University drops sonnets because they are ‘products of white western culture’

https://www.thecollegefix.com/university-drops-sonnets-because-they-are-products-of-white-western-culture/

University drops sonnets because they are ‘products of white western culture’

By Margaret Kelly

May 18, 2022

The form has appealed to major poets for five centuries

The University of Salford, a public university in Greater Manchester, England, removed sonnets and other “pre-established literary forms” from a creative writing course assessment, The Telegraph reported.

Course leaders of a creative writing module titled “Writing Poetry in the Twenty-First Century,” removed an exam section that required students to write the traditional forms, including sestinas and sonnets, according to the newspaper.

The sonnet, a poetic form that likely originated in Italy in the 13th century, has been taken up by writers such as Petrarch, Shakespeare and John Donne, according to Britannica.

“The sonnet is unique among poetic forms in Western literature in that it has retained its appeal for major poets for five centuries,” the encyclopedia stated.

A University of Salford slideshow shared with staff stated that teachers have “simplified the assessment offering choice to write thematically rather than to fit into pre-established literary forms…which tend to the products of white western culture,” according to documents cited by The Telegraph.

The slideshow affirmed the change as an example of best practice in “decolonising the curriculum.” The Telegraph defined “decolonising” as “a term used to describe refocusing curricula away from historically dominant Western material and viewpoints.”

Instead, the course will incorporate “inclusive criteria” that better “reflect and cater for a diverse society,” according to internal training materials review by The Telegraph. The materials also showed that the courses could be upgraded by utilizing “a choice of assessment methods” allowing students to be tested “in a way that suits them.”

British historian: assuming sonnets alienate non-white students is ‘hugely patronising’

The Telegraph quoted Oxford-trained historian Zareer Masani’s statement that the course overhaul was “outrageous.”

“It is hugely patronising to assume non-White students would be put off by Western poetic forms,” he said. “Poetic forms vary widely across the world, but good poetry is universal.”

Scott Thurston, leader of the creative writing program at Salford, said the course was “often updated to take account of new trends and development in contemporary writing,” according to The Telegraph.

Thurston said that teachers would still instruct creative writing students in traditional forms in their first year and give them exercises in writing them. However, the curriculum would also include creative experimentation with students’ “own forms.”

May 20, 2022. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Books, Cancel culture, Dumbing down, Education, Racism, Social justice warriors, War against achievement. Leave a comment.

Judge rules against school that had lowered its admissions standards in order to admit more black students

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:Bcgl11-9bNcJ:https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2022/02/25/judge-thomas-jefferson-high-admissions/+&cd=12&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Judge calls Thomas Jefferson High admissions changes illegal

The prestigious Fairfax school ‘disproportionately deprived’ Asian Americans of a level playing field, according to the ruling

By Hannah Natanson

February 25, 2022

A federal judge ruled Friday that a new admissions system for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, a prestigious magnet program in Fairfax, discriminates against Asian American applicants and must end.

U.S. District Judge Claude Hilton concluded that an effort to boost African American and Latino representation at TJ, as the school is known, constitutes an illegal act of “racial balancing.” He added that the school board’s alterations to the admissions process — including eliminating a notoriously difficult test and a $100 application fee, and choosing instead to evaluate students on “experience factors” such as socioeconomic background — took place in a rushed, sloppy and opaque manner.

Hilton wrote that “emails and text messages between Board members and high-ranking FCPS officials leave no material dispute that, at least in part, the purpose of the Board’s admissions overhaul was to change the racial makeup to TJ to the detriment of Asian-Americans.”

“The proper remedy for a legal provision enacted with discriminatory intent is invalidation,” Hilton wrote, before issuing a stark order: “Defendant Fairfax County School Board is enjoined from further use or enforcement of” its revised admissions system.

An attorney for Fairfax County Public Schools, John Foster, said Friday that he believes “the ruling is not supported by law.” He said Fairfax “will consider asking a federal appeals court to review the decision.”

Foster said officials were studying what the ruling will mean for how the school conducts admissions for the next cycle of TJ applicants, those destined for the Class of 2026.

The plaintiff, the Coalition for TJ — a group of TJ parents, students and alumni that formed to oppose the admissions changes — celebrated Friday afternoon. Asra Nomani, who is co-founder of the coalition and parent to a TJ student who graduated in 2021, said in a statement that Hinton’s ruling is thrilling.

“Today’s decision is a victory for all students, all families and the United States of America,” she said. “It is victory for equality under the law, merit education and the American Dream.”

The case, filed in March of last year by the Coalition for TJ, was supposed to go to trial Jan. 24. But Hilton chose to issue a ruling and avoid a trial because, he said, no facts were in dispute.

The Fairfax school board voted to revise admissions at Thomas Jefferson in 2020, a move meant to boost diversity at the school, which has long enrolled single-digit percentages of Black and Hispanic students.

The new admissions system is a “holistic review” process that, in part, judges students on four “experience factors”: their income status, their English-speaking ability, whether the applicant has a disability and whether the applicant comes from a historically underrepresented high school.

In 2021, the first year the admissions changes took effect, officials at TJ enrolled the most diverse class in recent memory. The TJ Class of 2025 includes far more Black, Hispanic and low-income students than any class in recent memory. But Asian American representation dropped from roughly 70 percent to around 50 percent of the class.

The changes were controversial from the start; they inspired two swift lawsuits. In November 2020, a group of parents sued to stop the revisions, arguing that they violated a Virginia law. That suit, filed in Fairfax County Circuit Court, is ongoing.

In March 2021, members of the Coalition for TJ — some of whom were also plaintiffs in the November lawsuit — sued in federal court over the admissions changes. They are being represented pro bono by the Pacific Legal Foundation, a California-based conservative legal group that opposes affirmative action.

The coalition claimed that the TJ admissions changes were specifically designed to drive down the number of Asian American students. As proof, the lawsuit cited presentations, documents and comments given or made by the superintendent and school board in the months leading up to the admissions changes.

Fairfax officials denied every allegation. Foster repeated those denials Friday: “The new process is blind to race, gender and national origin and gives the most talented students from every middle school a seat at TJ,” he said. “We believe that a trial would have shown that the new process meets all legal requirements.”

But in his 31-page ruling Friday, Hilton, a Ronald Reagan appointee, sided with the Coalition for TJ on almost every count.

He wrote that throughout the revision process, Fairfax school board members and the superintendent made clear that their goal was “to have TJ reflect the demographics of the surrounding area, described primarily in racial terms.” Hilton wrote that this aim amounts to “racial balancing for its own sake,” and as such is “patently unconstitutional.”

He pointed to text messages and emails exchanged between school board members and some of the highest-ranking school officials in the Fairfax district. These communications, he wrote, prove that the school system’s goal was always to decrease the percentage of Asian American students enrolled at TJ — to increase the number of Black and Hispanic students.

“The discussion of TJ admissions was infected with talk of racial balancing from its inception,” Hilton wrote.

What’s more, Hilton said, Fairfax’s use of racial data and attempt to consider the racial composition of TJ’s student body demonstrates “discriminatory intent.”

“Discriminatory intent does not require racial animus,” he wrote. “What matters it that the Board acted at least in part because of, not merely in spite of, the policy’s adverse effects upon an identifiable group … The Board’s policy was designed to increase Black and Hispanic enrollment, which would, by necessity, decrease the representation of Asian-Americans at TJ.”

He also criticized the revisions process more broadly, writing that the changes were rushed and that the decision-making process lacked transparency. School officials, he charged, did not properly engage the public.

He concluded by noting that Asian American students have been “disproportionately deprived of a level playing field” in competing for a spot at TJ.

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), who said during his campaign last year that he would work to undo the new admission system, tweeted Friday evening to praise Hinton’s ruling. He posted that “today’s decision reaffirms that TJ’s admissions should be based on merit.”

But another school advocacy group — the TJ Alumni Action Group, which supports the admissions changes — criticized Hilton’s ruling Friday. In a statement, the group said “this decision will make TJ less accessible once again for underrepresented students, including Asian American students who are low-income or English Language Learners.”

April 21, 2022. Tags: , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Racism, Social justice warriors, War against achievement. 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.

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.

Racists at this Minnesota middle school are dumbing down the academic standards for black students

https://www.foxnews.com/us/untraditional-grading-scale-implemented-at-minnesota-middle-school

Minnesota middle school will eliminate ‘F’s to combat ‘systemic racism’

The system, announced during the 2021-22 school year, does not include 0-49.9 percentiles for students

By Pilar Arias

October 1, 2021

A YouTube video posted by Sunrise Park Middle School in White Bear Lake, Minnesota, details a new grading scale that lacks the letter “F.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9LYheOKda0

The system, announced during the 2021-22 school year, does not include 0-49.9 percentiles for students.

“Our whole intent is to ensure that grades focus on the process of learning,” Principal Christina Pierre said in the video. “Therefore, grades will not include behaviors, attitude, tardiness to class, whether the assignment was turned in late or on time. There’s other ways that we can communicate those things to parents.”

Associate Principal Norman Bell went on to elaborate that students are encouraged to retake/revise tests, quizzes, papers, projects and have a 10-day window to do so from the date the grade is posted.

Sunrise Park Middle School serves students in grades sixth through eighth in the White Bear Lake Area Schools, ISD 624. It is located in a suburb of St. Paul. 

Fox News reached out to the district to see if the grading scale would be implemented at middle schools district wide, which only includes one additional campus, but has yet to hear back.

The district’s superintendent, Wayne Kazmierczak, was named Minnesota Association of School Administrators 2021 Superintendent of the Year.

The school website discussing the award details how the district conducted an “equity audit,” which showed grading disparities among students of color.  

“Grading can be one of the largest areas in which systemic racism and inequities are perpetuated. Dr. Kazmierczak and WBLAS believe grades should be a measure of what a student knows and has mastered in a given course. Grading should not be a behavior punishment and should not be a measure of how well a student can survive stress at home,” the website reads. 

October 1, 2021. Tags: , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Racism, Social justice warriors, War against achievement. Leave a comment.

Racist UCLA wants lower academic standards for black students. This professor had the courage to oppose this racist policy. UCLA fired him for it.

https://justthenews.com/government/courts-law/professor-removed-refusal-grade-black-students-easier-after-george-floyd

Professor removed after refusal to grade black students on a curve sues UCLA

Gordon Klein claims he lost $10 million consulting business after UCLA said he violated its “core values.”

By Greg Piper

September 29, 2021

A lecturer removed from the classroom after refusing to grade on a racial curve is now suing UCLA and his dean for costing him at least $500,000 in consulting contracts in just the past year — and an estimated $10 million long term.

Gordon Klein also accused the public university, where he’s taught accounting since 1981, of retaliation by halting his long string of merit-pay increases after his email response to a student went viral.

It has ignored his requests for security escorts in light of “serious physical threats,” including anti-Semitic death threats he reported as recently as March, Klein alleges. He said a psychiatrist diagnosed him with PTSD last summer. 

UCLA and its Anderson School of Management engaged in a “disingenuous publicity stunt to promote that it was at the forefront of rooting out racism” and to chill the speech of Klein and other faculty, the state lawsuit alleges. 

Klein claims breach of contract, violation of privacy, retaliation and “negligent interference with prospective economic advantage,” and is seeking both compensatory and punitive damages. 

Student activists had been threatening harassment against faculty in multiple UCLA schools if they didn’t offer black students preferential treatment, including “no-harm” final exams, following the death of George Floyd in May 2020.

(more…)

October 1, 2021. Tags: , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Racism, Social justice warriors, War against achievement. Leave a comment.

Oregon Democratic governor Kate Brown signs bill to end reading and math proficiency requirements for high school graduation. Her spokesman, Charles Boyle, said this will help “Black, Latino, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Tribal, and students of color.”

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

August 11, 2021

Oregon’s Democratic governor, Kate Brown, just signed a bill that eliminates the reading and math proficiency requirements for high school graduation in Oregon’s government-run schools.

Brown’s spokesman, Charles Boyle, said this will help “Black, Latino, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Tribal, and students of color.”

Of course I totally disagree with Boyle. This will not help those students. On the contrary, it will hurt them.

I support high academic standards for students of all races and ethnicities. I hope the parents in Oregon will remove their children from these abominable, dumbed down government-run schools, and send their children to private schools. Not all private schools are expensive. Montessori schools, Marva Collins schools, and Catholic schools have a long term, proven track record of providing an excellent education to minority students, and they do so at a dollar cost that is far less, per student, than what the government-run schools spend on their dumbed down education.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/oregon-bill-ending-reading-and-arithmetic-requirements-before-graduation

Oregon governor signs bill ending reading and math proficiency requirements for graduation

By Kaelan Deese

August 10, 2021

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown privately signed a bill last month ending the requirement for high school students to prove proficiency in reading, writing, and arithmetic before graduation.

Brown, a Democrat, did not hold a public signing or issue a press release regarding the passing of Senate Bill 744 on July 14, and the measure, which was approved by lawmakers in June, was not added into the state’s legislative database until more than two weeks later on July 29, an unusually quiet approach to enacting legislation, according to the Oregonian.

Secretary of the Senate Lori Brocker’s office is responsible for updating the legislative database, and a staffer tasked with dealing with the governor’s office was experiencing medical issues during the 15-day time frame it took the database to be updated with the recently signed law, Brocker said.

SB 744 gives us an opportunity to review our graduation requirements and make sure our assessments can truly assess all students’ learning,” Charles Boyle, a spokesman for the governor, said in an email to the Washington Examiner. “In the meantime, it gives Oregon students and the education community a chance to regroup after a year and a half of disruption caused by the pandemic.”

The bill, which suspends the proficiency requirements for students for three years, has attracted controversy for at least temporarily suspending academic standards amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Backers argued the existing proficiency levels for math and reading presented an unfair challenge for students who do not test well, and Boyle said the new standards for graduation would aid Oregon’s “Black, Latino, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Tribal, and students of color.”

The requirement for students to demonstrate proficiency in essential subjects on a freshman to sophomore skill level in order to graduate was terminated at the start of the pandemic as part of Brown’s Stay Home, Save Lives order in March 2020.

Democrats largely backed the executive order and argued in favor of SB 744’s proposed expansion, saying the existing educational proficiency standards were flawed.

“The testing that we’ve been doing in the past doesn’t tell us what we want to know,” Democratic Sen. Lew Frederick told a local ABC affiliate in June. “We have been relying on tests that have been, frankly, very flawed and relying too much on them so that we aren’t really helping the students or the teachers or the community.”

Supporters of the measure said the state needed to pause the academic requirements, which had been in place since 2009, so lawmakers could reevaluate which standards should be updated, and recommendations for new graduation standards are due to the Legislature and Oregon Board of Education by September 2022, the Oregonian added in its report.

Republicans criticized the proposal for lowering academic standards.

“I worry that by adopting this bill, we’re giving up on our kids,” House Republican Leader Christine Drazan said on June 14.

Still, the measure received some bipartisan support, with state Rep. Gordon Smith, a Republican, voting in favor of passage. The state House passed the bill 38-18 on June 14, and the state Senate voted 16-13 in favor of the measure on June 16.

While some lawmakers argued against standardized testing for skill evaluation, the state of Oregon does not list any particular test as a requirement for earning a diploma, with the Department of Education saying only that “students will need to successfully complete the credit requirements, demonstrate proficiency in the Essential Skills, and meet the personalized learning requirements.”

“Senate Bill 744 does not remove Oregon’s graduation requirements, and it certainly does not remove any requirements that Oregon students learn essential skills,” Boyle said, adding it is “misleading” to conflate the subjects of standardized testing with graduation requirements.

The Washington Examiner contacted the Department of Education but did not immediately receive a response.

August 11, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Racism, Social justice warriors, War against achievement. 3 comments.

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.

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, 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.

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, War against achievement. Leave a comment.

The Maduro diet: How most Venezuelans lost an average of 43 pounds in two years

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

July 15, 2020

In May 2017, the Washington Post reported:

In a recent survey of 6,500 Venezuelan families by the country’s leading universities, three-quarters of adults said they lost weight in 2016 — an average of 19 pounds… a level of hunger almost unheard-of outside war zones or areas ravaged by hurricane, drought or plague.

In February 2018, Reuters reported:

Venezuelans reported losing on average 11 kilograms (24 lbs) in body weight last year… according to a new university study…

That’s 43 pounds in two years.

Before I explain how this came to happen, I want to start out by explaining what did not cause this to happen.
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July 15, 2020. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Communism, Economics, Food, Military, Police state, Politics, Social justice warriors, Venezuela, War against achievement. Leave a comment.

The Maduro diet: How most Venezuelans lost an average of 19 pounds in 2016, plus another 24 pounds in 2017

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March 10, 2018. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Communism, Economics, Food, Military, Police state, Politics, Social justice warriors, Venezuela, War against achievement. 2 comments.

Here’s how most Venezuelans lost an average of 43 pounds in two years

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February 23, 2018. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Communism, Economics, Food, Military, Police state, Politics, Social justice warriors, Venezuela, War against achievement. Leave a comment.

New York state ends literacy test for prospective teachers because too many blacks and Hispanics failed. I wonder if they will extend this to other areas.

The New York Times recently reported:

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.

And there you have it.

The radical left thinks that racial diversity is more important than competence.

I wonder if they will be extending this kind of insanity to other professions, such as to medical doctors who perform surgery to save people’s lives, or to engineers who design bridges that are safe and which are able support the weight of all the cars, trucks, and buses that drive across them, or to auto mechanics who fix the brakes on people’s cars so they don’t crash and die.

The New York Times once reported:

The rate of AIDS among black women is 27 times the rate among white women.

Based on the same logic, the test which detects HIV antibodies in the bloodstream is also racist, and therefore, should also be eliminated.

 

March 15, 2017. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Political correctness, Politics, Racism, Social justice warriors, War against achievement. 2 comments.

Here’s how most Venezuelans lost an average of 19 pounds in 2016, and how to make sure it doesn’t happen again in 2017

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February 21, 2017. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Communism, Economics, Food, Military, Police state, Politics, Social justice warriors, Venezuela, War against achievement. 4 comments.

Social justice warriors criticize ballet dancing because “the body types of most ballet dancers do not adequately represent those of most Canadians”

In 1961, Kurt Vonnegut published a science fiction short story called Harrison Bergeron, which was about a future society where there were laws to enforce equality. As one example, professional ballet dancers who had practiced the art for all of their lives were required to wear heavy weights on their bodies so they would not be any better at ballet dancing than the average person who had never engaged in ballet dancing.
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January 18, 2017. Tags: , , , , , . Art and sculpture, Social justice warriors, War against achievement. 4 comments.

Girls basketball team gets booted from league for being too good

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/01/24/girls-basketball-team-gets-booted-from-league-for-being-too-good.html?intcmp=hpbt4

Girls basketball team gets booted from league for being too good

January 24, 2016

A Minnesota youth basketball team has been ejected from a league for being too good and now the coach, parents and players are crying foul.

The Rogers Area Youth Basketball Association girls high school team was forced to the sidelines by the Northwest Suburban Basketball League — and it’s all because the team is 3-0, Fox 9 reported Saturday.

“We found out Friday at lunchtime that we’re not going to be allowed because according to the league our girls were too talented,” coach Jason Hanauska told the station.

RAYBA sent parents a letter that said the main reason for the league’s decision was because other teams in the league “do not want to play RAYBA due to the skill level.”

“This is absurd,” parent Sherri Palmgren told the station. “Do we take the (NFL’s) Patriots or Cardinals, who are going to the championship game, and kick them to the curb because they’re too good?”

The league ejected RAYBA just ahead of a showcase tournament this weekend, according to Fox 9.

“Are we supposed to play worse just to make them happy?” team member Tessa McCarthy told the station.

Hanauska is slated to meet with the league’s board Monday.

 

January 25, 2016. Tags: , , , , , , , . Political correctness, Sexism, Sports, War against achievement. 2 comments.

Obama orders high school to undo improvements that parents made to bleachers

Uh uh. Too many parents decided to do something to improve the bleachers at their children’s school. Better cancel the improvements, and bring things back to the lowest common denominator. Who needs improvements anyway?

The Daily Caller Reports:

Equality! DOJ says boys’ baseball field is nicer than girls’ field, must die

The U.S. Department of Justice determined that a Michigan high school broke federal civil rights law by allowing its boys’ baseball team to fix up its athletic field, making it nicer than the field belonging to the girls’ softball team–even though the improvements were paid for privately.

To avoid a fine, Plymouth Canton Community Schools had no choice but to take down the new bleachers and scoreboard, which had been paid for through a private fundraising drive.

Six years ago, parents complained that the seating at boys’ baseball games was inadequate.

“It’s hard to watch the game through the black chain link face, so we created our seating deck to sit above,” said parent Dan Gilbert in an interview with FOX 2 news.

Gilbert and other parents installed and paid for the new seats themselves. They were put in years ago. The parents also bought a new scoreboard.

March 28, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , . Barack Obama, Education, Political correctness, Politics, Sexism, Sports, War against achievement. 10 comments.

New York City public school cancels gifted program because too many white students were succeeding

Uh oh. Too many white students are succeeding. That can’t be tolerated. Better cancel the gifted program, and bring these students down to the lowest common denominator. Who needs doctors, scientists, and engineers anyway?

The Washington Times reports:

NYC school cuts popular gifted program over lack of diversity

A popular gifted-student program at a New York City elementary school is getting the ax after school officials decided it lacked diversity.

PS 139 Principal Mary McDonald told parents in a letter Jan. 24 that Students of Academic Rigor, or SOAR, would no longer accept applications for incoming kindergartners, the New York Daily Newsreported.

“Our Kindergarten classes will be heterogeneously grouped to reflect the diversity of our student body and the community we live in,” Miss McDonald said in the letter posted on Flickr.com.

At least one parent described SOAR as largely white, while others disagreed, the report said.

One mother conceded the program did have a lot of white students, but worried gifted students now won’t be challenged enough.

“Where are they going to put the higher-level students? Sometimes, there are different levels, and teachers can’t handle all the levels in one class,” she told the Daily News.

In a follow-up letter sent to parents Monday, Miss McDonald wrote: “At PS 193, we believe that all children can learn and achieve high standards. We also know that we want all children at PS 193 to have equal access to high quality, challenging curriculum, and to have ample opportunities to master complex material and build academic and personal self-confidence. We also want our classes to reflect the diversity of our community. We believe we can have both: classrooms characterized by rigor and diversity.”

February 1, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Education, Political correctness, Politics, Racism, War against achievement. 4 comments.

Commander-in-Chief Obama allows lower military standards so unqualified women can serve in combat

NPR reports:
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December 27, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Barack Obama, Military, Politics, Sexism, War against achievement. 5 comments.

French politicians think Amazon, Google, and Facebook were created by government bureaucrats

When it comes to successful American internet companies such as Google, Amazon, and Facebook, the French government wants the European Union to  “level the playing field,” and thinks that government regulation is needed to “allow the emergence of alternatives in Europe to U.S. Web giants.”

What idiocy.

American internet companies did not become successful due to an “uneven playing field,” or because of U.S. regulations that “allowed the emergence” of successful internet companies. Instead, American internet companies became successful because they created great websites that gave their customers what the customers wanted.

All the regulations in the world won’t give France a single successful internet company. Successful internet companies are created by entrepreneurs and programmers, not by government bureaucrats.

Reuters reports:

France calls for EU to regulate Web giants to counter dominance

France is pushing for the European Union to regulate global internet companies like Google, Amazon.com, and Facebook more aggressively, to counter their growing dominance over online commerce and services.

In an interview published by Liberation newspaper on Thursday, France’s minister for the digital economy, Fleur Pellerin, said Europe needed new regulatory powers to intervene much earlier, to level the playing field in the internet economy and allow the emergence of alternatives in Europe to U.S. Web giants.

She said Europe needed to be able to act quickly, as soon as problems are identified, rather than getting tied up in lengthy and costly disputes that did nothing to help consumers.

“The current tools of competition law are totally unsuited to the fast-changing world of the Internet,” Pellerin said in the interview conducted in French. “To get out of this impasse, Europe needs a regulatory authority to act on an ex-ante basis, as soon as conflicts and abuse emerge on the part of internet platforms.”

September 20, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Police state, Politics, Technology, War against achievement. 1 comment.

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