Wednesday, August 23, 2017

10 Colleges Getting Money to Start 'Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation' Centers

Probably more aptly titled: 'Misrepresentation, Race-consciousness and regression to segregation'

Ten colleges and universities are getting $30,000 each to create brand-new campus centers for "Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation."

The Association of American Colleges and Universities, which describes itself as an influential catalyst for educational improvement and reform, announced the awards last week.

AAC&U said the ten schools, listed below, were selected based on their proposals to "create positive narratives about race, identify and examine current realities of race relations in their communities, envision communities without entrenched racial hierarchies, and pinpoint levers for change and key individuals to engage." The goal is to "uproot the conscious and unconscious biases and misbeliefs that have exacerbated racial violence and tension in American society."

The initial award of $30,000 to each college or university comes with support from the Newman's Own Foundation and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The ten institutions selected as sites for the first Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Campus Centers are: Austin Community College (Texas); Brown University (R.I.); Duke University (N.C.); Hamline University (Minn.); Millsaps College (Miss.); Rutgers University (N.J.); Spelman College (Ga.); The Citadel, The Military College of S.C.; University of Hawai’i at Manoa; and University of Maryland/Baltimore County.

A total of 125 institutions filed applications.

“In the aftermath of the horrific, heartbreaking events in Charlottesville, we must not be silent," said AAC&U President Lynn Pasquerella. "Instead, we must harness our collective intellectual, social, and financial resources to transform words into action."

She added that AAC&U envisions the eventual establishment of 150 TRHT centers across the country -- "to ensure that higher education is playing a leadership role in promoting racial and social justice.”

Initiated in 2016 by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation centers aim to "unearth and jettison the deeply held, and often unconscious, beliefs created by racism, the main one being the belief in a 'hierarchy of human value.' This absurd belief, which has fueled racism and conscious and unconscious bias throughout American culture, is the perception of inferiority or superiority based on race, physical characteristics, or place of origin," the AAC&U news release said.

Brown University reportedly plans to use its first TRHT grant to "develop student-focused programming, including a discussion group for female Muslim students on campus and the expansion of a spring 2017 pilot discussion group for black students," the student newspaper said.

Coincidentally, several days after Brown received money to start on-campus racial healing centers, the university encountered friction from local Indian tribes.

On Sunday evening, the Pokanoket Tribe set up camp on 375 acres of land in Bristol, R.I., which was donated to Brown over the years.

One of the Native American protesters was quoted as saying the tribe has been “denied our birthright to our family’s land, our sovereignty rights, therefore states and powerful organizations have held our wealth over and over to the point that they believe it is their natural gift and natural right to have our property.”

In a statement released on Sunday, the university said it has “maintained clear legal title” to the Bristol land for more than 60 years.

“Brown expects opportunities for open dialogue with the Pokanoket as the University becomes more knowledgeable about their concerns,” the news release said.


Parental Choice Smear Campaign Falls Flat

Opponents of parental choice in education have been in overdrive portraying private school scholarships (and by association, those who support or use them) as racist to diminish their popularity. Results from a new national poll suggest opponents’ strategy isn’t working.

According to the 11th annual Education Next  poll public support for a variety of private school choice options has increased, and it is especially strong among Black and Hispanic Americans.

Privately-funded tax-credit scholarships are the most popular private school choice option, with majorities of Americans supporting them (p. 11, question 12a), including:

63% of Hispanics
61% each, parents and Blacks
56% of Republicans
54% each, all respondents and Democrats
52% Whites

A plurality of Americans also support publicly-funded voucher scholarships, and opposition to them has declined in the past year—no matter how the questions are phrased, according to the poll authors:

When asked whether they favor universal vouchers—giving vouchers to “all families” in order to give parents a “wider choice”—only 37% of the general public express opposition, down from 44% a year ago. Supporters, at 45%, now have a clear plurality. Opposition to vouchers for low-income parents to give them “wider choice” also fell, from 48% to 41%, while the level of support ticked upward from 37% to 43%. three of the four phrasings of the voucher question—the two that emphasize choice and the one that emphasizes the use of government funds to support low-income families—we find a decline in public opposition. In no instance do we find a slippage in support, and in the case of vouchers for low-income parents we see an increase of 6 percentage points.

Among Hispanics 49% support universal vouchers, and 54% support low-income vouchers to give families “wider choice.” (Results for Blacks were not reported because of the sample size.)

The newest form of parental choice are education savings accounts (ESAs). They work similarly to health savings accounts (HSAs) and have been enacted in five states since 2011, starting with Arizona followed by Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, Tennessee, and most recently North Carolina.

Parents who do not enroll their child in a public school inform the state, and it deposits at least 90% of their child’s associated state funding into an ESA instead. Parents are issued a type of dedicated-use debit card for education purchases, including private school tuition, tutoring, special education therapies, online courses, and testing fees. Unused funds roll over each year for future education expenses, including college tuition under some states’ programs. Funds are disbursed quarterly, and parents must submit expense reports with receipts for verification before additional funds are deposited. Parents are also subject to criminal prosecution if they do not comply with spending rules, and any misspent funds must be repaid.

The poll authors explain that ESAs are “the most recent choice proposal, [and] have yet to capture public support. In theory, the concept might appeal to those who think taxpayers who don’t use public schools should get other benefits instead—and to proponents of allowing parents even greater flexibility and choice than vouchers offer them. But the general public has yet to embrace that logic,” with a 37% approval rating. However, ESAs garner higher approval ratings among certain populations, including 50% of Blacks and 45% parents. (See p. 15, question 16.)

Another national poll of likely voters, as opposed to the general public, released earlier this year found that since 2015 overall support for ESAs has grown from 66% to 69%. Support among Latino voters has increased from 71% last year to 76% this year, and fully 80% of Millennial voters support ESAs.

Not only is private school parental choice popular, abundant scientific evidence proves it works in terms of improved student achievement, higher high school graduation rates, college enrollment rates, and college completion rates, among other positive outcomes. (See here, here, here, and here.)

In spite of opponents’ efforts to disparage parental choice in education, parents and the American public don’t seem to be listening.


Australia: An intensifying grab for our children by the Left

When an opponent declares, "I will not come over to your side," I calmly say, "Your child belongs to us already...What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community." -- Adolf Hitler

Kevin Donnelly

Given the re-emergence of the Safe Schools program, a NSW prim­ary school putting on a Stolen Generations play where children dress as nuns and victimise Aboriginal children, and the Australian Education Union’s campaign to promote the LGBTI Wear it Purple Day, there’s no doubt that the cultural left now dominates our education system.

The overwhelming majority of parents send their children to school to learn the basics, to socialise with other students and to acquir­e the knowledge and skills to be good citizens and to be better prepared for further study or the workforce.

But the cultural left’s Australian Education Union and like-minded bureaucrats and academ­ics are using the education system and schools to radically reshape society by indoctrinating students with Marxist-inspired, politically correct ideologies.

The Safe Schools program indoctr­inates children with the belief­ that gender and sexuality are fluid and limitless, and Roz Ward — who helped design the program — argues, “it will only be through a revitalised class struggle and revolutionary change that we can hope for the liberation of LGBTI people”.

Like the Safe Schools program, those organising the Wear it Purple­ Day are committed to ­“ensuring diverse expressions of sex, sexuality and gender” and it should not surprise that the organisers actively support the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

This Friday has been designated Wear it Purple Day and the NSW Teachers Federation is telling schools they should link “the key ideas of Wear It Purple Day to broader lessons on diversity and difference, to foster safe and supportive­ environments. The event embraces and celebrates sexuality, sex and gender diversity”.

Further evidence of the Australian Education Union’s politically correct ideology is its response to the same-sex marriage postal survey­. The president of the AEU, Correna Haythorpe, argues: “The AEU is strongly opposed to the federal government’s approach, which is more about satisfying the bigotry of sections of the Liberal Party, rather than the interests or will of the community.”

Like so many of the cultural-left elites dominating the public and political debate, the AEU and Ms Haythorpe believe that anyone who disagrees is a bigot and that the people, instead of expressing their views and opinions as is their democratic right, must be silenced­.

And it’s been happening for years. In 1983 Joan Kirner, the one-time Victorian education minister and premier, argued at a Fabian Society conference that education “has to be part of the socialist struggle for equality, participat­ion and social change rather than an instrument of the capitalist system”.

The AEU’s 2003 policy on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people argues that: “Sexuality should be included in all curriculum relating to health and personal development. Homosex­ual­ity and bisexuality need to be normalised and materials need to be developed which will help to combat homophobia.”

As noted, the Australian Education Union has a long history of cultural-left political activism and promoting left-wing causes such as same-sex marriage, gender fluid­ity and a secular curriculum that undermines the value of Western culture by promoting diversit­y and difference — the new code for multiculturalism.

Since the late 70s and early 80s, the left-wing teacher union has ­argued that Australian society is riven with inequality and injustice and that the school curriculum must be used to promote its politic­ally correct views about global­ warming, the evils of capit­alism, that men are misogynist and sexist, and that there’s nothing beneficial about meritocracy and competition.

Such is the success of the AEU to take control of the school ­curriculum that a past president of the union argues that “we have succeeded in influencing curriculum development in schools, education departments and univer­sities. The conservatives have a lot to do to undo the progressive curriculum­”.

Examples of the cultural-left’s takeover of the curriculum include the fact that students are now taught that gender and sexuality are “social constructions” that promote “unequal power relationships” between boys and girls, and that those who believe in tradit­ional marriage are guilty of ­“hetero-normativity”.

While the AEU and like-minded academi­cs argue against schools teaching about Christianity, or having formal religious instruction­ classes, they are happy to pressure schools to worship the Gaia by including Al Gore’s DVDs in the curriculum.

There is an alternative to Marxist-inspired indoctrination, if polit­icians and education bureaucrats have the courage to act. Education should never be confused with indoctrination and the curriculum must be impartial and balanced.

The school curriculum should also teach students the importance of civility, humility and a commitment to being rational, honest and ethical in their behaviour and relationships with others.

Students must be taught the strengths and benefits of Western civilisation, as well as the flaws and weaknesses, and that to be fully and properly educated they need to be familiar with what the Victorian Blackburn report describes as “our best validated knowledge and artistic achievements”.


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