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Why Does The Academic Left Hate America?

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By Bill Korach www.thereportcard.org

 

 

It is safe to say that no country on earth has done more for the cause of liberty, world peace and prosperity than America. Alex de Tocqueville, author of “Democracy in America” published in 1834 stated that “America is great because she is good.” It is de Tocqueville who gave birth to the term “American Exceptionalism.” The entire world looked to America after WWI to bring peace and freedom to the people of Europe. In WWII, America tipped the balance against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. Following the war, America created and funded the Marshall Plan to help Europe, including our enemies Germany and Italy get back on their feet. America led a world coalition against International Communism and brought down the Evil Empire the USSR. Wherever there had been a natural disaster or a famine, the United States always arrived first with help.

 

Yet, undeniably, the majority academic community whether K-12 or higher education appears to despise America. Did I say that the majority of educators in the social sciences are dedicated leftists? No, but The National Association of Scholars did say it and they did prove it.

Want more proof? Within the last few months these actions have taken place at America schools:

 

At Massey Hill High School in Fayetteville, NC, history teacher Lee Francis tore down the American Flag and stomped on it to illustrate the First Amendment. A horrified student photographed it and shared it on Facebook. The unrepentant teacher was later disciplined.

 

In McAllen, Texas, teachers tried to force a teenager to sing the Mexican national anthem and recite the Mexican pledge of allegiance. She refused saying it was against her beliefs. She was subsequently thrown out of the class and given a failing grade for the day.

 

University of Hawaii professor, Huanani-Kay Trask has taught students “We need to think very, very clearly about who the enemy is. The enemy is the United States of America and everyone who supports it.”

 

University of Southern California professor, Darry Sragow, teaches hate in his Regulation of Elections and Political Finance class, telling them “Republicans are stupid, racist losers,” and that they are “angry old white people.”

 

University of Rhode Island history professor, Erik Loomis, tweeted, “I want Wayne LaPierre’s (NRA President) head on a stick.” He asked, “Can we define dues to the NRA as contributing to a terrorist organization?”

 

Scott Compton, an English teacher at Chapin High School, Chapin, SC, was put on administrative leave after he allegedly threw an American flag on the floor and stomped on it in front of his students. He chose to resign. He probably teaches at a college now.

 

A geography teacher at Lumberton High School in Texas encourages students to dress in Islamic clothing and actually instructed them to refer to the 9/11 hijackers as “freedom fighters.” They were also taught that the Holocaust was not genocide. John Valastro, the superintendent of the school district, told Fox News that the teacher did absolutely nothing wrong.

 

These are just a few of the thousnds of examples of anti-Americanism that is growing daily and poisoning the minds of American youth. But why? The left has cloaked itself in the mantle of moral superiority. They believe that conservatives are racists, sexist, homophobic, greedy, and oppose clean air.

 

According to author Dan Flynn:

 

The notion that slavery and racism are uniquely Western is one of the Left’s favorite and most repeated mantras. Yet when one’s judgment is guided by facts, rather than by obscure political ideologies, what is quickly realized is that it was not slavery that was unique to Western Civilization; nor was it the mere abolition of slavery that was unique, but rather the abolition of slavery by eligible slaveholders. As Flynn points out, Western Civilization is indeed the only culture in the history of the world to do such a thing. American women are oppressed under the American patriarchy, says the Left. Yet, as Flynn points out, “If women in the United States live under a ‘patriarchy,’ what term could accurately describe the situation faced by women in other parts of the world?” Noting some of the truly patriarchal traditions practiced in many countries throughout the world today, such as genital mutilation, arranged marriages, forced abortions, and “honor killings,” Flynn also contends that in many ways, women in the United States are better off than their male counterparts. He points out how they are “healthier, better educated, and less susceptible to various cultural pathologies than are American men.”

The Left perceives that America as an imperialistic, power-hungry, and greedy nation. Just the opposite is true. “The major wars involving the United States since it became the world’s preeminent military power,” Flynn writes, “have been fought to prevent empires-Nazi imperialism, Japanese imperialism, [and] Communist imperialism. After all these wars, America’s territory remained essentially the same.” Flynn also notes that for such an “imperialistic” nation America donates large sums of its citizens’ money to foreign countries in need. In addition to giving far and away the highest amount of money to foreign countries, the U.S. also gives one of the highest percentages of GDP for foreign aid. Having received very little in the form of foreign aid itself, the U.S. has proven time and again to be the world’s most generous donor of foreign aid-not just to its allies but also to some of its most bitter enemies.

Another “big lie” embraced by the Left is the notion that “America is the world’s leading threat to the environment.” Although especially convenient for those critical of the free-market capitalist system, this idea is far from the truth. For example, America has more trees today than at anytime during the past 100 years. Additionally, Flynn writes, “Americans breathe cleaner air and drink cleaner water than almost anyone [in the world].” That is not to say that the United States should halt its successful environmental efforts and programs, but it is certainly a gross mischaracterization of U.S. environmental conditions to say that America is the world’s leading environmental threat. The premise that America has some sort of a caste system, where mobility between classes is impossible, and the idea that the rich get richer at the expense of the poor, are other demonstrably false but deeply held beliefs by the Left. “A U.S. Treasury Department study tracking class movement from 1979 to 1988,” writes Flynn, “discovered that 86% of 1979’s poor no longer remained in the lowest income quintile in 1988.” Unlike many countries throughout the world, Americans are not destined to remain in one class based on their birth.

 

Clearly Academic leftists are rabid on the subject and should not be entrusted with educating American youth. So what to do? Get rid of them as you’d rid the neighborhood of a rabid dog.

 

 

 

 

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California Wants to Remove Judeo-Christian Contribution From History Texts

 

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(Editor: www.thereportcard.org The California Board of Education is attempting to re write American history to eliminate our Judeo Christian Heritage. One 5th grade text change: “America was established by immigrants from all parts of the globe and governed by institutions founded on the Judeo-Christian heritage,” to instead say that the governing institutions were “influenced by a number of religions.” Christian educators are fighting back. But all Californians who value true American history should be speaking out against these egregious changes).

 

 

By Kiley Crossland World

 

A group of California educators, school board members, and university professors is pushing back on proposed statewide curriculum revisions they say introduce “historical inaccuracies, censorship, and bias.”

The 34-member group, led by the nonprofit Gateways to Better Education, sent a report last week to each member of the California Board of Education listing concerns and urging the board to reject the revisions at their upcoming meeting on July 13 and 14.

 

“The proposed history and social science frameworks are an attempt to make American history politically correct, but fail to do justice to the actual facts of history,” said David Schmus, outreach director for Christian Educators Association International (CEAI) and one of the submitting members of the report. Schmus taught history in California for 15 years. “The essential contribution of Judeo-Christian ideas to our nation’s founding is either removed, de-emphasized, or marginalized.”

The eight-page report lists detailed concerns with the proposed 5th, 6th, 7th, 11th, and 12th grade framework. The framework is the overall narrative that guides textbook and curriculum writers as they shape material for California’s classrooms.

One proposal for the 5th grade framework changes language saying America was established “by immigrants from all parts of the globe and governed by institutions founded on the Judeo-Christian heritage,” to instead say that the governing institutions were “influenced by a number of religions.”

“No serious historian would support the statement that ‘a number of religions’ influenced America’s governing institutions besides Judaism and Christianity,” says the report.

In another case, the 7th grade framework introduces a new sentence asserting that ‘discoveries’ in the Americas reshaped European thought more than the Renaissance. The framework includes no evidence for the assertion and seems to ignore the significance of developments such as Gutenberg’s printing press, Galileo’s astronomy, and Shakespeare’s plays, something that the report says “will open it to ridicule from educators and historians.”

In February, Gateways to Better Education proposed 29 changes to the revised framework during a public comment phase. The Subject Matter Committee accepted four.

If passed in July, these revisions are just the first step, says Eric Buehrer, president of Gateways to Better Education. He assumes the board will next insist that state “standards”—bullet points used by teachers in the classroom—align with the new framework.

At issue is not just the removal of Judeo-Christian language, but the academic integrity of the state framework, Buehrer said. He pointed to language in the proposed framework praising a shift in the past few decades away from teaching Western civilization to teaching world history. Buehrer said that language helped him understand the overarching goal of these changes—to shift attention away from Western civilization at the expense of teaching accurate history.

 

Both Buehrer and Schmus plan to attend the July meeting. They have asked concerned parents and teachers to write the board and attend the meeting as well. “California has some of the best standards in the nation,” Schmus said. “We are working to protect them.”

Despite a good response, Schmus said the group is competing for attention with another controversial education issue in California. This week, the State Assembly Judiciary Committee will hear SB1146, a measure that would eliminate the current religious exemption allowing California’s faith-based colleges and universities to operate in ways that are consistent with their religious missions and faith tenets.

 

 

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Trump: We Spend More Per Student than any Nation, But we’re 26th In the World  

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(Editor: www.thereportcard.org Donald J. Trump, the Republican nominee for President of the United States believes that American government spends way too much and kids are learning way too little. He believes students are not taught history and civics, and he thinks Common Core is a disaster. His opinions are supported by the facts. All of the leading indicators say America is falling father behind the rest of the world and yet spending more. U.S. History, when it is taught, has become a catalog of American wrong doing. Trump offers his plan for U.S. Education).

Cut Department of Education and Common Core

Q: Would you cut departments?

TRUMP: We’re going to be cutting tremendous amounts of money and waste and fraud and abuse. But, no, I’m not cutting services, but I am cutting spending.But I may cut Department of Education– Common Core is a very bad thing. I think that it should be local education. If you look at a Jeb Bush and some of these others, they want children to be educated by Washington, D.C. bureaucrats.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 Coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Oct 18, 2015

 

We spend more per student than any other nation

  • Education spending: “People are tired of spending more money on education than any nation in the world per capita.”
  • Local control of education: “Education has to be local.”
  • American education in an international context: “We’re 26th in the world. 25 countries are better than us at education. And some of them are like third world countries. But we’re becoming a third world country.”

Source: Fordham Institute EduWatch 2016 by Brandon White , Jun 18, 2015

 

Americans don’t know their roots: study your ancestry

I was listening to some Europeans once and they seemed to agree that Americans didn’t seem to know their roots. Of course, their roots go back for many more centuries than ours and may be easier to decipher because many of us have ancestors from different countries. But it gave me a reason to think about what they said, and I realized in many cases they were right. I recently went to Scotland, as my mother’s side of the family is of Scottish ancestry, and I’ve spent time studying that country & therefore my heritage. It could even explain why I love golf so much–it originated in Scotland.

I found that I enjoyed learning about Scotland and it has broadened my horizons as well as my interests as a businessman. I am building a golf course in Aberdeen that will be spectacular, and I very much enjoyed my visiting and meeting the people from the culture and country. I also realized I still have a lot to learn, which will no doubt lead me into more interesting ventures as well as adventures.

Source: Think Like a Champion, by Donald Trump, p. 37 , Apr 27, 2010

 

 

Common Core is a disaster

[As president I’d] end Common Core. Common Core is a disaster. Bush is totally in favor of Common Core. I don’t see how he can possibly get the nomination. He’s weak on immigration. He’s in favor of Common Core. How the hell can you vote for this guy? You just can’t do it. We have to end–education has to be local.

Source: 2015 announcement speeches of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jun 16, 2015

 

 

 

No federal government profit from student loans

A four-year degree today can be expensive enough to create six-figure debt. We can’t forgive these loans, but we should take steps to help students.

The big problem is the federal government. There is no reason the federal government should profit from student loans. This only makes an already difficult problem worse. The Federal Student Loan Program turned a $41.3 billion profit in 2013.

These student loans are probably one of the only things that the government shouldn’t make money from, and yet it does. And do you think this has anything to do with why schools continue to raise their tuition every year? Those loans should be viewed as an investment in America’s future.

Source: Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p. 58-9 , Nov 3, 2015

 

Let schools compete: charters, vouchers, and magnets

Competition is why I’m very much in favor of school choice. Let schools compete for kids. I guarantee that if you forced schools to get better or close because parents didn’t want to enroll their kids there, they would get better. Those schools that weren’t good enough to attract students would close, and that’s a good thing.

For two decades I’ve been urging politicians to open the schoolhouse doors and let parents decide which schools are best for their children. Professional educators look to claim that doing so would be the end of good public schools. Better charter or magnet schools would drain the top kids out of that system, or hurt the morale of those left behind. Suddenly, the excellence that comes from competition is being criticized.

Source: Crippled America, by Donald Trump, p. 53-4 , Nov 3, 2015

 

 

Cut the Department of Education way, way down

  • Here are some of Trump’s views on education:
  • Department of Education: “You could cut that way, way, way down.” — South Carolina Tea Party Convention, Myrtle Beach, January 2015
  • Common Core curriculum standards: “I am totally against Common Core.” — South Carolina Tea Party Convention, Myrtle Beach, January 2015. “That’s a disaster. That’s bad. It should be local and all of that.” — Iowa Freedom Summit, Des Moines, Iowa, January 2015
  • Infrastructure: “Fixing a country’s infrastructure–our bridges, our schools, our airports–that, I can tell you, no one is close to Trump.” — Iowa Freedom Summit, Des Moines, Iowa, January 2015

Local control: “Education has to be local.” — Announcement speech, New York City, June 16, 2015

 

 

Comprehensive education instead of limiting subjects

Comprehensive education dissolves the lines between knowing too much and knowing too little on a variety of subjects–subjects that are necessary for success. Recently, I interviewed a young man who was very well versed in his field of expertise and almost uneducated in every other subject. It was like he had tunnel vision, and although I admired his knowledge of his field, I had to realize that, considering the scope of my enterprises, he might not be a great fit because of his limited interests.

Source: Think Like a Champion, by Donald Trump, p. 47 , Apr 27, 2010

 

Teach citizenship; stop “dumbing down”

Our schools aren’t safe. On top of that, our kids aren’t learning. Too many are dropping out of school and into the street life-and too many of those who do graduate are getting diplomas that have been devalued into “certificates of attendance” by a dumbed-down curriculum that asks little of teachers and less of students. Schools are crime-ridden and they don’t teach.

How long do we think the U.S. can survive schools that pretend to teach while our kids pretend to learn? How can a kid hope to build an American Dream when he hasn’t been taught how to spell the word “dream”?

Public education was never meant to only teach the three R’s, history, and science. It was also meant to teach citizenship. At the lower levels it should cover the basics, help students develop study habits, and prepare those who desire higher education for the tough road ahead. It’s a mandate the public schools have delivered on since their inception. Until now.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p. 67 , Jul 2, 2000

 

End “creative spelling,” “estimating,” & “empowerment”

The people running our public schools don’t want to damage a student’s self-esteem. They’re concerned about “empowerment.” They’re worried kids will feel bad if they get a problem wrong or flunk a spelling test. It’s better to pat a kid on the head and praise his “creative spelling” than point out that there is a traditional name for people with poor spelling skills. We call them illiterates.

Some educators think being “judgmental” is the worst of all sins. The problem is that life tends to judge-and harshly at that. There’s no room for error when you’re launching the space shuttle. Or mixing the concrete for the foundation of Trump Tower, for that matter. Try giving a number “in the neighborhood of” on your tax returns and you may end up in a place where there’s a very definite number stamped on the back of your shirt.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p. 69 , Jul 2, 2000

 

Bring on the competition; tear down the union walls

Our public schools have grown up in a competition-free zone, surrounded by a very high union wall. Why aren’t we shocked at the results? After all, teachers’ unions are motivated by the same desires that move the rest of us. With more than 85% of their soft-money donations going to Democrats, teachers’ unions know they can count on the politician they back to take a strong stand against school choice.

Our public schools are capable of providing a more competitive product than they do today. Look at some of the high school tests from earlier in this century and you’ll wonder if they weren’t college-level tests. And we’ve got to bring on the competition -open the schoolhouse doors and let parents choose the best school for their children.

Education reformers call this school choice, charter schools, vouchers, even opportunity scholarships. I call it competition-the American way.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p. 80-81 , Jul 2, 2000

 

School choice will improve public schools

Defenders of the status quo insist that parental choice means the end of public schools. Let’s look at the facts. Right now, nine of ten children attend public schools. If you look at public education as a business- and with nearly $300 billion spent each year on K-through-twelve education, it’s a very big business indeed-it would set off every antitrust alarm bell at the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. When teachers’ unions say even the most minuscule program allowing school choice is a mortal threat, they’re saying: If we aren’t allowed to keep 90% of the market, we can’t survive. When Bell Telephone had 90% of the market, a federal judge broke it up.

Who’s better off? The kids who use vouchers to go to the school of their choice, or the ones who choose to stay in public school? All of them. That’s the way it works in a competitive system.

Source: The America We Deserve, by Donald Trump, p. 83 , Jul 2, 2000

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Colleges Churning out Hillary Clones

 

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(Editor: www.thereportcard.org Campus radical grievance groups have a special place for women’s studies. The Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland (UMD) already includes 11 core faculty and more than 80 affiliate faculty. “We have grown from 232 students in 3 courses in 1971 to over 1,366 students enrolled in Women’s Studies and LGBT courses for fall 2014,” the department says.

 

University of Maryland has just announced that a full-time tenure-track position has opened up for an Assistant Professor specializing in LGBT studies. We are told the successful candidate should be able to work across multiple disciplines and have expertise in one or more of the following areas:

  • Critical Race, Queer, or Transgender Theory/Studies/Policy
  • Disability Studies/Crip Theory
  • Transnational Genders and Sexualities, esp. Masculinities Across Racial Lines
  • Gender and Sexuality in Performance Studies and Visual Culture

The are really studies in grievance against men, particularly white men. There may not be many jobs in the business world for “women’s studies” but there are lots of grievance groups trhat can use “useful idiots).”

 

 

 

By Cliff Kincaid Accuracy in Academia

 

Today, Hillary Clinton-type women are the norm, not the exception. You can see this for yourself in the videos or pictures of young women screaming for their “rights” to abort the unborn. Some women even say they’re proud of their own abortions.

Colleges and universities are mostly to blame for this sad state of affairs. Consider that the Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland has just announced that a full-time tenure-track position has opened up for an Assistant Professor specializing in LGBTQ studies.

The Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland (UMD) already includes 11 core faculty and more than 80 affiliate faculty. “We have grown from 232 students in 3 courses in 1971 to over 1,366 students enrolled in Women’s Studies and LGBT courses for fall 2014,” the department says.

You can bet these graduating classes constitute armies for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016.

Students being taught “women’s studies” or “LGBTQ studies” at UMD may not get jobs in the ordinary sense, but they are being trained as “change agents,” determined to overturn the capitalist and patriarchal power structure. For most of these women, motherhood is an old-fashioned concept that keeps women oppressed.

An upcoming feminist conference openly dedicated to “social justice, activism, and revolution” is sponsored by the University of Maryland and “inspired” by Grace Lee Boggs, a Marxist who was a member of a communist splinter group called the Workers Party.

 

PBS aired a film about Boggs, saying that she had “a thick FBI file and a surprising vision of what an American revolution can be.”

We are now in the midst of that revolution.

When Boggs died, President Obama released a statement, saying, “Michelle and I were saddened to hear of the passing of author, philosopher, and activist Grace Lee Boggs.” He added that “Grace dedicated her life to serving and advocating for the rights of others—from her community activism in Detroit, to her leadership in the civil rights movement, to her ideas that challenged us all to lead meaningful lives.”

It seems as if Grace was part of Obama’s “fundamental transformation” of the United States. It’s not known if they were more than acquaintances, but it is certainly significant that he felt it necessary to acknowledge her role in community organizing and activism.

Of course, Obama was trained by an organization founded by one of history’s top community organizers, Saul Alinsky, while Hillary studied Alinsky in college and wrote her thesis on his revolutionary strategies. That seems like more than a coincidence.

For her part, Boggs’ legacy is also being celebrated in academia, especially at UMD.

We don’t know what the new teaching job pays, but the Search Committee Chair, Dr. LaMonda Horton-Stallings, is paid an annual $120,000 salary. We know this because the student newspaper, The Diamondback, published the salary guide to the state-funded university. Her first book was titled, Mutha is Half a Word!: Intersections of Folklore, Vernacular, Myth, and Queerness in Black Female Culture. Her latest book is, Funk the Erotic: Transaesthetics and Black Sexual Cultures.

We are told the successful candidate should be able to work across multiple disciplines and have expertise in one or more of the following areas:

  • Critical Race, Queer, or Transgender Theory/Studies/Policy
  • Disability Studies/Crip Theory
  • Transnational Genders and Sexualities, esp. Masculinities Across Racial Lines
  • Gender and Sexuality in Performance Studies and Visual Culture

 

The Department of Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland offers B.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Women’s Studies, undergraduate certificates in LGBT Studies and Women’s Studies, a minor in LGBT Studies, a joint minor in Black Women’s Studies (with African American Studies), and a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies.

One of the courses is described as follows:

  • LGBT398A: The Queer Child taught by Jessica Vooris. This interdisciplinary course draws on psychology, literature, history, trans studies, queer theory, and childhood studies, to examine how we think about children’s gender and sexuality.

Here are some of the questions to be tackled:

  • Why do many assume that a feminine boy will be gay, but think that a seven-year-old is too young to self-identify as a lesbian?
  • Why do parents think it is threatening to have a transgender six-year old girl share a bathroom with their children?
  • What is it like to navigate elementary school as a six-year-old trans girl?

On September 16 the University of Maryland is sponsoring “Reimaging Everything: Women of Color, Feminisms, Art, Culture, and the Humanities Symposium.” This is the event “inspired by the words of revolutionary Grace Lee Boggs,” whose favorite books include C.L.R. James’s Notes on Dialectics: Left Hegelianism or Marxism-Leninism?

Dialectics is a Marxist way of describing and instigating social change. C.L.R. James was a Trinidad-born Marxist writer and activist.

The New Left Project reports that she sometimes wrote under a pseudonym of “Ria Stone” and co-authored “several insightful and pioneering works of Marxist theory,” including The Invading Socialist Society and State Capitalism and World Revolution

Some chapters in the latter include:

  • The Stalinists and the Theory of State-Capitalism
  • Lenin and State-Capitalism
  • Rearming the Party of World Revolution

 

Her book, The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism For the 21st Century, is said to document how “A world dominated by America and driven by cheap oil, easy credit, and conspicuous consumption is unraveling before our eyes.” Grace Lee Boggs “shows how to create the radical social change we need to confront new realities,” it says.

Radical social change is certainly what is being taught in the UMD Department of Women’s Studies. A newsletter article explains what some of its graduates are doing and their achievements. These are direct quotes:

  • I know now that I have a commitment to myself, to the women who came before me who paved the way, and to the girls that will come after me to always lift as I climb and to never give up while doing so.
  • I plan to work in trans healthcare.
  • Aspires to be a change agent, educator and interdisciplinary scholar.
  • Plans to pursue a career in television news production and draw on her women’s studies education to give a voice to the voiceless through her news coverage.

Ah-hah! Now it all makes sense. Some of these women’s and queer studies graduates are getting jobs in the media.

But didn’t we already know that?

The “on media” section of a website dedicated to Grace Lee Boggs cites her appearances on the old Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC and with Bill Moyers on public television, where she said, “We are the leaders we’ve been looking for.”

Clearly, her followers are in the media, as well as academia and the White House.

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism, and can be contacted at cliff.kincaid@aim.org

 

 

 

 

 

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Law Professor Bans Laptops From Classroom

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(Editor: www.thereportcard.org Stuart Green a Rutgers University law professor is banning student laptop computers in his class because they are harming the learning process. Students who take notes on a computer tend to perform worse than students who take notes by hand, according to a 2014 study by Pam A. Mueller and Daniel M. Oppenheimer. They found that laptop users were basically creating a transcript of the lecture, while those taking notes by hand were synthesizing the information. In addition, Professor Green says that many in his class are busy texting, shopping on line, posting on social media and other activities unrelated to the subject of law. The “Digital Classroom” like many other hot trends in education, turns out to be not so hot for learning. Law students, listen to Professor Green and ditch that laptop).

 

By Stuart Green Wall Street Journal

 

For more than 20 years, I have taught college graduates, most in their mid-20s, the basics of criminal law and procedure. In all that time, at half a dozen law schools, I’ve had the daily opportunity to observe some of the miracles that modern technology has wrought in the legal academy: Computerized research. PowerPoint. No more handwritten blue books!

But now and then, carrying out my institutional duty to observe classes taught by younger colleagues, I move from the front of the classroom to the rear. What a revelation to see what the students are up to. While virtually all of them have open laptops and most are taking notes, many seem more intent on emailing and texting, posting on social media, reading news sites, shopping online, or looking at YouTube videos. I recently saw one student systematically checking out law-firm websites for summer-associate salaries. Another spent an entire class streaming an NHL hockey game.

If this is what the students are doing while I’m sitting behind them, observing the class, I can only imagine what they’re doing when I’m up front, lecturing.

Has the time come to ban laptops from my classes? The arguments for doing so seem pretty straightforward. As common sense suggests, and a March 2013 study by Faria Sana, Tina Weston and Nicholas J. Cepeda confirmed, students who are multitasking during class have less understanding and recall of what’s being discussed.

The study also found that “participants who were in direct view of a multitasking peer scored lower on a test compared with those who were not.” So the student with the game on his laptop is also making it harder for the student sitting behind him to focus.

 

My school has spent a fortune for classrooms with comfortable seating, quality lighting and good acoustics. Don’t we also owe students a physical environment in which they’re not bombarded with the laptop-generated equivalent of Times Square?

Even when multitasking is blocked, students who take notes on a computer tend to perform worse than students who take notes by hand, according to a 2014 study by Pam A. Mueller and Daniel M. Oppenheimer. They found that laptop users were basically creating a transcript of the lecture, while those taking notes by hand were synthesizing the information. This confirms my own experience when meeting with students who appear to have a nearly verbatim record of what I said in class but fail to grasp what I was trying to convey. It’s like making a cake recipe from scratch, measuring out all the ingredients perfectly, but forgetting to put the concoction in the oven.

Laptops in the classroom can also make it harder to teach. Most law professors do more than lecture. We ask questions, pose hypotheticals, encourage students to engage in dialogue. Yet I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve called on a student with a question, only to have him look up from his laptop in bewilderment and ask me to repeat it. That slows down class discussion, making it harder to cover the material planned and impairing the learning experience of students who aren’t absorbed in playing Candy Crush or QuizUp.

 

My best guess is that many of my students, millennials almost all, have never been in a university classroom where they weren’t connected to the internet. As bright and hard-working as they are, they don’t know what it feels like to be completely focused on a text, or fully absorbed in a classroom discussion. Like so many others in today’s overly wired society, they are perpetually distracted, never fully present.

In August, when the new semester begins, I’ll have a new rule for my classroom: no laptops. No doubt the students will roll their eyes, mutter that I’m a Luddite, and present arguments showing why I’m wrong. They are law students, after all. But I hope that some eventually will realize that there is much to be said for being liberated from their devices. Maybe one or two will even send me an email to say how revelatory it is to really listen. I hope they won’t do it while sitting in class.

Mr. Green is a professor at Rutgers Law School

 

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New Web Show “Queer Kids Stuff” Targets Pre School

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(Editor: www.thereportcard.org A new web series called “Queer Kids Stuff” aimed at preschoolers (yes, you read that right) is now attempting to teach those barely out of diapers what the phrases “gay,” “bisexual,” and “transgender” mean.

In the opening minutes of the first show, the host tells a teddy bear, as well as innocent viewers, that “gay means love.” said Sean Ryan, communications director of the pro-family organization Mass Resistance, based in Waltham, Massachusetts.

“Activists are trying to force these topics on younger and younger children because that is the only way their movement wins,” he said. Programs like these often fly under parents radar because they are viewed on line and not carried home with the kids. More and more public schools are in conflict with traditional family values. If you child is in public school your motto should be “Caveat Emptor” let the buyer beware).

By Deirdre Reilly LifeZette

When enrolling your children in preschool, a curriculum check will now be mandatory.

“There was once a time when it was unthinkable to even mention the topic of homosexuality in a school setting,” said one pro-family activist.

A new web series called “Queer Kids Stuff” aimed at preschoolers (yes, you read that right) is now attempting to teach those barely out of diapers what the phrases “gay,” “bisexual,” and “transgender” mean.

In the opening minutes of the first show, the host tells a teddy bear, as well as innocent viewers, that “gay means love.”

Although no U.S. preschool programs have indicated yet that they will embrace the series, it may only be a matter of time.

“It is easily conceivable that videos such as these will be sanctioned eventually by local school boards and implemented in preschool and prekindergarten classes,” said Sean Ryan, communications director of the pro-family organization Mass Resistance, based in Waltham, Massachusetts.

“Activists are trying to force these topics on younger and younger children because that is the only way their movement wins,” he said.

“Rational adults don’t buy into the so-called ‘Queer Theory’ or transgenderism. Unfortunately, children are a soft target for homosexual activists as they are malleable and still learning about the world.”

JamesMichael Nichols, deputy editor of the Queer Voices section of The Huffington Post, claims the web series explains the “issues and language” of the LGBT community in a way “that is accessible for preschool-aged children.”

The show is “intended to be a conversation starter between adults and kids about queer issues,” Nichols wrote. “While the episodes may focus on explaining a basic queer idea — like what does ‘gay’ mean — it also answers questions for children that some adults may not have the ability or language to talk about.”

But he’s missing the point, and perhaps deliberately so. Parents may not have the language to explain LGBT issues because they don’t want it — they have control, after all, over what gets discussed in the home. Ironically, preschoolers don’t “have the language” to even share with their parents all that they learn in preschool.

Parents must be the protective figures who make sure what is presented to innocent, growing minds is what they decide is fit.

“Personally I am opposed to something like this,” said one Massachusetts parent.

“These are the years of the W’s: who, what, when, and why,” series creator Amer told The Huffington Post. “These ages are when children are learning and soaking up everything they can about the world they were pretty recently introduced to. While they are learning about the world, they are also beginning to form their own opinions about the things in this world.”

Amer also said, “If they aren’t seeing queerness in their world (particularly in their media), how can they know to ask questions and spark conversations (as many parents won’t do this themselves)? And what happens if the first time they are introduced to a queer topic, it has a negative connotation? As soon as that happens, it is far more difficult to undo that moment than it is to simply introduce the topic truthfully and positively first.”

Nichols is ecstatic about this new vehicle toting the LGBT agenda. “We’re super excited about this project and can’t wait to see what’s ahead,” he wrote. “Check out the first episode, “What Does Gay Mean?…”

“It’s no surprise the LGBT movement is attempting to impose its propaganda to school children at younger and younger ages,” Ryan of Mass Resistance told LifeZette. “There was once a time when it was unthinkable to even mention the topic of homosexuality in a school setting. Now, there are homosexual, bisexual [and] transgender lesson plans for kids as young as kindergarten.”

“I don’t think children of that age totally understand gender,” Brandon Chapman of Reading, Massachusetts, told LifeZette. “Personally I would be opposed to something like this. Teaching general acceptance of people is great, but I think specifically talking about same-sex couples would be too confusing.”

Ryan said today’s parents naturally support the indoctrination of the young — they themselves were indoctrinated, even if they don’t realize it.

“Kids don’t naturally buy into this stuff. They have to be brainwashed,” he asserted. “We’ve seen this with the acceptance of homosexuality and homosexual marriage. Homosexuality is supported by a majority of adults aged 18-29, not because young adults just naturally support it — but because they are the group that first began to be bombarded by this propaganda in the early 1990s.”

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Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) Indicted for Theft of Scholarship Funds

Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) Indicted

Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) Indicted

(Editor: www.thereportcard.org Congresswoman Corrine Brown, a liberal Democrat who has served in The U.S. House of Representatives since 1992, was indicted for using her One Door Scholarship fund for personal use. The indictment alleges that between late 2012 and early 2016, Brown and Simmons participated in a conspiracy and fraud scheme involving One Door for Education – Amy Anderson Scholarship Fund (One Door) in which the defendants and others acting on their behalf solicited more than $800,000 in charitable donations based on false representations that the donations would be used for college scholarships. Despite raising over $800,000 in donations, the indictment alleges that One Door was associated with only two scholarships totaling $1,200 that were awarded to students to cover expenses related to attending a college or university. .  According to the indictment, more than $200,000 in One Door funds were used to pay for events hosted by Brown or held in her honor, including a golf tournament in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida; lavish receptions during an annual conference in Washington, D.C.; the use of a luxury box during a concert in Washington, D.C.; and the use of a luxury box during an NFL game in the Washington, D.C., area. “Corrupt public officials undermine the integrity of our government and violate the public’s trust,” said Michelle S. Klimt, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division.

 

Special Agent Klimt’s remarks seem ironic in the wake of the FBI’s refusal to recommend prosecution for Hillary Clinton).

 

 

 

By Stephanie Brown WKOV Jacksonville

 

Jacksonville, FL — Congresswoman Corrine Brown (D-FL) and her Chief of Staff have been indicted on 24 federal counts including fraud, theft of government funds, scheme to conceal facts, corrupt endeavor to obstruct.

Chief of Staff Elias Simmons- commonly known as Ronnie Simmons- is also listed as a co-defendant in the case.

The indictment accuses both Brown, 69, and Simmons with participating in a conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, multiple counts of mail and wire fraud, concealing material facts on required financial disclosure forms, theft of government property, obstruction of the due administration of the internal revenue laws, and filing false tax returns.

“Our Office is committed to ferreting out and prosecuting all forms of corruption and fraud, regardless of who the offender is,” said U.S. Attorney Lee Bentley III. “In our nation, no one is above the law.”

“Congresswoman Brown and her chief of staff are alleged to have used the Congresswoman’s official position to solicit over $800,000 in donations to a supposed charitable organization, only to use that organization as a personal slush fund,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.  “Corruption erodes the public’s trust in our entire system of representative government.  One of the department’s most important responsibilites is to root out corruption at all levels of government and to bring wrongdoers to justice.”

 

“Corrupt public officials undermine the integrity of our government and violate the public’s trust,” said Michelle S. Klimt, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division.  “That is why public corruption is the FBI’s top criminal priority.  It is incredibly disappointing that an elected official, who took an oath year after year to serve others, would exploit the needs of children and abuse the charitable hearts of constituents to advance her own personal and political agendas and deliver them with virtually nothing.”

The indictment alleges that between late 2012 and early 2016, Brown and Simmons participated in a conspiracy and fraud scheme involving One Door for Education – Amy Anderson Scholarship Fund (One Door) in which the defendants and others acting on their behalf solicited more than $800,000 in charitable donations based on false representations that the donations would be used for college scholarships and school computer drives, among other things.

According to the indictment, Brown and Simmons allegedly solicited donations from individuals and corporate entities that Brown knew by virtue of her position in the U.S. House of Representatives, many of whom the defendants led to believe that One Door was a properly-registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, when, in fact, it was not.

Contrary to the defendants’ representations, the indictment alleges that Brown, Simmons and Carla Wiley, the president of One Door, among others, used the vast majority of One Door donations for their personal and professional benefit, including tens of thousands of dollars in cash deposits that Simmons made to Brown’s personal bank accounts.  In one instance, Simmons is alleged to have deposited $2,100 in One Door funds into Brown’s personal bank account the same day that Brown wrote a check for a similar amount to pay taxes she owed.  Likewise, the indictment alleges that Brown and Simmons used the outside consulting company of one of Brown’s employees to funnel One Door funds to Brown and others for their personal use.  According to the indictment, more than $200,000 in One Door funds were used to pay for events hosted by Brown or held in her honor, including a golf tournament in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida; lavish receptions during an annual conference in Washington, D.C.; the use of a luxury box during a concert in Washington, D.C.; and the use of a luxury box during an NFL game in the Washington, D.C., area.

 

Despite raising over $800,000 in donations, the indictment alleges that One Door was associated with only two scholarships totaling $1,200 that were awarded to students to cover expenses related to attending a college or university.

Simmons is also charged with theft of government property based on the misuse of his position as Brown’s chief of staff to obtain congressional employment for a close relative.  Between 2001 and early 2016, Simmons’ relative allegedly received approximately $735,000 in government salary payments despite performing no known work for the U.S. House of Representatives.  The indictment alleges that between 2009 and late 2015, Simmons diverted over $80,000 of his relative’s government salary for his personal benefit, including through transfers to his personal bank accounts, payments on his personal credit cards and loan payments on his boat.

Simmons and Brown are also charged with failing to disclose, among other things, the reportable income they received from One Door and the salary payments that Simmons diverted from his relative’s government employment on required financial disclosure forms submitted to the U.S. House of Representatives and made available to the general public.

Brown is also charged with engaging in tax obstruction between 2008 and 2014 and, in certain years, filing false returns based on her repeated failure to report income from substantial cash deposits to her personal bank accounts and her repeated deduction of inflated and fabricated charitable donations.  According to the indictment, in various years, Brown claimed deductions on her tax returns based on false donations she claimed she made to One Door, as well as to local churches and non-profit organizations in the Jacksonville area.

Wiley, the president of One Door, pleaded guilty for her involvement in the scheme on March 3, 2016.

The charges and allegations contained in an indictment are merely accusations.  The defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

 

The FBI and IRS-CI are investigating the case.  Deputy Chief Eric G. Olshan of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys A. Tysen Duva and Michael J. Coolican of the Middle District of Florida are prosecuting the case.

Brown has been under a federal investigation for most of the year, although until this point the exact nature of the investigation has not been confirmed by law enforcement and other investigating agencies.

The questions started in January, when she was served a federal subpoena. At the end of March, the House Committee on Ethics opened an Investigative Subcommittee to probe any violations by Brown, including ties to “outside organizations”.

Brown had long promoted a group called One Door for Education as a charity, but in early March, the head of the organization pled guilty to wire fraud. The plea agreement outlined a scheme involving Carla Wiley and two other people, who would allegedly collect donations for the organization but use the money- hundreds of thousands of dollars- for personal expenses instead. One of the unnamed co-conspirators is a public official who’s description in the court records appeared to align with Brown.

WOKV is following Brown and Simmons as they  make a 1pm appearance in court.  Keep checking back with this story as we update it through the afternoon, and get instant updates on 104.5 FM/AM690.

 

 

 

 

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National PTA Pushes for LGBT Advocacy

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(Editor: www.thereportcard.org The PTA, which touts itself as the oldest and largest child advocacy group and has about 4 million members, last weekend adopted a resolution on the issue, Recognition of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) Individuals as a Protected Class. The resolution leads one to believe that there is an epidemic of violence and bullying against the LGBT community. In fact the most recent FBI statistics say there were 1402 crimes against gays and transgenders in America. Compare that to 353,000 robberies and 1,100,000 violent crimes, it hardly seems like an epidemic. So what’s going on? The American Family Association says

“There can be no peace and no compromise between the homosexual agenda and religious liberty. They cannot coexist. Every advance of the homosexual agenda comes at the expense of religious liberty. Every piece of turf sexual jihadists take they take from turf where the flag of religious freedom once flew.”

In other words, the LGBT movement seeks to silence critics, end the First Amendment and punish Christians for their belief. And the LGBT agenda is what the PTA is supporting).

 

 

 

By Sarah Tully Edweek

 

The National PTA is taking a stand to push for federal policies to ensure LGBTQ individuals are recognized as a protected class—an effort to protect students from bullying and discrimination.

The PTA, which touts itself as the oldest and largest child advocacy group and has about 4 million members, last weekend adopted a resolution on the issue, Recognition of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) Individuals as a Protected Class.

The group’s annual convention was held in Orlando, Fla., over the weekend.

As part of the resolution, the group stated it would support legislation that “addresses discrimination based upon sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.”

“Every child deserves to go to school excited to learn in a safe and nurturing environment, without the fear of bullying, violence, or discrimination. However, the vast majority of LGBTQ students are bullied, physically assaulted, and feel unsafe in school because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or identity,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA, in a statement.

“National PTA delegates have taken a stand to push for policies and protections for LGBTQ youth to make sure they have positive school experiences.”

The resolution comes at a time that schools are increasingly facing issues related to such youth and their families, including curriculum and programs at schools.

This year, the major topic has been the issue of bathrooms for transgender students. The PTA resolution does not specifically address the bathroom issue. See questions and answers about the Obama administration’s guidance on transgender students’ rights and the national backlash.

Last year, schools were exploring parent and student issues related to the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage, while bullying remains a major issue that schools are tackling.

 

The National PTA previously has put out guidance on how PTAs can welcome and support families of LGBTQ children.

See an infographic by the PTA about the importance of support groups for such students.

Also, during the convention, U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr. gave a speech, calling on parents to take charge of improving diversity among their students and teachers.

See other resolutions passed by the National PTA at the convention.

 

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$40,000/yr NY School Teaching All Are Whites Racist-Even Babies

 

Anshu Wahi Diversity Director

Anshu Wahi Diversity Director

 

(Editor: www.thereportcard.org Pity desperate New York parents who grovel before the admissions director of elite schools for the privilege of paying $40-45,000 per year, or God forbid, their child might go to a (gasp) public school. These same parents are now learning that the K-8 Banks Street School teaches all whites are hopelessly racist-including white babies! One would hope that the teaching is based on some kind of scientific study, but it’s not. It’s merely the opinion of Anshu Wahi, a longtime “social justice” activist who’s held the title of “director of diversity” at Bank Street since 2013. She referred questions to the school’s communications office, which did not respond to requests for comment.

 

Still, Wahi’s radical beliefs come into clear view from recorded conversations with parents, as well as handouts and emails to parents. She believes the answer to racism is teaching white kids to see race in everything — a process called “white racial socialization.” Her extreme diversity program is based on the premise that America is still plagued by “systemic racism,” which she claims she saw first-hand while serving as a juror hearing criminal cases in Brooklyn. She told parents she was shocked to learn that every case involved a minority defendant. In the same May 2015 meeting with parents, she cited the GI Bill as proof of “white privilege,” claiming the popular post-World War II legislation only benefited white soldiers and their heirs, when in fact, black enrollment in colleges exploded under the GI Bill.

Most recently, parents were upset with her airing a documentary film lionizing leaders of the violent Black Panthers movement. On May 31, the Bank Street School screened “Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution,” which depicts Panthers founder and convicted cop-killer Huey Newton as a martyr.

$40,000 per year is a lot to shell out for a teacher like Anshu Wahi).

By Paul Sperry NY Post

An elite Manhattan school is teaching white students as young as 6 that they’re born racist and should feel guilty benefiting from “white privilege,” while heaping praise and cupcakes on their black peers.

Administrators at the Bank Street School for Children on the Upper West Side claim it’s a novel approach to fighting discrimination, and that several other private New York schools are doing it, but even liberal parents aren’t buying it.

 

They complain the K-8 school of 430 kids is separating whites in classes where they’re made to feel awful about their “whiteness,” and all the “kids of color” in other rooms where they’re taught to feel proud about their race and are rewarded with treats and other privileges.

“Ever since Ferguson, the school has been increasing anti-white propaganda in its curriculum,” said a parent who requested anonymity because he has children currently enrolled in the school.

Bank Street has created a “dedicated space” in the school for “kids of color,” where they’re “embraced” by minority instructors and encouraged to “voice their feelings” and “share experiences about being a kid of color,” according to school presentation slides obtained by The Post.

Meanwhile, white kids are herded into separate classrooms and taught to raise their “awareness of the prevalence of Whiteness and privilege,” challenge “notions of colorblindness (and) assumptions of ‘normal,’ ‘good,’ and ‘American’” and “understand and own European ancestry and see the tie to privilege.”

The same slides point out that a number of leading private schools across the country also have segregated students by “race-based affinity groups.” It lists several in New York, including Riverdale Country School, Brooklyn Friends School, The Cathedral School, The Calhoun School, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, and Little Red School House and Elisabeth Irwin High School.

 

Under Bank Street’s “Racial Justice and Advocacy” curriculum, parents say, teachers push white kids to grapple with America’s history of racism. Then they indoctrinate them into thinking “systemic racism” still exists, and that they’re part of the problem and must hold themselves accountable even for acts of racism committed by others.

“One hundred percent of the curriculum is what whites have done to other races,” said another Bank Street parent. “They offer nothing that would balance the story.”

Added the parent, who also asked to go unnamed: “Any questions they can’t answer they rationalize under the pretense of ‘institutional racism,’ which is never really defined.”

The program, these parents say, deliberately instills in white children a strong sense of guilt about their race. Some kids come home in tears, saying, “I’m a bad person.”

They say white kids are being brainwashed into thinking any success they achieve is unearned. Indeed, a young white girl is seen confessing on a Bank Street video: “I feel guilty for having a privilege I don’t deserve.

 

Parents, moreover, say the classroom segregation only breeds resentment. Younger children, for instance, feel left out when the “kids of color” come back to the main classroom munching on cupcakes they were given in their “affinity group.”

The divisive program is run by Anshu Wahi, a longtime “social justice” activist who’s held the title of “director of diversity” at Bank Street since 2013. She referred questions to the school’s communications office, which did not respond to requests for comment.

 

Still, Wahi’s radical beliefs come into clear view from recorded conversations with parents, as well as handouts and emails to parents. She believes the answer to racism is teaching white kids to see race in everything — a process called “white racial socialization.”

Forget teaching them to be color-blind — that’s a cop-out, she suggests, an excuse to ignore the hardships of people of color. It’s also a “tool of whiteness” to perpetuate the “oppression” of people of color, according to one paper she recommends parents read.

Wahi believes even white babies display signs of racism, so she encourages parents to talk to their kids about race as early as kindergarten, making them hyperaware of racial differences, and even “examine your own whiteness.”

She defends segregating minority children by race by arguing they need a safe place where they can share their “ouch moments,” including subtle but offensive white comments known as “micro-aggressions.”

 

“Bank Street wants to give kids of color a space to talk about shared experiences,” Wahi explained in a parent handout, “because even in society today, people of color are treated unfairly.”

“In the recent past,” she added, “children of color in our Lower School have been told by well-intentioned peers that their skin looks like the color of poop.”

Wahi says the school is merely empowering children of color who feel “alienated” and “devalued” in a “dominant white culture.” But some parents fear the school is nurturing resentment among minority pupils and reinforcing perceptions of victimization.

 

Her extreme diversity program is based on the premise that America is still plagued by “systemic racism,” which she claims she saw first-hand while serving as a juror hearing criminal cases in Brooklyn. She told parents she was shocked to learn that every case involved a minority defendant. In the same May 2015 meeting with parents, she cited the GI Bill as proof of “white privilege,” claiming the popular post-World War II legislation only benefited white soldiers and their heirs, when in fact, black enrollment in colleges exploded under the GI Bill.

Most recently, parents were upset with her airing a documentary film lionizing leaders of the violent Black Panthers movement. On May 31, the Bank Street School screened “Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution,” which depicts Panthers founder and convicted cop-killer Huey Newton as a martyr.

In 2013, moreover, parents expressed outrage over an email from Wahi that seemed to sympathize with Muslim terrorists after the Boston Marathon bombings.

The April 17, 2013, message — “From Anshu, our Director of Diversity and Community: The Boston Marathon — Another Perspective” — advised students and parents to “be mindful of stereotypes and dangerous ideas” regarding “Arabs (and) Muslims.”

 

It linked to an article titled “Let’s hope the Boston Marathon bomber is a white American.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Report: Most Colleges Drop US History

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(Editor: www.thereportcard.org The American Council of Trustees and Alumni said in its report that the absence of mandates that history majors take U.S. history classes with chronological and thematic breadth is “a truly breathtaking abandonment of intellectual standards and professional judgment.” Many institutions of higher learning believe there is nothing special about America or American history. They are advocates for multiculturalism. Bill North, chairman of the history department at Carleton College, said the school doesn’t require history majors to take any U.S. history courses, in part because “we are committed to the idea that all histories are important and valuable in the cultivation of a robust civic consciousness.” Professor North says that many of his students have taken advanced placement U.S. History (APUSH) in high school. But anyone who has studied APUSH knows that it’s teachings are contrary to traditional American values).

 

By MELISSA KORN Wall Street Journal

 

History majors at top colleges don’t know much about U.S. history—or at least they don’t have to.

A new report by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a nonprofit group that advocates for accountability at schools, found that just 23 of the institutions among the 76 deemed to be the “best” by U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 rankings require history majors to take at least one U.S. history course.

Many elite schools, including Rice University and Johns Hopkins University, may require students to take courses about events from before 1750, or on East Asian and sub-Saharan African politics, without also demanding that they study the creation of the U.S. Constitution or the civil-rights movement.

The association said in its report that the absence of mandates that history majors take U.S. history classes with chronological and thematic breadth is “a truly breathtaking abandonment of intellectual standards and professional judgment.”

Students who make it to the top universities generally have taken U.S. history classes in high school. But Michael Poliakoff, president-elect of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, said that doesn’t mean they have a solid understanding of the country’s founding principles or major social movements. The group found in a 2014 survey that a majority of U.S. college graduates don’t know the length of a congressional term or what the Emancipation Proclamation was.

 

Bill North, chairman of the history department at Carleton College, said the school doesn’t require history majors to take any U.S. history courses, in part because “we are committed to the idea that all histories are important and valuable in the cultivation of a robust civic consciousness.” He added that many students already performed well on the Advanced Placement U.S. history exam.

At the University of Pennsylvania, students must take a course in four of five geographic areas, including the U.S. and Canada. And while, in theory, students could avoid that region, spokesman Ron Ozio said, “In practice, that almost never occurs.”

The council said many courses tagged as U.S. history still leave students short of a thorough understanding of the country’s past.

Penn history students who pursue an American history concentration within the major can take classes including “Baseball in U.S. History,” while those at the University of Texas at Austin can partially fulfill their American history requirement by signing up for “Jews in American Entertainment.”

A representative from Texas wasn’t immediately available for comment.

“Niche classes are not going to prepare students for engaged citizenship,” Dr. Poliakoff said, adding that requiring that students take courses on broad slices of American history is “a question of academic responsibility.”

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