US public schools get a D+ for poor conditions, and experts say problems are getting worse. Here's what kids are facing
National data and dismal stories from teachers suggest school infrastructure problems are reaching an apex. But as schools get older and more desperate for repairs, the funding gap for public schools keeps getting worse. “American Society of Civil Engineers gives the condition of America’s 100,000 public school buildings an overall grade of D+,” the National Education Association said late last year. “And no wonder – half our school buildings are half a century old.” Now, everyone is paying the price for underfunded schools. Students get sick, distracted or miss entire days of education when conditions turn abysmal.
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(The Center Square) — A new report shows at least five North Carolina public universities used taxpayer funds to track students' social media in recent years, using artificial intelligence software to monitor posts on everything from student protests to drug sales.
Two other private schools in the state also used the software to monitor students as well.
The report, published in the Dallas Morning News in concert with the Pulitzer Center's AI Accountability Network, shows seven North Carolina colleges contracted with a company called Social Sentinel to monitor posts across several social media networks.
Brett Favre told Mississippi governor he would not ‘take No for answer’ over volleyball stadium, court filing shows
Pro-football Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre, suspected of pressuring Mississippi state officials to spend millions in federal welfare funds on a volleyball center at the school where his daughter played the sport, warned the former governor “we are not taking No for an answer,” newly released text messages in a court filing show. © Provided by NBC News “We obviously need your help big time and time is working against us. And we feel that your name is the perfect choice for this facility,” Favre texted then-Gov. Phil Bryant on Sept.
At the University of North Carolina, officials in Chapel Hill used Social Sentinel to track posts related to the removal of the Silent Sam Confederate monument on campus.
"I got interested in Social Sentinel when I was an undergrad at UNC, actually," Ari Sen, author of the report, told WRAL. "So, the Silent Sam protests were happening all around me.
"And, I decided to start putting in some FOIAs (Freedom of Information Act) about what was happening with Silent Sam. And, I started to get documents back. And, in those documents, I saw that UNC had a contract with this company called Social Sentinel."
The revelation eventually led to similar findings at North Carolina State University, East Carolina University, North Carolina A&T University, the University of North Carolina at Asheville, Duke University and Wake Forest University.
How much time do kids spend in school? It depends on where they live.
Despite the importance of making up for lost time, many districts are actually cutting down their school weeks.More time to learn the material they never got to learn, more time to develop the social and emotional skills that they never got to practice. More time to get acclimated to the demands and structure of school.
Further investigation confirmed Social Sentinel contracted with at least 37 colleges across the country since 2015, though the company's founder, Gary Margolis, claimed in an email Social Sentinel was used by "hundreds of colleges in 36 states," according to the News.
The company's CEO, J.P. Guilbault, said Social Sentinel is also used by one in four K-12 schools nationwide.
Thousands of pages of emails, contracts and marketing materials reviewed in the news investigation revealed the company promoted artificial intelligence as a means to track student well-being, as well as a tool for monitoring protests. The company eventually expanded services to allow schools to monitor student emails on school networks, though there's no evidence North Carolina colleges exercised that option.
"The University uses Social Sentinel to identify threatening or concerning public social media posts surrounding events and campus activities that require campus public safety. The University does not use the service to monitor student email," UNC-Chapel Hill wrote in a statement to WRAL. "The resource is an industry best practice, only uses public information and does not collect private personal information.
Cornell professor warns universities are eliminating meaning of 'objective truth' from classrooms with CRT
Cornell biology professor Dr. Randy Wayne has been speaking out about how damaging critical race theory is for students, as it erases the meaning of "objective truth.""We're supposed to be training people like biologists that will become doctors to make us healthier. Mechanical engineers that will build bridges or skyscrapers," associate professor at Cornell University’s School of Integrative Plant Science Randy Wayne told Fox News Digital in a phone interview this month. "And if they are trained on a foundation that there is no truth, nobody wants to be operated on by such a surgeon, or drive over a bridge made by such an engineer.
“The University coordinates with and relies on assistance from state and federal law enforcement agencies when appropriate in order to ensure campus safety."
NC State officials claim "the product was used to identify possible threats to the university or a university-sponsored group/event through social media monitoring," according to a statement to the news site. "The product was not used to target individuals or groups for enforcement. The product could not be used to access information that wasn't publicly available."
The news investigation is raising concerns with some North Carolina lawmakers, including at least one who suggested the General Assembly may need to take action.
"This is absurd," state Rep. Graig Meyer, D-Orange, told WRAL. "Universities are using technology to spy on their own students in order to quash protests?"
"This raises a lot of issues that are not just legal, but are moral and ethical and that leaders need to think about and if universities haven't thought about this, then maybe we need to think about it at the General Assembly," Meyer said.
'Surreal': Greek university police makes dud debut
Over a year after it was conceived as a ground-breaking response to Greece's notoriously unruly universities, a special campus police force has officially deployed -- to underwhelming results. The squad of 1,000 officers deployed in September to four out of Greece's more than 20 university campuses. In Athens and second city Thessaloniki, all were chosen for having the highest instances of drug trading and petty crime.
Navigate360, an Ohio company that bought Social Sentinel in 2020 and changed the service's name to Navigate360 Detect earlier this year, described the News' investigation as "inaccurate, speculative or by opinion in many instances and significantly outdated."
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Tags: North Carolina, Taxes, Social Media, University
Original Author: Victor Skinner | The Center Square contributor
Original Location: North Carolina universities used taxpayer funds to track students' social media posts
Surviving Genocide: Native Boarding School Archives Reveal Defiance, Loss & Love .
It is a desperate plea from a father seeking information about his missing son. Morris Jenis Jr.’s father knew only his son, a Native American student at the Genoa Indian School on the Pawnee Reservation in Nebraska 100 years ago, had not been seen in a year. Morris ran away from the school in 1921 […]Morris Jenis Jr.’s father knew only his son, a Native American student at the Genoa Indian School on the Pawnee Reservation in Nebraska 100 years ago, had not been seen in a year.