The English Touring Opera has just fired 14 of its musicians because they are white

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/columnists/2021/09/19/sacking-white-members-english-touring-opera-shows-woke-will/

The sacking of white members of the English Touring Opera shows how woke will destroy the arts

I for one would never go to watch an orchestra just because it had been lauded for diversity

By Zoe Strimpel

September 19, 2021

As a child and teenager in Boston, USA, I played in various orchestras. I didn’t much like it, largely because I found it boring, thankless and tiring. Rehearsals were long. Sometimes I didn’t like the music that had been selected: why had the conductor chosen another obscure piece by César Franck? But one thing that I had the luxury of never having to worry about was the ethnic makeup of the players and my own fate auditioning as a young white girl. As it happened, in the youth orchestra scene back then, the top symphonies and seats were dominated by children whose parents were Russian or Chinese. This was not a source of much comment; it’s just how it was.

Since then, we have sunk into such a quagmire of identity politics that even orchestras are now selecting players not because they are the best, but because of their skin colour. The English Touring Opera (ETO) has dropped 14 white musicians in order to increase the ‘diversity’ of the company. Aged between 40 and 60, they’ve been told their contracts will not be renewed because of ‘diversity guidance’ from Arts Council England, which gives the ETO £1.78 million a year.

Arts Council England, one of the most woke funding bodies in the land, protested lamely, arguing that it never meant to get players sacked. “We are now in conversation with ETO to ensure no funding criteria have been breached,” it said. Err. Perhaps this has been a valuable wake-up call for the Arts Council: what did it expect? If you insist on exporting the warped logic of critical race theory, pressuring arts organisations to prioritise skin colour over all else, you can hardly be surprised when they respond like this. If the ETO’s policy of race-based contract non-renewal smacks of the kinds of policies my own grandparents faced in post-Nuremberg Laws Germany, then that is entirely the fault of the institutional bigwigs slurping away at the woke Kool-Aid.

The hideous optics of the ETO debacle offer a particularly stark reminder of how in the era of wokedom, the arts are doomed. Sure, the arts have a social component, but they are fundamentally rooted in creativity and talent, and they must delight, rivet or intrigue. They are not meant to be primarily didactic. I for one would never go to watch an orchestra just because it had been lauded for diversity. I would never read a book because it had been commissioned as part of a ‘diversity and inclusion programme’ and I would never admire a work of art simply because it had emerged from a person of the right colour. Yet such ideas are gaining popularity: earlier this summer, Labour MP Janet Daby, a former shadow minister for faiths, women and equalities, put to then-Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden the merits of issuing “mandatory diversity quotas” for artists that appear in publicly funded galleries like Tate Britain. Thankfully, that quota hasn’t yet been mandated, but under a different government it might well be.

If the ETO rejig seems particularly shocking, the arts have in fact been at it for ages. Back in 2018, Penguin Random House sent a stern email round to agents and employees: the new commissioning policy would have to fall into line with diversity targets, with diversity defined by sexual identity, skin colour and whether one was able-bodied or not. The “company-wide goal” was “for both our new hires and the authors we acquire to reflect UK society by 2025”. Aside from the utter madness of assuming that the percentage of people able to write excellent books should map onto the demographic makeup of British society, this dictum showed that from now on, the narrowest, most box-ticking form of ‘diversity’ – what you are rather than who you are – would determine Penguin’s contribution to literature.

The sprawling diversity and inclusion drives our funding bodies, arts organisations and publishers, who have fallen over themselves to instigate from part of a broader domain of deranged and misapplied moral virtue. One aspect of this became particularly apparent during #MeToo, when man after man found to have a polluted past was chopped from ballet companies, films and comedy careers. I can see why men who sexually molest women might be kicked out of offices. But films? Ballet shows?

A couple of years ago I did a debate at the Oxford Union, arguing that art should not be judged by the biography of the artist, because on that score, there would be no art at all from any time before about five minutes ago. But also because it’s simply wrong: it flattens creative work, with all its many and unpredictable interpretations, into something chilly, Manichean and moralistic.

We won the debate, but only just: there were many who were adamant that art was indistinguishable from the moral virtue of its creator. For today’s arts institutions, virtue and the skin colour of artists have become one and the same thing. Not only is this an immoral equation, as the ETO clearout showed with crystal clarity, but it’s a death knell for the very notion of artistic quality.

October 16, 2021. Tags: , , , , , , . Cancel culture, Dumbing down, Music, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a 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. 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. Leave a comment.

Leaked documents show Baltimore high schoolers perform math, reading at grade school level

https://foxbaltimore.com/news/project-baltimore/city-high-schoolers-performing-math-and-reading-at-elementary-level

Leaked documents show Baltimore high schoolers perform math, reading at grade school level

By Chris Papst

June 2, 2021

Baltimore (WBFF) – An alarming discovery out of Baltimore City Schools. Project Baltimore has obtained student assessment data that North Avenue does not release publicly. That data shows some students who could soon graduate, are performing at an elementary school level, academically.

Project Baltimore, over the years, has heard from many parents who say their children are being pushed through Baltimore City Schools without getting the education they need. Julie Gaskins told us back in 2018 that her seventh grader was doing math and reading at a second-grade level.

Project Baltimore also spoke with Gregory Gray, a Baltimore City Schools father, back in 2019.

“My son is really in desperate need of tutoring in math,” Gray told Project Baltimore. “And, how did my son pass if he didn’t know none of this math?”

Now, Project Baltimore has obtained student assessment scores from just one class, in one high school, that show how widespread the problem appears to be.

iReady is a system schools use to measure at which grade level a student is performing. In Baltimore City Schools, iReady assessments are given in math and reading, three times a year, to measure a student’s progress. The scores we obtained show some students are performing 10 grade levels below their age.

Fox45 News is not disclosing the school or the class to protect student identities. But we can report the iReady scores are for 11th graders in math and reading. Nine students completed the reading assessment, but only two scored at a high school level. One scored at a seventh-grade level. The other six scored at an elementary school level. In math, seven students completed the assessment. Two scored at a high school level. The rest, who are high school juniors in Baltimore City Schools, scored at an elementary level, including one student doing math at a first-grade level.

According to Education.com, a first-grade math worksheet includes simple addition and subtraction, like 2 plus 3 and 9 minus 7. First graders also do connect-the-dot puzzles where they draw lines in numerical order to create an image. The iReady assessments done by North Avenue, show that for at least one student, this is highest level of math they can do, yet that students made it to 11th grade in City Schools.

“They were passing students on who couldn’t read, who couldn’t compute,” said Carl Stokes, a former City Council member and charter school operator. “I know principals in schools who say, it happened to me, who said, ‘I can’t pass this student to the next grade. They’re not ready.’ North Avenue refused to allow us to fail the students without a fight. And we fought because we knew we would be hurting the kid.”

Stokes said at his charter school, which closed last year, about 90 percent of his incoming sixth graders, every year, were not reading or doing math at grade level. Ninety percent had iReady scores below the grade the students were in at the time.

“That’s the deal we have here. We have thousands of kids who are not getting an education, who get out of school or quit school and they have no skillset to sustain themselves. They can’t. They can’t get a decent job. They can’t live well,” said Stokes.

The iReady scores we have are for just 16 students in one class at one school. Project Baltimore has filed a public records request with City Schools for additional iReady scores, minus any personally identifying student information. We reached out to Baltimore City Schools for this story but did not receive a response.

August 13, 2021. Tags: , , , . Dumbing down, Education. 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. 3 comments.

Social justice organization asks white liberals to avoid sending their children to “any Ivy League School or US News & World Report Top 50 School so that position at that school is available for people of color”

Original: https://www.dallasjustice.org/college-pledge

Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20210725160619/https://www.dallasjustice.org/college-pledge

Dallas Justice Now

An Open Letter to Wealthy White Liberals of HPISD from DJN

To Our White Allies:

Talk is not enough. Commit yourself towards taking action and making sacrifices to correct centuries of injustice. Open up spaces for Black and LatinX communities by refusing to send your kids to Ivy League and US News & World Report Top 50 schools and encourage friends, neighbors, and family members to do the same. Imagine if those hundreds of thousands of spots at these institutions were occupied only by marginalized communities. Imagine the opportunities. We can achieve true equity within our lifetimes but only if white folks are willing to sacrifice their privileges.

The Dallas Justice NOW College Pledge:

As a white person with privilege both from my whiteness and my neighborhood I recognize the need to make sacrifices for the purpose of correcting hundreds of years of murder, slavery, discrimination, and lack of educational and economic opportunities perpetrated upon people of color. I understand that access to top schools is a key component in economic and social advancement. Therefore, I commit that my children will not apply to or attend any Ivy League School or US News & World Report Top 50 School so that position at that school is available for people of color to help correct historical wrongs.  If I do not have children under 18 then I will commit to encouraging my white privileged friends, neighbors, and family members with children to sign the pledge and holding them accountable until they do so.  

Have you been asked to take the pledge? Don’t be a racist hypocrite. Sign the pledge today!

Sincerely,

Dallas Justice NOW 

 

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

Spoiled college students with designer clothes and expensive phones say the U.S. is horrible and they are oppressed. But when asked to name a better country, they can’t.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6tBQRslg14

July 4, 2021. Tags: , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Professors declare correct grammar is racist

https://www.campusreform.org/article?id=17695

Profs declare correct grammar is racist, no such thing as standard English at symposium

Towson University hosted a virtual symposium to discuss anti-racist teaching practices.

One professor argued that “correct grammar” and “standard language” only “reinforce master narratives of English.”

By Ethan Khaldarov

June 25, 2021

Speakers at Towson University’s virtual “Antiracist Pedagogy Symposium” criticized university writing curriculum and programs for being racist and perpetuating Whiteness. 

The event occurred on June 17.

April Baker-Bell, associate Professor of Language, Literacy, and English Education at Michigan State University, argued that idea of Standard English among teachers is used to maintain racist assumptions about “Black language.”

Bell stated it is evident that “anti-Blackness that is used to diminish black language of Black students in classrooms is not separate from the rampant and deliberate anti-black racism and violence inflicted upon black people in society.”

“Teacher attitudes include assumptions that Black students are somehow linguistically, morally, and intellectually inferior because they communicate in Black language,” said Bell.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania English professor Cristina Sánchez-Martín stated that her efforts are designed to contribute to “undoing Whiteness” in university students’ writing. 

“The repeated references to ‘correct grammar’ and ‘standard language’ reinforce master narratives of English only as White and monolingualism and a deficit view of multilingualism,” said Sánchez-Martín. 

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

Bill Maher talks about college

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_x5SeXNabd8

June 28, 2021. Tags: , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education. 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. Leave a comment.

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

Thanks to Gateway Pundit for this article on it.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

California Leftists Try to Cancel Math Class

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

California Leftists Try to Cancel Math Class

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

By Williamson M. Evers

May 18, 2021

Oakland, Calif.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 9, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Robby Soave

May 4, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The New York Times wrote:

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

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

 

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

Equity = getting rid of advanced math classes

By Daniel Alman (aka Dan from Squirrel Hill)

April 23, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Sam Dorman

April 22, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Matt Lamb

March 31, 2021

Cancels entire business competition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Students drive university to respond

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Chrissy Clark

March 5, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is what they get for that money:

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

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

By Chris Papst

March 1, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Meg Woolhouse

February 26, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Most college students think America invented slavery, professor finds

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

Most college students think America invented slavery, professor finds

By Kate Hardiman

October 31, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Instead, they should be copied.

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

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

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

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

Charter Success in L.A.

School choice in South Central.

October 14, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of the country’s best public high schools plans to replace its merit based admission system with a random lottery, because the school currently has too many Asian students

My own personal preference is for 100% meritocracy every time. I want the best engineers. I want airplanes that stay up in the air. I want bridges that don’t fall down. I want surgeons who save their patients instead of killing them.

This new policy of replacing merit based admissions with a random lottery is just one more example of the dumbing down of this country’s educational system.

https://thefederalist.com/2021/02/15/prestigious-san-francisco-high-school-to-combat-racism-by-selecting-students-based-on-skin-color/

Prestigious San Francisco High School To ‘Combat Racism’ By Selecting Students Based On Skin Color

Excellence is falling prey to activists who prefer to believe that social justice means making outcomes equal for every race at any expense.
 
By Kenny Xu

February 15, 2021
 
Lowell High School in San Francisco, California, has long been known as a public school dedicated to developing excellence in its students. Its educational resources have attracted many high-achieving families to the area. Lowell’s academics rank among the best in the nation, placing in the top 1 percent of California schools in math performance while producing such distinguished alumni as Justice Stephen Breyer and three Nobel Prize laureates.

Recently, however, “equity and diversity” activists have dismantled Lowell’s admissions system, leading a cadre of school board members to vote 5-2 to eliminate the merit-based admissions. According to the latest figures, Lowell is 50 percent Asian American, 18 percent white, 12 percent Latino, and roughly 2 percent black. The activists say this proves, not that black, white, and Latino children need much better academic preparation, but that Lowell’s admissions program systemically excludes black students in favor of white and Asian applicants.

A new resolution proposed by Lowell High School board members will permanently replace the school’s admissions system based on grades and test scores with a random lottery.

Lowell High School is the only high school in the San Francisco Unified School District with a merit-based admissions system instead of a lottery for entry. Indeed, the merit-based process is critical for the school to earn its reputation as a center of excellence whose students will ultimately go on to serve their community positively.

Julian Chan, a 2010 Lowell graduate, explains, “What they are doing would mean there would be no more Lowell High School. It’d just be another San Francisco public school, and we all know Lowell is not just another San Francisco public school.”

Yet “equity” activists made the devolution of the only public high school in San Francisco with merit-based admissions requirements a major thrust of its agenda. Citing the lack of black students, the school board released a proposal on Feb. 2 entitled “In Response to Ongoing, Pervasive Systemic Racism at Lowell High School,” suggesting the school’s admissions process reinforces “segregation” of black and Latino students.

The San Francisco School Board also took lessons from antiracist lecturer Ibram X. Kendi on how Asian American dominance on standardized tests reflects “racism” against black students:

[Advocates for standardized tests] will claim white and Asian kids on average score higher on tests because they are smarter or work harder. Meaning Black and Latinx kids are not as smart or not as hard-working. Meaning white and Asian kids are superior.

Board member Allison Collins was one of the school authorities taking her cues from Kendi, muttering in one town hall meeting with defenders of the merit-based process: “I’m listening to a bunch of racists.”

This is the kind of awful logic that unfairly blames Asian Americans for playing by the rules of the game. If standardized tests are a metric for entry into an academically excellent public high school, then it is not “racist” for Asian American students to study for them to get in. On the contrary, it shows both intelligence and preparation — meritorious characteristics we need to see reflected in more American students — to perform well on a standardized test.

But the biggest reason, it seems, that the school board is acting so quickly on eliminating the merit-based admissions program to Lowell High School is because the idea of merit itself is odious to its most fervent of today’s “social justice” advocates.

“Lowell High School has often been referred to as SFUSD’s ‘elite’ ‘academic’ high school,” the board wrote, “[but] San Francisco Unified School District does not believe that any student or school is more or less ‘elite’ than any other school.”

The hard truth is, however, Lowell High School has been referred to as an elite academic high school because it is an elite academic high school. Lowell’s mission was always to train the brightest students and offer a place for gifted students to achieve their full potential in the San Francisco region.

The school’s website asserts it is “one of the highest performing public high schools in California” and a four-time National Blue-Ribbon school of excellence. Without Lowell, parents of gifted children would likely be forced to dig deep in their own pockets to send their kids to private schools that can hone and refine their abilities.

Due to the coronavirus lockdowns, Lowell High School eliminated the merit-based admissions process for one year. Tellingly, a Change.org petition of concerned families with more than 11,000 signatures, reveals that Lowell High School alumni and parents feared back in October of 2020 that “the transition will become permanent and remove one of the two remaining academic and merit-based public high schools in the city.” Sadly, it appears their apprehensions were warranted.

The school district has also aggressively moved to implement other parts of a broadly “antiracist” agenda during this time, including renaming San Francisco Schools (including a school named after Abraham Lincoln) and adopting “ethnic studies” curricula in all of its high schools focusing on “African American Studies,” “Latino American Studies,” and “Asian American Studies.”

Ultimately, the elimination of Lowell’s merit-based system represents, yet another victory for the “equity” advocates who use the narrative of systemic racism to tear down San Francisco’s centers of excellence in the name of diversity and desegregation. Sadly, unless more Americans stand up to the schemes of leftists, Lowell will undoubtedly not be the last bastion of distinction to be toppled.

February 15, 2021. Tags: , , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Racism, Social justice warriors. Leave a comment.

Expecting math students to get the right answer is now considered to be a form of “white supremacy”

From page 6 of this PDF:

Original: https://equitablemath.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/11/1_STRIDE1.pdf

Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20210212205034/https://equitablemath.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/11/1_STRIDE1.pdf

Deconstructing Racism in Mathematics Instruction

White supremacy culture infiltrates math classrooms in everyday teacher actions. Coupled with the beliefs that underlie these actions, they perpetuate educational harm on Black, Latinx, and multilingual students, denying them full access to the world of mathematics.The table below identifies the ways in which white supremacy shows up in math classrooms.

Dismantling white supremacy in math classrooms

We see white supremacy culture show up in the mathematics classroom even as we carry out our professional responsibilities outlined in the California Standards for the Teaching Profession (CSTP). Using CSTPas a framework, we see white supremacy culture in the mathematics classroom can show up when:

• The focus is on getting the “right” answer.

• Independent practice is valued over teamwork or collaboration.

• “Real-world math” is valued over math in the real world.

• Students are tracked (into courses/pathways and within the classroom).

• Participation structures reinforce dominant ways of being.

February 12, 2021. Tags: , , , , . Dumbing down, Education, Math, Racism, Social justice warriors. 3 comments.

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