Category Archives: Education

$1M federal grant to train 24 teachers of ‘social justice’ math/science

“Social justice” is the new Marxism of the Left.

The supposed meaning of the term is that all people should have equal access to wealth, health, wellbeing, justice and opportunity:

  • According to Investopedia, the term “is broadly associated with the political left, and in the U.S. its advocates are mainly found in the Democratic party, particularly in the party’s self-identified progressive and socialist wings.”
  • According to the Heritage Foundation, “Originally a Catholic term, first used about 1840 for a new kind of virtue (or habit) necessary for post-agrarian societies, the term has been bent by secular ‘progressive’ thinkers to mean uniform state distribution of society’s advantages and disadvantages.”
  • Stripped of its utopian gobbledygook, the best and most succinct definition of “social justice” is Urban Dictionary‘s: “A euphemism for an economic mugging by political force.

Whatever the definition, “social justice” is a normative term; it’s about values — what is just or unjust.

Mathematics and science, in contrast, are not about values; neither is about just or unjust, good or bad. The American Heritage Dictionary defines:

  • Mathematics as “The study of the measurement, properties, and relationships of quantities and sets, using numbers and symbols.”
  • Science as “The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of [natural] phenomena.”

In epistemology, “social justice”, “mathematics” and “science” occupy entirely separate and different domains of truths: Social justice is normative; mathematics is analytic; science is empirical. Simply put, there is no such thing as “social justice mathematics” or “social justice science”. 2+2=4 is the same whether one is rich or poor, male or female, white or black. To say otherwise is akin to saying there are “social justice algebra” or “social justice bicycles” or “social justice belly buttons”.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is a federal government agency that supports basic research and education in science and engineering, except medicine (which has its own federal agency, the National Institutes of Health).

With an annual budget of $7 billion (fiscal year 2012), the NSF funds approximately 24% of all federally supported basic research conducted by U.S. colleges and universities. In some fields, such as mathematics, computer science, economics, and the social sciences, the NSF is the major source of federal backing.

Alas, having corrupted all other institutions in America, the neo-Marxist disease of “social justice” has infected the National Science Foundation. The NSF has approved a (continuing) grant of $1,009,762 to Drexel University, a private university in Philadelphia, to train 24 undergraduate students to teach “social justice” mathematics and science. By my calculation, that comes to $42,073 taxpayer dollars per student.

The Drexel University project, which began this summer, promotes Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) high school curricula that are “steeped in the context of social justice.” 24 Drexel undergraduate students will be trained to teach “social justice” mathematics and science in Philadelphia’s “high need” middle schools. How these students, upon graduating with a bachelor’s degree, can be compelled to actually teach in “high need” Philadelphia middle schools is not clear.

The following is from the National Science Foundation website:

NSA’s Division of Undergraduate Education
Award Abstract #1758345
Preparing Mathematics and Science Teachers for Middle School
Award Number: 1758345
Award Instrument: Continuing grant
Start Date: June 15, 2018
End Date: May 31, 2023 (Estimated)
Award Amount to Date: $1,009,762.00

The project’s “principal investigator” and “co-investigators” are all Drexel University faculty:


1. Sheila Vaidya, Professor of Education
2. Mary Jo Grdina, Clinical Professor of Education
3. Shari Moskow, Professor of Arts & Science
4. Donald McEachron, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems

 

Below is the NSF’s gobbledygook jargonese “Abstract” describing the $1.009 million grant:

The project will use recent scientific, mathematical, and educational knowledge to prepare and support the twenty-four pre-service teacher candidates with an emphasis on understanding the culture and life experiences of students in high-need schools. The project intends to promote social justice teaching, which emphasizes connecting science, mathematics, and engineering instruction to students’ personal experiences and culture. This connection can leverage the funds of knowledge that each student brings to learning. Inquiry-based instruction supports this approach as it opens communication among students by establishing a learning community of shared knowledge and experience. Seminars related to mindfulness and developing emotional intelligence will augment the Scholars’ coursework. The latter will be scaffolded to develop the following behaviors: professionalism, growth mindset, commitment to serving all students well, and cultural competency. Essential skills that will be developed through the coursework include understanding students’ cultural communities as a foundation for classroom culture and building strong relationships, taking ownership of student learning and professional growth, setting and maintaining high behavioral expectations, leading rigorous and aligned content instruction, and demonstrating content expertise and pedagogical content knowledge. These essential skills and core competencies will be demonstrated in the context of teaching mathematics and science to middle-grades students in high-need schools. Early experiences consisting of linking content knowledge with appropriate pedagogical and content knowledge with pre-residency and residency experiences are intended to strengthen the Scholars’ content and pedagogical knowledge while supporting first steps into the world of teaching. Rubrics to assess the attainment of the core competencies and essential skills will be used to collect data related to the Scholars’ proficiency in these aspects. It is anticipated that the documentation of project activities and identification of learnings from project implementation will be disseminated to the education community through conference presentations, a project website, and professional publications. The long-term and far-reaching benefits to society of this project are the potential to document and share sustainable approaches, steeped in the context of social-justice, for recruiting and preparing STEM majors to provide success in learning mathematics and science for all middle-grades students in a high-need school district.

The National Science Foundation’s manager of the “social justice math and science” program is Kathleen B. Bergin (kbergin@nsf.gov).

France A. Córdova is the director of the National Science Foundation, appointed by Barack Obama. Please ask President Trump @realDonaldTrump to fire her and appoint another.

H/t Washington Free Beacon

~Eowyn

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False sense of security: Illinois schools set up “active shooter” alarms to keep kids safe

Illinois has hundreds of gun laws on the books that regulate firearm purchases, conceal carry, ammunition purchases, age restrictions, prohibited carry, private sales, and the list goes on. Some of these laws include:

  • Residents have to have a valid Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card to possess a firearm or ammunition
  • There is a 72-hour waiting period for the purchase then possession of a handgun and 24 hours for shotgun or rifle
  • Conceal carry licenses are issued by state police on “Shall Issue” policy with police still having the authority to deny someone a license
  • Conceal carry license holders must take a 16 hour training class and be at least 21 years old
  • Conceal carry is not allowed in pre-school or child care facilities, public or private elementary or secondary schools, public playgrounds, public or private community college or university, and many, many other places

They have some of the STRICTEST gun laws in the nation.

Yet that doesn’t stop criminals from committing crimes.

But the gun grabbers believe that more gun laws will somehow magically stop a criminal from committing a crime. They want MORE laws to prevent mass shootings. But let’s be honest, what they REALLY want is to repeal the Second Amendment.

One way to achieve that goal is to provide a false sense of security that will do nothing to stop a deranged criminal from committing a shooting spree. Schools in Illinois installed alarms that alert the police when there is an active shooting. Somehow this alarm will “discreetly” protect people.

We know in reality it will DO NOTHING but possibly lower the police response time.

So after a shooting, liberals are back to square one with the “gun” and “firearm access” being the problems. Hence we need to do more to strip law-abiding citizens of their Second Amendment right.

It’s a vicious circle and argument to believe that alert systems will somehow protect children during an active shooting. All that does is make parents and children feel safe. And it doesn’t derail them from incessantly trying to achieve their utopia of no Second Amendment.

From Fox News: More than 20 schools in Illinois reportedly have installed emergency response alarms on campuses in preparation for possible active shooter situations.

The schools, many in the Chicago area, now have BluePoint systems installed, the Chicago Tribune reported. A spokesperson for the company told the newspaper that more than 150 schools throughout the U.S. have had the alert systems implemented.

Each pull box, which looks similar to a fire alarm, is designed for “discreetly” protecting people in “an escalating situation,” according to the product’s website.

When the alarm is pulled, police are alerted and the system will text, email or send a voice alert to specific groups, according to the company.

One school in particular — St. Benedict’s Preparatory School on Chicago’s North Side with a student body of roughly 700 — has set up 30 of the alarms throughout its campus and reportedly spent $40,000 on security cameras.

Rachel Gemo, head of school at the private institution, said that students, who have been trained to use the alarm system, “really, sadly, are aware of [the] possibility” that a school shooting could happen. She said they’re “not immune to what they hear on TV.”

One mother, whose son attends St. Benedict’s, told the Tribune that while it’s “nice” to know the alert system will be there in case of an emergency, “it’s sad that we do have to think about this.”

“With all these examples across the country, you hope and pray it doesn’t happen to you and your school,” the mother, Molly Klucznik said. “I really hope we never have to use (the alarm system), but it’s nice to be prepared.”

DCG

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Generation Snowflake: College students don’t know where to buy a postage stamp

Today’s younger generations are clueless about many, many things.

Many do not know how to change a flat tire, check the air pressure of tires nor the condition of tire threads. With the advent of Uber and Lyft, many don’t even want to own a car.

Many don’t know how to change a blown fuse, read a map or a compass, cook a “real” meal without a microwave, chop wood or stop bleeding with a tourniquet.

Due to having their heads buried in their smart phones, they even struggle with face-to-face communication.

Now it appears they can’t figure out how to send in an absentee ballot because they don’t know where to purchase a stamp.

From a WTOP report:

“A Fairfax County focus group this summer found many college students who have gotten an absentee ballot simply fail to send it back because a U.S. Postal Service stamp seems to be a foreign concept to them.

“One thing that came up, which I had heard from my own kids but I thought they were just nerdy, was that the students will go through the process of applying for a mail-in absentee ballot, they will fill out the ballot, and then, they don’t know where to get stamps,” Lisa Connors with the Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs said.

“That seems to be like a hump that they can’t get across.”

The focus group included college interns from across numerous county departments.

“They all agreed that they knew lots of people who did not send in their ballots because it was too much of a hassle or they didn’t know where to get a stamp,” Connors said.

“Across the board, they were all nodding and had a very spirited conversation about ‘Oh yeah, I know so many people who didn’t send theirs in because they didn’t have a stamp.’”

Read the whole story here.

Maybe someone should develop an app to teach kids some basic life skills.

DCG

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Geniuses: San Francisco school district gives teacher raises, not sure if they will have revenue to pay for them

You just can’t make this stuff up.

Proposition G (also called the parcel tax) in San Francisco was approved by voters in June 5, 2018. It authorizes San Francisco to levy an annual parcel tax of $298 per parcel of taxable real property in the city for 20 years with revenue provided to the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) to fund educators’ salaries, staffing, professional development, technology, charter schools, and oversight of funding.

As a result, on June 27, the San Francisco Board of Education authorized raises for 3,600 teachers in the amount of a $5,500. They started receiving their raises in late August. (I don’t know which taxpayer fund the checks are coming from.)

And as is typical in big government, bureaucrats did not take the time to review the fine details. Actual monies collected from the parcel tax are in question as to 1) when the revenues will be available and 2) if they’ll be available at all to pay for these raises.

In a report from the SF Chronicle they note:

“The first property tax mailings that would include the Prop. G parcel tax have not yet been mailed to homeowners, [Mayor] Breed said, and the first payments on those taxes aren’t due until December. On top of that, both Breed and the Board of Supervisors have to approve and transfer the funds once they’re collected.

“Neither body has appropriated and transferred SFUSD any funds for this purpose,” Breed said.”

They mayor questioned the “fiscal prudence” of raising wages before the money generated by the measure has even been collected.

There’s also a separate legal challenge to Proposition C – related to commercial rents and education initiatives – that is tied to another suit (known as the Jarvis lawsuit). Read about the whole mess here.

The outcome of that Jarvis lawsuit could have an effect on the parcel tax and whether or not it is an illegal tax. It could in effect, depending upon the outcome, kill the revenue stream for these teachers’ raises.

As a result, the city cannot authorize parcel tax funds to pay for teachers’ raises which they are already receiving.

And that, my friends, is how big government works.

DCG

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How will Ocasio-Cortez pay for her socialist agenda?

Don’t hold your breath waiting for an answer…

h/t Twitchy

DCG

 

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Texas Board of Education drops Hillary Clinton from history classes

LOL.

From NY Post: Call it a case of the blind deleting the blind.

Texas educators have booted Hillary Clinton, Helen Keller and other historical figures from state social studies classes, which require students to learn about “significant social leaders in the United States.”

Clinton being the first woman to run for president and Keller’s accomplishments as a deaf and blind person apparently don’t qualify.

“Military and first responders are best represented,” the state’s Board of Education’s advisory committee recommended prior to a vote on the change Friday.

High schoolers in the Lone Star state had studied Clinton under a “citizenship” section of its curriculum, which focuses on trailblazers such as Andrew Carnegie, Thurgood Marshall and Sandra Day O’Connor, according to the Dallas Morning News.

And third-graders learned about Keller, a prolific author and political activist who earned a college degree despite her handicap.

But the board’s advisory committee determined she “does not best represent the concept of citizenship.”

At least two committee members said the group concluded that there were too many historical figures for Texas kids to study, so they graded candidates based whether they triggered a “watershed change” and if they were from an “underrepresented group,” the paper reported.

Clinton scored a 5 out of 21 points. Keller scored a 7 out of 20.

“There were hundreds of people,” said Misty Matthews, a committee member and teacher, about the volume of historical figures kids are required to learn. “Our task was to simplify… we tried to make it as objective as possible.”

There board made no specific comments about Hillary Clinton. Students are still required to learn about Bill Clinton.

Removing the former first lady and secretary of state will save teachers 30 minutes of instruction time, and axing Keller will save 40 minutes, the advisory committee estimated, according to the paper.

While Clinton and Keller were scrapped, evangelist and Baptist pastor Billy Graham – who was also recommended for removal by the committee – was spared. So were references to Moses, and his “influence” on America’s founding documents.

The board wants students to continue explaining how the “Arab rejection of the State of Israel has led to ongoing conflict” in the Middle East, a requirement the committee recommending eliminating.

The board will cast its final vote on the curriculum re-do in November.

DCG

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Fired Bronx teacher keeps her teaching certificate after admitting sex act on student

Who is going to hire a registered sex offender?

From Daily Mail: A New York social studies teacher has been sentenced to 10 years of probation after pleading guilty to performing oral sex on a 14-year-old boy. 

Dori Myers, 29, will not spend a day behind bars and will retain her teaching license after taking a plea deal last month.

Myers taught at The New School of Leadership and The Arts in The Bronx, and while prosecutors argued she should spend two years in jail, her defense attorney successfully argued she should be able to teach again, The New York Post reported.

‘There is a possibility that she could teach adults now or in the future and we want to preserve that possibility,’ Andrew Stoll told the court last month.

‘She still is a talented teacher and has those skills, and I don’t see any reason to destroy her ability to make a living and to contribute to society in a positive way.’

The former high school teacher has been fired by the New York Department of Education, and will not be eligible to teach at city schools again.

As part of her punishment, she must also register as a level one sex offender.

Myers wore a spotted, sleeveless dress and flat white shoes to court on Wednesday, and appeared unimpressed as she sat down to be sentenced.

Surrounded by police officers, she was seen staring at the judge with a straight face. Her husband, a Rockland County Sheriff’s deputy, was absent at Wednesday’s sentencing, despite being a figure of support at her previous court hearings.

Myers was arrested on January 19 after a friend of the victim, who is believed to have been in her class, told school administrators, who called the police.

At the time, she pleaded not guilty.  

A co-worker also claimed to have seen her massaging the alleged victim.

The criminal complaint claims the assault took place somewhere in Upper Manhattan on November 1, 2017.

DCG

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Socialist Hypocrisy: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s $3,505 designer outfit

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 28, called a rising “political star” by the New York Times, won the June 26 Democratic primary in New York’s 14th congressional district, defeating incumbent Congressman Joe Crowley, in what has been called the biggest upset victory in the 2018 midterm-election season.

Ocasio-Cortez is an avowed socialist and member of the Democratic Socialists of America. She advocates hard-Left policies such as gun control, an end to the use of fossil fuels, single-payer (government) healthcare system, universal healthcare (Medicare for All), tuition-free universities, forgiveness of all student debts, amnesty (“path to citizenship”) for illegal aliens, abolition of ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement), and impeachment of President Trump.

On September 7, 2018, Ocasio-Cortez met with some New York construction workers to show her solidarity with the proletariat:

She is so pleased with the outfit she was wearing that she posted this pic of herself to Facebook:

This is how much socialist Ocasio-Cortez’s designer outfit cost, not including her underwear:

According to the webpage “Construction Worker Salary in New York,” the average annual salary of New York construction workers is $43,311, with salaries ranging from $22,498 to $74,251.

Wes Walker of Clash Daily points out that “If you split 43K 12 ways, that number comes out to $3609 a month — total pay” — the average monthly salary of NY construction workers.

In other words, socialist Ocasio-Cortez’s designer outfit costs the equivalent of one month’s salary of the construction workers she visited.

Paul Joseph Watson of Infowars reminds us that:

Back in July it was revealed that despite Ocasio-Cortez claiming to be a rough and ready working class girl from the Bronx, she mostly grew up in wealthy Westchester County.

Numerous mainstream media biographies of Ocasio-Cortez omit the fact that she basically grew up middle class, with her architect father able to send her to Boston University to study economics and international relations.

One wonders how disconnected Ocasio-Cortez is now to ordinary Americans given that she is swanning around in $3,500 outfits while claiming to be a working class hero.

Ocasio-Cortez’s “useful idiot” slavish followers are oblivious to her hypocrisy. Here are some barf-worthy comments they posted to her $3505 designer pant-suit photo:

Evelyn Gonzalez ”Don’t under estimate the power of a women”
Jay Harper I promise you that the Democrats leaders fear her more than Donald Trump and will do anything to stop her! Just wait…
Alex Kainz You continue to inspire me and other progressive Americans on a daily basis, Alexandria! Keep on keeping on!
Ivan Erickson Ii am not in her district, but I am excited for people who are. We all must press ahead to hand over the reins to a new generation of leaders. All the power to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the voters in her district. They will write the history worth writing about.

Ben Valentin Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, I am Active Duty and serving overseas. The work that you and our community keep on the homefront inspires us service members to keep trucking. Palante siempre palante

~Eowyn

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The Deranged Left: Texas teacher on leave after bullying pro-Trump student

Mocking the children to own the cons.

From Fox News: A high school biology teacher is on administrative leave after she allegedly mocked a student for supporting President Trump and calling others “a bunch of Trumpies” in Round Rock, Texas.

The incident occurred on the fifth day back from summer vacation, Aug. 22, at McNeil High School outside of Austin, according to district officials.

The bullied student’s mother claims the public school teacher said: “By the way, I hate Donald Trump with a burning passion and he is a complete douchebag.”

She told KHOU11 the instructor singled out her son for his conservative views and support for Trump’s tax plan, calling him “Trumpy” instead of his name and saying things including “Hey, Trumpy, do you have an answer to this?” or “What do you think, Trumpy?”

She said her son didn’t want to talk about politics in science class and felt embarrassed to be targeted.

At the end of the class, the mother said the teacher put one last insult against her son, mocking his beliefs: “Now, you’re not going to fight me when we start talking about evolution, are you?”

His parents filed a formal complaint against McNeil High School, which has 2,600 students.

District spokeswoman Jenny LaCoste-Caputo told Fox News the teacher was immediately removed from the classroom after the district was made aware of the alleged incident, or “political discussion,” that occurred in the AP biology class.

“In Round Rock ISD, our goal is to create a classroom environment where students feel safe and respected,” LaCoste-Caputo said in a statement. “The teacher was removed from the classroom, pending review, and remains on administrative leave as appropriate action is considered.”

The teacher has been assigned other duties that don’t have her interacting with students. She is still getting paid.

The student’s parents want the “angry” teacher permanently removed from the classroom.

DCG

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Teaching guide for Portland public schools celebrates Islam, communists, terrorists, abortion; promotes gun control & transgenders

U.S. public schools are no longer about teaching students facts, information, and how to read and write. It’s all about “changing the world” in accordance with what the Left call “social justice” — code words for Marxism.

In an exclusive for the Gateway Pundit, Brock Simmons reports, Aug. 29, 2018, that 3,500 public school teachers in Portland, Oregon, are given an $18 teaching guide meant for children as young as 5 years old.

The guide, Planning to Change The World – A Plan Book For Social Justice Teachers, is produced by the Education for Liberation Network, published in partnership with Rethinking Schools, and is suffused with Marxist propaganda.

To begin, the teaching guide states its purpose as:

Planning to Change the World is a plan book for teachers who believe their students can and do create meaningful social change….

This plan book is designed to help teachers translate their visions of a just education into concrete classroom activities. It is both a daily reminder of the importance of teaching for justice and a collection of tools to help you do just that. Planning to Change the World is packed with important social justice birthdays and historical events, words of wisdom from visionary leaders, lesson plans, resources, social justice education happenings and much more.

And what is the teaching guide’s conception of the “social justice” that students are encouraged to “change the world” into?

It is a vision that celebrates Islam (while downplaying Christianity), communists and domestic terrorists; promotes gun-control and “transgenders”; celebrates abortion; and trashes America’s July 4 and Thanksgiving holidays.

Islam

The teaching guide gives prominence to:

  • The Muslim holidays of Eid al-Adha on August 20 and Muharram on September 11.
  • A quote by activist Pervez Musharraf: “Islam teaches tolerance, not hatred; universal brotherhood, not enmity; peace, and not violence.”

While the teaching guide’s calendar does acknowledge Christmas Day, the word “Christmas” is in a thinner type font, whereas the wholly concocted “African American” holiday of Kwanzaa and the Mexican Cinco de Mayo on May 5 get bold type fonts.

Communists

The teaching guide:

  • Celebrates the anniversary of the founding of Communist North Korea on September 9, and the anniversary on December 4 of the El Congreso del Pueblos de Habla Espanola, an organization linked to communist sympathizers; and the birthday of Marxist intellectual Noam Chomsky on December 7. No mention is made of Imperial Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7.
  • Features quotes by known Marxists, including:
    • The Left’s perennial favorite Che Guvara: “I am not a liberator. Liberators do not exist. The people liberate themselves.”
    • Black Nationalist Marcus Garvey: “We are not rebels and revolutionaries, but humans who will no longer be denied our humanity.”

Terrorists

  • Celebrates the birthday of Fred Hampton, the founder of domestic terrorists Black Panthers, including a quote from him on the need for Black racial solidarity.
  • Features quotes by:
    • Assata Shakur, a violent Black Panther activist who escaped from prison and fled to Cuba in the 1970’s after murdering a police officer in New Jersey. She is one of the FBI’s most wanted, with a $2 million reward for her capture.
    • Black Panther and Communist Party member Angela Davis, who purchased guns that were used in a courthouse shoot out in the 1960’s: “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.”
    • Black Panther James Forman: “We are not born revolutionary. Revolutionaries are forged through constant struggle and the study of revolutionary ideas and experiences.”
    • Roger Alvarado, a member of the Third World Liberation Front, which conducted a series of violent student protests in California in the 1960’s, including his quote: “We need a change, we need a change in education if we are ever going to be able to relate to our people in a real way. In elementary schools, in secondary schools, we ourselves need a change — right here.”

Gun Control & Transgenders

The teaching guide’s calendar devotes the month of April to gun control with the quote: “How and why are schoolchildren uniquely and powerfully positioned to demand gun control?”

On transgenders, the teaching guide:

  • Includes a special feature on “15 Everyday Ways to Affirm Trans and Gender Nonconforming (TGNC) Students” to help teachers to stop use terms such as “boys and girls”, “men and women” and “ladies and gentlemen” because they are offensive and oppressive to “those who are neither, both or bits of each”.
  • Quotes “transgender” actor Laverne Cox: “Each and every one of us has the capacity to be an oppressor. I want to encourage each and every one of us to interrogate how we might be an oppressor, and how we might be able to become liberators for ourselves and each other.”

The teaching guide also celebrates the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade on April 9, and trashes Thanksgiving, calling it the “National Day of Mourning”, and July 4 by quoting a Sioux author: “The White man must no longer project his fears and insecurities onto other groups, races and countries. Before the White man can relate to others he must forgo the pleasure of defining them.”

You can reach Portland Public Schools superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero at (503) 916-3200.

~Eowyn

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