Six white female academics have posed as scholars of color in recent years

https://www.thecollegefix.com/six-white-female-academics-have-posed-as-scholars-of-color-in-recent-years/

Six white female academics have posed as scholars of color in recent years

By Jennifer Kabbany

June 17, 2021

Screenshot 2021-06-17 at 13-48-34 Six white female academics have posed as scholars of color in recent years The College Fix

ANALYSIS: If being a woman of color is so oppressive and exhausting, as BIPOC scholars constantly claim, why are so many white female scholars pretending to be people of color?

Inside Higher Ed has an article out this week regarding a mysterious anonymous report floating around Queen’s University in Canada that alleges some faculty are faking being indigenous.

While employees at the school debate to what degree the claims are true, if at all, tucked inside the article is a summary of all the white academics who have pretended to be scholars of color over the years.

They’ve done so, as reporter Colleen Flaherty put it, “presumably to increase their clout in certain disciplines or access resources available to historically underrepresented groups, or both.” She reported:

Just last month, The New York Times Magazine published an incriminating look into long-standing allegations that Andrea Smith, a professor of ethnic studies at the University of California, Riverside, is not Cherokee. Smith didn’t respond to the Times or to a request for comment Monday, but she’s always maintained that she is Cherokee.

Before that, within the last year alone, neuroscientist BethAnn McLaughlin admitted to pretending to be a Hopi scientist on Twitter, and historian Jessica Krug was outed as pretending to be Afro-Latinx. Historian Kelly Kean Sharp resigned suddenly after it was revealed she isn’t really Chicana, and Ph.D. candidate CV Vitolo-Haddad apologized for claiming various nonwhite identities.

… Even before all that, among others, there was Rachel Dolezal, who pretended to be Black while teaching African American studies at Eastern Washington University and leading her local NAACP chapter.

The College Fix has reported on most of these examples over the years. Here is our reporting on McLaughlin, Krug, Sharp, Vitolo-Haddad and Dolezal.

But what popped out from this Inside Higher Ed report was seeing all the examples in a row like that and realizing — gosh, there are a lot of white female scholars who have pretended to be scholars of color in recent years.

Why is that?

As Flaherty had suggested, “presumably to increase their clout in certain disciplines or access resources available to historically underrepresented groups, or both.”

In other words, there ARE perks to being a scholar of color in today’s day and age.

So much for systemic racism and white privilege!

June 17, 2021. Tags: , , . Education, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Villanova University sociology professor Glenn Bracey encourages adoption of Critical Race Theory due to its roots in Marxism

Thanks to Gateway Pundit for this article on it.

The video below shows Villanova University sociology professor Glenn Bracey saying the following:

“The Marxist foundation of Critical Race Theory is at base a spiritual concern. If you read Marx you know that he was concerned about alienation. Specifically, alienation of the species being. That element of humanity that provides creativity that is unique to the individual – that really gives us – it is what defines humans from animals in that case. Marx was concerned that our modern systems were flattening that humanity and alienating us from the creative endeavors that we were – Christians would say – we were designed to emulate and to practice. So the core question for Critical Race Theory is one of releasing people – especially people of color, especially Black people – from the oppressive systems that deny us access to our species being, including racism. It’s Marxism, my point being Critical Race Theory’s Marxism is fundamentally a spiritual concern.”

https://twitter.com/JackPosobiec/status/1398644441129365504

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PS5tLQcYRbU

https://www.bitchute.com/video/CuMe28VYzy93/

 

May 30, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , , . Communism, Dumbing down, Education, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

California Leftists Try to Cancel Math Class

https://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/ma/cf/index.asphttps://www.wsj.com/articles/california-leftists-try-to-cancel-math-class-11621355858

California Leftists Try to Cancel Math Class

The proposed curriculum framework aims low, abandons the gifted, and preaches ‘social justice.’

By Williamson M. Evers

May 18, 2021

Oakland, Calif.

If California education officials have their way, generations of students may not know how to calculate an apartment’s square footage or the area of a farm field, but the “mathematics” of political agitation and organizing will be second nature to them. Encouraging those gifted in math to shine will be a distant memory.

This will be the result if a proposed mathematics curriculum framework, which would guide K-12 instruction in the Golden State’s public schools, is approved by California’s Instructional Quality Commission in meetings this week and in August and ratified by the state board of education later this year.

The framework recommends eight times that teachers use a troubling document, “A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction: Dismantling Racism in Mathematics Instruction.” This manual claims that teachers addressing students’ mistakes forthrightly is a form of white supremacy. It sets forth indicators of “white supremacy culture in the mathematics classroom,” including a focus on “getting the right answer,” teaching math in a “linear fashion,” requiring students to “show their work” and grading them on demonstrated knowledge of the subject matter. “The concept of mathematics being purely objective is unequivocally false,” the manual explains. “Upholding the idea that there are always right and wrong answers perpetuates ‘objectivity.’ ” Apparently, that’s also racist.

The framework itself rejects preparing students to take Algebra I in eighth grade, a goal reformers have sought since the 1990s. Students in Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan master introductory algebra in eighth grade or even earlier.

At one time, California took the goal seriously and made immense progress. California Department of Education data show that while only 16% of students took algebra by eighth grade in 1999, by 2013, 67%—four times as many—were doing so. Success rates, meaning the percentage of students scoring “proficient” or above, kept rising even as enrollment increased dramatically.

The biggest beneficiaries were ethnic minority and low-income students. While student success tripled overall, African-American students’ success rate jumped by a factor of five, and Latinos’ and low-income students’ by a factor of six.

Many highly selective colleges expect students to take calculus in high school. To get to calculus by senior year, students have to proceed on a pathway of advanced courses. The framework condemns this as a “rush to calculus” and indicates that California schools won’t provide such a pathway. California high-school grads may be put at a disadvantage in applying to top colleges.

The framework explicitly rejects “ideas of natural gifts and talents.” That some are gifted in math implies some others aren’t, and this is “inequitable.” The framework’s authors also fear that those designated “gifted” may have their fragile egos hurt if they later lose that designation. So it writes an obituary for gifted-and-talented programs, which would hobble the rise of many talented children in California.

The framework rejects ability grouping, also called tracking, even though studies show that students do better when grouped with others who are progressing in their studies at the same pace. We have known for years, including from a 2009 Fordham Institute study of Massachusetts middle schools, that schools with more tracks have significantly more math students at advanced levels and fewer failing students.

The proposal’s agenda becomes clear when it says math should be taught so it can be used for “social justice.” It extols a fictional teacher who uses class to develop her students’ “sociopolitical consciousness.” Math, it says, is a tool to “change the world.” Teachers are supposed to adopt a “culturally relevant pedagogy,” which includes “the ability to identify, analyze and solve real-world problems, especially those that result in societal inequalities.”

Under this pedagogy, “students must develop a critical consciousness through which they challenge the status quo of the current social order.” Don’t think that kindergarten is too early for such indoctrination: “Teachers can take a justice-oriented perspective at any grade level, K-12,” the curriculum revisionists write. Students could be taught fractions in the distracting process of learning the math of organizing a protest march.

This program is quite a comedown for math, from an objective academic discipline to a tool for political activism. Society will be harmed: With fewer people who know math well, how are we going to build bridges, launch rockets or advance technologically? Students will pay the heaviest price—and not only in California. As we’ve seen before, what starts in California doesn’t stop here.

My advice to California’s Instructional Quality Commission, when it meets on Wednesday and Thursday to evaluate public comments on the curriculum framework, is to scrap the document and return to the 1997 math content standards and associated framework. Written largely by professors in Stanford’s math department, it resulted in the aforementioned stupendous statewide gains in algebra attainment. Teach math, not propaganda.

May 19, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , , . Cancel culture, Dumbing down, Education, Equity, Math, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

2 Oklahoma Boys Pulled From Class for ‘Black Lives Matter’ T-Shirts

I totally support the boys’ right to wear these shirts in school. The school is being completely ridiculous to suspend them.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/09/us/black-lives-matter-shirt-oklahoma-school.html

2 Oklahoma Boys Pulled From Class for ‘Black Lives Matter’ T-Shirts

In addition to the disciplinary action they have faced, the boys’ mother said that at least one of her three sons has been bullied because of the shirts.

May 9, 2021

Two brothers, 8 and 5, were removed from their Oklahoma elementary school classrooms this past week and made to wait out the school day in a front office for wearing T-shirts that read “Black Lives Matter,” according to the boys’ mother.

The superintendent of the Ardmore, Okla., school district where the brothers, Bentlee and Rodney Herbert, attend different schools had previously told their mother, Jordan Herbert, that politics would “not be allowed at school,” Ms. Herbert recalled on Friday.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma has called the incident a violation of the students’ First Amendment rights.

On April 30, Bentlee, who is in the third grade, went to class at Charles Evans Elementary in a Black Lives Matter shirt, which Ms. Herbert said he had picked out himself to wear.

That evening, Ms. Herbert learned that the school’s principal, Denise Brunk, had told Bentlee that he was not allowed to wear the T-shirt. At Ms. Brunk’s direction, he turned the shirt inside out and finished out the school day.

On Monday, Ms. Herbert went to the school to ask the principal what dress-code policy her son had violated, Ms. Herbert said. Ms. Brunk referred her to the Ardmore City Schools superintendent, Kim Holland.

“He told me when the George Floyd case blew up that politics will not be allowed at school,” Ms. Herbert said on Friday, referring to Mr. Holland. “I told him, once again, a ‘Black Lives Matter’ T-shirt is not politics.”

Neither Ms. Brunk nor Mr. Holland responded to emails or phone calls seeking comment on Friday.

On Tuesday, Ms. Herbert’s three sons — Bentlee; Rodney, who is in kindergarten; and Jaelon, a sixth grader, all of whom are Black — went to their schools in matching T-shirts with the words “Black Lives Matter” and an image of a clenched fist on the front.

Later that morning, Ms. Herbert received a call from Rodney’s school, Will Rogers Elementary, telling her that she needed to either bring Rodney a different shirt or let the school provide one for him, or Rodney would be forced to sit in the front office for the rest of the school day. Rodney did not change shirts, and he sat in the office until school was over.

Ms. Herbert learned later that day that Bentlee had also been made to sit in his school’s front office, where he missed recess, and did not eat lunch in the cafeteria with his classmates.

Jaelon, 12, encountered no issues at Ardmore Middle School because of his T-shirt, his mother said.

In an interview with The Daily Ardmoreite, Mr. Holland suggested that the T-shirts were disruptive.

“It’s our interpretation of not creating a disturbance in school,” Mr. Holland told the newspaper. “I don’t want my kids wearing MAGA hats or Trump shirts to school either because it just creates, in this emotionally charged environment, anxiety and issues that I don’t want our kids to deal with.”

Mr. Holland said there had been similar cases in the district this year.

“Most of it has not been an issue until this lady here has been angry about it,” Mr. Holland told The Ardmoreite. “I wish she weren’t so upset.”

Ms. Herbert said she met with Mr. Holland on Monday and asked him what would happen if she sent her children to school in “Black Lives Matter” T-shirts again.

“He told me nothing could be done because it wasn’t against policy,” Ms. Herbert recalled.

Indeed, the dress code outlined in the district’s Elementary Student Handbook makes no mention of politics. It says that “sayings or logos” on shirts or tops “should be in good taste and school appropriate.”

“Any clothing or apparel that disrupts the learning process is prohibited,” the handbook adds, stipulating that principals have the final say on “the appropriateness of dress.”

To Ms. Herbert, the idea that her 8-year-old son would not “be able to express that his life matters” was ludicrous.

On Friday, the A.C.L.U. of Oklahoma sent a letter to Mr. Holland, Ms. Brunk and James Foreman Jr., president of the Ardmore City School Board of Education.

In the letter, the A.C.L.U. said it would be a violation of the students’ First Amendment rights to be prohibited from wearing clothing that says “Black Lives Matter.”

If the school district does not reverse its policy and allow students to wear “Black Lives Matter” clothing, it must be prepared to prove in federal court how wearing the T-shirts creates “a substantial disruption of or material interference with school activities,” the A.C.L.U. said. “Anything less than that would be found to be a violation of the students’ First Amendment rights.”

It cited a 1969 U.S. Supreme Court case, Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District, which addressed the issue of a group of students who wore black armbands to object to the Vietnam War. A principal told the students that they would be suspended if they wore the armbands at school.

The court ruled 7-2 that students do not “shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.”

“This has been the unmistakable holding of this Court for almost 50 years,” the A.C.L.U. said.

Mr. Foreman and the other members of the school board did not respond to requests for comment on Saturday.

In addition to issues with disciplinary action, Ms. Herbert said Bentlee has now been bullied at school over his T-shirt. When Bentlee returned from school on Thursday, he told his mother that two white boys had picked on him.

“One boy told him that his life does not matter, and the other one told him to just get suspended,” Ms. Herbert said.

The principal told Ms. Herbert the situation would be handled, she said.

“With everything going on in the world today, I keep my boys informed,” Ms. Herbert said, adding that the family watched the news together. “They know what’s going on.”

Out of principle, Ms. Herbert said she would continue to support her sons in wearing the T-shirts to school.

Despite the turmoil, the shirts were never intended to be an “attention-seeking ordeal,” Ms. Herbert said. “I don’t see Black Lives Matter disrupting anything.”

May 10, 2021. Tags: , , , , , . Black lives matter, Cancel culture, Dumbing down, Education, Racism. 2 comments.

In the Name of Equity, California Will Discourage Students Who Are Gifted at Math

https://reason.com/2021/05/04/california-math-framework-woke-equity-calculus/

In the Name of Equity, California Will Discourage Students Who Are Gifted at Math

The new framework aims to keep everyone learning at the same level for as long as possible.

By Robby Soave

May 4, 2021

California’s Department of Education is working on a new framework for K-12 mathematics that discourages gifted students from enrolling in accelerated classes that study advanced concepts like calculus.

The draft of the framework is hundreds of pages long and covers a wide range of topics. But its overriding concern is inequity. The department is worried that too many students are sorted into different math tracks based on their natural abilities, which leads some to take calculus by their senior year of high school while others don’t make it past basic algebra. The department’s solution is to prohibit any sorting until high school, keeping gifted kids in the same classrooms as their less mathematically inclined peers until at least grade nine.

“The inequity of mathematics tracking in California can be undone through a coordinated approach in grades 6–12,” reads a January 2021 draft of the framework. “In summary, middle-school students are best served in heterogeneous classes.”

In fact, the framework concludes that calculus is overvalued, even for gifted students.

“The push to calculus in grade twelve is itself misguided,” says the framework.

As evidence for this claim, the framework cites the fact that many students who take calculus end up having to retake it in college anyway. Of course, de-prioritizing instruction in high school calculus would not really solve this problem—and in fact would likely make it worse—but the department does not seem overly worried. The framework’s overriding perspective is that teaching the tough stuff is college’s problem: The K-12 system should concern itself with making every kid fall in love with math.

Broadly speaking, this entails making math as easy and un-math-like as possible. Math is really about language and culture and social justice, and no one is naturally better at it than anyone else, according to the framework.

“All students deserve powerful mathematics; we reject ideas of natural gifts and talents,” reads a bulletpoint in chapter one of the framework. “The belief that ‘I treat everyone the same’ is insufficient: Active efforts in mathematics teaching are required in order to counter the cultural forces that have led to and continue to perpetuate current inequities.”

The entire second chapter of the framework is about connecting math to social justice concepts like bias and racism: “Teachers can support discussions that center mathematical reasoning rather than issues of status and bias by intentionally defining what it means to do and learn mathematics together in ways that include and highlight the languages, identities, and practices of historically marginalized communities.” Teachers should also think creatively about what math even entails: “To encourage truly equitable and engaging mathematics classrooms we need to broaden perceptions of mathematics beyond methods and answers so that students come to view mathematics as a connected, multi-dimensional subject that is about sense making and reasoning, to which they can contribute and belong.”

This approach is very bad. Contrary to what this guidance seems to suggest, math is not the end-all and be-all—and it’s certainly not something that all kids are equally capable of learning and enjoying. Some young people clearly excel at math, even at very early ages. Many schools offer advanced mathematics to a select group of students well before the high school level so that they can take calculus by their junior or senior year. It’s done this way for a reason: The students who like math (usually a minority) should have the opportunity to move on as rapidly as possible.

For everyone else… well, advanced math just isn’t that important. It would be preferable for schools to offer students more choices, and offer them as early as possible. Teens who are eager readers should be able to study literature instead of math; young people who aren’t particularly adept at any academic discipline might pick up art, music, computers, or even trade skills. (Coding doesn’t need to be mandatory, but it could be an option.)

The essence of good schooling is choice. Individual kids benefit from a wide range of possible educational options. Permitting them to diversify, specialize, and chart their own paths—with helpful input from the adults in their lives—is the course of action that recognizes vast differences in interest and ability. Holding back kids who are gifted at math isn’t equitable: On the contrary, it’s extremely unfair to everyone.

Yet the framework seems to reject the notion that some kids are more gifted than others. “An important goal of this framework is to replace ideas of innate mathematics ‘talent’ and ‘giftedness’ with the recognition that every student is on a growth pathway,” it states. “There is no cutoff determining when one child is ‘gifted’ and another is not.” But cutoffs are exactly what testing and grading systems produce, and it’s absurdly naive to think there’s nothing innate about such outcomes, given that intelligence is at least partly an inherited trait.

If California adopts this framework, which is currently under public review, the state will end up sabotaging its brightest students. The government should let kids opt out of math if it’s not for them. Don’t let the false idea that there’s no such thing as a gifted student herald the end of advanced math entirely.

May 4, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Equity, Math, Racism, Social justice warriors. 1 comment.

Poll: What do you think of the New York State Board of Regents eliminating the requirement for new teachers to pass a literacy test?

The New York Times wrote:

“The Board of Regents on Monday eliminated a requirement that aspiring teachers in New York State pass a literacy test to become certified after the test proved controversial because black and Hispanic candidates passed it at significantly lower rates than white candidates.”

Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20181112191532/https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/13/nyregion/ny-regents-teacher-exams-alst.html?_r=0

 

April 28, 2021. Tags: , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Racism, Social justice warriors. 1 comment.

Equity = getting rid of advanced math classes

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

April 23, 2021

In the name of what progressives refer to as “equity,” Virginia is planning to eliminate all accelerated math courses before 11th grade.

On a personal level, as a person who always took the highest level math classes that were available during my entire schooling, and who always scored in the 99th percentile on standardized math tests, I think this is a horrible idea.

On a practical level, as a person who wants bridges that don’t fall down, I think this is a horrible idea.

And on an intellectual level, as a person who knows that Kurt Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron” was written as a warning, and not an instruction manual, I think this is a horrible idea.

“Harrison Bergeron” was a fictional story that takes place in the future, where the government tries to make everyone equal. So the best ballet dancers were forced to wear weights on their arms and legs so they couldn’t dance better than anyone else. The best looking people were forced to wear masks on their faces. And the smartest people (like those who were the best at math) were forced to wear a noisemaking device inside their ears so they couldn’t concentrate on anything for more than 20 seconds at a time.

April 23, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Equity, Math, Racism, Social justice warriors. 1 comment.

Virginia moving to eliminate all accelerated math courses before 11th grade as part of equity-focused plan

https://www.foxnews.com/us/virginia-accelerated-math-courses-equity

Virginia moving to eliminate all accelerated math courses before 11th grade as part of equity-focused plan

State says framework includes ‘differentiated instruction’ catered to the needs of the child

By Sam Dorman

April 22, 2021

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) is moving to eliminate all accelerated math options prior to 11th grade, effectively keeping higher-achieving students from advancing as they usually would in the school system.

Loudoun County school board member Ian Serotkin posted about the change via Facebook on Tuesday. According to Serotkin, he learned of the change the night prior during a briefing from staff on the Virginia Mathematics Pathway Initiative (VMPI).

“[A]s currently planned, this initiative will eliminate ALL math acceleration prior to 11th grade,” he said. “That is not an exaggeration, nor does there appear to be any discretion in how local districts implement this. All 6th graders will take Foundational Concepts 6. All 7th graders will take Foundational Concepts 7. All 10th graders will take Essential Concepts 10. Only in 11th and 12th grade is there any opportunity for choice in higher math courses.”

His post included a chart with what appeared to be set math courses for 2022-2030.

VDOE spokesperson Charles Pyle indicated to Fox News that the courses would allow for at least some variation depending on students’ skill level. “Differentiated instruction means providing instruction that is catered to the learning needs of each child (appropriate levels of challenge and academic rigor),” Pyle said.

On VDOE’s website, the state features an infographic that indicates VMPI would require “concepts” courses for each grade level. It states various goals like “[i]mprove equity in mathematics learning opportunities,” “[e]mpower students to be active participants in a quantitative world,” and “[i]dentify K-12 mathematics pathways that support future success.”

During a webinar posted on YouTube in December, a member of the “essential concepts” committee claimed that the new framework would exclude traditional classes like Algebra 1 and Geometry.

Committee member Ian Shenk, who focused on grades 8-10, said: “Let me be totally clear, we are talking about taking Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 – those three courses that we’ve known and loved … and removing them from our high school mathematics program, replacing them with essential concepts for grade eight, nine, and 10.”

He added that the concepts courses wouldn’t eliminate algebraic ideas but rather interweave multiple strands of mathematics throughout the courses. Those included data analysis, mathematical modeling, functions and algebra, spatial reasoning and probability.

The changes were just the latest of many to prompt concern from parents in the state, which has seen in-fighting over controversial ideas surrounding equity and race.

A Loudoun parent who spoke on the condition of anonymity worried that the changes would “lower standards for all students in the name of equity.”

“These changes will have a profound impact on  students who excel in STEM related curriculum, weakening our country’s ability to compete in a global marketplace for years to come,” the parent told Fox News on Thursday.

Ian Prior, a Loudoun parent and former Trump administration official, similarly panned the move as a way to “stifle advancement for gifted students and set them back as they prepare for advanced mathematics in college. This is critical race theory in action and parents should be outraged.”

Pyle didn’t provide an immediate answer to concerns that the new model would hold kids back. It’s unclear how exactly the differentiation would occur. When asked for more details, Pyle said, “Differentiated instruction is designed to provide the appropriate levels of challenge and academic rigor for each student.”

The changes come as the state also considered eliminating advanced high school diplomas in an attempt to improve equity.

In a lengthy statement to Fox News, Pyle touted the changes as an avenue to “deeper learning.”

“For many years, parents and the system have valued and rewarded speed via acceleration and ‘covering content’ rather than depth of understanding. The Virginia Mathematics Pathway Initiative shifts to a focus on and value for deeper learning through differentiated instruction on grade level that will promote student development of critical thinking, authentic application and problem solving skills,” Pyle said.

Pyle added that VMPI “aims to support increased differentiated learning opportunities within a heterogeneous learning environment, that will promote greater access to advanced mathematical learning for all students before high school graduation.

“Shifting to deeper learning through differentiated instruction, implementation of VMPI will promote student development of critical thinking, authentic application and problem solving skills.

“Offering an inclusive learning environment that engages and challenges students of varied levels of understanding and different interests will be a focus of the common mathematics pathways proposed in grades K-10 … These pathways seek to restructure mathematics education by focusing instruction on reasoning, real world problem solving, communication and connections while shifting away from an emphasis on computation and routine problem practice.”

Later in the statement, he adds: “VMPI implementation teams continue to work on addressing these considerations while moving forward to improve equity in mathematics opportunities for all students. VMPI Community meetings being offered this spring are intended to provide initial information regarding the initiative, but also be a venue in which feedback can be collected.”

It’s unclear how these changes would affect each school district, but VDOE said it’s currently gathering feedback regarding public concerns.

“The VMPI implementation team (VDOE, college and university staff, and school division staff) is currently working to seek feedback to help ensure local implementation practices address concerns like the shift from acceleration to deeper learning,” said Pyle.

April 23, 2021. Tags: , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Math, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Loyola University Maryland yanks video promoting black Baltimore entrepreneurs, financial literacy

https://www.thecollegefix.com/loyola-university-maryland-yanks-video-promoting-black-entrepreneurship-financial-literacy-in-the-city/

Loyola University Maryland yanks video promoting black Baltimore entrepreneurs, financial literacy

By Matt Lamb

March 31, 2021

Cancels entire business competition

Loyola University Maryland’s business school removed a video that proposed a project to match black entrepreneurs in Baltimore with black students to provide them with mentoring on business skills and financial literacy.

Several students at the Catholic university in Baltimore submitted the video to the “Building a Better Baltimore” competition as part of the Sellinger School’s annual “Building a Better World Through Business” series that involves various events.

“How might the Baltimore business community effectively advance racial equity?” the proposal competition asked.

The video quotes from slavery abolitionist Frederick Douglass and former President Barack Obama to make the case for the mentorship program that focuses on the “black youth of Baltimore.” Students talk about the program while walking through decrepit streets and housing.

The video (below) has been removed by university officials, but someone reuploaded the video and The Fix uploaded it as well to preserve it in case that version is removed.

The program, to be called “Baltimore’s financial fathers” would have worked with the “Baltimore business community” to match black business owners with black youth to become “agents of change.”

However, the university removed the video after complaints from the student government association and an activist group called “Addressing the System.”

Furthermore, the entire competition has been cancelled by the university. “This even [sic] has been cancelled” the page said.

University officials are thankful for community members for “calling us into deeper conversations about institutionalized racism on campus,” Kathleen Getz, the business school dean wrote in an email, a portion of which the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education obtained.

Getz also said that “Black lives matter, and we must demonstrate that through our actions.”

Getz said the university planned to find “opportunities” for the community to “participate in a practice of restorative justice.”

Students drive university to respond

The response came after complaints from some student leaders and activists.

“This is disrespectful on so many levels and is Racist [sic] !!” the student group wrote on Instagram on March 22 along with a screenshot of one student participant walking through crippled buildings while wearing a suit.

“The video promotes the ideology of white saviorsim [sic], white supremacy and most of all a lack of addressing structural racism!” the page said.

“Countless times Loyola has pushed racial issues to the side. And deemed them self’s [sic] as separate from the Baltimore community !!” the activist group said.

The student government, which co-sponsored the annual business promotion event, criticized the video as well.

“[W]e do not condone the racially insensitive messages displayed in the video,” the group posted on social media, in a post archived by FIRE. It appears to be from an Instagram story, which deletes after 24 hours. The post is not visible on its Instagram page.

“As a once-proud Loyola University alum, I am ashamed that my alma mater has succumbed to this kind of pressure,” Giovanni Gravano, a staffer for the free-speech group, wrote in the blog post covering the story.

“Where strong university values once guided Loyola and its initiatives, it seems those have been replaced by submission to politically motivated demands from social media,” Gravano said.

The free-speech group said it is monitoring the situation.

April 1, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , , . Cancel culture, Dumbing down, Economics, Education, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Keeping the public schools closed is mean, cruel, inhumane, and evil, and it has nothing to do with COVID-19

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

March 26, 2021

Please take a lot at all these things, and please note the date on each one.

All of these things, taken together in context, proves that keeping the public schools closed has nothing to do with COVID-19.

Keeping the public schools closed is mean, cruel, inhumane, and evil.

May 28, 2020

Reopening schools in Denmark did not worsen outbreak, data shows

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2020-05-28/opening-schools-in-denmark-did-not-worsen-outbreak-data-shows

May 29, 2020

Denmark, Finland say they saw no increase in coronavirus after schools re-opened

https://justthenews.com/world/europe/denmark-finland-say-they-saw-no-increase-coronavirus-after-schools-re-opened

July 13 , 2020

German study finds no evidence coronavirus spreads in schools

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/07/13/german-study-finds-no-evidence-coronavirus-spreads-schools/

July 21 2020

No known case of teacher catching coronavirus from pupils, says scientist

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/no-known-case-of-teacher-catching-coronavirus-from-pupils-says-scientist-3zk5g2x6z

September 18, 2020

Suicide among children during Covid-19 pandemic: An alarming social issue

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7500342/

January 8, 2021

Escalating suicide rates among school children during COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown period: An alarming psychosocial issue

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0253717620982514

February 10, 2021

Child suicides are rising during lockdown

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-02-child-suicides-lockdown.html

March 1, 2021

Matt Meyer, the president of the Berkeley teachers union, says it’s too dangerous to open the public schools. But Meyer was just filmed taking his own daughter to a private school. I never trust anyone who isn’t willing to live under the same rules that they expect everyone else to live under. Clearly, the real reason for keeping the public schools closed has nothing to do with safety.

https://www.kqed.org/news/11862469/after-leading-school-closures-berkeley-teachers-union-president-spotted-dropping-daughter-off-at-in-person-preschool

March 9, 2021

LA teachers warned to not share vacation pics as union seeks safe return to classrooms. UTLA members voted overwhelmingly to reject what the union called an ‘unsafe’ return to the classroom unless certain demands are met. I never trust anyone who isn’t willing to live under the same rules that they expect everyone else to live under. Clearly, the real reason for keeping the public schools closed has nothing to do with safety.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/la-teachers-warned-to-not-share-vacation-pics-as-union-seeks-safe-return-to-classrooms-report

March 19, 2021

Doctors indicate startling rise in child suicide, psychiatric admissions during lockdown

https://elizabethjohnston.org/doctors-indicate-startling-rise-in-child-suicide-psychiatric-admissions-amid-ongoing-pandemic-measures/

March 22, 2021

The lockdown made it harder for victims of domestic violence to seek help

https://www.city-journal.org/lockdowns-and-domestic-violence

March 26, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Education, Unions. Leave a comment.

Bill Maher says the people who actually live in China don’t care about Dr. Seuss’s “racist” cartoon of a Chinese man holding chopsticks, because they’re too busy learning math and building skyscrapers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DH4v6FnbvM

March 14, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , . Cancel culture, Education, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

The real reason that Georgetown Law fired adjunct professor Sandra Sellers is because she told the truth about affirmative action

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

March 11, 2021

The New York Post just wrote:

Georgetown Law professor caught complaining about black students on Zoom: video

A white Georgetown Law professor was fired Thursday after getting caught on video belittling black students during a Zoom call with a colleague, saying they “usually” perform “just plain at the bottom” of her classes.

Georgetown Law Dean Bill Treanor said he was “appalled” by the conversation between now-terminated adjunct professor Sandra Sellers and another faculty member, David Batson, who was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

Here’s the video of the relevant part of their conversation:

https://twitter.com/hahmad1996/status/1369786323293310985

In the video, Sellers says:

“I hate to say this – I end up having this angst, every semester, that a lot of my lower ones are blacks. Happens almost every semester.”

Sellers was fired for that.

She wasn’t fired for lying.

She was fired for telling the truth about affirmative action.

In 2017, the New York Times wrote:

A 2009 Princeton study showed Asian-Americans had to score 140 points higher on their SATs than whites, 270 points higher than Hispanics and 450 points higher than blacks to have the same chance of admission to leading universities.

Sellers’s statement in the video – the statement for which she was fired – is really no different than that quote from the New York Times.

In 2012, the Atlantic wrote this article, which is called, “The Painful Truth About Affirmative Action.” It explains how affirmative action causes many black students to be “mismatched” to colleges that are above their ability.

According to the article, black students who get admitted to college based on merit tend to end up graduating, whereas black students who get admitted to college based on affirmative action tend to end up dropping out. The solution is to get rid of affirmative action, so that each and every black student will be properly matched to a college that matches their own unique ability.

Graduating from a college that the student got admitted to based on merit, is far, far better than dropping out of a college that the student got admitted to based on affirmative action.

Another point that the Atlantic article repeatedly makes is that black students who get admitted based on merit tend to be far happier than black students who get admitted based on affirmative action.

I strongly recommend reading the entire Atlantic article, which is available here.

Sellers’s statement in the video – the statement for which she was fired – is really no different than that article from the Atlantic.

Sellers wasn’t fired for lying.

She was fired for telling the truth about affirmative action.

March 11, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Cancel culture, Education, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

What happened to the $100 million Mark Zuckerberg gave to Newark schools?

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/mollyhensleyclancy/what-happened-to-zuckerbergs-100-million

What Happened To The $100 Million Mark Zuckerberg Gave To Newark Schools?

October 8, 2015

In her new book The Prize, former Washington Post journalist Dale Russakoff tracks what happened to that $100 million. Christie and Booker, she writes, used Newark schools and the glow of Zuckerberg’s donation as a political tool, then quickly moved on to bigger, better things: for Booker, a Senate seat, for Christie, a presidential campaign.

Tens of millions of dollars were spent far away from classrooms, on things like $1000-a-day consultants… …

$20 million of it was paid to outside consulting firms…

… in a plan scripted by the consultants they decided to send the kids to the next closest school. Which makes sense if you’re looking at a map. But if you’re living in the neighborhood, you know that that park is a haven for drug dealing and gang activity, and you don’t want kids walking through that territory right away. The parents were completely terrified.

March 8, 2021. Tags: , , , , , . Education, Government waste. Leave a comment.

Ted Cruz proposes a $10,000 scholarship for students in districts where the public schools are still closed

https://twitter.com/SenTedCruz/status/1368188283264581636

March 7, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Education, Unions. Leave a comment.

Arizona State Dean: Grading Writing Based On Quality Is ‘Racist,’ Promotes ‘White Language Supremacy’

https://www.dailywire.com/news/arizona-state-dean-grading-writing-based-on-quality-is-racist-promotes-white-language-supremacy

Arizona State Dean: Grading Writing Based On Quality Is ‘Racist,’ Promotes ‘White Language Supremacy’

By Chrissy Clark

March 5, 2021

An Arizona State University Associate Dean penned a 358-page book detailing how grading student’s writing is a form of racism and white supremacy.

In a book titled “Labor-Based Grading Contracts: Building Equity and Inclusion in the Compassionate Writing Classroom,” professor Asao Inoue encourages teachers to ditch grading for a “labor-based” grading system wherein students earn grades based on their effort. The quality of a student’s writing would not help or hinder their course grade.

“This book focuses on one kind of grading contract, one that calculates final course grades purely by the labor students complete, not by any judgments of the quality of their writing,” Inoue writes. “While the qualities of student writing is still at the center of the classroom and feedback, it has no bearing on the course grade.”

Near the beginning of the document, the author admits that the theory of “labor-based” grading is rooted in critical race theory. Critical race theory is the idea that America is rooted in racism as are the systems of modern American society.

Critical race theory contributed to Inoue’s idea that ranking things is a system rooted in racism. Because grading is a form of ranking, grading must also be a racist idea. In his book, Inoue dubbed grading and the education system writ large “racist” for their connections to ranking.

“Ranking is a part of a much longer racist, and White supremacist, tradition in Western intellectual history,” Inoue writes. “Ranking has been deeply embedded in racist thinking, discourses, and logics, mainly because it has been deployed as a way to justify a number of racist, empirical, and colonial projects over the last four hundred years.”

The author claims that “education at all levels has been and still is a part of these racist projects” as well.

The crux of the author’s argument is that grading calls for student uniformity and high-quality completed assignments, both of which are allegedly racist ideas.

“Grading literacy performances by a single standard for so-called quality is racist and promotes white language supremacy,” the author writes. “Because all grading and assessment exist within systems that uphold singular, dominant standards that are racist, and White supremacist when used uniformly. This problem is present in any grading system that incorporates a standard, no matter who is judging, no matter the particulars of the standard.”

According to the book, grading allegedly perpetuates “white language supremacy” in schools. Nearly every U.S. school requires children to speak and write in proper English during English and literacy classes. According to the author, holding students to that standard is racist.

“The traditional purposes and methods used for grading writing turn out to be de facto racist and White supremacist,” Inoue writes. “Grading by a standard, thus, is how White language supremacy is perpetuated in schools.”

Teachers who use regular grading systems and ask all of their students to use proper English in English class are also deemed racist to the author. The author does not dub them “bad people,” just people who directly contribute to society’s alleged “racist status quo.”

“In our current society and educational systems, regardless of who you are, where you came from, or what your intentions or motives are as a teacher, if you use a single standard to grade students’ language performances, you are directly contributing to the racist status quo in schools and society,” Inoue writes.

The book also touches on the “white racial habitus” which are societal norms that the author considers implicit in white people. Speaking proper English is considered a “white racial habitus.” According to the book, all things that are derived from the “white racial habitus” are inherently “white supremacist.”

“All standards for good writing are deeply informed by a White racial habitus, which makes grading by such standards White supremacist,” Inoue writes.

The “white racial habitus” is also how teachers allegedly perpetuate “White language supremacy.” The author says that English is derived from white people, which means it’s inherently white and racist.

“Because we live in a White-dominant society, and our dominant Englishes have historical White racial roots in White racial formations in the US, coming from White Racial habitus,” the book reads.

At one point, Inoue goes as far as to call upholding grading systems a “slave-making mechanism.” “All the ways we judge language, even by well-intentioned teachers, are almost always racist and slave-making, almost always White supremacist,” Inoue said.

The author justifies this claim with the example that white students get ahead in English class because they allegedly have an “unearned privilege” of speaking proper English.

According to his blog, Inoue identifies as a Japanese man because his father is of  Japanese descent, though he was born in Hawaii. His mother is white with links to Eastern Europe. He received both his bachelor’s and his master’s degrees from Oregon State University and his Ph.D. from Washington State University.

In an anecdote, Inoue claims that he lived in an “explicitly racist world” because he got a B in an English class while getting A’s in other, more advanced, classes. He claims that his racial composition attributed to his average grade in a high school English class.

“I lived in an explicitly racist world. The racism was very present to me,” Inoue wrote. “During my Freshman year of high school, I got an A in honors French and every other class I took, yet received a B (not a B+) in English, not honors English, regular English. How was this possible? What was I doing wrong? Apparently, nothing. It was me, my habitus. I knew this but didn’t want to admit, admit that my language and body were being judged together.”

The word “solution” is used just three times in the 358-paged book. The only solution appears to be getting rid of grading systems that judge students for their work and accepting the work of “raciolinguistically diverse students.”

In the book, Inoue specifically addresses that “labor-based grading” is how professors and teachers can enact their “social justice agenda” into the classroom.

Inoue directed The Daily Wire to his book for all questions and comments.

March 5, 2021. Tags: , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Baltimore public schools spend $15,578 per student per year. This is what they get for that money.

Baltimore public schools spend $15,578 per student per year.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Baltimore_City_Public_Schools&oldid=1004205795

This is what they get for that money:

https://foxbaltimore.com/news/project-baltimore/city-student-passes-3-classes-in-four-years-ranks-near-top-half-of-class-with-013-gpa

City student passes 3 classes in four years, ranks near top half of class with 0.13 GPA

By Chris Papst

March 1, 2021

BALTIMORE (WBFF) – A shocking discovery out of a Baltimore City high school, where Project Baltimore has found hundreds of students are failing. It’s a school where a student who passed three classes in four years, ranks near the top half of his class with a 0.13 grade point average.

Tiffany France thought her son would receive his diploma this coming June. But after four years of high school, France just learned, her 17-year-old must start over. He’s been moved back to ninth grade.

“He’s stressed and I am too. I told him I’m probably going to start crying. I don’t know what to do for him,” France told Project Baltimore. “Why would he do three more years in school? He didn’t fail, the school failed him. The school failed at their job. They failed. They failed, that’s the problem here. They failed. They failed. He didn’t deserve that.”

France’s son attends Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts in west Baltimore. His transcripts show he’s passed just three classes in four years, earning 2.5 credits, placing him in ninth grade. But France says she didn’t know that until February. She has three children and works three jobs. She thought her oldest son was doing well because even though he failed most of his classes, he was being promoted. His transcripts show he failed Spanish I and Algebra I but was promoted to Spanish II and Algebra II. He also failed English II but was passed on to English III.

“I’m just assuming that if you are passing, that you have the proper things to go to the next grade and the right grades, you have the right credits,” said France.

As we dig deeper into her son’s records, we can see in his first three years at Augusta Fells, he failed 22 classes and was late or absent 272 days. But in those three years, only one teacher requested a parent conference, which France says never happened. No one from the school told France her son was failing and not going to class.

“I feel like they never gave my son an opportunity, like if there was an issue with him, not advancing or not progressing, that they should have contacted me first, three years ago,” said France.

In his four years at Augusta Fells, France’s son earned a GPA of 0.13. He only passed three classes, but his transcripts show his class rank is 62 out of 120. This means, nearly half his classmates, 58 of them, have a 0.13 grade point average or lower.

“He’s a good kid. He didn’t deserve that. Where’s the mentors? Where is the help for him? I hate that this is happening to my child,” said an emotional France.

Project Baltimore talked with a City Schools administrator, who works inside North Avenue, but asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation. That administrator says the school system absolutely failed France’s son.

The administrator told FOX45 News, City Schools failed because it has protocols and interventions set up to help students who are falling behind or have low attendance. In France’s son’s case, they didn’t happen.

“I get angry. There’s nothing but frustration. We see on the news the crime that occurs, the murders, the shootings, we know that there are high levels of poverty in Baltimore. Things like this are adding to that. His transcript is not unusual to me. I’ve seen many transcripts, many report cards, like this particular student,” said the City Schools administrator.

Dr. Sonja Santelises was the City Schools CEO four years ago when France’s son was a freshman. But she will not interview with FOX45 News. Instead, we received a two-page statement, which explains what should happen when a student is chronically absent or failing.

The district says students received a letter about their academic status this past summer, and records can be accessed through the campus portal. When a student is absent, an automated call is placed to the number on file. The statement also said the school conducted recent home visits and the student’s parent visited the school. France says none of that happened.

What the statement does not address, is why France’s son was promoted despite failing classes. It doesn’t discuss his class rank, or the 58 other students with a GPA of 0.13 or lower. But it does say North Avenue is “reviewing actions that impacted student outcomes” at the school prior to this year.

“It took a lot for me to just build the courage to do this,” France told Project Baltimore.

Project Baltimore asked the City Schools administrator what they would say to France. The administrator replied, “I didn’t have a hand on this student, but I worked for City Schools. So, he is one of my kids. I would hug her, and I would apologize profusely.”

“He feels embarrassed, he feels like a failure,” France said of her son. “I’m like, you can’t feel like that. And you have to be strong and you got to keep fighting. Life is about fighting. Things happen, but you got to keep fighting. And he’s willing, he’s trying, but who would he turn to when the people that’s supposed to help him is not? Who do he turn to?”

France has pulled her son out of Augusta Fells. He’s now enrolled in an accelerated school program at Francis M. Wood in west Baltimore. If her son works hard, he could graduate by 2023.

March 3, 2021. Tags: , , . Dumbing down, Education. Leave a comment.

Majority of Academics Support Discriminating Against Conservatives, Study Shows

https://freebeacon.com/campus/majority-of-academics-support-discriminating-against-conservatives-study-shows/

Majority of Academics Support Discriminating Against Conservatives, Study Shows

By Alex Nester

March 2, 2021

One in three conservative academics has been threatened with disciplinary action for expressing their beliefs, according to a new study that quantifies academia’s liberal bias.

Research from the Center for the Study of Partnership and Ideology released Monday shows that conservative professors and graduate students are “guaranteed” to face discrimination in academia. University of London politics professor Eric Kaufmann conducted the study, which he says is the first to focus on how academic authoritarianism threatens conservatives on campus.

Kaufmann analyzed eight surveys of graduate-level professors and doctoral students, the majority of whom said they would not oppose discriminating against their right-leaning peers in some form. Ten percent of academics support outright cancelling or firing conservative professors who express their views.

The study adds a new dimension to recent stories of harassment and intimidation of conservative voices in academia. Conservatives have long been a minority in American universities, but only recently has so-called cancel culture led to a rise in what Kaufmann calls the “chilling” effect of self-censorship.

“The discriminatory impact is huge,” Kaufmann told the Washington Free Beacon.

Even without “punishment mechanisms,” widespread opposition to conservative views leads to “powerful conformist pressures that make people keep their mouths shut.”

Those pressures are clearly effective. Seventy percent of conservative academics reported that their department created a hostile environment for conservative ideas, according to the study. Nine in 10 Trump-supporting academics reported that they would not feel comfortable expressing their views to a colleague. And more than half of conservative academics surveyed admitted to self-censoring their research and teaching.

Kaufmann told the Free Beacon that the trend is likely to get worse. Twenty percent of academics under 30 support “dismissing” peers deemed controversial, Kaufmann said. Thirty percent of doctoral students say they would discriminate against grant bids from right-leaning researchers or decline to promote a conservative peer.

Such discrimination is not limited to universities, Kaufmann observed. “It’s become quite pervasive across the U.S., Britain, and Canada. There is now a certain level of discrimination on the basis of ideology and politics.”

March 2, 2021. Tags: , , . Cancel culture, Education, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

There’s a children’s book called The GayBCs

https://twitter.com/DianneLester/status/1366146582014550019

March 2, 2021. Tags: , , , , , . Books, Education, LGBT, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

School District Categorized Asian Students as ‘White’ to Manipulate Their Stats

https://www.distractify.com/p/school-categorized-asian-students-white

School District Categorized Asian Students as ‘White’ to Manipulate Their Stats

November 24, 2020

North Thurston Public Schools, a school district in Washington, came under fire recently for categorizing Asian students as “white” instead of “students of color” in a performance report. Next Shark reports that the district, which is comprised of 22 schools and about 16,000 students, did this to “boost the growth rate of underperforming groups.” 

In other words, they basically thought that Asian students performed too well to be considered “students of color” because they perceive “students of color” to experience “opportunity gaps.” So they decided to strip Asian students of their identities and lump them in with white students.

https://twitter.com/StevenWelliever/status/1328075308218470400

Some were upset that the school district would separate its students and evaluate performance based on race at all. Others were unable to fathom a reason that Asian students would be lumped in with white students. 
 
In response, Asian students said things like, “All I’m saying is that if that Washington school district really considers Asians to be non-POC I’m expecting my privilege to arrive in the mail in 2-23 business days.”

Just because Asian students are statistically successful in this school district doesn’t mean they don’t suffer from racism and oppression. They simply don’t experience white privilege, so why would you lump them in with white students who do?

In a statement, the school district said, “One of our district’s Strategic Plan goals is Continuous Growth — All Students, All Subjects. One of the outcomes we are working towards in this goal is to have an ‘increased growth rate of underperforming groups eliminating achievement and opportunity gaps.’

“For this reason, in one of our online documents from 2019, titled ‘Monitoring Student Growth,’ we evaluated the achievement data by ‘Students of Color’ and ‘Students of Poverty.’ In the document we grouped white and Asian students together.

“Upon reflection and response by members of the Asian-American community, we will change how we look at achievement data and appreciate the feedback we received. We apologize for the negative impact we have caused and removed the monitoring report from our website.

“We feel it is important to continue the practice of disaggregating data, so we make equity-based decisions. It shows that currently our Asian and white students are showing continuous growth while our system is not meeting the instructional needs of our Black, Indigenous, Multi-racial, Pacific Islander, and Latinx students. The intent was never to ignore Asian students as ‘students of color’ or ignore any systemic disadvantages they too have faced.”

How school districts decide to delineate resources and provide support for their students is a complex issue, but denying the identity of an entire population of Asian-American students isn’t the answer.

North Thurston Public Schools has committed to “learn from this and do better in the future” when it comes to extracting performance data and delineating categories of students for evaluation purposes.

March 1, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , . Education, Political correctness, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

This private school has been open all school year, and has had zero in-school transmissions of COVID-19. And its tuition is far less than what the public schools spend. The real reason for keeping the public schools closed has nothing to do with COVID-19.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

March 1, 2021

According to this article, zero cases of COVID-19 have been contracted at this private Catholic school in Philadelphia, which has been open for the entire school year so far.

For students who are not part of the school’s affiliated church, tuition is $6,332 yer year. It’s even less for students who are part of the church.

Source: https://d2y1pz2y630308.cloudfront.net/19763/documents/2021/2/Saint%20Pio%202021-2022%20Tuition%20Letter%20and%20Rates.pdf

By comparison, the budget for Philadelphia’s public schools is $14,812 per student per year.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=School_District_of_Philadelphia&oldid=1002556395

This debunks the claim that public schools don’t have enough money to deal with COVID-19.

Somehow, this private school, with far less money per student, was able to open up, and have zero in-school cases of transmission.

Whatever the reason is for keeping the public schools closed, it has nothing to do with COVID-19.

https://whyy.org/articles/in-person-classes-old-buildings-almost-no-covid-are-philly-catholic-schools-a-blueprint/

In-person classes. Old buildings. Almost no COVID. Are Philly Catholic schools a blueprint?

By Avi Wolfman-Arent

February 21, 2021

Francesca Russo hesitates to acknowledge any good news without crossing herself and knocking on wood.

When it comes to COVID, the principal at St. Pio Regional Catholic School in South Philadelphia likes to cover her bases — physical and spiritual.

“We have not had many cases,” said Russo, who was a teacher at St. Pio’s for 19 years before becoming principal two years ago. “Thank goodness. Knock on some kind of wood. We did play it scary-mary safe.”

Each room at St. Pio’s has a window cracked and a door open. There’s a system for when students can use bathrooms between regular cleanings. And each desk has a three-panel barrier that students raise whenever they need to lower their masks.

Behind the barriers sit roughly 230 students, from pre-K through eighth grade, about the same number who occupied this building last year. They’ve been learning in a decades-old Catholic school five days a week since the school year began.

Five members of the school community have contracted COVID-19 since September, Russo says. One of them is among the school’s 15 all-virtual students. Three contracted the virus over winter break while school was closed. The fifth also contracted the virus outside of school.

So far, according to Russo, there’s been no in-school transmission.

“We love these kids,” said Russo. “We’d do anything to make sure they’re safe, protected, and happy.”

St. Pio’s is one of about 100 elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia that has been open for full-time, face-to-face education since the school year began. Together, the schools host about 35,000 educators and children in buildings every day, according to the archdiocese. Archdiocesan high schools, meanwhile, have been open on a hybrid schedule.

While public debate swirls over whether the School District of Philadelphia should reopen school buildings on a part-time basis for about 9,000 pre-K through second grade students, another elementary system in the same region has opened its doors to nearly four times as many students. Leaders say they’ve managed to do so safely.

Schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia share the same geography as the city’s public schools. And perhaps more than any other school system in the region, the parochial sector shares the public schools’ legacy of contraction, tight budgets, and, in some places, aging infrastructure.

Yet, according to officials, Catholic elementary and high schools in the five-county region have recorded just one suspected instance of in-school transmission during the pandemic. Using bedrock mitigation strategies, the parochial system believes it’s kept kids safer in schools than they would’ve been in the outside world. They’re determined to keep it that way.

“We’re gonna hold the course until June,” said Andrew McLaughlin, the archdiocese’s secretary of elementary education.

March 1, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , . COVID-19, Education, Unions. 2 comments.

Matt Meyer, the president of the Berkeley teachers union, says it’s too dangerous to open the public schools. But Meyer was just filmed taking his own daughter to a private school. I never trust anyone who isn’t willing to live under the same rules that they expect everyone else to live under. Clearly, the real reason for keeping the public schools closed has nothing to do with safety.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

March 1, 2021

As I’ve said many times before, I never trust anyone who isn’t willing to live under the same rules that they expect everyone else to live under.

Matt Meyer, the president of the Berkeley teachers union, says it’s too dangerous to open the public schools.

But Meyer was just filmed taking his own daughter to a private school.

Clearly, the real reason for keeping the public schools closed has nothing to do with safety.

This from the the San Francisco affiliate of PBS:

https://www.kqed.org/news/11862469/after-leading-school-closures-berkeley-teachers-union-president-spotted-dropping-daughter-off-at-in-person-preschool

After Leading School Closures, Berkeley Teachers Union President Spotted Dropping Daughter Off at In-Person Preschool

Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez

February 28, 2021

Parent groups are crying “hypocrisy” after a video surfaced showing the president of the Berkeley teachers union dropping off his 2-year-old daughter at an in-person preschool.

Matt Meyer, president of the Berkeley Federation of Teachers, has fought for what he called the “gold standard” for the teachers he represents — saying Berkeley schools should only reopen to in-person learning when educators are vaccinated, among other criteria.

A tentative plan between the Berkeley Unified School District and Berkeley Federation of Teachers in mid-February would see preschoolers through second grade returning to class at the end of March and other grades staggering back to in-person learning through April, according to Berkeleyside.

But some Berkeley parents have claimed that the union is moving too slow and are pushing for earlier school reopenings. They have long argued — and the Center For Disease Control and Prevention has agreed — that schools are safe to reopen without vaccinations for all teachers.

Looking to prove a double-standard by the Berkeley Federation of Teachers union president, they followed Meyer and his 2-year-old daughter to her preschool, camera in hand. The footage they captured has ignited the ire of parents groups fighting teachers unions — and Meyer in particular.

“It’s completely opposite of what he’s pushing,” said Jonathan Zachreson, the founder of Reopen California Schools, which counts Berkeley parents among many of its members. “So why is that safe for him and those people who work there (at the preschool), but not for all of the kids in Berkeley Unified and the teachers? The answer is: It is safe.”

March 1, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . COVID-19, Education, Unions. Leave a comment.

Boston public school district suspends new enrollment in gifted program because too many white and Asian students were succeeding

https://www.wgbh.org/news/education/2021/02/26/citing-racial-inequities-boston-public-schools-suspend-advanced-learning-classes

Citing Racial Inequities, Boston Public Schools Suspend New Advanced Learning Classes

By Meg Woolhouse

February 26, 2021

A selective program for high-performing fourth, fifth and sixth graders in Boston has suspended enrollment due to the pandemic and concerns about equity in the program, GBH News has learned.

Superintendent Brenda Cassellius recommended the one-year hiatus for the program, known as Advanced Work Classes, saying the district would not proceed with the program for new students next year.

“There’s been a lot of inequities that have been brought to the light in the pandemic that we have to address,” Cassellius told GBH News. “There’s a lot of work we have to do in the district to be antiracist and have policies where all of our students have a fair shot at an equitable and excellent education.”

New students will be admitted in the fourth grade by standards to be determined at the school level, according to a BPS spokesman.

There will be no new students admitted in the fifth or sixth grades, the spokesman said, but those already in advanced work will be allowed to continue.

A district analysis of the program found that more than 70 percent of students enrolled in the program were white and Asian, even though nearly 80 percent of all Boston public school students are Hispanic and Black.

School Committee member Lorna Rivera said at a January meeting that she was disturbed by the findings, noting that nearly 60 percent of fourth graders in the program at the Ohrenberger school in West Roxbury are white even though most third graders enrolled at the school are Black and Hispanic.

“This is just not acceptable,” Rivera said at a recent school committee meeting. “I’ve never heard these statistics before, and I’m very very disturbed by them.”

The program was open to all students in the Boston Public Schools who took a test known as Terra Nova in the third grade and received a high score. Those students were placed in a lottery conducted by the central administration office, and lottery winners received letters inviting them to apply to the program. Last fall, 453 students received invitations, 143 students applied and 116 enrolled this year, officials said.

Students in the program have the opportunity to study subjects in greater depth and are offered more schoolwork than the traditional curriculum requires.

Cassellius says interest in the program had declined over several years and only five schools currently offered the program: the James F. Condon School in South Boston, the Jackson/Mann K-8 in Allston, the Richard J. Murphy School in Dorchester, the William H. Ohrenberger school in West Roxbury, and the Josiah Quincy Elementary School in Chinatown.

Students already enrolled in the program will continue, Cassellius said, but programming decisions about how to continue will be made at the principal level.

District officials have launched a working group to determine the long-term future of the program and are expected to make a recommendation in May.

February 28, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Most college students think America invented slavery, professor finds

https://www.thecollegefix.com/college-students-think-america-invented-slavery-professor-finds/

Most college students think America invented slavery, professor finds

By Kate Hardiman

October 31, 2016

For 11 years, Professor Duke Pesta gave quizzes to his students at the beginning of the school year to test their knowledge on basic facts about American history and Western culture.

The most surprising result from his 11-year experiment? Students’ overwhelming belief that slavery began in the United States and was almost exclusively an American phenomenon, he said.

“Most of my students could not tell me anything meaningful about slavery outside of America,” Pesta told The College Fix. “They are convinced that slavery was an American problem that more or less ended with the Civil War, and they are very fuzzy about the history of slavery prior to the Colonial era. Their entire education about slavery was confined to America.”

Pesta, currently an associate professor of English at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, has taught the gamut of Western literature—from the Classics to the modern—at seven different universities, ranging from large research institutions to small liberal arts colleges to branch campuses. He said he has given the quizzes to students at Purdue University, University of Tennessee Martin, Ursinus College, Oklahoma State University, and University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

The origin of these quizzes, which Pesta calls “cultural literacy markers,” was his increasing discomfort with gaps in his students’ foundational knowledge.

“They came to college without the basic rudiments of American history or Western culture and their reading level was pretty low,” Pesta told The Fix.

Before even distributing the syllabus for his courses, Pesta administered his short quizzes with basic questions about American history, economics and Western culture. For instance, the questions asked students to circle which of three historical figures was a president of the United States, or to name three slave-holding countries over the last 2,000 years, or define “capitalism” and “socialism” in one sentence each.

Often, more students connected Thomas Jefferson to slavery than could identify him as president, according to Pesta. On one quiz, 29 out of 32 students responding knew that Jefferson owned slaves, but only three out of the 32 correctly identified him as president. Interestingly, more students— six of 32—actually believed Ben Franklin had been president.

Pesta said he believes these students were given an overwhelmingly negative view of American history in high school, perpetuated by scholars such as Howard Zinn in “A People’s History of the United States,” a frequently assigned textbook.

What’s more, he began to observe a shift in his students’ quiz responses in the early 2000s. Before that time, Pesta described his students as “often historically ignorant, but not politicized.” Since the early 2000s, Pesta has found that “many students come to college preprogrammed in certain ways.”

“They cannot tell you many historical facts or relate anything meaningful about historical biographies, but they are, however, stridently vocal about the corrupt nature of the Republic, about the wickedness of the founding fathers, and about the evils of free markets,” Pesta said. “Most alarmingly, they know nothing about the fraught history of Marxist ideology and communist governments over the last century, but often reductively define socialism as ‘fairness.’”

Pesta also noted that, early on, his students’ “blissful ignorance was accompanied by a basic humility about what they did not know.” But over time he said he increasingly saw “a sense of moral superiority in not knowing anything about our ‘racist and sexist’ history and our ‘biased’ institutions.”

“As we now see on campus,” Pesta said, “social justice warriors are arguing that even reading the great books of Western culture is at best a micro-aggression, and at worst an insidious form of cultural imperialism and indoctrination.”

Pesta, an outspoken critic of Common Core, said he believes that these attitudes will become more pronounced moving forward, due to Common Core architect David Coleman’s rewrite of Advanced Placement American and European history standards.

Pesta argues that Coleman, now president of the College Board, “has further politicized the teaching of history, reducing the story of Western culture to little more than a litany of crimes, exploitations, and genocides, while simultaneously whitewashing the history of ideologies like socialism and communism.”

Despite no longer giving the quizzes, Pesta told The Fix that he continues “to seek effective ways to teach students the literature of Western culture, which it is not only alien and complex, but often condemned by students before it is truly encountered.”

“We must absolutely teach those areas where Western culture has fallen short, but always with the recognition that such criticism is possible because of the freedoms and advantages offered by Western culture,” he said.

February 26, 2021. Tags: , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Los Angeles teachers’ unions tried to shut down a South Central charter school that had been very successful at teaching low-income black and Hispanic students

In my opinion, successful schools should not be shut down.

Instead, they should be copied.

Every child should be allowed to attend a school as good as this one.

The fact that the teachers’ union tried to shut down this successful school, instead of copying it, is despicable.

This is the complete article from the Wall St. Journal:

https://web.archive.org/web/20081014175429/http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122394095677630803.html

Charter Success in L.A.

School choice in South Central.

October 14, 2008

With economic issues sucking up so much political oxygen this year, K-12 education hasn’t received the attention it deserves from either Presidential candidate. The good news is that school reformers at the local level continue to push forward.

This month the Inner City Education Foundation (ICEF), a charter school network in Los Angeles, announced plans to expand the number of public charter schools in the city’s South Central section, which includes some of the most crime-ridden neighborhoods in the country. Over the next four years, the number of ICEF charters will grow to 35 from 13. Eventually, the schools will enroll one in four students in the community, including more than half of the high school students.

The demand for more educational choice in predominantly minority South Los Angeles is pronounced. The waitlist for existing ICEF schools has at times exceeded 6,000 kids. And no wonder. Like KIPP, Green Dot and other charter school networks that aren’t constrained by union rules on staffing and curriculum, ICEF has an excellent track record, particularly with black and Hispanic students. In reading and math tests, ICEF charters regularly outperform surrounding traditional public schools as well as other Los Angeles public schools.

ICEF has been operating since 1994, and its flagship school has now graduated two classes, with 100% of the students accepted to college. By contrast, a state study released in July reported that one in three students in the L.A. public school system — including 42% of black students — quits before graduating, a number that has grown by 80% in the past five years.

Despite this success, powerful unions like the California Teachers Association and its political backers continue to oppose school choice for disadvantaged families. Last year, Democratic state lawmakers, led by Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, tried to force Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign a bill that would have made opening a new charter school in the state next to impossible. Mr. Nunez backed down after loud protests from parents in poorer neighborhoods.

School reformers in New York, Ohio, Florida, Connecticut, Utah and Arizona have faced similar challenges of late. Last year in Texas, where 81% of charter school students are minorities (versus 60% in traditional public schools), nearly 17,000 students had to be placed on charter waiting lists. Texas is currently bumping up against an arbitrary cap on the number of charters that can open in the state. Unless the cap is lifted by state lawmakers, thousands of low-income Texas children will remain stuck in ineffective schools.

Back in California, ICEF says that its ultimate goal is to produce 2,000 college graduates each year, in hopes that the graduates eventually will return to these underserved communities and help create a sustainable middle class. Given that fewer than 10% of high-school freshmen in South Los Angeles currently go on to receive a college diploma, this is a huge challenge. Resistance from charter school opponents won’t make it any easier.

February 24, 2021. Tags: , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Unions. 1 comment.

A progressive parent’s rant about the politics surrounding school reopening

https://rmbodenheimer.medium.com/a-progressive-parents-rant-about-the-politics-surrounding-school-reopening-a816cae963fd

A progressive parent’s rant about the politics surrounding school reopening

By Rebecca Bodenheimer, PhD

February 12, 2021

I think we’re at a crucial point in this debate on school reopening right now. Case rates are dropping quickly, the surge is over, and people are starting to get vaccinated — though way too slowly of course. The public health community, including the CDC, have reached consensus that reopening schools is an urgent priority (instead of citing all my sources, I’m going to do more of a free-write here, so feel free to reach out if you want me to cite a source for anything I write here).

This is because the harms of prolonged school closure vastly outnumber the risk of COVID. It’s not only learning loss among public school kids (mostly in urban areas), though that will of course have long-term implications, especially for teenagers who really need to get decent grades to be able to get into college but who are flunking classes at astronomical rates. Remember also that they’ll have to compete against private school kids, who are having a much more normal school year.

More importantly, it’s our our kids’ mental health that’s the real emergency. A few weeks ago the New York Times published a devastating piece about the rise in student suicides in Las Vegas and how that got the superintendent to open schools. All over the country, mental health emergencies and hospital visits by kids are skyrocketing. The prolonged isolation, depression and anxiety that stem from learning by yourself on a computer all day are taking a massive toll on kids who haven’t seen the inside of a school for almost a year!

I just don’t know how anyone can sit by and think this is an acceptable state of affairs for a developed country — it just makes my blood boil to see how little this country cares about kids. All of Europe has done the right thing — schools are last to close, first to open. It’s simply not a political stance in Europe (as it is here) to say we need to reopen schools for the sake of kids wellbeing and emotional and academic development.

The politicization of this issue is what’s really fucked up. Schools are largely open in red states and closed in blue ones (see below for a devastating graphic). It’s very difficult for me to understand the simplistic thinking that says: Trump said open schools, so we must keep them closed at all costs. I have never felt so alienated from the people I usually align myself with politically. I will never understand how the left in this country has decided that advocating for putting kids first is somehow right-wing. I’m hearing from progressive parents all the time who are so infuriated about the Democratic apathy around school reopening — from politicians like Gavin Newsom, who are willing to allow their stances to be dictated by teachers’ unions — that they’re considering supporting the recall effort, maybe even switching parties.

Because here’s the thing: parents are not willing to sacrifice their kids’ wellbeing for the sake of ideology or being a good leftist. And they shouldn’t. It’s our most important job to do what’s best for our kids. And if that means calling out teachers’ unions, so be it. I won’t stay silent while unions ignore the science and the entire public health community, and all the research telling us schools aren’t drivers of transmission, that spread is much lower in schools than in the surrounding community. Last March we didn’t know any better. But now we know — and we’ve known for months. Europe opened up in the fall. Florida, Texas, all the red states opened up. Rhode Island was one of the few blue states that was committed to putting kids first. Can you remember even one major outbreak that was tied to school transmission (not a handful of cases, but an outbreak)? I can’t. And teachers aren’t at greater risk either.

Many of the parents I’m working with on this issue see themselves as progressive and have until now supported organized labor and unions (I myself went to the picket line for Oakland teachers 2 years ago), but it’s so clear to us that teachers’ unions are dead wrong on this issue and that their interests are diametrically opposed to what’s best for our kids. Your own kid might be doing ok in remote learning, but by and large, kids aren’t doing well. Mine sure isn’t. Just remember: the principles of child development haven’t just vanished because we’re in a pandemic. It’s still not good to have our kids in front of the screen for hours upon hours every day. Kids still need to learn alongside other kids and still need to play with other kids. What I’m saying is, there’s no amount of improvement of distance learning you can do that will make it be a good platform for learning.

Now, here’s where I’m gonna go in hard on the unions. NOT the teachers, but the unions. I know there are many teachers who don’t feel the union represents them on this. And to that point, here are some amazing examples of brave teachers who have spoken out to say that blocking reopening is morally wrong.

Fantastic op-ed by NYC teacher

This YouTube video of a CA teacher calling out her union at a school board meeting is a must-watch

Another op-ed by Baltimore teacher

Great recent piece in SF Chronicle about SF teachers who have been afraid to speak up until now

I’ve seen a culture of shaming here in Oakland that surrounds any critique of the union, so it’s very hard for teachers to take this public stance and say the union is wrong, but more and more simply can’t in good conscience pretend this isn’t harming kids. I know distance learning is very hard on teachers as well as kids, which is why I can’t understand why so many are allowing their unfounded fear to blind them to the data and research that says schools can reopen safely.

I’ve seen the most absurd justifications from unions and their allies for why we shouldn’t reopen schools, like denying there’s any learning loss associated with distance learning or suggesting parents can be adequate substitutes for teachers (SF school board president Gabriela Lopez). I mean, it’s so incredibly tone-deaf and ridiculous: they are devaluing their own profession just so as not to go back to the classroom! If parents or anyone else could fill in so easily, why should we pay teachers more? Why should we value them as professionals? Real valuing of your profession means admitting remote learning is a poor substitute for face-to-face, interpersonal contact and that parents can’t do teachers’ jobs, and trying to get back to that as soon as possible.

Oh, and don’t get me started on the SF school board and the way they just pushed through renaming of 44 schools (which will cost a ton of money) and (just last night) made a rash, unpopular decision to change Lowell’s admission process, all while even the youngest kids haven’t gone back to the classroom! They’re so incredibly out of touch with the reality of public school families right now that it took a lawsuit to light a fire under their asses! And no, the agreed upon deal with SF teacher’s union isn’t good enough because there’s no reopening date.

California says schools can reopen once cases are less than 25 per 100K people (ie, in the purple tier), but the deal says either SF has to be in red tier with all school staff vaccinated or in the orange tier (unlikely for this school year, which is exactly what unions want). And if you think fall 2021 is safe for full reopening, think again. They will likely argue for hybrid/2 days a week even when all adults are vaccinated. These demands, which SFUSD should never have agreed to, are completely out of touch with the state and county public health guidelines — that we can open K-6th grade in places like SF right now (SF is currently at about 11.5 cases per 100K). As for older kids, we have no idea if teachers will even agree to go back to middle/high school in the fall at all.

I just want you all to understand that reaching a deal doesn’t mean reopening will be happening soon. In contrast, NYC elementary schools have been open since November and they’re now planning for reopening middle schools, Chicago’s union (which had an incredibly bitter fight with the district) just reached a deal to go back later this month, Miami has been open this whole damn time! The Bay Area/California isn’t special — the only difference is that our unions are incredibly powerful and have been able to hold our kids’ education hostage.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at this graphic that someone shared on Twitter a few days ago. I can’t explain how depressed and enraged it made me feel to see in these stark visual terms how my home state (and the entire west coast) is failing its kids so miserably. I’ve never felt ashamed of California until now, that its leaders care more about appeasing unions (one of the most powerful lobbies in the state) than about the wellbeing of kids.

Other things that have made me flip my lid about this situation: teachers unions are demanding vaccinations before going back to school — last month, some here in SF and Oakland were even saying vaccinations wouldn’t be enough to get them back to the classroom! No other essential worker has had the privilege to demand this — and this has been a real slap in the face to all the essential workers (like my spouse) who have been going to their workplace for 11 months with no vaccine and who aren’t being prioritized like teachers are.

It is this particular stance that has really alienated many other essential workers, particularly those who work on the front lines — the fact that teachers in blue states have been so incredibly protected during this pandemic, while all others have not had the privilege to demand this. So I don’t ever wanna hear again about teachers being “underdogs” or having no power — unions contribute millions to Dem politicians and that’s why people like Newsom and Biden have been so damn weak on this issue and put kids last (all while Newsom’s own kids attend private school in-person). Unions are a behemoth in California and parents are the only group of people advocating for our kids needs. No one else is gonna do it.

I also want to bring up an ugly aspect of this whole debate: the ways unions have played the race card and presumed to speak for Black and Brown families. As an advocate for reopening schools I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen union reps and supporters say it’s only white, wealthy parents who want to reopen and that we are racist to want this. First, it is false that only white parents want to reopen. White parents do tend to trust the school districts more than Black and Latino families do, with good reason — white kids get treated better and go to better funded schools. So naturally, we tend to favor reopening, as we trust it can be done safely.

However, we can’t just ignore the role of white teachers in this dynamic. In this country, teachers are around 80% white — something people don’t talk about. So why is it that when white parents support reopening it’s racist and we don’t care about Black and Brown kids (which, PS, my own kid isn’t white!), but when mostly white teachers unions advocate for their interests, they’re representing what Black and brown families want? The reality is, neither white parents nor white teachers can speak for Black and Latino families, many of whom have their own reasons for not wanting to send their kids back (like having experienced COVID close-up or not trusting school system to put into place adequate safety measures). And yet, they’re not a monolith either — many want and need their kids back in school. Our family survey here in Oakland indicated that Black and Latino families were evenly split between three choices: 1/3 wanted to send kids back, 1/3 didn’t, and 1/3 wasn’t sure. The unions interpret this as “a majority of Black and Latino families don’t want to go back,” but as should be clear, that’s a distortion. Their voices are drowned out by unions insisting they speak for marginalized families.

But don’t take it from me. Watch this incredible statement by a Chicago-based Latina sociologist and mom about the ways unions have cynically played the race card:

https://twitter.com/karenvaites/status/1355947764027420680

Lastly, I just want to say: many parents feel absolutely betrayed by teachers unions. I think they’re making a massive miscalculation with these rigid, stances not backed up by any data and demands that go way beyond what their public health officials are suggesting. What they’re doing right now is incredibly myopic. They are handing thousands and thousands of parents over to private/parochial schools or charter schools, and are paving the way for a major decimation of public education. Parents will never choose ideological loyalty over their kids and the more unions dig in their heels, the angrier parents get. Many have already fled public ed. Some who could never have fathomed sending their kids to private school are considering it now. Families with means (and even those who don’t but will take out loans) will leave in droves. I don’t understand how unions don’t see this — the only explanation I can find is that they’re so ensconced in their ideological bubble that they’re blind to the reality of what’s going on.

Friends, I’ve never spent so much unpaid labor and time advocating for an issue and I’ve never been so convinced that I was doing the right thing — not just for my own kid, but for all kids. Nothing has made me want to leave this country more than this issue, especially as I’ve seen all of Europe put kids first. How can we possibly accept that most kids in private schools are back in their classrooms while public school kids suffer from depression and fall behind? How can we think it’s ok for urban districts with majority Brown and Black kids to abandon their duty to these kids for going on a year and possibly much longer, all because teachers unions refuse to do what all other essential workers have done for 11 months? There is no such thing as zero risk (what they’re demanding), and a harm reduction approach means we must do what’s best for the most people, which is to open schools.

Lastly, for those of you parents who don’t want to send your kids back yet for whatever reason: we have no desire to force you to go back. We honestly don’t care if you decide to stay remote — that’s your decision. But to side with the unions and advocate for keeping schools closed until the teachers “feel” it’s safe (which is a constantly moving goal post), and NOT when public health officials decide it’s safe (as they already have) is actively harmful to kids, and frankly selfish. You will continue to have a choice — so give us the choice as well to send our kids back to school.

February 20, 2021. Tags: , , , . COVID-19, Education, Unions. Leave a comment.

Next Page »