July 17, 2011

Educrats strike again

Or, check out where some of Obama's vaunted stimulus funds went to:

The Omaha Public Schools used more than $130,000 in federal stimulus dollars to buy each teacher, administrator and staff member a manual on how to become more culturally sensitive.

The book by Virginia education consultants could raise some eyebrows with its viewpoints.

The authors assert that American government and institutions create advantages that “channel wealth and power to white people,” that color-blindness will not end racism and that educators should “take action for social justice.”

The book says that teachers should acknowledge historical systemic oppression in schools, including racism, sexism, homophobia and “ableism,” defined by the authors as discrimination or prejudice against people with disabilities.

The authors argue that public school teachers must raise their cultural awareness to better serve minority students and improve academic achievement.

*Sigh* Here we go again -- educational charlatanry masquerading as scientifically-based research. Just like the preposterous "Courageous Conversations" (or "Difficult Dialogues" or whatever the edu-jargon du jour is) we've dealt with previously, this sort of crap does nothing to (or, at least, doesn't show how to) improve minority student academic achievement. What it does do is promote resentment -- among students and among faculty. After all, if one has to accept the premise of what the authors want, exactly what sort of "conversations" can be had? And how are they "courageous" when there exists that premise of acceptance ... and the implicit aura of "do not dissent"? Check it:

... these are “conversations” that

... follow a structured format in which participants examine and embrace specific premises, such as the ubiquity of white privilege and racism, and thus raise the consciousness of whites.

Participants must “come to recognize that race impacts every aspect of your life 100 percent of the time.” Meanwhile, “anger, guilt and shame are just a few of the emotions” whites should expect to experience “as they move toward greater understanding of Whiteness.”

Again, we've been all through this before over the years here. It's bad enough when local/state funds are used to purchase such feces, but now bucks that are supposed to stimulate our economy are being used to purchase it. Again, such huckster-ish programs have never been able to prove they're effective at reducing the so-called achievement gap; however, they have been very successful at uniting folks from across the political spectrum. And this is not because of any intransigence about discussing -- or wanting to discuss -- race; it's because these programs demand adherence to one point of view about it. And that view is the program creators': radical Marxian-Maoist-Freireian victimology. Even more "mainstream" organizations like the National Education Association (NEA) have fallen victim to this as they advocate getting away from a color-blind belief, the more "classical" Martin Luther King Jr.-esque philosophy.

Such demands should be abhorrent to any rational political bent.

But these diversophiles would do well to heed the warnings of Hans Bader (to whom a big hat tip goes for this post): making belief/adherence to such [racial] philosophies (or even participation in such workshops) mandatory can invite legal trouble.

UPDATE: Good timing: Toronto School District decrees that only whites can be racist.

Posted by Hube at July 17, 2011 04:24 PM | TrackBack

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