Sunday, November 03, 2013

Brown Shirts at Brown U?

When New York City's strikingly successful police commissioner, Raymond Kelly, arrived to address students at Brown University, he was harassed, booed and heckled for 30 long minutes. "Racism is not for debate," they shouted. A university official pleaded with the goons, er, students to permit Kelly to speak, reminding them that they would be free to express disagreement during the Q-and-A session afterwards. "Shout him down!" responded a man in the audience, and the crowd did.

Episodes like this are tolerated in America because college faculties, administrators and the press almost uniformly share the students' prejudices and haven't the spine or the integrity to uphold boring American values like free expression. Brown's president issued a wan apology noting that it was a "sad day" for the university, but there were no suspensions or other punishments for those who organized and carried out this thuggish intimidation. Instead, the university will convene "a forum for the campus to discuss our values and expectations as a community." That'll help.

These outrages get noticed in the conservative press and largely ignored by others. It goes without saying that such tolerance for intolerance would not prevail if conservative students behaved this way toward, say, an advocate of same-sex marriage.

Members of the press indulge left-wing students, imagining that their hearts are in the right place, even if their heads are a little hot.

Is that really true? Consider that Kelly has presided over a policing regime in New York City that has resulted in poor and minority neighborhoods seeing victimization drop to levels not seen since 1963. New York's crime rate is the lowest among big cities in the United States. The most dangerous neighborhoods, which are majority black and Hispanic, have seen the greatest improvements in quality of life.

As Kelly noted on "Meet the Press" last summer, during the past 11 years, there have been 7,363 fewer murders than during the preceding 11 years. Based on victimization patterns in New York, that means there are about 7,000 more black and Hispanic young men alive today than would have been the case absent Kelly's leadership. The homicide rate for Chicago teens, for example, is four times that of New York.

Self-styled "activists" such as those at Brown (along with Al Sharpton, would-be mayor Bill de Blasio and the federal judge who ruled "stop and frisk" unconstitutional) claim to speak for the poor and minorities. But who speaks for the majority of law-abiding blacks and Hispanics bullied and harmed by criminals in their housing projects and neighborhoods? As Heather Mac Donald of City Journal points out, "the per-capita rate of shooting in Brownsville, Brooklyn, is 81 times higher than in Bay Ridge, which explains the why the stop rate in Brownsville is 15 times higher."

Mac Donald urges doubters to speak to people like Ivan De Bord, who acknowledges that he was himself stopped by police many times when he was younger. He's now an apartment superintendent in the South Bronx. De Bord welcomes police attention to his building, to keep at bay the gang who colonized the lobby, "smoking (weed), selling drugs, peeing everywhere, not respecting people, playing dice. It's very bad."

It's so easy and, frankly, cheap for Brown students to fancy themselves more enlightened and compassionate toward minorities than Ray Kelly. Most of them come from upper middle class communities. Only about 15 percent of Brown students get Pell grants, for example, which are awarded to students from low-income households. According to The Brown Daily Herald, about 44 percent of the 2012 class received financial aid, meaning the other 56 percent managed to pay the roughly $55,000 yearly fee out of pocket.

Even many of the minority students at places like Brown are not from poor families. A study in the American Journal of Education found that a significant percentage of black students at highly selective institutions were from middle-class immigrant families.

Brown, like other highly selective schools, is dominated by students who've never had to look over their shoulders on their walk to school, worry about whether the drug dealer on the corner is armed, or cower in their apartments for fear of gangs.

Ray Kelly has dramatically improved the lives of poor and minority New Yorkers. That he should be shouted down as a racist is ignorant and fascistic. That Brown tolerates this -- however sadly -- is contemptible.


British schools urged to focus more on maths, spelling and grammar

Schools will be encouraged to provide at least one extra maths lesson a week and place greater focus on spelling and grammar in English as part of a radical overhaul of core GCSE [junior High School] subjects, The Daily Telegraph has learnt.

Ministers want schools to increase the time devoted to maths to drive up standards of numeracy and put England on a par with the world’s top performing countries. From 2015, maths GCSEs will feature around a third more content and require pupils to master essential concepts in greater depth.

The GCSE syllabus includes a new section on ratio, proportion and rates of change, as well as requiring that children learn key formulae by heart in preparation for the end-of-course exam. It forms part of a major Coalition reform of qualifications sat by around 600,000 schoolchildren across England each year.

In further changes, it emerged that:

* English language exams will include more marks for accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar — increasing from 12 to 20 per cent;

* English literature courses will require pupils to study at least one Shakespeare play, a 19th century novel, Romantic poetry and contemporary British fiction from 1914 onwards. The exam will also feature “unseen texts” to encourage wider reading;

* A combined English literature and language course will be scrapped. From 2015, pupils will be required to take a standalone GCSE in language, with strong incentives to choose English literature as a separate qualification. The Department for Education is due to release the new syllabuses in English and maths tomorrow – the first subjects to undergo a radical overhaul. It will make changes in other core subjects next year.

In a separate move, Ofqual, the exams regulator, will unveil a shake-up of the structure of GCSEs, with a new grading system and less coursework.

Speaking in the summer, Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, said there was a “widespread consensus that we need to reform our examination system to restore public confidence”, insisting GCSEs would be “more challenging, more ambitious and more rigorous”. Studies show that English schools devote less time to maths — 116 hours a year or three hours a week during term time — than in most countries. By comparison, Australian schools provide an average of 143 hours a year and pupils do around 138 hours in Singapore.

While there will be no formal requirement to devote more of the timetable to maths, Coalition sources said the extensive maths GCSE – combined with more weighting for the subject in league tables – was likely to encourage schools to provide extra teaching. The syllabus will place a greater focus on “real world problems”, including financial mathematics.


Pimps and Porn in 4th Grade Common Core

The federal government has no business in creating an educational curriculum…no business at all. The U.S. Department of Education, created in 1979, is not supposed to be drafting curriculum for the states. In fact, President Jimmy Carter’s Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Joseph Califano, said, “Any set of questions that the federal government prescribed should surely be suspect as a first step toward a national curriculum [and] a national control of curriculum is a form of national control of ideas.”

However, since 2010 the DOE has managed to get around all that with Common Core.

While there are many progressive slants to the curriculum which have conservatives up in arms, this is not simply a Left vs. Right issue. Many liberals are just as concerned as we are with the non-intellectual slant of the curriculum and the dangerous future it holds for our children and our country.

Men and women across America are standing up to fight the indoctrination program known as Common Core, which will not only teach our children socialism and United Nations-sanctioned ideas, but hinders their intellectual development.

One of the drafters of Common Core, Jason Zimba, admitted in a public meeting of the Massachusetts State Board of Education that Common Core is designed to prepare students only for a non-selective community college, not a university.

Please tell them to stop Common Core by cutting off funding because education decisions are always best at the local level, where we live. We cannot let this federal curriculum take root. Urge our representatives to unite, liberals and conservatives, to stop this because our future depends on it.

As concerned parents and grandparents, we gathering research and stories from across the country and we encourage you to do your own investigation into Common Core.

The purveyors of Common Core don’t want you to know what it’s all about until it has infested every school district in every state and is securely rooted in place. Seek the truth now.

You’ll read that the 46 states that have adopted Common Core did so voluntarily and helped develop the program. This is not true.

In fact, Diane Ravitch, a former assistant U.S. secretary of education who was appointed to office by both Clinton and George H.W. Bush, says “[The standards] were developed by an organization called Achieve and the National Governors Association, both of which were generously funded by the Gates Foundation. There was minimal public engagement in the development of the Common Core. Their creation was neither grassroots nor did it emanate from the states.”

But the states couldn’t resist Race to the Top funding, and with $4.35 billion being dangled in front of them in a terrible economy, rushed to adopt the program, sight-unseen and unread.

A YouTube video shows what’s in a Utah English and Language Arts (ELA) textbook called “Voices: Literature and Writing” for first-graders. Remember, first-grade students are typically 6-7 years old.

The textbook says, “Students use their voices to advocate solutions to social problems that they care deeply about.” And it goes on to describe “Emotional Words” that motivate people to “take action.” This first-grade reader talks about how to be an advocate, “social advocacy.”

“Tell students that when they write a call to action, they should include emotional words to get readers to feel strongly about the problem that they want to do what is being asked of them.

Writing a “call to action” for 6 and 7 year-olds?  Doesn’t this sound like Community Organizing for First-Graders?

In Philadelphia, the City Council has already approved some “socialist” texts and is now considering controversial Historian, Howard Zinn’s book, “The People’s History of the United States.” T

More community organizing is taught in, “Si, Se Puede”  - Yes, You Can or Yes it is possible, loosely translated -  is about a 1985 janitor’s strike in Los Angles.  As a matter of fact, “Sí Se Puede” is a federally Registered Trademark of the United Farm Workers Union. President Obama used this slogan in his 2008 campaigns but it also, “Si, Se Puede” became a rallying cry for the 2006 immigration reform protests.

Or consider the book being used, “Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez.” This book seems to answer the question about how communities organize and stand up for their rights against management and challenges. Or, a fourth-grade booklet has a story about a young girl being fearful for the next day because she over-heard her parents talking about how the Unions are good and the Union would be striking tomorrow.

Politically charged rhetoric has absolutely no place in the classroom.

In Louisiana, Activity 8, in grade-one social studies, tells teachers to “lead students to a kid-friendly definition of a hero. Kids watch biographies and then choose five American heroes. People included are Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Cesar Chavez. Thomas Jefferson and George Washington are the only other presidents besides Obama, mentioned.

Parents and teachers are being completely removed from the education process as this curriculum funnels down from the federal government.

Also from Louisiana comes this shocking lesson for FOURTH GRADERS, below:

A mom was outraged when her son came home from school with a paper using the words “pimp” and “mobstaz.”

“I try to instill values in my son,” Brittney Badeaux told Fox News. “My goal is for him to ultimately to become a great man, a family man, a well-rounded man. And now my son wants to know what a pimp is.”

Think she’ll get answers from the school? Probably not. What we’ve seen happen is, once parents get wind of what their students are learning, teachers and school districts quickly yank the materials from websites and pretend nothing happened.

Jeremiah Chaffee, a high school English teacher in upstate New York, took to the Internet to denounce the Common Core curriculum as it relates to teaching the Gettysburg address.

“As we…began working on our own Core-related lessons, I was struck by how out of sync the Common Core is with what I consider to be good teaching.”

Chaffee says the teachers were told to teach the Gettysburg Address without “any background context” and not to ask students if they have ever been to a funeral because such questions rely “on individual experience and opinion,” and answering them “will not move students closer to understanding the Gettysburg Address.” The Gettysburg Address is simply a speech given by a man named Lincoln.

Chaffee says, “This is baffling, as if Lincoln delivered the speech in an intellectual vacuum; as if the speech wasn’t delivered at a funeral and meant to be heard in the context of a funeral; as if we must not think about memorials when we read words that memorialize.”

He goes on to say, “The bottom line: The Common Core exemplar we worked with was intellectually limiting, shallow in scope, and uninteresting. I don’t want my lessons to be any of those things.”


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