Archive for Education

Can Donald Win The Nomination? More Importantly, Can Any Republican Win The White House?

After just landing from a grueling four days on the left coast, I think the answers are don’t know and absolutely not.

Let me deal with question 2 first: Can any Republican win the White House? While on the left coast, I was regaled with opinions about how the VA does a poor job because they are underfunded, how protected classes need more protection, (LBGT communities and mental illness communities and women – there are jokes to be had there, BTL, have at it), how we absolutely must pay more in taxes, how changing the language from multiculturalism to something else will help conservatives understand how wrong they are, etc. And most of these conversations were forcibly overheard while waiting in group 3 to board United. My contacts were possibly crazier. Now, you may say, “Aggie, the left coast is nutty, everyone knows that.” OK, but how much of the population do they represent? Is it any different on the right coast? And given the breakdown of our legal system, how close to actual victory must they come in order to “win”?

So I am undermining the importance of this:

In ways large and small, with policy and with personality, billionaire Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is forcing his party’s establishment to confront the vast divide between party leaders and the voters who, according to nearly every poll for months, have wanted him to carry their torch to the White House.

A prevailing narrative is that Trump is leading in the polls by appealing to the far right. That’s an oversimplification. Trump is offering Republicans something no other candidate can: An insider’s knowledge of the elite combined with a mischievous determination to upend it and an unorthodox set of policy prescriptions—running the gamut from immigration to campaign finance to Social Security—that aim to achieve that goal. In this year’s contest for the Republican nomination, that platform has proven to have staying power.
“We’re all out there like little bee workers trying to get these people elected, and then nothing changes!” said Fay Schall, a 63-year-old conservative Republican from O’Brien County, Iowa. A Trump supporter, she said the real estate tycoon articulates the frustration voters feel, in part because he doesn’t worry about being politically correct. “People are tired of it,” she said. “I think that’s the nerve that Trump is hitting. Everybody is tired of being trampled on. I think that’s what’s resonating.”

Yes, true. But what happens next, after he or Carson or Fiorina or Rubio accepts the nomination, is that the media explains, patiently and repeatedly, that said Republican candidate hates women, LGBT, people of color, elderly people, sick people, near-sighted people, people who prefer cats to dogs, people who can’t stand pets, bicyclists, and pre-school tots. No decent human being would ever vote for a Republican. Health care won’t even come up this time. We have solved that pesky problem.

The Republicans will respond: False! I love my mother! I have grandchildren! I ride a bicycle! And the media will point to their anger and irrational outbursts. Democrats will give everyone a free college education and a pony!

And of course, the public is to blame for this, not really the media. We are the ones that can’t recall what happened during Benghazi, or the IRS scandals. We can’t do the basic math that explains that the median income is actually lower in real dollar terms under Obama. We don’t mind that the Middle East has devolved into gangs of head choppers, many of whom have been re-branded as refugees and reside in Europe. All we know is that the Republicans are bad people, and crazy to boot!

Once you have a poorly educated electorate, you’re screwed.

– Aggie

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Try Not to Let This Destroy Your Faith in the Nation’s Third-Largest School District

Out: Do it for the children.

In: Do it to the children.

Barbara Byrd-Bennett, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s hand-picked former schools CEO, pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday, admitting her role in a brazen kickback scheme.

Byrd-Bennett’s arrival at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse was her first public appearance in six months; in April, she had championed strong principals at a downtown event on the same day that federal subpoenas landed at Chicago Public Schools headquarters.

She’s rolling over to give up her accomplices, so they’re going easy on her: 7 1/2 years.

At least the teachers union is looking out for the kids!

Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis wants schools to teach social justice, not “consumerism,” she said in a video.

“You want to talk about organizing? You want to talk about social justice?” the Chicago union leader asked. “People always talk about how that there’s no political and values in math, that you can teach math without a place for social justice.”

“Johnny has five pencils and if he spent two cents for the red pencils and eight cents for the green pencils, and he has 47 cents, how many pencils can he buy? We’ve all seen that, right?” Lewis said. ”That’s a very political statement, because it’s all about consumerism — it’s about buying stuff, right?”

Instead, Lewis prefers the approach of one progressive teacher who uses union-approved rhetoric in math problems, instead of the damaging consumerism of two cent pencils.

“Bob Peterson tells them about Jose working in a factory making piecemeal clothes. He uses the same numbers and gets the same answer,” Lewis explained. “Math is political, too.”

“Jameer has two clips holding 17 rounds apiece. His gang boss, Fizzy C, tells him to empty his gun into members of the rival gang, the South Side Slix. Assuming 2.7 bullets per Slix gangbanger, how many hoods can Jameer cap, and how many bullets will be left over, if any?”

No wonder Chicago is a crime-ridden mess. The adult criminals have already stolen all the money. Kids there don’t have a chance.

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Does Our Children Learn?

We don’t write about education choice and charter schools often enough—but enough, I suppose, to be on the email list of an advocacy group.

I expect I’ll be hearing from them about this soon:

Over the past three school years, I unintentionally participated in a tragic educational case study on the west side of Harlem. I worked in the same building as the Wadleigh Secondary School, at which 0% of students in grades six through eight met state standards in math or English. That isn’t a typo: Not a single one of the 33 students passed either exam, though many of the questions are as straightforward as “What is 15% of 60?”

Two floors above Wadleigh, I taught math at Success Academy Harlem West, a public charter school. The students there eat in the same cafeteria, exercise in the same gym and enjoy recess in the same courtyard. They also live on the same blocks and face many of the same challenges. The poverty rate at Wadleigh is 72%; at Harlem West, it is 60%. At both schools, more than 95% of students are black or Hispanic. About the only difference is that families at Harlem West won an admissions lottery.

Yet for our students, the academic year ended in triumph: 96% were proficient in math—compared with 35% citywide—and 80% scored at the advanced level. In reading and writing, 75% of our students were proficient, compared with 30% citywide.

Do the Wadleigh kids at least get to beat up the Harlem West kids? Seems only fair.

I don’t think the proof could be any more solid if the administrators wore white lab coats and wore stethoscopes. They have a control group in the Wadleigh kids: poor, black, and left to the mercilessness of the criminally woeful New York City public school system. Then you have the “clinical trial” of the Harlem West kids: poor, black, and rock stars.

If you are poor and black on the Democrat plantation of New York City, you’re lucky to be born at all (the genocide of black baby abortion being what it is). And even then, your problems are only beginning.

Last month, instead of acknowledging the astounding lack of learning at schools such as Wadleigh, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed a hodgepodge of feel-good programs. He will create new Advanced Placement courses that students from Wadleigh won’t be prepared to take. He will enlist “literacy specialists” to try to counter chaotic classrooms and poor instruction. In short, he will do nothing effective.

I often think about those Wadleigh students, navigating unruly hallways and classrooms. They hold the same promise as my students, but of those who move on to high school, fewer than 10% graduate with the skills to complete college-level work. What if those Wadleigh students had attended the public school only two floors above them?

New York City has the resources to create world-class public schools for all students. The Big Apple spends $20,331 per pupil. That ranks No. 2 among the 100 largest school districts in the U.S., according to 2012-13 census data. The problem is that in New York the needs of adults supersede those of children. My colleagues finished summer vacation on Aug. 3, underwent two weeks of professional development and welcomed back students on Aug. 17. The district’s unionized teachers were required to arrive one day before the school year began on Sept. 9.

The Obama stimulus program was blown largely on keeping unionized teachers on the payroll during municipal shortfalls. Mark Zuckerberg made the same “mistake” in 2010 (“The bulk of the funds supported consultants and the salaries and pensions of teachers and administrators…”).

For Democrats, education is not about students, least of all about poor, black students. Education is about the votes and the campaign contributions of their unionized teachers.

QED

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Detroit II

We’ve let Detroit up off the mat because, well, Detroit cried uncle. Bankruptcy has a tendency to focus the mind.

Next!

Chicago Public Schools—with 394,000 students and nearly 21,000 teachers—has closed more than half of a projected $1.1 billion shortfall through cuts, borrowing and other means, but is looking to the state to come up with the rest. The school board warns of deep cuts later this year if Illinois, which faces its own fiscal crisis, doesn’t deliver an additional $480 million in the coming months, representing roughly 8% of annual district spending.

“It is like the board is a desperate gambler at the end of their run,” said Jesse Sharkey, vice president of the Chicago Teachers Union, in a recent speech.

That’s the pot calling the kettle…b-brushed steel. Who’s the gambler is in the eye of the beholder. What has the school board and the teachers union at such odds?

Chicago’s deepening fiscal problems, driven by fast-growing pension costs and declining state aid, run largely counter to the brightening picture for districts across the country as they open their doors for a new school year.

We’re pretty consistent with our criticism: when a state-run agency serves more as a retirement fund than a service provider—Chicago schools, meet Boston public transportation—the system is out of balance. Teachers were promised lavish benefits (how lavish is in the eye of the beholder) that are now unsustainable. Is that a raw deal? Raw-ish, but nowhere near as raw as sticking the overburdened taxpayer with a bill she never signed on to.

I can’t criticize the teachers as teachers: I don’t know their talents. But I can criticize them as unhelpful partners in solving a crisis. Just as I have criticized the Boston T and the Detroit public sector unions (and the Democrat-dominated local governments) for not giving an inch. The whole idea of a pension is extinct in the private sector. If you want yours to survive, it’s going to have to shrink, like those elephants that evolved differntly on islands:

It’s called insular dwarfism:

Insular dwarfism, a form of phyletic dwarfism, is the process and condition of the reduction in size of large animals over a number of generations when their population’s range is limited to a small environment, primarily islands.

Unless you want to go the way of the dodo, teach, I suggest you be reasonable.

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Chicago Laying Off 500 Teachers!

and 1,000 support staff

Gentle Reader,
Please wipe that schadenfreude-ish smile off your face. Go back to reading Alinsky. – Aggie

It won’t be “back to school” for hundreds of Chicago teachers who are getting layoff notices this week.

The Chicago Public School system is laying off nearly 500 teachers and just over 1,000 support staff as it responds to a budget crisis it says is caused by increasing pension costs and declining state aid.

Many of the affected teachers teach at schools with declining enrollments. That’s why about 60% of the teachers who are being laid off are expected to be rehired before the start of the school year, since the district has to fill 1,450 teacher openings at other schools.

And the carnival peanut shell game that is the progressive left continues, unabated. Reading into the article, we learn that this is the smallest number of layoffs in the past five years. But I am enjoying the fact that those teachers are certainly tense and anxious. I wonder if the good citizens of Illinois will figure out a way to get their pension obligations under control?

– Aggie

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Hey, Sap! You Payed For Your Own College Education, For Your Kid’s Education, Time To Pay For My Kids!!

Suckah!

I had the opportunity to speak with a young man recently who finally, in his early 30’s, managed to pay off his student loans. He thought he was done. Not so fast:

Hillary Clinton on Monday unveiled her plan to ensure any American student can go to a public college and pay for tuition without incurring any student debt, one of the most expansive ideas so far from her campaign and one that would in effect create a new education entitlement.

“I believe one of the single biggest ways we can raise incomes is by making college affordable and available to every American,” the Democratic frontrunner wrote in a post on Medium explaining the proposal.

“Under my plan, tuition will be affordable for every family,” she added. “Students should never have to take out a loan to pay for tuition at their state’s public university.”

Clinton is proposing to send billions of dollars to states to fund their public colleges as long as they agree to a series of steps that would keep tuition low. In participating states, a student’s parents would still be required to contribute some amount of money (dependent on the family’s income) and the student would be expected to work 10 hours a week to help pay for school. Students would also pay for books, housing and other expenses, so Clinton’s proposal falls short of the universal “debt-free” college proposed by many liberal advocates.

Still, the rest of students’ tuition would be state-funded, thereby eliminating the need to take out loans for tuition itself. And under this system, the millions of students who receive Pell Grants could use them to offset some non-tuition expenses, so that bloc of students could graduate with little out-of-pocket college cost and no debt.

Whadya think, BTL? Will recent college grads mind having their paychecks gouged to pay for the neighbor’s kid’s education? Or are they just a selfish, greedy bunch? Are they right-wingers, no different from the mullahs in Iran?

– Aggie

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More Good News From Chicago

Classrooms will suffer, but teachers good their goodies

I don’t have a problem with the district being forced to honor their contract with the teacher’s union. I think that contracts should be honored. This includes contracts with bondholders, etc., not only with certain groups. But one wonders why the citizens of Chicago elect people who make bad deals for them again and again.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel directed Chicago Public Schools to meet Tuesday’s deadline for a $634 million contribution to Chicago’s teachers retirement fund but warned making the state-mandated payment would lead the cash-strapped district to make classroom cuts ahead of the new school year.

In the days leading up to Tuesday’s deadline, Emanuel had sought to delay the payment until August while calling for broader changes to how Chicago teacher pensions are funded. But with Springfield mired in a wide-ranging struggle between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and ruling Democratic lawmakers, there was little momentum to grant Chicago relief.

That left Emanuel with a choice: Skip the required pension payment and risk being sued by teachers and having the school district’s woeful credit rating sink further or make the payment and face a cash crunch that could lead to deep classroom cuts.

By late Tuesday, the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund announced Emanuel had decided to do the latter, confirming it received a $619 million payment that, combined with an earlier $15 million contribution, covered the full requirement.

“In Aurora, they can focus on education. In Winnetka, they can focus on education. In Chicago, because of the way the system is set up, we focus on a pension payment,” Emanuel said. “That means the resources of our teachers, principals and administrators is not about education, but they’re tied around an axle figuring out if they make the pension payment that no other part of the state is required to do.”

I kinda feel sorry for the kids, but their parents and grandparents voted for this. Parents in Aurora and Winetka voted differently. And elections have consequences.

– Aggie

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Among The Many Ways To Keep Poor People Poor…

NYC denies all new charter school applications

The state Education Department has rejected all 15 applications for new charter schools, including 12 in New York City, claiming they failed to meet academic standards.

“We always look for quality and these applications didn’t measure up,” Education Department spokesman Dennis Tompkins said Wednesday. “We invited several of the applicants to reapply in June and we gave them suggestions on how to improve their applications.”
But charter-school advocates weren’t buying it, saying the rejection of all the applicants reeked of pro-teacher-union politics.
“The timing and nature of these blanket rejections should raise serious concerns for New Yorkers,” said Jeremiah Kittredge, CEO of the pro-charter group Families for Excellent Schools.

The decision, which was made in the past week, comes at a time when Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Republican-controlled state Senate are pushing to raise the cap for charters allowed in the state from 460 to 560.

But Mayor Bill de Blasio and the teachers unions oppose charter school expansion, as does the Democrat-run state Assembly.
Under the current formula, the city is authorized to open only 25 more charters — publicly funded, privately managed schools exempt from union rules.

Some of the rejected schools for the city included the Education for Tomorrow Bronx Charter High School and the Hebrew Language Academy Charter School 2 in Brooklyn.

“The last thing parents would want to see is the politics of the moment standing in the way of opening more high-quality public charter schools for students,” Kittredge said. “Solving New York’s failing-schools crisis requires both that independent authorizers move swiftly to open strong charter schools and Albany to eliminate the charter cap.”

But the de Blasio administration insisted there’s no reason to raise the cap.
“We believe the existing cap allows for growth and innovation in the charter sector,” said Devora Kaye, spokeswoman for Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “We’re working to ensure every child has access to a strong education, regardless of the ZIP code in which they live, or whether they attend a district or charter school.”…

One of the things that I noticed when raising my kids is that you only get one shot at certain things. They are in first grade once, in high school once, etc. So, if you blow it because you decide that you want to help other people’s kids by placing your kids in the same classroom, despite the fact that it is likely that the struggling children come from inept families who don’t seem too interested in change, you are taking away your children’s opportunities for a good education. The teacher will spend an inordinate amount of time maintaining discipline in the classroom, for example. Furthermore, your own kids might very well emulate disturbing behaviors, which undeniably bring a lot of attention. So, you, the parents, might feel just ducky that you are so compassionate and caring about other people’s kids… but what about your own?

Republicans seem to get this; democrats don’t.

– Aggie

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Kirsten Powers Is On A Roll

How liberalism has ruined college

This is interesting because Ms. Powers is a democrat consultant and one of the beleaguered libs on Fox News. She has written a book on this topic and I suppose she is using every possible outlet to promote it.

This sums it up.

On today’s campuses, left-leaning administrators, professors, and students are working overtime in their campaign of silencing dissent, and their unofficial tactics of ostracizing, smearing, and humiliation are highly effective. But what is even more chilling—and more far reaching—is the official power they abuse to ensure the silencing of views they don’t like. They’ve invented a labyrinth of anti-free speech tools that include “speech codes,” “free speech zones,” censorship, investigations by campus “diversity and tolerance offices,” and denial of due process. They craft “anti-harassment policies” and “anti-violence policies” that are speech codes in disguise. According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s (FIRE) 2014 report on campus free speech, “Spotlight on Speech Codes,” close to 60 percent of the four hundred–plus colleges they surveyed, “seriously infringe upon the free speech rights of students.” Only sixteen of the schools reviewed in 2014 had no policies restricting protected speech. Their 2015 report found that of the 437 schools they surveyed, “more than 55 percent maintain severely restrictive, ‘red light’ speech codes—policies that clearly and substantially prohibit protected speech.”

There are many examples at the link, including what happened to the female president of Smith College. She had to apologize for sending an email which had as its subject: All lives matter. That is racist, you see.

As readers of this blog know, students can be expelled for speech that the Left doesn’t like, but look at what has happened to some professors:

Many of the incidents sound too absurd to be true. But true they are. Consider, for example, how Yale University put the kibosh on its Freshman Class Council’s T-shirt designed for the Yale-Harvard football game. The problem? The shirt quoted F. Scott Fitzgerald’s line from This Side of Paradise, that, “I think of all Harvard men as sissies.” The word “sissy” was deemed offensive to gay people. Or how about the Brandeis professor who was found guilty of racial harassment—with no formal hearing—for explaining, indeed criticizing, the word “wetbacks.” Simply saying the word was crime enough. Another professor, this time at the University of Central Florida, was suspended for making a joke in class equating his tough exam questions to a “killing spree.” A student reported the joke to the school’s administration. The professor promptly received a letter suspending him from teaching and banning him from campus. He was reinstated after the case went public.

Or how ’bout this?

In November 2013, more than two dozen graduate students at UCLA entered the classroom of their professor and announced a protest against a “hostile and unsafe climate for Scholars of Color.” The students had been the victims of racial “microaggression,” a term invented in the 1970s that has been recently repurposed as a silencing tactic. A common definition cited is that racial microaggressions “are brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults towards people of color.” Like all these new categories, literally anything can be a microaggression.

So what were the racial microaggressions that spawned the interruption of a class at the University of California at Los Angeles? One student alleged that when the professor changed her capitalization of the word “indigenous” to lowercase he was disrespecting her ideological point of view. Another proof point of racial animus was the professor’s insistence that the students use the Chicago Manual of Style for citation format (the protesting students preferred the less formal American Psychological Association manual). After trying to speak with one male student from his class, the kindly seventy-nine-year-old professor was accused of battery for reaching out to touch him. The professor, Val Rust, a widely respected scholar in the field of comparative education, was hung out to dry by the UCLA administration, which treated a professor’s stylistic changes to student papers as a racist attack. The school instructed Rust to stay off the Graduate School of Education and Information Services for one year. In response to the various incidents, UCLA also commissioned an “Independent Investigative Report on Acts of Bias and Discrimination Involving Faculty at the University of California, Los Angeles.” The report recommended investigations, saying that, “investigations might deter those who would engage in such conduct, even if their actions would likely not constitute a violation of university policy.”

Oh, well, this is the world that we, the Baby Boomers, created. We raised our kids to be ridiculously hyper-sensitive, and we insisted that teachers take note. We desperately wanted to be good and we defined “good” as anything that was opposed to conservative thought or policy. I am not sure why we seem to have marched in lock-step, but it is obvious that we have. The people most hurt by these decisions are the weakest people in society. We have suggested that they cannot stand up for themselves, cannot think for themselves, and cannot learn difficult material. Hey, BTL, when you think about it, all this does it to make life easier for our kids!

Don’t worry,
Be happy!

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What Is The Point Of The United States?

Why are we a country? What holds us together? Baseball? Our size and military strength? The “melting pot”? The constitution?

Perhaps, but to me, the real point of the US, the core value and strength that we gave ourselves as we formed our country, has to do with the First Amendment – freedom of speech. In Europe people were thrown in jail or murdered because they didn’t agree with the king or dictator-du-jour. Even today, most western nations have laws limiting speech. The United States tolerates tolerated all speech, even odious speech.

Christina Hoff Sommers has been speaking on college campuses for two decades challenging students to embrace what she calls “equity feminism” over “gender feminism.” In her view, the former is focused on legal equality between men and women, the latter on disempowering women by portraying them as perpetual victims of the patriarchy. [Aside: I think this is what keeps inner-city residents trapped, the portrayal of themselves as absolute, helpless victims. – Aggie]

This heretical view now requires campus security.

Prior to a mid-April lecture at Georgetown University, the American Enterprise Institute scholar was deemed a “rape apologist” by campus feminists for challenging statistics that she says overstate the rate of rape on campus. “The postings were so frantic that Georgetown sent undercover security into the audience,” Sommers told me.

An Oberlin College lecture a few days later met the same fate. The Oberlin Review published an open letter, “In Response to Christina Sommers’ Talk: A Love Letter to Ourselves” two days before Sommers’ visit. Usually people wait to offer a “response” until after an event has occurred, but not so in our Brave New World. The students wrote that Sommers’ presence on campus was “harmful,” and lamented that “her talk is happening, so let’s pull together in the face of this violence.”

In case you missed that: A differing viewpoint is an act of violence.

A sign outside the lecture read “Rape Culture Hall of Fame” with the names of past and present members of the libertarian and Republican student group that invited Sommers. The Oberlin Review reported that “activists organized a safe space … (that) was attended by approximately 35 students and one dog” as Sommers spoke.“The irony is (the complaining students) postings were so extreme that the administration provided me with security,” Sommers said.

This has been described as Liberal Fascism by conservative writers, but the author here is a liberal and a democrat consultant. She has written a new book, The Silencing, about this topic.

How quickly can fascism take over a democratic society? I’d say in less than 250 years.

– Aggie

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When “Students” Attack

I wouldn’t bother you with just any report about a mob of “students” attacking a man at a gas station, all the while flashing gang signs and recording the near-lynching on their cell phones. Been there, done that, shoplifted the t-shirt.

It’s not the crime I care about so much, but the hero and the villain of the story:

FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

FOX13 News spoke with Orrden Williams, Jr., who was attacked by the group of teens.

“I’ve never seen youth so disrespectful,” Williams said, who said he was doing the right thing by walking a woman to her car when he was attacked by a bunch of teens.

“I told them to back up and they didn’t appreciate me showing enough chivalry to help somebody,” Williams said. “I guess that ticked them off, that I was trying to show them up. I wasn’t showing them up. I was showing them right.

“The only thoughts I had was protect her, and protect my family,” Williams added. “I didn’t want to go to my car, because my family was in there, but BP locked me out.”

Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson said they are working with Memphis Police to see if they can identify any of the students on that video and they’re also increasing security around this area to try and keep their students under control.

“Obviously we’re going through the video to make sure we take appropriate action against the students,” he said. “We’re working with the police department to identify the students involved.”

Superintendent Hopson also said they are stepping up security patrol. He said this isn’t just a school issue but a community one.

“Our students are hurting,” he said. “We have this suffocating poverty here and it’s manifesting itself in just extreme violence. I would hope this is a time when our city will come together and invest in these children.”

Invest in them? I would hope they would incarcerate them. Do they look to be “suffocated” by poverty? Those recording the mauling on their cell phones, do they look hungry to you? Are they wearing rags? Did you mistake this video for a Save the Children public service announcement?

The superintendent got one thing partly right: his students are hurting—other people. He is the villain of this story (in another account, the school said their responsibility ended after school hours and off school grounds). Orrden Williams, Jr. is the hero. He’s the only one in their lives, apparently, who cared enough to “show them right”. This is how they repaid him.

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Losing Our Country, One Child At A Time

Ever wonder how the schools indoctrinate students to follow the party line?

Your tax dollars at work:

Social Justice Education is an interdisciplinary program of study with a focus on social diversity and social justice education particularly as they apply to formal educational systems, kindergarten through higher education. The master’s program of study prepares reflexive practitioners [read knee-jerk – Aggie] in Social Justice Education who are capable of applying social justice education practices in a variety of educational settings. The doctoral program of study prepares educators, counselors and school leaders to study, interrogate, and further theorize conceptual, empirical and applied knowledge in Social Justice Education. Our goals are to generate knowledge about social justice educational theory and practice and to apply new knowledge to the design, delivery and evaluation of effective social justice educational practices in a variety of educational settings.

Social Justice Education’s central focus is the preparation of professional educators, counselors, and change agents who are able to understand and work effectively with social justice issues in formal and non-formal educational settings. It provides graduate degree programs of study for educational professionals who teach and practice at all levels of the educational system, kindergarten through college as well as in after-school programs, youth development programs and other community based organizations working with students of all ages. We hope to attract educational professionals whose primary responsibilities include teaching, school guidance and counseling, the supervision or professional development of teachers, school counselors, school psychologists, education administrators, student affairs programmers, special educators or college residential educators. [The supervisory language is important; it means you will lose your job if you don’t conform – Aggie]

SOCIAL JUSTICE EDUCATION
BODIES OF KNOWLEDGE AND PRACTICE

The field of Social Justice Education evolved in part from struggles of various civil right movements over the past fifty years within which concepts such as social justice, liberation and oppression are central categories for analyzing, investigating, evaluating and transforming interlocking systems of discriminatory institutional structures and cultural practices and social behavior (Adams, Bell & Griffin, 2007.) Students in social justice education study the inequities that people experience on the basis of their social group memberships, through systems of constraint and advantage reproduced through the social processes of exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness, cultural imperialism, and violence (Young, 1990). Social justice education pays attention to the resources that individuals, families, social groups and communities bring to personal and social change and to the transformation of educational institutions and practices.
Social justice education also pays careful attention to process in educational and structural interventions and practices. This attention to process includes balancing the emotional with the cognitive; acknowledging and supporting the personal while analyzing and intervening in social systems; attending to social relations within and among families, schools and communities; developing competencies in collaboration and interpersonal and intergroup relationships as well as education and advocacy. Social justice practitioners evaluate and acknowledge the shifting contexts of human interaction and the need for social and personal equity.
The bodies of knowledge, research and practice that inform social justice education are interdisciplinary, drawn from education; anthropology; Black and ethnic studies; cognitive developmental and social psychology; gay, lesbian bisexual, transgender and queer studies; history; literature; Judaic and Middle Eastern studies; sociology and women’s studies. It includes the following areas:

a. Theories and research on socialization that inform the development of social identity and social group affiliations within families, schools, communities and other social institutions;

b. The formation, maintenance, and interaction among in-groups and out-groups, and interventions that foster positive inter-group relations;

c. Prejudice and discrimination, the dynamics of power and privilege, and intersecting systems of oppression;

d. Theories and practices of social change; resistance and empowerment; liberation and social justice movements.

e. Socio-cultural and historical contexts for, and dynamics within and among the specific manifestations of oppression (adultism, religious oppression, ableism, classism, ethnocentrism, heterosexism, racism, sexism, transgender oppression) in educational and other social systems;

f. socio-cultural and historical contexts for the Civil Rights Movement and other social liberation movements that found inspiration in it (such as the women’s liberation movement, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender rights movements, the disability rights movement, and liberation movements for communities of color);

g. The interaction of students and families within multicultural schools and communities;

h. Models for designing, delivering and evaluating curriculum-based social justice education;

I. Models for designing, delivering and evaluating system-based social justice interventions within or among schools, school systems, youth serving organizations and communities

j. Social justice intervention strategies methods such as critical pedagogy, anti-bias education, popular education, youth empowerment, dialogue across differences, participatory action research, alliance building, collaboration, or advocacy.

Got it? That comes from UMass, but I bet if you check, you’ll find something similar in your university system. And a lot of what they are saying on paper is just fine – but the practice goes something like this: Agree with me or you’re a [racist, homophobe, sexist…] practicing white privilege. Also note the language regarding “adultism” and “youth empowerment”. There is nothing – nothing – more dangerous than a political youth movement. See Nazism if you don’t believe me.

– Aggie

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