Friday, March 11, 2022



Georgia high school coach suspended after restraining student who had loaded gun

A Georgia high school coach was suspended after he defended himself and restrained a student who was in possession of a loaded weapon in school.

“I don’t feel like I did anything wrong,” Tri-Cities High School coach Kenneth Miller said, according to News 19. “I only adhered to what Fulton County School Board Policy says you’re allowed to do.”

Miller said that on Aug. 20, the school’s principal called him to her office about reports of students on campus with guns. “During that process, we located guns. We saved lives,” Miller told Fox 5.

Miller confronted one female student while in the presence of police officers. Miller and the officers were unaware the student, who eyewitnesses described as belligerent and aggressive, had a gun at the time of the confrontation.

The situation escalated when the student hit Miller with a stapler, News 19 reported. Miller then grabbed the girl and restrained her until officers stepped in and took her into custody.

Miller was initially fired, but the school district later reversed the decision to a suspension which has lasted months, News 19 reported.

“The district administration does not support Mr. Miller’s actions relating to this event and believes his conduct failed to meet the professional expectations it has for employees. Mr. Miller inappropriately intervened in a student matter being handled by school administrators and law enforcement. Mr. Miller acted outside of the scope of his authority and responsibilities,” Fulton County Schools said in a statement to Fox News Digital on Thursday.

“Mr. Miller’s conduct resulted in an escalation of a physical altercation with a student in crisis, which conflicts with district expectations to deescalate in these types of situations. Mr. Miller has not exhausted his due process rights at this time and remains on full, paid administrative leave.”

Miller’s lawyer called on school systems to support teachers who “get put in terribly dangerous situations.”

“Those teachers are our first line of defense against guns and other types of terrible violence that happens in schools,” Miller’s lawyer said.

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America tried exporting woke education — the UK fought back

An American school has been “downgraded” by officials. The cause? The school is accused of “placing more weight on teaching social justice than on subject-specific knowledge.” So apparently, pupils at the school spent more time being taught about “social justice” than tedious old skills like reading, writing and math. Teachers, meanwhile, were accused of clogging up lessons with “stridently expressed views on social justice” and creating a culture “where alternative opinions are not felt welcome.” All the time, educational standards have slipped.

Now which school could that be? It could be any number in Manhattan, especially the more elite ones like the disgraced Grace Church School.

But actually it is none of New York’s shakedown woke factories. The school in question is the American School in London. And the downgrading has been issued by the British schools inspectorate, Ofsted.

Unhappiness at the American School in London has been brewing for some time. Expat parents have been complaining increasingly bitterly in recent years. The school charges $43,763 a year, per student. For this, parents say that the school is teaching children all the usual American neoracism about “white privilege,” “white fragility” and the like. All part of that brilliant modern headlock whereby someone who is called a racist and objects to it is simply displaying more racism. It is a new twist on the old medieval trick for discovering witches. Dunk the women in a river and if they drown they are not a witch. If they float then they are a witch, so you can burn them.

Of course, the classroom is no place for such divisive nonsense. But it is being taught at schools across America and American schools abroad, as well. And as almost any parent can now tell you, and a growing body of work demonstrates, the results are simply camouflaging a collapse in standards.

In his new book, “Race to the Bottom: Uncovering the Secret Forces Destroying American Public Education,” Luke Rosiak lays this out in remorseless detail. He shows, for instance, how it isn’t just what is taught in American classrooms that is the problem. It is the whole crumbling structure now looming behind it.

The way in which, for instance, even the most well-off school districts try to get around any disparities in racial testing among students. One way to address this would be to improve teaching in the classroom, focus more on students who are struggling and encourage greater discipline in after-school homework assignments. But that is the hard way. Much easier is to call in huckster “advisers” who for a suitable fee will pronounce the testing system itself as racist. What happens next is predictable as the sun rising. Standards go off the cliff.

Yet the appeal is obvious. If a school can stop testing, then, hey presto, there is no testing gap. No tests, no testing gap. See how easy it is?

And it is not as though it is some fringe movement that is trying this trick. Randi Weingarten is one of the most powerful people in American education. Perhaps one of the most important people in America. She is the president of the 1.7 million-member American Federation of Teachers. And she is just one of those who in recent years has decided to proclaim that standardized testing is — guess what — racist. Weingarten is probably one of the people most responsible for the decline in education standards in this country. Not least as one of those most responsible for the shutting of American schools during the pandemic. Though she has tried to rewrite her history since, Weingarten is one of those who should take most blame for the years of lost learning in America.

But for people like Weingarten, there is always an explanation that sidesteps their own blame. Last year, she lammed into Stuyvesant HS for being too Asian. Weingarten didn’t exactly put it like that, but it is the only possible conclusion from her remarks. Of that school’s 750 students admitted in the previous year, only eight were black and 20 were Latino. Whereas 65% of the students that year were Asian. The blame? “Standardized tests.” Because obviously if you abolished tests, then the school would be more equitable, more socially just and have better results.

There is absolutely no evidence for any of this, but Weingarten and a whole generation of American educators are wedded to it anyway. For them, it is the easier path, and the best way to cover over their own stupendous failings.

Since they have proved unable to raise standards, they have decided instead to change the purpose of education. Such as by creating a generation of young activists and blaming any and all failures on amorphous forces such as “social injustice” or “systemic racism.” In doing this, the bureaucrats imagine that they are saving themselves. And they may well be. But they are wrecking the chances of a generation of American students, including those from underprivileged backgrounds who need excellence the most.

For it is relatively easy to rewrite the rules of any game. In tennis, for instance, it is certainly easier to play with the net down. As it is easier to play basketball if you pretend that the aim of the exercise is not to get the ball into the hoop. In making these adjustments, you would undoubtedly solve one problem. You may even have persuaded some people to feel like winners. In reality, you’ve created a game where everybody loses. Who needs a generation of same-thinking automatons who excel in precisely what exactly?

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Gov. Ron DeSantis Takes ont LGBT-Obsessed Left in schools

The Florida state Senate on Tuesday passed a parents rights bill, a media-maligned piece of legislation that will prohibit primary school teachers from talking about sexual orientation with children in pre-K through third grade.

Senate passage of the Parental Rights in Education bill by a vote of 21-17 marks a milestone in parents’ efforts across the nation to fight back against the radical left in the classroom. The legislation also represents a model for other states to use as they push back the woke tides.

The Florida House of Representatives passed the legislation last month, 69-47. It now goes to Gov. Ron DeSantis for his signature.

Opposition to the Parental Rights in Education bill has been fierce, with many on the left attempting to reframe the law as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The left has attempted for years to indoctrinate children with LGBT ideology in public schools, and now activists are furious at attempts by conservatives to push back.

To be clear, the Florida legislation is not an “anti-gay” bill. It is instead a bill aimed at protecting children—and preventing educators with an agenda from infecting young kids with radical ideology.

DeSantis, a Republican, has expressed as much. In an exchange with a local reporter during a Monday press conference, the governor reiterated that the legislation was about protecting kids and that the corporate media was lying about what it would do.

DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw went one step further and argued that the bill, which takes effect July 1, was more of an “anti-grooming” measure.

They’re both correct, of course.

Americans are just waking up to how tight a grip the radical left has on the education system, and what dire consequences can result from that amount of control.

In Howard County, Maryland, eighth grade students were subjected to a video in English class featuring a biological woman who identifies as a man talking about transgender issues. The video begins with discussions surrounding genital surgery, sex, and public restrooms before devolving into a screed about transgenderism in general.

Or consider the two California teachers who aided a 12-year-old girl with a gender transition without telling her parents, then called Child Protective Services when the parents found out and tried to stop it.

Parents and states must be empowered to counter the left’s complete and utter control of the education system. And when states take actions to empower parents, they should be praised.

DeSantis and Florida Republicans deserve credit for his aggressive efforts to push back against transgender idealogy. It’s not a given that lawmakers—whether local, state, or national—will take a stand and fight the left.

Last year, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican, failed to stand up for biological reality when she vetoed a bill to ban biological males from participating in girls and women’s sports. Noem’s actions empowered the radical left, which viewed her refusal to ban men from ruining women’s sports as a jab in the arm toward its warped worldview.

Although Noem since has backtracked and signed South Dakota lawmakers’ Fairness in Women’s Sports bill last month, it came on the heels of DeSantis’ signing an identically named bill last June.

DeSantis and his team understand deeply that the radical left won’t stop and doesn’t care about parental concerns about the negative effects of its agenda on children. The left, alongside allies in the corporate media, will continue to lie about conservative efforts to counter its propaganda war in America’s classrooms.

That’s why it’s so important for DeSantis and his fellow conservatives in state legislatures and governor’s mansions to fight back actively. Because as passage of the Florida bill proves, conservatives can win.

DeSantis’ achievement in Florida should cause a cascade of similar legislation across the country. Americans who are rightfully concerned about leftist indoctrination deserve recourse against the activists who are hellbent on harming children.

There’s a long road ahead. But DeSantis and his team, along with GOP state lawmakers, can take credit for a huge first step.

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My other blogs: Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com/ (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

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Thursday, March 10, 2022


Australian universities criticise minister’s research veto powers

Vetoing apparenty silly and trivial research grants has always been politically available to avoid public criticisms about a waste of taxpayers' money

University leaders have warned of a chilling effect on research caused by the federal education minister’s ability to veto funding grants, saying their institutions were at risk of losing world-class academics to overseas competitors.

In a decision that has been widely criticised by academics, acting Education Minister Stuart Robert vetoed Australian Research Council (ARC) funding to six humanities projects for 2022 on Christmas Eve – the third time in four years the power has been used by the Coalition.

Appearing at a Senate inquiry on Wednesday, university chiefs and academic leaders were in lockstep in raising concerns about the lack of transparency over the ministerial intervention and the singling out of individual grants for rejection without detailed explanation. But they were divided over a Greens proposal to abolish the veto, with the Senate’s education committee examining the merits of a bill by senator Mehreen Faruqi that would amend ARC legislation to achieve this.

Supporting the bill, ANU vice-chancellor Brian Schmidt said the minister’s veto power was a “serious problem” that was compromising universities’ ability to attract and retain world-class academics, saying the issue had been raised with him by top researchers from overseas competitor institutions.

“People around the globe who I talk to, trying to recruit [them] to come to Australia, have noticed what’s going on. [They] have expressed their concerns to the point of saying ‘I am not going to come to Australia until you sort this out’,” Professor Schmidt told the inquiry. “It is literally affecting my ability to attract talent to Australia”.

Professor James McCluskey, University of Melbourne deputy vice-chancellor research, said the veto power was a “significant departure from world’s best practice”, noting that research councils in the US and UK were autonomous and not subject to ministerial intervention.

Western Sydney University had two grants vetoed in the 2022 funding round, with deputy vice-chancellor Deborah Sweeney telling the inquiry the intervention had had “a chilling, devastating and demoralising effect” on those researchers.

The ANU, University of Melbourne, Western Sydney University and the University of Tasmania support removing the veto power – a position that has been also been endorsed by Universities Australia and Group of Eight lobby groups.

But some universities – including the Australian Catholic University and Queensland University of Technology – have departed from this view arguing that the ministerial veto should be rarely used, but not be scrapped entirely. Instead, they support legislative changes that would improve transparency over the decision-making process, such as requiring the minister to provide an explanation to the Parliament detailing why projects were rejected.

Dr John Byron, from QUT, said completely removing the veto power was not “politically realistic or necessarily democratically desirable”, telling the inquiry that the principles of responsible government meant the minister must retain oversight of funding decisions.

Monash University deputy vice-chancellor Rebekah Brown said the lack of transparency in the veto process was diminishing credibility in the ARC’s peer-review process, and gave evidence about how a project vetoed in 2018 had significantly affected the university’s broader program of humanities research.

“The project was eventually funded two years later, but missed a significant opportunity in those intervening two years to make a global impact [and] to collect really important data during that two-year period,” she said.

Under the ARC process, an independent college of experts reviews the grant applications, worth between $30,000 and $500,000 a year, and makes recommendations for approval.

The six rejected projects included one about student climate protests and democracy, and one about religion in science fiction and fantasy novels. Two were about modern China, and two were about English literature.

Mr Robert has claimed that the six projects, which were all recommended for approval by the ARC, did not demonstrate value for taxpayers’ money or contribute to the national interest. He approved 98.8 per cent of projects recommended.

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Even With ‘Defund the Police’ Discredited, Some Schools May Still Shun the Police

Des Moines this week suffered its first fatal school shooting – reigniting a controversy in the city after the district removed police officers from its schools last year.

Police say a group of teenagers in vehicles outside Des Moines' East High School fired multiple rounds onto school property on Monday, killing a 15-year-old boy and critically wounding two female students who were bystanders. Six teenagers, some of them current Des Moines students, have been charged with first-degree murder.

The deadly drive-by shooting now hovers over the decision by Des Moines officials, along with about 30 districts across the country, to exile cops from schools. These moves were part of the "defund the police" movement that erupted after the murder of George Floyd in 2020. It’s a movement now reeling in the face of violent crime surging nationwide, punctuated by President Biden’s State of the Union vow last week to “fund the police.”

But in schools, at least, a decision to bring back cops -- or “school resource officers,” as they are called -- isn’t a slam dunk in places where students of color had been arrested at higher rates than whites.

Des Moines (population: 214,000) provides a case in point. So far its district, half of whose students are black or Latino, has not followed schools from Maryland to California heeding pleas to restore the SROs. Instead, Iowa’s capital city is rolling out a new community-engagement safety plan to replace the cops.

And that infuriates parents alarmed by school mayhem long before Floyd’s death moved racial justice to the front burner -- parents like Lindsay LaGrange. The Des Moines mom reached her breaking point in November after a student in her son’s middle school was found with an airsoft pellet gun on campus. “My son turned in this boy to the front office, and then later this boy beats up my son after school,” she said. “Almost every day he said there’s another fight at school. The kids are not safe.”

Des Moines joined the wave of districts that hired SROs after the rash of school shootings in the 1990s, a decade capped by the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado. The killing of Sandy Hook elementary school children in Connecticut in 2012 spurred more districts to follow suit. As many as 25,000 law enforcement officers are working today in all types of schools, from rural to suburban to urban, said Mo Canady, executive director of the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO).

In Des Moines, SRO was a coveted job. Cops went through a competitive hiring process, which vetted them for the patience and savvy to communicate with teenagers, said Sergeant Paul Parizek of the Des Moines Police Department. Not every officer was a good fit. Those tapped went through training at NASRO, a crash course in seeing the world through the eyes of a teenager.

Des Moines started its SRO program about two decades ago. The district would eventually hire 10 SROs and a supervisor – one cop for each high school and four that were shared by the middle schools. Seventy percent of SROs were white men and women. Black men made up 30%.

Parizek said the public has harbored misconceptions about the approach. SROs weren’t placed in schools to jack up kids with a dime bag. Although an average of 287 Des Moines students were arrested annually in the years before the pandemic, the goal was prevention: to build relationships with students to deter them from trouble and to hear chatter about what’s going down in the schools. Who’s going to fight? Who has a gun?

“The guns we recovered in 2019, we recovered them before they made it inside the school door,” Parizek said. “And this was because of the relationships that SROs had with students who provided them with information.”

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Australian medical school sets aside dozens of positions for country kids who could stay locally for good

Country kids who grew up dreaming of being doctors now have the chance to follow that path without moving to the city.

Deakin University's new rural training stream reserves highly competitive medical school places for country applicants who already hold a degree.

Once enrolled, the students are sent for hands-on training in small hospitals in towns in the west of Victoria including Ararat, Portland, Stawell, and Warrnambool.

Rural Community Clinical School director, associate professor Lara Fuller said the program was designed to address the issue of workforce shortages in the south-west and Grampians.

"The idea is to recruit students from the region, train in the region, and the idea is that they will stay in the region," she said. Dr Fuller said that there was "good evidence" to suggest that that was a likely outcome.

"Work we've done looking at our own graduate outcomes has shown that rural clinical experience, plus selecting students from a rural background, means that those students are more likely to work rurally when they graduate," she said.

Dr Fuller said the approach could help to resolve the brain drain from country towns.

"Historically, for medicine, medical school and post-graduate training has been located in cities," she said. "It can take a long time, we're talking 10 years-plus, to complete the full medical training.

"They put down roots and develop relationships and so on in the cities, so then it becomes a fait accompli almost. It's very difficult to go back."

The new model Deakin has adopted provides 30 training places available only to rural and regional students, and gives priority to applicants from Deakin's rural partner communities in South West Victoria and the Grampians region.

Deakin's Dean of Medicine, professor Gary Rogers, said it was the first step towards a bigger vision where country kids who dreamt of being doctors might never have to leave their home towns.

"Into the future, we believe it will be possible for learners to undertake all their training from high school to independent medical practice without having to live in a metropolitan area," Professor Rogers said.

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My other blogs: Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com/ (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

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Wednesday, March 09, 2022



CA: State Agency Conducted ‘Mask Raids,’ Interviewed Preschoolers Alone

Several parents at Aspen Leaf Preschool are furious that state child care licensing investigators questioned their children without supervision.

During the investigation, regulators separated children and interviewed them without familiar adults present in isolated rooms. Many Aspen Leaf parents said they believed such severe tactics were only meant to be used in child abuse investigations.

Stephanie and Richard Rosado recently told their 4-year-old son about the importance of not talking to strangers. Only days later, state regulators came to the child’s preschool, isolated him in a room away from his teachers and friends and asked him questions about masking.

His parents, and many others at the preschool, were furious.

Regulators questioned the Rosados’ son as part of an investigation into masking practices at Aspen Leaf Preschool, which operates three locations in San Diego. All three locations were simultaneously “raided,” as some parents have called it, in mid-January. Regulators separated the children and toddlers from familiar adults at each of the centers to ask questions about the preschools’ masking policies.

What’s strange about that decision, parents and teachers say, is that Aspen Leaf officials had already been open with parents and regulators about their decision to not mask children.

Regulators isolated and interviewed children aged one to four, a step many parents say was inappropriate and unnecessary.

“This gross abuse of power is shameful and unacceptable for many reasons,” wrote the Rosados in a complaint. “The people who ordered this to be done and those who participated should be held responsible.”

The California Department of Social Services and its child care licensing program oversee regulatory compliance in preschools. Child care licensing investigators do have the authority to interview children in isolated settings, but many Aspen Leaf parents said they believed such tactics were meant to be used in extreme cases, like alleged child abuse.

Regulators “determined that the interviews were conducted in an appropriate manner and were a necessary component of the required complaint investigation,” Kevin Gaines, deputy director of child care licensing, wrote to one Aspen Leaf parent, who lodged a complaint.

“Staff are trained to conduct interviews with children in a manner that avoids causing undue stress,” Gaines wrote.

An Aspen Leaf adult was in the “line of sight” of each child, who was interviewed, Gaines told the parent.

Child care officials’ reasoning has not soothed parents’ anger.

Connie Wu’s daughter was not yet 2 –years old when she was interviewed by regulators in January. Wu doesn’t know what happened in the room or how her daughter felt – because her daughter is too young to say.

“She’s not developmentally able to tell me,” Wu told me. “She doesn’t have the vocabulary to be able to talk about being interviewed by a stranger.”

Aspen Leaf closed briefly when the pandemic began in March 2020. But when it re-opened in June, it openly did not enforce the state’s mask requirement.

The owners of Aspen Leaf reasoned that children would not be allowed to wear masks while they were sleeping or eating. In other words, they’d give each other COVID-19 no matter what. On top of that, they didn’t believe the masks would be great for children’s development.

Howard Wu, unrelated to Connie Wu, is a part-owner of Aspen Leaf and a lawyer. He believes the state’s child care licensing department doesn’t have the authority to enforce the mask mandate – essentially because of a technicality.

In order to enforce a regulation, the agency must issue a regulation, Wu said. But so far, the child care licensing department has not issued regulations on masks.

Instead, the California Department of Public Health issued a mask requirement. Had the state’s health department tried to enforce the mask mandate, Howard Wu said Aspen Leaf would have either complied or considered whether they had any recourse to fight it.

Child care licensing officials have asserted that they do, in fact, have the authority to enforce the state mask mandate.

The question has not been tested in court.

Howard Wu believes child care licensing officials went after his facilities, because he questioned their authority. Child care licensing officials did not respond to a question about whether they treated Aspen Leaf more severely than other facilities.

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NYC kids see their classmates’ faces for the first time in years

Jubilant city kids were able to behold the full faces of their smiling pals Monday for the first time in years.

“It was surprising to see my classmates without a mask,” said a Stuyvesant High School student named Tasnim. “You see them in a new light. When you see only the top of their face it becomes part of their personality.”

While some students chose to keep their facial coverings, others ripped them off after the city dropped a mask mandate for kindergarten through 12th graders.

Some kids cautiously split the different and tucked their masks under their chins.

“People have been gearing up for this for a while saying ‘What do you look like without your mask?'” said a Stuyvesant freshman. “It’s been a whole thing for the past two weeks.”

Noah Vera, 8, marveled at his unobscured friends. “It was nice to see each other’s faces again,” he said.

Another student said the mask removals vastly improved communication across the board.

“You can actually breathe when you’re playing in the playground and it’s much easier to talk to your friends and teachers,” observed Meison Horie, 8. “I started wearing a mask in first grade and I have been waiting for the rule to change ever since.”

Classmate Kalei Olaes, 9, said he was surprised how accustomed he had gotten to covering his face. “Every now and then I’d think ‘Oh no, where’s my mask,'” he said. “But then I remembered I didn’t care because we don’t have to wear masks anymore.”

A survey of the PS 165 playground found that roughly 1 in 10 kids opted to keep their masks on.

Olaes said about three out of 12 kids kept their masks on in his class and that their choices were respected.

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‘Master teachers’ on $180k could help boost education standards, say Australian campaigners

Education campaigners want public schools to get a fair go and for “master teachers” – on wages of up to $180,000 to lift standards as Australia’s performance in the global education rankings continues to slide.

That slide has come despite billions of extra dollars going into schools in the last decade.

And despite a push to remove the inequities in the education sector by giving more funding to those who are disadvantaged, unions say it is private students that have benefited the most from federal funding, receiving three times the amount going to public students.

The Australian Education Union (AEU) said the Productivity Commission had found private school students received $10,211 each from the federal government, while public school students got just a fraction of that – $2760.

The bulk of public education funding actually comes from the states and territories – 80 per cent compared to the federal government’s 20 per cent.

So overall, the government said, public schools received the highest level of support, with average per student public funding in 2019-20 reaching $20,181, compared with $13,189 for non-government school students.

The union countered that argument by saying private school fees paid by parents ensured private students were far better off than their poorer cousins in the public sector.

Australian Education Union federal president, Correna Haythorpe said the recommendations of the 2012 Gonski report, which was about finding a way to financially support disadvantaged students, had been ignored by successive Coalition governments.

Figures showed that public schools were only funded, by both levels of government, to the tune of around 90 per cent of what Gonski recommended, according to McKell Institute chief executive Michael Buckland.

The McKell Institute looked across the whole of the sector from early-childhood to primary, secondary, tertiary and vocational education, and concluded reform was necessary, if Australia wanted to compete on the world stage with the likes of China.

The slow running down of TAFE and the flawed funding model for universities, which heavily relied on overseas students, were also problems, Mr Buckland said.

“Australia’s fall in education rankings, underfunded public schools and the long running down of investment in TAFE are shortsighted public policy decisions that hurt us all,” he said.

“We also risk damaging universities for good if we don’t come up with another way to fund it.”

The results of a survey by the AEU released this week revealed that 83 per cent of TAFE teachers reported that their institution had closed courses in the past three years, with lack of funding the most commonly cited reason.

It also found 80 per cent of teachers did not believe TAFE students studying today were receiving the same quality of education as they did two years go.

Meanwhile, Universities Australia chief executive Catriona Jackson said the sector took a $1.8 billion hit during the pandemic, when international students were unable to get into the country. In order to mitigate those financial losses, 17,300 full-time, part-time and casual jobs had been slashed.

“The way we fund universities is not sustainable,” she said.

Ms Jackson said the group would be calling on the federal government to invest more and encourage industry with incentives to back university research programs.

Mr Buckland said free TAFE courses in identified areas of skill shortages was an economic reform that would help Australia build back stronger after Covid, while good quality, childhood education from birth to primary school would also benefit kids and the economy.

He said that the Federal Government also needed to do more to combat the shortage of teachers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects by introducing incentives.

Grattan Institute’s Jordana Hunter said a top priority for new education spending was to restructure the teacher career path to encourage high achievers to pursue the profession.

“We should be paying our expert teachers much more and giving them more responsibility for building the quality of teaching in our schools,” she said.

Ms Hunter said the institute, a public policy think tank, recommended two new roles. ‘instructional specialists’ would be paid around $140,000 – about $40,000 more than the top pay for classroom teachers – to work with teachers in their schools. ‘Master teachers’ would be paid around $180,000 to work with several schools to improve practices.

Meanwhile, early childhood education campaigners said one in five kids from disadvantaged backgrounds were already behind their peers when they started primary school – and they were never able to catch up.

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My other blogs: Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com/ (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

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Tuesday, March 08, 2022



Australian Chief Scientist wants more girls to embrace science and maths

This pressure is a bit arrogant. Why should girls not choose what they want?

Dropout rates from high school maths and science subjects have sparked calls from Australia’s chief scientist Cathy Foley for better trained teachers.

Dr Foley said women risk missing out on highly paid jobs unless more girls studied STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects at school and university. She said boys made up 78 per cent of physics enrolments for the Higher School Certificate in NSW.

Too many students were “dropping out of important subjects at the last minute’’ in years 11 and 12, Dr Foley said. “That’s not the recipe we need for great opportunities for women to have fabulous jobs that are technology-based.’’

Student enrolment data for the two biggest states, NSW and Victoria, reveal high dropout rates from science subjects in senior years. In NSW, one in three of all students who enrolled in physics or chemistry in 2019 had dropped the subject by the end of year 12.

In Victoria, a quarter of students who enrolled in year 11 chemistry in 2020 dropped the subject in year 12, with 3886 students quitting the core science subject last year.

In mathematical methods, necessary to study engineering or medicine, one in four students shed the subject between years 11 and 12.

Nearly 4000 year 12 students completed specialist mathematics in Victoria last year, but boys were twice as likely as girls to have studied the most difficult maths subject. Just 1653 year 12 girls completed physics studies last year compared with 5596 boys – with a 22 per cent dropout rate for the subject in the senior years in Victorian high schools.

In systems engineering, 68 girls finished the subject in year 12, compared with 1045 boys.

Dr Foley said school girls with a talent for science often dreamt of becoming doctors so they could help people.

That meant girls were overlooking lucrative and interesting careers in data science, artificial intelligence and robotics that could help humanity, she said.

“A lot of young girls are brought up with societal expectations to be a carer, a social secretary and to make sure they’re nice to people,’’ she said.

“But there’s a narrow idea of what it means to help people. If they go into STEM-related research, they can develop something used by many people; they can change the world by science.’’

Dr Foley said Australia will need an extra 250,000 workers with digital skills within the next two years. “We’re not graduating anywhere near the number of (qualified workers) we need … to move from a service-based economy built on mineral extraction and services.’’

She said international students were more likely than Australian students to study engineering or physical sciences at university.

Better teaching, rather than a new curriculum, was the key to stopping students dropping out of science and maths in senior high school, Dr Foley said.

“Curriculums don’t inspire children, teachers inspire children. It doesn’t matter how good the content is, you need an inspiring teacher.

“At the moment, teachers often are teaching outside their area of expertise.

“Phys-ed teachers working as maths and science teachers is not a pathway that’s serving us well.’’

Dr Foley praised schools such as St Aiden’s Anglican Girls’ School in Brisbane, where students learn about coding and ­robotics from their first year of primary school.

Girls take part in an annual ­robotics contest, the Australian Space Design Competition and a First Lego League contest.

Principal Toni Riordan said 45 per cent of the class of 2021 year 12 graduates had applied for STEM-related studies at university. This year, 22 per cent of year 12 students are studying physics, 54 per cent chemistry and 56 per cent biology.

“The quality and professionalism of our teachers allow us to deliver our school-wide priority to deliver age-appropriate and diverse opportunities in STEM,’’ Ms Riordan said. “Our students embrace these opportunities with a curious mindset and creative problem-solving, which we know will prepare them for the world they will encounter.’’

Dr Foley, who trained as a school teacher before becoming a scientist, said too few teachers had the “right skills’’ to teach maths and science.

She said children’s engagement with social media and gaming meant “their need to be excited and inspired and engaged is heightened’’.

Scientists, engineers and IT professionals needed financial incentives, such as scholarships, to retrain as teachers, she added.

And she questioned the need for university-educated professionals to complete a two-year master’s degree in education to become a teacher.

“If you’ve been on a fair salary, you can’t suddenly dip out for two years (to complete a master’s degree),’’ Dr Foley said.

“Many people who’ve been in the workforce a long time have skills that are transferable.

“They might not need to do all aspects of a two-year master’s (degree).’’

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Professors tweet about how they are using the '1619 Project' in class

Nikole Hannah-Jones tweeted to college professors in December, asking them to share their syllabi with her if they use the 1619 Project in their classrooms.

Scholars from around the country have since left comments on Jones’ post about how they use or have previously used the ideas from her publication in their own classrooms.

Hannah-Jones claims in her "1619 Project" that America’s history is centered around the arrival of the first slave ship in the colonies in 1619.

John Duffy, a University of Notre Dame Professor of English, was among the first to post a reply.

“I don’t know if you saw this,” he wrote, linking to a Washington Post article that is titled “Professor: Why I teach the much-debated 1619 Project – despite its flaws.”

Duffy is quoted in the article and wrote extensively about his support for Jones and why he uses her ideas in his classroom.

“Yet my reasons for teaching the 1619 Project are not entirely intellectual. They are equally visceral,” Duffy states. “Most of my students come to the class with sketchy notions of the realities of slavery.”

Middlesex Community College Associate Professor of Legal Studies and Paralegal Studies Program Director Halye Sugarman shared a tweet about her own classes.

“I teach paralegal studies and have begun to incorporate 1619 and would like to do more! Anyone who want to collaborate DM me,” she wrote.

Illinois State University History Professor, Dr. Andrew Hartman, is teaching a graduate seminar about the 1619 project.

“Teaching a grad seminar this summer, geared for high school history teachers, that I call: "A Ruthless Critique of the American History Survey." We will take the controversy over 1619/1776 as our starting point,” Hartman tweeted.

Hunter College Professor of Art History, Michael Lobel, has found a way to incorporate Jones’ ideas into his art courses.

He wrote, “Not a whole course specifically on the project, but I'm teaching a course on the African American presence in the graphic arts & will be covering 19th-century prints that reference the date 1619, including this @librarycongress chromolithograph.”

University of Pittsburgh Director of Undergraduate Studies and Senior Lecturer, Brock Bahler, tweeted: “I taught a Philosophy of Race & Religion in Spr 21 & would like to incorporate #1619Project into it next time. The intertwinement of colonialism, slavery & Jim Crow w/ Christianity in US history figured quite prominently.”

He included a screenshot of his syllabus which already includes readings such as Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility,” Richard Delgado’s “Hallmark Critical Race Theory Themes,” and Peggy McIntosh’s pamphlet called “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.”

Another University of Pittsburgh Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Director of the Center for Health Equity, Dara D. Mendez, tweeted:

“Ive incorporate the readings into my Social Epi class over the past 2 fall semesters. Just got the book as Xmas gift :).”

On Mendez’s school profile, she includes a personal statement about her teaching practices. “My research, teaching, curriculum development and service applies equity, anti-racism, anti-oppression praxis as well as Black Feminist Theory, Critical Race Theory and Public Health Critical Race Praxis,” she wrote.

More here:

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A feminist failure

image from https://content.api.news/v3/images/bin/bba944d817d914faf7f3e66d5e286568?width=480

Trophy wife can be an attractive role still

By MAGGIE McPHEE

I have been teaching at an all-girls’ school for more than 11 years, and I am still astounded at my students’ capacity for romance.

Even after 60 years of modern feminism, patriarchal myths sold in the fairytales of childhood, have al alluring pull over many young women.

A case in point: our leavers were asked to dress up as their future selves as a lighthearted activity. We saw astronauts and doctors, but a couple dressed up as “trophy wives”.

I asked them if they were being ironic. They were not.

Just the other day when my Year 12 English class was talking about gender politics in society, the subject turned to #MeToo. To my horror several girls asked innocently: “What’s #MeToo”?

As their committed feminist of an English teacher, I feel the need to “sell” feminism, to prepare them for when they inevitably leave the protected matriarchy of single-sex schooling and prepare to engage in earnest with the complex reality of a male-dominated world.

It’s a hard sell. Some of our strong, clever young women are afraid of the label “feminist” and avoid association with the movement. It is frustrating that some students are blas√© about gender issues in a world in which Grace Tame and Brittany Higgins are fighting so hard for their rights as women. What are they afraid of? Being labelled as “difficult”? A complainer? Or perhaps the potential, and unspoken consequences of such an association.

Why are our young women disengaged from this issue that connects so directly to the shape of their futures? Perhaps the subtle messages their context sends them are part of the problem. Often, we underestimate girls, thinking they are not able to cope with the complexities of life. We protect them, enable their relatively harmless fantasies (the Year 12 ball is testament to that) and risk failing to prepare them for the challenges of a life that will expect them to be able to stand their ground and stake their claim.

We also give them an exhausting list of boxes to be ticked – you need to be independent, educated, skilled and trained, but you also need to be soft, empathetic, gentle, kind and feminine. No wonder my students are overwhelmed.

I suppose I can understand the impulse to retreat to the safety of apparently simple roles or solutions. Sometimes it may even be easier to opt out of the discussion altogether.

We all know the statistics trotted out every International Women’s Day about the gender pay gap, and we know the reasons : women tend to enter less lucrative industries; they take unpaid or poorly remunerated time out of the workforce for childrearing; women are less likely to go for top jobs and less likely to negotiate the same sort of salaries as their male counterparts. These statistics are stubborn – and although we are preparing girls for a world 60 years on from the second wave of feminism, it seems there is little we can do to shift these numbers.

What can we do collectively as educators to enable girls to be women who can choose to study in a male-dominated field or to have the self-confidence to apply for the top job and sit in front of a room full of men to argue for a higher salary?

At schools such as mine much has been done to try to develop resilient and courageous young women, including the introduction of programs designed to encourage taking a risk, potentially failing and trying again, as well as encouraging students to develop self-leadership skills, the confidence to persist in adversity.

It is important that we don’t just teach our young women the content they will need to study or to get a job – they need to have the personal skills to accompany that knowledge. All this is necessary. I see my role as a teacher as educating critical minds that will question assumed wisdom and cultural myths, including those around gender. The tempting illusions that we allow to remain unquestioned by young women should be challenged, for their necessarily complex lives to be rich and fulfilling.

Greater comfort will derive from deep engagement with the world as it is. The great challenge facing young people, not just girls, is disinterest and disengagement from the great ideas and movements flowing through the world. By protecting our students from the fascinating grubbiness, we are potentially robbing them of the chance to be realistic, pragmatic and perhaps even develop enough resistance to change the world.

I have made peace with the fact that my task is to plant a seed, not grow the garden.

Not everything can be taught before they leave school.

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My other blogs: Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com/ (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

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Monday, March 07, 2022



Don’t Buy Media’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Distortions About Florida’s Parental Rights Bill

For the crime of trying to protect young children from sexually explicit material in the classroom, Florida legislators are being crucified by the media.

The Florida House recently passed the parental rights bill known as HB 1557, and it has cleared a final committee in the state Senate. Senators now have until March 11 to pass the legislation and put it on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk.

The media has wildly distorted the intent of the bill. Yes, I know, what’s new?

But the sheer level of message discipline by a broad swath of media outlets to promote the message of left-wing Democrats is impressive.

A quick internet search reveals an almost uniform effort in the media to call HB 1557 the “don’t say gay” bill. NPR, ABC, NBC, and The Associated Press are among many news outlets that have labeled it as such.

Not only is this label for the legislation clearly just aligning with the message that Democrat opponents want to promote, it’s also not in any way accurate about what the bill would do.

When one looks at the text, there is nothing about not saying “gay.” This points to the larger issue that Democrats who oppose the bill, and their media allies, don’t want to discuss the specifics.

Instead, they want to use the debate as an opportunity to label conservatives and Republicans as mean and hateful.

Some of the criticism has devolved into outright hysterics.

President Joe Biden jumped in with the straw man, calling the bill “hateful.” What a surprise.

Again, the implication—from the media headlines and political attacks—is that Florida lawmakers are considering an extremist, anti-gay hate bill.

So, what would the legislation do? In short, it would ban sexually explicit content for young children in public school classrooms.

A fact sheet produced by Heritage Action for America explains:

The bill would prevent school personnel from pushing planned instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity issues in kindergarten through third grade or in contexts that are not age-appropriate in later grades. The bill does not prohibit organic conversations between students and teachers, nor does it prohibit age-appropriate discussion of social issues including sexual orientation if it is in accordance with state standards.

Again, nothing about the bill requiring that Floridians not say “gay.”

Another media distortion is that HB 1557 would force schools to “out” students who are not heterosexual. This just isn’t true.

The bill actually encourages any student “to discuss issues relating to his or her well-being with his or her parent or to facilitate discussion of the issue with the parent.”

This provision is a response to what’s happened in some schools, where a student is pushed by school officials to undergo a gender transition without the permission or knowledge of parents.

There may have been a time and place where such restrictions on sexually explicit content for young children didn’t have to be addressed, but the reality is that more of such content is getting injected into children’s books and other materials.

This is pretty commonsense stuff. Even the leader of a prominent Republican LGBT group has said as much.

Charles Moran, president of Log Cabin Republicans, also said it was important to put restrictions on curriculum. A third-grade-and-younger demographic, he said, is “entirely too young of an age bracket to be having these types of very adult and very complex conversations around sexual orientation and gender, specifically gender identity issues.”

Sexual orientation and gender identity, Moran added, “is not an appropriate subject matter [to be] teaching at that time.”

Importantly, Moran said, the bill wouldn’t prevent children from having discussions about related topics, even while in class. Instead, he said, it “prevents the school from building this into curriculums and having some sort of forced conversation about it.”

Despite how some are portraying it, this isn’t a free speech issue. Teachers and school administrators can’t just say or do whatever they want in public school classrooms, yet that is the message that the left has sent over the past few years.

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More And More Schools Caught Discriminating Against Unvaccinated Children!

Disgusting propaganda about COVID-19 vaccines that featured fifth- to eighth-graders in a musical play is now facing allegations of organizing a play that discriminated against unvaccinated kids.

The said show used the tune of ’80s hit “The Safety Dance,” including: “It’s safe to vax/and if your friends don’t vax/then they ain’t no friends of mine.”

Overall the play only shows disgusting propaganda about submitting to the medical mafia and taking experimental shots, reports said.

But the performance organizers of the December holiday show at MS 243 Center School on 84th Street and Columbus Avenue allegedly took things to another despicable level by using kids in dance numbers, songs, and skits that ostracized anyone that stood up for their bodily autonomy.

Here are more details from the New York Post report:

During one sketch, kids held signs with the names of big pharma jab-makers “Pfizer” and “Moderna” painted in red and drawn into the outline of a syringe.

Another scene had students mocking conservatives and those seeking medical or religious exemptions to the jab. Some held signs reading “I fear God not COVID” and “I am not a science experiment.”

They were pitted alongside people intended to look crazy, including one child dressed as a box of Kool cigarettes and another as Napoleon Bonaparte. Another student paraded around the stage as Jacob Chansley — the infamous horn-hat and fur-wearing Jan. 6 Capitol rioter who was recently sentenced to 41 months in prison.

Parents outraged by the theatrics said afterwards the show shouldn’t have gone on.

“It was an abomination,” said mom Antigone Michaelides, who watched the play with her husband. “It is discrimination and bullying and there is no reason you should make kids feel bad about themselves. Haven’t they been through enough in two years?”

Michaelides said several unvaccinated children were required to participate in the production which denigrated their parents’ decision to keep them unvaxxed. She said the show has been created by teachers at the school and was part of a larger climate of intolerance, and that unvaccinated kids — like her son — were frequently singled out.

“I do know for a fact that he’s been exposed to hurtful things being said around him. This I can tell you for a fact,” Michaelides said. “Hurtful things were said to him about the vaccine by other kids.”

A representative from the Department of Education said the agency is investigating the allegations.

“Every student deserves to feel welcomed in their school and this incident was immediately referred for investigation,” said spokesman Nathaniel Styer.

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At the University of Massachusetts, STEM professors resist indoctrination

by Jeff Jacoby

HERE'S SOMETHING you don't see every day: More than 50 faculty members at the University of Massachusetts Boston are openly criticizing a campaign to bind their institution into an ideology of racial and social engineering far removed from the time-honored role of higher education.

The professors' criticism takes the form of an online letter posted in response to proposed new mission and vision statements for the university. They reflect what faculty members regard as a hyperfixation on the part of the campus's leadership — UMass Boston recently installed a new chancellor and a new provost — with casting everything the university does, as some of them put it, in terms of power dynamics and hidden racism.

UMass Boston already has a mission statement. Adopted in 2010, it admirably lays out the university's purpose. Its first sentence identifies UMass Boston as "a public research university with a dynamic culture of teaching and learning, and a special commitment to urban and global engagement." It celebrates the school's "vibrant, multi-cultural educational environment" and "broadly diverse campus community." And it commits UMass Boston to "creating new knowledge while serving the public good of our city, our commonwealth, our nation, and our world."

Following that statement is a longer discussion of the university's values. They include "creativity and discovery," "diversity and inclusion," and "economic and cultural development." Emphasized again and again, however, are three values in particular: teaching, research, and service — quintessential objectives for the only public research university in New England's largest city.

As a concise summary of what UMass Boston stands for, the 2010 statement is close to ideal. By contrast, what the administration suggests replacing it with reeks of woke indoctrination.

The proposed new mission and vision statements mention "research" and "teaching" only in passing. They begin instead by proclaiming that UMass Boston must become "an anti-racist and health-promoting institution" that supports "diverse forms of knowledge production" and is dedicated to education "rooted in equity, environmental sustainability, [and] social and racial justice." They reiterate that the university's purpose is to be "anti-racist" and to promote "climate, environmental, and racial justice."

The draft of the vision statement concludes with a vow to hold everyone associated with the university "accountable" for ensuring that "these values drive all decision-making" at UMass Boston — including decisions about research, the allocation of funds, and the development of campus policies.

Alarm bells went off when these drafts were released. In the College of Science and Mathematics especially, several instructors were dismayed by the statements' heavy dose of political and activist code language with the unmistakable implication that at UMass Boston, the pursuit of knowledge and exchange of ideas is to be subordinated to a rigid left-wing agenda.

In an email exchange shared with me, several faculty members described UMass Boston as being under pressure from administrators to change its image from that of a research and teaching institution that highly values social justice to that of a social justice institution that does a bit of research and teaching. Several feel strongly that what is at stake is the soul of the institution.

So late last month, a group of professors in the STEM fields — engineering, biology, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and computer science — released a letter expressing their "extensive concerns" about the tone and direction of the proposed new statements.

"Under no circumstances can political or ideological activism be the primary purpose of a public university," they wrote. Of course individual students or staff members have every right to be active in social causes. "However, in this regard the role of the university is to empower people to take action themselves — not to coerce students, faculty, or institutional units to do so."

They are objecting not because of their political views but because they are teachers: If political activism becomes "a central goal of the university," warns the open letter, inevitably "it will conflict with education and research. The search for truth can never be subjugated to social or ideological beliefs."

Most worrying to many of the signers was the draft statements' exhortation that all decisions about research must adhere to an overarching creed of racial, social, and climate justice. Not only is such a mandate antithetical to the spirit of open inquiry and academic freedom, but in some cases it is downright incomprehensible.

"If your research on quantum computing is not perceived as promoting climate, environmental, or racial justice," the authors of the open letter ask, "will you be held accountable and your resources re-allocated?"

There was an era, not so long ago, when spirited debate over questions of university policy and politics was an integral part of higher education. Today, when expressing the "wrong" opinion on a controversial social issue has led to the investigation, censure, suspension, or firing of hundreds of faculty members around the country, it takes moral courage to openly criticize the progressive dogma being pushed by the UMass Boston leadership. In opinion surveys, nearly 2 in 3 American adults say that they are afraid to honestly express their views. In too many institutions of higher education, illiberal hostility to free speech has grown endemic.

All the more reason, then, to applaud the UMass instructors who have put their names to the open letter challenging the university's misbegotten — but ideologically fashionable — statement.

What the administration proposes, the objecting faculty members write, "would bring serious damage to . . . the demographically and ideologically diverse group of students we serve — particularly those who see education as a means to rise socio-economically."

The professors' letter continues to collect signatures from all UMass Boston departments. It is a tribute to the intellectual integrity of which American higher education remains capable. Perhaps it is also reason to hope that the woke juggernaut rolling through academia may not be unstoppable.

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My other blogs: Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com/ (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

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SHOCKING: MI Governor Admits Promoting This in Public Schools

According to national data, American schools are failing, especially in larger urban areas run by national teachers’ unions. Instead of raising standards, far-leftists are instead feeding social justice into the schools, increasing racial tensions, while promoting more and more gender identities.

On the darker side of their efforts, in line with other dictators who from the beginning of world history have targeted children, an increasing amount of new curriculum is being used to indoctrinate the youth.

One of the worst is Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer who has aggressively pushed for the insertion of critical race theory into her state’s schools. Now her administration is providing controversial material promoting race essentialism to teachers.

Whitmer’s Educator Advisory Council has published a report called “Social Justice and Anti-Racist Educator Resources”. It gives schools and teachers the materials they need to push race-essentialism, ensures that race is seen as a central determinative factor in everyday interactions, and teaches some children that they are oppressed and others that they are oppressors based entirely on the color of their skin.

The report’s opening page includes; “The compilation aims to help colleagues begin, continue, and further their own work to FIRST educate themselves and then bring anti-racist teaching to all grade levels and subject areas.”

To kick off their new instruction, the teachers are told to read an article titled 106 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice. This piece, in what appears to be an update in their February 2022 article says, “Our work to fix what we broke and left broken. The work isn’t done until Black folks tell us it’s done.”

In their mission statement, it declares “We, as members of the Governor’s Educator Advisory Council, hear the moral outcry being shouted and felt throughout the world. … We believe education is the key to promoting social justice in society.”

“We realize we are battling two deadly viruses: COVID-19 and the virus of racism,” it continues. “We pledge to promote educational policies, practices, and resources which will help put an end to systemic racism. We will fight for more diversity in all aspects of the educational profession.”

The material references the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. It instructs teachers that “whiteness and the normalization of white racial identity throughout America’s history have created a culture where nonwhite persons are seen as inferior or abnormal.”

“People of color must always consider their racial identity, whatever the situation, due to the systemic and interpersonal racism that still exists,” and “whiteness (and its accepted normality) also exist as everyday microaggressions toward people of color.”

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Academic sabotage at NYC’s famed arts high school

Count LaGuardia HS for the Performing Arts is yet another casualty in the war on excellence. How long will it take new Chancellor David Banks to reverse the school system’s bias against achievement?

Students and parents at the “Fame”ous school just learned that its Advanced Placement Calculus class lost College Board accreditation this year. Worse, some teachers have reportedly discouraged kids from taking AP exams.

This, a year after parental outcry supposedly got the school to drop plans to undermine its AP offerings.

AP classes are a huge win for kids, since they can earn college credits if they pass the corresponding test and save big money if they finish faster. How is discouraging them from taking the test helping students?

It’s been a tug of war: Lisa Mars was forced out as LaGuardia principal in 2019 after some students, parents and faculty found her to be too focused on academics. That ushered in new leadership that attacked AP classes as supposedly too stressful for kids and insufficiently creative (or something) for teachers.

The real issue seems to be the woke idea that high achievement is a “manifestation of white supremacy.” A PowerPoint presentation last year told families that “colleges acknowledge that standardized test scores reflect systemic racism rather than student achievement.”

All this is an insane disservice to kids. Banks, who rightly says increasing chances for students to excel is vital to restoring parental trust, should order a review of LaGuardia’s leadership and course offerings.

Any so-called educator who embraced the de Blasio-era assault on excellence should be shown the door.

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$40,000-a-year Chicago private school boasted of injecting critical race theory into PHYSICS classes as far back as 2016 – and revealed that students' reactions would be 'tracked'

A $40,000-a-year- private school in Chicago had allegedly injected critical race theory into its physics classes as far back as 2016 and tracked students' attitudes to the courses to see to see if they were successful.

Emails from The Latin School of Chicago obtained by The Federalist, a conservative news outlet, revealed that former director Elizabeth Denevi introduced a new curriculum to ninth grad students called 'Social Justice in Physics' six years ago.

According to one email, which was addressed to parents, the course was meant to 'address power dynamics, systematic racism, white privilege and the shortage of people of color and women in the field of science, especially physics.'

The email explained that the course was designed by Moses Rifkin, a physics teacher at University Prep in Seattle who claims to work with white teachers to help them understand 'their privilege and the role they can and must play in working for social justice,' according to his bio on the Learning for Justice, a branch of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The course began with discussing the 'significant underrepresentation of Black American physicists' and asked students to complete a survey on a range of statements regarding race and racism.

The email also stated that the effectiveness of the course would be tracked through the survey as they hoped students would 'reflect deeply' on their lessons.

It is unknown if the course is still ongoing in the school, and The Latin School did not immediately respond to DailyMail.com's request for comment.

The lessons and theory taught are markedly similar to the types of 'equity' instruction that have roiled school boards across the US over the last year, with critics condemning the teachings as divisive and simplistic.

A separate email from a parent in the school, also obtained by The Federalist, showed that the parent was concerned about the course and the questions on the survey.

According to the email, the students were asked to rate the statements with how much they believed in it.

Some of the statements read: 'American society fits my definition of racist, Talking about race makes me uncomfortable and having questions about another race is an example of racism.

One statement read: 'White Americans must recognize that justice for black people cannot be achieved without radical changes in the structure of our society.'

Months after the course was implemented, Denevi went on to co-found Teaching While White, and education group working to help white educators become 'anti-racist in the classroom.'

This year, San Francisco School District recalled three board members over their woke obsessions - keeping schools shut for far longer than other US cities because of 'safety.'

The same board infuriated the city's parents by removing merit-based entry to the city's top public high school, Lowell, in favor of a lottery system to enhance 'equity' by increasing the number of black and Latino attendees.

While depriving students of in-class instruction, San Francisco's School District got stuck into renaming local schools whose current titles were deemed 'problematic' - including one facility named after Abraham Lincoln.

The board also sought to destroy an almost 100 year-old mural by a well-regarded Depression-era artist over its depiction of Native Americans.

Similar incidents have played out across the US this year, with boards in Virginia also roiled by their obsession with 'equity' based topics and race.

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My other blogs: Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM)

http://antigreen.blogspot.com (GREENIE WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com/ (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)

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