Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Alabama to Implement “Race-Based Standards” in Public Schools

Not so different from Jim Crow and again supported by Democrats

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to post-racial America. Via the Wall Street Journal:

    The Alabama Federation of Republican Women (AFRW) strongly opposes "race-based standards for student achievement" pushed by the Alabama Department of Education, as reported in The Tuscaloosa News on Sunday, June 30. Minority students will be held to a lower standard, and would be tracked at a lower standard throughout their academic career from K-12.

    According to this article by Jamon Smith, "Beginning this fall, Alabama public schools will be under a new state-created academic accountability system that sets different goals for students in math and reading based on their race, economic status, ability to speak English and disabilities." Alabama's Plan 2020 "sets a different standard for students in each of several subgroups -- American Indian, Asian/Pacific islander, black, English language learners, Hispanic, multirace, poverty, special education and white."

    The "race-based" standards are part of Common Core, adopted by the state board of education in November 2010.

Walter Russell Mead points out that race-based standards are hardly new. Indeed, he writes, 27 out of the 33 states that received waivers from No Child Left Behind’s strict academic requirements in 2012 “now have different achievement goals for different groups of students.” This in turn works out well for public schools who can keep receiving federal funds even though many of their students are falling by the wayside.

But just because this practice is exceedingly common and popular doesn’t necessarily mean it’s morally defensible. One of the more powerful arguments against Plessy vs. Ferguson -- the infamous “separate but equal” Supreme Court ruling in 1896 -- was that sending white and black students to separate but unequal school systems seriously harmed children. Why? Because it made young blacks feel inferior. Question: How on earth would lowering academic standards for non-whites in Alabama’s public schools be any less discriminatory?

The implicit assumption here is that minority students can’t compete with white students. And while it’s certainly true that perhaps some students lag significantly behind their white counterparts in the classroom, what kind of message does it send to persons of color when the achievement bar is purposefully lowered for non-academic reasons? Uniform academic benchmarks might be impossible in Alabama, but I find it reprehensible that minority students would be consigned to dumbed down standards solely because of the color of their skin and/or their parents’ level of income.

It’s self-evidently true that any child -- regardless of race, class or gender -- has the ability to attain the highest levels of academic achievement. Lowering standards and racial profiling in public schools is a terrible idea, not least because it seems to suggest otherwise.

Note also how the organization in Alabama that opposes race-based standards is not comprised of progressives but of conservative women. Remember that the next time someone on MSNBC shrieks that Republicans down in Dixie are “racists.”


Higher Education?

This is shaping up to be an embarrassing weekend for universities and college students in the Washington, D.C. area. Campus Reform has the scoop on a few news items that should make us all a bit squeamish about the future.

First, George Mason University will apparently offer an entire course on the life and times of Trayvon Martin this fall. (Well...let's be fair...it's officially titled "Race and Politics: Trevon [sic] Martin.")

    "George Mason University (GMU) is set to offer a three-credit course on Florida youth Trayvon Martin this fall but in the online description of the course misspelled his name as “Trevon Martin." The class, officially entitled “Race & Politics, Trevon [sic] Martin” in the course catalogue will be taught by Professor Rutledge Dennis of the Sociology and Anthropology Department.

    Dennis will teach the GMU course in a lecture/seminar style on Wednesdays in two and half hour blocks from 4:30-7:10 in Krug Hall on GMU’s main campus."

In a separate but equally disturbing incident, a Georgetown University student told a reporter concerning Republicans' student loan plan "I don’t think I support anything the Republicans do. I think all of them should probably be put to death.”

When the reporter in question made her way over to our friends at George Washington University, she spoke with another young scholar who called the Republican plan "for lack of a better term, douchey."

It's nice to see schools in our nation's capital focusing on crucial items like Republican extermination, "douchey" conservatives, and Trayvon Martin's life story. The future of America is in great hands.


Nomination of  anti-Israel activist to University of California Board of Regents

In just three days (July 17) the University of California (UC) Board of Regents will vote on the nomination of Sadia Saifuddin, an anti-Semite, to be the University of California Board of Regents Student Member. Your leadership and action is needed to stop this appointment.

Saifuddin, has been active in the infamous Students for Justice in Palestine-SJP  (on the ADL list of the Top Ten Anti-Israel Groups in America), and the Muslim Brotherhood's Muslim Students Association-MSA, which is an anti-American and anti-Israel organization (see here, here, here, here and here). She is a leader in the manipulative and fraudulent Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement (BDS), whose goal is the destruction of the Jewish state. Eminent academics, including Larry Summers and Alan Dershowitz of Harvard, have described the BDS movement as “anti-Semitic.”

Saifuddin co-sponsored, and was a leading advocate of, the divisive anti-Israel divestment resolution in the Berkeley student Senate, calling upon the entire University of California system to divest from companies doing business with Israel.

A high school senior, applying to college, recently wrote, regarding Saifuddin's organizations, SJP and MSA, My biggest college fear: "I am scared ... because of the false propaganda and bullying — yes, bullying — taking place on college campuses nationwide ... led by two student groups — the Muslim Students Association and Students for Justice in Palestine.”

A lawsuit filed by two UC Berkeley students details a pattern of harassment and physical assaults by members of Saifuddin’s hate groups at UC Berkeley.  These incidents cross the line from free speech to hostility on campus.

A complaint filed by the ZOA documents that Jewish students at the University of California, Irvine are being subjected to harassment, intimidation, and discrimination by Saifuddin' MSA.

The Secretary and Chief of Staff to The Regents claims that the Regents have received "only limited correspondence on this matter.”

Please Take Action to stop this outrageous nomination

The University of California is world renowned institution. Appointing a leader of anti-Semitic and anti-American networks aiming to destroy the Jewish state and basic academic freedoms in the United States, signifies the willingness of the University of California to tolerate and endorse a movement which advocates hate, and pure anti-Semitism in particular. The University of California deserves better!

Let the leadership of the University of California know where you, your friends and your community stand. 

Tell UC Board of Regents and California top leaders that their leadership is needed to stop the appointment of a BDS leader with solid ties to Anti-American and Anti-Israel hate organizations.

Tell them you expect them not to:

1.  Turn a blind eye to, or legitimize the evil goals and groups dedicated to the delegitimization of Israel and freedom. One of Saifuddin's groups, the MSA, is also anti-American.

2.  Approve the nomination of a leader of hate oriented groups that cause so much divisiveness.  Inform them that the nomination of a racist and bigot would harm UC’s reputation irreparably. 

Please send your message to:

1. The Chairman of the Board of Regents: Bruce Varner. His personal email is: Bruce.Varner@varnerbrandt.com

2. Sherry Lansing, past Chair of the Board.  Lansing can be reached through the head of her foundation:  doug@sherrylansingfoundation.org  Please Cc: Cara@sherrylansingfoundation.org

3. The UC Regents - they can be reached through the Regents' office at: regentsoffice@ucop.edu and their secretary and Chief of Staff at: Marsha.Kelman@ucop.edu

4. The Governor of California - see http://gov.ca.gov/m_contact.php  It would also be effective for California residents to call him at 916-445-2841.

5. The Lieutenant Governor - see http://www.ltg.ca.gov/m_contact.asp  California residents should call him at 916-445-2841.

6. Speaker of the Assembly - see http://www.asmdc.org/speaker/email-john-a-perez


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