Tuesday, February 09, 2010

N.C. Schools: Those Who Erase History

It is one thing to forget, ignore or misinterpret our nation’s history, but a group of uber-liberal educrats in North Carolina is taking the radical revisionism of America one step further. These politically-correct, taxpayer-funded “thought police” are actually trying to erase American history from our children’s textbooks. What do they want to replace it with? Radical environmental propaganda from left-wing extremists who view American liberties as obstacles to overcome, not safeguards to be defended.

In perhaps the most glaring example to date of our government’s descent into socialist madness, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction is attempting to remove all American history prior to 1877 from its textbooks, replacing it with a “global studies” curriculum. Rather than learning about George Washington crossing the Delaware or Abraham Lincoln freeing the slaves (while studying from documents like the Declaration of Independence or the Emancipation Proclamation), high school students in North Carolina would instead be indoctrinated with more multicultural rhetoric and the fuzzy science of climate change (while studying from the Koran and the “Copenhagen Accord”). This sort of raw indoctrination is worse than misguided – it’s treasonous.

If this new anti-American curriculum is adopted, American children would no longer learn about the principles on which this nation was established – and the blood that was shed in defense of those principles – they would instead be spoon-fed Obama administration talking points on how intolerant, imperialist America owes a huge financial debt to the rest of the world, one that we can start repaying immediately by helping developing nations “combat global warming.”

“What we are trying to do is figure out a way to teach (history) where students are connected to it, where they see the big idea, where they are able to make connections and draw relationships between parts of our history and the present day,” the chief academic officer for North Carolina’s school system told FOX News.

What rubbish. These government censors are trying to rewrite history, pure and simple. By removing the entire first century of American history from our children’s textbooks, these radicals are doing more than just putting a “liberal spin” on things – they are trying to fundamentally alter the world view of future generations of U.S. citizens. They are trying to rip out American democracy by its roots and replace it with what Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer has dubbed the “New Socialism,” the exploitation of climate-based fear-mongering as a means to facilitate a massive wealth transfer from American taxpayers to third-world governments, many of which are hostile to the United States.

Joseph Goebbels would no doubt be proud of such a curriculum – and the objective behind it. Unable to convince the “America of today” to blindly follow Obama’s socialist vision, these “Green Nazis” are endeavoring to create an “America of tomorrow” that is more receptive to their agenda – even as the scientific case for climate change continues to crumble all around them. This attempted indoctrination must not stand. Not only must this so-called curriculum be rejected, but the educrats pushing it must be dismissed and never allowed near our children again.

An abiding respect and appreciation for America’s bedrock freedoms and founding wisdom are the only things currently keeping these socialist hordes from overrunning this county – which is no doubt why they are now being targeted. America was founded on a set of fundamental principles – a core collection of “self-evident” truths that forms the basis of who we are as a people. We cannot allow those truths to be erased – or those principles to be discarded – for anything, least of all the latest liberal zeitgeist.


British schools ‘forced to spend on IT which doesn’t work’

Governments and IT are usually a bad combination

An academy designed to be the first fully wireless school has been blighted by computer problems since being opened by Gordon Brown more than two years ago. The head of the £24 million Bristol Brunel Academy — a beacon of Labour’s Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme — said that its wireless system had yet to work properly, teachers still did the register on paper because of problems with swipe cards and fingerprint recognition systems were unreliable.

Brunel’s problems, similar to those experienced in other schools, raise questions about the education department’s £1.65 billion annual expenditure on IT for classrooms, which accounts for a significant share of the £55 billion BSF programme.

Armando Di-Finizio, the head of Brunel, said that millions of pounds were being wasted on “white elephant” technology in schools. He said that his school — the first to be rebuilt under BSF — had continuing technical difficulties. “The school was designed to be completely wireless but I have yet to see a school where wireless works well. “We have been told that we have one of the most powerful systems in the country, but it is still not enough. We keep being told that lots of lessons have been learnt. We have had to beef it up out of our own budget.”

Mr Di-Finizio criticised the millions of pounds being spent on technology in schools, and suggested that there was a fixation with constantly updating classrooms with the latest gadgets. A government drive to provide state schools with the latest technology has seen most equipped with a large number of computers and “interactive whiteboards” in classrooms. Some have installed swipe cards, fingerprint recognition systems, and have “virtual learning environments” to allow children and teachers to access the curriculum online.

Mr Di-Finizio said that there were pressures on schools to buy expensive equipment. “One could be led up the wrong path by IT experts. Is it worth having card-swiping and fingerprint detection systems in place, if the teacher still has to do the register? “We introduced a system of swipe cards because it encourages children to use them in the library and to pay for lunch, rather than carrying cash. We spent all this money installing a swipe-card room entry system but the teacher ends up having to do the register anyway, because how do you know a child has not stolen someone else’s card, or isn’t covering for a friend?”

He said that there were problems with some of the latest fads, such as fingerprint recognition systems, which apparently do not work properly if the child has dirty fingers. But he did not call for the removal of technology from schools, saying that it had been useful for raising attainment.

Schools spend £1.65 billion a year on information technology, with one computer to every three pupils in secondary schools, and one to six in primary schools. Yet some heads, particularly those involved with the BSF programme complain that they have lost freedom over their IT budgets, and are forced to buy expensive equipment through designated suppliers.


Western Australia: Gifted kids let down by system

THOUSANDS of potential child geniuses are going unrecognised in schools, leaving many in danger of never reaching their full potential. For some of WA's 35,000 gifted children, their overlooked "gifts" have become a burden, forcing them to turn to misbehaviour or switch off from lessons.

According to US child intelligence expert Deborah Ruf, the education system - particularly primary schools - is failing to get the most out of gifted children. Dr Ruf, who will be speaking at the University of WA this week, said schools spent more time focusing on struggling pupils. "The brightest children spend nearly the entirety of their school years being instructed far below their capacity to learn, with the result that we are losing them and what they could become," she told The Sunday Times.

"Many of these exceptionally bright children are living right now in homes and learning in classrooms where the adults responsible for them often don't know or don't fully understand their potential. "Some of them are mistakenly labelled as behaviour problems. Others flounder in classrooms designed to meet the needs of children who are far behind them in their learning."

Gifted and Talented Children's Association of WA spokeswoman Kriss Muskett said gifted children went unnoticed because teachers did not know how to identify them. She called for teachers to be trained "at an undergraduate level" to recognise different levels of giftedness and how to deal with those children.

The Education Department said gifted primary school pupils were given the opportunity to extend themselves through the Primary Extension and Challenge Program. The part-time program is available to students in Years 5, 6 and 7. There are also 16 secondary schools that offer selective programs.

David Axworthy, executive director of school support services, said WA was the only state to test every student in Year 4 to see if they needed to be challenged, and more than $7 million a year was spent on public school programs designed for gifted students. Education Minister Liz Constable said she was committed to the development of gifted children because she had completed her PhD in the area.


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