I wish that Democrats would answer my question: Why are Democrats funding student debt forgiveness with money from innocent taxpayers, instead of with money from the fraudulent colleges that sold worthless degrees?

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

September 5, 2022

I’m against student debt forgiveness.

But since it is happening, I have one question:

Why are Democrats funding student debt forgiveness with money from innocent taxpayers, instead of with money from the fraudulent colleges that sold worthless degrees?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, between 1980 and 2020, regular inflation has caused average prices to increase by 228%.

However, during that same time period, college tuition has increased by 1,184%.

Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/dataisbeautiful/comments/hni7zy/us_college_tuition_fees_vs_overall_inflation_oc/

college tuition inflation

The student debt bailout is paying for hot tubs, spas, rock climbing walls, steaks, and movie theaters.

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/caranewlon/2014/07/31/the-college-amenities-arms-race/

Another area where colleges waste money is in the worthless policy known as “diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

The Federalist wrote:

“Some universities had strikingly large numbers of people with DEI responsibilities in their job titles. At the University of Michigan, for example, 163 people have formal responsibility for providing DEI programming and services. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has more than 13 times as many people devoted to promoting DEI as providing services to people with disabilities. Georgia Tech has 3.2 times as many DEI staff as it does history professors. The University of Virginia boasts 6.5 DEI staff for every 100 professors.”

The Center Square wrote:

“UC Berkeley employs 150 professionals and 250 additional students dedicated to addressing “systemic inequities,” according to a document obtained this week by The College Fix. The public research institution’s Division of Equity and Inclusion spends $25 million annually to support the 400 full and part-time staff to run diversity and inclusion-related programs, according to the document, an eight-page job description for a new Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion.”

So the real problem isn’t a lack of bailout money.

The real problem is that colleges are spending money on frivolous luxuries that have nothing to do with education, such as hot tubs, spas, rock climbing walls, steaks, and movie theaters, as well as on left wing brainwashing known as “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” with its overbloated budgets to pay huge numbers of employees who job duties have nothing to do with education.

Bailing out student loans doesn’t address these huge wastes of money.

On the contrary.

The bailout only gives colleges an incentive to raise their tuition even more.

I wish that Democrats would answer my question: Why are Democrats funding student debt forgiveness with money from innocent taxpayers, instead of with money from the fraudulent colleges that sold worthless degrees?

September 5, 2022. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Dumbing down, Economics, Education, Equity, Government waste, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

San Diego’s largest high school eliminates advanced English, advanced history, and advanced biology, and says it’s because of “equity”

https://web.archive.org/web/20220410124259/https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/education/story/2022-04-10/san-diegos-largest-high-school-quietly-eliminated-several-honors-courses-parents-are-outraged

San Diego’s largest high school quietly eliminated several honors courses.

Parents are outraged.

Principal wanted to eliminate stigma of non-honors courses, but parents say their kids need the courses for a competitive edge.

By Kristen Taketa

April 10, 2022

SAN DIEGO — Pamela Broudy was set on enrolling her eighth-grade daughter at Patrick Henry High School this fall. Her older son, a junior, is already enrolled there, and the school has done well for him — he’s enrolled in five AP classes and he has been in the school’s gifted program.

Then Broudy learned last month that the high school’s principal had quietly eliminated several advanced courses from the school’s catalog, including advanced English, advanced history and advanced biology, according to the school’s course listings.

If the principal doesn’t bring them back, Broudy said, she will enroll her daughter at a private school instead.

“My daughter’s coming from a private school who didn’t have learning loss (during the pandemic), and now she’s going to be bored to tears,” she said.

Broudy is one of many parents who are up in arms after they found out Patrick Henry High School’s principal, Michelle Irwin, has been cutting several honors, advanced and gifted education courses without their knowledge or input.

Irwin cut the courses for equity reasons, according to an email she wrote to parents. She told parents she wanted to move away from “stratifying” classes and remove the stigma from non-honors courses. She has also cited racial disparities in honors course enrollment — a problem that is mirrored nationwide.

But parents question whether cutting honors courses is the right solution.

The controversy has rattled Patrick Henry, a racially diverse school in the middle-class neighborhood of San Carlos that is also San Diego’s largest high school, with more than 2,500 students.

Parents emailed complaints to the principal, San Diego Unified School District leaders, journalists and school board members. They created a Facebook group that now has 300 members to exchange information. Some parents, like Broudy, said they are planning to leave Patrick Henry for a charter or private school, which parents say may cause a “brain drain” of high-achieving students from the campus.

“Parents who have the means to send their kids to another school are going to do so … because they’re losing faith that their kids will be prepared to be successful,” said Happy Feliz Aston, a parent of a fourth- and sixth-grader in the Patrick Henry High School cluster.

Parents are concerned that the course cuts will hurt their children‘s chances of getting into their preferred colleges. Honors courses boost grade point averages with a weighted credit, and college admissions officers consider how many advanced courses a student has taken.

“Unilateral decisions to eliminate these classes unfairly disadvantage the students at Patrick Henry because their competition around the nation, not just in California, is having these classes,” said Lauren Hotz, a parent of two Patrick Henry sophomores.

Irwin and district officials argued that the advanced and regular classes share a curriculum and are essentially the same, so district officials said it was disingenuous to have one class labeled “advanced” and another labeled “regular.”

While advanced classes may cover the same material as regular classes, advanced courses typically go at a faster pace and often cover more material or go more in-depth into the content.

Irwin didn’t ax all of Patrick Henry’s advanced courses. There are still honors and advanced math and science classes, according to the school’s course catalog. The high school also offers more than 20 Advanced Placement classes, plus several dual-enrollment community college classes, all of which offer weighted GPA credit.

But parents argue it’s still important for the school to offer a range of honors courses because they provide a less-overwhelming alternative to AP classes and still give students weighted GPA credit. They say honors courses are also a stepping stone that can prepare ninth and 10th graders for the rigors of AP and college classes.

And some of the advanced courses that were eliminated are prerequisites for AP classes, parents noted.

Some parents argue that it’s not equitable to cut the courses when students at other San Diego high schools, like La Jolla and Crawford, still have access to them.

“If this is about equity, then it seems to fly the face of that argument because your zip code shouldn’t determine your access to classes, and in this case it appears to do so,” Aston said.

San Diego Unified School Board Trustee Richard Barrera said that in the district’s efforts to address inequities, the district is not taking anything away from students — it’s not watering down curriculum, it’s not lowering standards and it’s not taking away chances for students to earn weighted GPA credit, he said.

“We believe in expanding access to opportunities for all of our students, and when we expand access … that doesn’t mean that we’re taking anything away from students who have already had access to those opportunities,” Barrera said.

“I understand parents are worried about that, and when they hear we’re making a change from … decades of existing stratification, and if your students are part of the higher stratification … of course you’re gonna be concerned about that. But that’s not what we’re doing.”

A problem of representation

Experts have long known that honors, gifted, Advanced Placement and other selective academic programs enroll disproportionately lower numbers of students of color.

Latino students made up 54 percent of California’s public school students in 2017 but they represented only 43 percent of students who were enrolled in at least one AP course, according to the U.S. Civil Rights Data Collection. Black students made up 6 percent of the state’s enrollment but just 4 percent of students who were enrolled in at least one AP course.

A similar trend is happening at Patrick Henry, according to limited data presented by Irwin at a school council meeting earlier this year. White and Vietnamese students made up a disproportionately higher percentage of enrollment in Honors American Literature and Honors U.S. History, while Latino students were disproportionately lower, according to Irwin’s data.

The underrepresentation is a problem because enrollment in advanced courses is associated with a host of academic benefits, such as better attendance, fewer suspensions and higher graduation rates. Participation and success in honors and AP courses are also key factors considered in college admissions.

Experts say the disparity in enrollment is not because Black and Latino students are less capable, but because educators often enforce prerequisites, such as a teacher’s recommendation, for honors courses that end up shutting out students of color due to bias.

“A lot of times it happens … because of the implicit or explicit biases of the adults who are making decisions about either who to enroll in these courses or who to encourage to enroll in these courses,” said Allison Socol, assistant director of P-12 policy at Education Trust, a nonprofit that focuses on education equity.

San Diego Unified leaders have not recently announced any system-wide policy changes on honors and advanced classes. But in recent years they have taken other steps that move away from the classification of students.

For example, the district has cut classes specifically for gifted students, and enrollment in the district’s gifted programs has shrunk over time. And the district rolled out a new math initiative called “enhanced math,” which is meant to make general math instruction more rigorous for all students without using an “honors” or “accelerated” label.

District officials said they are wary of labels such as “honors” and “advanced” that could be excluding students of color.

“Now whether … it’s labeled in a certain way, that’s a question of, is that label getting in the way of expanding opportunities of access to more students?” Barrera said.

But some parents said it seems like the district is cutting programs that cater to students’ different needs, and is instead trying to put all students of different learning styles in the same classroom.

San Diego Unified officials said the district expects all of its educators to differentiate their teaching to cater to all students’ needs within the same class. But some parents said it’s unrealistic for all teachers to do that.

“If you put everybody in the same class, your distribution of needs of the students is going to be wider and one teacher is going to have to address those needs — which they can’t,” Hotz said.

Expanding access

Patrick Henry parents suggested other ways to address inequities in course enrollment besides cutting classes.

Hotz said she wants to see the school invest more in counseling and tutoring, while Aston suggested that Patrick Henry enroll more students in AVID, a program that helps underrepresented students hone study skills and prepare for college.

“How about we up the actual representation in those classes, and give students options?” Hotz said. “Killing the classes … it’s actually a disadvantage to the entire population.”

Education Trust recommends expanding eligibility to advanced courses, adding advanced courses to schools that serve the most Latino and Black students, and providing more support to prepare students for advanced courses.

“In general, what we want to see is more access to rigorous, engaging, culturally relevant courses that prepare students for college and meaningful careers,” Socol said.

April 19, 2022. Tags: , , , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Equity, Racism, Social justice warriors, War against achievement. Leave a comment.

Top female scientist canceled over 13-year-old ‘Michael Jackson’ Halloween costume

https://www.thecollegefix.com/top-female-scientist-canceled-over-13-year-old-michael-jackson-halloween-costume/

Top female scientist canceled over 13-year-old ‘Michael Jackson’ Halloween costume

By Jennifer Kabbany

March 7, 2022

‘UW Medicine is helping to ruin a woman who devoted her career to finding a cure for HIV’

Highly decorated virologist Julie Overbaugh has been forced out of a position of leadership at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and resigned her faculty affiliate position at the University of Washington School of Medicine due to accusations of racism and investigations involving her decision to wear a Michael Jackson costume to a Halloween party in 2009.

A picture of the 13-year-old incident, in which she is accused of wearing “blackface,” has prompted peers to accuse her of racism despite the fact that her research has focused on aiding Africans for the last three decades.

“Overbaugh has devoted her professional career to studying viral pathogens that cause HIV. But amid publishing papers, running her own research lab, and flying back and forth from Kenya, she has also pursued another professional passion: mentoring. Overbaugh is one of two recipients of this year’s Nature Award for Mentoring in Science, which is awarded to select scientists in one country or region each year,” a 2016 report in GeekWire reports.

Last year, Overbaugh was elected to National Academy of Sciences.

“I am really happy to see gender balance in this year’s elected members and hope this signals a future trend,” Overbaugh said at the time. “In my field, HIV, which is a very large field, there have only been a couple of women elected — hopefully, there will be more in the future.”

But Overbaugh’s accomplishments during an age in which female STEM recruitment and retainment is a social justice priority apparently could not outweigh the 2009 incident of emulating the King of Pop at a party that was reportedly themed after Jackson’s famous “Thriller” album.

Members of the Overbaugh lab apparently enjoy celebrating Halloween and have posted pictures of its themed parties every year. In past years they have dressed as emojis, bumble bees, fish — and even as “Binders of Babes” — a riff on Republican Mitt Romney’s gaffe while running for president.

The picture from the year 2009 is conspicuously missing from the webpage.

“The act depicted in the photo is racist, offensive and hurtful, and we offer our sincere apologies to anyone who has experienced pain or upset because of the act or this photo,” the cancer center announced in mid-February, adding Overbaugh was put on administrative leave and placed under investigation.

“Dr. Overbaugh has stepped down from her senior vice president role at Fred Hutch. She will continue working in her lab and will take a hiatus from her leadership duties in the Office of Education & Training. During this time, she will engage in an intensive education and reflection process.”

The Federalist reports:

Though the incident didn’t occur at UW Medicine, its CEO and equity officer also waded into the faux controversy. UW Medicine CEO Dr. Paul Ramsey and Chief Equity Officer Paula Houston notified UW Medicine staff in an email that Overbaugh was punished for engaging in the “racist, dehumanizing, and abhorrent act” of “blackface.” During a separate formal review process for UW faculty, the email confirmed, Overbaugh resigned from her UW affiliate faculty member appointment.

Overbaugh released a short statement to me. “I did not know the association of this with blackface at the time, in 2009, but understand the offense that is associated with this now,” she said. “I have apologized for this both publicly and privately and beyond that have no other comments.”

Ramsey and Houston claim that the UW Medicine community was “harmed” by the 13-year-old photo that most staff didn’t know existed until reading about it in the Feb. 25 email. “We acknowledge that our community has been harmed by this incident and the fact that 13 years elapsed before action was taken,” they wrote. “We are convening a series of affinity group meetings in the next few weeks to provide spaces for mutual support, reflection, and response.”

Neither Ramsey nor Houston explained how the photo “harmed” anyone. Indeed, beyond one confirmed complaint, it’s unclear if anyone even cared about the old photo.

The full memo from UW Medicine was republished by journalist Jesse Singal on his Twitter page. The memo notes that Overbaugh resigned her post at the university once administrators began their own probe into the incident.

Her faculty bio is no longer on the UW School of Medicine website, although its Department of Global Health has, as of Monday afternoon, yet to strip her from its webpage.

“A U. Washington doctor who has dedicated her career to fighting HIV in Africa, including research w/sex workers, is having her reputation and career incinerated because she dressed up as Michael Jackson, in blackface, once in 2009,” Singal noted.

https://twitter.com/jessesingal/status/1497289911996760064

“Just to situate everyone, the event in question happened several years before the most recent instance of 30 Rock airing blackface-oriented comedy to tens of millions of people. What she did was a bad idea but at the time was obviously not seen as too risque even for network TV,” he added.

Writing for The Federalist, Jason Rantz points out that “UW Medicine is lashing out against Overbaugh to show its wokeness and earn social currency.”

“That UW Medicine is helping to ruin a woman who devoted her career to finding a cure for HIV is immaterial to its leaders. To progressive activists, highlighting one’s virtues is more important than curing a deadly disease.”

March 8, 2022. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Cancel culture, Dumbing down, Education, Equity, Health care, Political correctness, Racism, Science, Sexism, Social justice warriors, War against achievement. 1 comment.

Instead of banning the teaching of critical race theory in schools, we should give equal time to the opposing point of view from black conservatives

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

February 7, 2022

Many people on the left want to teach critical race theory in schools.

Many people on the right want to ban the teaching of the subject in schools.

I propose that we teach critical race theory in schools, with the three following guidelines:

First, it should be age appropriate. High school, yes. Kindergarten, no.

Second, it should be taught under the proper context. Social studies class, yes. Math class, no.

And third, we should give equal time to teach the opposing point of view from black conservatives such as Winsome Sears, Candace Owens, Thomas Sowell, Brandom Tatum, Star Parker, Walter E. Williams, Mia Love, Larry Elder, Josephine Mathias, Deroy Murdock, Herman Cain, and Ben Carson.

February 7, 2022. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Black lives matter, Cancel culture, Education, Equity, Racism, Social justice warriors. 1 comment.

In California, the leftists who see “racism” everywhere are now claiming that their own rooftop solar program creates “racist” “inequities.” Their contradictory “solution” is to create a new tax on the very same solar power that they are subsidizing.

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

January 30, 2022

For more than 20 years, California has been giving homeowners financial incentives to install rooftop solar panels on their homes. The goal here is to encourage the use of solar power.

Because whatever you subsidize you get more of, the program has more than achieved its goal of one million solar rooftop installations. 

That should be a cause for celebration.

Except that we’re talking about leftists here. And leftists always find something to complain about.

In this particular case, they are claiming that their own very successful program, which they have been supporting for more than two decades, has created “racism” and “inequities.”

And their proposed “solution” to this “racism” and “inequity” is to create a new tax on the very rooftop solar installations that they have been subsidizing for more than two decades.

Just as subsidies lead to an increase in whatever is being subsidized, taxes lead to a reduction in whatever is being taxed.

So instead of celebrating the success of their own solar rooftop program, the left is now trying to discourage the very same thing that it had been encouraging for more than 20 years.

January 30, 2022. Tags: , , , , , , . Economics, Environmentalism, Equity, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Washington State Lawmaker Who Is A Convicted Felon Drafts “Racial Equity” Bill To Lower Sentencing For Drive-By Shooters

https://www.redvoicemedia.com/2021/12/washington-state-lawmaker-who-is-a-convicted-felon-drafts-racial-equity-bill-to-lower-sentencing-for-drive-by-shooters/

Washington State Lawmaker Who Is A Convicted Felon Drafts “Racial Equity” Bill To Lower Sentencing For Drive-By Shooters

Because only a certain race commits drive by shootings?

By Gregory Hoyt

December 24, 2021

OLYMPIA, WA – A convicted felon turned lawyer who later turned into a state legislator in Washington state recently drafted a bill that would lower sentencing for murderers who committed their crime via doing a drive-by shooting. And per the language of the bill, this is meant to promote “racial equity.”

According to the Washington State Legislature online portal, House Bill 1692 was pre-filed on December 23rd, poising it to be considered during the 2022 legislative session. Said bill is sponsored by Democrat Representatives David Hackney and, most notably, 44-year-old Tarra Simmons, who’d previously been sentenced to 30 months in prison in 2011 for drug and theft convictions.

After Simmons served her time in prison, she attended law school, worked at an NPO for a couple of years, and then ran and got elected to the state legislature back in 2020. Rep. Simmons is unsurprisingly an advocate for criminal justice reform, specifically the soft-on-crime version of said activism.

And that soft-on-crime approach really shows itself with her sponsored bill, HB 1692.

https://twitter.com/BrandiKruse/status/1474472288716165120

According to the opening of the bill text, the proposed legislation aims to reduce the sentencing for murderers who killed their victim(s) during a drive-by shooting, claiming that doing so would help promote “racial equity.”

“AN ACT Relating to promoting racial equity in the criminal legal system by eliminating drive-by shooting as a basis for elevating murder in the first degree to aggravated murder in the first degree,” the bill states, “amending RCW 10.95.020 and 10.95.020; creating a new section; providing an effective date; and providing an expiration date.”

It’s frankly unclear how Rep. Simmons arrived at the notion that lowering the sentence of murderers committed via drive-by shootings would somehow promote “racial equity,” that is, unless she’s tacitly implying that certain racial demographics are more prone to committing drive-by shootings.

But the rationale for treating drive-by shootings that result in death as an aggravated murder makes perfect sense, as there are no shortage of reports where drive-by shootings frequently result in innocent/unaffiliated parties being killed.

The difference between the sentencing guidelines for first-degree murder and aggravated first-degree murder are significant, as a first-degree murder conviction carries a “maximum of life without the possibility of parole,” meaning the murderer can obtain a more lenient sentence. Whereas with aggravated first-degree murder, it is a mandatory life sentence without parole.

December 27, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , . Equity, Guns, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Ontario Schools Will No Longer Require [math] Teachers to Pass Math Proficiency Test Due to ‘Racial Disparities’ [People who don’t know math will be allowed to become math teachers, because requiring math teachers to know math is “racist”]

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/12/ontario-schools-will-no-longer-require-teachers-pass-math-proficiency-test-due-racial-disparities/

Ontario Schools Will No Longer Require Teachers to Pass Math Proficiency Test Due to ‘Racial Disparities’

By Cassandra Fairbanks

December 22, 2021

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice has deemed math proficiency tests for teachers “unconstitutional” due to “racial disparities.”

The court ruled that because non-white teachers are less likely to pass the math test, it should no longer be required.

As one social media commentator aptly pointed out, Ontario teachers no longer need to pass basic math in order to teach basic math.

https://twitter.com/EsotericCD/status/1472031435393585157

The Daily Caller reports that “schools in Ontario had previously offered candidates the opportunity to retake the test multiple times, but the court ruled that ‘racialized teacher candidates who have been disproportionately unsuccessful on the MPT should not have to keep retaking the test.’”

Obviously, as was pointed out in court, students learn more from teachers who understand the subject that they are teaching. However, the court ruled that it was more important to have diversity in the classroom.

“Racialized students benefit from being taught by racialized teachers,” the court decision stated. “The deleterious effects of the MPT on racialized teacher candidates who have been unsuccessful in the test outweighs its benefits.”

According to the Ottawa Citizen, “the test has 50 mathematics content questions and 21 questions about math pedagogy. The applicant has to score 70 per cent on both parts to pass.”

“Racialized teacher candidates have gone through an education system in which they have suffered discrimination and disadvantage,” the decision said. “The candidates are then required to take ‘high stakes’ standardized tests which the available data shows they are more likely to fail.”

December 22, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , . Dumbing down, Equity, Math, Racism, Social justice warriors, War against achievement. 1 comment.

“Equity” is being cited as a reason to ban white people from getting the vaccine for COVID-19

https://www.yahoo.com/news/white-hampshire-resident-files-discrimination-175506783.html

White New Hampshire Resident Files Discrimination Suit after Being Denied COVID Shot over Race

By Brittany Bernstein

September 28, 2021

A white New Hampshire resident who was refused a COVID-19 vaccine by the state earlier this year because he is not a person of color and thus did not meet its “equity” requirements has filed a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Ethics and Public Policy Center (EPPC) and Boyden Gray & Associates filed the complaint on Tuesday on behalf of the unnamed 28-year-old man, who was unable to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in April despite having diabetes and therefore being at “elevated medical risk to COVID-19,” according to the complaint.

When the man called the Public Health Council of the Upper Valley in Lebanon, N.H. to schedule a shot, he was informed that they were “only serving people of color” at that time, in line with the state’s equitable vaccine distribution policies.

Meanwhile, the complaint says appointments at a vaccination clinic held by the Public Health Council were reserved for people who identify as “Black, Indigenous or people of color,” regardless of whether those individuals were at an elevated risk for severe COVID-19. The Dartmouth college newspaper reported that the clinic provided vaccinations to young Asian college students despite denying vaccination to those at high risk.

“No one seeking medical care should ever be sent to the back of the line because of their race, but that is exactly what the state of New Hampshire did with COVID-19 vaccinations. HHS must investigate and hold New Hampshire accountable for its blatantly illegal discrimination,” said Rachel Morrison, an attorney and policy analyst for EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project.

The complaint notes that the state has received “substantial funds” from the federal government, including over $500 million from HHS to administer its health programs and $43 million to support vaccination specifically.

“Using these funds in a discriminatory manner is a violation of federal law, as New Hampshire is well aware,” the complaint reads. “The state’s official COVID-19 resource website linked to HHS’s March 2020 Bulletin which states that civil rights laws are not suspended during the pandemic and that ‘our civil rights laws protect the equal dignity of every human life.’”

It notes that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act prohibit racial discrimination in HHS-funded programs and argues that HHS’s Office for Civil Rights has a responsibility to investigate the complaint.

The complaint asks the Office of Civil Rights to “seek a binding voluntary resolution agreement with all the guilty parties.”

“This agreement should include appropriate remedial action, training, and ongoing monitoring of respondents by your office,” the complaint adds.

It demands that HHS stop funding the state and the public health council until it receives a written guarantee that they won’t discriminate on the basis of race.

“Although it is unclear if the state continues to discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national origin, at least as late as June 27, 2021, the state’s main COVID vaccine website continued to state that ‘appointments are limited’ and ‘dependent on [vaccine] supply,’ which left open the door to state discriminating against whites,” the complaint adds.

Attorney Michael Buschbacher said the state’s “racially discriminatory vaccination program is a disaster.”

“The health officials responsible have done grave harm both to the vulnerable people forced to wait for a life-saving vaccine because of their skin color and to the practice of medicine,” he said. “New Hampshire’s guilt is gin clear, and HHS needs to take prompt and aggressive action to ensure that such illegal discrimination never happens again.”

September 28, 2021. Tags: , , , . COVID-19, Equity, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Another school district ditches honors classes in the name of ‘equity and inclusion’

https://www.thecollegefix.com/another-school-district-ditches-honors-classes-in-the-name-of-equity-and-inclusion/

Another school district ditches honors classes in the name of ‘equity and inclusion’

By Dave Huber

June 26, 2021

Another school board has decided that honors classes will have to be done away with … in the name of “equity and inclusion.”

According to The Globe and Mail, the Vancouver School Board declared its math and science honors courses “do not comply” with the district’s goal of “ensuring that all students can participate in every aspect of the curriculum.”

The district said in a statement that its revised curriculum requires “an inclusive model of education” so “all students will be able to participate in the curriculum fulsomely.”

Yeah, I had to look that last word up too. This is what educationists do when they enact a sketchy policy — stack it with flowery lingo to make it more palatable.

Parents were angry that they were made aware of the board’s decision just last month, which was long after students had decided which secondary school to attend. As it is, only two of the district’s 18 secondary schools had even offered the advanced courses.

A spokesman for Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside said because of this “limited” number of locations, “not all students […] have an equal opportunity to enroll” in these accelerated classes. Instead, advanced students can “complete their own grade-level work […] and then work ahead into a higher grade level” (but only if there’s enough space). Or, they can apply to a “mini-school,” a “school within a school” which have specialized offerings “ranging from academics to the arts to hockey to leadership.”

The University of British Columbia’s Jennifer Katz, a Vancouver district consultant who favors abolition of fast-track courses, poo-pooed parents’ concerns about gifted students not “fitting in,” saying such a belief is “part of racism and systemic racism.”

Programs and courses such as those for honors kids are “’almost always’ made up of ‘middle- and upper-class kids whose parents have had them tutored for who knows how many years,’” Katz said. She added that teachers should be teaching to students’ ability levels so that those “of different abilities can work on the same assignment but with more advanced inquiry for some.”

But Katz’s UBC peer Owen Lo said the move to ditch honors classes is “radical, oversimplified and irresponsible.” And here’s where he nails it:

He said teachers are currently working with students from a variety of racial and linguistic backgrounds, as well as with students with ADHD and autism.

“Then, all of a sudden, you’re also adding students with advanced learning needs in the classroom. It’s a very reasonable thing that a teacher will actually sacrifice first the student with advanced learning needs. … When you don’t give them enough challenged curriculum, how do they have a growth mindset? They don’t grow.”

I know exactly to what Lo is referring. Over a decade ago, Delaware had the “brilliant” idea that every public school student, regardless of academic ability, would have to take at least two consecutive years of a foreign language in order to graduate from high school. Up until this point, foreign languages were electives.

The effect of the mandate, which started in 2011, was immediate. Whereas before my classes were composed of students who had demonstrated proficiency in their English classes, now they were a mix of such kids and special education students who didn’t know a noun from a verb. Appeals for separate classes based on (English course) performance went unheeded. The response from administrators was like that of Katz’s: Teachers were expected to teach to each student’s ability.

In classes totaling more than 30 students, that is.

Before the mandate in my level-one Spanish course, I would cover subjects like stem-changing and reflexive verbs, the differences between “ser” and “estar,” and even using the past tense. By the time I retired, just five years after the state requirement, I was unable to get to any of these topics. Indeed, I had to spend a lot of time, especially at the beginning of the school year, (re)teaching the basic parts of English speech.

Contrary to the illusion that Katz and those like her believe, the reality of Vancouver/Delaware-style mandates is that high and low-ability students suffer. The former get bored from the (to them) remedial instruction, and the latter get frustrated by their inability to grasp even basic concepts.

A further reality is that teachers will cater to the latter because their grade distributions will look better. Honors students will get the good grades regardless, so teachers focus on making sure the grades of lower-ability students are acceptable to administrators.

June 26, 2021. Tags: , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Equity, Racism, Social justice warriors, War against achievement. 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, War against achievement. Leave a comment.

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, War against achievement. 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, War against achievement. 1 comment.