Thursday, April 21, 2016

White Privilege Conference Wants Less Responsibility, Accountability

Somehow overlooked is that the most privileged people in America are brown.  Indians (from India) have the highest average income of any ethnic group

“We do see you, Super-Whitey. We’re coming for you.” Those words were spoken by educationalist Heather Hackman (she’s white, by the way) at this weekend’s White Privilege Conference (yes, it’s real, and it’s existed for 17 years now). The Daily Caller was on hand to chronicle the event.

Hackman is a former Minnesota’s St. Cloud State University education professor and current president of the Hackman Consulting Group, self-described as “a cadre of highly experienced teachers, leaders and experts in their fields who are also highly skilled trainers.” Her talk, entitled “No Freedom Unless We Call Out the Wizard Behind The Curtain: Critically Addressing the Corrosive Effects of Whiteness in Teacher Education and Professional Development,” highlighted the supposed unfairness of America’s white-person-controlled education system when it comes to helping minorities. Hackman blathered:

The racial narrative of White tends to be like this: Rugged individual, honest, hard-working, disciplined, rigorous, successful. And so then, the narrative of U.S. public education: Individual assessments, competition, outcome over process (I care more about your grades than how you’re doing), “discipline,” where we care more about your attendance and making sure you’re not tardy than we care about your relationships … proper English must be spoken (which is just assimilation into standard U.S. dialect), hierarchical power structure, and heavy goal orientation.

What she’s really arguing is that minority children shouldn’t be responsible, shouldn’t be held accountable and shouldn’t be expected to assimilate. It’s true, America’s education system needs to be reformed (school choice, anyone?), but it starts with getting activism out of the classroom. What Hackman wants is to further promote if-it-feels-good-do-it liberal values on gullible children who already suffer under the increasingly “progressive” education system. For anyone wondering why the state takeover of education and school choice are gaining steam, the White Privilege Conference explains it all.


New App Helps Illegal Aliens Access U.S. College Scholarships

Sarahi Espinoza Salamanca found it hard to find money for college after graduating from North Hollywood High School in Southern California. She was brought to the state illegally from Mexico by her parents when she was 4, but following a free K-12 education, she faced paying tuition for college – something she said she could not afford.

That’s when Salamanca decided to find a way to help illegal aliens gain access to college scholarships, according to KQED, a public radio and television station in Northern California.

“Salamanca’s struggle to find money for college inspired her to create a scholarship network that undocumented students can tap into just by reaching into their pockets,” the KQED article posted on April 3 said. “The network comes in the form of an app called the DREAMer’s Roadmap and it will launch this month for iOS and Android.”

“After the app launches, users will be able to find and share scholarship information via text, email or social media,” the article said. “DREAMer’s Roadmap currently has 500 scholarships on its database.”

“It is going to be the roadmap to the road of the journey that we lead every day of uncertainty,” Salamanca told KQED. “This would be their guide to college.

“It will give them hope,” Salamanca said.

The app also has a map that tells illegal aliens which states allow them to pay in-state tuition and which states allow them to pay in-state tuition, plus have access to financial aid.

The article explained that Salamanca started the app after winning $100,000 in the Voto Latinos Innovator Challenge contest and also received $25,000 from an anonymous donor.

Salamanca is now, the article said, in the U.S. legally and has been honored by the Obama administration and Facebook.

“Salamanca now has her green card and plans to attend a four-year university this year,” the article said. “As an advocate for undocumented students’ rights, she was one of Forbes 30 Under 30: Education in 2016, was named a Champions of Change recipient by President Obama’s administration in 2014 and participated in the DREAMer Hackathon hosted by Mark Zuckerberg in 2013.”


Department of Education Harasses Teachers Over Common Core Testing

Common Core Fails, but Education Department Tries to Silence Critics

This month we are in the middle of what the Department of Education educrats have labelled as “Testing Season.” That’s right. It’s not duck season, it’s not rabbit season, it’s Testing Season. As hundreds of thousands of students opt out of Common Core testing, teachers are weighing the professional risks of speaking out against this testing. Instead of fixing the problems with Common Core and its myriad of regulations, Education Department bureaucrats have resorted to shooting the messengers – our nation’s teachers. Perhaps Testing Season should be renamed Hunting Season.

The opt-out movement is gaining momentum. In 2015, over 200,000 students elected to opt out of Common Core standardized tests. This year’s numbers will be higher, and teachers are more vocal than ever in speaking out against Common Core and advising parents to opt out. These opinions are expressed despite threats coming in the form of bullying from the Department of Education.

Under pressure from the Education Department, some New York City schools have issued internal memos warning teachers that they do not have the right to speak out against the test, including a threat that the teachers could be subject to insubordination charges. One third-grade teacher from Brooklyn, when asked whether students should opt out, stated:

“Out of concern over my position in the public school system, I don’t feel at liberty to say whether you should.” — Kristen Taylor, third grade teacher

In other places, teachers are allowed to an express an opinion on the tests as an individual citizens and but not as educators. This policy presents an obvious dilemma as teachers ordinarily speak to students and parents as educators. The policy, much like the Common Core curriculum, is convoluted, murky, and unfair:

The opt out movement is yet another indication that Common Core and the Education Department’s implementation of it has failed. Not only has Common Core failed academically, it has failed operationally. And it’s a pretty expensive failure as Common Core has already cost the nation an estimated $80 billion. Education Department bureaucrats need a scapegoat, and they are blaming everything except Common Core and the Department’s myriad regulations. Instead, they are blaming teachers and parents:

“Pushback is coming from, sort of, white suburban moms who – all of a sudden – their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were, and that’s pretty scary.” — Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education

The Department of Education portrays parents as ignorant and self-serving. The truth is that parents and teachers alike understand that Common Core testing has done more harm than good for their children. If it were otherwise, hundreds of thousands of parents would not be opting out.

Curt Levey, Executive Director of FreedomWorks Foundation and its Regulatory Action Center, noted that:

“What the Education Department is doing to teachers and parents is typical of what’s wrong with the federal regulatory state. Unaccountable bureaucrats write rules that show a lack of understanding of the people they’re regulating. When those people complain, the bureaucrats react not by trying to fix the problems their rules have caused, but by harassing and punishing those who point out the problems.”


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