experience and she, curious about Pearson and PARCC exam, applied to Pearson as a test grader for the 2015 4th grade English Language Arts exam.
In an article White wrote for the Washington Post, “Pearson’s offer of employment came to me even though I never actually spoke to anybody at the company. The offer is conditional upon verification of my college degree, completed project training and signature on a confidentiality waiver. The company, valued at well over $10 billion, did not verify my information before its offer of employment, and seems interested only in verifying my college degree.”
White went on to mention that besides her 15+ year’s experience in teaching, she has “multiple advanced degrees in education”, and that Pearson was only interested in verifying her college degree. “I very well could have invented my resume,” she added. Pearson did not call her, they did not schedule an interview, they didn’t ask for references, and they couldn’t have performed a background check since White never gave Pearson her Social Security number.
Dan DiMaggio, a former test scorer for Pearson, wrote this in on monthlyreview.org, “Scorers often emerge from training more confused than when they started. Usually, within a day or two, when the scores we are giving are inevitably too low (as we attempt to follow the standards laid out in training), we are told to start giving higher scores, or, in the enigmatic language of scoring directors, to ‘learn to see more papers as a 4.’ For some mysterious reason, unbeknownst to test scorers, the scores we are giving are supposed to closely match those given in previous years. So if 40 percent of papers received 3s the previous year (on a scale of 1 to 6), then a similar percentage should receive 3s this year”.
Holding an untold number of children’s futures in your hand is as easy as having a college degree in anything. Shady company tactics are nothing new in America, but even the education industry isn’t safe anymore.
Pearson has also been involved in using Tracx — a website that calls themselves, “the first true social media management system” — to spy on students via social media, particularly Twitter. This has prompted a hashtag #PearsonIsWatching over social media. This all started with a teenager in New Jersey whom posted a tweet that, according to USA Today, “Referenced a question on the PARCC exam, one of two Common Core-aligned tests some states are using.”

Bob Braun is an anti-PARCC education blogger who got ahold of an email a New Jersey superintendent, Elizabeth Jewett, sent about the issue of Pearson monitoring students on the internet and explaining how her testing coordinator received a late call from the state education department.
According to Braun on his website, bobbraunsledger.com, “The unnamed state education department employee contended a student took a picture of a test item and tweeted it. That was not true. It turned out the student had posted–at 3:18 pm, well after testing was over–a tweet about one of the items with no picture. Jewett does not say the student revealed a question. There is no evidence of any attempt at cheating.”
Pearson has made it clear that they are “Absolutely not” spying and that “Only when it is confirmed that a test question has been exposed or compromised does Pearson work with states to address the breach.”
Pearson wants to expand K-12 testing, but have fought against legislation that is made to protect student privacy from commercial data mining including, but not limited to, not signing the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
The position that Pearson has risen itself to is akin to Time Warner Cable, meaning they have a hold on their industry. 54% of their business comes from America. With the urge for more kids to attend school, and attend higher education schools, it looks like Pearson will continue to profit no matter what they do. Forget the oil companies, forget big pharma; Pearson holds a market you have no choice but to pay for.

Skippers OneCard

Jamie Koebke
Business Editor
The Skippers OneCard is not just students school ID. But it also the key to discounts to places around Port Huron.
The Skippers OneCard allows students access into SC4’s fitness center, along with use in the library and bookstore and provides easy access to financial aid refunds.
Students who do not have a Skippers card can easily get one by visiting the M-Tec building at One-Stop Student Services in room 105. At the time of application, students must have a photo ID. The card will be ready in about two weeks.
Business that take part in discounts for showing a Skippers ID are…
• Alexander’s Fine Jewelers- 15% off
• A Little Something- 20% off
• Casey’s Pizza and Subs- 15% off all food only purchases.
• Cavis Grill- 10% off
• Daybreak Café- 20% off entrees (excludes happy hour and kids eat free)
• Little Caesars Pizza on 24th Street- One free crazy bread with purchase of any deep dish pizza.
• Lynch’s Irish Tavern- 10% off on food and drink purchases.
• Mosher’s Jewelers- 20% off
• The Palace Sports and Entertainment- Pistons Pass – College Offer: Present your Skippers card at the Palace ticket store and receive a $10 upper-level game ticket. Offer applies on game nights only. Limit one (1) ticket per ID, while supplies last.
• Zebra Lounge and Bowl O’Drome- 10% discount (excludes alcohol and daily specials).
More Offers are available, for a full list of offers check out the Skippers OneCard link under Student Resources in the Portal.

A night of creativity

SC4’s Art Night brings in a crowd of the creative.
Jenelle Kalaf
Photo Editor
artnight2SC4 once again hosted Art Night where students of all ages could come and learn something about art and get a hands on experience.
It began at 6 P.M. and went to midnight, with four class sessions during the night in each section.
Being mainly student run, most of the instructors were students, including: Natalie Mainguy, Demond Jones, Marcus Taylor, Cortney Roles, Haley Hoyt, Shelby Wright, and Alyssa Diebolt. These students taught classes in categories such as theater, drawing, music and ceramics to anyone who registered for the event. Just a few of the classes that happened that night consisted mask making, music theory and still life drawing.
Kelsey Kittridge, who is planning on attending SC4 in the winter, said she enjoyed the event. Kittridge first tried the mask making class in the theater category. “I’ve always wanted to be involved in theater, but my nerves get the best of me.”
Kittridge also stated, “It was something new. It’s an opportunity for me to do art.”
Celeste Skalnek, head executive coordinator of the Visual and Fine Arts department at SC4, said that she wanted to bring the community together through art, so anyone could experience creating.
If you missed Art Night, but still interested in the many events the Fine Arts department will be hosting, you can find a calendar at sc4.edu/arts.

artnight3

Class cancellation conundrum

How enrollment numbers have affected your schedule
Mel Buskirk
Copy Editor

Coming back this fall, one might have noticed that more of their classes have been cancelled or that it seems like there is less traffic along the sidewalks crossing the campus. With only 3,821 students enrolled this semester, low enrollment is clearly the cause of the phenomenon.
Student enrollment has decreased in the past few semesters. During the Winter 2015 semester 3,952 students were enrolled and during the Fall 2014 semester 4,226 students were enrolled. Since the Fall semester there has been an overall decrease of 9.6%, or 405 students.
With this drop in student enrollment, many classes weren’t filled to capacity. The week before classes began 33 classes were cancelled due to not having enough students to even hold the class. The classes ranged from prerequisite 100 level English and Speech classes to advanced 200 level Criminal Justice and Biology classes.
One class that was cancelled was Kathy Ruby’s Human Sexuality (Psychology 280). This is the first time in 15 years that this class has been cancelled, according to Ruby. “I was just blown away,” she said, “This class is always filled up.” This semester’s cancellation has not deterred Ruby, she plans on holding the PSY 280 class in two sections on Monday and Wednesday from 1 to 2:50 pm and from 4 to 5:50 pm during the Winter 2016 semester.
According to Jim Neese, SC4’s Associate Dean of Academic Services, classes are chosen and put into the registry based on anticipated enrollment and the anticipated necessity of the class for students to graduate on time. While student enrollment was expected to drop this semester, it was only anticipated to drop 3% (from the Fall 2014 semester) instead of the nearly 10% drop. “We hate to cancel classes,” said Neese, “It does impact the students. We try to do what we can.”
Neese also commented on the process of class cancellations. “It’s a mostly subjective process,” he said. Many factors go into consideration when cancelling a class such as class limits, previous success of the class, necessity for students to graduate on time, whether there will be enough students in the class to pay faculty, as well as faculty input.
With all of this semester’s cancellations, fewer sections of current required classes and fewer electives might be offered for the Winter 2016 semester. The classes offered for next semester will be posted on the Wave at least two weeks before registration opens in November. Neese offers the advice that students should plan out their classes and talk with their advisors before classes even open up for registration. “Students need to register early to make sure their class isn’t cancelled,” he said. If classes fill up early enough, sections can be added on. Neese stated, “It’s easier to add classes instead of cancelling them.”
Registration for the Winter 2016 semester begins on Monday, Nov. 2 at midnight. In order to prevent class cancellations, students should try to register early. Official class cancellations will be determined by Friday, Jan. 8 for the Winter semester.

The Clarinet Swing Kings return to SC4

Back to knock your socks off
Emily Mainguy
Editor-in-Chief
clarinetguy“Playing music makes me the happiest person alive, and when I see the audience really getting into it, it just makes it perfect, “explains Dave Bennett.
The Clarinet Swing Kings Quartet visited SC4 again this past Saturday, Sep. 26. The last time Bennett performed at SC4 was back in 2012.
The Swing Kings performed many songs from their newest album “Don’t be that way” including “St. James Infirmary,” “When the Saints Go Marching In,” and “Yesterday.”
For everyone who missed this performance the next concert of a similar style will be a part of the Thursday Noon and Night Concert Series on Nov. 12 featuring the returning group Jimmy Blues Band with vocal soloist Joan Crawford.

Skippers claim victory over Oakland

A close game between SC4 and Oakland
Nick “Chico” Hernandez
Managing Editor
Money ShotFerocity and raw passion covered the gym September 22 as the Lady Skippers went head-to-head in an exhausting five set game versus Oakland Community College. The Skippers emerged from the game victorious 23-25, 27-25, 19-25, 28-26, and 15-11, bringing them up to 20-1 for the season.
Shawnteze Williams, a 21-year-old Skippers fan from Port Huron, said, “The Skippers did a lot of things right, you feel me? The offense and defense gotta be equal or you’ll lose your footing. Oakland a good team, but Skippers are better”.
As stated by Paul Levandowski, an assistant coach for the Lady Skippers, “Oakland is a good team and coached very well, but our kids gathered themselves together and that’s ultimately how we won. I’m real proud of them”.
Kristen Michaelis, the head coach, spoke with pride in her voice, “I feel good that we won. This wasn’t one of our strongest shows, but we hung in there despite the ball rarely hitting the floor on Oakland’s side. I’m proud of how we responded and hung in there”.

Pedal & Park at Pine Grove Park

Bicycle enthusiast event took place for a fifth year
Mel Buskirk
Copy Editor

bike1Bikers of all ages gathered at Pine Grove Park during the 2015 Pedal & Park to show off their rides on a chilly Saturday afternoon on Sept. 19. The event, usually taking place in August, started five years ago to celebrate the bike culture that’s grown in the Blue Water area.
Over 40 bikes were registered for the contest that was held during the event. The contest was open for all bikes to be entered, with the winner being determined by the popular vote of everyone that attended the event. There were two classes, bikes owned by adults and bikes owned by children. The prizes for the adults included memorabilia from the Roche Bar and the children’s included candy and decorations to put on their bikes.
bike2Although it didn’t directly sponsor the event, The Roche Bar of downtown Port Huron was a huge contributor to the event according to Renee McLeod and Melissa Martin, the coordinators of the Pedal & Park. The shirts that were sold to fund the event and future events can be ordered and purchased at the Roche bar ranging from $10 to $20.
Over 70 people attended the event, including the local biking club the Boardwalk Boys as well as many individuals from Port Huron and the surrounding areas.
The Boardwalk Boys is a local group of tight-knit family and friends that have been riding their bikes along the boardwalk and other scenic areas of Port Huron for over 12 years. One of their members Tom Lewandowski, of Port Huron, said, “We just ride for fun. If I can ride my bike, I’m going to ride it.”
Linn Bartlett, a chef, eBay entrepreneur, and SC4 alum, registered several of his bicyclists and took the opportunity to peddle his bikes at the event. “I’m a flipper,” Bartlett said, “I buy and sell things on eBay and garage sales.” He mostly specializes in antique books, however buying and selling bikes has become a hobby for him in the past few years. “I try to keep my prices low on them (the bikes) so I can sell them to enthusiasts who will actually fix them up and ride them,” said Bartlett.
During the event, those that brought bikes paraded through the park and along the boardwalk. One of the riders, Lewandowski’s daughter Emma Lewandowski, 10 of Port Huron, proudly pedaled along with the others on her classic 1974 bicycle given to her by her father.

Color me a sundae

Jamie Koebke
Business Editor
fourthfriday1Smooth guitar riffs, heavy harmonica and just a touch of piano filled the Exquisite Corpse Coffee House and Golden Rodent Gallery on Friday September 25th, for Desmond District’s Fourth Friday.
The Corpse was not the only downtown business open later than usual on Friday night. The Raven Café, and The Vault Sweet Shoppe also take part in Fourth Fridays.
Desmond District’s Fourth Fridays takes place on the Fourth Friday of every month starting at 5pm.
The Vault themed this Fourth Friday was Color Me a Sundae. This Fourth Friday, The Vault offered sundaes for two dollars. They also offered coloring sheets which they hung upon the walls after the children were done with them. The Vault had a previous Friday that consisted of two dollar sundaes or if you dressed as a superhero you received the sundae for a dollar.
Vault Sweet Shoppe employee Jordan Bailey, 19, said, “We’ve had people call to see how late we were open because they were from out of town and heard about it and they wanted to bring their family.”
Although the crowd at the Exquisite Corpse Coffee House and the Golden Rodent Gallery was geared towards an older crowd, with a band and a relaxed environment, Fourth Friday is a family friendly event.
Erin Sterling, 21, said, “All age groups are accounted for between the businesses that participle in Fourth Fridays.”
The Vault is more geared toward the families with children, with their various themes, games and other activities they plan. Sterling, a nursing major at SC4 said she loves working with the kids and watching them enjoy the activities they planned for the night and of course watching them enjoy their ice cream!
The Raven offered live entertainment and a relaxed atmosphere that was geared towards teens and young adults.
“Fourth Fridays bring everyone together for cheap, fun and family friendly environment that everyone can enjoy,” Bailey said.

Nuclear waste dump within a mile of Lake Huron?

The Great Lakes Environmental Alliance fights back
Katie Hunckler
Staff Writer
Nuclear SignOntario Power Generation plans to place a nuclear waste dump in Kincardine, Ontario at its Bruce nuclear site. This proposed waste site is deep underground, yet within a mile of Lake Huron. The Great Lakes Environmental Alliance is fighting the proposal.
According to Kraig Archer, Chairperson of the Great Lakes Environmental Alliance and Sociology Professor here at SC4, the waste placed in this dump will remain radioactive for 100,000 to 1,000,000 years. The site is scheduled to store low-level and intermediate-level nuclear waste.
A very similar storage system was placed in New Mexico in 1999, but it met an unfortunate circumstance early in its life. “All these flames and smoke were coming out of the ground and radiating people, and this was only 15 years after it opened,” said Archer, who fears the dump on Lake Huron could face a similar fate.
According to Archer, 80,000 people in Ontario signed a petition against the dump, yet the three-member federal review panel still approved the plan. “The process hasn’t been very democratic,” he said. The final decision will be made on Dec. 2 by Federal Minister of Environment Leona Aglukkaq.
The Great Lakes Environmental Alliance is determined to stop the nuclear dump due to its potential threat to Lake Huron. The alliance meets the first Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. in room 150 of the MTEC building here on SC4’s campus. In addition to trying to bring light to a 1906 International Waters Treaty which may give the United States a bit more power over the issue, the alliance hopes to acquire the support of many members of the public, as well as relevant companies and organizations. “(When together) people have a voice that they wouldn’t normally have,” said Archer.
“This is an amazing group. The community is coming together. We truly are building awareness to protect and preserve our Great Lakes,” said Monica Hudson, who does promotions for the Great Lakes Environmental Alliance. She isn’t kidding; the alliance’s Facebook group alone has over 1400 members!
The Great Lakes Environmental Alliance was born when Kraig Archer was on his way to work one day. Along his route, he encountered a lawn sign talking about the proposed waste dump. Archer stopped right then and there to knock on the door of the house that had the sign. Resident Rick Bradley informed him of the plans, and the two of them decided to take action. “That was very disturbing to me. I just feel like it’s a terrible idea,” said Archer about the proposed waste site.
As the Dec. 2 decision moves closer, the Great Lakes Environmental Alliance requests the help of more members of the public. Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting on Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. to see what it’s all about and decide whether or not to become involved.

That piece of data shouldn’t be wearing that

A rant on how women in video games dress
Pessimistic Gamer
Guest Writer
Let’s get this clear, women in video games aren’t real. We all know that, or at least should.
So why are we so mad about how they are dressed and portrayed?
To be fair, I do have to look at this from both stand points on the issue, seeing how they are both valid.
For the last 10 years or so, the debate on whether or not a piece of data should be clothed has been rampant.
In one aspect, videos games are fantasy. Why not fantasize about women (or men) we find appealing? Don’t we all wish for that perfect body with a great personality?
So, it’s harmless, right?
To some, it’s not. Most people don’t realize how much their fantasies can corrupt and become this overbearing image of what you should look like, so video game makers should start portraying women (and men) like average people.
It’s healthier that way, right?
Well, let’s step back and realize it’s not real.
What you are looking at is data. A fake image that is living out some fantasy world. If how they are dressed or portrayed is really going to be a problem for self-esteem that obviously means the problem didn’t start with the video game in the first place.
Having diversity in a video game, or in any entertainment media, is important to get more buyers in the first place. But you need to remember, men were the main targets for video games for the longest time.
Now that women are getting into them, notice how more women in video games have more realistic back stories and are no longer just a sex object.
They remastered the most sexual video game women, Lara Croft, to be more realistic because of this.
As much as I would love to say men and women both need to be portrayed in video games more realistically, it’s not that feasible.
The main point of these games are to ultimately make money. And sex sells.
Once it does stop selling- oh wait. It won’t.
And that might be the saddest fact about video games, or just entertainment, ever.
So, I guess my advice is to sit back, relax, and enjoy the interactive attractiveness.