Monday, February 05, 2018

College Defends Art Professor Who Desecrated American Flag
When Marine veteran Jess Karcher first saw the desecrated American flag at Broward College, he was confused. Then, he became angry.

“It was extremely disrespectful to our flag and to every American,” Karcher told the “Todd Starnes Radio Show.”

Karcher is a student at Broward College and on Jan. 26 he came across an American flag that had been desecrated as part of a faculty art exhibit at the campus art gallery.

Lisa Rockford, an assistant professor of art, covered Old Glory in white paint, cut the flag in half and laid it on the ground like a door mat. The artist had reportedly set up a camera to take photographs of people unknowingly stepping on the flag.

“There were so many other ways of getting her message across other than disrespecting the flag and tricking people into doing so,” Karcher told Starnes.

He told Campus Reform the professor would laugh as people unknowingly stepped on the red, white and blue.

I reached out to Professor Rockford by email but she did not respond to my questions. Broward College issued a statement defending the exhibit.

“The provocative nature of the piece is protected by the artist’s Constitutional rights, specifically the First Amendment right to the Freedom of Speech,” the college said.

The statement went on to say the desecrated flag represents the opinions of the artist and are “not indicative of the values at Broward College.”

The exhibit has been moved elsewhere in the gallery “to give gallery guests the choice to opt out of the experiential nature of her art.”

In other words, the college wanted to accommodate patrons of the art who do not wish to step on the Stars and Stripes.

“It’s such a kick in the gut to have to come to school on a daily basis and see our flag disrespected, especially when so many of our brothers and sisters died defending it,” Karcher told the “Todd Starnes Radio Show.”

It’s tragic that so many of our public colleges and universities have becoming breeding grounds for anti-American sentiment and hostility.

“As a U.S. Marine, the flag means everything,” Karcher said. “From the air we breathe, to the freedoms we have, our flag represents us as a nation no matter who you are or what you stand for.”

The college seemed dismissive of Karcher’s concerns, citing freedom of speech and freedom of expression.

Those are the same constitutional rights I’m sure Broward College will cite when a faculty members burns a copy of the Koran or desecrates an Islamic flag.


Teacher Ridicules Students Wearing Marine Shirts, Curses Soldiers
A high school history teacher in southern California was secretly filmed calling members of the military “dumb s—ts” and berating pro-military students for wearing Marine Corps sweatshirts.

The teacher at El Rancho High School was identified as Gregory Salcido. He also happens to be a member of the city council in the town of Pico Rivera.

A 17-year-old student in the classroom secretly videoed Salcido as he launched into a profane tirade against the military and two students who were wearing Marine Corps shirts.

“Think about the people you know who are over there,” Salcido said. “Your freaking stupid Uncle Louie or whatever. They’re dumb s—ts. They’re not high-level bankers. They’re not academic people. They’re not intellectual people.”  “They’re the freaking lowest of our low,” he ranted.

Fox News reports the teacher went on to question why military recruiters were allowed inside the school.  “We don’t allow pimps to come into the school,” he said.

The brave and patriotic student who filmed the video spoke exclusively to the “Todd Starnes Radio Show” on Monday. His parents asked that we not identify the young man by name.

“I was so angry,” the student told Starnes. “He has a history of being anti-military. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion but at the same time they shouldn’t be disrespecting the veterans who have fought for our rights, who give up their lives and do stuff that other people are not willing to do.”

The student told the “Todd Starnes Radio Show” the teacher was triggered by his Marine Corps sweatshirt.

“He called me out in front of the whole class,” the young man said. “He wanted to ask why I wanted to join the military.”

“I told him it’s a family tradition; it’s something I’ve been wanting to do as a kid,” the student said. “And he ended up saying, ‘So if it was a family tradition to beat women, would you continue it?’”

Instead of back-talking the teacher, the young man said he sat down in his seat and started filming the teacher. “This wasn’t meant to go viral. It was just meant for my mom and dad to see,” he said.

The student said he wants to join the Marine Corps after graduation — just like his dad and uncle. “My dad — he’s a veteran — he went to Afghanistan,” he said. “I have an uncle who was in Desert Storm, another uncle that was in the Vietnam War.” The school district released a statement vowing to investigate the incident and take appropriate action.

It acknowledged the video shows one of its teachers appearing to “disrespect the family values of our students and families in the classroom.”

“Our classrooms are not the appropriate place for one-sided discussions that undermine the values our families hold dear,” the statement read.

Sadly, many public schools across the fruited plain have been overrun by America-hating leftists who are hell-bent on indoctrinating innocent children.

Instead of teaching the next generation how to read and write, many taxpayer-funded schools are teaching children how to hate America.

I salute this 17-year-old young man who boldly took a stand in his classroom by exposing his foul-mouthed, military-hating teacher. May God bless this great American patriot.


When School Choice Is Too Little, Too Late

Real education choice must start at birth
For decades, we've relied on the K–12 public schools to ensure opportunity for all children and to develop strong future generations of Americans. Yet despite years of "school reform" along with much-increased spending, achievement gaps between advantaged and disadvantaged children have remained persistently large. Indeed, growing armies of school reformers agree on just one thing: We're still leaving way too many children behind.

A parade of reform initiatives – higher standards, smaller schools, better teachers, more accountability, Common Core – have come and gone, leaving notably minor impact in their wake. Now the next strategy is moving onto center stage: "choice," highlighted last week as National School Choice Week carried out its 2018 "celebration of opportunity in education."

Families who can afford "choice" have always had it, paying for private school or moving to neighborhoods that have schools they want their children to attend. But school choice advocates argue that all parents, regardless of income, should be empowered to choose the learning environments that best enable their child to "learn and grow," gaining the skills and knowledge needed for a successful, productive life. As Education Secretary Betsy DeVos stressed in remarks to a recent American Enterprise Institute conference on federal reform: "Equal access to a quality education should be a right for every American and every parent should have the right to choose how their child is educated."

"Choice" includes an expanding range of policies that delink a family's home address from the publicly funded education their child has access to, allowing parents to choose their child's school regardless of family income or where they live. Starting with magnet schools in the 1970s, choice policy has grown to include charter schools, school vouchers, homeschooling, online learning and most recently, Education Savings Accounts.

Often described as choice's revolutionary "new frontier," ESAs are a marked departure from previous policy because they promote education choice rather than school choice, providing funds that parents can use to fully customize learning experiences for their children. By giving parents direct control over public dollars spent, ESAs aim to increase families' access to a much broader spectrum of education options, maximizing parental power over all aspects of their children's learning and development.

All but one, that is. ESA proponents advocate parental control over all aspects of a child's education – except the age of the child when that education starts. Even on choice's most radical frontier, an entrenched vestige of K–12 schooling remains unchallenged: that the crucial learning needed to "live a life of purpose and meaning" begins at age four or five.

Yet a growing body of scientific research has established that the very bedrock of children's lifelong potential is laid in the first years of life. A broad set of essential skills and abilities begin developing in children's very first months, build over time and are critical determinants of school and workplace success. It's true that schooling starts several years into children's lives. But education begins at birth. And for many children, the education opportunities they most need to succeed occur even before they can walk.

In fact, for millions of children, the "achievement gap" neither originates in the K–12 schools nor can be closed there. Gaps between higher- and lower-income children have been observed among children as young as nine-months old. By 18 months, toddlers from low-income families can already be several months behind their more advantaged peers in language development. One widely cited study found that by age three, children with college-educated parents had vocabularies as much as three times larger than those of children whose parents did not complete high school – a gap so big, researchers concluded, that even the best intervention programs could, at most, keep it from growing larger.

So millions of children "arrive at the schoolhouse door, already far behind." Under half of low-income five-year-olds enter school ready to learn; some are up to two years behind their more advantaged peers. And subsequent schooling rarely closes those initial gaps.

Indeed, the very design of the public schools now leaves large numbers of children behind every year, by failing to heed what science shows and parents know: The most crucial years of learning and development occur long before children enter formal schooling. The bottom line is that for many children, school choice is just too little too late.

Our nation's K–12 system is predicated on a past world in which children's essential early foundation was largely laid at home. But today, the majority of American parents have to work outside the home to make ends meet. That means that millions of children are now spending a large proportion of their earliest years in the care of people other than their parents.

And while we've long viewed school as where children learn, for young children wherever they are is a learning environment – whether home, childcare, or grandma's house. We now know that the quality of those environments is as important as school quality for children's long-term success. That's why real choice must start at birth: enabling parents to make sure their child's foundation is built right in the first place, not mandating that they wait until their child reaches a government-defined "starting gate," years into life and already very far behind.

For many parents, the power they need more than anything is to ensure their child enters kindergarten ready to succeed. Only when we empower them to advance their children's healthy learning and development during the most crucial period of human development will we give them the choice that matters most.


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