It is now clear why the New York Department of Education has been dodging requests by concerned citizens who have been trying to determine what type of institution the proposed Khalil Gibran International Academy will be. Charges leveled against KGIA by these writers - that it will in essence function as a madrassah, a center for indoctrination not education - are proven by the school's own executive summary [Access KGIA Executive Summary Here], a document recently released under threat of a lawsuit by the Stop The Madrassah Coalition.
The summary is actually a manual for creating an Islamist vocational school, one in which every activity is planned around creating social activists with an Arab supremacist mindset, in the mold of KGIA's activist/principal Dhabah Almontaser. Despite the New York Dept. of Education Chancellor's assertions to the contrary, KGIA will even bow to shari'a in its cafeteria, where halal food will be served. This is a clear incursion of Islamic religious principles into the public sector, a reason recently cited by Mr. Klein as justification for shutting the institution down.
With a pedagogy wrapped around social activism, the student will be strongly urged to get involved with the surrounding Arab community, within which a radical Islamist sentiment figures prominently. The executive summary is open about how KGIA will function as a prep school for social activists, outlining a mythical day at the institution where the, "goal is to share with the rest of the freshman class their own collaborative experiences and reflect upon the lessons they've learned from them utilizing the following quote."
"Genuine collaboration is a coming together of people to create something that would have been impossible to make alone. A dialogue, a communication, a connection that transforms the participants can occur. Deep collaboration compels us to see ourselves through others. Truly collaborative works are commitments in time and space, cause and effect at once, even a form of love." - Tom Rollins - social activist [source page 16-17 executive summary]
Actually the quote is from Tim not Tom Rollins [to whom Almontaser mistakenly made the attribution] he is indeed a social activist, he is also a public school teacher who operates a group call KOS [chaos] which preaches a radical, art based anti-American message.
"Tim Rollins wrote a few years ago that he used the profession of schoolteacher as a cover..." [source http://shs.westport.k12.ct.us/jwb/Collab/KOS/Rollins.htm#background]
In that role Rollins' approach perfectly coincides with that of KGIA, which is also cover, a front operation.
One of Rollins murals is called "Amerika - for the people of Bathgate," a nightmarish Guernica-like work of art that draws its primary inspiration from Kafka's novel "Amerika" in which the United States is portrayed as a land of broken dreams and empty promises. Spelling America with a "k" is a predilection of modern extreme leftists who believe that employing the German spelling of the word equates the U.S. with Nazi Germany.
According to the executive summary this brand of social activism will not only be encouraged it will be a requirement starting with the sixth grade - "A minimum of 40 hours a year" - must devoted to such activities as "Town Meeting Coordination." Town meetings being typical settings for Brooklyn's Islamists to allege that America is bigoted and that Muslim civil rights are routinely and intentionally abridged.
As detailed on page 21 of the KGIA blueprint, another area of agenda based education, social responsibility, will be taught by the notorious Educators for Social Responsibility, a group with clear Marxist leanings.
In a column by Sol Stern a City Journal commentator on educational issues, he noted about one of the prime movers in the Educators for Social Responsibility movement, Seth Gutstein, "on the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, he [Gutstein] was able to convince his seventh-grade math class that the U.S. was wrong to go to war against the Taliban in Afghanistan. "I told students that none of the hijackers were thought to be Afghan," Gutstein writes. He also told them that he would not "fight against Iraq or Afghanistan...because I did not believe in going to war for oil, power, and control." [source http://www.city-journal.org/html/eon2007-03-19ss.html]
The "Human Rights" section will be co-taught by an "Arab-American lawyer," unnamed but consider that the American Muslim Association of Lawyers [AMAL] will offering internships to KGIA students. AMAL is the acronym for the American Muslim Association of Lawyers.
Omar Mohammedi owns the AMAL domain - www.theamal.org - indicating an extremely close relationship between Mohammedi and AMAL [Otmlaw.com is Mohammedi's website].
More importantly Omar Mohammedi is the president of the New York chapter of CAIR [source http://www.cair-net.org/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=2304&theType=NR]. CAIR is the Council on American Islamic Relations, a Saudi funded, Hamas front group which was recently named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas funding prosecution. Ghassan Elashi, the primary defendant in this case founded the Texas chapter of CAIR and was previously convicted and sentenced in the Infocom terror fundraising case. Other former CAIR members have been convicted of terror related offenses and one, still very active in the organization, was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing plot.
Bassem Khafagi - former director of Community Relation for CAIR, plead guilty to bank and visa and has been deported to Egypt. According to Fox News, "The FBI said Khafagi is a founding member of the Islamic Assembly of North America, a charity that purports to promote Islam...Federal investigators said Islamic Assembly has funneled money to activities supporting terrorism and has published material advocating suicide attacks on the United States.
Randall Todd "Ismail" Royer - a former communications & civil rights specialist for CAIR, according to AP "Royer...admitted helping members of the conspiracy join the militant Pakistani group Lashkar-e-Taiba in the days after the Sept. 11 attacks. He pleaded guilty to the use of a firearm in a crime of violence and aiding and abetting the carrying of an explosive during commission of a felony. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison."
Siraj Wahhaj - CAIR advisory board member named as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in the "Blind Sheik" Omar Abdel Rahman 1993 World Trade Center bomb plots by US Prosecutor Mary Jo White. Rahman is serving a life sentence.
Through Mohammedi, a group with ties to the terrorist group Hamas will be having direct access to KGIA's students, grooming them to be future CAIR legal activists. AMAL is affiliated with the National Association of Muslim Lawyers group - http://www.namlnet.org. Farhana Khera, a Pakistani is the group's president. Khera is also the executive director of Muslim Advocates - http://www.muslimadvocates.org -which is an offshoot of NAML.
"I think many Muslim Americans realize that the founding values of our country - freedom, justice and equality - these values were now being threatened and that.we cannot allow this time of fear to shred America's promise of freedom and justice." - http://www.muslimadvocates.org/news_more.php?id=34_0_3_0_M
Khera and her group Muslim Advocates were parties in a Fourth Circuit Court appeal, in the case of Ali Salih Al-Marri, an al-Qaeda sleeper agent. [Al-Marri Amicus] It is the extremist position of Muslim Advocates and the National Association of Muslim Lawyers that foreign al-Qaeda operatives operating in our midst deserve the same constitutional rights as American citizens.
In remarks made by President Bush on May 23, 2007 he stated:
"In December 2001 We Captured An Al Qaeda Operative Named Ali Salih Al-Mari Who Was Planning Attacks In The U.S. Our intelligence community believes Ali Salih al-Mari had training in poisons at an al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan and had been sent by 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad ("KSM") to the United States before 9/11 to serve as a sleeper agent ready for follow-on attacks. Our intelligence community believes KSM brought Ali Salih to meet Osama bin Laden, to whom he pledged loyalty. Our intelligence community also believes he and KSM discussed potential attacks on water reservoirs, the New York Stock Exchange, and U.S. military academies." [source http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/05/20070523.html]
AMAL, NAML and Mr. Mohammedi share an Islamist ideology and have united with others in a strategy of legal intimidation to deny the United States the tools which are necessary to preserve national security against the terrorist threat. The participation of such organizations and individuals in the day-to-day operation of KGIA provides irrefutable evidence about how the school will function - a publicly funded madrassah that will instill in students a psychology of victimhood and resentment - which will then be channeled through a pedagogy designed to shuttle them into the ranks of an already seething community of Islamist social activists.
Rhee raps D.C. schools 'bureaucracy'
D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee yesterday called the city's struggling school system a "faceless bureaucracy," adding that it does not need to augment its 11,500-member work force. "We have thousands of people [in school administration] right now who don't know what their jobs are and who are not being effective in the positions that they have," Mrs. Rhee told editors and reporters at The Washington Times. "So why am I going to layer on top of that additional people who also won't know and who also won't have clarity on what they're doing? I'm not going to do it."
In a wide-ranging interview, Mrs. Rhee - selected by Mayor Adrian M. Fenty to reform the District's 55,000-student school system - said that students and parents should expect clean, safe schools when classes begin Aug. 27 and that teachers will have adequate supplies.
The new chancellor has faced several difficulties that have plagued the system for years, including news that at least half of the city's 146 schools may not have textbooks by the time school starts and that others will not have air conditioning. Mrs. Rhee yesterday said she expects the "vast majority" of textbook problems to be solved within the next few weeks, as officials identify what is stored in the system's book warehouse and which schools have extra books they can give to others.
Mrs. Rhee, 37, also said that increasing the staff of the textbook department from one to five persons - as recommended by a school-system consultant - and raising its budget from $1.5 million to $8 million is "not my solution." The chancellor prohibited any hirings in the school system's central office without her explicit approval, but she refused to confirm or deny that any staff members would be fired for bungling the delivery of textbooks. "My actions will speak for themselves," Mrs. Rhee said. "When I send the signal, there will not be any questions."
Mrs. Rhee told several stories illustrating the endemic problems she has encountered since taking her position in June and offered examples of a bloated bureaucracy that increasingly has hampered school improvements. In one situation, she said parents hoping to help transport books from a middle school that is transitioning its ninth grade to a high school were told by system officials that the books had to be sent to the warehouse before going to the high school. "People are so focused on following the rules and the procedures," said Mrs. Rhee, who intervened and allowed parents to move the books. "What is the right thing for the kids? What is the right thing for the schools? The right thing for the schools is to move the books as expeditiously as possible from this building to this building."
Mrs. Rhee said 17 of 19 principal vacancies have been filled with interim heads, and candidates are being vetted this week for the two remaining slots. "Verification teams" also finished their first round of visits to every city school last week to identify problems, and officials are working to fix as many as possible before school opens, the chancellor said.
Mrs. Rhee said she will continue to focus on core areas of reform that include improving student achievement by assessing teacher and pupil performance. The result will be a "data-driven" system that will create better teachers and subsequently better students, she said. "You're not teaching unless your kids are learning, and unless we're able to actually measure that learning and see that is taking place," she said.
The chancellor said a key to her succeeding where past superintendents have failed will be rounding up good reform ideas throughout the District and "getting everybody pointed in the same and right direction." "This is not rocket science, right?" Mrs. Rhee said. "I believe that we are beginning to create a sense of hope in the District that something is going to be different and something is going to be changed."
IQ test comeback for Australian university admissions
IQ tests always were a good way of circumventing social disadvantage and were promoted as such by Leftist psychologists (such as Sir Cyril Burt) for many years -- until the low average IQ of blacks made the tests politically incorrect. The new test is not of course called an IQ test but it amounts to the same thing. The new test is designed as a predictor of academic performance and predicting academic performance is what IQ tests do best
MACQUARIE UNIVERSITY will offer places to some school-leavers using a combination of the students' HSC results and other tests - and at least five other universities may follow in a sign of their lack of confidence in the present admissions system. Macquarie's vice-chancellor, Steven Schwartz, has railed against using a single entry mark as the sole determinant of a student's ability because it is unforgiving of students who have experienced hardship in their final year or attended disadvantaged schools. The university will allow students who did not qualify on the basis of their university admissions index to sit a supplementary aptitude test, known as uniTEST, the results of which will be considered, along with their HSC results and an application letter, in a pilot initially limited to a few faculties.
"If you look at the data, you will find that ... the kids who go to private schools, the kids who have private tutoring, they're the ones who get high UAIs," Professor Schwartz said. "And the likelihood is, there might be kids who might be smart enough, but because they don't go to those schools don't get high enough UAIs." But there would still be a minimum UAI, he said.
UniTEST was developed by the Australian Council for Educational Research and the University of Cambridge and is already being used by the Australian National University, Monash and seven British universities. It assesses problem-solving, comprehension and reasoning skills.
Six Australian universities, including Macquarie, had expressed interest in piloting the test since the Federal Government announced funding for a national year 12 aptitude test in the May budget, said Deirdre Jackson, the director of assessment services at the Australian Council for Educational Research. "I think everyone's been aware of it as a concern, that there's a group of students who for one reason or another have the skills to go to university but don't, and they're often the ones who go back at a later date as mature-age students."
Professor Schwartz, who chaired a British taskforce on university admissions while he was vice-chancellor of Brunel University in London, said research showed 5 per cent of students who did not do well in their A levels - the British equivalent of the HSC - scored highly in the uniTEST. "And they're the interesting ones, because if you only [selected students on] the UAI, they wouldn't even be on the radar."
Several universities already accept students with university entrance scores lower than their official cut-off marks if they have done well in subjects relevant to their course, including the University of NSW, which will formalise the practice for 2008 entrants in a scheme called HSC Plus. The ANU, which tried uniTEST for the first time this year, plans to use it again next year because the pass rate of students who came in via that method was "quite good", said the university's registrar, Tim Beckett.
Andrew Stanton, the managing director of the Universities Admissions Centre, which manages the university admissions index, said he had no problem with universities using supplementary measures in choosing who to admit, but he rejected the idea that the UAI had been devalued. The vice-chancellors' body Universities Australia decided last month to commission a study on equity and access to university for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Australia: Legal scrutiny of postmodernism
John Hookham and Gary MacLennan, the two Queensland University of Technology academics suspended for their criticism of the project, have lodged a complaint about their treatment with the federal Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission. They argue that QUT punished them because of their political opposition to post-modernism, the ideology they see behind the PhD project. Political opinion is one of few grounds for discrimination prohibited by federal law. "They say that the most recent and disturbing expression of this theory is that you can laugh at the disabled," their solicitor, Susan Moriarty, told the HES. "Our case is very strong."
Adam McBeth, deputy director of the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law at Monash University, said there was "very little (case law) on what's political and what's not. "I don't know that you could point to anti-post modernism as a political movement, it's probably at best a cultural idea. "It's certainly arguable and it would be interesting to see it run."
HREOC is expected to call QUT managers to a conciliation meeting with Dr MacLennan and Dr Hookham. A date for this has yet to be set. If the meeting fails to resolve the complaint the academics have the option of litigating the human rights point in the Federal Court. They already have on foot a separate court challenge limited to the fairness of the procedure leading to their suspension. QUT said it was aware of the HREOC complaint but would not comment while there was litigation.
The Hookham-MacLennan complaint to HREOC quotes from their article published in April by the HES under the headline Philistines of relativism at the gates. "When we say it is morally wrong to laugh at the afflicted, our colleagues seem indifferent to the truth of this statement. Presumably, for them, it is just our `narrative'," their HES article says. "They can take this position because in the post-modern world there are no theories, no knowledge and no truth; there are only narratives, fictional stories, all told with bias. "(But) if we are to take meaningful political action, if we are to act morally, if we are to teach our students how to live, how to act in an ethical fashion and how to make progressive and powerful art, then we need to be able to determine what is right and what is wrong, what is true and what is false."
The QUT position is that Hookham's and MacLennan's criticism of the PhD student Michael Noonan went beyond civil academic discourse. The university's code of conduct says differences of opinion must be met with rational debate, not vilification or bullying, and forbids behaviour that "may be distressing, offensive or humiliating".
Mr Noonan says his reality TV-style film project -- given the go-ahead by QUT under the changed title Laughing with the disabled -- is an attempt to give the disabled a voice. Its stars are two young intellectually disabled men. Mr Noonan points out that he has ethics approval for the project as well as the support of the men, their families and guardians, and the disability organisation Spectrum.